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The spectacular new Archaeological Museum of Chania rivals those of Europe’s greatest capitals
There are many reasons to love Greece – and one of the first and foremost is its rich and compelling history. Lest we forget, Classical Greece gave birth to the seminal culture that provided the foundation of modern Western democracy, art, theatre, philosophy, and science – and for this reason, Greece is globally recognised as the cradle of Western Civilization.
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Watch the tales of bygone days coming to life with a visit to these top 5 historical landmarks in Chania
Boasting a long and turbulent history that’s manifested with a fusion of Byzantine, Venetian, Ottoman and Jewish remains, the iconic town of Chania, is one of the most enchanting destinations in the Mediterranean – if not the world. Between getting lost in quaint, labyrinth alleyways, shopping for leather goods – or decadent cheeses in the trademark municipal market – strolling along the seafront or tasting divine food and drink, you’ll not have a moment’s boredom in Crete’s arguably most picturesque city. And though the best way to soak up as much of its atmosphere and vibes as possible, is just wandering around on foot, there are certain not-to-be-missed sights and attractions that’ll significantly enrich your experience.
If you are planning a visit this summer, here are the top 5 historical landmarks in Chania, you’ll be glad you didn’t go without.
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Crete is the next big thing in the international wine scene – and its west is where it’s at. Taste the gems of the wineries near Chania, fall in love forever
“And wine to gladden the heart of man…”, this verse might come from the Bible, but the people of Crete have already known that for millennia before the advent of Christ. With a continuous presence since Minoan times, Cretan wines have a long-standing history that puts them in the centre of local life, folklore, and myth. They are also an important source of commerce and income – and have always been so, with ancient amphorae with Cretan emblems found across the Mediterranean basin attesting to the fact.
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Wine is on Cretans’ everyday tables, it takes part in celebrations and it’s surrounded by myth. Thanks to the efforts of a handful of trailblazing producers, it is also beginning to gain due recognition in the international wine scene. Meet the rising stars of these superb wineries in Chania.
Spanning 5.000 years of history, wine is embedded in Cretans’ lives: As an accompaniment to meals, as a welcome to friends and strangers, as a mirth-inducing toast at weddings and christenings, but also as a natural remedy for the ailments of the body, heart and spirit. And while through the centuries wine has never left the locals’ table, until recently little effort was spared to keep up with developments in techniques and presentation. With the arrival of mass tourism in the ’70s, several Cretan winemakers started using foreign, popular varieties in an attempt to please the holidaymakers – alas with dubious results. Crete became a powerhouse producer of (largely bulk) wines but serious wine production and promotion were shelved.
You’re spoilt for fascinating excursions on Crete, an island brimming with history, mystery and natural splendour. Don’t know where to start your road trip in Crete? Read on for more handpicked suggestions for routes that will remain memorable for all the right reasons
Between its exotic seascapes, rugged mountainous scenery, awe-inspiring ancient monuments and traditional villages steeped in history, Crete is pure explorers’ heaven. Of course, you’ll be tempted to just lounge and get pampered poolside at the Oscar Suites & Village –you chose it for its signature mix of thoughtful amenities, top tier accommodation, genuinely friendly atmosphere and indulgent services, after all. But your cocooned base at the long and sandy beach of Agia Marina -Platanias, is also ideally positioned for all sorts of escapades and amazing discoveries on Greece’s largest island. Think sun-kissed striking nature, mouthwatering food, locals who recite impromptu mantinades and the weight of history manifested in every nook and cranny.
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A year-round destination, Crete is more than just a sunbed by the sea, coconut-scented cocktails, and beachside adventures. Plus its gems shine brighter in the offseason, without the summer tourist masses. Discover one of its brightest, Chania, in the winter.
If you are one of these summer-loving types, who’d do anything to avoid the cold –including migrating to the opposite hemisphere– the good news is that you can still spend winter in Europe but not freeze. Unlike other smaller Greek islands which seem to shut down during the colder months, Crete, the largest of them all, remains very much alive and kicking. With a robust agricultural production and an economy that’s not relying solely on tourism, Crete has a population of more than 600,000 inhabitants: Permanent residents and University students, alike –living, breathing, working and playing here, throughout the year.
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New and old seamlessly blend in an enchanting amalgam of Christmas traditions in Crete. Read on and rejoice!
From the snow-capped roofs of Rovaniemi to the sun-dappled beaches of Brazil, Christmas is a magical time of the year throughout the world. The same goes for the island of Crete: Though it’s not your typical winter wonderland kind of destination, Christmas in Greece’s largest island comes with a wealth of wonderful traditions- some new and imported; others with roots that are lost in the depths of history.
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From its vibrant cities to its quaint villages and from its striking beaches to its rugged mountains, its incredible landmarks and its luscious countryside, Crete offers myriad routes and sightseeing options. Base yourselves in Chania, a region brimming with beauty, history and culture, and embark on a Crete road trip that will leave you with some fascinating tales to tell.
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Ochi day in Crete and around the country marks the date that Greeks said “no” to fascism. Refusing to be bullied into compromise, they fought for their values, displaying ultimate and tangible bravery.
On the 28th of October, Greece -and Greek communities around the world- celebrate the “Ochi Day” (“No day”): One of the nation’s most important public holidays, commemorating its people’s indomitable spirit, undying courage and determination.
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Walking in Crete is the best way to explore the scenery, meet the locals, smell the flowers and discover that quaint little tavern!
Between east and west, on the crossroad of three continents -Asia, Europe and Africa- Crete is like a country on its own: With varied landscapes of gorgeous coastlines, high mountains, and plateaus, steep ravines, Eden-like plains and open panoramic views, Greece’s largest island is best discovered on foot. This is no secret, and that’s why every year it attracts hikers from all around the globe. And they need not be particularly experienced -just keen and effervescent. With thousands of kilometres of tracks of different degrees of difficulty to suit all levels of fitness and expertise, options for outdoor enthusiasts are plentiful. How about taking a break from the staple sea-sun-sand combo, to experience dramatic vistas, enchanting scenery, and the slow-paced, stress-free rhythms of local life?