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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: Full-Day Samaria Gorge Trek Excursion

2. 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 and German-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, 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 in the evening.

From Chania: Day Trip to Elafonisi Island

3. From Chania: Day Trip to Elafonisi Island

Travel to the southwest corner of Crete on a guided day trip from Chania to Elafonisi Island, with hotel transfers included. Spend a relaxing day swimming in the clear blue waters, relaxing on the pink sand beach, and soaking in the unique landscape of Elafonisi. Start with a hotel pick up and take in the lush green landscape en route to the island as you travel through the impressive Topolia Gorge and pass many traditional villages. Stop to purchase coffee and breakfast in the village of Elos, known for its chestnut trees. After arriving at Elafonisi, enjoy 4 hours of relaxing on the beach and swimming in the crystal-clear waters. Afterward, enjoy lunch at a local tavern (not included). Situated just off the island of Crete, Elafonisi is easily reached by walking through the shallow waters. Both the beach and island are protected wildlife areas of rare beauty.

From Chania: Balos & Gramvousa Day Trip Without Boat Ticket

4. From Chania: Balos & Gramvousa Day Trip Without Boat Ticket

Leave Chania behind and head on a day trip to Kissamos on a guided tour. Enjoy a boat trip to Gramvousa Island and Balos Lagoon Beach and admire the landscape and panoramic views. Your day starts with a pickup from your hotel or at a specific pick-up point with the bus. Drive towards the west side of Crete in order to reach the port of Kissamos Kasteli. After receiving all the necessary information about the cruise from your escort, arrive at the port where the Gramvousa ferry awaits you to start the cruise. Your escort will collect the money for the boat tickets from you so you can skip the lines at the ticket offices. At about 10:40 AM set off for the island of Gramvousa which takes approximately 45 minutes. Help yourself to the ferry kitchen with self-service dishes, meals, or snacks. You can sit back on a deck chair or in the lounge. During your cruise, see the elevation of the land along the cliff edges of Crete. This elevation has happened for over 2000 years. The history of the island is explained through microphones in different languages. Once you arrive at the island of Gramvousa you can either swim or take a hike to the top of the island to the Venetian fortress. There you have 2.5 hours before you continue to the lagoon of Balos which is 20 minutes away. Enjoy 3 hours at the lagoon. You may go back to the boat for food at any time or hire umbrellas if the heat is too intense. After a swim and relaxation at the lagoon, the boat will take you straight back to the port of Kissamos. This is a great photo opportunity as the sun will be behind you as you look out to the scenery of the island. At 6:00 PM the ferry arrives at the port and the journey comes to an end. Return time to Chania is approximately 7.00 PM.

From Heraklion: Elafonisi Beach Day Tour with Pickup

5. From Heraklion: Elafonisi Beach Day Tour with Pickup

Spend 4.5 hours enjoying Elafonisi Island. Don't forget your camera, as you'll definitely want to capture this island's pink sandy beaches and clear Aegean waves. The day starts with pickup from a meeting point near your resort. Travel 4 hours to Elafonisi, taking in views of canyons, valleys, and hidden villages on the way. Learn more about Crete and its history from the local guide. Take 20-minute stop to stretch your legs or grab a quick breakfast before arriving to the destination. Once on the island, guests are free to take a swim in the clear waters, soak up the sun on the sandy beach, or chill and grab a drink at the snack bar. At the end of the visit, meet at the bus for the return trip to Heraklion. The journey will take approximately 4 hours, depending on traffic and your drop-off location.

From Chania or Rethymno: Samariá Gorge Guided Hike

6. 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 Rethymno: Day Trip to Elafonisi Island

7. From Rethymno: Day Trip to Elafonisi Island

Following pick-up by bus, journey to the southwest corner of Crete to spend a relaxing day on the pink sand beaches on the small island of Elafonisi. Take in the lush green landscape on the way to the island as you travel through the impressive Topolia Gorge and pass many old and very typical villages. Stop for a coffee and breakfast in the village of Elos, known for its chestnut trees. Upon arrival at Elafonisi, get at least 4 hours to relax and swim in the crystal clear water. Laze in the sun, or go for a stroll along the pink sand beach. Benefit from beach kiosks where you can purchase food and water to rehydrate and re-energize. Situated just off the shore of the main island, Elafonisi can be reached by walking through the water. Both the beach and island are protected wildlife areas of rare beauty. Depart by bus at approximately 16:00 and return to Rethymno for an estimated arrival time and hotel drop off at around 18:30.

From Chania: Elafonisi Bus Trip with Free Time

8. From Chania: Elafonisi Bus Trip with Free Time

Known for its sandy pink beaches and clear waters, Elafonisi is a stop you won't want to miss. Located 76km west of Chania, in the South-West tip of Crete, this peninsula forms part of a protected area and is home to the endangered loggerhead sea turtle as well as other rare plants and animals. The day begins with pick up from specific points in Chania. Then, travel approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes in a comfortable, air-conditioned bus to arrive at Elafonisi beach. At the beach, you'll have the chance to explore the area on your own. Wander through sand dunes or just enjoy a relaxing swim. Those traveling with children will enjoy the shallow lagoons, which are perfect for wading and exploring. Be sure to bring your camera, as you'll want to get a picture of the pinkish sand – a color it gets from the millions of crushed shells. In the mid-afternoon, the bus departs for the return trip to Elafonisi.

Chania: Traditional Boat Cruise to Lazaretta Island

9. Chania: Traditional Boat Cruise to Lazaretta Island

Highly recommended for history lovers, this activity takes you to two islands connected with ancient mythology and the history of the Venetian occupation. Heading west from the Old Port of Chania, your first stop will be Agioi Theodoroi, an island that was used historically to defend the coast of Crete. Nowadays, it’s a protected area and a heaven for kri-kri, an elegant and endangered Cretan goat. Your group will drop anchor close to a German airplane wreck dated from WWII, and give you the opportunity to dive into the water to see it for yourself.   After approximately 40 minutes, you’ll head on to Lazaretto (or Lazaretta) island, a small island opposite Nea Xora. Clear waters rich in marine life combined with two beautiful sandy beaches make this the best place to end your trip. Relax on the island for 1 hour until the boat leaves back for Chania. On the way back, you’ll get panoramic views of the Old Venetian Harbour with its famous lighthouse and walled fortresses—an excellent view of what the city looks like from the sea.

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

10. 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.

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:

Elafonisi

Other Sightseeing Options in Chania

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What people are saying about Chania

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 6,583 reviews

This is a fun activity to do. From the port of Chania you sail to an island and you can snorkel from the boat. Then you sail to another island, where you have the opportunity to snorkel again and swim to the beach. Everything is well arranged by Manos and Sophie. They are very nice. You get drink, watermelon and a sandwich on the boat. Manos also tells a bit of history of the islands. The boat is nice and tidy. Put on your bathing suit and towel and enjoy this fun boat trip.

The Tour was very interesting! We also tried many oils and olives! We also had the opportunity to se the ancient olive tree! So i recommend this tour for everyone!!

Absolutely worth visiting. I would say that is a medium difficulty trail, however hot weather makes it feel harder. Whole trip was well organized.

It was very nice. Our guide was awesome, kind and and helpful. Loved it.

Picturesque view, on amazing villages, storytelling of the guide Joe