Chania, Prefecture of Chania

The prefecture of Chania covers the western section of Crete, stretches 2,376 sqm and has a population of 140.000 inhabitants (census 1991). It is separated into 25 Municipal Units and 7 municipalities with the capital being the town of Chania. The northern area of the prefecture compiles into 3 peninsulas and offers many hospitable seas while the south, mainly towards the Libyan sea, has the most sunshine. The prefecture is surrounded by sea on the north, west and south sides.

The town of Chania is built upon the ruins of ancient KYDONIA, a powerful and commercial town dating back to the post Minoan years. During 69 bc, Chania was conquered by the Romans and in 325 ac changed hands to the Byzantines. The Arabs came in 823 ac, and the Venetian domination started in 1204, bringing with it an edge of spiritualism, commerce and economy thus giving Chania the nickname Venice of the east. In 1645 the Turks swept into Chania until the 1st of December 1913 when Crete joined Greece.

Visitors to the Chania prefecture can enjoy their stay starting from Chania town, which combines the old with new and modern. The old town of Chania, and the old harbour with its visual Venetian influence, make up to Chania landmarks. Also of interest is the town market, the town gardens, the Naval Museum as well as the Archeological Museum.

Places that are a must see in Chania, include the Venizelous Tombs in Akrotiri, where one can enjoy a panoramic view of the whole Chania town, the house of the Elefterios Venizelos in Mournies, the Samaria Gorge, which is the longest Gorge in Europe, and Frangokastelo on the south east side of Sfakia municipality. The ancient town of Falassarna, Aptera, one of western Cretes most important archeological sites, the monasteries of Chrisopigi, Agia Triada, Tsagarolon and Gouverneto, and the lake of Kournas on the east side of the prefecture, compile into areas of much interest.

Finally, the palm forests of Moni Prevel, the historical municipality of Sfakia, Paleochora, Elafonissos and the majestic islands Gavdos and Gavdopoula make up to some of the most beautiful areas in Greece.