48 Hours In Chania: hotels, restaurants and places to visit in Crete’s second largest city

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Travel basics

Why go now?

Summer gets here previously on the biggest Greek island than in other places in the Med, and this year the beautiful western city of Chania is much easier to reach than ever – with British Airways releasing flights from Heathrow on the last day of April.

New arrivals will discover little bit altered from 70 years earlier, when the regional author Nikos Kazantzakis released Zorba the Greek Crete’s historical previous capital is still soaked in Minoan, Venetian, Ottoman and Greek history. The primary distinction is a blossoming of terrific locations to consume, consume and sleep.

Touch down

Bachelor’s Degree from Heathrow ( ba.com) completes to Chania versus easyJet ( easyJet.com) and Norwegian ( norwegian.com) from Gatwick; and Ryanair ( ryanair.com) from Bristol, East Midlands, Glasgow, Leeds/Bradford, Manchester and Stansted.

The airport is 10 miles north-east of the city centre. The general public bus from the airport into town expenses EUR2.50; purchase your ticket from the KTEL kiosk throughout the roadway from arrivals. It takes half-an-hour to reach the bus station (1 ) Departures are erratic, at periods of anything from 30 minutes to 2 hours, so you might choose to share a taxi with other tourists; the basic fare to the city centre is EUR20

Chania Harbour

(Simon Calder)

Get your bearings

Chania remains in the far west of Crete, about 100 miles west of the island’s capital, Heraklion. Its bay is secured by a set of peninsulas: Rodhopou to the west, Akrotiri to the east. The old city walls basically specify the location of interest to visitors. The inner core, called Kastelli, consists of Minoan ruins. Simply to the east, Splanzia is the previous Turkish quarter. A harbour arm twists around from the north-east corner of this district.

The primary road, Halidon, runs south from Venizelos Square (2 ) At its southern end it satisfies the primary east-west roadway, which handles a succession of names – Yiannari for its main part.

The traveler workplace (3 ) at 29 Kydonias (0030 28213 41665/ 6; chaniacrete.gr) closes at weekends, and opens just 9am-3pm from Monday to Friday – though these hours might be extended in the height of summertime.

Check in

The hotel Splanzia (4 ) at 20 Daskalogianni (0030 28210 45313; splanzia.com) fills a remarkable townhouse that was previously the house of the Turkish mayor throughout the Ottoman age and is now a sophisticated shop hotel with a beautiful yard. A double space expenses EUR67, with breakfast an additional EUR6 per individual.

Casa Delfino (5 ) is a 17 th-century Venetian estate transformed as a high-end hotel at 9 Theofanus (0030 28210 87400; casadelfino.com). The roofing balcony uses an awesome view throughout the city and harbour. A double space expenses EUR166, consisting of breakfast.

Day one

Take a view

The Venetians combined the harbour, and developed the sea wall that safeguards it versus Mediterranean storms. The lower part of the lighthouse (6 ) at the end was constructed over 400 years back, and has actually been decorated because. From the whole time the sea wall there are wonderful views, best at the start or end of the day. Throughout the water, the popular Mosque of the Janissaries (7 ) was the very first act of the Ottomans when they took control of Chania in 1645.

Take a walking

From the lighthouse (6 ), stroll back along the arm of ancient stones. Where it gets in touch with the mainland, walk past Chania Yacht Club (8 ) and crossed the parking lot. On the far side a slope increases to the bastion (9 ) which offers a panorama of the eastern bay.

Head south down Minoos, on the within the city walls. Take the 2nd right, a not likely looking street, and thread through to Vourdouba. This leads previous ancient cloisters on the right to 1821 Square (10), with the good-looking and fascinating Agios Nikolaos church on your left and an appealing area for coffee nearby to it. On the corner is a collapsing Venetian chapel. Turn right onto Daskalogianni and time out at the Ride Cycle Cafe (11)

The northward street ends up being Arheleon. Turn left along Kanevaro for the Minoan excavations called Ancient Kydonia (12), which extend back 5 centuries – Chania is among the earliest continually occupied cities on the planet. Continue west to Venizelos Square (2 ), and turn right at Starbucks along Zampeliou – filled with keepsake stores and locations to consume.

Lunch on the run

Hammam (13), the coffee shop at 43 Zampeliou, is an exceptional bakeshop serving spanakopitas, spinach-filled pastries, at simply EUR1.60 each – with a beer for an additional EUR2. For a more significant meal, a couple of doors even more west, Tamam inhabits the old Ottoman baths and serves dependably great Cretan food.

Window shopping

Just along Zampeliou, the Exantos Art Space (14) has lots of works that distil the regional colour. Throughout the city centre in Splantzia, the Vineria delicatessen (15) at 70 Daskalogianni (0030 28210 27068) hosts tastings of red wine and other regional fruit and vegetables. Shops tend to open 10 am-3pm and 6-9pm in summer season.

Chania’s market (16), on the website of the ancient Agora, has actually been a raucous retail location for centuries; the existing edition, was designed on the primary marché in Marseille and takes in the shape of a cross. It opened in 1913, the exact same year that Crete was joined with Greece. The hours are approximately 7am-9pm everyday other than Sunday.

An aperitif

As the sun dips, the harbourside bars and dining establishments start to shimmer. At the locations around the horseshoe-shaped external harbour travelers might feel pushed into taking a table, however nicely decrease and continue around the waterside towards the inner harbour – where you can sign up with the residents as they consume in the landscapes. At Pallas (17), you can drink an island-brewed Septem India Pale Ale, its name stemmed from the 7 percent alcoholic strength. Roam even more along to the Chania Yacht Club (8) at the eastern end of the Inner Harbour, where the outside tables capture the last rays of sunlight.

Dine with the residents

Away from the waterside, the greatest concentration of dining establishments is along Chatzimichali Daliani. For exceptional salads, grilled meat and homemade panacotta, shot Mesogiako (18) at number 36 (0030 28210 57992; mesogiako.com); a banquet for 2, consisting of red wine, ought to can be found in at around EUR35

Day 2

Sunday early morning: go to church

The Orthodox Cathedral (19) was finished in 1860, throughout Ottoman guideline – when Christian praise was endured by the Islamic occupiers. From outdoors, with its lop-sided exterior it looks unusually Latin American – on the other hand with the extremely climatic interior.

Out to breakfast

Theotokopoulou is a good-looking Venetian street, and the Kormoranos Bakery Café (20) at number 46 (0030 6974 714226) serves fresh croissants, yoghurt and fruit, omelettes and toasted sandwiches from 8am every day.

Cultural afternoon

The Archaeological Museum (21) on Halidon (0030 28210 90334; culture.gr) is housed in the previous church of San Francisco, which was later on a mosque and after that acted as Chania’s very first movie theater. The contents are from excavations at websites in the west of Crete, varying from Minoan antiques to an excellent third-century advertisement mosaic flooring embellished with a representation of Dionysos and Ariadne. It opens 8am-8pm daily, admission EUR4.

Further down Halidon, the Municipal Art Gallery (22) at number 98 (0030 28210 92294; pinakothiki-chania. gr) shows paintings, inscriptions and sculpture of regional and Greek artists from the 18 th century. It opens 10 am-2pm on Sundays, furthermore 6-9pm on other days, admission EUR2.

Take a flight

Chania has among the best-value bike-share plans in Europe. Register beforehand at www.chania.gr/bikes, pay a cost of EUR1 and you can utilize a bike for as much as 3 hours without additional charge.

A walk in the park

For the perfect biking target, go east out of town following the indications for the airport – however after a high, swerving climb, shut off when you see an indication for the Venizelos Tombs This leads you to a location of parkland that consists of the excellent burial place of Eleftherios Venizelos (23), among the most enduring Greek premiers. There are outstanding views back throughout the bay to Chania; for the best position, get a table on the open balcony at the surrounding Koukouvaya dining establishment( koukouvaya.gr).

Stavros Beach

(Simon Calder)

The icing on the cake

Before your flight house, check out a few of the Akrotiri peninsula— in specific, the town of Stavros (24) at the northern suggestion. It has an outstanding beach and a couple of bars, however most importantly likewise a location in motion picture history. Below the 1,000 ft-high piece of limestone that controls it, the closing scene of Zorba the Greek was shot – with Alan Bates and Anthony Quinn dancing the Sirtaki. The very best strategy is to get a taxi to Stavros, and ask the chauffeur to wait prior to taking you on to the airport; you ought to have the ability to work out a fare of around EUR40

Click here to see Greek trips and vacations, with Independent Holidays.

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