6 Family Day Trips you must do in Chania
There is so much to do and see in western Crete it would be a shame to have travelled so far and not see more of this beautiful part of the island. There are gorges to be walked, ancient sites to be visited, time trodden villages to be discovered, and further afield stunning sandy beaches to be lazed upon. Why not hire a car and get out and about? You can hire for just one day or as many as you choose. We will be happy to recommend local car hire companies.
Here below some of our 6 Top Pick family days out in Chania.
1. Balos and Gramvousa worth a visit for the spectacular lagoon, fascinating geological aspects, the flora (especially early season), the archaeology (Venetian castle) – and of course the fun of a boat trip! Sailing, exploring, and swimming in the emerald lagoon – all in one trip!
For a daily cruise to Balos and Gramvousa with your family, click HERE
2. Elafonissi – worth a visit as you pass through beautiful mountainous scenery en route to get there, visit the Monastery of Chrysoskalitsa with its ‘golden’ steps, and wade out to the small island from the amazing white sandy beach of Elafonissi. Call in at the eco-village of Milia on the way, an authentic 17th-century mountain settlement which has been transformed into an eco-friendly tourist complex.
3. The Samaria Gorge- Europe’s longest, deepest, and arguably most dramatic gorge! If you are adventurous and feel you are fit enough to hike the 18kms of the gorge, then good on you, go for it! If you can’t, or perhaps you are travelling with young children making it unsuitable, then don’t despair as a view of the entrance to the gorge from the plain of Omalos is still breathtaking.
To visit Samaria Gorge with your family as part of a family guided tour, click HERE:
4. The Botanical Gardens of Crete – spend two or three hours at this educational and recreational 150 acre park. Set in the foothills of the White Mountains, this park is unique and was lovingly created out of the ashes of a great fire which destroyed the area in 2003. The microclimate is a paradise for hundreds of plants, trees, and shrubs from all over the world. Try the restaurant where everything is produced locally – even the beer!
5. Explore the Akrotiri Peninsula, Chania – what’s not to love!
Picturesque sandy beaches, centuries-old monasteries and churches, impressive caves with rich archaeological interest, and historical monuments, the Akrotiri peninsula attracts many visitors every year, all of who enjoy Cretan hospitality and nature at their best.
This beautiful area enjoys a rugged coastline with several lovely sandy coves – Kalathas, Marathi, Tersanas, and Stavros (with the famous cave of Leras where Zorbas visited his friend Kazantzakis in the film ‘Zorbas the Greek’) are to name a few.
An exceptional view of the town of Chania and amazing sunsets can be seen from Venizelos Graves.
Don’t forget there are two monasteries within easy reach, the Monastery of Agia Triada Tsangarolon and the Monastery of Gouvernetou. The path from Gouvernetou leads to Katholikon Monastery which is at the bottom of a wild and magnificent ravine. The walk takes about 40 minutes. Good footwear is essential and the return is steep. Not suitable for young children.
6. Rethymnon – the third largest town on Crete which combines the rarely united features of old town charm and history together with the proximity to a long, sandy beach. The Venetian harbour is very atmospheric, especially for evening dining or even for a day time coffee stop. Behind the harbour and the fortress are many small, narrow streets with shops, bars and places to eat.
If you are coming from the west to Rethymnon stop by the lake of Kournas, and drop in at the ancient village of Argiropolis, an ancient village with Roman remains. Walk down to the Church of the Five Virgins and see the fountain and the 2000 year old plane tree.
It is all possible in West Crete!
Kids will love
- The pink castles in Elafonissi
- The outdoor adventure in Samaria gorge
Parents will love
- The landscape and the wild nature
Best season to visit