We have visited Chania many times, Kostas even was living there for several years. Nevertheless, this city remains in our TOP destinations for a short getaway. So this time, on the occasion of our wedding anniversary, we decided to spend two days as a couple in beautiful Chania. No rooftop tent, dirt roads and hiking trails. Only easy walks in the old town, beaching and lots of relaxation.
After this visit, we thought a bit and gathered all the highlights that we believe everybody should do at least once when in Chania.
1 – Staying in the Old Town
Until this time in Chania, we had never stayed in the old town. What a mistake! If you visit the city for 2-3 days, it is definitely a must, especially if you have a view of the old port at the same time!
We wanted something romantic and special for our anniversary, so we chose the Chania Inn, which is located in the heart of the old town, with a panoramic view of the Venetian port. Renovated, modern room, with all amenities and a balcony – just a dream. You can read our review of this accommodation here.
Why did we like staying in the old town so much? We explored and enjoyed the labyrinth of tiny streets in all phases of the day; we had our morning coffee overlooking the famous lighthouse from the balcony of the room; we forgot the hassle of looking for parking every time we want to go to the city center; finally, we got unique images of sunrise and sunset in the old port of Chania.
2 – Visit one of the first jazz bars in Greece
Of course, we talk about Fagotto. It is very famous among locals, many tourists find this lovely place accidentally, but still do not know what a gem it is.
This bar is housed in a 15th-century building, which has been declared a monument since 1948, when the city itself was declared in 1956!
Regarding its music choice, it all started in 1978, when jazz has just “arrived” in Greece. Since then it has been a haunt of historical figures, such as Ulf Palie, but also of many important artists.
This is a perfect winter choice too. Whether you are on vacation or for business in Chania, you should not miss the opportunity to have a drink in this simple but unique place.
3 – Beach time, let’s SUP!
Every year on our anniversary we try some new activity to do together, or find ourselves in a new place. So this year, after the unprecedented and exhausting experience of surfing which we tried last year in exotic Bali, we found ourselves with a board in the water again.
Early in the morning, we were on the windless beach of Marathi. There we were welcomed by Stefanos, owner of SUP in Crete and a lover of the sea. He explained everything about this extremely interesting sport, then we took the boards and went into the sea. We had chosen a two-hour tour of Marathi and Loutraki bays.
Crystal clear waters, unrestricted views of the White Mountains and morning peace. We enjoyed SUP much more than we expected, and even standing on the board turned out to be easier. We dived with masks, entered a cave that few people know, and did a free sea-spa therapy!
We were so excited about SUP and Stefanos’s company, that we are already arranging to go again. There are so many beautiful parts of the gulf of Souda, that are waiting to be explored on a SUP board.
4 – Coffee at “Pallas” and “Koukouvagia”
There are two locations, which we consider a must for every visitor of Chania. We refer to the famous “Pallas”, where a glass of iced coffee in the afternoon is always supplemented by unbelievable sunset views. You can continue your night in the beautiful roof-top restaurant above.
And, if you have not tried yet the juiciest and most delicious chocolate cake in the city, then go to “Koukouvagia”. The truth is, that it is not about the incredible desserts and nice atmosphere that this place has. Koukouvagia overlooks the entire bay of Chania and has the panoramic view which is just breathtaking. If you have not visited Koukouvagia, it is as if you have never been to Chania (every local would tell you this). Favorite choice of locals and tourists, absolutely justified!
5 – Let’s go to museums
The city of Chania is a real cultural diamond. It has many excellent museums in the old center, but also in the outskirts of the city.
We strongly recommend you to go to the Maritime Museum of Crete (very interesting and it is in the old port), the Archaeological Museum of Chania (housed in a beautiful building and worth a visit just for this reason), and the Historical Museum. Out of the center, it is definitely worth seeing the house-museum of Eleftherios Venizelos. If you are not a fan of history, there is even a Museum of National Greek football team, a Museum of Chemistry, and several small museums of folk art.
As you understood, no matter how many times you go, you will always find something new to do, see and try in magical Chania. Enjoy!