Exploring Chania and Crete, the richest island in the Mediterranean
The function continues from part 1 of the Discovering Chania function.
The most popular tourist destination in Crete is Chania and with good reason. The city is a mix of old and modern with a beautiful old town that stretches along the coast with an old port, cobbled streets and a wide range of seaside bistros, shops and boutique hotels. With Chania as a base, you can explore all that Crete has to offer with day trips to the island for adventure, from exciting excursions, relaxing on the beaches or getting away from the tourist areas. to enjoy the traditional culture of rural Crete.
History in Crete
The historical importance of Crete is the center of the island’s wealth. This is the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe and has been a coveted place to conquer nations for seven thousand years. Each of these occupants has left its mark on the island’s cultural heritage. Throughout the island, there are excavations, past and present, that reveal treasures of the island’s history, such as artifacts from the Bronze Age to more recent times, with well-preserved Venetian forts to structures that before impressive but now they will collapse.
The history of Crete begins as the first advanced civilization in Europe, which was the Minoans from 2700 BC. The island was later ruled by Rome and later by the Byzantine Empire. The later conquerors were the Arabs of Adeluisa, the Venetians and then the Turks. Crete did not formally become part of Greece until 1912. During World War II, the small island played a key role when the Germans were never able to conquer the Cretan rebels who fled to the mountains after their guerrilla attacks. against the Nazis. This is still a source of pride throughout the island. However, through each invasive crusade, the Cretans remained fiercely proud, resilient and have always been a strong people who know who they are and place great value on family, respect and tradition.
Culinary exploration of Cretan food
One of the things most people look forward to on a trip to Greece is obviously the food. There is something about Greek food that is healthy, fresh and delicious. Crete and even Chania have their own local specialties that are a must for any visit to the island.
The best way to really understand food in Crete is to take a cooking class. Forget these luxury classes at the hotel, the best way is to go where the locals eat and learn from the chef while sharing family recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation.
Kapari Restaurant is the only restaurant in Chania that if you are hungry you will want to go there. They serve exceptional Greek food from traditional recipes where locals and tourists go for an exquisite meal with their mother’s home cooking. During cooking class, you’ll learn these familiar recipes like Gemista or tomatoes and peppers stuffed with rice and herbs, or Boureki which is a traditional Chania dish made with goat cheese, potatoes, zucchini and layered spices and then baked. three hours, culminating in culinary nirvana.
The most romantic place to dine in Crete is at the port of one of the restaurants behind the quayside restaurants. Overlooking the marina and harbor, Salis Restaurant offers well-prepared fresh Greek delicacies and delicious water views. An essential dish is sea bass with feta, nut milk and ginger sauce combined with its Nostos-Assyrtiko from the Manousakis winery, owned by the same family.
Not far from the central part of the Old Port is one of the most popular and elegant restaurants on the island, aptly named Pallas. Every day of the week, for lunch and dinner, the terrace is filled with both locals and tourists as well as the place to see. Inside, the restaurant has two floors and is the perfect place for a date night or a meal with friends for a great drink and cocktail.
Where to stay in Chania
As for where to stay in Chania, visitors will have many options with the old dilapidated buildings that have become elegant first-class boutique hotels. Many are the old houses of the aristocrats with Byzantine-style courtyards, a perfect combination of modern comforts with rustic stone wall finishes and beamed ceilings. Elsewhere on the island, you will find ultra-elite villas with a private pool, such as Villa Dioskouroi, located in Kalyves and about 30 minutes from Chania. The elegant two-bedroom villa overlooks miles and miles of sandy beaches and includes a well-equipped gourmet kitchen and a swimming pool and terrace perfect for a romantic outdoor dinner in the evening.
Casa Delfino Boutique Hotel and Spa
Some of the most prominent boutique hotels in the old town of Chania include the Casa Delfino Boutique Hotel and Spa, which has been run by the Delfino family for six generations and is known for its luxury accommodation and spa with marble steam bath. Not far away is another prominent boutique hotel. Venetian port of the monastery estate which was once the 16th century home of a Venetian nobleman and later the harem of a Turkish Aga during the Ottoman Empire.
Venetian port of the monastery estate
Today, all four luxury accommodations are still fit for royalty with state-of-the-art furniture and amenities that contrast with the walls and beams of 600 years ago. The hotel offers a prestigious gourmet restaurant and a cozy indoor pool reserved for private use by a guest.
One of the newest luxury hotels on the island is within walking distance of the old port and overlooks a marina. The Chania Flair Hotel is stylish, elegant and contemporary. At the entrance, you will see that this hotel has focused on service with an ultra friendly staff who are always accommodating and welcoming from check-in during meals and throughout your stay.
The accommodation is stylish and modern with great design elements and furniture. Many also have a balcony with tables and chairs ideal for enjoying a glass of Vidiano wine as you watch the boats pass by on the horizon. The hotel has a rooftop pool with city views, as well as two restaurants and a spa offering exceptional massages and a variety of wellness treatments. Breakfast is served with another surprise, a cart arrives at your table with a wide range of Cretan cakes and pastries as well as cheeses before offering the full breakfast with champagne.
To find out more about Crete, what to do and explore click on the link for the first part, Kalimera, Discovering Chania.
Crete and Chania, in particular, are a must-see destination for the world traveler. From its rich history and culture to its natural beauty, places to stay and play and, of course, food. Be sure to read our first part for more information or visit Discover Greece for more information and inspiration on this wonderful destination