Chania - Introduction
The City. Chania is Crete's former capital (1849 - 1971), and is one of the oldest continuously occupied cities in the Mediterranean. It is also a sophisticated town, and attracts a unique blend of foreigners and Greeks. Although heavily bombed during World War II, the Old Quarter still contains many superb buildings from its complicated past including beautifully renovated Venetian Palaces, two remaining Minarets, Turkish baths and Ottoman mansions with their characteristic overhanging timber front facades.
The Harbour. The beautiful harbour is divided into an Outer Harbour with its continuous row of cafes and restaurants, and Inner Harbour with fishing boats, grand Venetian Arsenali (Dry docks), lively bars and the more authentic tavernas. The lanes behind the Outer Harbour are crammed with more places to eat and drink and tasteful craft shops. Behind the Inner Harbour lies residential Kastelli, with the Kanevaro Street Minoan excavations, and a sections of Old Town walls embedded with the remains of classical masonry.
The Beach. Nea Chora, a sandy beach with a very Greek atmosphere, is about a mile west of the town centre, with excellent fish tavernas.