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Read more in this article about the region of Chania in Crete. Crete is a destination that will capture your heart. It is a charming island whose inhabitants are among the most hospitable. There are endless places to visit, things to do and food to eat. I can assure you that you will never be bored on this Greek island!
One week is clearly not enough to tour the largest island in Greece, but by choosing a part of the island (the west or the east), you’ll have time to enjoy your vacation while discovering the unmissable places. You’ll come back to discover the other regions of Crete in due time, or you will become, as many do, an addict of the western region of Crete.
For this first trip on the island, we have chosen the Northwestern part of Crete and more precisely the Chania region and its beautiful beaches.
If your goal is to visit a part of the island rather than to take it easy, I advise you to opt for a road trip. The distances being quickly long in Crete, it will make you save time on the road.
We opted to stay at one place in Agia Marina, a small seaside resort about 15 min from Chania, our goal was not to move that lot. As we really enjoyed Crete, we will come back to explore other places,
Discover below all the information about this trip to Northwestern part of Crete, Chania region and its beaches.
Where to stay in Crete?
To know where to stay, you just have to decide what kind of vacation you want to spend, as already explained above.
Crete can offer you all this and more, you just have to choose your region wisely.
Let’s first look at the four main regions of Crete (see map below) to help you decide which are the best places to stay according to your interests:
- Heraklion for history and culture.
- Chania for the best beaches (our favorite place).
- Rethymnon for the traditional villages.
- Lasithi for a relaxing vacation.
- Compared to the Cyclades islands, for example, Crete remains a very affordable destination, because it is less “hype”.
- On the restaurant level, it is really not expensive at all, even for quality (less than €15 with wine for a meal in a tavern, 15-€25 for a feast in a good restaurant).
- The city of Chania is the 2ᵉ biggest city in Crete, with more than 55,000 inhabitants and a lot of tourists every year, the city is especially very close to several beautiful places in Crete, like the beaches of Balos or Elafonisi!
When to go to Crete?
The best months to go to Crete are in May, June, September and October. This is when the weather is most favorable, and you can enjoy the island at its best. In July and August, the temperature rises. Moreover, the prices of accommodation are high because of the school vacations, and it is also very crowded.
How to get around Crete?
The island has 2 airports, including Heraklion and Chania, all served by several companies. It takes about 3 hours to fly from Belgium.
Crete by bus
Crete has a good and dense bus network. There are daily and all-season buses between the main cities of the north coast of the island: Heraklion, Rethymnon and Chania to the west, Agios Nikolaous and Sitia to the east. From these hubs, connections are provided to the inland and the southern coast. These connections are provided by the company Ktel. You can find the timetable for westbound connections on e-Ktel and eastbound connections on Ktelherlas.
Crete by car or motorcycle
If you intend to travel around Crete or to go off the beaten track, a car or a motorcycle/scooter is the best option. Most of the roads are generally in good condition and well-marked.
Be careful though, although the traffic rules are officially the same as in Crete, the Cretans have kept some local driving habits which are a bit peculiar at first sight…
- On national roads (the most important ones): the hard shoulder is in fact used as a lane to turn around when you are overtaken.
- On smaller roads: drivers often drive in the middle of the road, even if it is narrow and winding. So be careful when turning.
- Double white lines are rarely respected, and drivers in a hurry overtake when they feel it is coming…. Be careful of oncoming traffic when overtaking.
The region of Chania
The city of Chania
Everyone in Crete has his or her favorite spot, and many believe that the area of Chania is the most beautiful on the island.
It is a fantastic area that offers a multitude of possibilities for an adventurous vacation. In addition, some of the most impressive beaches in Crete are found along the coast of Chania. In particular, I’ll get back to Balos Beach later.
Chania, is home to one of the prettiest ancient cities in Greece. The Venetian quarter is the most elegant part of the city, with exclusive boutique hotels, traditional restaurants and small souvenir stores that add a touch of color.
When in Chania you’ll also find the old port, the Egyptian lighthouse and the small mosque located right in front of the sea, which are some of the landmarks to observe while walking around the neighborhood.
Around the city of Chania: The peninsula of Akrotiri
The peninsula of Akrotiri is directly accessible from Chania: here are located
the airport of Chania (accessible directly from Belgium), as well as a large American military base overlooking Souda Bay. Souda, the port of Chania, welcomes the daily ferries from Athens.
The peninsula of Akrotiri is perfect for day trips from Chania. For example Seitan Limani (Devil’s Port), a rocky cove with clear waters or the village of Stavros, where part of the movie Zorba the Greek was filmed with its indented coastline and beautiful beaches.
We wanted to rest on the beach of Seitan Limani, but at noon it was already crowded. So I advise you to come early. As it is a small cove, it can quickly be invaded by tourists in high season.
Lagoon of Balos
I recommend spending a morning there before the tourists come, as access requires off-road driving. In my other article – Balos the Guide | how to get there I explain everything you need to know.
I hope you enjoyed this article on the Northwestern part of Crete | Chania Region! Don’t hesitate to leave a comment.