Chania Town is the main urban centre for the region with the same name in Crete. The area is particularly well known to those with a passion for hiking, and many visitors flock here in the spring and early autumn to hike the iconic trails.
If walking is your thing then you should also factor in some time to wander around the town itself. To make sure that you don’t miss any of its multiple highlights, I’ve created a short walking tour of the Old Town. It’s not a big place so you should be able to comfortably sightsee and explore in just a couple of hours.
Discover the Old Town on Foot
This is where East and West meet and blend together in a symphony of Arab, Venetian and Ottoman architectural influences. As these cultures weave themselves through the buildings, they infuse the atmosphere that you’ll encounter on your journey through the cobbled streets.
Start in the Harbour
Your starting point should be the harbour, with its array of multicoloured Venetian structures that today frame the cafes and bars lining the waterfront. Here you will also find the 16th-century lighthouse that the Venetians constructed. The later Ottoman rulers of the island gave the lighthouse to the Egyptians as a diplomatic gift, and they reconstructed it so that it still stands proud today. The port is also home to the Kucuk Hasan Mosque, erected in the 17th century on the site of an ancient Greek temple.
Remaining in the harbour, your next point of interest will be the Venetian shipyards (the Neoria). There were a total of 23 yards during the height of the tension between Venice and the Ottoman Turks. Venetian naval captains would bring their ships here for maintenance before returning to patrol the Mediterranean. If this period of history piques your interest, reserve a few hours from your trip to visit the Museum of Ancient Shipbuilding, where you can see the replica of the Minoas. This vessel was modelled on a 15th-century BC Minoan ship, and it carried the Olympic Flame to Piraeus on its maiden voyage when Athens hosted the Olympics in 2004.
As you exit the Old Harbour take note of the Firka Fortress opposite the lighthouse. Another 17th-century Venetian structure, these barracks offer lovely views of the port.
Topana is the name of the area beyond the fortress, and this was the designated Greek quarter during the Ottoman occupation. However, the elegant 17th- and 18th-century architecture of the buildings is distinctly Venetian in character, and there is a renowned Turkish bathhouse that’s worth a visit.
As you wander down Aggelou Street you’ll find a tempting network of alleys and narrow streets where you can buy local crafts. This is where you’ll also find a collection of Byzantine artefacts, which are kept in a former convent-turned-mosque-turned-museum, San Salvatore.
Next Up: The Jewish Quarter
By now you’ll find yourself behind the harbour, walking the streets of Zampeliou, Portou and Halidon where the Jewish population lived. Indeed, the sole surviving Cretan synagogue, Kehal Hayyim, is located here.
Entering Athinagora Square
As you leave the Jewish Quarter you’ll enter Athinagora Square. The square is dominated by the cathedral of Chania, which was converted into a soap factory under the Ottomans. The Folklore Museum and the Municipal Art Gallery can also be found here.
Final Stop: Splatzia Square
You should conclude your tour in Splatzia Square, which was the heart and soul of the Turkish district. After walking the Old Town and soaking up the culture, you and your feet will welcome this shady enclave where you can rest, glass in hand, at a taverna and watch the world go by.
Where to Stay
Trianon Luxury Apartments & Suites are ideal if you want the freedom to self cater combined with all the luxury of a top-class hotel. Part of a self-contained complex that includes a bank, cafe and some shops, this accommodation is elegantly decorated, centrally located and generously furnished with all the modern amenities you would expect.
Irida Hotel This hotel is situated in the trendy Koum Kapi, and the town centre can be reached on foot in 15 minutes. Overlooking the sea, Irida’s guests enjoy panoramic views from their private balconies. The breakfast buffet is celebrated globally and you can visit the onsite bar for cocktails in the evenings.
Klinakis Beach Hotel guests get the best of both beachfront and close access to the city centre. Ask for a room with a balcony that looks out over the sea to enjoy the sunrise and sunset from the comfort of your bedroom.
How to Get There
Flights from London to Chania take four hours, and currently a good range of operators, including easyJet, Ryanair, Jet2, TUI and British Airways have direct routes from several UK cities. Before you leave it’s advisable to prebook your transfer from Chania Airport to Chania Town.
UK to CHQ Flight Time: 4 hours
CHQ to Chania Town Distance: 14 kms
Shuttle Direct Transfer Time: around 20-25 minutes
Types of Transfer
At Shuttle Direct we can offer you different types of airport transfer to Chania Town so that you can find a transportation option that suits your circumstances.
Taxi: Many passengers who need a transfer from Chania Airport to Chania Town prefer our airport taxi option. The pre-booked vehicle will be waiting for you when you land, and the professional driver will take you straight to your hotel.
Shuttle Bus: If you’re on a budget, you can choose a reliable airport transfer Shuttle bus to Chania Town. You’ll have a reserved seat, and our service calls at a centrally convenient stop near to your accommodation.
Private Transfer: Travellers who prefer a taste of luxury and high touch service are recommended to use our private transfer from Chania Airport to Chania Town. You’ll be met as you reach the Arrivals Hall by your own personal driver, who will then make sure you get to your final destination in comfort and style.
Minibus Transfer: Need a Chania Town transfer for a group? You don’t have to book multiple seats on the shuttle bus or hire several cars. We have a fleet of minibuses for groups or large families, ensuring that you start your trip together and hassle-free.
Choosing the Right Transfer
Arriving in a new country can be confusing, so it’s important that you pre-book the right kind of airport transfer service. All our options will get you to your destination efficiently and in good time, however you can tailor the experience to suit your budget or convenience level.
Cost: Transportation to your hotel and back to the airport doesn’t have to be a major cost. If you want to save the pennies for souvenirs and restaurants, use our shuttle bus service.
Convenience: When circumstances dictate that maximum efficiency is your most important requirement then you should consider a private transfer car or pre-booked taxi. For a little bit extra cost you can benefit from the individual door-to-door service.
About Shuttle Direct
As a globally recognised leader in airport transportation services, Shuttle Direct operates in destinations worldwide. Regardless of your budget, your destination, or your preferred travel style, we have all your requirements taken care of. Allow our courteous and skilled drivers to handle the logistics while you relax and savour your vacation!