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Chania Port: Best beach excursion

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Cambridge, ontario
posts: 37
reviews: 1
Chania Port: Best beach excursion

We are taking a cruise in Juy and one of the ports is Chania. I've always wanted to visit Crete. This will only be a tease, but I'd like to make the most of the short visit. (We port at 7 a.m. and depart at 3 p.m.)

It's such a short day. We were considering one of the pre-made excursions with the cruise company, but the beach doesn't look that great compared to what Crete has to offer.

We would also like to spend at least an hour or two in Chania, as I know it is worth looking around.

If we all pay for the cruise excursion we'd be paying $300 as a family.

I'm suspecting there may be another option to a better beach. We do want to keep it easy, as we can't be delayed.

Any suggestions?

Nanaimo, Canada
Destination Expert
for Chania Town, Naxos
posts: 3,027
reviews: 39
1. Re: Chania Port: Best beach excursion

There are fairly good beaches about 4 km west of Chania. We have not visited them because when we are in Chania we focus on Chania. I am sure one of the regulars wil be able to give you a good beach to visit just grab a taxi from the port and name your beach and away you go. You could also rent a car for the day the rental agencies will drop off the car for you. Having said that the reason the cruise ships have added Chania as a port is because Chania is such an interesting place to visit. You can easily spend the whole day wandering the old part of the city the Venetian harbour and all the winding back alleys. Be sure to spend an hour dining at a little taverna in the back alleys. The big tavernas on the harbour are selling view not good food. Find the street of knives street of leather and the old market building. Frankly spending your time at the beach would not be my priority when probably the most charming city in Greece is sitting there waiting for you. My computer is down right now but I will try to figure out hoe to post my pictures of Chania in a couple of hours so you can see what I am talking about.

Cambridge, ontario
posts: 37
reviews: 1
2. Re: Chania Port: Best beach excursion

Thank you very much. I'm definitely getting the impression we need to make time for Chania. As we're traveling as a group, I know that a beach stop is going to be a high priority for some. (And this is the only port on our trip where that is an option.)

It's good to hear that this might be possible, and I'm happy to hear specific suggestions if someone has them. :)

Chania Town, Greece
posts: 178
3. Re: Chania Port: Best beach excursion

Hi Maria!

Definitely not worth paying so much for a short visit!

There is a rent a car office, open at the time of your arrival, frequent public buses, the only problem you could encounter is that of a windy day- when exactly in July are you visiting?

The Old town is a must..should include it for lunch!

Edited: 2:06 pm, January 31, 2013
Cambridge, ontario
posts: 37
reviews: 1
4. Re: Chania Port: Best beach excursion

Hi,

It'll be July 26th. After doing some reading, I'm wondering about the possibility of renting a car/ hiring a driver to take us to Falassarna Beach (50 minutes for Chania?)

If we arranged a driver/car by 8 a.m. and got to the beach by 9 a.m. we'd have serveral hours to relax before heading back to Chania and having some time there before 3 p.m .boarding.

My fear is that something will go wrong with getting a car/driver and my plan will ruin everyone's day.. ;) It will take some convincing for my in-laws to agree to doing something other than the 'safe" cruise planned excursion.

Does this seem plausible? I'm thinking if I can plan most of the details in advance I can convince my family to take a bit of a risk and get a better experience out of it.

Chania Town, Greece
posts: 178
5. Re: Chania Port: Best beach excursion

Hi again!

I am unfortunately the kind of person who doesn't enjoy swimming unless I go to Falassarna which is - to me- the closest worth visiting beach to Chania town!

It is feasible, although it could be a bit tiring for some..

Only major problem could be the north west winds which blow in the area during July and August, in which case I'd suggest that you had an altenative route

I will think about it today and see if I could come up with something, mind if I ask what the cruise excursion includes?

London, United...
posts: 11,170
reviews: 10
6. Re: Chania Port: Best beach excursion

Chania is the most beautiful of Crete's cities, and many people who know Greece well think it is the most beautiful city in the whole of Greece. A morning and a bit of afternoon is hardly enough time to explore this wonderful place, and I would strongly suggest you spend your time there.

Falasarna is a very good beach. But it's just a beach, and beaches are everywhere. I'm sure you've seen many of them and will see many more, but there is only one Chania. Make the most of your time, and spend it exploring the city.

Whatever you decide, you really don't need to do the cruise excursion. If you did, you might well end up feeling disappointed that it didn't take you where you wanted to go, and that it was a waste of a lot of money. There is absolutely no need for it, whether or not you take stanbr's advice (and mine).

Nanaimo, Canada
Destination Expert
for Chania Town, Naxos
posts: 3,027
reviews: 39
7. Re: Chania Port: Best beach excursion

flickr.com/photos/…

Images as promised

Edited: 6:09 pm, January 31, 2013
Cambridge, ontario
posts: 37
reviews: 1
8. Re: Chania Port: Best beach excursion

Thanks everyone for your time and advice.

Thanks Anna. The cruise excursion is three hours at Costa beach, and then an hour in Chania. Definitely sounding like there are better options..

I do understand what everyone is saying about beaches, and Chania sounds wonderful. I'm also considering that my husband and I will be traveling Italy and France for three weeks following this... And will be seeing many wonderful things. This however, is one of the only opportunities to park on a beach somewhere...and there is a draw to that. However, by the way you all are talking I wish we had a few days in Chania.

Agii Apostoli...
posts: 478
reviews: 43
9. Re: Chania Port: Best beach excursion

Definitely don't pay this amount for an excursion!

To be honest, your time is short, and you have to choose Chania old town or a beach.

The best beaches in west Crete (my opinion) are Elafonisi (1.5 hours drive), then Gramvousa/Balos (2 hours) and then Falassarna (1 hour drive). Falassarna is the closest and easiest to go. Depends how adventurous you are.

Elafonisi is located in the south western tip of Crete. It’s a small island which is connected with Crete by a strip of sand and forms a shallow lagoon, ideal for kids (safe) and adults (just lying on the crystal clear water). The whole area is a protected natural environment.

Visit Elafonisi by car, 1.5 hours respectively from Chania. Go towards Kissamos and then turn south. Easy drive (for Greece).

On the way don’t miss Agia Sofia cave, with the church inside, which is located in Topolia gorge, and Chrisoskalitisa monastery before you reach Elafonisi. Both are on the way to Elafonisi and take 15 and 30 minutes respectively to visit.

At Elafonisi there are 3 restaurants, and small cantines on the beach for snacks and water.

Gramvousa area is at the north-western tip of Crete. Like Elafonisi, Balos is a small island which is connected with Crete by a strip of sand and forms a shallow lagoon, with Gramvousa island and castle opposite it. Gramvousa can be reached only by a boat from Kissamos port, while Balos by boat or car. Both places are of pristine beauty with rugged cliffs rising around the area. Balos is ideal for kids (safe) and adults (just lying on the crystal clear water). The whole area is a protected natural environment.

Visit Balos by car go until Kissamos port, 45 minutes from Chania. Drive along a dirt road, 40 minutes (8km) from Kaliviani village, and then hike for 20 minutes (1.5km) to Balos. The disadvantage is that if you have an accident on a dirt road, it’s not covered by insurance, and the hike might be tiring.

At Balos there is only one canteen, for a restaurant, you can eat at Gramvousa restaurant at Kaliviani or at the fish restaurants in front of the sea at Kasteli.

Agii Apostoli...
posts: 478
reviews: 43
10. Re: Chania Port: Best beach excursion

It might sound a cliche, but Brazilians and come to Chania and say they have never seen such a beautiful beach (Elafonisi or Balos). You will see by yourself!