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Chania (Souda), Crete, Greece

Chaniá is the second-largest city of Crete, and one of the most beautiful. It lies along the north coast of the island at the east end of the Gulf of Chaniá. Chaniá is the site of the ancient Minoan settlement the Greeks called Cydonia (Kydonia), which was mentioned in Virgil's Aeneid. The site has been continuously inhabited since Neolithic times – at least 5,000 years. The city's rich history can be traced through historic buildings and monuments with Venetian, Turkish and Greek architecture.

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Chania (Souda), Crete, Greece

Port of Call

The One Thing You Don't Want to Miss

Wander through the fascinating layers of Chaniá's history with a visit to the Old Town. The Venetian Harbour and narrow, picturesque roadways retain the distinctive atmosphere of the city's Venetian and Turkish periods. The large 16th century Venetian church, Aghios Frankiskos is an impressive site and home of the Archaeological Museum of Chaniá.

Other Fun Things to Do

  • Explore the site of the ancient city of Aptera, once an important Minoan city believed to be built around 700 BCE. The remains of the city walls can still be seen surrounding the 12th-century monastery and impressive 19th-century Turkish fort also built on the site.
  • A marvel in and of itself, the Firkas Fort, constructed in 1629 and current home to the Maritime Museum of Crete, boasts a panoramic view of the Venetian Harbour and the spectacular Venetian lighthouse. Be sure to bring your camera.
  • Relax on Chrisi Akti beach, one of the most beautiful in Crete.

Get a Taste of Local Flavour

Be sure to visit Bougatsa Iordanis the originators of the Chaniá bougatsa. Bougatsa, filo pastry filled with a creamy cheese filling, is a local favourite. Chaniá bougatsa is unique from other bougatsa in Greece, perhaps because of its use of fresh, sweet mizithra cheese.

Shopping for Bargains

Skridloff (Leather Street) is one of the most popular shopping destinations in Chaniá and features a large selection of leather goods and souvenirs. For something more unique, venture into the shops along Anghelou or Halidon Street or visit the Local Artistic Handicrafts Association at the junction of the old and new harbours.

Local Currency

The euro (EUR) is the official currency of Greece. Many shops and restaurants also accept major credit cards, which usually offer you a good exchange rate. When shopping, remember that Value Added Tax is added to most purchases.

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    Before You Visit

    Learn more about this port city with these tourist information guides.