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The iconic town of Chania is located on the northwest coast of Crete and is known for its 14th century Venetian harbour and 16th century lighthouse standing at the entrance. The restaurants and cafes that stretch along the harbour invite you to linger and enjoy. The old town, which directly adjoins the harbour, enchants with its winding alleys where you can stroll and buy handicrafts, leather goods and jewellery.
Ancient harbour of Falasarna
If you are a history and archaeology buff and want a change from the beach, you can visit the ancient ruins of the fortified port city of Falassarna. Excavations continue to this day, so more parts of the harbour are uncovered every year.
Samaria Gorge and Hikes
The Samaria Gorge in southwest Crete is 13 kilometres long and one of the longest and most beautiful gorges in Europe. It stretches from the Omalos Mountains in the centre of the island at an altitude of 1200 metres to the Libyan Sea. The hike is 18 kilometres long in total. Those who do not dare to walk such a distance or would like something shorter can also choose smaller gorge hikes, such as the Topolia, Imbros or Agia Irini gorges.
The dazzling white monastery of Chrissoskalitissa is situated on the south-western coast of Crete on a cliff that drops steeply to the sea. It was built in the 19th century. Today, only a monk and a nun live in the building and maintain it. Legend has it that the last of the 99 steps leading up to the monastery is golden in colour. However, this can only be seen by those who are free of sin.
In the lagoon of Balos, in the northwest of Crete, lies one of the most beautiful beaches of the island. It lies between Cape Tigani and the island of Gramvousa. The beach enchants with its shallow, turquoise water and exotic landscape. You can reach the dreamlike bay by car via an unpaved road and then a short hike down to the beach. It is also possible to book a boat trip from Falassarna.
The small island of Elafonisi lies about 200 m from the shore of Crete. In the shallow lagoon between the island and the shore, the water is no more than one metre deep. The pink and red sand gives the lagoon a special flair.