Chania is the capital of the province Chania and has approximately 60.000 inhabitants. It is a lively and nowadays also very busy town.
The Chania of 10 years ago does not exist anymore. Since clever marketing persons invented a system to promote this town as the most beautiful town of Crete, the real beauty of this town has unfortunately disappeared.
In Souda, just East of Chania, a big American Marine and Air force base is situated. This brings many good things to the economy of this town. It is, however, not so nice to spend your holidays here, because of the view of the destroyers and aircraft carriers, unless you enjoy watching naval vessels.
Chania has a busy nightlife. It is very nice to stroll along the harbor with its many terraces and its big choice of eating out places.
But be aware: nowadays it really is a touristy town, with its advantages and disadvantages.
Also for shopping Chania has a lot to offer, a visit to the market halls can be recommended: you feel like being in a Turkish Kasbah.
La Canea, as the Turks called this city, is a place with a lot of variation. Here you can still find the enormous influences from the Turkish and the Venetian times, which can be admired by its architecture. Chania has a lot of places of interest, such as the Archeological Museum in the former San Francesco Church, which is situated in the shopping street Odos Chaldion. The Maritime Museum at the entrance of the harbor, at the West side, gives a good impression of what happened here during the Battle of Crete, in the Second World War and of the Greek Navy in general.
The local EOT (the Official Greek tourist office) can inform you very well on all the points of interest here. In the summer months Chania is known to have many festivals. These are advertised on posters which you will see everywhere.
The beaches around Chania (and Rethymnon) are famous for their turtles. The eggs are (still) laid on these beaches. In the harbor or somewhere else in the busy tourist parts, you can always find a stand of the guards of these nests. They are all volunteers. Support this club and when you are lucky, you may find a possibility to join them in the night, to learn and see more of these turtles and their habits.
But the most attractive part of Chania is, in our opinion, the so-called showing-off parade of the Greeks. It is customary that from around 22.00 hrs the locals (at their Sunday best) stroll along to be seen and/or to find other friends, in order to enjoy the last hours of the day with a chat and a cool drink.
We therefore suggest finding a seat before 21.30 hrs, so you will be able to see the whole parade pass by.
A very good spot is the boulevard in the Eastern part of town, a little across from the Kriti hotel. At this part of the boulevard you will find approximately 5000 chairs, benches, garden seats and other seating possibilities. These are not occupied until 21.30 hrs. However, 20 minutes later they are fully taken by the local people (this part of the boulevard is not a touristy area).
Keep this in mind; the showing-off parade is a not known Greek attraction. We are sure you will enjoy it!