Chania

Chania is a city on the northwest coast of the Greek island of Crete. It’s known for its 14th-century Venetian harbor, narrow streets and waterfront restaurants. At the harbor entrance is a 16th-century lighthouse with Venetian, Egyptian and Ottoman influences. Opposite, the Nautical Museum has model ships, naval objects and photographs. The former monastery of St. Francis houses the Archaeological Museum of Chania.The museum displays artifacts from the Minoan and Roman periods. Nearby, Etz Hayyim Synagogue is a monument to the Jewish population on Crete before WWII. To the east, Eleftherios Venizelos Museum, the former home of the politician, features personal items including furniture and art. The Akrotiri Peninsula is known for beach resorts and monasteries, such as the 17th-century Agia Triada. West of Chania, the village of Agioi Apostoloi has sandy coves with calm, shallow water. Offshore, farther west, the uninhabited island of Agioi Theodoroi has ruins of 2 fortresses and a small church. Wildlife on the island includes the Cretan ibex.

Climate

The city enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate, with sunny dry summers and mild rainy winters. During the period between April and October, clear-sky weather is almost an everyday feature. The atmosphere is always warm, but fierce heatwaves (temperatures above 38°C) are not very common, since the prevailing Etesian winds (“Meltemia”) blow from northern directions and pleasantly moderate the conditions. Intervals of sunny days are frequent during the windy and rainy winter as well. Snow and frost are rare near the coast, with very few exceptions, like the snowstorm on the 13 February 2004, when some 30 cm of snow accumulated in the urban area, causing general chaos. However, such cold days can be followed by much warmer and sunny weather. Even minor early heatwaves can occur in March or April, during a Saharan dust event, whose main feature is the strong and hot katabatic southerly wind, which is a type of Sirokos (σιροκος) and is called “Livas” (i.e. the wind from Libya) by the Greeks. Such events happen only a couple of times a year, and their duration is never more than 1 or 2 days.

History

Chania
Chania history
Things to do in Chania
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