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Things to do in Chania

Get lost in this ancient city’s winding lanes and find a fusion of Venetian, Egyptian, and Ottoman influence.

Our most recommended things to do in Chania

From Chania: Day Trip to Elafonisi Island

1. From Chania: Day Trip to Elafonisi Island

Travel to the southwest corner of Crete on a guided day trip from Chania to Elafonisi Island, with hotel transfers included. Spend a relaxing day swimming in the clear blue waters, relaxing on the pink sand beach, and soaking in the unique landscape of Elafonisi. Start with a hotel pick up and take in the lush green landscape en route to the island as you travel through the impressive Topolia Gorge and pass many traditional villages. Stop to purchase coffee and breakfast in the village of Elos, known for its chestnut trees. After arriving at Elafonisi, enjoy 4 hours of relaxing on the beach and swimming in the crystal-clear waters. Afterward, enjoy lunch at a local tavern (not included). Situated just off the island of Crete, Elafonisi is easily reached by walking through the shallow waters. Both the beach and island are protected wildlife areas of rare beauty.

From Kissamos Port: Boat Cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa

2. From Kissamos Port: Boat Cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa

Go on a day trip from Kissamos port to the uninhabited island of Gramvousa and Balos Lagoon by a round-trip cruise. Glide past cliffs, stop at pristine golden beaches, swim in the crystal-clear waters, and visit Gramvousa Fortress—a castle that offers incredible panoramic views. Depart from Kissamos Port and sail for about an hour in the bay. Approach the island of Gramvousa and then the lagoon of Balos or vice versa, depending on the itinerary route. Cruise against a stunning backdrop of steep cliffs and rocks, incredible secluded beaches, and the infinite blue. Have the chance to see a large cave, which is thought to be an ancient shipyard.  At the end of the bay, sail between Gramvousa Island and Cape Vouxa. Soak in the scenic landscape against the backdrop of Valenti, Pontikonisi, Balos Lagoon, and Imeri Gramvousa. Arrive in the small port of Gramvousa and spend the next 1.5 hours here. Enjoy the magical environment created by the Cretan nature, the legends, and the area's turbulent history. See the beach is adorned by a lonely shipwreck. See the famous castle of Gramvousa, the highest point on the island, that sits atop a steep rock. You can swim in the area next to the Church of Agioi Apostoloi, stay on the ship to relax, or have some fun on the water slide. After a stop at Gramvousa, get back on the boat to head to the Balos Lagoon. Listed as one of the world's best beaches, this exotic beach lagoon is situated between the Gramvousa Peninsula and Cape Tigani. Choose to swim in the turquoise blue waters, relax on the pink sandy beach, or admire the natural beauty, the rocks, and the cliffs rising above you during your 2.5 hours at the beach.

From Chania: Full-Day Samaria Gorge Trek Excursion

3. From Chania: Full-Day Samaria Gorge Trek Excursion

Embark on a full-day guided trip to the Samaria Gorge from Chania. Arrive in Omalos in the heart of the White Mountains, and enjoy breakfast before trekking along the longest gorge in Europe — 4,000 feet above sea level.  After breakfast, enter the Samaria Gorge. Walk at your own pace with your English speaking guide at the end of the group to help out if you need them. Hike over rocks and stones, through a forest of thousand-year-old trees and along a river, passing by fresh-water springs along the way. Enjoy views of Crete’s most beautiful mountain range and see mountain goats roaming in the wild. Feel the exhilaration of challenging yourself with a long hike. At the end of the trek, visit the village of Agia Roumeli, where you’ll find a number of taverns, bars, and shops. Enjoy some free time to take a swim or have some lunch. A meeting point will be arranged so you can collect your ferry tickets from your guide. Late in the afternoon you’ll board a boat that will take you from Agia Roumeli to Sougia, where the bus will be waiting to transfer you back to the starting point about 730 PM.

From Chania: Full-Day Trip to Santorini

4. From Chania: Full-Day Trip to Santorini

Board the luxury high-speed catamaran for the 2.5-hour trip to Santorini. Enjoy an island tour by air-conditioned bus and hear informative commentary about the history of one of Greece's most romantic islands. Travel through the beautiful countryside en route to the village of Oia at the northernmost tip of the island. Built on the lip of a volcanic caldera, the village offers magnificent views of the blue and white houses studded along the hillside. Continue to Fira for a 2-hours and get plenty of free time to explore the island's capital. Stroll down the picturesque alleys and admire views of typical Aegean. Browse the shops or enjoy a drink at a bar with stunning views of the volcano and its caldera cliffs. Depart for Crete at 5:45 PM, where the trip ends in the port of Rethymno.

The Miracle of Wine and Olive Oil: Day Tour from Chania

5. The Miracle of Wine and Olive Oil: Day Tour from Chania

Travel through stunning natural landscapes up into the mountains of the Kissamos region on this 7-hour tour from Chania. Stop at a traditional family winery, established in 1993, and learn about the varieties of wine they produce and their ideas for modern farming processes and wine production. Taste award-winning local Vidiano, Muscat of Spina and some international varieties such as Grenache rouge, Syrah and Mourvèdre that each have a unique taste due the local terroir. Next you’ll visit a traditional village and see the oldest olive tree in the world, with an estimated age of 3,000 years. This is a day filled with tasting different wine expressions of noble grapes and a variety of delicious foods. Head to another winery in the Kissamos region to taste a special local blend of white wines with Vilana, Vidiano and Assyrtiko varieties. Walk through the idyllic landscape of the vineyards and visit the family’s olive oil factory. Learn about extra virgin olive oil production. The wine tasting here will be accompanied by a tasting of extra virgin olive oils and local pure products, creating combinations your palate will never forget. You’ll also learn the Cretan way of saying goodbye drinking the award-winning Tsikoudia.

From Chania Areas: Gramvousa Island Day Trip and Balos Beach

6. From Chania Areas: Gramvousa Island Day Trip and Balos Beach

Leave Chania behind and head on a day trip to Kissamos on a guided tour. Enjoy a boat trip to Gramvousa Island and Balos Lagoon Beach and admire the landscape and panoramic views. Your day starts with a pickup from your hotel or at a specific pickup point with the bus. Depending on the option you choose, enjoy pickup from Chania, Kalyves, or Almyrida. Drive towards the west side of Crete in order to reach the port of Kissamos Kasteli. After receiving all the necessary information about the cruise from your escort, arrive at the port where the Gramvousa ferry awaits you to start the cruise. Your escort will collect the money for the boat tickets from you so you can skip the lines at the ticket offices. If you've chosen the option leaving from Kalyves and Almyrida, your boat ticket and Fortress entrance are included. At about 10:40 AM, set off for the island of Gramvousa which takes approximately 45 minutes. Help yourself to the ferry kitchen with self-service dishes, meals, or snacks (at your own expense). You can sit back on a deck chair or in the lounge. During your cruise, see the elevation of the land along the cliff edges of Crete. This elevation has happened for over 2000 years. The history of the island is explained through microphones in different languages. Once you arrive at the island of Gramvousa, you can either swim or take a hike to the top of the island to the Venetian fortress. There you have 2.5 hours before you continue to the lagoon of Balos which is 20 minutes away. Enjoy 3 hours at the lagoon. You may go back to the boat to purchase food at any time or hire umbrellas if the heat is too intense. After a swim and relaxation at the lagoon, the boat will take you straight back to the port of Kissamos. This is a great photo opportunity as the sun will be behind you as you look out to the scenery of the island. At 6:00 PM the ferry arrives at the port and the journey comes to an end. Return time to your starting point in time for dinner.

Chania: Authentic Cooking Class in the White Mountains

7. Chania: Authentic Cooking Class in the White Mountains

Taste the authentic foods of Crete at a unique cooking class using only healthy organic ingredients, such as extra virgin olive oil, local meats, aromatic herbs and freshly picked vegetables. Stroll around the vegetable garden to get a feel for the raw produce and learn more about the herbs. Then, prepare a traditional meal and learn the secrets of how the locals cook. Go for a mountain walk to a shepherds and hear how olives are harvested. Return to the house to sample some cheese and wine from Crete and prepare some appetizers such as ntakos and tzatziki. End with a tasty lunch with wine pairings and traditional jar desserts.

Chania: Sightseeing & Tastings Tour

8. Chania: Sightseeing & Tastings Tour

Find what makes Crete’s cultural capital so marvelous. Explore some of the Old Town’s best sights, while discovering the lesser-known Ottoman and Jewish quarters. Get ready to experience Chania with all your senses! Begin at the Dimotiki Agora (Municipal Market), which denotes the old and new town boundary. Sample local delicacies while exploring the market and find out why Crete is home to one of the healthiest diets in the world. After fulfilling your taste buds, stroll around the old town district by passing through its maze of hidden back streets and narrow laneways, visiting Venetian and Ottoman monuments, and discovering doors to secret gardens. Hear stories, myths, and legends about kings, sailors, merchants, heroes, lovers, and artists. Figure out how this city has been a crossroad between the West and East for centuries. Next, you’ll have the unique chance to see local craftsmen producing their handmade products. Hear their stories, and possibly test your skills. Meander through the old Jewish and Ottoman neighborhoods and learn how multiculturalism has changed locals’ life through the centuries. Finally, after walking along the historic harbors' promenade, relax your muscles in a local-favorite spot where you’ll enjoy an enticing table with Cretan Mezedes (local tapas). End the tour here and continue your own exploration through the city or head back to the starting point. Before parting ways, don’t forget to ask your local guide for more hints and tips on how to get the best of your trip in Chania.

From Georgioupolis: Roundtrip Transfer to Samaria Gorge

9. From Georgioupolis: Roundtrip Transfer to Samaria Gorge

Explore the famous Samaria Gorge on a trip along the northern coastline of Crete and through the White Mountains up to the Omalos Plateau. Samaria Gorge became a National Park in 1962 and today, it is the last natural refuge for the Cretan goat species known as Kri-Kri. Depart early in the morning and board a coach which will pick you up from your hotel. After a comfortable drive, arrive at the plateau of Omalos for a small break before heading to the entrance of the gorge. The start of the hiking trail through the gorge is at a height of 1200m. On the route, pass by rich vegetation and through the tall rock walls known as the "Iron Gates". Fill up your water bottle at one of the springs in the gorge. At the end of the 17km walk, reach the Libyan Sea. There, at the beach of Ayia Roumeli, enjoy a refreshing swim or sit at one of the taverns until a ferry takes the group to Chora Sfakion where the bus will be waiting for you to return you back to your hotel. 

From Chania: Crete World War II History Tour

10. From Chania: Crete World War II History Tour

Explore the World War II history of Crete and learn about its wider impact in southeast Europe and Greece. Explore the story of the Greek-Italian War of 1940 and the circumstances that lead to Hitler's Operation Mercury. Hear how the Battle of Crete and the resistance to the invasion helped revive the morale of the Allied troops around the world. Visit key location sites such as the pretty village of Maleme, where the German paratroopers first landed. Discover remnants of the war at Tavronitis and Galatas, and visit the war cemeteries of the German and Allied troops. Be amazed as your guide brings history to life and tells you about secret shelters and other monuments from the war. Hear untold stories that take you behind the scenes and explore the role the partisans played as they helped the British, Australian and New Zealand armies change the course of history.

Available activities

  • Islands, boat trips, & more
  • Cretan nature & culture
  • Exploring Chania Town
  • Day trips from Chania
  • Cretan wine, food, & olive oil
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Frequently asked questions about Chania

What top attractions are a must-see in Chania?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Chania?

The best day trips and excursions from Chania are:

Elafonisi

Other Sightseeing Options in Chania

Want to discover all there is to do in Chania? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Chania

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 9,694 reviews

Sophia is the BEST tour guide and this food tour was the highlight experience of our trip to Greece! It was just me and my fiancé on the tour and we learned so much about the city and ate a lot of delicious food. Sophia is originally from Chania and seemingly knows everyone (who were all excited to see her!), which made the experience even better. We had nothing planned for our last day, so Sophia gave us a list of places and restaurants to visit, which she broke down in terms of activities (beach versus mountains) and the length of the trip (half-day, full-day). That night we hopped around the various local spots she recommended, which were unsurprisingly great and popular among locals, and the next day we did a day trip to the mountains. I cannot recommend this food tour enough. If you’re in Chania, it’s a must!

Panos (captain) and George (Skipper) were great. They picked us up right in the Chania harbor. They then sailed is out to one near by island where we laid anchor and got out and swam with snorkels and noodles. Then they brought out snacks and refreshments before getting underway. The views of Crete and the surrounding islands were great from the boat. George and Panos made this the perfect evening sail for my Wife and myself on our honeymoon.

The lake is cool, but perhaps not as beautiful as it is depicted in photographs (that being said I did see it on quite an overcast day). However, the towns were absolutely lovely and I really enjoyed just strolling through and exploring a different side of Crete! Really loved the guide as well!

great and thorough guide, incredible scenery, you feel like you've really accomplished something at the end, but isn't for the faint hearted, it is a tough but rewarding day, make sure the rest up the day after!

A REALLY long trip, however, absolutely worth it! This beach is extremely crowded, but if you walk to the other side, the water is the bluest you will ever see and is much better for swimming and snorkelling.