Chania is one of the largest cities in Crete and is located in the northwestern part of the island. It is a top-rated Cretan destination and travelers of all ages choose it for their holidays. On Ferryhopper you will find useful information about this beautiful city, its beaches, sights, food, nightlife, and all ferry routes. Book ferry tickets to Chania at the best prices!

Vacation in Chania

Every summer, Chania is transformed into the most fun destination in Crete. A few meters from the old Venetian port is the city center, which is full of attractions and places for food, coffee, drink, and local raki! At night, the streets are filled with people enjoying their walks around the city, admiring the beautiful buildings and picturesque alleys. Chania is also an ideal starting point for excursions to further explore the area around it, which is full of beautiful natural landscapes and enchanting beaches.

How to get to Chania

Chania is mainly connected with mainland Greece, via the port of Piraeus. There are frequent ferry crossings from Athens to Chania, all year long. In addition, there are occasional ferry routes from southern Peloponnese to the port of Kissamos, which is located around 40km from Chania.

What to do in Chania?

Chania is a very popular destination with many attractions and vivid nightlife. It is preferred by visitors of all ages as the variety of things to do suits all tastes. Around the city, you can find magnificent beaches and natural sights that are worth visiting. Star Sleep has some suggestions for you on how to most enjoy your vacation in Crete!

Balos Beach

Beaches in Chania

It is well known that you can find in Crete some of the most gorgeous beaches in Greece, if not worldwide. There are over 90 beaches near Chania. Some of them are very popular with amenities like umbrellas and cafes, and others are more secluded, but all of them will enchant you with their crystal-clear waters, golden sand, or white pebbles.

On the north coast of Crete, Star Sleep recommends:

  • Balos: this is one of the most impressive and popular beaches in Crete. The shallow turquoise waters, the white sand, and the wild beauty are reminiscent of exotic places. The beach is accessible by boat from Kissamos or by a careful car ride and a 20-minute walk.
  • Falasarna: this is another very popular beach in Crete with a breathtaking sunset view. It is quite large and has fine sand and exotic turquoise waters. The beach has amenities like umbrellas, canteens, water-sport infrastructure, and a beach-volley court. It is an ideal place for windsurfing due to the occasional west winds.
  • Stefanou or Seitan Ports: it is considered a world-famous beach that is formed between vertical large rocks. The wild beauty, the crystal waters, and the golden sand will surely leave you speechless! The beach is accessible by a short, yet steep path (5 to 10 min walk) and you should wear closed shoes to cross it safely. Keep in mind that the beach can be very crowded, especially in August.
  • Stravros (“cross”): These are 2 beaches next to the village -and a very popular resort- of the same name. They are sandy, with blue waters, and have amenities such as umbrellas, sunbeds, canteens, cafes, tavernas, and small hotels. The trademark of the place is a large rock mass across the beach.
  • Menies or Diktynna: amazing, secluded beach with fine pebbles and deep blue waters. It is windless and ideal for a relaxing time next to the sea. However, you should bring your own staff as the beach has no umbrellas or infrastructure.
  • Agioi Apostoloi: these are 2 organized, windless beaches with sand, shallow crystal-clear waters and a beautiful grove behind the coast.
  • Gramvousa: this is an uninhabited islet across Balos, which is accessible by boat from Kissamos. The beautiful beach in Gramvousa is sandy, it has blue waters and vegetation. You can also visit its fortress ruins or see the wrecked ship by the shore.

Some of Star Sleep’s favorite beaches on the south coast of Chania are:

  •  Elafonissi: the Caribbean of Crete, Elafonissi is a narrow peninsula of exotic beauty with one beach on each side. Both beaches have white sand and turquoise waters, but the last one also has umbrellas, showers, canteens, and a lifeguard.
  • Glyka Nera: one of the most beautiful beaches of southern Crete, it got its name from the freshwater springs that gush next to and in the sea. It has pebbles, cold blue waters, and tamarisk trees that offer their shade. It is accessible by boat from Chora Sfakion and has a canteen.
  • Frangokastelo: one of the island’s most famous beaches, famous for its Venetian castle. It has sand and shallow crystal-clear waters and is ideal for families. In the area, there are hotels, cafes, tavernas, and shops. Keep in mind that the beach can be rough due to strong winds.
  • Iligas: this is an impressive beach with clear blue waters and gray pebbles. It has umbrellas and sunbeds, but also some caves in the east for those who prefer natural shade.
  • Kedrodasos (“cedar forest”): the cedar forest that stretches along the coast and the turquoise waters compose a landscape of unique beauty reminiscent of an oasis. The beach is pristine and secluded and that is why campers and nudists prefer it. Keep in mind that cedars are particularly vulnerable to human intervention and require great care if you approach them.
  • Domata: a magnificent, secluded beach with gray sand, clear blue waters, and impressive rocks. It has no amenities, so it is good to have the necessary supplies with you. It is accessible either by boat from Agia Roumeli or by a quite difficult hiking path for the most experienced hikers.
  • Marmara “marbles”: this beautiful beach is located near the gorge of Aradena. It has dark pebbles and crystal-clear waters and is surrounded by imposing white rocks. It is umbrellas and a tavern. Finally, it is accessible by boat from Loutro or by hiking.
Egyptian Lighthouse Chania

Sightseeing and activities in Chania

Chania is considered one of the most beautiful cities in Greece and has a rich history. The Venetian monuments and the picturesque alleys of the city will surely fascinate you. Most of the sights are located around the old port, with the famous Egyptian lighthouse being the trademark of the city. To get well acquainted to the history of Chania, we suggest you visit:

  • the palia poli (“old town”) of Chania
  • the tombs of Venizelos
  • the Chania Archaeological Museum
  • the Egyptian lighthouse
  • the old Venetian port
  • Ancient Kydonia
  • the island of Souda
Samaria Gorge

Natural attractions near Chania

If you plan to travel to Chania with your vehicle, do not forget to make excursions to some of the natural sights of Crete. The island is full of gorges – most famously the gorge of Samaria – rivers, caves and waterfalls that are really breath-taking. Some of the most famous natural attractions near Chania are:

  • Samaria Gorge
  • Aradena Gorge
  • Imbros Gorge
  • Topoliano Gorge
  • Therissos Gorge
  • Lake Kournas
  • The Botanical Park and gardens of Crete
Nightlife in Chania

Nightlife in Chania

Most of the bars, restaurants and “kafeneia” of Chania are located near the old port, where you can enjoy delicious food, drinks, and live traditional music. Stroll around and visit Koum Kapi Bay, where you can drink your coffee overlooking the sea. You should also visit the old town of Chania, which is full of stores with local products, traditional “kafeneia” and cozy bars where you can have a refreshing cocktail. Moreover, Splantzia Square is also known for its chill atmosphere. There
you can try cold raki, and kalitsounia with honey and apaki.

Vryses Kidonias - Olive Grove
Star Sleep

Useful information about Chania.

Chania is one of the most famous cities in Crete and provides all the comforts to travelers. In the city center, you will find supermarkets, ATMs, pharmacies and gas stations, while there is a hospital about 5 km south. The port that serves the ferry connections between Chania and other Greek destinations is located in Souda. Souda is about 7 km fromthe city and is easily accessible by bus line 13 or by taxi. Chania also has an airport, that is located a 20-minute drive away from the city center.
In terms of accommodation, the city offers a variety of options, from luxury hotels to more affordable accommodations. In the area, there are also Star Sleep beds, located in village Vrises near Platanias.

Source: Ferryhopper, The Tiny Book