The Venetian harbor of the city of Hania (aka Chania) with its lighthouse and the Ottoman mosque of Yiali Tzami is usually what first draws the attention of visitors. But don’t linger too long as there is a lot more to see in this region of Crete which combines everything from mountain landscapes to freshwater lakes to, of course, incredible beaches.

Take a visit to Vamos village for an eco-tourism / agritourism experience in a charming traditional village. The lake of Kourna is also a fantastic place for a visit to feed the ducks and take a jaunt out on the water with a paddle boat.

Of course one of the main attractions of Hania, is the excellent traditional Cretan cuisine made with products such as apaki (smoked pork), local cheeses, incredible fresh vegetables bursting with flavor and bountiful seafood on the coast.

For swimming the two most famous (and for a good reason) beaches are the gorgeous lagoons of Balos and Elafonisi. However during the high season they can get busy, so another lower-key option is Kedrodasos (meaning cedar forest) which is just as beautiful but draws fewer crowds.

Hania is also a hikers dream with some of the most beautiful gorges in the country such as the renowned gorge of Samaria as well as smaller and easier gorges to hike like Deliana.