Chania itinerary – the complete 3 day travel guide

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Chania is the dream destination for those who love food, culture, history and nature. From the beautiful beaches to nature trails and cobbled charming streets in the city this 3-day Chania itinerary will ensure you get to see the best of the city.

Chania is located on the largest island in Greece – Crete. With a huge array of activities and things to do and do, there is something to appeal to every visitor.

This post will cover a 3-day travel guide Chania itinerary to ensure you can make the most of your time in this beautiful place.

For more Chania posts:

Things to do in Chania, Crete for the best trip!

Is 3 days enough for a Chania itinerary?

Chania is an easy 4-hour flight to Chania from the UK. There are Jet2 flights to Chania from 6 UK different airports – it couldn’t be easier to get to! I flew out of London Stansted Airport, which offers almost daily flights to Crete, making the trip incredibly convenient.

Plus, with it being only a 2-hour time difference from the UK, Chania is the perfect destination for a last-minute getaway. This means it is very easy to get to for a long weekend away. And this Chania itinerary shows you to see the best that it has to offer.

Of course, if you want to extend your stay there is a plenty more to do. In fact, you could spend two weeks in Chania, and it would give you the ideal mix between relaxing on beaches, and days of sightseeing.

It is worth noting, that this Chania itinerary excludes the travel days, so you will need to factor in a travel day on either side.

How to get around Chania

The easiest way to get around Chania would be to hire a car. Some of the sites are a little out of the city, and for many of the activities on this Chania itinerary, it would be much more convenient to have a car.

Where to stay in Chania

On my trip to Chania, I stayed at the Pilot Beach Resort, which is in Georgioupolis. It is about a 40-minute drive from the city of Chania. This resort offers everything you could want for a relaxing getaway. It even has a selection of beachfront rooms. This means you can start the day with sunrise, a book and a cup of tea on the balcony, could there be anything better?

The resort is a five-star luxury and is a great option for families, solo and couples. There are activities such as yoga on the lawn. As well as four pools, a spa, beachfront bars and restaurants. You might not want to leave.

Check out other hotels in Crete, if you are looking for an alternative.

Chania itinerary – day 1 – morning

Walk the city

Archaeological Museum of Chania

Start your day with a visit to the Archaeological Museum of Chania. The perfect way to start your trip, as it gives you incredible insight and education into the rich history of the area. It is located in the suburb of Chalepa, and the collection was moved to this building in 2020.

Take your time to wander around the permanent collection, which is spread over three galleries, showing the archaeological finds of the area. These range from the Palaeolithic period to the Roman era. Exhibits include mosaic floors, pottery and even reconstructions of what rooms would have looked like.

On arrival collect the free audio guide, which lets you find out more about each exhibit in a variety of languages. Before leaving, make sure to check out the view from the upstairs cafe.

Municipal Gardens

After you have had your fill of history, head to Chania’s Municipal Garden for a spot of people-watching and to relax. The garden is located just 10 minutes from Chania’s Old Town and is a favourite spot for the locals to hang out in. Enjoy a coffee at the Kypos café, which is located in the middle of the gardens and is one of the oldest cafés in Chania. Alternatively, try the local mountain tea which is made up of local herbs and spices.

The gardens were built in 1870, the cafe at the same time, and billed as an oasis in the middle of the city. Make sure to keep an eye out for all the unique trees. These have been donated from countries all over the world. And the most impressive is the large Ficus tree in the middle, which has been there since the beginning of the park.

If you are there on a Saturday, make sure to talk a stroll down the Minoos Street Market. Which is a local market packed full of stalls selling fruit, vegetables, oils, herbs, spices, fish, meat and plenty more. It’s a great way to get a glimpse into local life.

Open every Saturday from 7 am to 2 pm.

Venetian Harbour

The Venetian Harbour might feature a lot on this Chania itinerary, but it is such an iconic spot, and you will want to visit it at different times of the day to experience it fully. After your morning, and walking down Minoos Street Market you will find yourself at the Sabbionara Bastion – the remains of a gate constructed in the Venetian old-town walls. It is located towards the Eastern end of the Venetian harbour. If you have time you can also check out the Maritime Museum of Chania while you are there.

Stop for some lunch at Apostolis, which is known for its seafood, but also does delicious vegetarian and meat options. Its waterfront vista means it’s the perfect place to relax after a morning of sightseeing.

Akti Enoseos 10, Chania 731 00, Greece | Map

Chania itinerary – day 1 – afternoon

Relax with some chill time

After an action-packed morning, you will want to take some downtime. Take the afternoon to chill by the pool or the sea, read a book and enjoy a cocktail! If you choose to stay at Pilot Beach Resort, take advantage of their all-inclusive package to indulge in coffee or cocktails. The hotel also has four pools, a spa, a beach and bars – so plenty of time to take advantage of what it offers.

For dinner head to To Stachy, which is a family owned restaurant, to enjoy a delicious traditional Cretan feast.

Chrisopigis, Nerokouros 731 00, Greece | Map

Chania itinerary – day 2 – morning

Enjoy food and sightseeing

Breakfast

Start day 2 on this Chania itinerary with some breakfast. Obviously. But there is a special place for you to visit. Bougatsa Chanion, at Apokoronou 37. Another local family run business, it has been in the same family for generations. And the speciality is mpougatsa, which is cheese wrapped in very thin filo pastry and topped with sugar and sometimes cinnamon. Absolutely delicious. If you only eat one thing in Chania, make this be it.

image of Bougatsa, traditional breakfast in Chania

Apokoronou 37, Chania 741 50, Greece | Map

Chania Old Town

After breakfast take time for an early morning wander through the beautiful and peaceful streets of Chania Old Town. The streets located just behind the harbour are going to be busiest, and the most touristy, but if you delve a little deeper you will find some hidden gems. Colourful and local, with little cafes tucked away in quiet corners.

Make sure to find the Ahmet Ağa Minaret, which is one of Chania’s two remaining minarets from the Ottoman era. It is from the 16th century and is one of the most popular spots for photography. If you are looking for photogenic spots, bookmark the street Kallinikou Sarpaki (Google Maps location). This is colourful, bursting with flowers and with cute little cafes. Finally, make sure to stop by Church of Agios Nikolaos is the only church in Greece to have both a bell tower and a minaret.

Waterfront

If you have time, take a walk down to the waterfront to the east of the Venetian Harbour. It’s a lovely little stroll along the beaches. You can also stop at Fourgatos for some local wine and cheese tasting.

Therisso Gorge

If you have a car, take the time to check out Therisso Gorge. This 9 km long gorge is just a 20-minute drive from the city of Chania, and you will feel like you are in a different world! The road winds its way through, with stunning views rising on either side of you. If you have time the road leads to the historic village of Therissos.

Stop off for some lunch at the family-run Taverna Leventogiannis. You will be given raki at the end of the meal, so keep that in mind for the driver!

Chania itinerary – day 2 – afternoon

Soak up some history

Aptera Ancient City and Koules Ottoman Fortress

For the afternoon activity on day 2 of this Chania itinerary head to the site of Ancient Aptera. This was one of the most important city-states of Crete during historic times. Recent archaeological evidence suggests that habitation began in this location in the 11th – 1t0th centuries BC. By the early Hellenistic period (around 323 BC to 30 BC) the city was more or less built.

By the Roman period, the city was enjoying a new era of prosperity, and a lot of the large buildings you can still see on the site are from this time period. The city was still habited until the Byzantine period (7th Century AD), when an earthquake devastated the city.

Monuments that you can see at the site include the ancient fortification wall, cisterns, baths, and most impressively the ancient theatre of Aptera. This is located to the southeast of the city and is a combination of Roman and Ancient Greek architecture.

Once you have explored the ruins, make sure to check out the view from the Koules Ottoman Fortress. It’s just a few minute’s drive from the ancient city and has wonderful views over the sea.

Chania itinerary – day 3 – morning

Nature and wine tasting

Venizelos Tombs and viewpoint

Day 3 on the Chania itinerary is going to be an active one, so be sure to be ready! Start the day with an early morning visit to Venizelos Tombs and Viewpoint. If you get their first thing you are most likely going to have the site to yourself to enjoy the vista. This area is located on the Akrotiri Peninsula and is a site of great historical importance. Just a few kilometres from the city, it is the resting place of one of the most well-known Greek politicians and seven times Prime Minister of Greece, Eleftherios Venizelos and his son, Sofoklis Venizelos, who was also Prime Minister of Greece from 1943 to 1952. 

At this site, you will also find the chapel of Profitis Ilias, as well as a peaceful place to wander. It is also meant to be one of the most beautiful spots for sunset, so if you have an extra day you might want to head up here at the end of the day.

Hike the Gouverneto trail

The next stop on the Chania itinerary is the Gouverneto hiking trail, and if you are into hiking make sure you make enough time for this to make sure you can walk the entire thing.

This trail starts from the Gouverneto Monastery and winds down to the beautiful bay and beach of Stravos. Along the way you will come across stunning ruins and sites of worship from old religious buildings. The first is Arkoudospilio Cave; famous for its stalagmite that looks like a crouching bear – giving it its name. It has been used for worship since ancient times, and there is an inscription dedicated to Artemis and Apollo. The cave is massive and you can wander around. The ceiling looks black, but it’s actually bats. There is also a small chapel used for worship.

Next on the trail are the ruins of Katholiko Monastery, notable for its impressive bridge. This monastery believed to be the oldest in Crete, was founded in the 11th century by St. John the Hermit, who lived in a nearby cave. The monks abandoned the site in the 17th century due to frequent pirate attacks.

Visit Agia Triada Monastery and wine-tasting

Nearby to the Gouverneto trail is the Monastery of Agia Triada. This is a Greek Orthodox monastery in the Akrotiri region. It was built in the 17th century by two brothers of the Venetian Zangaroli family, and the main church is dedicated to the ‘Holy Trinity’ which gives the monastery its name. The church is built in Byzantine architectural cruciform style, made u of three large domes. It also has a rare book library and a museum with collections of icons and codices.

After having a look inside, make sure you don’t miss the wine tasting located in the cellar below the monastery. This is a must-do! The Agia Triada Monastery is that it is famous for its wine-making traditions, with its vineyards producing delicious wine. The monastery is still operated by monks who are experts in the production of wine and olive oil. 

During the wine tasting you can try a variety of red, white, rose, dessert and even wine used during communion. The sommelier is incredibly friendly and knowledgeable giving you all the information on the process, the grapes and the history of wine-making at the monastery. You also get given some bread with olive oil and the most delicious honey and balsamic glaze. All of which you can purchase, as well as the wine and other locally made products, from the gift shop.

Take a look at guided tour options for this morning here:

Agia Triada Monastery and Venizelos Tombs day tour

Lunch at Carte Postale

Head back towards Venizelos Tombs to have lunch at the most amazing restaurant – Carte Postale. This restaurant has a terrace from which you can have lunch overlooking the most incredible views of the Chania coastline.

The food is also incredibly delicious. Starter of the freshest tomatoes, drizzled with olive oil. Followed by deconstructed lamb pie with polenta and to finish baked cheesecake.

Michail Kalorizikou 2, Chania 731 33, Greece | Map

Chania itinerary – day 3 – afternoon

Chill time and sunset

It’s been a busy morning so head back to the hotel for some R&R. Take the time to make the most of the facilities, relax by the pool, take a dip in the sea. And again, make the most of the all-inclusive drinks.

Venetian Harbour and Egyptian Lighthouse at sunset

For your final evening in Chania, head back to the city for a last chance to soak up the buzz. Start by walking past the Egyptian Lighthouse. It is sitting at the end of a long breakwater and stands 21 M above sea level. It is one of the oldest lighthouses in the world, built in the 16th Century by the Venetians and then reconstructed by the Egyptians from 1830-40.

Afterwards, stroll along the harbour and take your time to stop in the cute little shops to pick up some souvenirs. If you have some time, take a small walk through the tiny streets located behind the harbour – they are packed full of charm.

Dinner at Arismari

For your final evening, you will want to treat yourself to a delicious final meal and Arismari is the place. Set on the edge of the water, you can enjoy tasty wine, delectable food and great views as the sun sets. The restaurant aims to highlight local Cretan cuisine through the local, pure, natural products of the Cretan land.
With options for both meat eaters and fish lovers, food such as mushroom stuffed with Cretan cheese, seafood gnocchi and pork with peanut butter sauce – you won’t want to miss!

Kountourioti 55, Chania 731 31, Greece | Map


Chania Itinerary – final thoughts

Chania is the perfect destination for a quick summer getaway and with this three-day Chania itinerary, you will definitely get to sample the full breadth of activities that the region has to offer. If you have longer to spend, then there are plenty more things you can see and do – as well as spending longer at teach of the places mentioned here.

You won’t want to come home and you will want to return!


A huge thank you to Jet2 and the Chania Tourism Board for this trip, and for showing me the best things to do in Chania. My trip to Chania was a complimentary PR press trip, but all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

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