Home And Away Guide: Chania Greece
Tourists today adore the laid-back Cretan town of Chania in Greece. Located along the Mediterranean Sea this small city has fine beaches, impressive museums and a colourful Venetian harbour. The "Old Town" is a maze of colorful paved pedestrian streets filled with welcoming little shops for visitors to explore. If you're wondering what to do in the evenings, then head to Daliani Street to hang out with the locals.
The area is heavily frequented by people of all ages since it offers a variety of restaurants and bars that suit all tastes and budgets. Dominating the entrance of the old harbour, this 21 metre tall lighthouse is a good reason for a bit of walking! The sea breeze, the great views and the mystique of the old buildings create the ideal setting for a romantic, relaxing walk; probably one of the best things to do in Chania! Explore the old Turkish neighbourhood an area which in recent years has transformed from a quiet district to a vibrant, cool and sophisticated hangout. In the main square, called"1821" (taking its name from the local revolt in 1821 against the Turks), lies an ancient sycamore tree whose refreshing shade turns the 'piazza' into a perfect spot for a Greek coffee break during the day. Built in the shape of a cross and designed after the local market in Marseilles, the Agora is the place where fresh local produce is being sold, literally a foodies' paradise.
The Agora has been the main source point of herbs and spices, fruit and vegetables, even fresh fish since 1913 for both locals and visitors. There you will also spot one of the most significant churches, 'Agios Nikolaos', hosting both a bell tower and a minaret, demonstrating the multicultural character of this town. Chania city has two beaches: Nea Chora and Koum Kapi. The area of Koum Kapi has become a little run down and its beach is best seen as a convenience for a dip rather than a place to spend time. A further sandy beach, Khrissi Akti, is another 10-15 minutes’ walk along the coast. One of the best things to do to truly understand the many historical periods that Chania has gone through is to visit the Maritime Museum of Crete, the imposing red building located within the Firka Fortress. Also next to the water’s edge, you’ll see lots of street vendors.
There’s an archeological museum housed in the Franciscan Monastery of St Francis of Assisi, which focuses on the early settlement of the area by the ancient Minoans. The Monastery of Agia Triada located in Akrotiri, 15 km from Chania was built by two Venetian rulers and today visitors can see a precious collection of icons and items. The monastery complex remains one of the most important religious sites in Crete with a beautiful courtyard and impressive chapels built on both sides. La Maison Ottomane places you in the heart of Chania Old Town This 3-room, 5-star bed & breakfast has free breakfast along with conveniences like free in-room Wi-Fi and free self parking. All three individually decorated accommodations feature sitting areas. 27-inch LCD TVs come with satellite channels and guests can stay connected with free Wi-Fi. Beds sport Egyptian cotton sheets and bathrooms offer hair dryers and free toiletries. www.lamaisonottomane.com Ryanair depart Dublin three times weekly to Chania.
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Robert Walshe is a travel broadcaster with Q Radio in Northern Ireland