Everybody loves countdowns especially when visiting new places where every corner or neighbourhood have their secrets. Shall we go there?
1. Walk to the Lighthouse with coffee in hand
The famous Chania landmark sits at the tip of a very long breakwater to protect the Old Venetian harbour from the big waves. The lighthouse is closed to visitors, but the walk is definitely worth the trek. At midpoint of the walk you get great views back to the other side of the Venetian Harbour where all buzzing cafes and restaurants are located, and in a distance the imposing White Mountains.
GOOD TO KNOW: Grab your coffee from the nearby cafes like Funky's, Chania Sailing Club or The Mikro Cafe in Koum Kapi
2. Scroll around the old neighbourhoods
The Jewish quarter is one of the liveliest neighborhoods and it is outlined by Chalidon, Zampeliou, Skoufon, and Portou streets with Kondilaki street, where the Synagogue is located, as the main point. On the other side is the folded-away Splantzia or the Ottoman quarter. Splantzia is loved for its bohemian vibe. Its characteristic is the combination of a minaret and a bell tower in 1821 square under the imposing plane trees. Next to it are Maheradika and Stivanadika which owe their name to the the professionals who traded and lived there.
GOOD TO KNOW: Skip the traditional leather donkeys and buy designer souvenirs from Memorabilia near Maheradika, Canea gift shop in Zampeliou street and OFF boutique in the most beautiful alley, Angelou street.
3. Walk to the Old Tanneries and Halepa
Barely known to visitors, and indisputably on the most beautiful and photogenic areas in Chania, Tabakaria consists of a complex of tanneries with imposing buildings on Vivilaki street and Aghia Kyriaki .
The area is also home to architect firms, and was used as a shooting location for a big Hollywood movie.
The excellent fish taverna, a coffee shop cum performance arts studio right on the seafront and new hotel restaurants emerging will definitely give you more reasons to visit.
GOOD TO KNOW: OXO nou studio is housed in one of the Old Tanneries near Aghia Kyriaki and it is a laid back self-service cafe where you can watch the waves and get inspired. Bring your laptop to work or enjoy a cold beer while watching one of the performance shows hosted.
4. Walk from Firkas to Nea Chora
Today housing the Maritime Museum, Firkas Venetian Fortress was built to protect the harbour,
now it is one of the most visited place in the Old Harbour thanks to the photo opportunity
offered by panoramic views of the Venetian harbour of Chania. Nea Chora is like Miami in Crete after a recent revamp of the pedestrian-only promenade along very good fish restaurants and some new more upscale editions.
5. Shop in a local market and grab a bite
Open markets or "laiki" as it is called in Greece is very popular among Greeks who know how to spot and buy good produce. The largest open market is open on Saturdays opposite the Conservatory, next to Regina public parking space. The famous cross-shaped Municipal market is open everyday and although it is already beautiful there are plans for a big revamp.
GOOD TO KNOW: The tavernas in the Municipal Market (we like Agapinis) are worth sampling traditional dishes and watch the shopping crowds negotiate with sellers behind the stalls.
6. Explore ancient tastes with a food historian
Don't miss the chance for an authentic culinary experience with an award winning author that goes beyond good old moussaka, blending food tastings, food history, food politics and culture. Mariana, a passionate experimental archaeologist uses age-old techniques and replicas of ancient equipment to create the typical flavour-packed food enjoyed from the classical period to the late Byzantine era.
7. Go on a sunset cruise
More conscious and less touristy than booking horseback carriage tour in Chania, a private 4-hour sunset trip with a sail boat is not to be missed. The Local Favour works with the best vendors offering cruised with sail boats or motor boats.
Not just for romantic souls, anybody will be infatuated by the sky colours, the afternoon breeze on their skin and the taste of a glass of wine from salty lips.
8. Have a fancy dinner in a beautiful setting
Probably you will never have bad food while in Crete, but sometimes you want to dress up a bit and enjoy a dinner with amazing views and top-notch service. Thanks to its indisputable charm, Chania can boast of many restaurants with the wow factor! Some enjoy panoramic views of the Old Harbour from their terrace, others are tucked in small picturesque alleys or are right at the waterfront.
Greek wine is now on the map, so make sure to try some of the local varieties proposed by the restaurants' sommeliers.
9. Watch the moon at an open-air cinema
You should definitely join one of the most beloved summertime rituals by locals! Open air cinemas or "therino" (summer) traditionally show previously released films but also some of the first-runner ones. But, films are not the protagonists here:
the amazing setting, especially on a full moon, the fragrant jasmine and of course a well stocked mini bar are the main reasons everyone finds open-air cinemas so attractive .
10. Have drinks in a converted religious site
A former synagogue that served the local Jewish community, now Synagogi bar serves original cocktails using local ingredients and spices. Set in a courtyard amidst Venetian ruins, it attracts locals and foreigners for more than 25 years. There is also a smaller closed bar by the entrance where you can experience Greek "entehno" music.
Kibar or simply Karolos' bar was once a Carmelite monastery bought from a hair stylist - sculptor who had an impressive career in Paris. The light bar in the middle of a beautiful courtyard and electro sounds will lure you in.