If you’re planning a trip to Greece, seriously consider adding Crete to your list. Today we had the pleasure of visiting Chania, a gorgeous little town, overlooking the Aegean Sea and framed by mountains. A day here really isn’t enough to uncover all that the island has to offer but it was a fabulous taster of this unique and interesting spot.
Crete is the largest of all the Greek Islands and is the fifth largest in the Mediterranean as a whole. The Lefka Ori (‘White Mountains’) that dominate the landscape in Western Crete reference the off-white and grey limestone peaks that are covered in snow from winter to spring. On a warm summers day like today though, there’s not a spot of snow to be seen, just temperates approaching the mid-thirties and a much appreciated gentle breeze.
Chania, Crete’s second largest city, is known for producing high quality leather goods (it took everything in me not to buy a gorgeous little leather jacket!), local jewellery and it’s delicious Greek food – meat, cheese, olives – you’ll find it all here, as fresh as it comes.
The town itself is vibrant and overflowing with a combination of high quality, internationally recognised brands, and local vendors selling their wares in markets and stalls. Shop assistants were amongst the friendliest we’ve encountered anywhere in Europe (though it would seem they’re justified being in a good mood – they live on an island paradise!)
We’ve got a number of beach destinations coming up (and explored the ancient Olympia ruins yesterday) so opted to spend our time on Crete checking out Chania, but research tells us that they have countless pristine beaches ready to be explored and ruins that give a nod to the islands varied history.
Over the years, Crete has passed through the hands of the Romans, Arabs, Byzantines, Venetians and Ottomans, with it’s eventual addition to the modern nation of Greece in 1913. With so many influences over the years, it is not surprising that the island is home to such a variety of architectural wonders, both ancient and more recent.
To get into Chania from the port of Souda, pick up tickets as your leave the port for €1.70 per person, per direction. The bus runs every 20 minutes or so and will drop you off in the middle of the gorgeous old town.