Few Islands have as much natural beauty (and history) as Crete, and yet it has somehow managed to remain relatively untainted by tourism, allowing for an authentic Greek experience everywhere you go. Chania in particular makes for the perfect home base for exploring much of western Crete and trust me, you will feel so at home here.
Where to Stay
There really aren’t that many options for staying in Chania, however I did manage to find a couple of fantastic places depending on your budget. The farther you move from the Old Port, the less expensive it will be. While staying at the beach is nice, it’s better to stay closer to the port and the old town. You’ll be closer to the central bus station, making your day trip options easier and less expensive in the long run.
Chania Hostel What this hostel lacks in modern amenities, it more than makes up for in charm and service. Floors and beds are creaky but the rooms are spacious and clean and if you’re lucky you might get a feline companion jumping into your bed. Hostel pets are the best. The hostel has it’s own bus and organizes trips to Samaria Gorge and Balos beach. Theres also free breakfast and wifi. Located about a 10 minute walk to the old port. Dorms start at $23
Domus Renier Boutique Hotel If you’re looking for a place with a bit more creature comforts and modernity this hotel is perfect. Overlooking the historic old port in a transformed Venetian townhouse. There is an in house spa, private dining rooms, private boat tours, Cretan cooking classes, and even a hotel library. Rooms start at $120. Wifi is included
What to Do
Explore the Old Venetian Port and Old Town
Built in the 14th Century by the Venetians, the Old Port is a great place to wander for a day. You can walk the harbour wall, the lighthouse and wander through all the beautiful narrow alley ways, get lost and find some hidden bars, pastry shops, restaurants and shops
Don’t forget to catch the sunset
Visit the Agora
This is a great place to sample some Cretan ingredients and buy some souvenirs and picnic supplies and snacks.
Chania is the perfect place to use as a home base while you go on day trips. If you like hiking you should go to Samaria Gorge, if you like beaches go visit Balos, Elafonissi or the hidden beach of Seitan Limania. Links to more detailed guides for these trips are coming soon…stay tuned
Where to Eat
Kormoranos Cafe Mezedopoleio This was my favourite place for a great cup of coffee and light as air pastries and breads
Bougatsa Come here to try Bougatsa, a traditional Cretan sweet cheese pastry (tastes so much better than it looks.
Kouzina e.p.e I stumbled upon this cute restaurant around lunchtime only to find a cute little lady making all the food herself.
Tamam Restaurant Quite frankly one of the best meals of my life. Worth a bit of a splurge. The stuffed squid was out of this world.
Akrogiali I came here once for dinner. Loved it so much came back another day with people from my hostel and was treated like family. Came back a third time and was invited to a wedding. Wonderful restaurant, wonderful people. Order a selection of mezze and seafood.
Glossistes If you love seafood, this is the place for you. Beautiful patio overlooking the harbour and everything on the menu is sustainable.
Hope this guide helps plan your trip to Chania. If you’ve been here and have anything to add, do message in the comments.