After exploring the local villages, we got a little bit more adventurous, and decided to head to the city. Chania, Crete’s second largest city and former Capital, was only a 30 minute taxi from our hotel and well worth leaving the comfort of our suite. I loved what I had already seen of Crete but in that taxi, I firmly fell in love with the island. There’s something about semi-neglected townhouses covered in overgrown flowers and with distressed shutters and balconys that captures my heart. Where other people might see property to renovate and clean up, I already see perfection. Dreams of owning a little hideaway whirled round my head as we whizzed through the busy streets.
Imposing, official-looking buildings were nestled between shabby apartment blocks and shops promising to sell you the cheapest treasures in the city. The Municipal Market Hall was definitely one of my favorite buildings. Opened in 1913, the building holds 74 stalls for you to barter at.
We traveled up into the hills to visit the Venizelos Tombs at the church of Profitis Ilias. Here we saw the tombs of the iconic Greek statesman Eleftherios Venizelos and his son Sophocles as well as incredible panoramic views of this beautiful region. On the way back into the city we had beautiful views of Suda Bay and the Suda Bay Commonwealth War Cemetery.
We chose to travel on the coastal roads and followed the old Venetian Wall which defines the borders between the old and new city. After being greeted by the fountain in Eleftheriou Venizelou Square, we made our way to the most amazing sight. Chania’s Venetian Harbour is one of the most beautiful things I have seen. A combination of Turkish, Greek and Venetian architecture, the harbour is a cultural hub. A vast stretch of cafes and shops lines the crystal clear port with a fortress at one end and a lighthouse on the other. Like a scene straight out of a postcard, this city is far too stunning to not return.