Chania Regional Unit
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Chania Regional Unit Culture & History

From Kissamos Port: Boat Cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa

1. 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 2 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 3 hours at the beach.

Chania: Sunset Boat Cruise with Guide

2. Chania: Sunset Boat Cruise with Guide

The boat departs from the Old Venetian Harbor and heads out onto the Gulf of Chania. Pass by the island’s famous lighthouse, which was built by the Venetians in the 16th century and later modified by the Egyptians in 1839. The boat continues to sail west towards Lazaretta Island, a small island close to Chania which provides the best views of the sunset across the Kissamos Mountains. The island has a vast history that predates the Venetian occupation. Listen to your guide share lively commentary about the history of the island and its former inhabitants as you watch the sunset and the sky change color. Relax on deck as you marvel at the sunset against the Kissamos Mountains, then enjoy a traditional Greek raki. As the boat begins the return journey back to Chania, admire the harbor’s glistening lights reflecting against the water as evening turns to night.

The Miracle of Wine and Olive Oil: Day Tour from Chania

3. The Miracle of Wine and Olive Oil: Day Tour from Chania

Travel through stunning natural landscapes up into the mountains of the Kissamos region on this 7-hour tour from Chania. Stop at a traditional family winery, established in 1993, and learn about the varieties of wine they produce and their ideas for modern farming processes and wine production. Taste award-winning local Vidiano, Muscat of Spina and some international varieties such as Grenache rouge, Syrah and Mourvèdre that each have a unique taste due the local terroir. Next you’ll visit a traditional village and see the oldest olive tree in the world, with an estimated age of 3,000 years. This is a day filled with tasting different wine expressions of noble grapes and a variety of delicious foods. Head to another winery in the Kissamos region to taste a special local blend of white wines with Vilana, Vidiano and Assyrtiko varieties. Walk through the idyllic landscape of the vineyards and visit the family’s olive oil factory. Learn about extra virgin olive oil production. The wine tasting here will be accompanied by a tasting of extra virgin olive oils and local pure products, creating combinations your palate will never forget. You’ll also learn the Cretan way of saying goodbye drinking the award-winning Tsikoudia.

Chania: Traditional Boat Cruise to Lazaretta Island

4. Chania: Traditional Boat Cruise to Lazaretta Island

Highly recommended for history lovers, this activity takes you to two islands connected with ancient mythology and the history of the Venetian occupation. Heading west from the Old Port of Chania, your first stop will be Agioi Theodoroi, an island that was used historically to defend the coast of Crete. Nowadays, it’s a protected area and a heaven for kri-kri, an elegant and endangered Cretan goat. Your group will drop anchor close to a German airplane wreck dated from WWII, and give you the opportunity to dive into the water to see it for yourself.   After approximately 40 minutes, you’ll head on to Lazaretto (or Lazaretta) island, a small island opposite Nea Xora. Clear waters rich in marine life combined with two beautiful sandy beaches make this the best place to end your trip. Relax on the island for 1 hour until the boat leaves back for Chania. On the way back, you’ll get panoramic views of the Old Venetian Harbour with its famous lighthouse and walled fortresses—an excellent view of what the city looks like from the sea.

Rethymno: Wine and Olive Oil Tasting Tour with Village Lunch

5. Rethymno: Wine and Olive Oil Tasting Tour with Village Lunch

Learn about traditional Cretan olive oil and wine on this tasting tour through the island of Crete. Begin your tour at the Kanakis olive oil mill, and learn all about the process of making olive oil. Hear experts describe the steps of production and afterward, enjoy a taste of their exquisite virgin olive oil. Continue on to one of the best wineries of the region, Dourakis Winery. There, enjoy a half-hour guided tour to learn about the history, tradition, and production of Cretan wine. After the tour, move to the wine tasting room, where you can taste up to five types of Cretan wine. Finally, end the tour with a visit to either the village of Nipos or Vryses (depending on the weather and the day). Both villages offer up beautiful natural views alongside a traditional delicious lunch.

From Rethymno/Chania: Imbros Gorge Hike

6. From Rethymno/Chania: Imbros Gorge Hike

Discover the Imbros Gorge, which runs parallel to the more famous Samaria Gorge. Although the Imbros Gorge is smaller, many people prefer to cross here because it offers a very different hiking experience than the Samaria Gorge. Of the 11 kilometers, 8.5 kilometers are suitable for hiking. Discover the exquisite beauty of nature in this narrow passage and learn about the stunning rock formations.  According to legend, the name Imbros was given to the village, and subsequently the gorge, because two Greek brothers chose to live here after they were banished from Imbros Island when it was connected to Turkey. For many years, the Imbros Gorge served as part of the trail that connected the city of Chania to the Hora Sfakion village. It is notable that during World War II, after the Battle of Crete was lost by Greece and her allies, many thousands of British soldiers passed through the Imbros Gorge towards South Crete in order to get to Egypt.  After the hike, take a swim in the stunning refreshing Libyan sea. Eat lunch with the locals in the taverns. 

Chania Area: The 7 Villages of Apokoronas Tour with Lunch

7. Chania Area: The 7 Villages of Apokoronas Tour with Lunch

This is a tour of a unique area of Apokoronas, the East part of Chania Region. Heading to Apokoronas one of the first villages is "Gavalochori". Following a route through the nature and traditional Cretan villages you will visit the folklore museum of Apokoronas, 7 rooms of Cretan tradition and unique handmade knitting artworks. An old lady will show you the mind-blowing knitting technique of “Kopaneli”. Pass through Kalives village and then “Xirosterni” to visit the local family “Raki” distillery. Have the chance to learn, and if you are lucky, to see the whole Raki production and taste of course this delicious Cretan spirit. Leaving Xirosterni, in a few minutes you will be at the village of Emprosneros. The experience of the Cretan cheese-making process follows. Visit a cheese factory and taste the local “Graviera” “Mizithra” or “Anthotiros” cheese varieties. After that an olive oil tasting with warm bread in the local bakery. Try the delicacies of the baker and his pure extra virgin olive oil. After that, have lunch in a traditional “kafeneio” in Fres village, speaking with the locals and learning many things about the way of life in the countryside. Have the chance to see the pure beauty and feel the real Crete around you. Apokoronas is one of the most historical places in Crete because of its people. You will definitely understand that while talking with them and hearing their stories. Apokoronas is waiting to reveal its secrets, a whole place is ready to be explored by you!  

Chania: Authentic Cooking Class in the White Mountains

8. 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.

Chania: Old Town Highlights Private Tour with Street Food

9. Chania: Old Town Highlights Private Tour with Street Food

Meet your guide in Chania’s bustling market, then set off into 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.  

Georgioupolis Full-Day Land Rover Safari Experience

10. 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.

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What people are saying about Chania Regional Unit

Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa are one of the most beautiful places to see in Crete. Roughly 2 hrs in Gramvousa to hike up (optional) and swim in the beach. And almost 3hrs to explore the Balos Lagoon which is a large area to swim/explore. The lagoon has shallow waters and you can literally just lie down in the water and enjoy the scenery and the breeze. Tip: Bring water shoes, some areas can be rocky in both places.

The tour was so wonderful! The guides were so so kind and welcoming. Everything went seamlessly: they were easy to contact and picked us up/dropped us off at our Airbnb. Christine pointed out interesting sights along the drive and happily answered all of our questions. They also provided drinks, snacks, and raki! Highly recommend!!

Great way to see this part of the island. Picturesque Villages. Food and Drink tastings along the way were interesting and tasty. our guide Yannis our driver/guide was professional, knowledgeable, and engaging.

Food options were great - a bit off the beaten path. Guide shared detailed history of the town and buildings.

Fun tour with lots of food and drinks. Small group helps to get to know your fellow travelers as well