During our September 2021 trip to Crete we took a walk through Old Town Chania. We had fun doing this. Old Town Chania is distinguished by different districts, the Venetian Fortress, and the Venetian Port. We had briefly been in Old Town Chania in September of 2019. I did know a bit about the area and I knew where I wanted to go. Most of my pictures are from this trip, but a few are from our 2019 trip.
We parked and started our walk at the Chania Port Parking on the east side of Old Town. We wandered south and east and then circled around the port back to our parking spot. My photos are basically in the order we walked.
Our Old Town Chania Walk
A walk through the streets of Old Town Chania is an adventure on its own and quite a treat. We tried to cover the many different areas of Old Town in the short amount of time we had. Our hotel was in Rethymno and we had a couple other places we wanted to see on our way there. Our walk took us slightly more than two hours which was perfect for us.
St Nicholas Church
This church was built in 1320 as part of the Dominican monastery. In 1645 the minaret was added as it was converted to a mosque when the Turks invaded the city. In 1918 it was converted back to an Orthodox Church and the bell tower was added.
A Bit of Shopping
I had read there was a knife shop which makes hand made knives. According to the map we were following we were close. We found it and bought a cheese knife. They also let me take some photos! Family owned for four generations! If you are in Chania, give them a visit! O Armenis is located on 14, Sifaka Street.
Coffee and Snacks
It was mid morning and time for a coffee and some snacks at To Atropolion. We absolutely loved this place and we both agree that these were the best pastries on our trip! I highly recommend!
Municipal Market of Chania
The Chania market, built in 1911, sells all kinds of items from Crete. There is fresh fish, herbs, spices, cheese, fresh fruit, and so much more. This market is amazing.
Greek Orthodox Church
The Greek Orthodox Church is quite beautiful. Dating from between 1850 to 1860, towards the end of the Ottoman Period. I did not take photos inside as there were many people who appeared to be in prayer and I didn’t want to be disrespectful.
The Catholic Church
We found the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary while making a wrong turn. It was on my list of places to visit so this worked out well. This Roman Catholic Church built in 1879 is very lovely. I liked the simplicity compared to some Catholic cathedrals I have seen. The statue of St Therese looks identical to a miniature one my late mother loved.
I had a hard time snapping a photo of the fountain as there seemed to always be someone either sitting on the side, standing, or walking by.
As I mentioned before, I really loved our walk through the streets of Old Town Chania. The following photos are a few of the streets we wandered in no particular order.
The Venetian Fortress dates back to the 17th century. Built in 1629 it’s purpose was to secure the entrance to the port of Chania. The Fortress is on the NW side of the Venetian Port. We climbed to the top of Fortress and enjoyed beautiful views.
The Venetian Port is of course along the water in Old Town Chania and so fun to walk around. A very lively place lined with shops and restaurants. It dates from the 14th century. A walk on the promenade is great both day and night
After the Turks defeated the city in 1645 they built this Mosque. Considered to be the oldest Ottoman built building in Chania. You can’t miss the distinctive domes. When the Nazi’s bombing oof Chania in WWII destroyed the minaret (a tall slender tower.
The Venetian Lighthouse
The highlight of the area is the Venetian Light House. Originally built by the Venetians during the late 16th century. It fell into ruins during the Turkish occupancy and was rebuilt between 1824 and 1832 during the Egyptian occupation. After having survived WWII bombings and earthquakes the Light House was restored in 2005. The base of the lighthouse is also the original Venetian base. We walked on the seawall to the Lighthouse during our 2019 trip and enjoyed a beautiful sunset there.
Arsenal Buildings were built between 1467 and 1599. At one point in time there were a total of 17 of these buildings. These were used for ship building and repair. Originally they were opened to the seashore so boats could be easily taken in and out.
The Ancient Minoan Settlement
Buried beneath Chania is an ancient Minoan Settlement, named Kydonia. It is believed this ancient city was a major commercial and trade center dating back to the 4th century BC.
We had a fantastic time on our walk through Old Town Chania. I would love to go back and take more time at each place and explore more of the streets. If you are in the Chania area, Old Town is definitely worth exploring.
Enjoying Greece Back Home
The following links are to products I loved from Crete that I now buy by mail. I receive no incentives or commissions and I am not an affiliate of these products. I am just giving them a mention because I love the products and the service!
I buy Greek Honey, Olive Oil, and Red Pepper Spread from Carter Imports. I have been buying from them for a couple of years and I am more than pleased. They are a family owned business and are prompt, reliable and provide great customer service. Their Raw Cretan Thyme Honey comes from the Saviolakis family in the Sfakia region on Crete. The Saviolakis family has been producing honey for over 250 years. The EVOO I buy is Elia from the Koukakis Family from the Chania region. The Red Pepper Spread is not from Crete but from Florida Greece and the Tsakiridis family. Last but not least Carter Imports also sells my very favorite Greek Cookbook A Drop of Ladi in My Greek Soul written by Chef Krystina Kalapothakos. See below for a link to her site!
Check out Kouzounas Kitchen’s blog. Written by Krystina who authors the cookbook A Drop of Ladi in My Greek Soul. Krystina’s blog has recipes and great stories written with warmth and also with pride in her Greek roots. As I mentioned, it is my favorite cookbook. Her recipes are authentic Greek and any time I follow one of her recipes, my family and guests rave about how good it taste!
Planning & Tips
The following items, (other than True Trips), contain Amazon affiliate links. This means I get a small commission for each qualifying purchase through my links. Thank you!
If you plan on using your cell phone a lot for GPS or taking photos I found this I Walk phone charger to be a life saver. None of the vehicles we drove had adaptable phone chargers to our I phones. This is lightweight and easy to carry.
I also bought a National Geographic Map of Crete and this was priceless as we lost our GPS several times. The map is also very accurate and durable. It certainly did help us out! The map is quite large but folds up like a typical map. Half of Crete is on one side of of the map while the other half of Crete is on the other side. I did have a bit of flipping around but it worked pretty well.
While planning our trips to Crete, I found the travel guide Top 10 Crete to be very useful. For one thing, it lists the top 10 places to go, restaurants, and sites. Additionally, it also lists the top 10 by region and area. Given these points, I felt it was a great planning tool, plus it came with a pocket size map which we did use.
True Trips, Greece Each time we traveled to Greece, we let True Greece plan much of our trip! We had them plan our lodging and also our transfers to and from airports and ferry ports. You can have them plan your tours too and also some dinner accommodations. They know the ins and outs that we would never think of. As a matter of fact, they are from Greece. This is invaluable, as it assures for a smooth trip. I 100% recommend!
Follow these links for more posts of my 2021 Greece Vacay:
You can also follow my other Crete adventures here:
Links to our 2018 and also 2019 Trip can be found in this post:
Diary of a Gen-X recommendations for hotels, restaurants, & tours are based on our own experiences. We do not receive compensation for recommending at any of these nor are we affiliates of any hotels, restaurants, or tours. The only hotels & restaurants we recommend are places we stayed which are clean, comfortable, and provided exceptional hospitality.