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Travel Europe Greece The Venice of the east - Chania

The Venice of the east - Chania

Crete, Greece, Chania lighthouse at sunset

Chania is the largest city of Crete after Heraklion which is the capital of the isle. Chania is praised for its mystical atmosphere and beautiful harbor and its labyrinth of narrow alleys. The city is very popular among tourists, but unfortunately not equally known.

Chania has a very interesting and turbulent history. The city can best be described as a mixture of Turkish and Venetian elements. Especially this information is shown in the port. The port is surrounded by great Venetian houses. In ancient times was known as Chania Kydonia. Its strategic location, the city was often captured and recaptured. Best known is the conquest by the Arabs (in 828) and the Byzantines (in 961). Only in the 13th century the city was conquered by Venice and the city turned in a more like modern city we know. However, this capture was not without a struggle. The city became tangled in the piracy and had to be rebuilt regularly. Early of 17th century became Chania, lost its independence and the city was proclaimed capital of Crete (until 1971). The second world-war was not passed by this town. Chania faced heavy bombing.

A turbulent history, with countless conquests and re-suspension is usually guarantees an interesting mixture of different cultures. A touch of Italian flair, the city is no stranger while the city makes it an oriental impression. At the harbor mouth you have a wonderful view of the Old Town with distinctive houses and color and the lighthouse, where the beach waves. This makes Chania outset very photogenic.

A run along the quay insurmountable leads to a visit to one of the numerous restaurants, all of which are doing their best to seduce you. When it gets windy, the waves are higher, then you risk wet feet during dinner ... seawater flows sometimes so into the restaurant. Behind the harbor up the narrow alleys you will face with numerous shops. However, these shops tend to focus on tourists, so no shortage of souvenirs. To what extent do appreciate that it is time to every man for himself. For the authentic Cretan atmosphere is worth a visit to the indoor market as well. Among the souvenir shops are here and there real Cretan merchants. Furthermore, the archaeological museum and a visit to the lighthouse in the fort Firkas is a must. A walk to the lighthouse is recommended. It offers a nice view over the city and the sea.

Chania has a port and an airport, which is about 15 km east of the city. The airport maintains some scheduled flights with Greek cities. Most of the flights that the airport handled are seasonal. In season the airport welcomes a week dozens of charter aircraft, mainly from the Netherlands, Belgium, England and Scandinavia. The road network is good. The traffic is rather chaotic so it is important to keep the eyes open.