Chania region of Crete is quite possibly the ultimate holiday island! Fantastic for families and with a welcoming, laid back vibe that encapsulates everything that’s great about Greece(and with a few surprises of its own) there’s loads to see, do and eat. Want to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the best stuff? We’ve put together this ultimate guide to help you get the very best from your holiday on the heart of the Mediterranean sea.
Why Visit west Crete and Chania region?
Geographically, Crete island is surrounded by two seas-the Aegean and the Libyan: the spectacular White mountains on the western part with several gorges close by. The lowlands are RICH AAREAS by the south beaches – all characterized by long sandy beaches and shallow, warm seas; all around them you’ll find great places for water sports and safe swimming. On rockier parts of the coast you’ll see adventure operators taking groups of thrill-seekers ‘coast seeking’ – a mix of rock-climbing, abseiling, scrambling and cliff-jumping that offers a whole new way to enjoy Crete’s coastline. There are many nude beaches there too.
• Chania city: The capital of the west is lively, full of history and a great place to enjoy local bars and restaurants.
• And in the city itself, old Chania (also known as Venetian port) is an architectural wonder that’s bound to impress all ages.
• Elafonissi southwest is also found in Chania region – it’s the ideal place to stay a night there with family and swim in one of the famous beaches worldwide!
• Balos beach on the Gramvousa bay on the island’s west side boasts a fortress used to check pirate ships in past, the sea is fantastic. The way to this place is easy with a 4x4car to drive only. We do not recommend to use a normal car, the rad is very bad.
When to Visit?
Summer temperatures are hot, averaging the high twenties with negligible rainfall in the lowlands – it’s the best and the most popular time for beach breaks and traditional family getaways. If you’re planning a holiday around land activities, it’s also worth considering the cooler spring or autumn months, which are ideal for exploring the island on foot or by bike or best with a rental car. It’s a paradise for hikers and cyclists, with the heights of Omalos offering challenging ascents and spectacular views.
• Public transport: Thanks to decades of tourism, Crete is easy to get around, with a well-developed road and bus network. With so much to see, we highly recommend hiring a vehicle – check out our activities section for some original ideas on that front.
If you prefer public transport, your first stop will be Chania city, reached by the 1 bus from the airport. From there, taxi services will get you around the city, we recommend you to rent a car.
• By bike: Touring west Crete by bike is a fantastic way to see the island (Greek Prime Minister is a fan) and there are loads of places to hire cycles from – your luxury villas might even include them as part of your rental.
• Taxis: There’s an abundance of taxi companies on Crete to help get you to where you need to go – though as with many destinations, it’s worth booking in advance (if possible) and agreeing on a price with the driver before heading out.
• Hiring a car: If you’re staying inland or in one of the more remote coastal areas, hiring a car will probably be necessary. There are several local firms as well as multinational staples, but once you’ve got your own set of the wheels the entirety of the island is yours to explore! Companies like athenscars.gr or carcrete.com all provide services direct from the airport.
Which places are worth visiting for climbing adventure and trail walking?
West of Crete has some of the most interesting gorges to walk through, Samaria gorge and Agia Irini are the top visited, Imbros gorge is following being very much interesting too. There are numerous of excellent walking trail guide tours organized in Paleochora and south Chania most villages by locals, like in Sougia or in Chora Sfakion.
There are some places worth to visit by the western Chania like Kolymbari beach and village and Balos beach, always using the ferry from Kasteli of Kissamos Port!