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Sinking your toes into warm sand and basking in the Mediterranean sun while looking across the turquoise sea - sound like bliss? Then holidays in Chania are tailor-made for you. Located on the north coast of Crete, Chania is a perfect meld of classic Greek character and contemporary appeal. While the excellent beaches, seafront promenade, lively restaurants, bars and vibrant nightlife lend Crete's second largest city an upbeat charm, the characterful old town featuring a Venetian port, historic harbour, Turkish mosque and waterfront fortress-turned-museum explore its quieter side. Beach bums can visit Falassarna, Balos and Pahia Ammos or try your hand at surfing on Elafonissi beach. Or if you're interested in day trips, cruise to picturesque coves and bays from the harbour, hike up the Samaria gorge (the longest ravine in Europe), admire the stunning Lake Kourna or venture to the neighbouring resorts and villages for a taste of real Cretan life during your Chania holidays.
Stunning Chania beaches
Beach hopping in Chania is a rewarding experience, with its coastline containing a number of beautiful beaches. Just a twenty-minute walk out of town, the stunning Blue Flag Agioi Apostoloi beach is a picture of tranquillity. It's ideal for those who prefer a relaxing day out away from the crowds. But if you're looking for a more upbeat ambience, head to Nea Hora, a short walk from the harbour. This popular city beach is home to lively tavernas and cafes. Take a bus from Chania and travel along the coast to Kalamaki beach - perfect for swimming and soaking up the Cretan sunshine.
Chania's charming harbour
Located at the heart of the city, Chania's historic harbour conjures up the essence of this charming holiday destination. An enchanting lighthouse stands tall in the distance, towering over an Ottoman-era mosque and yachting marina. Admire the Venetian and Turkish-influenced architecture of the surrounding buildings and then stroll along the promenade that overlooks wooden fishing boats bobbing in the waters. After sundown, the area exudes a convivial vibe with seaside cafes, restaurants, bars and clubs packed with spirited tourists. Stop by a traditional Cretan club and listen to local musicians play the lyre and violin.
Thrilling bungee jumping
A haven for outdoor enthusiasts, Chania is a great destination for indulging in adventure sports. Bravehearts can bungee jump off Aradena bridge which plunges 138 metres into the tropical gorge below. Located 85km from Chania, it's the highest bridge in Greece and the second highest in Europe. Thrill seekers can also enjoy bungee jumping in Rethymnon, close to the village of Sfakia. If you fancy an adrenaline-fuelled afternoon minus the freefalling, take part in jet-skiing, canoeing, wakeboarding and slalom skiing near Agia Marina bay.
Day trips to Almyrida, Kamisiana and Kolymbari
Visit Almyrida, Kamisiana or Kolymbari, former Cretan villages that have evolved into popular tourist resorts without losing their traditional feel. These laid-back, idyllic resorts are ideal escapades from the hustle and bustle of city life. The neighbouring villages of Rethymnon and Maleme are also worth taking day trips to. Keen hikers can explore the Samaria Gorge and follow its walking trails to discover the surroundings.
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