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

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 1.5 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 2.5 hours at the beach.

From Chania or Rethymno: Samariá Gorge Guided Hike

2. From Chania or Rethymno: Samariá Gorge Guided Hike

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.

From Chania: Full-Day Samaria Gorge Trek Excursion

3. 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. 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 730 PM.

From Rethymno & Chania: Elafonisi Island Day Tour by Bus

4. From Rethymno & Chania: Elafonisi Island Day Tour by Bus

Ride in a comfortable coach through small traditional villages and typical Mediterranean scenery. See the rugged landscape around the Topolia Gorge and have a stop for coffee and refreshments. Arrive at Elafonissi beach. Here, you have four hours of free time to marvel at the different colors from the soft pink and white sand to the turquoise waters. As well as exploring the wonders of the beach, discover the small island. This lies just off the shore and you can reach it by strolling through the water. Both the beach and the island are protected wildlife areas of rare beauty and included in the Natura 2000 Protection Programme. 

Chania Area: The 7 Villages of Apokoronas Tour with Lunch

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

Explore Apokoronas on this tour with select pickup points in the Chania area. Discover charming and authentic villages like Vrysses, Emprosneros, and Fres. Depart Chania and set out to discover some of the highlights of the island of Crete. Drink a Greek coffee and learn the secrets of making a perfect hot cup of coffee. Visit a cheese factory to taste graviera, mizithra, and other cheese varieties. Pop into a bakery to try some local flavors. At the end of the tour, enjoy lunch in a traditional “kafeneio”, or Greek café, in Fres village. Speak with locals and learn about life in the countryside. Return to your pickup point at the end of your tour.

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

6. 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: Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt and City Highlights Tour

7. Chania: Self-Guided Scavenger Hunt and City Highlights Tour

Move between different attractions in Chania as you solve riddles during this interactive scavenger hunt and self-guided walking tour. Go at your own pace as you spot sights such as Firkas Fortress, the Church of Agios Nikolaos, and Chania Old Town. To get started, simply download the app on your mobile device (download instructions received via email after booking) and go to the Aviation Memorial Monument to begin your adventure. Navigate between attractions using the map, follow the clues to complete each challenge, and unlock the next location as you go. Explore your way by pausing the app at any point to do some sightseeing or take a break. Start your tour of the Memorial to the Fallen with a meaningful punch to the stomach. Explore the Gate of Sand and admire its view. Marvel at the architecture and unique location of Yali Jamisi. Then, head to the Maritime Museum of Crete to learn about the history of Crete and Hellenism at sea. Next, be enchanted by the old castle of Chania with its unique history. Admire Talos Square, named after the mythical hero. Learn about the historic Synagogue and the intriguing history of the old Archaeological Museum of Chania. Take tons of photos of the miraculous Metropolitan Church of Chania. The icing on the cake is Saint Nicholas with its incredible architecture as it is the only functioning Christian church with a Mosque.

Chania: Boat Trip with Guided Snorkeling & Stand-Up Paddling

8. Chania: Boat Trip with Guided Snorkeling & Stand-Up Paddling

Discover what lies below the surface of the water on an amazing 3-hour boat trip off the northwest coast of Crete. Benefit from pick-up at your hotel in Chania, and then journey by air-conditioned minivan to the resort town of Almyrida. Avail of the services of experienced instructors who will give you a short theory lesson on arrival. Then, sail to secluded beaches that can only be reached by boat and swim with your provided snorkeling equipment. Learn the names of all the fish with the help of a book as the crew takes photos and videos of your experience to send by email as a souvenir. Relax and enjoy the good company in the warm sun, and get fantastic views of the coastline.

From Crete: Santorini Full-Day Tour by Boat

9. From Crete: Santorini Full-Day Tour by Boat

Visit Santorini on this full day-trip from the island of Crete. After pick-up from your hotel, head to the harbor and begin your sightseeing boat tour on the Cretan Sea. Upon arrival, see the white houses of Fira that lie high above the edge of the crater, and decide whether you would like to spend more time on this volcanic island. Wander the small town of Fira or visit the picturesque town of Oia. Enjoy the leisurely Greek lifestyle and visit a taverna or two. Relax on the beach, enjoy the day by the sea, and simply leave your cares behind.

Chania: Elafonisi and Milia Mountain Retreat Tour with Lunch

10. Chania: Elafonisi and Milia Mountain Retreat Tour with Lunch

Join a semi-private tour to explore a part of southwest Crete. Get plenty of time to admire the clear blue waters, pink sand, and unique landscape of Elafonisi beach. For lunch, relax at Milia Mountain Retreat. Start early in the morning to avoid the crowds at Elafonisi beach. A part of the Natura 2000 nature reserve, this beach is famous for its pink sand that was created from seashells over thousands of years. As you walk around the beach, get an insight into life in Cretan villages, olive oil production, local wine, honey-making, and the distillation of Cretan grappa. Learn about the regional culture, cuisine, history, and traditions from your guide. Then, tucked away in the lush mountains of western Crete, visit the eco-friendly paradise of Milia Mountain Retreat. Once a deserted 17th-century settlement, this restored property is your stop for a delicious local lunch paired with wine or beer.

Frequently asked questions about Chania

What top attractions are a must-see in Chania?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Chania?

The best day trips and excursions from Chania are:

Rethymno

Other Sightseeing Options in Chania

Want to discover all there is to do in Chania? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Chania

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 9,272 reviews

Having never used a SUP before, Socrates was exceptionally patient, friendly and full of encouragement as we learned the ropes. He taught us the basics and then started us from sitting down to standing up when we felt comfortable, and then a trip over to Lazareta Island, where we had a refreshment and walk around. Everything had been taken care of with dry bags, water, shoes and even a special surprise that was great fun. There was just two of us on this tour and it’s definitely the highlight of our time in Chania. We had a great time and couldn’t recommend this trip more.

George, our guide was absolutely wonderful, kept us engaged with facts about Crete, the whole journey to the beach and to the Milia Mountain retreat. The time we went was quiet so we had free reign of were to sit by the beach. The food in Milia Mountain was delicious, plates were all sparkling clean after and the view was amazing. Would definitely go again.

it was a perfect day. Our driver, Louise, took us on an offroad adventure with perfect views, good food în cretan style. She show us small villages in to the mountains. We had the perfect guide for this experience and the best driver for on offroad adventure. We coudn't hope for more. She transformed this day în a memorably one. Thanks again, Louise.

We actually did the dinner tour with Manos It was a great night Manos was an awesome host Very knowledgeable and interesting As an extra bonus, he is a great dinner companion Recommend 100 percent !

Nice fisching adventure. We learned how to fish on the bottom and we all enjoy it.