A crossroads of ancient civilizations
On the northwest side of Crete rests the old Venetian port of Chania, the second largest city on the island. Inhabited since the Neolithic era, Chania is a modern city built over the ruins of the ancient city of Kydonia.
Stroll through the old city and see how it has been touched by the intersection of diverse civilizations throughout history, with a mixture of Greek, Venetian, and Ottoman influences on every corner: Minoan ruins, Byzantine churches, and impressive frescos. The Archaeological Museum of Chania houses an extensive collection of Minoan and Roman artifacts, and with replicas of ships dating back to the Bronze Age, the Naval Museum is a great way to explore the ages of Chania.
Discover the Byzantine collection in the restored Venetian Church of San Salvadore, or venture to the nearby national park and hike the Samaria Gorge. Local handicrafts make for great shopping or relax at a seaside restaurant and café.
Built in the late 1530s, this fort has had many purposes over the years. In 1913 it was the site where King Constantine witnessed the raising of the Greek flag, signifying the reunification of Crete with Greece.
An integral part of the expansion and modernization of the harbor in the late 1500s, the lighthouse stands as a city landmark. Enjoy a walk along the harbor to get a closer view.
A monument to Chania’s importance as a trading center for the Venetian Republic, the dockyards are where great merchant ships came for repairs and refitting. Crete was once heavily forested and supplied a great deal of lumber for shipbuilding. Many of the original dockside warehouses have been remarkably well preserved.
Chania, Crete, Greece At a glance