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Chania - western region of Crete

Chania Region

Chania is a wonderful place for vacations. With a charming medieval town, some of the most beautiful beaches in Greece, intriguing castles and a unique natural landscape, this region is full of amazing places to see!

Chania Geography

Chania is one of the four regional units of Crete, it covers the westernmost quarter of the island. Its capital is the city of Chania. Chania borders only one other regional unit: that of Rethymno to the east. The western part of Crete is bounded to the north by the Cretan Sea, and to the west and south by the Mediterranean Sea. 

The regional unit Chania is subdivided into seven municipalities.

  • Apokoronas
  • Chania
  • Gavdos
  • Kantanos-Selino
  • Kissamos
  • Platanias
  • Sfakia

Population (2015): 158,023

Things to do in Chania

History of Chania Region

The town of Chania is built on the site of the ancient Kidonia, one of the most important cities of Crete according to Homer. The surviving architectural remains of the city belong to large size buildings from the Mycenaean times. During the post-Mycenaean times, the city flourished greatly and remained such until the Roman era, when August Caesar declared Kidonia an independent town. 

In 961 AC, the Byzantines rebuilt the entire city using all the expendable material that was left from the ruins. To protect the city, they built a fortress around the hill, known as Kasteli.

In 1204 AD, Chania was occupied by the Venetians who fortified the town around Kasteli fortress and restored the ruined city. During the four-century presence, Venetians built their catholic cathedral inside the castle and many elegant mansions. However, their strong fleet was soon attacked by the Genouates and they were defeated. As a result, they remained for some years in Chania but before they left the burned the whole town. The Venetians came back and rebuilt the entire city with a stronger wall around the city of Chania. The following years, Chania flourished greatly with the construction of many elegant buildings and houses according to the Venetian architecture.

In 1645 the city was captured by the Ottomans and remained under their rule until 1898. Both the Venetian and Turkish occupations left their mark on the architecture of Chania.

For the next nine years, Crete was under control the Great Powers who installed Prince George of Greece as the governor of the Autonomous Cretan State. Unification with Greece came on December 1, 1913.

In May of 1941, German forces began an intense air bombardment of Chania, destroying a large portion of the old town. While they won the Battle of Crete, Hitler’s elite commando parachute forces were decimated. The anniversary of the battle is commemorated each year with ceremonies in Chania as well as in the surrounding towns which also played a major role in the battle.

Flights to Chania

Beaches in Chania Region

Crete Locals - Background Image

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