Famous for the lovely beaches and the wild countryside, the region of Chania, the westernmost part of Crete island, gets very popular in summer. The list with the top sites in the region could include so many places: from tiny villages and fantastic beaches to impressive landscape spots. Not to miss is the Old Town of Chania, with the Venetian port and the lighthouse on its side. Take a stroll around the town and get lost in time. Among the most wonderful beaches in Chania are Balos, Elafonissi and Falassarna. As for activities, visitors can experience hiking at the Gorge of Samaria, bungee jumping at Aradena Bridge or windsurfing at Elafonissi.
You can see below the best Sites in Chania:Ancient sites, Museums, Churches, Castles and more. You can filter them by category and location.
Do you want to learn about activities? Check the best Things to do in Chania.
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Gramvoussa is a small islet off the exotic beach of Balos, western Crete. On top of this islet, there is a steep castle built by the Venetians between 1579 and 1582. The view from this castle is breathtaking.
The lighthouse of Chania is found in the Venetian Harbour and this is the symbol of the town. Originally built by the Venetians in the 16th century, the lighthouse was reconstructed by the Egyptians in the 19th century.
The Gorge of Samaria is one of the largest gorges in Europe and a popular hiking destination in Crete. It extends for 17 km and gives its visitors a view of the impressive landscape. This is the home of rare species of flora and fauna and an abandoned village is seen on the way.
Built by the Venetians in 1371, Frangokastello is one of the landmarks of Crete. It is an imposing structure with an exciting and mysterious story: people report to have seen the ghosts of fighters on the beach in some dawns of May.
Lake Kourna is the only lake with fresh water in Crete. It is situated in a magnificent location, just 4km away from Georgioupolis Chania. The lake is surrounded by a greenery environment with rare plants and trees.
The Monastery of Virgin Mary Chrissoskalitissa is located on top of a hill above Elafonissi beach, on the southwestern coast of Chania. Inside the monastery, there is a small museum with Byzantine icons, rare manuscripts, and folklore items.
The Naval Museum of Crete is housed in Firka Tower, at the entrance of the Venetian Harbor of Chania. This interesting museum houses a collection of ship models from the ancient until modern times and other maritime exhibits.
The Monastery of Agia Triada (Holy Trinity) Tsagarolon is located in the peninsula of Akrotiri, very close to the airport of Chania. This monastery is impressive with its size. Established in the 18th century, it helped a lot in the Cretan Revolution against the Ottomans.
Experience the History of Crete like never before!
Europe’s oldest civilization meets Europe’s first 3D Museum and 9D Cinema! It is a combination of a 3D Museum (non archaeological) with life-like statues made out of silicon and mesmerizing 3D art that comes to life through your phone's camera, and a 9D cinema which will take you back in time with fully immersive special effects.
The clock tower of Chania Town (or "To Roloi") is located on the north eastern part of the Municipal Garden, along Dimokratias Street. Its construction started in 1924 and was completed in 1927 using river sand, one of the cheapest resources back then. It was designed by the local engineer D. Kollaris.
The Monastery of Gouverneto is also known as the Monastery of the Lady of the Angels. It is located in the peninsula of Akrotiri, east of Chania Town. This monastery looks like a fortress and it is dedicated to the Annunciation of the Virgin.
The Fortress of Souda stands on a small islet in the Gulf of Souda. It was constructed by the Venetians to protect the area from enemies and pirates. Works for its construction began in 1570. A small chapel of Saint Nicolas also stands on the islet.
One of the most enduring landmarks in Chania is the 16th-century Venetian shipyards. It is known for its historical vaulted buildings. The buildings of this area were purposely constructed for shipbuilding which flourished in Chania in the 16th century.
The British Commonwealth War Cemetery of Souda Bay is located on the road from the port of Souda to the airport of Chania. In this cemetery are engraved soldiers of the British Commonwealth who died during the War of Crete (May 1941) and the Resistant War that followed till the end of the Second World War.
The Typography Museum of Chania was recently founded with the efforts of a local journalist. It is found in the Park of Local Industries in Souda and exhibits old seals, banknotes, pressing machines, rare books, and other items.
The ruins of Ancient Aptera can be found at the entrance of Souda Bay, next to the tourist place of Kalami. The founder of Aptera, whose name means "with no wings", is believed to have been Glaukos. Archaeological excavations first started in the 1860s and they are continued till today.
Turkish Castle of Aptera
Located on a hill with a breathtaking view of the bay of Souda, this castle was built to overlook the entire area. Although the walls are strong, some renovations need to be done.
The Folklore Museum of Chania is located in the loft of a Catholic Church. It houses two personal collections with folklore items, clothes and agricultural tools from Crete of past decades.
Catholic Church of Saint Francis
The Catholic Church of Saint Francis is the largest Venetian church of the town. Later, the Turks transformed it into a mosque and now it houses the Archaeological Museum of Chania.
Church of Virgin Mary
This is the Metropolitan Church of Chania Town and it is dedicated to the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary. The construction of this church was completed in 1860.
The Archaeological Museum of Chania is located in the Catholic Church of Saint Francis, close to the Venetian Harbor of Chania. Its exhibits give a view of the region's history from the Neolithic till the Roman times.
In the peninsula of Akrotiri, above Chania Town, there are the tombs of the Greek prime minister Eleftherios Venizelos and his son Sophocles Venizelos. Both politicians are very respected in Crete. This location offers a great view of Chania Town and the Aegean Sea.
The Arsenali Centre was recently established and its primary goal is to promote Mediterranean art and architecture as an element of connection between Greece, the Mediterranean countries and the whole of Europe.