Chania: Live the adventure
Chania is the capital city of West Crete and one of the oldest in the island with a rich and tremendous history. The city has preserved its traditional architecture and most of its monuments from the Venetian and Turkish period. Archaeological sites, temples, squares and beautiful buildings compose the picture. The Venetian, Turkish, traditional and modern architecture co-exist in harmony, creating an attractive scenery for the visitors. The amazing Venetian harbour with its famous Lighthouse and the old town in the centre, welcome thousands of visitors each year. The modern part of the city is developing quite fast.
The prefecture of Chania consists of 5 provinces: Kydonia which includes the city of Chania and extends to the south, all the way to the White Mountains. Its coastal part is the main touristic area of West Crete. Further to the West, the region of Kissamos includes the two peninsulas of Rodopou and Gramvoussa. East of Chania, the region of Apokoronas is one of the greenest regions in Crete with hundreds of olive trees between the sea and the northern slopes of the White Mountains. In the South, the region of Selino stretches from the south-west on Crete to just beyond Sougia on the south coast. Sfakia is by far the largest of all the regions, preserving the strongest traditions. The White Mountains (or Lefka Ori) are located in the centre part of the prefecture of Chania.
Chania Prefecture is the greenest part of Crete. The landscape showcases wonderful beaches with golden sand and crystal-clear water, beautiful, imposing mountains and many impressive deep gorges.
Famous for its turquoise waters, its white sand and wild natural beauty, Balos is undoubtedly the mostly photographed beach in the whole island. The exotic beach is located approximately 56km northwest of Chania, between Capes Gramvousa and Tigani. Thousands of people visit the beach every year, arriving by ferries from Kissamos port. The water is vivid blue, very shallow and warm, ideal for young children. In many places the sand has a lovely pinkish color, as a result of the millions of crushed shells. The lagoon as well as the wider area, have rare species of flora and fauna and they are protected under the Natura 2000 program.
The magical island of Gramvousa is located 20km northwest of Kissamos, close to Balos beach. On the south side of Gramvousa, there are two large bays. The west bay hosts hundreds of visitors daily, arriving there with excursion boats from Kissamos. Gramvousa is famous for its historical Venetian Castle, which stands over the beach at a height of 137m and makes the place magnificent.
An exotic beach, located 59km west of Chania city, at the western base of Cape Gramvousa. It has white sand, crystal-clear waters and is included in the list with the most famous in Greece; it has been awarded as the best beach of the island and voted as one of the 10 best beaches in Europe. It consists of five consecutive beaches, with the two centrals being the most popular. The main beach, called Pachia Ammos, has a length of 1km and is organized with some umbrellas and cafes.
An oblong peninsula, which often breaks in two parts by water like a separate island. Located 76km west of Chania, Elafonissi consists of some exotic beaches with turquoise water. The sand is white or pinkish, taking its color from the thousands of crushed shells. The eastern side of the beach, in front of the lagoon is well organized with umbrellas, showers, lifeguards and cafeterias. The beaches on either side of the island are less crowded and extremely beautiful. Elafonisi is a Natura 2000 protected area.
The Cedar forest is 1km east of Elafonissi beach. It’s an amazing place, full of juniper trees and sand dunes, perfect choice for naturists. The beach has crystal-clear waters and a white sand. As there are no facilities nearby this secluded beach remains one of the latest untouched paradises in Europe.
Located 80km southeast of Chania, Fragokastelo is situated in a small valley south of the White Mountains. The place is famous for the local Venetian castle on the beautiful beach and the legendary ghosts of Drosoulites. The main beach of Frangokastelo is magnificent, with sand and shallow turquoise waters, ideal for children. It is poorly organized and is quite busy. In a 300m walk distance east from the main beach, you will find the amazing beach of Orthi Ammos, famous for the large sand dunes.
A small seaside village, located 71 km south of Chania city. The water is calm with a deep blue-green colour and the beaches are pebbly and well-organised. You may use the place as a base in order to visit surrounding beaches, by taxi boat, canoe or on foot. Loutro is addressed to people who expect an alternative kind of vacation in Crete.
The beach is located 1.5km north of the port of Gavdos, Karavi. The name refers to the Saracen pirates who once used the island as a base of attacks. Sarakiniko, like many beaches in Gavdos numbers among the most beautiful beaches in Greece. The sand is blond with crystal clear shallow water, hidden in a wild landscape. Gavdos was once a place of exile and you can still see close to the beach the building where the exiled founder of the Greek People’s Liberation Army, Aris Velouchiotis, lived.
The small seaside town is located 24km west of Chania. The beach in Kolimbari is sandy and the water is not very deep. The sea is usually wavy, like most open beaches of northern Crete.