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Crete’s second largest city, Chania, is a charming blend of old and new. It boasts strong Venetian and Turkish influences, particularly in the old town, where you can lose yourself in the rustic streets. Chania is located on the island’s northwest coast, and it is also home to an idyllic stretch of beach — the perfect place to unwind after a spot of sightseeing. The town a lovely waterfront destination for sun seekers, and as you fly into the airport you’ll also notice the gorgeous surrounding mountains and forests, ripe for exploration.
The closest airport to the city is 9 miles northeast, on the Akrotiri Peninsula. Chania International is smaller and less busy than Heraklion on the east side of the island. That doesn’t stop it from receiving 1.5 million visitors per year, many of these in summer. You can buy refreshments at the terminal, including hot drinks and snacks. Duty free shopping is also available.
Up to ten daily flights operate between Chania and Athens all year round with either Olympic or Aegean Airlines. This domestic flight takes just an hour. If you plan to visit Chania during the off-peak season, connecting through Athens is the easiest way to reach the city.
Charter flights from throughout Europe go to Chania between April and October. This is the best period to travel if you prefer to fly directly. Several airlines offer these flights, including EasyJet and Ryanair, so Chania is a great option for a budget-friendly summer escape. Whichever season you’re travelling in, you can use the Expedia flight booking tool to search for both direct and connecting flights.
The journey from Chania Airport to the city centre takes around 20 minutes, and there is a bus that runs several times throughout the day. If you want a quicker transfer, you can take a taxi to the city centre. You’ll find taxis waiting right outside the airport exit. The city bus service in Chania will also enable you to travel beyond walking distance. For visitors who want the freedom to explore the area surrounding Chania, there are several car hire companies based in the airport.
Chania is full of must-see sights for all visitors. Wander along the Old Venetian Harbour, where you’ll find the city’s landmark lighthouse. This is an especially impressive sight at night. There are cafes, restaurants and bars galore, allowing you to stop for refreshments while you’re exploring, and you can enjoy people watching from places like Mitropoleos Square.
Make sure you visit the site of Ancient Kydonia. There are ongoing excavations at these ruins, which unearth ruins and artefacts from Minoan civilisation. Many of these artefacts are on display in the Archaeological Museum. The Maritime Museum of Crete is also located in Chania, or, if you fancy a different strain of history, venture a bit further out to the Souda Bay War Cemetery.