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Chania Holidays is something you will never forget. http://www.bestofgreece.co.uk/el/locations/best_of_crete_chania_holidays
Chania port, is located on the North coast of the island on the Western Side of Crete. This side of the island is a lot calmer than the Eastern side of the Island. The tourism in this region is picking up but due to its distance from the famous archaeological sites and lack of long sandy beaches right by the city centre, famous resorts have settled on the other side of the island.
This city is the second largest on Crete. It was for a while the Capital of Crete but the title was given back to Iraklion in the early 1970s. Its old town is a beautiful blend of Venetian architecture, lively café culture, intoxicating aromas and character. It has been claimed the most attractive city on Crete, with the backdrop of Mountains and extensive views of the Mediterranean. The combination of the Modern with the old town definitely adds to its character and uniqueness. The Modern part of the city is spread out with spacious roads, while the old town is a combination of narrow alleys and half derelict Venetian buildings that survived the wartime. The Old town area is relatively small and mainly along the sea front.
This area even due to its remote location from beaches and the main sites, is home to some resorts, luxury hotels as well as camping sites and even youth hostels. So you will be able to find whatever type of accommodation you are looking for. You can even find a few places in the Old Town!
A little bit about Crete:
Crete is approximately 2 and a half times the size of Majorca. It is the biggest and most southerly Greek Island in the Mediterranean. The Island has numerous beaches, magnificent mountains, luscious valleys, tiny villages, large cities, fortresses, archaeological sites, unique customs and fantastic History. Due to the island's diversity and its size Cretans feel that it is a state in its own right. This is also emphasised by the fact that locals speak a slightly different dialect of Greek.
Crete was home to the first European Civilisation, the Minoans, who ruled the island as early as 2000 BC. Their history and influence on the island as well as on the island's culture is evident everywhere.
It is truly an amazing place, a little land of its own. One that is full of places to discover, things to see and do. It also offers the largest variety of what ever you would expect to find on a Greek Island. Your Holidays in Chania will be something you will forever cherish.
In the Old Town within the Kasteli District there are signs of life dating as far back as the Neolithic Era. However, as with most areas of Crete, Chania was also a Minoan City.
After the Minoan period Chania became an important city-state Capital in Classical Greece. Its domain stretched from the waterfront to the feet of the White Mountains. Its name was Kydonia and it was constantly at war with other Cretan states. It even issued its own coins in the 3rd Century AD.
The area was further occupied by Arabs during the Byzantine Era. This period isn't very well documented, however around 961 BC the Byzantine Empire took control once again of the city and fortified it to prevent the further invasion of the Arabs.
After the fall of the Byzantine Empire within the region the island was then sold to the Venetians for mere 100 silver marks. To begin with the Venetian rule was strict and oppressing however, the relations between them improved and their cultures intertwined.
The walls that had been built to keep the Arabs out did not stand the force of the Ottoman Empire, so in 1645 the Ottoman Empire took over the area that was now flourishing under Venetian rule. The Greeks eventually rose against the Empire in 1821. The conflicts between the Turks and the Greeks in Chania led to losses from both sides.
In 1898 steps were put into motion to unite Crete with the rest of Greece. Chania remained a semi-autonomous state during the negotiations. However it wasn't until 1913 that Crete became officially part of Greece. This is another reason why the Cretans feel that Crete is an autonomous state.
A little bit of Cretan History:
Crete is where the earliest of Europe's civilizations, the Minoans, settled, however, there are signs that life has existed on Crete for more than 130,000 years. As many people have heard that the Minoans spread and took over other islands as well as parts of Mainland of Greece. There is evidence that they were incredibly advanced for their time and were in the centre of the Maritime Trade from 2000BC. It is said that this civilization survived various natural disasters that destroyed, homes, palaces, which they rebuilt and some of them remain for us to admire today.
The Island has seen a lot of changes, a lot of civilizations and different occupations. The Island has been ruled by its own people, the Minoans and the Mycenae. It has been taken over by the Venetians and the Ottoman Empire. In more recent years it was split into four sectours between the UK, Italy, Russia and France when they were fighting to maintain their power of the Island.
This land's history is packed with tales of Mythology. It is claimed that the father of all the Olympian Gods, Zeus, was born on this tremendous island, on Mount Ida. Zeus also destroyed a giant Lizard that was threatening the Island. Crete is also where the tales of the Minotaur derive.
The bull was worshipped by the Minoans and it was celebrated in the construction of palaces like Knossos. There are a few variations of the myth about the Minotaur and the Labyrinth. The best known includes the Prince Theseus, a very complicated maze and the death of the Minotaur at the hand of Theseus.
This is probably the most famous site on this enormous island. It is approximately 140 km from Chania so it is quite a drive or bus ride but if you make the trip you will not be disappointed. The area was first inhabited in 7000 BC; the palace that remains however was rebuilt in 1350 BC after being destroyed in 1700 BC. The construction itself was excavated in on several occasions beginning in the late 1800s and ending in 1931. The site is huge and in excellent condition. You can always tag along side one of the tour groups wandering around the palace and site, in case you miss something.
-Nautical Museum of Crete
This museum houses a collection of model ships, as well as other naval ephemera showing the history of Greek Navigation. There is also a section on the battle of Crete in 1941.
The collection is not huge, but it is very interesting. It has a collection of mosaics, icons and jewellery from this period.
- Archaeological Museum
This museum has in its collection a number of artefacts including:
- Minoan finds from Chania
- Prehistoric finds from caves
- Minoan items from various sites in the prefecture
- Finds from graves of the Geometric period
- Finds from the city of Chania, dated to historic times
- Finds from other towns of the Chania prefecture
- Coins, Jewellery, Sculpture, inscriptions & Mosaics
You should also walk around the city and visit the Mosque of Janissaries, the Cathedral, the Minoan Excavation and the Centre of Traditional Folk Art and Culture.
Water sports are very popular in this region especially Water polo. The Team from Chania have remained in the primary league of the Greek National Teams for decades.
There is also a very active mountaineering, rock climbing and walking society. Check out the Chania Mountaineering Club.
Things to do
The Beaches of this Town lie on the West part of the Town. The closest beach is the city beach, it is crowded but clean.
-Golden Beach, 1 km from the city centre, it is as its name long golden sandy beach, but because of its close position to the city it becomes very crowded.
-Agioi Apostoloi Beach is to the West about 7km and is a sandy beach that is in total about 3 coves.
-Further along is Kalamaki Beach another sandy one.
There are many beaches in the region but there are not many ones that are very close by. Please check with your hotel or the locals for the best places to swim because this constantly changes and the locals always know a few more secrets,
There is a wide selection of little shops selling traditional Cretan artwork, leather, jewellery, embroidery, woven goods and replicas of artefacts and Icons. You will also find a number of larger shops in this city, clothes shops, accessories, shoes, beauty items, books etc. If you come across some local products, grab a jar of honey, a bottle of Cretan wine and if you can some of the local cheese.
You should also take a walk through the Agora (the market) and have a look around at what is on offer.
Samaria Gorge is located 43 km from the city of Chania so it would take approximately one hour to get there by car. It is a unique experience to take a hike in this gorge and is something you will carry with you forever. It would take about 4-6 hours depending on how quick you are to pass through the "Samaria Gorge". We suggest you start very early in the morning before it becomes too hot.
Chania has a good reputation for its Nightlife and a perfect place for your Greek Island Holidays. Being a good size city it has a lot to offer the visitors and the locals. The west side of the Town is where the party happens. The streets are filled with young people walking around, going into to bars, clubs, etc. This is the lively side of town. People party to all hours of the morning. The bars and clubs play all sorts of music, anything from Cuban to Live Greek Music. Take your pick and wander on in and enjoy yourself.
Of course there are areas within the town that are low key where you can enjoy a quiet drink by the sea front.
Where to wine and dine:
Crete is known for its delicious and fresh food. You must try the local food and ask for what is traditional in
Chania. Grab a glass of chilled raki or a nice cold beer.
There are a number of restaurant and tavernas along the Harbour; these are slightly pricey. The cheaper more traditional food is found in the back streets and around the Market (Agora). If you want a light dinner you can grab a snack in a café or go to an ouzeri and have some meze with a glass of ouzo or local wine.
Enjoy your holidays in Crete! Best of Chania Holidays www.bestofgreece.co.uk