Beauty but no Gondolas: Chania's Venetian Harbor

in #chania3 years ago (edited)

If you were hoping to see gondolas floating through the canals of Chania's Venetian Harbor, we're sorry to disappoint you. Although I'm sure any disenchantment you're feeling won't last, after you see the amazing promenade which rings the city's small port. Chania doesn't have any canals for gondolas to paddle, anyway, so they'd be pretty useless here.

 Chania Venetian Harbor

No, the Venetian Harbor wasn't named for its resemblance to the Floating City, but because of its creators. In the 14th century, Chania was controlled by the powerful city-state of Venice, who developed the harbor to suit their military and commercial purposes. In the 16th century, the port was included in the city's new fortification scheme, due to the threat of a Turkish invasion, which is why there's a bastion near the entrance, keeping watch over the harbor.

Chania Harbor Gif

Directly across from the bastion, you can see the old lighthouse, originally built by the Venetians, but reconstructed by the Egyptians in the 1830s, during their short occupation of the city. This is why it resembles a minaret, more than a classical lighthouse.

The harbor isn't large, with space for just pleasure boats that are geared almost exclusively toward maritime excursions. That means, thankfully, there's no chance that large cruise ships can dock here; they're stationed on the other side of the Akrotiri peninsula, in Souda, and their passengers must then take buses into town. Years ago, though, large ships would station themselves right outside the Venetian Harbor, impacting the views.

Chania Venetian Harbor

Are you ready to explore? We recommend starting your walk at the western bastion, the Firka Fortress, which today hosts the Maritime Museum of Crete. From this point on, the promenade is lined with restaurants, bars, cafes, and tourist shops. Many of them have touts working the sidewalk, exhorting potential consumers to get inside their establishments... but not all restaurants do this, and we suggest rewarding your business to the ones which leave people in peace!

 Chania Venetian Harbor

Prices are unsurprisingly a little elevated compared to other spots in the city, but still overall quite fair considering the view. We suggest the upstairs Thea Cafe for its chill atmosphere and friendly staff, along with its unparalleled lookout over the harbor.

Mosque of the Janissaries

On your counter-clockwise path, you'll notice a distinctively Arabic building, known the Mosque of the Janissaries. This is the oldest Ottoman construction still standing on Crete, built in 1645 by the Turks. No longer used as a mosque, today it contains a small art gallery, and serves as a striking reminder of Chania's colorful past.

Once you're past the restaurants, you'll arrive at a stretch of warehouses, and the beginning of the eastern port walls. This is our favorite section, as it's much less crowded, and you actually have the chance to walk on top of the wall. From here, the view of the harbor is different, and the west-facing Sailing Club Sea Lounge is perfect for an evening cocktail.

Chania Lighthouse

The final stop along the wall is the lighthouse, which you unfortunately aren't able to ascend. Given how close it is physically to the Firka Fortress, from where this walk began, you'll be shocked how long it took you to circumnavigate the harbor. If you've done things right, you'll have arrived right at sundown; this is an amazing spot to watch the sun disappear behind the far-off Rodopou peninsula.

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Hiya, just swinging by to let you know that this post made the Honorable Mentions list in our daily Travel Digest. Please drop by to check out all the rest of today's great posts and consider upvoting the Travel Digest if you like what we're doing.

@for91days yet another fabulous post with high quality pictures! Blessings!

Thank you ... happy you liked it!

beautiful set of photos :)

Thank you!!! It's a beautiful little city.

It looks so quiet and calm here

Sadly it's not ... hehe, just perfectly framed :) It's crazy at times!

I'm a simple man, I see a lighthouse I click! And if it has boats I double click!

MrP Clickbait! It's easy :)

Hahahah oh yeah, just put a sailboat or lighthouse and I'll click before even checking

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Fortunately no cruise ships can't dock in that harbour otherwise I can't imagine how they could spoil the surrounding and beautiful environment. You make feel remorseful to not have extend my stay in Greece last August :) :) You took very beautiful photos

Yes you should come to Chania, the thing though, the cruise ships who park now on the other side still spoil it.

I think so this August I have been to Thessaloniki and part of Halkidiki I was unable to travel around the rest of Greece. Another reason to come back. I thought no cruise because the harbour was small.

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This really looks a lovely place, though gondolas would have been cool but still a beautiful city and waterfront.

I upvoted your post.

Mabuhay, keep steeming.

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