Crete Island, Greece

Must see places in Crete

Chania Port: Surrounded by busy tavernas, cafés and gift shops, this romantic harbour is brightened at night by a Venetian-era lighthouse.

Wine Country: South of Knossos, the peza region is prime wine country. Visit Boutari’s stunning showroom for a tour and taste.

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Chania is home to a wide range of natural beauties which include the famous gorge of Samaria, which is 18km long and contains running waters and ponds. There are also numerous picturesque villages to discover, such as Elos, surrounded by forests and famed for its Chestnut Festivals.

Furthermore, Crete is bursting with churches and monasteries waiting to be marveled. These include monasteries such as Agia Triada Zangarolon and the Chrissoskalitissa Monastery which is placed on an enormous black rock overlooking the serene bay.

Additionally, just off the coast of Chania is an uninhabited, small islet called Elafonissi, where one can spend the day relaxing on the deserted beaches or exploring the islands flora and fauna.

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Beaches

The beaches of Crete island are world famous for their crystal-clear Mediterranean water and the relaxing atmosphere. No matter which region of the island you plan on visiting, you will certainly find the best beach for your holiday. Public or private, easy or difficult to reach, sandy or pebbled, all beaches have something exceptional. It is a fact that some of the most wonderful and famous beaches of Greece are located in Chania, like the Elafonisi beach, Balos beach and Falassarna Beach. All of them are rewarded with a blue flag among many others.

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Museums

The War Museum which is housed in a building from 1870 and portrays the fighting’s of the Cretans inside and outside their island. It hosts photographs and antiques of the most important 20th century conflicts. Another add-on to your list is also the Byzantine museum which is housed in the church of San Salvatore, inside the Old Town of Chania. This museum has a large collection of items from Byzantine and Venetian times that come from the wider regions of Chania as well as other donated items.

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Crete Island, Greece

Archaeological sites and monuments

Crete island has a rich history which reaches back to the Neolithic period where people first appeared on the island around 6000 BC. The most important historical factor of Crete is the domination of the island by the Minoan civilization for over 1200 years. Due to this civilization many ruins can be found on the island, the most renowned being the Palaces of Knossos, where one can find beautiful frescos and imposing architecture.

Artifacts from all these civilizations can also be seen in several museums such as the Archeological Museum in Chania, which is housed in a 14 century Venetian church

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Activities

There are many alternatives for activities in Chania, apart from beach holidays. Diving is slowly but surely developing in the region of Chania as the coastline of Crete is rich in sea flora, rare fish sorts, ancient wrecks and various interesting diving spots. Most diving centers are found on the northern coasts of Chania and offer tourists and locals diving trips and courses. Windsurfing and kite-surfing are also getting popular in the western coasts of Chania.

The region of Chania is also perfect for hiking. In fact, many hikers come to Crete mostly during spring and autumn to walk through all the hiking trails in the inland. Along their way, they spot lots of interesting sights, authentic villages and hidden beaches. Samaria Gorge is the most well-known hiking spot in Chania. Before flying back home, don’t forget to taste and buy local traditional products and souvenirs from Crete.

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Crete Island, Greece

Entertainment in Crete

Iraklion, Rethymno and Chania have their share of a la mode nightclubs, but to experience the real Crete, look for presentations of traditional music and dance at tavernas or village festivals. Cretan dance and music is the most exuberant in Greece—no one can resist the spirit and enthusiasm of this most important aspect of local culture. After all, Zorba was from Crete!

The prefecture of Chania, Crete is home to a wide selection of choices to keep you entertained throughout the day and night. Apart water sports, sports activities also include deep sea diving, mountaineering, kite surfing and sailing. Furthermore, a stroll through the shops found within the villages can be a pleasant way to spend an evening as there is a large range of outlets international brands to small quaint local shops. Local woodcarvings, potteries and traditional Cretan costumes are all things to look out for. Additionally, Chania, as well as Platanias and Paleohora are perfect places to spend the evenings as they are full of quaint taverns, trendy cafes and bars, and bustling clubs.

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