Chania Prefecture

Chania prefecture embraces an atmosphere of urban sophistication, traditional countryside, tranquil nature and history.

It is often referred to as Western Crete since it encompasses the western-most section of the island. It covers an area of 2.376km2 and has a population of approximately 157.000 inhabitants. Chania prefecture is comprised of seven municipalities: Apokoronas, Chania, Gavdos, Kantanos-Selino, Kissamos, Platanias and Sfakia.

Chania International Airport, Daskalogiannis is found near Souda Bay on the Akrotiri Peninsula. It is situated 14km away from the capital and is the second busiest airport in Crete.

The capital of Chania prefecture is the city of Chania. It is built on the ruins of ancient Minoan Kydonia with a population of 60.000 inhabitants. It is the administrative, economic, commercial and cultural centre of the prefecture. It has preserved its original colours and historical character combining Ottoman and Venetian architecture. Its charming Venetian harbour and old town lead to other significant monuments which further enhance its nobility.

The coastal part of Chania is the main touristic area of Western Crete consisting of exotic beaches. Falasarna in the North is popular for its enchanting sunsets whereas Elafonisi in the South is unique for its pink coral sand.

East of the capital is the Peninsula of Akrotiri which has a wild range of hills along the north edge, beautiful spring flowers and the monastery of Agia Triada with its elements of Renaissance architecture.

Apokoronas is one of the greenest regions of Crete, between the sea and the northern slopes of the White Mountains. Kouma lake is situated here - the only natural fresh water lake in Crete.

The White Mountains also known as Lefka Ori have more than 30 summits which drop into the Lybian Sea in the area of Sfakia. Here a remarkable natural and wild environment is present carved with several deep gorges. The majestic gorge of Samaria (16km long) is the most famous and impressive in Europe.