Things to do in
Chania

Get lost in this ancient city’s winding lanes and find a fusion of Venetian, Egyptian, and Ottoman influence.

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Our most recommended things to do in Chania

Boat Cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa from Kissamos Port

1. Boat Cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa from Kissamos Port

The boat departs from Kissamos Port and sails for about an hour in the bay. Youll first approach the island of Gramvousa and then the lagoon of Balos or vice versa, depending on the itinerary route. Cruise against a stunning backdrop of steep cliffs and rocks, incredible secluded beaches, and the infinite blue. Have the chance to see a large cave, which is thought to be an ancient shipyard.  At the end of the bay, the boat will sail between Gramvousa Island and Cape Vouxa. The landscape is breathtaking against the backdrop of Valenti, Pontikonisi, Balos Lagoon and Imeri Gramvousa. The boat shall arrive at the small port of Gramvousa, where you shall stay for about 2 hours. The location of Gramvousa, the Cretan nature, the legends, and the turbulent history of the area exude a magical aura.  The landscape is spectacular and the beach is adorned by a lonely shipwreck. The highest point on the island, atop a steep rock, at an altitude of 137 meters, is dominated by the famous castle of Gramvousa. You may also swim in the area next to the Church of Agioi Apostoloi, stay on the ship to relax, or have some fun on the water slide. After a 2-hour stop on Gramvousa, the boat will depart for the Balos Lagoon, which will be reached after approximately 20 minutes. Balos is listed as one of the best beaches in the world. This exotic beach lagoon and rare natural monument are situated between the Gramvousa Peninsula and Cape Tigani. You can swim in the lukewarm, turquoise blue waters, relax on the pink sandy beach or admire the natural beauty, the rocks, and the cliffs rising above you. You will have the chance to stay in this paradise for about 3 hours. 

From Chania: Full-Day Samaria Gorge Trek Excursion

2. From Chania: Full-Day Samaria Gorge Trek Excursion

Samaria Gorge, the longest gorge in Europe, is located 4,000 feet above sea level. Enjoy a trek in the gorge on a 12-hour excursion that begins with a pick-up in Chania and a drive to Omalos, in the White Mountains. Trek over rocks and stones, through a forest of thousand-year-old trees, along a river and by freshwater springs. Take in spectacular views of Crete’s most beautiful mountain range and see mountain goats roaming in the wild. At the end of the trek, visit the village of Agia Roumeli that boasts numerous taverns and shops. Late in the afternoon, board a boat for the trip from Agia Roumeli to Sfakia, where a bus will be waiting to transfer you back to the starting point.

From Chania: Gramvousa Island and Balos Bay Full-Day Tour

3. From Chania: Gramvousa Island and Balos Bay Full-Day Tour

Your day starts with a pickup from your hotel or at a specific pick-up point with the bus. Drive towards the west side of Crete in order to reach the port of Kissamos Kasteli. After receiving all the necessary information about the cruise from your escort, arrive at the port where the Gramvousa ferry awaits you to start the cruise. Your escort will collect the money for the boat tickets from you so you can skip the lines at the ticket offices. At about 10:20 AM set off for the island of Gramvousa which takes approximately 45 minutes. Help yourself to the ferry kitchen with self-service dishes, meals or snacks. You can sit back on a deck chair or in the lounge. During your cruise, see the elevation of the land along the cliff edges of Crete. This elevation has happened over 2000 years. The history of the island is explained through microphones in different languages. Once you arrive at the island of Gramvousa you can either swim or take a hike to the top of the island to the Venetian fortress. There you have 2.5 hours before you continue to the lagoon of Balos which is 20 minutes away. Enjoy 3 hours at the lagoon. You may go back to the boat for food at any time or hire umbrellas if the heat is too intense. After a swim and relaxation at the lagoon, the boat will take you straight back to the port of Kissamos. This is a great photo opportunity as the sun will be behind you as you look out to the scenery of the island. At 6:00 PM the ferry arrives at the port and the journey comes to an end. Return time to Chania is approximately 7.00 PM.

Day Trip to Elafonisi Island from Chania

4. Day Trip to Elafonisi Island from Chania

Travel to the southwest corner of Crete on this full-day trip from Chania. Spend a relaxing day on the pink sand beaches on the small island of Elafonisi. Take in the lush green landscape en route to the island as you travel through the impressive Topolia Gorge and pass many traditional villages. Stop for coffee and breakfast in the village of Elos, known for its chestnut trees. After arriving on Elafonisi, enjoy 4 hours of relaxing on the beach and swimming in the crystal-clear waters. Afterwards, you'll enjoy lunch at a local tavern (not included). Situated just off the island of Crete, Elafonisi is easily reached by walking through the water. Both the beach and island are protected wildlife areas of rare beauty.

The Samariá Gorge Hike from Chania or Rethymno

5. The Samariá Gorge Hike from Chania or Rethymno

Samariá Gorge is the longest gorge in Europe. An area of stunning natural beauty, it is rich with many flowers and herbs and the crystal-clear spring waters that flow from the mountains. Following an early morning pick-up (between 05:30 and 06:30) from the nearest point to your accommodation in Rethymno or Chania, travel through the mountains passing the plateau of Omalos. You will arrive at some wooden stairs at the start of Samariá Gorge. You can opt to start the walk straight away or get some breakfast at the taverna before you begin. Hike for approximately 6-7 hours and experience the magnificent landscape on a 16-kilometer walk. Once you have finished the hike, there will be ample time for a swim and lunch at a taverna in Agia Roumeli. Indicative Timetable: 5:20 AM ‐ 6:10 AM: Pickup 7:30 AM: First stop at Omalos Plateau 8:00 AM: Begin the Xyloskalo hike 2:00 PM: End the hike at Agia Roumeli Village Please note that this timetable depends on how fast you walk and how much free time you take to eat.

Chania: Boat Trip with Guided Snorkeling & Stand-Up Paddling

6. Chania: Boat Trip with Guided Snorkeling & Stand-Up Paddling

Discover what lies below the surface of the water on an amazing 3-hour boat trip off the northwest coast of Crete. Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in Chania, and then journey by air-conditioned minivan to the resort town of Almyrida. Avail of the services of experienced instructors who will give you a short theory lesson on arrival. Then, sail to secluded beaches that can only be reached by boat and swim with your provided snorkeling equipment. Learn the names of all the fish with the help of a book as the crew takes photos and videos of your experience to send by email as a souvenir. Relax and enjoy the good company in the warm sun, and get fantastic views of the coastline.

The Miracle of Wine and Olive Oil: Day Tour from Chania

7. The Miracle of Wine and Olive Oil: Day Tour from Chania

Travel through stunning natural landscapes up into the mountains of the Kissamos region on this 7-hour tour from Chania. Stop at a traditional family winery, established in 1993, and learn about the varieties of wine they produce and their ideas for modern farming processes and wine production. Taste award-winning local Vidiano, Muscat of Spina and some international varieties such as Grenache rouge, Syrah and Mourvèdre that each have a unique taste due the local terroir. Next you’ll visit a traditional village and see the oldest olive tree in the world, with an estimated age of 3,000 years. This is a day filled with tasting different wine expressions of noble grapes and a variety of delicious foods. Head to another winery in the Kissamos region to taste a special local blend of white wines with Vilana, Vidiano and Assyrtiko varieties. Walk through the idyllic landscape of the vineyards and visit the family’s olive oil factory. Learn about extra virgin olive oil production. The wine tasting here will be accompanied by a tasting of extra virgin olive oils and local pure products, creating combinations your palate will never forget. You’ll also learn the Cretan way of saying goodbye drinking the award-winning Tsikoudia.

From Georgioupolis: Roundtrip Transfer to Samaria Gorge

8. From Georgioupolis: Roundtrip Transfer to Samaria Gorge

Explore the famous Samaria Gorge on a trip along the northern coastline of Crete and through the White Mountains up to the Omalos Plateau. Samaria Gorge became a National Park in 1962 and today, it is the last natural refuge for the Cretan goat species known as Kri-Kri. Depart early in the morning and board a coach which will pick you up from your hotel. After a comfortable drive, arrive at the plateau of Omalos for a small break before heading to the entrance of the gorge. The start of the hiking trail through the gorge is at a height of 1200m. On the route, pass by rich vegetation and through the tall rock walls known as the "Iron Gates". Fill up your water bottle at one of the springs in the gorge. At the end of the 17km walk, reach the Libyan Sea. There, at the beach of Ayia Roumeli, enjoy a refreshing swim or sit at one of the taverns until a ferry takes the group to Chora Sfakion where the bus will be waiting for you to return you back to your hotel. 

Chania: Authentic Cooking Class in the White Mountains

9. Chania: Authentic Cooking Class in the White Mountains

Taste the authentic foods of Crete at a unique cooking class using only healthy organic ingredients, such as extra virgin olive oil, local meats, aromatic herbs and freshly picked vegetables. Stroll around the vegetable garden to get a feel for the raw produce and learn more about the herbs. Then, prepare a traditional meal and learn the secrets of how the locals cook. Go for a mountain walk to a shepherds and hear how olives are harvested. Return to the house to sample some cheese and wine from Crete and prepare some appetizers such as ntakos and tzatziki. End with a tasty lunch with wine pairings and traditional jar desserts.

From Rethymno & Chania: Elafonissi Island Day Tour by Bus

10. From Rethymno & Chania: Elafonissi Island Day Tour by Bus

Ride in a comfortable coach through small traditional villages and typical Mediterranean scenery. See the rugged landscape around the Topolia Gorgeand and have a stop for coffee and refreshments.  Arrive at Elafonissi beach. Here, you have four hours free time to marvel at the different colors between the soft pink and white sand to the turquoise waters. As well as exploring the wonders of the beach, discover the small island. This lies just off the shore and you can reach it by strolling through the water. Both the beach and the island are protected wildlife areas of rare beauty and included in the Natura 2000 Protection Programme. 

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What people are saying about Chania

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 5,571 reviews

I have enjoyed the trip very much…Dimitris picked me up near my hotel in a 4WD at 8:30am in the morning. First we have been to Balos lagoon where we walked up a hill overlooking the lagoon. The view was stunning and after taking some pictures there, we continued to Falassarna beach where we spent the rest of the day. At Falassarna, we had sun beds and we could go for a swim. We had lunch at 2:30pm and then returned to Chania. Overall I had a fantastic time and I particularly enjoyed talking with Dimitris and learning from him about Cretan and Greek culture and history.

Great trip the bus turned up on time. a lovely stop on the way to beach with beautiful views. the roads are a little thin and winding but include some amazing views. the beach is so beautiful. I went at end of April and it was perfect just a couple of hundred people I'd guess so not crowded. I'd imagine it would be less enjoyable in busy time. water is crystal clear and my sons enjoyed snorkeling. Lovely stop on way back and had a snack and wonder around the small village. can't fault the day at all. very informative tour guide as well.

The view from the first tavern is breathtaking. The minibus was earlier than expected which was lovely. The tour guide was very informative. The beach was amazing, we had more than enough time to relax, we went in April so it wasn’t too busy. We got picked up at 8 am and got back at 6pm. One of the best days of my trip.

Great experience .best moments at Chania and a big thank you to Nasos . Very polite adventurous and he made our day special.thank you!

Very enjoyable day. Interesting stop at the cave. Fabulous beach. Excellent guide & driver.