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Xania is a wide, rugged land in the west of Crete, one of the regional divisions of the island, with its intriguing Venetian capital of the same name. This part of Crete offers so much diversity and culture, landscapes, history and adventure, not to mention the sparkling sea and the divine beaches, that you won't want to leave.
Home of some of the most famous sights on the island, here you will find
Here is a land of endless history, stories and mythologies embedded in the rocky landscape.
The international airport CHQ on the Akrotiri peninsular in the north west of Crete, is only 14 km from Chania town and close to the Port of Souda, where ferries dock from all over Greece. Planning your Chania travel is easy with this quick top five highlights of the region.
Chania Χανιά is a thriving busy modern capital town with plenty of colour and vibrancy, beautiful architecture and corners to explore. We suggest staying within the walls of the old town, sitting by the Venetian harbour and soaking up the ambience.
This beautiful quarter, without a doubt, is one of the highlights of a visit to Crete. Sneak down narrow lane ways, discovering gems in the twists and turns; art studios, jewellery artisans, boutiques, cafes, museums and quite simply, charm.
There are many thousands of beautiful beaches and pristine coastlines in Chania prefecture, a true paradise in Greece. Some of these we feature here, starting with those beaches close to town.
The White Mountains, also known as the Lefka Ori, are a magnetic presence to the whole of the region. The national park of the Samaria Gorge receives milions of visitors every year, enjoying the breath taking hike with rocky mountain scenery.
Walks can be arranged from Chania town with pickups from many hotels on the north coast, and transfers from the seaside village of Agia Roumeli, by ferry and coach, back to town in the one day Samaria Gorge tour.
Our villages are dotted all over the area, where locals depend on olives and farming for their livelihood, some by the sea, some inaccessible unless by ferry, some tiny hamlets high in the rough ravines, all with a fascinating history and with people ready to take the time to tell you that history, to show you real Cretan hospitality and, most likely, to offer you a tsikoudia or raki, the local fire water, to show how welcome you really are!
Kaliviani Village is located in the north-west of Crete a short drive from Kastelli-Kissamos Town. This small agricultural village has some lovely tavernas serving local food with a good natural feeling.
Theriso Village is a short drive from Chania, the route winds along a leafy green gorge, forested and cool, locals and visitors alike take a day to tour here and sit at one of the local tavernas for a traditional lunch of fresh local ingredients and fresh air. Rebel stories and museums tell of the proud history of this area.
Plaka Village just 27 km from Chania town sits overlooking Souda Bay and lovely coves of sandy beaches. Surrounded by lush agricultural land on the Apokoronas region, visit this village for its cafes and proximity to wineries and beaches.
Chora Sfakion is on the south coast of Crete in the region named Sfakia...a tough rocky terrain full of knife like steep ravines, this is where the strong independent people of Crete live. Take ferries from the village of Chora Sfakion to tiny seaside villages of Loutro, Agia Roumeli and Sougia, and in summer take beach trips, diving trips and visit the southernmost island in Europe - Gavdos Island.
Palaiochora Town and Beaches on
the south-western tip of the island is reached by a windy scenic route
through gorges and forests. This village is surrounded by beaches, has
ferries to Gavdos Island and Elafonisi Beach, and is close to the E4 European Walking Track, Agia Irini Gorge - close to beautiful corners of Crete to explore.
Or perhaps you are looking for some luxury and pampering, something Crete offers with superbly high standards - we are certain you will find a Chania hotel to your liking in our personalised choices.
Experiences to get you connected to the beauty and culture of this special place.
Take a gourmet food and wine tour, a history and culture tour or visit some of the most beautiful beaches on the island; Balos Lagoon or Elafonisi.
Walk the Samaria Gorge with a personal guide in a small group.
Beautiful video of this fascinating region of Crete showing trekking, flora and fauna, the mountains and featuring beautiful music by Giorgis Pantermakis.
Enjoy a lyrical journey through the old town of Chania.
See the natural places in the west of Crete in the video below, showing the White Mountains, Lake Kournas, Agia Lake, Argiroupolis and Samaria Gorge.
Chania Greece looking her best!
Or take a 9.5 hour overnight ferry from Pireaus port of Athens to Heraklion port.
More on flights and ferries below.
Car hire in Crete is a really good idea as it is a large island 60 km by 260 km. There is so much to explore.
When you book with our car rental partners - Rental Centre Crete - you are supporting a local company with excellent service and easy online booking. We are sure you will be well looked after by the team. Choose from hybrid, electric or regular vehicles.
"We trust you have enjoyed these tips from the team at We Love Crete. Evíva!"
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