Capital of Crete until 1971, one of the four prefectures of the island together with Heraklion, Agios Nikolaos and Rethymnon, Chania is located on the northwest coast of the island. With a population of 52,000 inhabitants, the city has an international airport. Its charm, typical of the Venetian era, highlighted by the ramparts of the city, is also stamped to the oriental colors inherited from the Turkish domination. The mosque and minarets of the port are evidence of this passage. The surroundings are still wild, if not unexplored, especially in the west, which is not at all obvious in Crete … and historical sites are as numerous as in the rest of the island. The hill of Prophet Elias is one of the most visited places by the same Cretan Eleftherios Venizelos, who is buried there (man that was involved in the autonomy and the annexation of Crete to Greece in 1903). Worth knowing: it is advisable to rent a car given the large number of places to visit. Equally indispensable is to equip yourselves with a road map (updated) and cash, the stations do not always accept credit cards. It is forbidden to export antiques and works of art.
If you haven’t chosen holiday packages for 2014 do it now since prices are still low – like a journey in Crete starting with the visit to the remains of the palace of Knossos Minoan ruins at Festo, passing the palace of Malia. History lovers will not be disappointed! You can also visit the famous museum of Archaeology of Candia, which contains the treasures of the Minoan civilization, or discover Fodele , the village in which it is said to be born painter Domenikos Theotokopoulos, better known as El Greko ( 1541-1614 ) .
Most of the hotels offer excursions through their tourist offices. For sports a must are the magnificent gorges of Samaria, hiking along the coastal paths or to the White Mountains to the south, or even the discovery of the seabed. For fans of Byzantine art, the region is rich in places marked from the East (Kiriakoselia , Alikampos , Episkopi ). There are also many monasteries to discover ( Agia Triada , Katoliko , Moni Gouverneto etc. . ) As well as the archaeological sites ( Falassarna ). Finally, the western end of the island has the most beautiful beach ever: Elafonissi .
WHAT TO BRING
In the markets, you will find food, herbs, olive oil, cheese typical of Crete … The shops sell discs with local music. The raki is considered an institution … a bottle, taste it and bring it to your friends.
You will find traditional Cretan dishes: pita, Greek salad, the sluvakia , the moussaka …
Avoid calling to your country (even if it is EU) from the hotel room; the bill will be quite high. It is best to use phone cards, the cabins can be found everywhere!