Hania - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Hania


The largest city in western Crete and (together with Rethymnon) the most attractive, Haniá (also spelled Chania) is a historically charming labyrinth of jumbled Venetian and Turkish buildings surrounding a small harbour, with colourful markets, town squares, craft shops and fine dining possibilities - a perfect Greek holiday destination! Narrow, winding lanes are lined with tavernas, cafes and shops, and ancient alleyways lead to endless photographic opportunities that encompass overhanging wooden balconies, delicate stonework and white Orthodox churches.

The port area of Haniá is the oldest and most interesting part of town holidaymakers will find it busiest at night with many bars and restaurants. A promenade curves around the harbour leading from the main hotel area. There are a few museums worth visiting, including the Archaeological and Naval Museums, and the famed walk through the Samaria Gorge is a worthwhile excursion from the town.

Information & Facts

Greek is the national language, but English is widely spoken.

The Euro (EUR) is the official currency, divided into 100 cents. Banks and bureaux de change are widely available and travellers cheques and major credit cards are widely accepted. ATMs are widespread and are generally the cheapest and most convenient method of obtaining euros.


The pavements in Hania are very narrow making strolling along the streets a bit hazardous. No direct flights.


Most of the clubs and discos are centred on the inner harbour in Haniá, but there are plenty around the outer harbour and throughout the old quarter where holidaymakers up for a party can enjoy a night out. Popular bars include Ta Dhyo Lux, Fraise and the Four Seasons, and the string of terrace cafes along the Aktí Miaoúli seafront draw the under 30s. Late night nightclubs include Ariadni (inner harbour), Millennium, Titanic and N.RG (old town), which get going after midnight and stay open till the early hours. More traditional Greek music and dancing can be found at Café Kriti on Kalergón Street. A popular hangout for the large gay community is Ta Padia Paizei, on Odos Archoleon.


Around the harbour in Haniá, holiday visitors will find numerous tavernas, restaurants and cafes, but with little variation in price and menu. Dino's Taverna is one of the best choices for seafood with a view of the harbour, or Thalassino. Away from the water are plenty of cheaper options on Kondhiláki, Kanevárou and many of the streets off Halídhon. For more traditional places the area around the market and along Dhaskaloyiánnis is good. Fast food is also widespread and there are numerous souvlaki places on Karaolí, near the Naval Museum, across from the market and at the end of the outer harbour. Locals and particularly expats favour Meltemi, which is good for breakfasts and has a relaxed terrace bar, while the main square, Platía-1821, is the traditional plaza to stop for a cup of coffee.


Holidaymakers should visit the Public Market in Haniá for fresh produce and a fish market, vegetable stalls, grocery shops and butchers. Around the cathedral are some of the better shopping areas, especially Odhós Skrídhlof (Leather Street) that is lined with traditional leather-making shops. There are endless jewellery, souvenir and craft shops, but for distinctly Cretan goods go to Carmela (artworks and ceramics), Cretan Rugs and Blankets or Roka Carpets (traditionally woven goods), and the Local Artistic Handicrafts Association for a selection by local artisans. Orphanos has a collection of dolls and marionettes for a different souvenir from the island.

It is an arduous trip but well worth it to see one of the great natural wonders of Europe, the Samaria Gorge in the White Mountains in western Crete. From the top of the gorge it is a 10-mile (16km) hike through the dramatic geological formations and wildflower-strewn cliffsides of the National Park. From the village of Agia Roumeli at the end of the gorge hikers board boats to sail to Khora Sfakion or Paleohora where there are buses back to Haniá, Rethymnon or Heraklion.

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