Exploring Chania in Crete
Grab your sun hat and your sensible shoes, we’re off on a walking tour. The terrain won’t be too bad, just a few cobbled street and some steps. Make sure you’ve got your bottle of water and your sun screen too, then we’re off.
5000 years of history in Chania
Located in the west of Crete is the historic and charming town of Chania with its Venetian harbour and quaint streets. Some say it has the feel and ambience of Florence or Venice and certainly there are some great old buildings dating from Venetian and Turkish invasions.
The Venetian Harbour
Take in the colourful buildings as you explore the waterfront. Maybe walk along the harbour wall to the lighthouse, which also dates from Venetian times. Don’t miss the Venetian Arsenali – dry docks to you and me – where you’ll find a reconstructed Minoan ship. If you’re an early bird head down to the harbour for 5.30–6.00am to see the sunrise; the light is amazing.
The Maritime Museum on the waterfront is worth a visit to learn the history of this island – it’s not dull we promise you.
The Archaeological Museum in Halidon Street is also fascinating and costs about €3 for entry. If you’re captivated by archives, the Historical Archives are free to wander round any weekday. Another one to take your fancy might be the Byzantine Museum, which you can find behind the Maritime Museum.
Squares, Churches and other buildings
Where there’s history there’s always a few churches! Chania is no different.
- Church of the Trimartyri is actually a Greek Orthodox Cathedral. This 19th Century Neo-classical building can be found on Plateia Mitropoleos, a square lined with cafes. Time for another stop?
- The Roman Catholic Church is plain by comparison but is approached down a vaulted alley in Old Town.
- See the old Turkish Hamman in Old Town. Don’t be surprised to find the current occupants are more interested in selling you clothes than handing out towels.
- The Venetian Donkey Steps are double width so that the donkeys could get all four legs on them. They lead from the harbour to Plateia Aghiou.
- Visit Mercato Agora the local market in the cobbled streets – you won’t be disappointed.
Yes even when you’re busy enjoying the delights of a cheap crete 2013 all inclusive holiday, it’s worth taking a step outside to see the sights.