Beautiful view of Old Port in Chania

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Chania is Crete's second largest city and offers a way into the island for many thousands of visitors each year. Situated towards the west of the island, it has easy access to many of the island's quieter resorts and the stunning Samara Gorge, a favourite with hikers and walkers.

Why go?

Long hot summers and lazy days by the beach make it a great destination for a summer holiday...

There is plenty to see and do in the town itself though and using the town as a base for wider exploration is a good idea for anyone who uses car hire in Chania. Perhaps the best known landmark in the town itself is its Old Town. This section of the city is where visitors can find the old Venetian harbour, around which much of the town's historical development was centred.

The central part of the Old Town is called Kasteli and human occupation in this area dates back to the Stone Age. The Eleftherios Venizelos Square forms the heart of the Old Town and tourists can find plenty to see and do here. Cafes, shops and bars in the intriguing streets which surround the square make it a lively area in both summer and winter.

Crete has a typically Mediterranean climate and those who love hot weather should visit in the summer. It's generally warm climate means that good weather can be found all year round though and it enjoys mild winters

Many people who travel to Crete fly into Chania International Airport (CHQ) and then travel on to some of the other resorts on the island.

Where to explore?

Outside Chania town there are plenty of resorts to visit in your hire car as well as natural wonders and beautiful beaches...

If you take a short drive out of town to the White Mountains you will be rewarded with a stunning view of Chania's Venetian harbour. Using Chania car hire facilities also puts a whole variety of other busy resorts within reach. Places such as Stalos, Maleme, Aghia Marina, Platanias, Gerani, Kolymbari, Kastelli and Rethymnon all offer different variations on the Cretan theme of beautiful beaches and clear ocean waters.

This, of course, is a great environment in which to pursue water sports like sailing and snorkelling. Hikers will want to visit the Samaria Gorge or the Kourtaliotis Gorge, both of which enjoy protected status as World Biosphere sights. The scenery here is wonderful. History enthusiasts will want to explore ancient Cretan heritage at the Palace of Knossoss.