Chania Holidays – Culture in the former capital
The capital of Crete up until 1972, Chania (also known as Hania) has long been a favourite for those seeking all the trappings of a top class tourist resort but with the rich offerings of a cultural city nearby. Bag a spot on the sandy beach in the morning then head to the old quarter around the Venetian harbour for a fresh seafood lunch in the shadow of the mosques and minarets. Make sure you have your camera at the ready; the beauty of Chania is no secret, in fact it’s one of the most photographed cities in the whole of Greece!
When to go
Although scheduled flights run all year from the UK to Chania (via Athens) the holiday season runs from April to October with many shops and restaurants taking a break beyond these months. However, if you want to see the ‘real’ Chania and aren’t that bothered about beach time, despite there being less choice of eateries, this would be the perfect time to go. During school holidays the main beaches and streets are at their busiest so if you don’t like crowds this period is best avoided when planning holidays in Chania.
The weather in Chania
With a mild Mediterranean climate all year round, you can expect hot summers in Chania and mild winters. Because of its northerly position, temperatures above 38C are extremely rare, unlike in some southern Crete resorts, due to the moderating effects of the northern Meltemia winds. Having said that, the same cooling winds are also responsible for bringing a little rain and cold (even snow inland) during the winter months. In general though, expect summer daytime highs of around 30-31C in July and August, dropping to 23-24C at night.
Getting the best deal
By avoiding the summer school holiday rush when hotel and airline rates are at the max, you can get some great deals on package holidays in Chania. The weather is still great in June, early July and late September so visit the resort during these months and you’ll save more money for meze and that lovely, local retsina wine. Check out the best deals below or visit our site for fabulous late deal offers.
Airport and transport need to know
Direct charter flights to Chania operate throughout the year from several main hubs and a clutch of regional airports such as East Midlands and Leeds/Bradford. The vast majority of these flights run from late April to the end of October. Scheduled airlines also service this route though some involve a stop in Athens.
Although the airport handles only a third of the passengers that pass through Crete’s other main airport (Heraklion) the airport can still get very busy in the summer months so allow a little more time when checking in for your return flight.
A limited bus service operates to the city of Chania some 20 minutes’ drive from where you can catch buses to nearby resorts such as Nea Kydonia and Agia Marina. A taxi stand is located outside the arrivals terminal. A handful of major car rental agencies operate from within the airport, though rates may be cheaper through local agencies such as Kappa.
The best beaches in Chania
Like the island itself, there’s a huge diversity of options for enjoying some seaside fun on holidays in Chania. West of the town there are several sandy stretches within easy walking distance but they do get crowded in summer, especially at weekends when local families head to the beach. If you’re looking for a quieter experience you’ll need to hire a car and head away from the resort areas. But whether you’re looking for a family-friendly, secluded or party beach, Chania has them all, if you know where to look.
Best beach for lazing on a sun lounger
The main beach in Agia Marina lies within easy reach of Chania town and is well worth a visit day or night. The long sandy stretch is backed by beach bars and small tavernas with many local watering holes staying open until the wee hours. If you’re feeling active there’s also a great choice of watersports. Other smaller beaches and bays in this area can be found at the Platanias end of Agia Marina.
Best beach for activities
Golden Beach is located within easy walking distance of Chania town. The beach actually consists of three sandy stretches, all toddler-friendly with calm, shallow water and plenty of amenities for the junior bucket and spade brigade, including a children’s play area and plenty of watersports. Being so close to the town, there is an endless choice of restaurants, tavernas and watering holes.
Best beach for complete isolation
The fine sands of Kedrodasos off-road between Chania and Elafonisi provide perfect sunbathing in seclusion with the added bonus of shade from the tamarisk trees. The beach is not easy to find and involves a two-mile drive down a dirt road but the rewards are well worth it if you’re looking for a beach off the beaten path.