Elafonisi is one of the most famous beaches in Greece and one of the most popular destinations for visitors of Crete. It is located on the southwest part of the municipality of Chania and has been included in the “Natura” program, which protects the natural environment of the location and does not allow any intervention which would alter its natural aspect. The road to Elafonisi area is paved , but once you arrive at the start of the protected area, which is used as the parking area for its visitors, you are in a natural terrain, not paved, and caution should be used once inside in order not to hit your car underneath, from the rocks that are protruding from the ground. You arrive at the beautiful, organized beach with the fine white sand, and the turquoise water, where you can find sets of beach chairs and umbrellas for rent. You can visit Elafonisi island by walking for a few minutes through the shallow waters. The island has a unique natural beauty and there are many points of the beach where the sand has a pinkish tone to it, due to the numerous crushed shells over the years.
Knossos is found in the municipality of Heraklion and is one of the most significant cities of antiquity and the center of the Minoan civilization. In this city there are restorations of parts of the palace of Knossos which was the base of King Minoa. The palace is also connected with Dedalus and Icarus as well as the Minotaur and the labyrinth. The palace was destroyed by earthquakes and fires at different points in time. Excavations by Minos Kalogerinos and later by Arthur Evans resulted in the revelation of this palace and its partial restoration. This palace is visited by thousands of visitors each year.
Falassarna is a very popular destination due to the beautiful beach in the area. It is located in the northeastern part of the municipality of Chania, about 53 kilometers from the center. The beach is high on the list of the most beautiful beaches in Europe. Falassarna beach, with the clear, turquois colored waters, and the golden sand, offers a magical landscape as well as a wonderful sunset, where the sun sinks into the sea, filling the horizon with beautiful colors and creating a colorful “path” into the horizon. It is an organized beach with umbrellas, beach chairs, canteens for snacks, and places to eat. It is not recommended to visit this beach on a windy day, as the wind carries the sand onto the swimmers and will not allow you to enjoy your day at the beach. In Falassarna you may also visit the archeological site of Falassarna.
Only 5 kilometers from the city of Chania, on the way to Chania airport, are the Venizelos tombs (those of Eleftherios and Sofoklis Venizelos), in a very beautiful location on top of the hill of Profitis Ilias. The tombs are inside a beautiful park with stone paths, stairs, tall pine trees, and a unique panoramic view of the city of Chania, with the blue of the sea spreading into the horizon. There you will also find the historical church of the Prophet Elijah, of Venetian architecture. Very close to this park, there are cafes where you can enjoy snacks, desserts, food and coffee while taking in the magical view of the city of Chania.
Balos lagoon is one of the most popular destinations of Crete. It is 56 kilometers from Chania and 17 kilometers from Kissamos.
The three ways to approach this remote beach are:
There are organized boat trips which leave at specific times from the port of Kissamos, and offer daily cruises. There are also private boats for hire, where you can agree on the terms of your trip. You leave your car at the free parking area inside the port of Kissamos and board your boat for your excursion. It is a magical ride in the vast blue of the sea. Before Balos, there is
Gramvousa, the island of the pirates. The uphill path leads to the castle where you can explore and take in the view of the sea. After your arrival at Balos beach, you can enjoy your swim, and partially climb the path up the mountain until you reach the point where the view of the lagoon from above enchants you. There you can take your pictures of this memorable view so that you can always remember the beauty of this beach.
Another destination for nature lovers, is the lake of Kournas. It is found in the eastern part of the municipality of Chania, on the way to Rethymno. It is the only natural lake in all of
Crete and constitutes a magical landscape. Around the lake there are mountains which are reflected in its waters, offering a unique view, while it hosts a variety of fish and birds. In front of the lake, as well as before it, there are plenty of tavernas or cafes for a meal or coffee. Also available are pedal boats and canoes for rent, while many choose to swim in the lake. Young visitors have fun feeding the ducks which come to shore.