- Departure from the port of Heraklion or a predetermined point
- Stop at Rethymno city
- Stop at Chania city
- Return to Heraklion
Notes: The predetermined positions may change according to your wishes. The tour can be combined with a visit to the Rethymno or Chania market to while shopping.
Chania is one of the oldest cities in Crete, with a rich and tumultuous history. Today it is the second most populated city on the island, a city which has preserved its traditional architecture and most of its monuments from Venetian and Turkish times. The Venetian harbour with its lighthouse and the old town in the centre have bestowed on Chania the reputation of the most picturesque city in Crete, welcoming thousands of visitors each year.
Chania does not lag behind in modern developments, as it is home to the Technical University of Crete and other educational establishments. It also offers many and varied cultural events and amusements.
Chania City Old Town
The heart of Chania is still the old town, with its narrow, labyrinthine alleyways and listed buildings dating from different periods, where you can enjoy romantic strolls. Many of these buildings have been turned into small hotels, restaurants, shops or homes.
Don’t hesitate to wander round the alleys of the old town, looking for the lovely images that await you. Your camera must be your inseparable companion, as Chania is one of the most-photographed cities in Greece.
The old town stretches out parallel to the Venetian harbour, from Firkas Fortress and the Maritime Museum to the “Pyli tis Ammou” (Gate of the Sand, or Koum Kapi in Turkish) to the east of the arsenals. This is the part of town within the Venetian walls and includes Byzantine Chania, once enclosed within less extensive walls.
The Byzantine walls protected the fortress of Kastelli, the hill which was first inhabited in the Neolithic period.
Kastelli Hill rises above the Turkish mosque in the Venetian harbour. Here stood the acropolis of ancient Kydonia, the Minoan Chania. There, too, was built the first Byzantine fortress, the Kastelli, surrounded by walls with many towers and bastions. The Venetians established their headquarters there in 1252, building the Rector’s Residence (the Rector was the Governor of Chania), while the same site was the seat of the pashas during the Turkish Occupation. During the last years of Turkish rule, the Christian aristocracy lived inside the Kastelli. Unfortunately most of the district was destroyed by bombing during the Second World War, and its medieval aspect was lost forever. Today only the base of the north wall remains. There is also the main road that once ran through the Kastelli, modern-day Kanevaro Street with its imposing mansions.
Tour of Chania
Important places to visit on Chania city
- Chania Municipal Market
- Chania Cathedral of Panagia Trimartyri
- Archaeological Museum of Chania. After visiting the museum, continue down Halidon Street to Sindrivani Square in the Venetian harbour. From here you can walk left along the jetty to the Maritime Museum. Alternatively, after the museum turn left into Zambeliou Street and stroll along it, enjoying the magic of the alleyways of the old town. Walk right down Zambeliou Street, continue along Theotokopoulou Street and turn right into Angelou Street until the Maritime Museum.
- Venetian harbour
- Maritime Museum of Chania, the Firkas Fortress and the Topanas district.
- Yiali Tzami, the Turkish Mosque in the Venetian harbour of Chania
- Venetian Shipyards or Arsenals
- Koum Kapi
- Splantzia, from the Splantzia you come back to the Municipal Market.
- Chalepa: the district of Chalepa is at the eastern limits of the town and it would be best if you visited it separately as it is quite far. For example, Eleftherios Venizelos’ house is about a kilometre from Koum Kapi.
- Venizelos Tombs on Akrotiri