Crete – Chania
The city of Chania was built on the site of an ancient settlement called Kydonia. It harmoniously combines the romance of narrow, labyrinthine lanes and numerous buildings in the style of Venetian and Ottoman architecture in the old city near the port and the elegance of neoclassical and modern buildings, wide alleys and beautiful squares that have adorned its new areas after the reunification of Crete with Greece. The sights of Chania include the archaeological museum, located in the largest church of St. Francis on the island. The museum exhibits finds from the Stone Age to the recent past, found mainly in the western part of Crete: idols, statues, frescoes, weapons, ceramics, stone prints, coins, jewelry, etc.
The maritime museum, on the embankment of the old harbor, exhibits exhibits related to the history of seafaring of the Cretans. From the Venetian period, there were ramparts and ruins of the fortress walls that surrounded the city, the Venetian loggia, supposedly in the old port, churches. Traces of Ottoman rule – a mosque in the old port and a lighthouse. Of interest to tourists are some Orthodox churches: the small church of St. Anargia with Byzantine frescoes and the main church of the Three Martyrs in the city. The city has a People’s Covered Market (AGORA) It is the only cruciform building in Greece. The national park, founded in 1870, is a real green oasis – a favorite vacation spot for citizens. The Khalepa quarter is associated with the historical events of the last century. Here are the house of a major revolutionary politician Eleftherios Venizelos and the Church of St. Magdalene, built in the Russian-Byzantine style. In Chania there is a burial place of Russian officers and sailors who died off the coast of Crete from 1897 to 1911.
In Chania, you can visit interesting museums: the Cretan Historical Archives Museum, the Nautical Museum of Chania.
In general, the western part of Crete has recently attracted more and more guests. One can argue about the reasons for such growing popularity: some argue that the western regions are famous for their rich flora – the famous Cretan forests and a large number of fresh springs have been preserved here; others admire the beautifully preserved ancient buildings of cities and nearby places. Chania is one of the most picturesque cities in Greece. No wonder they say that Chania is the “Cretan Venice”.
10 km from Chania, among beautiful orange and olive groves, is the village of Agia Marina. There are many hotels of various categories, at every step – taverns, bars, discos, mini-markets. At a short distance from the coast stands the island of St. Fedor, which is a nature reserve. The island is closed to the public because rare animals listed in the Red Book – Agrimi goats (kri-kri) live here. However, you can sail to the island on yachts or small sightseeing boats.
Just behind Agia Marina is the famous resort of Platanias. It rightfully bears its name: a large number of plane trees grow in its vicinity. This place is proud of its developed infrastructure: hotels of different categories, discos, disco bars, bouzouki, a huge number of taverns with varied cuisine, souvenir shops, children’s attractions, etc. 7 km from Platanias there is a large water park “Limnoupolis” with a wide variety of slides and water attractions.
20 km east of Chania is the small town of Kalives, which attracts with its “Greek atmosphere”, well-preserved ancient buildings, picturesque landscapes, narrow streets. Kalives has 3 sandy beaches. This town is recommended for those who like to walk and appreciate the local flavor.
Crete – Elounda
Lassithi is the eastern part of the island, the greenest in comparison with Heraklion, with a population of about 70 thousand people. The name Lassithi comes from the ancient Greek word “lastos” – densely overgrown. The main part of the population is engaged in agriculture and animal husbandry. This area is home to the famous palm-fringed Vai Beach, where the Bounty commercial was filmed. Of the historical monuments, the following are of interest: Guria – one of the most remarkable excavations of the Minoan period; Kato Zakros – famous Minoan palace; Lato or Etera – the ruins of an ancient city founded in the 7th century BC; Church of Our Lady of Kera with 14th-15th century murals; Toplou Monastery, where ancient frescoes of the 14th century and valuable icons have been preserved; a small nunnery Kritsa; an ancient fortress on the island of Spinalonga, in the former serving as a fortification. In addition to historical and archaeological monuments, you can visit a lot of interesting places here, such as the Lassithi Plateau, famous for its numerous windmills, the Dikteon Andron cave, in which Zeus was born; the city of Ierapetra is the southernmost, warmest of the well-known resorts of the island. The Lassithi area is known for its magnificent beaches, beautiful bays, beautifully indented coastline, hospitable villages.
Elounda. The current name of Elounda comes from the ancient Greek city of Olus, which connected the peninsula with the main island. In ancient times, up to 11 types of coins were printed here, most of which depicted Artemis and Zeus. Nowadays, Elounda is an elite tourist resort in the eastern part of Crete, where fashionable hotels of the Helios, Sbokos, Iberostar, Mamidakis systems are located. It is in Elounda that the stars of Greek show business, politics and sports try to arrange their marriage.