Chania s one of the most attractive cities in Crete, Greece. It was ruled by the Venetians from 1204 to 1669 and is ornamented with beautiful elegant houses, churches, and fortifications. The Mosque of the Janissaries, on one side of the harbor, dates back to the arrival of the Turks in 1645. It is the oldest Ottoman building on Crete. The lively covered market, with lots of shops and fresh produce stalls, is good places to explore. For more information on your visit to Chania, the followings are recommended for you.
Seven Places To see In Chania, Crete, Greece
- The Venetian Dockyards were built when the city was an important trading center for the mighty Venetian Republic (mid 1200s -mid 1600s). It is here great merchant ships of the Republic came for repair and refitting. known as “neoria” many of the dockside ware houses are remarkably well preserved .It should be kept in mind that in the early centuries Crete was heavily forested and supplied a great deal of lumber for shipbuilding.
- The Firka Fortress was built beginning in the late 1530s to protect the port city. The name is a holdover from Turkish rule and translates as “barracks” . the fortification has had many function over the centuries. Most famously perhaps, after the island spent 250 years under Ottoman rule the fort served as the site where, in 1913 , king Constantine witnessed the raising of the Greek flag over the city there by signifying reunification of Crete with the nation of Greece.
- The Naval Museum is located at the entrance of Fort Firka. The museum has large and interesting collection of Greek maritime artifacts, ship models, painting and historic photographs which detail the history of Crete.
- The Venetian Lighthouse was an integral part of the expansion and modernization of the harbor in the late 1500s. The lighthouse was renovated again in the early 1800s. Visitors can walk along the harbor wall to get a close up view of this city landmark.
- The Kioutsouk Hassan Mosque was built in the late 1600s and named for the city’s first Ottoman commander to rule during Turkish occupation of the island. The Mosque functioned as such up until 1923 when 1,5 million Greeks in turkey were exchanged (expelled) for 500,000 Turks living in Greece.
- Halidon Street is one of the main streets in the city. Leading out from the old harbor,the street is lined with cafes, shops and restaurants. Visitors will also find the city’s Archaelogical Museum (housed in 14th century Church of St. Francis) and the Three Martyrs Church.
- The Byzantine Museum houses a wonderful collection of Byzantine and post-Byzantine artifacts including icons, coins, carvings, sculptures and frescos. The museum is located near the Naval Museum.
Chania Holidays Guide
The followings are tips on your Chania holidays :
Most shops set their price. However, some shop owners will bargain. Make sure you make a good body language and gesture when you bargain if you want to get the best deals.
It is customary to tip a couple of extra euros though cafes and restaurants have added 15 % service charge.
Local Cuisine and Drinks
The traditional foods and recipes of Crete are healthy and also delicious. The followings are traditonal Cretan cuisines and drinks:
- Octapothi : Octopus marinated in a mixture of garlic, oregano, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Then, it is grilled over hot coals and drizzled with lemon juice.
- Kreatopita : A meat pie combining boiled meat with onions, oregano, nutmeg, garlic, kefalograviera ( a hard, rich sheep’s milk cheese ) and olive oil. Then it is covered with phyllo dough and baked till golden brown.
- Gemista : A dish of baked peppers or tomatoes stuffed with a meat mixture which combines rice, chopped onions, bread crumbs, parsley, salt, pepper and olive oil.
- Tzatziki : A dipping mixture made by combining Greek yoghurt, cucumber, chopped garlic, salt and pepper and fresh chopped mint.
- Kohli me Stari : Boiled Cretan snails simmered in a sauce of sauteed garlic, onions, tomatoes and olive oil. The snails and sauce are added to cooked bulgur ( cracked whole wheat ).
- Baklava : The internationally well-known dessert which uses a mixture of honey, cloves, nuts and syrup wrapped in phyllo dough and baked till golden brown.
- Ouzo : A very high alcohol content drink. It is usually mixed with cola and accompanied by small plates of appetizers known as mezedes. The mezedes can be anything from local meats or cheese to grilled octopus or salted sardines and anchovies, depending on the region.
- Tsikoudia : Popular and strong local traditional spirit of Crete made from fermented and distilled grape skins.
Shopping In Chania
You can find a lot of shops and boutiques located around the waterfront and along Halidon Street ( the primary street leading from the pier area and the pedestrian street of Skridlof. In the Agora ( market ) you can also find alot of wonderful shops. Mainland Greek and locally made jewelry, crafts, glass, leather and islad produce products are very popular. Authentic Greek jewelry is renowned for its unique style and classically timeless beauty.
The unit of currency in Greece is the euro. All euro notes and coins are legal tender in all countries of the EU. Most stores accept major credit cards and debit cards. ATM’s are commonly available. Local banks are the best location to convert your currency to Euros.
Chania Tourist Information
Tourist information of Chania is located at no. 53, Milonogianni Street.