Chania
History & Heritage

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Our most recommended Chania History & Heritage

Georgioupolis Full-Day Land Rover Safari Experience

1. Georgioupolis Full-Day Land Rover Safari Experience

Hop in a 4x4 vehicle for a full-day safari adventure and learn about Cretan traditions while indulging in delicious food. Tour the paradisical countryside and swim in the clear water of the South Cretan Sea. Climb to an altitude of 1,200 meters and experience the quietness of the White Mountains and Cretan dances in a fascinating landscape. Keep an eye out for vultures that will take your breath away with their imposing appearance. Visit an old village with a Byzantine Church and a café stocked with Cretan products, including herbs, raki, and honey. See a castle and swim in the pristine waters of the South Cretan Sea before heading to a tavern to try traditional dishes. Visit a family-owned winery and learn how wine is produced on the island. Discover the secrets of Creten olive oil at an old factory and learn how to identify various grades of olive oil. Step into the island's past with visits to historical museums.

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Boat Cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa from Kissamos Port

2. Boat Cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa from Kissamos Port

The boat departs from Kissamos Port and sails for about an hour in the bay, 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, the boat will sail between Gramvousa Island and Cape Vouxa. The landscape is breathtaking against the backdrop of Valenti, Pontikonisi, Balos Lagoon and Imeri Gramvousa. The boat shall arrive at the small port of Gramvousa, where you shall stay for about 2 hours. The location of Gramvousa, the Cretan nature, the legends and the turbulent history of the area exude a magical aura. The landscape is spectacular and the beach is adorned by a lonely shipwreck. The highest point on the island, atop a steep rock, at an altitude of 137 meters, is dominated by the famous castle of Gramvousa. You may also 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 2-hour stop on Gramvousa, the boat will depart for the Balos Lagoon, which will be reached after approximately 20 minutes. Balos is listed as one of the best beaches in the world. This exotic beach-lagoon and rare natural monument is situated between the Gramvousa Peninsula and Cape Tigani. You can swim in the lukewarm, turquoise blue waters, relax on the pink sandy beach or admire the natural beauty, the rocks and the cliffs rising above you. You will have the chance to stay in this paradise for about 3 hours. 

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Chania: Luxury Tour to Balos and Falassarna Beach with Lunch

3. Chania: Luxury Tour to Balos and Falassarna Beach with Lunch

Visit two of the most famous beaches in Greece, Balos lagoon and Falassarna beach. Be guided up to the lagoon viewpoint by an experienced guide. Admire panoramic views and stunning skylines from the coastal viewpoint. Snap your own momentous memories to share with your family and friends. Hop in an air-conditioned 4wd and head to the next beach. Swim and snorkel in the crystal clear Mediterranean Sea at Falassarna beach, a favorite destination of the locals. Have sunbeds and umbrellas already reserved for when you arrive at the beach for a smooth and easy trip. Finally, savor a delicious lunch at a nearby restaurant for lunch. Taste traditional food and wine at your reserved table and enjoy the lively atmosphere.

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Chania: Old Town Highlights Private Tour with Street Food

4. Chania: Old Town Highlights Private Tour with Street Food

Meet your guide in Chania’s bustling market, then set off into historic Old Town. Unravel the history of Chania as you stroll around the streets and admire the impressively well-preserved architecture. Stroll along the cobbled narrow paths of the city, and learn about Chania’s Venetian past, renaissance heritage, and Ottoman influences. Pass by famous landmarks and soak up the charming atmosphere as you mingle with the locals. As you explore, discover the flavors of Cretan cuisine, stop at colorful food shops and taverns, selling wine, olive-oil, cheese, herbs, spices, and more, and enjoy street food samples along the way.  

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From Rethymno/Chania: Imbros Gorge Hike

5. From Rethymno/Chania: Imbros Gorge Hike

Discover the Imbros Gorge, which runs parallel to the more famous Samaria Gorge. Although the Imbros Gorge is smaller, many people prefer to cross here because it offers a very different hiking experience than the Samaria Gorge. Of the 11 kilometers, 8.5 kilometers are suitable for hiking. Discover the exquisite beauty of nature in this narrow passage and learn about the stunning rock formations.  According to legend, the name Imbros was given to the village, and subsequently the gorge, because two Greek brothers chose to live here after they were banished from Imbros Island when it was connected to Turkey. For many years, the Imbros Gorge served as part of the trail that connected the city of Chania to the Hora Sfakion village. It is notable that during World War II, after the Battle of Crete was lost by Greece and her allies, many thousands of British soldiers passed through the Imbros Gorge towards South Crete in order to get to Egypt.  After the hike, take a swim in the stunning refreshing Libyan sea. Eat lunch with the locals in the taverns. 

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Chania Area: The 7 Villages of Apokoronas Tour with Lunch

6. Chania Area: The 7 Villages of Apokoronas Tour with Lunch

This is a tour of a unique area of Apokoronas, the East part of Chania Region. Heading to Apokoronas one of the first villages is "Gavalochori". Following a route through the nature and traditional Cretan villages you will visit the folklore museum of Apokoronas, 7 rooms of Cretan tradition and unique handmade knitting artworks. An old lady will show you the mind-blowing knitting technique of “Kopaneli”. Pass through Kalives village and then “Xirosterni” to visit the local family “Raki” distillery. Have the chance to learn, and if you are lucky, to see the whole Raki production and taste of course this delicious Cretan spirit. Leaving Xirosterni, in a few minutes you will be at the village of Emprosneros. The experience of the Cretan cheese-making process follows. Visit a cheese factory and taste the local “Graviera” “Mizithra” or “Anthotiros” cheese varieties. After that an olive oil tasting with warm bread in the local bakery. Try the delicacies of the baker and his pure extra virgin olive oil. After that, have lunch in a traditional “kafeneio” in Fres village, speaking with the locals and learning many things about the way of life in the countryside. Have the chance to see the pure beauty and feel the real Crete around you. Apokoronas is one of the most historical places in Crete because of its people. You will definitely understand that while talking with them and hearing their stories. Apokoronas is waiting to reveal its secrets, a whole place is ready to be explored by you!  

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From Heraklion: Chania, Lake Kournas and Rethymno Tour

7. From Heraklion: Chania, Lake Kournas and Rethymno Tour

Depart Heraklion and journey west by coach to the stunning city of Chania. Learn about its Minoan history and see sights from different civilizations, including the Byzantine, Ottoman and Venetian eras. Get a view of the lighthouse in the port, wander the narrow streets of the old town and enjoy some free time for lunch in the pretty harbor. Look for gifts and souvenirs in the famous agora (market) and more. Then, make your way to Lake Kournas and get back to nature in the lush green hills. Keep a look out for rare birds and marine life, including eels and turtles. Go for a swim or take an early afternoon walk in the protected wetlands. Drive back towards Heraklion and stop in the city of Rethymno along the way. Wander the enchanting alleys of the old town, see the domes and minarets of the Ottoman-era mosques and marvel at the 16th-century Venetian fortress.

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Knossos Palace & Heraklion Full-Day Tour from Chania Area

8. Knossos Palace & Heraklion Full-Day Tour from Chania Area

Depart from Chania at around 7 AM and head eastwards along the north coast. Pass the city of Heraklion and continue towards inland Crete until you reach the Palace of Knossos. The palace is one of the most significant archaeological sites in the world, a cradle of European culture and the center of the Minoan civilization. Follow your guide on a 2-hour tour through the fascinating story of the Minoan period and learn about the Minotaur and Ariadne. Afterward, rejoin the bus which will bring you to the heart of the capital city of Crete, Heraklion. Take the chance to visit the archaeological museum, where you can see and learn about the Minoan period while accompanied by your guide. Finally, enjoy 2 hours of free time to explore the busy and lively city of Heraklion, have Cretan lunch, and drink Raki. At around 3:30 PM, the bus will depart on its return journey to Chania.

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Full-Day Trip to Chania from Rethymno

9. Full-Day Trip to Chania from Rethymno

The bus departs around 09:00 from Rethymno for the drive to Crete’s capital city of Chania, the most beautiful town on the island. Settled more than 4,000 years ago, Chania is one of the oldest cities in Europe. On this full-day excursion you’ll have 5 hours to explore Chania, with plenty of free time for a romantic walk through the idyllic old town. Visit historic neighborhoods, churches and museums and take a walk to the beautiful Venetian Port for shopping, a cup Greek coffee and lunch (not included in the tour price). At around 16:00 the bus will depart for the return trip Rethymno.

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Georgioupolis Safari Discover The Cretan Culture

10. Georgioupolis Safari Discover The Cretan Culture

This tour is for those who would like to get to know Cretan culture and traditions while enjoying a four-hour off-road excursion. You will visit a modern olive mill, so that you can see how olive oil is produced, and you can also enjoy the opportunity to sample some of the oils. After this, you will explore some myths and stories hidden in the stones of an early Christian church which was used as a hiding place by people who were evicted by the Turks. You also learn about the history of a 400-year-old tower which was built by the most fearsome Turkish Janissary and is still almost intact to this day. After that you will climb 1000 metres above sea-level on an off-road route. You will travel through the Lefka Ori woods and you will be stunned by the panoramic views from the trail. Later, you will meet a shepherd who will show you how Cretan cheeses are made and you can try some of the cheeses he makes himself.   Finally, the evening will come to a close with a traditional evening meal. There will be lots of food and traditional dishes for everyone to enjoy, and the evening will leave you with fond memories of your day spent exploring Crete. 

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Other Sightseeing Options in Chania

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What people are saying about Chania

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 964 reviews

I originally booked the Samaria gorge trip, but as it was cancelled due to the weather conditions I was offered this as an alternative for the day. The hike itself is fairly easy, they give you almost 3 hours to complete it, we did it in about 2 with plenty of photograph stops, so even if you’re not super fit it’s doable, however be prepared that pretty much the whole path is downhill and on rocks, so appropriate footwear is important as it can be hard on your knees and ankles. The second stop in Sfakion by the sea was nice but short as the weather was too cold/windy to swim in the sea, on a nicer day I’m sure it’s a lovely experience as well. Everything was very well organised and Ingrid is a lovely guide, I can recommend this trip if you’d rather chose an easier but similar adventure to Samaria.

Very enjoyable small tour to folkloric museum, raki distillery, cheese factory and bakery. Then onto the lovely village of Fred for a really excellent taverna lunch. Great opportunity to see some of the villages and scenery on the outskirts of Chania. Guide very informative. Good short tour back in Chania with time to do other things. A great day out!

I had a great trip and learned a lot about Cretan culture, history and food :) Our guide Yannis was very knowledgeable and kind! I totally recommend this tour!

Beautiful trip. Well settled. Everything ran on time. And balos was beautiful despite the less weather still enjoyed.

Balos absolutely great place and the ship had a good setting