Cruise to a crossroads of Ancient Civilizations
The second largest city on Crete, Chania is a veritable patchwork of buildings from different eras: Grecian, Venetian, Ottoman…you name it, Chania’s got it. It’s this rich tapestry that reflects the cultural and commercial importance of the city throughout its thousands of years of existence.
Fortunately, Chania also has the looks to match its historical substance. With its iconic lighthouse and spectacular old town, it has often been called the most picturesque port in the whole country. And in a place with as many ports as Greece, that’s saying something!
Follow Halidon Street from the harbor and make your way to “Leather Lane” to find, what else, but leather goods like bags, sandals, and belts. Cretans are quite crafty—that is, they’re well known for producing extraordinary handicrafts like delicately embroidered tablecloths and ceramics.
Cinephiles will be pleased to know that Chania boasts five theaters, two of which are open-air. Catch a flick under the moon and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for stars both on screen and off. (Jennifer Aniston’s father was born here, so you just never know when she may make a cameo, either on film or in person.)
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 (Souda),Crete, Greece At a glance