Chania is the second largest city of Crete and the capital of the Chania region. It lies along the north coast of the island, about 70 km west of the city Rethymno and about 145 km west of Heraklion city.
Chania is the site of the ancient Minoan settlement called Kydonia. There are some notable archaeological evidence for the existence of this Minoan city below parts of modern Chania.
After the Minoan civilization the city became an important city-state in Classical Era. The first major wave of settlers from mainland Greece was by the Dorian Greeks who came around 1100 BC. Kydonia was constantly at war with other Cretan city-states such as Aptera and Phalasarna and was important enough be mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey. In 69 BC, the Roman consul Caecilius Metellus defeated the Cretans and conquered Kydonia to which he granted the privileges of an independent city-state.
During World War II the British army faced the German paratroopers at the Battle Of Crete in 1941. With artillery they bombed the German forces in the Maleme airfield undetected, until they ran out of ammunition. A large part of the city was bombed and a significant proportion of the area’s population was either executed or imprisoned due to participation in the resistance.
Since the 90’s the city of Chania became a major destination for tourists from all around the world and today it is considered as one of the most famous tourist resorts in the Mediterranean Sea.
The city is served by Chania International Airport on the Akrotiri Peninsula. There are several flights a day from Athens to Chania and from April to November, there are many direct flights to Chania from the United Kingdom, Germany, Scandinavia, the Netherlands and many other European countries.
Souda, about 7 km from Chania, is the city’s port, with daily ferries to Piraeus the major port of Greece located in Attica near Athens, the capital of Greece.