There are hundredths of places you can visit during your holidays in Crete. Chania area has more than 50 beautiful beaches within a distance of less than 1.5 hour. Maleme village is an excellent base for daily escapes to the western Crete. Below we recommend some places that you can visit.
Elafonisi beach is one of the most beautiful places in Crete. It is located at the southwest corner of Crete approximately 75 km from Chania. The sand is pink and white and the water is clear and shallow. Elafonisi is an organized plaz with sun beds and umbrellas. Near to the coast is the Elafonisi Island. If there are no waves you can walk to the island through the shallow water. On your way to Elafonisi we recommend two stops. The one is in Topolia village at the cave of Agia Sofia and the other is to Chrysoskalitissa monastery. For an organized tour to Elafonisi click here
Samaria is the biggest gorge in Europe. It starts from the feet of White Mountains and ends up to the Libyan sea at Agia Roumeli village. Its’ length is 17km. The gorge and the area surrounding it contain unique species of flora and fauna. After you pass the gorge you take the boat from Agia Roumeli to either Sougia or Sfakia village from where you can take the bus to return back. Samaria gorge is considered a natural park since 1962. For an organized tour to Samaria Gorge click here
Gramvousa Island and Balos lagoon are at the Nortwest part of Crete. It is a beautiful place accessible only by the sea. To get there first you go to Kissamos harbor. From there the ship flees along the peninsula of Gramvousa and stops to Gramvousa Island “The pirates’ island” as many people call it. There, you can get off the boat and visit the Venetian castle at the top of the hill. The journey continues to Balos lagoon where you can swim and relax in the beautiful crystal waters of Balos. After a few hours the boat departs back to Kissamos and the journey ends. For an organized tour to Gramvousa and Balos click here
Knossos archaeological area,
One day visit to Knossos and to archaeological museum of Heraklion. Knossos area is referred to the ancient Minoan Civilization and to the palace of king Minoa. The site is only 10 minutes away from the city of Heraklion. We recommend that you also visit the archaeological museum which is at Heraklion city center near to Eleutherias square. The museum hosts the most important collection of Minoan art. To participate in an organized tour to Knossos click here
Chania old town and Venetian harbor,
At Chania city you can visit the historical square market where you can buy local products and wines. The area outside the square market is full of shops where you can buy clothes, books, traveler’s accessories etc. Five minutes of walking from the square market is the old town of Chania. In the graphic alleys you can find many souvenir shops, tavernas and jewellery shops. Very close to the old town of Chania it is the Venetian harbor. You can walk along the harbor and you can stop for meal or for a coffee to one of the many tavernas and cafes that there are. At the harbor are also the Archaeological and the Naval museum of Chania. The harbor is also very beautiful in the night. The visit to it is strongly recommended.
Meal tip. If you prefer meat for your meal choose a tavern in the old town of Chania (in the alleys of the old town). If you prefer fish for your meal choose a tavern on the harbor by the sea. Also, there is the beach of Nea Chora 800 meters west from the harbor where you can find many fish taverns.
The beautiful village of Paleochora is located at the Southwest coast of Crete. To drive there is quite easy and it will take you about one hour. The village is small, quiet and graphic. The food in tavernas is very good. At Paleochora there are six spectacular beaches. Though many times is windy in Paleochora, you can always find a plaz that is quiet.
Falassarna beach and ancient city,
Falassarna beach is at the North West side of Crete approximately 60 km from Chania. The beach is 3km long and in some parts more than 150 m wide. The sea is deep and the water is clean, Falassarna beach is blue flagged and has been awarded as the most beautiful beach in Crete and within the top ten of Europe. The beach is well organized with umbrellas and sunbeds, also there are some canteens and tavernas if you want to have a meal. Northern of the beach you find the remains of the ancient city and the ancient harbor of Falassarna.
Aptera ancient city,
The archaeological site of Aptera is referred to the ancient city of Aptera or Apteria. The history of the city starts from the Minoan era around 1800 BC. The site is located above the Souda harbor near to Kalami area. The distance from Chania is approximately 15 km. After you visit the city make sure you visit Izzedin fortress. The view from the fortress is fantastic, you can see the entire gulf of Souda and part of Apokoronas.
Not far from Chania near to Georgioupoli village in Apokoronas area there is the lake of Kournas. The lake’s perimeter is approximately 3.5 km and the view to the mountains is fantastic. Also, it is the only freshwater lake in Crete. Around the lake there are many tavernas, cafes and lake pedal rental shops. We recommend that you rent a lake pedal and explore the lake from side to side.
Rethymnon old town,
Rethymnon town is at the western Crete between Chania and Heraklion city. The distance from Chania is 68 km and from Heraklion is 85 km. It is a beautiful town with many sightseeing. At Rethymnon you can visit the old town, in the graphic alleys of Rethymnon you will find many restaurants and cafes. Between the old town and the sea it is the Venetian fortress of Fortezza visit the fortress and enjoy the view to the sea. Follow the sea and find the small harbor of Rethymno where the local fishermen moor their boats. In Rethymno there is also the option for swimming, the beach we recommend is blue flagged and starts 1km east from the Marina on the beach road.