7 Day Trips from Chania – 2024 Ultimate Guide

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Chania, a picturesque town on the Greek island of Crete, serves as an ideal base for exploring the stunning surroundings through captivating day trips from Chania. From ancient ruins to pristine beaches and charming villages, there is no shortage of diverse destinations to discover within a short drive from Chania. Join us as we delve into the top day trips from Chania that promise unforgettable experiences and lasting memories.

Balos Beach

Travel tips

  • Distance from Chania: 34 miles
  • Time to get there: Approximately 1.5 hours
  • How to get there: From Chania, take the bus from Chania Central Bus Station to Kissamos. From Kissamos, take a boat to Balos Beach.
  • Click for Google maps directions: Balos Beach

Exploring Balos Beach: Things to do

Balos Beach is a stunning destination that should be on every traveler’s itinerary when visiting Crete. The crystal-clear turquoise waters, soft white sand, and unique landscape make it a must-see place for nature lovers and beach enthusiasts alike.

One of the top things to do at Balos Beach is to simply relax and soak up the sun on the pristine beach. The calm and shallow waters are perfect for swimming and snorkeling, allowing visitors to explore the underwater world teeming with marine life.

For those looking for a bit of adventure, hiking to the nearby Balos Lagoon offers breathtaking views of the surrounding cliffs and coastline. The hike may be a bit challenging, but the panoramic vistas from the top are well worth the effort.

Don’t miss the opportunity to capture the iconic view of the beach from above, where the contrasting colors of the sea and sand create a picture-perfect scene. Whether you’re a photography enthusiast or simply want to admire the beauty of nature, this viewpoint is a must-visit spot.

Overall, Balos Beach is a paradise on earth that offers a perfect blend of relaxation, adventure, and natural beauty. Whether you’re looking to unwind on the beach, explore the crystal-clear waters, or marvel at the stunning landscapes, Balos Beach has something for everyone.

Elafonissi Beach

Travel tips

  • Distance from Chania: 43 miles
  • Time to get there: Approximately 1.5 hours by car
  • How to get there: You can take a bus from Chania to Elafonissi Beach. The bus station in Chania is located at KTEL Chania, and the bus will drop you off near the beach. Alternatively, you can drive or take a taxi for a more flexible schedule.
  • Click for Google maps directions: Elafonissi Beach

Exploring Elafonissi Beach: Things to do

Elafonissi Beach is a must-see destination for those visiting Crete due to its unique pink sand and crystal-clear turquoise waters. The beach is known for its shallow lagoon, making it perfect for families with children. Visitors can enjoy sunbathing on the soft pink sand, swimming in the clear waters, and exploring the small islet just off the coast.

For nature lovers, Elafonissi Beach offers opportunities for bird watching and hiking along the coastal trails. The area is also home to a diverse range of flora and fauna, adding to the natural beauty of the beach. Don’t miss the chance to witness the stunning sunset over the horizon, creating a picturesque backdrop for your visit.

Water sports enthusiasts can indulge in activities such as snorkeling, paddleboarding, and windsurfing, taking advantage of the calm waters and gentle sea breeze. There are also beachside cafes and restaurants where you can savor fresh seafood dishes and local delicacies while enjoying the panoramic views of the beach.

Overall, Elafonissi Beach provides a serene and idyllic setting for a relaxing day trip from Chania, offering a perfect blend of natural beauty and recreational activities for all types of travelers.

Samaria Gorge

Travel tips

  • Distance from Chania: 27 miles
  • Time to get there: Approximately 1.5 hours
  • How to get there: Take the bus from Chania Central Bus Station to Omalos, where the entrance to Samaria Gorge is located. The bus journey takes around 1.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive or take a taxi to Omalos. From there, follow the signs to the entrance of the gorge.
  • Click for Google maps directions: Samaria Gorge

Exploring Samaria Gorge: Things to do

Samaria Gorge is a must-see destination for nature lovers and hiking enthusiasts visiting Crete. This stunning natural wonder offers a unique opportunity to explore one of the longest gorges in Europe, surrounded by breathtaking landscapes and rich biodiversity.

One of the top activities to do in Samaria Gorge is hiking the 10-mile trail that takes you through rugged terrain, towering cliffs, and lush forests. The hike can be challenging at times, but the stunning views and sense of accomplishment make it truly rewarding. Along the way, you’ll encounter the famous “Iron Gates,” a narrow passage with walls rising up to 1,200 feet high.

Wildlife enthusiasts will also appreciate the diverse flora and fauna found in the gorge, including rare Cretan wild goats known as kri-kri, eagles soaring overhead, and a variety of endemic plant species. Keep an eye out for the unique geological formations and natural springs that dot the landscape, adding to the allure of this natural wonder.

For those looking to relax after a day of hiking, the village of Agia Roumeli at the end of the trail offers a picturesque setting with tavernas serving traditional Cretan cuisine and a pebble beach where you can cool off in the crystal-clear waters of the Libyan Sea.

Overall, Samaria Gorge provides a memorable outdoor experience that showcases the raw beauty of Crete’s rugged landscape. Whether you’re an avid hiker or simply seeking a peaceful retreat in nature, a visit to Samaria Gorge is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Knossos Palace

Travel tips

  • Distance from Chania to Knossos Palace: 81 miles
  • Time to get there: Approximately 1.5 hours by car
  • How to get there from Chania: You can take a direct bus from Chania to Heraklion, where Knossos Palace is located. The main bus station in Chania is called “KTEL Chania” and the main bus station in Heraklion is called “KTEL Heraklion.” From Heraklion, you can take a taxi or a local bus to reach Knossos Palace.
  • Click for Google maps directions: Knossos Palace

Exploring Knossos Palace: Things to do

Knossos Palace is a historical site in Crete that offers a fascinating glimpse into the ancient Minoan civilization. As the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on the island, Knossos Palace is a must-see for history enthusiasts and culture lovers alike.

One of the top things to do at Knossos Palace is to explore the intricate labyrinthine layout of the palace ruins. Walk through the various chambers, corridors, and staircases to get a sense of how the Minoans lived and interacted within this grand structure.

Don’t miss the opportunity to see the famous Throne Room with its impressive frescoes and the Grand Staircase that leads to the upper floors of the palace. These architectural features provide valuable insights into the advanced engineering and artistic skills of the Minoan civilization.

Visitors can also marvel at the well-preserved Minoan wall paintings depicting scenes of daily life, religious rituals, and mythical creatures. The vivid colors and intricate details of these frescoes offer a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of ancient Crete.

In addition to exploring the palace itself, make sure to wander around the surrounding archaeological site to discover remnants of ancient buildings, courtyards, and storage areas. The peaceful setting amidst olive groves and vineyards adds to the charm of the historical experience at Knossos Palace.

Overall, a visit to Knossos Palace is a rewarding journey back in time to uncover the mysteries of the Minoan civilization and appreciate the architectural and artistic achievements of this ancient culture.


Travel tips

  • Distance of Rethymno from Chania: 40 miles
  • Time to get there: Approximately 1.5 hours
  • How to get there from Chania: You can take the KTEL bus from Chania central bus station to Rethymno. The journey offers scenic views along the way. Alternatively, you can also drive or take a taxi. The train station in Chania is not operational for trips to Rethymno.
  • Click for Google maps directions: Rethymno

Exploring Rethymno: Things to do

Rethymno, a charming coastal town in Crete, is a must-see destination for travelers seeking a blend of history, culture, and natural beauty. The town’s Venetian Harbor is a picturesque spot where you can stroll along the waterfront, admire the old lighthouse, and watch the fishing boats bobbing in the clear blue waters.

One of the top attractions in Rethymno is the Fortezza, a massive Venetian fortress that offers panoramic views of the town and the sea. History enthusiasts will appreciate exploring the narrow streets of the Old Town, lined with well-preserved Venetian and Ottoman buildings, including the Rimondi Fountain and the Neratze Mosque.

For a relaxing day out, head to the sandy beaches of Rethymno, such as Preveli Beach or Plakias Beach, where you can soak up the Mediterranean sun and take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear waters. Nature lovers can also explore the rugged landscapes of the nearby Samaria Gorge or hike through the Kourtaliotiko Gorge for a taste of Crete’s natural beauty.

In Rethymno, you can savor traditional Cretan cuisine at local tavernas, sample local wines at charming vineyards, or shop for handmade crafts and souvenirs in the bustling markets. Whether you’re interested in history, relaxation, or outdoor adventures, Rethymno offers something for every traveler to enjoy.


Travel tips

  • Distance from Chania to Heraklion: 88 miles
  • Time to get there: Approximately 2 hours by car
  • How to get there from Chania: You can take the KTEL bus from Chania to Heraklion. The bus station in Chania is located at 1866 Square, while the bus station in Heraklion is at Chanioporta. Alternatively, you can take a taxi or rent a car for more flexibility.
  • Click for Google maps directions: Heraklion

Exploring Heraklion: Things to do

Heraklion, the capital of Crete, is a bustling city with a rich history and vibrant culture. One of the must-see places in Heraklion is the iconic Heraklion Archaeological Museum, home to an impressive collection of Minoan artifacts. History buffs will also enjoy exploring the ancient ruins of Knossos, the legendary palace of King Minos.

For a taste of local life, head to the bustling Heraklion Market, where you can sample fresh produce, local cheeses, and traditional Cretan delicacies. Don’t miss the opportunity to stroll along the historic Venetian Walls that surround the city, offering panoramic views of the sea and the surrounding landscape.

If you’re looking for a bit of relaxation, head to the beautiful sandy beaches of Amoudara or Agia Pelagia, perfect for soaking up the Mediterranean sun. For a cultural experience, visit the historic Koules Fortress, a Venetian fortress that offers stunning views of the city and the sea.

Overall, Heraklion is a must-see destination for history enthusiasts, food lovers, and beachgoers alike. With its diverse attractions and vibrant atmosphere, this city has something to offer for every type of traveler.

Agia Triada Monastery

Travel tips

  • Distance from Chania: 14 miles
  • Time to get there: Approximately 30 minutes by car
  • How to get there: You can take the KTEL bus from Chania to the Agia Triada Monastery. The bus station in Chania is located at 1866 Square. The monastery is also accessible by car.
  • Click for Google maps directions: Agia Triada Monastery

Exploring Agia Triada Monastery: Things to do

Agia Triada Monastery, also known as the Holy Trinity Monastery, is a must-see destination near Chania for those interested in history and architecture. This stunning monastery dates back to the 17th century and showcases traditional Cretan Renaissance style.

Upon arrival, visitors are greeted by the impressive architecture of the monastery, featuring intricate stone carvings and well-preserved frescoes. Take a leisurely stroll around the monastery grounds and admire the peaceful surroundings.

One of the top things to do at Agia Triada Monastery is to explore the various chapels and buildings within the complex. The main church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, is a beautiful example of Cretan architecture and houses valuable religious artifacts.

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the monastery’s museum, which displays a collection of religious icons, manuscripts, and historical items. Learn about the monastery’s rich history and its significance in the region.

For a moment of tranquility, sit in the monastery’s courtyard and soak in the serene atmosphere. The surrounding olive groves and vineyards add to the picturesque setting, making it a perfect spot for relaxation and contemplation.

Before you leave, make sure to purchase some local products such as olive oil and wine produced by the monastery. These authentic Cretan goods make for great souvenirs to take home with you.

Overall, a visit to Agia Triada Monastery offers a glimpse into the religious and cultural heritage of Crete, making it a rewarding experience for travelers seeking to explore the island’s history.

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