It had been one of the best-kept secrets of the Mediterranean Region. But since the last two decades, Chania has been ravaged by tourists. Nevertheless, the old world charm, thanks to the Venetians and Turks, has persistent despite all the commercialisation. A delightful small town nestled in the lap of nature with the mountains on one side and the sea on the other, Chania is a one heck of a destination!
Chania is traditionally Cretan in charm and culture. The winters see an influx of students and during the summers from April – early October, the town wears a distinctly cosmopolitan look, with a large number of tourists visiting it from both mainland Greece and any other part of the globe.
When is the season?
Enjoy a typical Mediterranean climate, where days are sunny and dry during summers and winters are mild rainy. April to October is generally considered the peak season. The maximum temperature is never above 38 C.
The Chania International Airport on the Akrotiri Peninsula serves the travel needs of the people. Several flights everyday from Athens to Chania ensure that the town is well connected to the rest of the world. There are many direct charter flights to Chania from other parts of the world including UK, Germany, Scandinavia and other European countries.
Where is the nightlife?
Each year, new clubs open up in Chania. But some of the most popular spots are El Mondo and Nota Bene, both on Kondilaki (the street that takes you away from the center of the old harbor); Idaeon Andron, and Ariadne, on Akti Enoseos. On Anghelou (a small walk from the Naval Museum) is Fagotta, a bar that sometimes offers jazz music. Meltemi, in the far west of the new harbor, attracts both locals and foreigners, young and old and is one of the more cosmopolitan cafes in Chania.
Chania taverns and pubs serve mainly three types of beer - Heineken, Amstel and a locally made beer called Mythos. Mythos is refreshingly better and cheaper than other beers.
In the recent past, there have been incidents of girls being attacked by tourists from nearby areas. It’s advisable for women to not venture out alone during the nights.
What to eat?
Greek cuisine is world famous. And in Chania you get some amazing and original Greek cuisine. Must haves include Moussakas (eggplant casserole), Yemista (baked stuffed vegetables), Gyros (vertically roasted meat), Soutzoukakia Smyrneika (large meatballs in tomato sauce with seasonings), Pastitsio (a baked pasta dish) etc. The desserts include Baklava, Loukoumades (like donuts), Karidopita (a walnut cake) and Yoghurt with honey. Some of the popular restaurants are - Amphora Restaurant, Antigone Restaurant, Enomayirio and Nykterida.
How is the beach?
Full of beautiful and soft sandy beaches or colored pebbly ones, Chania beaches allow you full privacy as there are plenty of deserted coves and lovely bays. Most beaches are located around the northern and southern coasts of Crete. Popular beaches in Chania are Golden Beach, Kalyves is a small village near east of Chania and is one of the greenest areas in Greece. Tourists thickly populate Agia Marina. Agioi Apostoloi, again a touristy beach.