With two days in Chania, you can discover this historic port city, taste Cretan wines and regional olive oil, and feast on local food, and you’ll still have time to enjoy a day trip to a sweeping beach or into the rugged hills of Crete. Read on to find out how.
Day 1: A Taste of History
Morning: Start with a tour of historic Chania, on foot, by bike, by Segway, or by Trikke 3-wheeler. Take in the Old Venetian Harbor, with its lighthouse, mosque, fortress, and Venetian warehouses. Then explore the Old Town, from the 5,000-year-old Kasteli ruins to the medieval walls and historic synagogue.
Afternoon: Choose between two culinary options this afternoon. Get out into the hillside vineyards and olive groves on an olive-oil-and-wine tour, with snacks along the way. Or join a cooking class to master Cretan classics including succulent cheese pies, hearty stews, and dakos, the bread-and-tomato favorite.
Evening: Watch the sun set over the Sea of Crete as you continue your foodie adventures. Discover the joys of mezedes, the Greek answer to tapas, while you explore Chania’s modern bars and restaurants on a foodie walking tour. Top off the evening with a contemporary cocktail.
Day 2: Island Adventures
Day: On your second day in Chania, get out of the city to discover more of Crete: the beach or the rugged hills. Discover the charming villages scattered around the Apokoronas region, with hidden churches, Ottoman fortresses, and families making cheese and olive oil as they have for generations. Alternatively, head farther afield to one of Europe’s best beaches, offshore Elafonisi Beach, with pale-pink sands, turquoise water, and a nature reserve. The rugged Gramvousa Peninsula boasts some of Crete’s most scenic stretches of sand, including the popular Balos Lagoon.
Night: Cretans have been making wine for thousands of years, so wrap up your stay in Chania with a wine tasting accompanied by local specialties. Sample whites from the intense, sweet moschato spinas through delicate vilana to aromatic thrapsathiri, or the mellow flavors of kotsifali reds.