Where to buy in Chania Prefecture
Before you can choose the type of property that is right for you, it is important to decide what area or community best meets your needs and preferences. City or village, seaside or mountains, Chania offers settings for every taste.
The Old Town of Chania, with its narrow cobbled lanes winding away from the Venetian harbour, is an enchanting place, steeped in history and filled with old stone houses, some renovated and some waiting to be restored. Modern conveniences and services are only steps away, at the centre of this vibrant city of 53.000 residents.
As the capital of the prefecture, many government offices are located here. In addition, there are numerous banks and stores of every description, from small specialty shops to large supermarkets. Residents enjoy a rich selection of cultural and entertainment options including cinemas, concerts, and clubs featuring traditional and contemporary music. Cafés and restaurants dot the town, many of them remaining open late into the evening.
Surrounding the city centre, the neighbourhoods of Chania possess their own distinct characters. Koum Kapi, just east of the Venetian fortification walls, was settled by Arabs in the later years of the Turkish occupation. Now its seafront promenade is lined with trendy bars and cafes and it is a popular gathering place for Chania’s young people. A short distance farther to the east, the neighbourhood of Halepa was the centre of diplomatic activities during the Cretan Democracy at the beginning of the 20th century and many historic buildings grace the area, along with the neo-classical mansions of wealthy merchants of that era.
The Nea Hora district, found immediately to the west of the Old Town fortifications, began to grow up in the early 18th century. There you’ll find a small fishing harbour and the town’s wide sandy beach. It is also home to some of Chania’s best fish tavernas.
West of Chania
The coast road west of Chania passes through the towns of Stalos, Agia Marina and Platanias. Built along a continuous stretch of white sand beach, the area has been developed for tourism, but a short distance inland you’ll find villages surrounded by citrus and olive groves, the impressive White Mountains looming in the background.
Continuing west along the Gulf of Chania, tourist development becomes less dense. Here you will find tranquil, coastal communities with views that encompass the entire bay. Maleme, best known as the site of the epic Battle of Crete during World War II, is a peaceful seaside village surrounded by lush orange groves and tall stands of bamboo. In addition to a supermarket, you’ll find a local bakery and butcher as well as a selection of tavernas. The neighbouring village of Tavronitis is situated at the mouth of a river and, like Maleme, fronts a quiet, uninterrupted pebble beach. The centre of this working village contains a complement of small shops and there are tavernas both here and along the seafront. Gentle hills rise to the south, offering superb views from Chania in the west to the Rodopou Peninsula in the east. Located in a small bay created by this headland is the lively fishing village of Kolymbari where you’ll find banks, a post office and supermarkets, along with excellent fish tavernas. Kolymbari is home to the historic monastery Moni Gonias as well as the Orthodox Academy of Crete. All three villages offer a relaxed pace of life but the proximity of the National Road means that you are only minutes away from the larger towns of Chania and Kissamos.
Kissamos-Kastelli, 42 km west of Chania, has a permanent population of just under 4000 and is the commercial and agricultural centre for the western-most region of the prefecture. It is situated in a fertile plain full of vineyards and olive trees which rests along a wide bay formed by the dramatic peninsulas of Rodopou and Gramvousa. Here you’ll find some of the most beautiful beaches in Crete.
East of Chania
One of the most lush and fertile areas of Crete is the district of Apokoronas. Situated between Souda Bay in the west and Almiros Bay in the east, it is extremely popular with British and other northern Europeans who relocate to Crete. Fed by five rivers and dozens of underground springs, the hills of Apokoronas are covered with greenery, both cultivated and wild.
Along the coast you’ll find the villages of Kalyves, Almirida and Plaka. Kalyves, the largest of the three, has local shops as well as a supermarket, banks and other services. It also has a long sandy beach, as does Almyrida further to the east. Plaka, perched on the hill above Almyrida, boasts stunning views of Souda Bay.
Inland, nestled within the foothills of the White Mountains, are traditional villages such as Gavalohori, Kokkino Chorio, Drapanos, Vamos and Vrisses, to name a few. In Vamos, the capital of the district, villagers have formed a cooperative to restore old stone buildings and showcase the crafts and products of the region. A river runs through the centre of Vrisses, shaded by great plane trees in whose shade residents and visitors enjoy the excellent yoghurt for which the town is famous.
East of Apokoronas, a wide sandy beach stretches 9 km towards Rethymnon. Here the towns of Georgioupolis and Kavros, once small fishing villages, have grown into modern communities while retaining their relaxed pace of life.
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