Chania Souda

General information

Souda is a town located just a few kilometers southeast of Chania. In fact, it is so close that the nearest suburb of Chania is a mere 5-minute drive away. Home to more than 6 thousand people, it serves as Chania’s main port, the second largest port in Crete, with a regular ferry connection to Piraeus.

It is located in one of Crete’s best natural harbors, as the peninsula of Akrotiri to the north shields Souda Bay from the Aegean winds. It has also been considered a strategically important port for centuries, as the geography creates an easily defensible position: the Venetians had built a fort on the islet of Souda at the mouth of the bay, the Ottomans added Izzedin at the hill opposite, and even today it plays host to not only a Greek Naval Base but also a highly controversial NATO Base.


More about Souda

During the Venetian and Ottoman periods, this area was the site of greatly profitable salt mines, whence the old Turkish name of Tuzla stems. At the same time, it served as a refuge for pirates who raided ships crossing the southern Aegean.

The modern village dates to 1870, when it was founded by Rauf Pasha during his re-organization of the area in response to previous Cretan rebellions. As naval technology improved and ships grew, Chania’s shallow port could no longer handle the increased demands of both merchant and military vessels. Thus, Rauf turned to Souda, where the Ottomans had landed in 1822 to quell Crete’s rebellion during the Greek Revolution. Naming the location Azizie, in honor of Sultan Abdulaziz, he concentrated the families that lived in the vicinity here, forming a strong local community to better defend this important settlement.

Once Crete was granted autonomy in 1898, Souda served as the base of the International Squadron guaranteeing the status quo, which was made up of Austro-Hungarian, French, German, Italian, Russian, and British ships. This squadron would leave the island after 15 years when Crete was integrated into Greece.

Things to See & Do in Souda

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Top Activities & Tours in Souda

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  • Private sailing cruise with meal

    Category: Private, Gastronomy, Boat Tours, Sailing

    Have a day full of swimming and sailing! Stop by three different bays, enjoy a dip in Crete's crystalline waters, and feast on lunch with Greek specialties.

    8 hours Map
    from € 112.50
    Book now

Souda Map

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