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Crete is a magical tapestry of splendid scenery, ancient treasures, wonderful cuisine and enduring culture – and that’s a reason in itself to visit. Spirited, passionate and proud, the locals have always championed their unique customs, and their time-honoured traditions remain a dynamic part of the island’s soul. Cretan feasts & festivals (panigiria) are at the epicentre of these ancient folkways – and probably the best way to experience fun, the true Cretan way.
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Good-looking Chania attracts a swarm of happy visitors every year with good reason: Between admiring the city’s 14th-century Venetian architecture, getting lost in quaint alleyways strewn with Jewish and Ottoman landmarks, exploring top-tier museums or tasting excellent food in postcard-pretty restaurants, you’ll not have even a minutes boredom on Crete’s arguably most picturesque city. If you’re looking to make the most of your time here, read on for more ideas on how to spend a whole day in the old town of Chania.
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Blending man-made and natural wonders, Chania is a veritable traveller’s paradise. Here’s how to spend a whole day in the old town of Chania, to savour every moment of your trip.
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The new Archaeological Museum of Chania is the latest gem that piques the curious travellers’ minds, consolidating the city’s position among the world’s top cultural destinations
There are many great reasons to visit Chania: A heady cocktail of past and present, Crete’s former capital, has a long, turbulent and deeply captivating history packed with mysteries and drama. This is reflected in the city’s one-of-a-kind architectural legacy which fuses Venetian, Byzantine, Ottoman and Jewish influences, into a mix that’s jaw-dropping. Indeed, Chania boasts some of the Meditteranean’s most instagrammable nooks and crannies – picture evocative monuments and bougainvillaea-clad, 17th-century mansions amid cobblestone alleys. But that’s not all. Postcard pretty nostalgia aside, having proven its resiliency time and again, this city resolutely lives for the here and now. Sporting a thriving foodie scene, vibrant nightlife, and great shopping – from folk creations to stylish pret-a-porter and from Haute jewellery to fine leather, Chania is a modern traveller’s dream.
“Crete,’ I murmured. ‘Crete…’, And my heart beat fast.” – Nikos Kazantzakis, Zorba the Greek.
The great writer’s words echo popular sentiment – at least for all those who have been to Greece’s largest island. And though it could not be more Greek, Crete is really a country on its own, with its unique history, folklore, and traditions. If you are planning an escapade to one of its most popular destinations, Chania, then you should carefully consider where to stay, to get the most out of your visit.
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When in Rome do as the Romans – meaning that when you are visiting another place, you should follow the customs of the people in that place. If you are planning a holiday at the Adeste Luxury Villas, here’s what to eat in Chania to get immersed in the local rhythms, culture and cadences
“The people of Crete, unfortunately, make more history than they can consume locally”, British writer Hector Hugh Munro (aka Saki) once wrote. Cretans also – this time, fortunately – produce a surplus of edible goods of the highest order, thanks to their island’s blessed weather conditions and terrain.
One of the prettiest towns in Crete – if not the Mediterannean – Chania is a sterling destination with many joys in store: A scenic old harbour with Venetian mansions, ancient churches, mosques, and maze-like alleys to get lost in; jaw-dropping scenery with the majestic white mountains on the backdrop; traditional tavernas; elegant waterfront restaurants and cafes; quaint little shops with local arts and crafts; stunning surrounding countryside; ancient monasteries and a collection of iconic beaches.
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Easter in Chania blends ageless mystique with springtime’s blooming beauty. This is a spiritual as much as a festive occasion, with many ancient facets and flavours; bringing together communities in an intuitively joyous way that has been largely lost in contemporary metropolises. And food, inextricably linked with the piously observed, time-honoured Easter traditions, plays an important role. Base yourselves at the Adeste Chania Luxury villas and prepare for a multisensory experience, with palatable delights in the limelight.
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Emblems of faith and resistance, the monasteries of Chania have something for all: Alluring architecture, artful frescoes and reliefs; religious relics, historical remnants and modern-day, edible souvenirs. And that’s not to mention their gorgeous settings and views or captivating backstories.
Chania in Crete is blessed with some of the world’s most stunning beaches – but this is not its only claim to fame. You’ll find plenty of fascinating things to see and do here, even when it’s not bikini weather. Natural wonders aside, the island’s former capital has a long and turbulent history whose traces are now found in ancient monuments and archaeological sites; amid the alleyways of its surviving old town; but also in its awe-inspiring religious centres: Climbed on high cliffs or stretched out in fertile valleys, these imposing antique structures come with all-sweeping views and a wealth of tales to tell. Beacons of Orthodoxy, the monasteries of Chania stand as living testaments of Crete’s great past, attesting to the locals’ deep-rooted spirituality and faith.