The cosmopolitan Chania, Venitian Canea, is the most poetic city of Crete. You will enjoy an unforgettable pleasant taste of beauty as you roam through. Built on the ruins of ancient Cydonia, it has seen and survived many invaders; it has known successive civilizations, with their mark conspicuous on façades, castles, forts, walls, antiquities, monasteries, churches and mosques.
Chania prefecture is the most favourite tourist destination of the Greeks, and figures among the top tourist European destinations, as it is considered one of the most beautiful Mediterranean cities. The city has two entrance points: the airport of Acrotiri and the Bay of Souda, the largest natural harbour in all Mediterranean. The centre is dominated by the municipal market, resplendent neoclassical building in cruciform shape, which was completed in 1913, modeled after the public market of Marseille.
The picturesque Venitian harbour is landmarked by the Venitian Lighthouse. Any time and season of the year is attractive to visitors and locals alike: both for its beauty and for the choices of entertainment for all tastes and demands of visitors. The old city “intramural” districts preserve their Venitian air of nobility. Narrow paved alleys are surrounded with tasteful preserved houses, from various eras, ideal for a pleasant stroll. Furthermore, numerous neoclassical buildings survive at neighbourhoods adjacent to the city proper of Chania, like Halepa. In various parts of the city, the traveler may encounter relics of all cultures that have passed it. Its central region is taken by the hill of Castelli, inhabited since the Neolithic era, its imposing fortification dominating the old harbour. There you will see remnants of the Minoan period. The lighthouse, the old port and the “yalı camiyi’ mosque, with its peculiar spherical domes and arched buttresses, are among the most photographed sights in the world. Near the old Venitian harbor lies Splantzia, the old centre of the Muslim quarter, with its mystifying atmosphere. The picturesque streets boast several taverns. Here lies St. Nicholas, a Venitian church, turned into the city’s central mosque during the Ottoman era. Walking toward the sea and looking across to the beautiful Venitian pier with the Lighthouse, the inner port is lined by the imposing Venitian shipyards dating back to 1497, the “Carnayia”, which once were building war galleys, still today used for repairing cruising and fishing boats. There one will see the great Arsenal, headquarters of the Venitian flagship, currently housing the Centre for Mediterranean Architecture. Do not miss the outstanding Archaeological Museum, the “Tri-martyr” square with the Greek Orthodox and the Roman Catholic Cathedral, the Jewish Synagogue and the forest bastion fortress of Firka, where the flag of the union of Crete with Greece was first flown(1-12 -1913). That is where the Maritime Museum of Crete currently operates.
On your way from our Mansion to Chania you will leave the classical city of Aptera on your left. Shortly afterwards you will see, towering atop a hill on your right, the historic Ottoman fortress of Iceddin. Lower right, lying in the ever calm waters of the Souda bay, you will be taken by a dramatic view highlighted by the bay’s fortified islands.