Eleftherios Venizelos, leader of the Cretan revolution and prime minister of Greece, was born and grew up at Chania. Other prominent personalities of Chania is Sophocles Venizelos, Greek Prime Minister, Costas Karyotakis, writer, Alexis Minotis, a famous actress of theater, Manos Katrakis, famous actor of theater and cinema, Constantine Mitsotakis, Prime Minister of Greece.
The prefecture of Chania combines many beautiful beaches, small fertile valleys, high mountains and deep canyons, like Samaria Gorge. It is the greenest area in Crete since the mountain range of White Mountains is responsible for the increased rainfall.
The composition of the soil, combined with the climate, make the area of the prefecture of Chania ideal for thousands of plants and animals. The sea lilies, labdanum, cyclamens, the Cretan tulips, the elder and mainly the unique herbs Dittany, malotyra and marjoram are few of the types of flora that abound in the area. On Omalos found stamnagathi.
The prefecture of Chania is diverse and in species of fauna. The White Mountains are home for unique species of Crete. In Samaria lives free Cretan wild goat or Cretan goat, known as Kri Kri or beast, forming groups of two or five, in which the male supersedes the female.
Chania is one of the oldest cities in Crete. It is the location in which the Minoans built the “Cydonia”. From excavations carried out in various districts as Kastelli, it became known that the area was inhabited since the Neolithic era.
The city of Chania is divided into two main sections. The old town, with the old port and the new town, outside the walls.
The Venetian harbor with its lighthouse and the old city in the center have given in Chania the reputation of the most picturesque city in Crete.
It has retained its traditional architecture and maintains most of the monuments from the time of the Venetians and the Turks.
At every location you can see samples of all cultures that passed through it. Kastelli, the Splanzia, the old quarter of the Muslims, which is very atmospheric with narrow streets and many tavernas. The church of St. Nicholas, during the Turkish domination, was the main Mosque of Chania. Outside the church is the square of Splanzia. In the corner of the square is the Venetian church of St. Rocco. The Venetian shipyards (1497), the shipyards that once constructing war galleys, today still operate repairing boats and fishing boats. There you will see the big Arsenal, which today hosts the Mediterranean Architecture Centre. In the Venetian Harbour is Neorio Moro, which now houses the Sailing Club of Chania.
The Santirvani square (or square El. Venizelos), is the tourist heart of the city. Board to little boats to reach the Venetian castles on the islands of Ag. Theodori and Gramvousa.
In the square of Trimartiris, tour to the archaeological museum hosting the Venetian church of St. Francesco. There you navigate and to ‘Stivanadika’, shops treating leather and produce various leather goods. Their name was taken from the Cretan boots, which were made there for centuries, eastern see the traditional shops’ Macherado “still make the Cretan knives.
Stroll around the districts of Ovraikis and Topana. In the area there is the synagogue Etz Hayyim which reopened in 1999. Topanas was always the Christian noble district of the city. These districts are considered the most beautiful neighborhoods of Chania. There you will find the fortress of Firka which operates the Maritime Museum of Crete.
You can admire the Venetian lighthouse of 1595 – 1601, which is the hallmark of the city.
The Central Market is a cruciform building, built in 1913 to the standards of the Marseilles market and then hosts several traditional shops and taverns. A little further down the beautiful Turkish military hospital of the 19th century, which today houses the courts and the services of the prefecture of Chania. Behind the courts is the church of Peter and Paul, where was found in the ancient cemetery of the city.
Other city districts are Lentariana, the Pasakaki, Varoussi the Frankish (where the Frankish cemetery is), the Pelekapina (where the dependency of the 19th century politician K. Manu is) and Chrissopigi with the monastery.
You can also visit the Printing Museum, the Municipal Gallery, the Museum of Chemistry, Ancient Aptera, the Monument of Mother from Asia Minor to Apokoronas, the new Archaeological Museum of Chania and many others. Most beaches near the city of Chania and across the rest of the coast, are excellent with crystal clear waters awarded with blue flags, and the most of them are organized with sunbeds and beach bars. The beaches of Nea Chora, Golden Beach, the Apostles, Agia Marina, Platanias, Gerani, Kissamos, Balos, Falassarna, Elafonissos, Paleochora, Sougia, Loutro, Frangokastello, Sfakia , Marathi, Kalives, Georgioupolis, Kavros, Almirida are just few of the many of the prefecture. The gastronomic choices you have in Chania are supernumerary. The local Cretan cuisine has conquered decisively the thirsty for authenticity palates. Every little village and something special. Enjoy the local cuisine in their traditional taverns. There are no lists and menus and offer what’s in the casserole that day, made with their own raw materials. Delicious Cretan dishes with greens, poultry, goat or lamb, legumes, eggs, herbs, cheese and generally pure raw materials.
The generous gamopilafo, rabbit stew, boiled goat, rooster with red sauce and with local noodles, sfakiano stew without tomato, the famous sioufichta spaghetti, pork roasted with stamnagathi, roasted lamb with cheese ewe in parchment paper, goat fouriariko are just a few of the delicious Cretan flavors that you can enjoy both in the city of Chania and in the wider region of the prefecture.
For nightlife in Chania we recommend the beach of Koum Kapi or Gate of the sand with numerous tavernas, cafes and clubs
The Cretan folk tradition is often imprinted in art (weaving, Sevres, towels, carpets, embroidered silk or wool). At Chania you can find unique handicrafts made of glass, wood and metal, as well as workshops with pottery, woodwork and metalwork. The Cretan knives with the witty quatrains are a good idea for gifts.
Useful numbers / links
European Emergency Number: 112
Fire Service: 199
National Emergency Aid Centre (Ambulance): 166
Civil Protection: 28213 40130-1
Central Port of Chania (Souda): 89 240 28210
General Hospital of Chania Agios Georgios: tel. Center 28210 22000 – 28213 42000.http: //www.chaniahospital.gr/el_contact.jsp
Chania Town Taxi: http://www.chaniataxi.gr/ Tel .: 2821 098700
Chania Airport: http://www.chania-airport.com/ Tel .: 28210 83800
Urban Bus Chania: http://www.chaniabus.gr Tel .: 28210 98115
KTEL Chania – Rethymnon: http://www.e-ktel.com Tel .: 2821 093306
Points of Wireless Broadband Access to the Internet from Kallikratis Municipality Chania – CHANIA-CITYNET network see: https: //www.chania.gr/chrisima/wifixartis/wifinew.html