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Chania Tours – 10 Best Day Trips from Chania Crete
by Dave Briggs
These 10 Chania tours and day trips will help you see more of Crete during your vacation in Greece. Experience more with these day trips from Chania.
Chania in Crete
People visiting Crete usually spend a few days in Chania. Apart from being a really pretty coastal town in its own right, Chania is also an ideal base for day trips around the Greek island of Crete.
While it's great to rent a car and explore the island your own way if you can, the main advantage of organized tours is they're a great way to travel to different parts of Crete without needing to worry about the logistics.
You get to discover more of the island in the way of beaches, towns, and places of interest. Local guides help you learn more of local history and culture, and even better, somebody else gets to do the driving!
Some of the best activities and tours in Crete start from Chania This guide will help you choose the best Chania tours and day trips from Chania.
10 Best Day Trips from Chania in Crete
If you are based in Chania for a few days, you can easily take some day trips from Chania, that will help you see more of this big, mountainous island. In this article, we have chosen 10 of the best Chania excursions.
One of the most popular day trips from Chania is the boat cruise to Balos Lagoon and Gramvousa Island. The boat departs from Kissamos port, about 40 kms west of Chania.
You will first visit the tiny uninhabited island of Gramvousa, which has a long and interesting history. You can hike up to the Venetian castle, built between 1579 and 1584, offering fantastic views of the area. There will also be time to swim and explore the nearby shipwreck of a boat sunk in 1968.
Later on, you will move to the stunning Balos Lagoon, continuously voted as one of the best beaches in the world. You will have enough time to swim, lie on the beach and take plenty of photos. The last boat returns to Kissamos port at 19.30, so you will have plenty of time to return to Chania from this great trip.
A beach often featuring in the list of 10 best beaches in the world, Elafonisi Beach at the southwest of Crete has to be seen to be believed. The combination of amazing turquoise sea water and pink / white sand create an otherworldly environment.
This is one of the best tours from Chania you can take, and you'll discover one of the most unique places in the world! This is a full day trip lasting between 12 and 14 hours. Lunch is not included, so you can either take your own or but some before you explore Elafonisi island.
Elafonisi is a protected Natura area. While there are loungers in some places, you can also find entirely unspoilt nature once you have walked over the shallow lagoon and onto the little island. Explore this natural paradise and enjoy your day on the lovely beach – just make sure you don’t leave anything behind.
If you are based in Chania, it’s recommended to take a day trip to Crete’s biggest city, Heraklion, and visit the Ancient Palace of Knossos. If you are intrigued by Greek Mythology, this guided tour from Chania really is a must!
The Knossos Palace was the center of the Minoan civilization, which reached its peak around 2700 – 1400 BC, and started to decline afterwards. The visit to the Palace is followed by a visit to the Heraklion archaeological museum, one of the best museums in Greece. The guided tours will help bring the sites and exhibits to life, and give you an idea of what everyday life was like back then.
There will also be free time in this tour. You can either explore the city of Heraklion, or sit down for a traditional Cretan meal, accompanied by the local alcoholic drink, raki.
Another popular activity in Crete is a hike through Samaria Gorge. This 15 km long trek passes through an ancient forest, and the landscape is spectacular. You will have the chance to see some of Crete’s flora and fauna, and to experience nature at its best.
Tip – if you are planning to hike Samaria gorge, don’t forget to pack proper hiking shoes, as the terrain is rocky and mountainous and the company will not accept you without appropriate footwear.
Note that summer in Crete can get pretty hot, so the best time to hike Samaria gorge is spring or autumn. The gorge is generally open between 1 May – mid October.
The Samaria trek is perfect for anyone wanting to stretch their legs, and have an amazing time surrounded by natural beauty!
If you want to explore the old centre of Chania, there is no better way than a walking tour with a local. A town strategically positioned of the map, Chania has been conquered by several people over the centuries. As a result, you can see buildings from pretty much every era – Roman, Byzantine, Venetian and Ottoman.
During this private tour of Chania town, you will stroll around the back streets and have the chance to explore the many secret corners and hidden gems of the town. You will also visit the superb Municipal market, where you can sample tasty traditional products, and perhaps buy a few things to bring back with you. Needless to say, there will be a chance to sit down for a proper Cretan meal and enjoy some delicious food!
If you have always wanted to try and scuba dive but never had the chance, scuba diving in Chania can be a great experience. During this activity you will be given all scuba diving equipment, and you will learn basic diving techniques under the constant supervision of expert PADI instructors.
You will have the chance to dive at a depth of 8 metres, and enjoy the spectacularly clear waters of the Mediterranean. Insurance is also included – just bring your swimsuit and towel.
This is the perfect tour if you want to know more about Cretan olive oil and wine, and dive deeper into Crete’s food culture.
During this day trip from Chania you will visit villages up on the mountains of Kissamos. There will be stops at two wineries, where you will learn more about Cretan wines and you will have the chance to taste a few different varieties.
Furthermore, you will get to taste different types of extra virgin olive oil produced in Crete, accompanied by local snacks and delicacies. This is a relaxed activity where you will learn more about what makes Cretan food so unique and special. A wine tasting tour out of Chania will be a highlight of your trip to Crete!
During this six-hour tour, you will get to visit some of the most authentic traditional villages in East Chania. There will be a chance to visit the folklore museum of Apokoronas, and explore the traditional knitting techniques through the help of local grandmothers.
Later on, you will visit a raki distillery and a cheese making facility, and you will learn more about the ways these traditional products are made today. Your Cretan experience will be complete by visiting a local kafeneio, where you will have the chance to speak with locals and find out more about their way of life.
This is an ideal tour if you want to dive deeper into the culture, while trying some delicious products.
Cretan cuisine is considered to be one of the healthiest in the world – and in our experience, one of the tastiest. Even if you have no special cooking skills, combining your trip to Chania with a Cretan cooking class is a great idea.
During this activity, you will have the chance to choose and pick vegetables from a garden, while learning more about their use and about the herbs that accompany them. There will also be a chance to talk to shepherds and to find out more about the olive harvest.
You will learn how to prepare some of the simplest Cretan dishes, and you will get the chance to savour a full meal, complete with traditional Greek desserts.
If you are after a quiet, private activity, look no further than a sailing cruise from Chania. This relaxed day trip will include plenty of time to swim in unspoilt bays, enjoy the sunshine, and take plenty of photos of the island.
Your experienced captain will always find the best areas to go in order to be protected from strong winds, and if you feel like it, you can try sailing the boat for a while. A delicious meal, served on board, is included with this tour, to make your day memorable.
FAQ About Trips from Chania Crete
Readers planning to go sightseeing from Chania often ask questions such as these:
Is Chania worth visiting?
Chania is beautiful place, often considered to be one of the prettiest port towns in Greece. It's a lovely place to wander around, with a great atmosphere in the evening, particularly along the waterfront.
How far is Elafonisi beach from Chania?
The road distance between Chania and Elafonisi is 74.3 km, which is just over 46 miles.
What is Chania known for?
One of the most outstanding features of Chania is its Venetian harbor, and the old town area with its quaint winding alleyways. The waterfront and harbour is particularly pleasant to enjoy on a warm autumn evening.
Can you do a day trip from Crete to Santorini?
It is just about possible to make a day trip to Santorini from Crete, although it must be said that it doesn't allow for much sightseeing time in Santorini itself. Tours pick up in Chania, but most crossings to Santorini from Crete depart from Heraklion.
More posts about Crete
Here's some more travel guides to Crete in Greece that might interest you:
Want to save this Crete blog post for later? Add this pin to one of your Pinterest boards! I hope this Crete island travel guide has helped you decide which trips and tours in Chania will help you discover more when you visit Crete. If you have any questions, or would like to share an awesome experience you enjoyed in Chania, please leave a comment below!