After a hot day of climbing down to Preveli Beach we were ready to take it easy and stroll around Chania’s Old Harbor and get a bite to eat. The Old Venetian Harbor in Chania was built by the Venetian’s in the 14th century. The harbor served as a major commerce area. As you look around, you will also notice there is a venetian fort here as well.
Chania Venetian Lighthouse
There is a beautiful lighthouse on the harbor. Originally built in the 16th century, the base of the lighthouse is still original. The rest was rebuilt in the 1820’s and 1830’s. In 2005 the lighthouse was restored and renovated due to issues from earthquakes and bombings in WWII. Today it stands proudly in the harbor for all to see. The lighthouse stands on the end of a long walkway connected to the harbor almost encircle the harbor. It is a bit of a way to walk from the west side of the harbor to the lighthouse, but definitely worth making the trip. You can not go into the lighthouse. Regardless, we still enjoyed watching the sun sink as we made our way there.
Along the harbor we came across the Venetian Dockyards. These were built in the 16th century and ships were repaired here. At that time there was water access so boats could easily reach the dockyards.
Ruins from WWII
The Chania area was bombed hard by German airstrikes in May of 1941. A lot of damage was done to Chania in the old town area. The photo below shows what was once a three-story building, demolished during those strikes. There was a sign next to it in remembrance of this.
Around the Harbor
The Chania Venetian Harbor is so much fun to wander around. There are shops, restaurants, vendors along the water, boats and musicians all fun to see and check out. All things considered, we really regretted not having more time to explore more of the town of Chania. There was one man playing an accordion, his music was so enjoyable that Steve and I fell into an impromptu dance right there along the walkway! Generally speaking, lots of fun, just relaxing and enjoying the evening and our surroundings.
Chania Ottoman Mosque
The Mosque of the Janissaries is the oldest mosque in Chania. Built in 1645 after the Ottoman’s overtook Chania. Furthermore, this is the oldest Ottoman building in Crete.
Harbor at Night
The harbor is just as pretty at night and there’s an excitement in the air as the area comes alive with the beauty of the shops and restaurants lighting up the area.
We were starving, as usual, and came across a perfect place for us to eat. Gallini’s restaurant. We had walked by it earlier and knew this was where we wanted to dine. While walking by we saw a glimpse of some awesome chicken souvlaki hanging over a plate and knew we had to have it! Steve chatted with the host and reserved us a place for after the sunset!. We soon found out that this was a good choice!
The service was outstanding from the minute we stepped in until the minute we left. Not to mention, true Greek hospitality! The food was fabulous and the servings were generous. So delicious! We really enjoyed this meal and the atmosphere. We thought the staff were outstanding and made us feel right at home! Dining here helped make our last evening near Chania very memorable. We enjoyed beef stew, which had amazing flavor. A variety of breads and dips. We both could not resist the chicken souvlaki! For desert we dined on fresh fruit and Raki.
Chania Harbor is definitely a wonderful place to visit. In the long run, we regretted we did not make a whole day out of visiting Chania. There is so much to do there in addition to enjoying the harbor. We really loved the area and also enjoyed all the people we met.
While planning our trip to Greece, I found the travel guide Top 10 Crete to be very useful. It lists the top 10 of places to go, restaurants, and sites. Then it also lists the top 10 by region and area. I felt it was a great planning tool, plus it came with a pocket size map.
I also bought a National Geographic Map of Crete and this was priceless as we lost our GPS several times. The map is pretty accurate and durable. It really did help us out!
A big part of planning is done for us! Both times we traveled to Greece, we let True Greece plan much of our trip! They will plan as much or as little as you want, and they really listen to what you want to do. We had them plan our lodging and also our transfers to and from airports and ferry ports. They pick us up and take us to the lodging. You can have them plan your tours too. The tours we did last year were awesome! No hassle and always friendly. What is really fantastic is they are from Greece and so are the people who transfer us. They know the ins and outs that we would never know. This is invaluable, as it assures us a smooth trip. In other words, I 100% recommend True Greece, they are experts and they work hard to plan with you!
Check them out on this link for more info https://www.truegreece.com
Where We Stayed in Chania, Crete
While in Chania we stayed at the Domes Noruz, a beautiful seaside resort with wonderful amenities. Our room, which overlooked the pool, was comfortable and spacious with a plunge pool and soaking tub. The staff was welcoming. If you want you can click here for more information or if you’d like to book a room at Domes Noruz in Chania.
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