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Also known as Hania, Chania is a city on the north coast of Crete. Its most distinctive feature is its Venetian Harbour, dating back to the 14th-century. Here, you’ll find a lovingly restored lighthouse as well as a buzzy tangle of eateries, bars and cafes. Bring your camera along on one of our Chania cruises to capture the hot sun reflecting off pastel buildings, traditional tavernas and Turkish-inspired mosques. The centre of town is a shopper’s paradise, with an entire street, named Skridlof, dedicated to fine leather goods. Once you’ve had your fix of retail therapy, it’s time to soak up a little of Chania’s history. The Hania Archaeological Museum is a good place to start, set as it is in a restored 16th-century Venetian church. Look out for ancient Roman floor mosaics, as well as Hellenistic jewellery and marble sculptures. Stretch your legs at Firkas Fortress, which sits at the west end of Chania’s harbour. It was originally built to protect the city from Turkish invasion, and today, a section of it houses the fascinating (and well worth a visit) Maritime Museum of Crete, which delves into the island’s naval history. Make the effort to reach the top for spectacular views across the harbour, particularly at sunset.
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