Chania is a small city located on the north-western coast of Crete. Many tourists who have been to Chania hold the city to be one of the most beautiful in Greece. It is certainly one of the prettiest cities on the Mediterranean Sea. The beauty of Chania is such that many people who have visited it have taken to calling Chania “The Venice of the East”.
Aside from being a popular tourist destination, Chania is also the centre of commerce and culture for western Crete.
A Short History of Chania
Modern Chania stands on the ruins of the great ancient city of Kydonia. The Greek poet Homer once said that Kydonia is one of the grandest cities that were ever built on the island of Crete. Kydonia was so powerful militarily and politically that it often attracted the envy of other Cretan city-states. The warring between these city-states gave Rome the reason to conquer it in 69 BC.
As time passed, so did the hands of the ruler that held Chania. The collapse of the Roman Empire brought Chania under the domination of the Byzantine Empire. When the Byzantine fell, they were replaced by the Venetians. The Ottoman Turks eventually overtook Venetian rule and claimed Chania – and Crete – as their own. It was only in 1897 that Chania and the rest of Crete were able to win their independence, and in 1913 the island united with Greece.
Despite the passing of time, Chania remains to be one of the best preserved old cities in Greece. The city exerts all effort to maintain its link to its past. Although the city has built a modern facade in light of development brought upon by tourism, the echoes of the past remain.
A visit to Chania will not be complete without a stroll through the Old Town. In this sector of the city, one can get a glimpse of the ancient glories of Chania. The Old Town never fails to evoke a feeling of nostalgia amongst its visitors.
Another place that must be seen on a vacation to Chania is the Venetian harbour. The elegant Venetian harbour is probably the most beautiful part of the city. There, along the promenade, one can spend time at one of the many bars and tavernas fronting the harbour and enjoy the panoramic view of the sea. It is also a perfect place to watch the people and experience first hand the culture of Chania.
Getting to Chania
Chania has the second most important airport in Crete (Chania airport Ioannis Daskalogiannis, 14 km from the city centre), as well as the second most important port (Souda port, 7 km from the city centre). Although a traveller can catch the bus from the airport or the port to Chania, public buses can be few and far between. It may be a long wait before one can get a ride on the bus.
Booking a taxi service from the airport to Chania is always the best option for transport. It is easy to reserve a taxi service from the airport or the port to Chania: fill our online form and your Chania taxi will be booked in a couple of minutes!