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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 Kissamos Port: Boat Cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa

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

Take a day trip from Kissamos port to the uninhabited island of Gramvousa and Balos Lagoon on a round-trip cruise. Glide past cliffs, stop at pristine golden beaches, swim in 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 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 enjoy the magical environment created by 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. Enjoy a swim in the area next to the Church of Agioi Apostoloi. 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 rest at the beach before heading back.

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 7.30 PM.

From Chania: Day Trip to Elafonisi Island

3. 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.

Chania Areas/Kalyves:Gramvousa Island & Balos,Boat Tkt Extra

4. Chania Areas/Kalyves:Gramvousa Island & Balos,Boat Tkt Extra

Leave Chania behind and head on a day trip to Kissamos on a guided tour. Enjoy a boat trip to Gramvousa Island and Balos Lagoon Beach and admire the landscape and panoramic views. Your day starts with a pickup from your hotel or at a specific pickup point with the bus. Depending on the option you choose, enjoy pickup from Chania, Kalyves, or Almyrida. Drive towards the west side of Crete in order to reach the port of Kissamos Kasteli. After receiving all the necessary information about the cruise from your escort, arrive at the port where the Gramvousa ferry awaits you to start the cruise. Your escort will collect the money for the boat tickets from you so you can skip the lines at the ticket offices. If you've chosen the option leaving from Kalyves and Almyrida, your boat ticket and Fortress entrance are included. At about 10:40 AM, set off for the island of Gramvousa which takes approximately 45 minutes. Help yourself to the ferry kitchen with self-service dishes, meals, or snacks (at your own expense). You can sit back on a deck chair or in the lounge. During your cruise, see the elevation of the land along the cliff edges of Crete. This elevation has happened for over 2000 years. The history of the island is explained through microphones in different languages. Once you arrive at the island of Gramvousa, you can either swim or take a hike to the top of the island to the Venetian fortress. There you have 2.5 hours before you continue to the lagoon of Balos which is 20 minutes away. Enjoy 3 hours at the lagoon. You may go back to the boat to purchase food at any time or hire umbrellas if the heat is too intense. After a swim and relaxation at the lagoon, the boat will take you straight back to the port of Kissamos. This is a great photo opportunity as the sun will be behind you as you look out to the scenery of the island. At 6:00 PM the ferry arrives at the port and the journey comes to an end. Return time to your starting point in time for dinner.

Crete: Rethimno, Chania, and Kournas Lake Day Trip

5. Crete: Rethimno, Chania, and Kournas Lake Day Trip

The first stop is the town of Rethimno, the third biggest town in Crete west of Heraklion on the north coast of Crete. Here, archeological monuments of the Ottoman and Venetian eras co-exist. Enjoy a stroll in the alleys of the old town, a visit to the Turkish minarets and the Venetian fortresses, or a coffee at the magnificent harbor. The next stop is Chania town, the second largest town of Crete on the north coast west of Rethymno. The city of Chania is divided into the Old City, with the gorgeous harbor, and the New City, beyond its Venetian fortifications. The Old City is one of the most beautiful cities in the Mediterranean and is called “Venice of the East”. You can find Turkish minarets and mosques, Muslim neighborhoods, Venetian fortresses, dockyards, fountains, squares, arches, mansions, Loggia and the Lighthouse. Visit the famous Agora (market), which houses traditional little shops and taverns. The last stop of the day is Kournas lake, a beautiful habitat with natural freshwater, one of a kind in Crete. The whole area of Kournas is protected under 'Natura 2000', as it's a designated wetland. Vast greenery, steep cavities between hills, and rare species of fish and birds make Kournas the ideal place to enjoy an early afternoon walk.

From Chania/Rethymno: Samariá Gorge Guided Hike with Pickup

6. From Chania/Rethymno: Samariá Gorge Guided Hike with Pickup

Embark on a guided hike in the Samariá Gorge on a day trip from Rethymno or Chania. Get your daily dose of exercise, enjoy the panoramic views and take a swim.  Discover the longest gorge in Europe, an area of stunning natural beauty. See its many flowers and herbs and the crystal-clear spring waters that flow from the mountains. Following an early morning pickup from the nearest point to your accommodation in Rethymno or Chania, travel through the mountains passing the plateau of Omalos. Arrive at some wooden stairs at the start of Samariá Gorge. You can opt to start the walk straight away or get some breakfast at the taverna before you begin. Hike for approximately 6-7 hours and experience the magnificent landscape on a 16-kilometer walk. Once you have finished the hike, there will be ample time for a swim and lunch at a taverna in Agia Roumeli.

Chania: Sunset Boat Cruise with Guide

7. 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 or take a short swim, 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.

Chania: Boat Cruise to Agioi Theodoroi and Lazaretta Island

8. Chania: Boat Cruise to Agioi Theodoroi and Lazaretta Island

Explore the Old Port of Chania on Agioi Theodoroi and Lazaretta Island on a history-lover's boat cruise. Learn about the history of Venetian occupation, and see a German plane wreck from WWII. Take time to relax on the beach and swim. 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 haven for kri-kri, an elegant and endangered Cretan goat. Your group will drop anchor close to a German airplane wreck (completely destroyed) dated from WWII, and give you the opportunity to dive into the water to see it for yourself.   After approximately 20 minutes, you’ll head on to the second stop on the same island, inside a small gulf with a nice view and a high possibility of seeing the kri-kri goats. The duration of this stop will be approximately 30 minutes. 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. Enjoy options to swim or relax on the beach 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.

From Rethymno: Elafonissi Pink Sand Beach Tour

9. From Rethymno: Elafonissi Pink Sand Beach Tour

Discover one of the most beautiful beaches in the world on this day trip from Rethymno to Elafonissi. Experience a heaven on earth, with soft white and pink sand, exotic crystal-clear water, and cedar trees that extend down to the coastline. Visit traditional villages like Elos and Kaloudiana. Get picked up from your hotel area in the morning, then stop for a short break in the traditional village of Elos. Time permitting, enjoy time to have breakfast or a coffee (cost not included). Afterward, depart for Elafonissi. On the way, see small traditional villages combined with typical Mediterranean scenery. Admire the rugged landscape around the Topolia Gorge. At Elafonissi, get 4 hours of free time to soak in the sun and enjoy the spectrum of shades of blue that this beach has to offer. At the end of your tour, stop at the village Kaloudiana, where you can explore the village and have refreshments or food (not included). Later, get driven back to your accommodation in Rethymno.

From Chania: Boat Trip to Lazaretta Island with Swim Stop

10. From Chania: Boat Trip to Lazaretta Island with Swim Stop

The trip starts from the old Venetian harbour of chania and crosses the whole port,a nice opportunity for photos The boat passes close from the famous lighthouse and with direction West from the old Venetian harbour of chania we can find the island that gives us the right opportunity for snorkeling as it is full in marine life. The island is small and accessible only by swimming,that's why is so reach in marine life. The duration of our stay there,is 1 hour,enough time to explore the place. Before departure,we explain you the history of the area and from the island,as it had big significance for the old venetian harbour. The duration of the stay on the island for snorkeling is 1 hour. On the way back you have the opportunity for panoramic view and photos from Chania and the Lighthouse from the seaside.

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Frequently asked questions about Chania

What are the best day trips and excursions from Chania?

The best day trips and excursions from Chania are:

Heraklion

Other Sightseeing Options in Chania

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What people are saying about Chania

Overall rating

4.4
(9,721 reviews)

A really great experience exploring the alleys of Chania old town that me, my teenage son and 10 year old daughter both enjoyed thoroughly. Our guide was pleasant and really informative of the history and culture of the place and made my nervous daughter very comfortable on the Trikke. I would certainly recommend it as the best way to explore the old town of Chania.

This was great! I went with a group of friends and the driver was so nice and he brought us snacks and snorkeling gear. He said we could stay however long we wanted and offered to take us to other places too! He then offered to drive us to the airport the next morning. Very good and cheap option if you just want to get to the beach and hang out there.

We went with our whole family and our instructors (who felt like hosts) made us feel comfortable from the first moments. The food was easy to prepare and the most delicious food we’ve had in Crete! With the recipes, we’ll be able to recreate these dishes at home.

This company has been a great option to take tours. George the guide is very friendly and helpful, the weather we had that day was not that good and he gave us some recommendations, Balos is a beautiful place, and we had a great time

Excellent historical knowledge and able to answer all our questions. Thank you!