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Things to do in Chania

Get lost in this ancient city’s winding lanes and find a fusion of Venetian, Egyptian, and Ottoman influence.

Our most recommended things to do in Chania

From Chania: Day Trip to Elafonisi Island

1. From Chania: Day Trip to Elafonisi Island

Travel to the southwest corner of Crete on a guided day trip from Chania to Elafonisi Island, with hotel transfers included. Spend a relaxing day swimming in the clear blue waters, relaxing on the pink sand beach, and soaking in the unique landscape of Elafonisi. Start with a hotel pick up and take in the lush green landscape en route to the island as you travel through the impressive Topolia Gorge and pass many traditional villages. Stop to purchase coffee and breakfast in the village of Elos, known for its chestnut trees. After arriving at Elafonisi, enjoy 4 hours of relaxing on the beach and swimming in the crystal-clear waters. Afterward, enjoy lunch at a local tavern (not included). Situated just off the island of Crete, Elafonisi is easily reached by walking through the shallow waters. Both the beach and island are protected wildlife areas of rare beauty.

From Chania: Full-Day Samaria Gorge Trek Excursion

2. From Chania: Full-Day Samaria Gorge Trek Excursion

Embark on a full-day guided trip to the Samaria Gorge from Chania. Arrive in Omalos in the heart of the White Mountains, and enjoy breakfast before trekking along the longest gorge in Europe — 4,000 feet above sea level.  After breakfast, enter the Samaria Gorge. Walk at your own pace with your English speaking guide at the end of the group to help out if you need them. Hike over rocks and stones, through a forest of thousand-year-old trees and along a river, passing by fresh-water springs along the way. Enjoy views of Crete’s most beautiful mountain range and see mountain goats roaming in the wild. Feel the exhilaration of challenging yourself with a long hike. At the end of the trek, visit the village of Agia Roumeli, where you’ll find a number of taverns, bars, and shops. Enjoy some free time to take a swim or have some lunch. A meeting point will be arranged so you can collect your ferry tickets from your guide. Late in the afternoon you’ll board a boat that will take you from Agia Roumeli to Sougia, where the bus will be waiting to transfer you back to the starting point about 730 PM.

From Kissamos Port: Boat Cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa

3. From Kissamos Port: Boat Cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa

Go on a day trip from Kissamos port to the uninhabited island of Gramvousa and Balos Lagoon by a round-trip cruise. Glide past cliffs, stop at pristine golden beaches, swim in the crystal-clear waters, and visit Gramvousa Fortress—a castle that offers incredible panoramic views. Depart from Kissamos Port and sail for about an hour in the bay. Approach the island of Gramvousa and then the lagoon of Balos or vice versa, depending on the itinerary route. Cruise against a stunning backdrop of steep cliffs and rocks, incredible secluded beaches, and the infinite blue. Have the chance to see a large cave, which is thought to be an ancient shipyard.  At the end of the bay, sail between Gramvousa Island and Cape Vouxa. Soak in the scenic landscape against the backdrop of Valenti, Pontikonisi, Balos Lagoon, and Imeri Gramvousa. Arrive in the small port of Gramvousa and spend the next 1.5 hours here. Enjoy the magical environment created by the Cretan nature, the legends, and the area's turbulent history. See the beach is adorned by a lonely shipwreck. See the famous castle of Gramvousa, the highest point on the island, that sits atop a steep rock. You can swim in the area next to the Church of Agioi Apostoloi, stay on the ship to relax, or have some fun on the water slide. After a stop at Gramvousa, get back on the boat to head to the Balos Lagoon. Listed as one of the world's best beaches, this exotic beach lagoon is situated between the Gramvousa Peninsula and Cape Tigani. Choose to swim in the turquoise blue waters, relax on the pink sandy beach, or admire the natural beauty, the rocks, and the cliffs rising above you during your 2.5 hours at the beach.

Chania: Wine, Food, and Sunset Tour with 3-Course Dinner

4. Chania: Wine, Food, and Sunset Tour with 3-Course Dinner

Let us introduce you to authentic Crete and our local traditions and customs by experiencing Chania like a local. Follow us on this late afternoon sunset tour through the old medieval town of Chania and the old port and discover all the hidden gems the city has to offer! Begin your amazing tour by meeting your local guide in front of the Municipal Market, the locals’ main meeting point for hanging out. Being built more than a century ago, the also-known as Dimotiki Agora was established to celebrate Crete’s unification with Greece. Through the windy cobblestone back streets, you’ll explore the lesser-known parts of the Venetial Old Port while hearing tales and myths about unique old buildings, famous locals, and rebellions, and keep in mind that although these stories sound like fiction, they are so real! On your way, we’ll show you funky, alternative bars where you can hang out later, and visit favourite-local stores such as a cooperative that is dedicated to the preservation of locally produced crafts and edibles and supports local producers and artisans directly. Then, you’ll head to a perfect vantage point from where you can enjoy the most captivating sunset with the old port in the foreground. Watch the sun slowly make its descent and post some of your once-in-life Instagram stories from here! As you capture the last rays of light, we’ll roam through Chania’s labyrinth streets to a secret garden of a historic building for a local wine and food appreciation feast. Participate in an exclusive wine tasting session of exceptional local wines with international awards, presented by a qualified sommelier, while pairing it with a three-course organic gourmet dinner. Here is the right place to learn everything about the Cretan wine varieties, and the Cretan cuisine, one of the healthiest worldwide. For sweet lovers, you’ll be glad to know that after the wine tasting there is something more sinful on this tour: ice cream! We’ll introduce you to the most delicious ice cream ever, made from fresh local sheep milk, nuts, fruits, and other ingredients. Your Chania by night tour wouldn’t be completed without drinking a nightcap in a local-favorite venue by sipping plenty of “raki” shots, our local spirit based on grapes, and mingling with locals. Before you go, don’t forget to ask your local guide for more hints and tips on how to get the best out of your trip to Crete.

From Georgioupolis: Roundtrip Transfer to Samaria Gorge

5. From Georgioupolis: Roundtrip Transfer to Samaria Gorge

Explore the famous Samaria Gorge on a trip along the northern coastline of Crete and through the White Mountains up to the Omalos Plateau. Samaria Gorge became a National Park in 1962 and today, it is the last natural refuge for the Cretan goat species known as Kri-Kri. Depart early in the morning and board a coach which will pick you up from your hotel. After a comfortable drive, arrive at the plateau of Omalos for a small break before heading to the entrance of the gorge. The start of the hiking trail through the gorge is at a height of 1200m. On the route, pass by rich vegetation and through the tall rock walls known as the "Iron Gates". Fill up your water bottle at one of the springs in the gorge. At the end of the 17km walk, reach the Libyan Sea. There, at the beach of Ayia Roumeli, enjoy a refreshing swim or sit at one of the taverns until a ferry takes the group to Chora Sfakion where the bus will be waiting for you to return you back to your hotel. 

Chania: Authentic Cooking Class in the White Mountains

6. Chania: Authentic Cooking Class in the White Mountains

Taste the authentic foods of Crete at a unique cooking class using only healthy organic ingredients, such as extra virgin olive oil, local meats, aromatic herbs and freshly picked vegetables. Stroll around the vegetable garden to get a feel for the raw produce and learn more about the herbs. Then, prepare a traditional meal and learn the secrets of how the locals cook. Go for a mountain walk to a shepherds and hear how olives are harvested. Return to the house to sample some cheese and wine from Crete and prepare some appetizers such as ntakos and tzatziki. End with a tasty lunch with wine pairings and traditional jar desserts.

From Heraklion: Chania Town, Kournas Lake, and Rethymno Tour

7. From Heraklion: Chania Town, Kournas Lake, and Rethymno Tour

Morning Pick up: We will start collecting participants from pick-up points in the morning. Depending on the place of your hotel/apartment the bus drive will differ. Bus Drive: 3 hours 1st stop: Chania Town – 2 hours 30 minutes Our groups will enjoy their time to wander around the beautiful Venetian streets and neighborhoods of this picturesque town of Greece. Walk through its roads full of little shops, markets and local restaurants around theirfamous old port. Bus Drive: 1 hour 2nd stop:The lake of Kournas – 1 hour 20 minutes The largest natural lake of Crete reflecting the White Mountains gives you the sense of an Alpine landscape. Grab the opportunity to hire a pedal boat for a lovely ride around the lake, swimming and enjoying a meal in one of the little tavernas (not included). Bus Drive:20 minutes 3rd stop: Rethymno – 1 hour 30 minutes Visit Rethymno and its picturesque venetian town. Enjoy your free time to walk along the old port and beautiful oriental beach road. End of the tour – Return to resorts: Embarkation in the buses and drive back to the hotels where we gathered participants in the morning. Depending on traffic and on the pick-up places of each one, the time of journey back to the hotel will differ. Bus Drive: 2 hours

Georgioupolis Full-Day Land Rover Safari Experience

8. Georgioupolis Full-Day Land Rover Safari Experience

Hop in a 4x4 vehicle for a full-day safari adventure and learn about Cretan traditions while indulging in delicious food. Tour the paradisical countryside and swim in the clear water of the South Cretan Sea. Climb to an altitude of 1,200 meters and experience the quietness of the White Mountains and Cretan dances in a fascinating landscape. Keep an eye out for vultures that will take your breath away with their imposing appearance. Visit an old village with a Byzantine Church and a café stocked with Cretan products, including herbs, raki, and honey. See a castle and swim in the pristine waters of the South Cretan Sea before heading to a tavern to try traditional dishes. Visit a family-owned winery and learn how wine is produced on the island. Discover the secrets of Creten olive oil at an old factory and learn how to identify various grades of olive oil. Step into the island's past with visits to historical museums.

From Rethymno & Chania: Elafonisi Island Day Tour by Bus

9. From Rethymno & Chania: Elafonisi Island Day Tour by Bus

Ride in a comfortable coach through small traditional villages and typical Mediterranean scenery. See the rugged landscape around the Topolia Gorge and have a stop for coffee and refreshments. Arrive at Elafonissi beach. Here, you have four hours of free time to marvel at the different colors from the soft pink and white sand to the turquoise waters. As well as exploring the wonders of the beach, discover the small island. This lies just off the shore and you can reach it by strolling through the water. Both the beach and the island are protected wildlife areas of rare beauty and included in the Natura 2000 Protection Programme. 

Chania: Old Town Highlights Guided Tour with Street Food

10. Chania: Old Town Highlights Guided Tour with Street Food

Discover Chania's Old Town on a private or shared group guided tour with a local. Learn about local history, and taste delicious Cretan street food as you explore. Meet your guide in Chania’s bustling market, then set off into the historic Old Town. Unravel the history of Chania as you stroll around the streets and admire the impressively well-preserved architecture. Stroll along the cobbled narrow paths of the city, and learn about Chania’s Venetian past, renaissance heritage, and Ottoman influences. Pass by famous landmarks and soak up the charming atmosphere as you mingle with the locals. As you explore, discover the flavors of Cretan cuisine, stop at colorful food shops and taverns, selling wine, olive-oil, cheese, herbs, spices, and more, and enjoy street food samples along the way.  

Available activities

  • Islands, boat trips, & more
  • Cretan nature & culture
  • Exploring Chania Town
  • Day trips from Chania
  • Cretan wine, food, & olive oil
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Frequently asked questions about Chania

What top attractions are a must-see in Chania?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Chania?

The best day trips and excursions from Chania are:

Elafonisi

Other Sightseeing Options in Chania

Want to discover all there is to do in Chania? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Chania

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 9,694 reviews

Sophia is the BEST tour guide and this food tour was the highlight experience of our trip to Greece! It was just me and my fiancé on the tour and we learned so much about the city and ate a lot of delicious food. Sophia is originally from Chania and seemingly knows everyone (who were all excited to see her!), which made the experience even better. We had nothing planned for our last day, so Sophia gave us a list of places and restaurants to visit, which she broke down in terms of activities (beach versus mountains) and the length of the trip (half-day, full-day). That night we hopped around the various local spots she recommended, which were unsurprisingly great and popular among locals, and the next day we did a day trip to the mountains. I cannot recommend this food tour enough. If you’re in Chania, it’s a must!

Panos (captain) and George (Skipper) were great. They picked us up right in the Chania harbor. They then sailed is out to one near by island where we laid anchor and got out and swam with snorkels and noodles. Then they brought out snacks and refreshments before getting underway. The views of Crete and the surrounding islands were great from the boat. George and Panos made this the perfect evening sail for my Wife and myself on our honeymoon.

The lake is cool, but perhaps not as beautiful as it is depicted in photographs (that being said I did see it on quite an overcast day). However, the towns were absolutely lovely and I really enjoyed just strolling through and exploring a different side of Crete! Really loved the guide as well!

great and thorough guide, incredible scenery, you feel like you've really accomplished something at the end, but isn't for the faint hearted, it is a tough but rewarding day, make sure the rest up the day after!

A REALLY long trip, however, absolutely worth it! This beach is extremely crowded, but if you walk to the other side, the water is the bluest you will ever see and is much better for swimming and snorkelling.