A small Venetian town in west Crete, located about a 3 hour’s drive from the capital of Heraklion, Chania is not the most obvious tourist destination. This, arguably, saves this wonderful town from crowds of people and helps to keep its unique vibe and charming atmosphere.
Locals say: “We’ve kept this pearl to ourselves.” So this summer when I was there I experienced the town for myself– all hotels were full of travelers from continental Greece. I spent only one day here; but it was perfect.
I’ve always dreamt about waking up in Chania, just before sunrise, and walking along the narrow streets in solitude. Taking photos and having my morning coffee while most people are still asleep. My dream has finally come true!
Enjoying the first rays of sunshine on our terrace overlooking the Old Town.
Chania is a great mix of Venetian, Turkish and Greek cultures. One can find the magnificent Venetian harbor here, old Turkish baths and Mosques, and Greek hospitality.
Virtually every rooftop has a small and cozy garden; or café.
A view across to the Venetian Harbor with the old and unconventional Turkish Mosque and its flying arches. The Mosque doesn’t have a minaret anymore as nowadays it is used purely as an exhibition hall.
This town has special energy and soul.
When you come here for the first time, it’s difficult to realize it is simply a normal town, where people wake up and go to work every day. It seems more like a film set though!
My dream is almost over… I watch the Sun set in the lively harbor; with its many waterfront bars and restaurants: the same place, where my trip had begun that very morning. I was happy just to have finally been there.
Author Irina Golubeva