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Location of Hammam House
Great Things to Do Near Hammam House
The Maritime Museum delivers a superb introduction to the History of Crete and is by no means only for maritime mavens, you will learn more here in half an hour than most could teach you about the events that filled Crete's moving past.
This is one of the best Minoan palaces to visit. It has been less enhanced than Knossos that makes it easier to imagine it in days gone by. The scenery on the drive up to it is beautiful and its location is stunning. Information panels are all all around to help you make sense of it all, although a guide book can be handy. One thing is that there is not much shade, so if you are there in the summer maybe get there early before the day heats up. There is a nice snack bar to refresh you once you have seen it all, and a good size gift shop to stock up on souvenirs.
No cars in the tiny village of Loutro
Only approached by boat from Hora Sfakia in the South, this amazing tiny village has a simplicity of lifestyle and an incredible beauty untouched by the outside world. It is a town consisting of three rows of white-washed, blue-roofed hotels, restaurants and homes built around the edge of a beautiful bay. There are no tides, but simply long hot days of water, swimming and kayaking. It's probably too far to try for a day trip, but check out the small pensions there and stay overnight - it's magical! There are no cars or motorcycles there, only boats that peacefully come and go from the little town.
Beautiful Balos and Grand Gamvousa - sail to this protected biotope
From May to October, you can take daily cruises from Kissamos port (42 km west of Chania), to Gramvousa and Balos leaving in the morning and returning in the evening. Gramvousa (also called Tigani peninsula) has a castle on top of the island built by the Venetians to protect Crete from a Turkish occupation. It was one of the last unconquered bastions and it was the first area of Crete to be liberated from the Turks in 1825 (Turks were not expelled from all the rest of Crete until 1898). 3000 Cretan rebels were planning operations from Gramvousa.During this period of turmoil, the residents of the island started looting boats passing through, which gained the island its pirate reputation! The Gramvousa/Balos region is a protected biotope. There are 400 different plants on Gramvousa, 26 of them endemic to Crete. The Anthemis glaberrima (a type of daisy), the Allium platakisi (a wild onion) and the Silene litegripetala are found only in this area and are protected species. In the shallow parts of the sea, the Mediterranean plant Posidonia oceanica thrives, providing shelter for marine life. 98 bird species have been reported in the area. 20 of them are protected and 14 of them are threatened species (like the vulture Europe Gypaetusbarbatus). The Mediterranean seal (Monachus Monachus) and the Caretta Caretta turtle find shelter in this area. Also, a herd of wild donkeys lives on the peninsula.
Visit the huge indoor market in the centre of Chania
This vast agora (market) is a bustling noisy colourful place, where the abundance of fruit, vegetables, fresh fish, meat and everything edible is spread out over four sections fashioned like a cross. It is based on the famous marketplace of Marseille. There are plenty of bargains to haggle for and great produce for barbecues.
Wine tasting with a bit of history
On the way from from Chania to the beach of Elafonissi via Drapanias there is a sign stating Wine Museum, a bit like the Agroturismo places in Italy. The Pnevmatikaks Winery is a delightful wine tasting venue, a family business that grows grapes and olives. You can taste all their produce: different wines including a wine called Romeiko, produced the way it was done in antiquity. The Romeiko has a taste similar to a nice sherry and is 14.5 proof. Recommended products are their olive oil and Raki (tastes similar to Grappa). If you purchase wine and/or oil and the bottles are packed in such a way that they arrive safely home.
Pedaloes across Kournas lake
This breath-taking natural lake is the only one in Crete, and the brillliant aquamarine waters are a wonderful backdrop for a spot of lunch. Afterwards, you can rent pedaloes or a small boat for half an hour and row yourself around the lake, and work up an appetite for supper!
Zorba the Greek
Take a drive to Stavros beach on the Akrotiri peninsula, not only is it a beautiful beach, but also made famous as the beach that Anthony Quinn, as the famous Greek Zorba in the film Zorba the Greek, danced with Alan Bates. Check out the film and see if you can dance a few steps - obah!
An order for Dakos
A Cretan speciality served in most tavernas as a starter. Dried crusts soaked in tomatoes and topped with crumbled feta cheese – delicious!
The Cretan Runner written by Giorgos Psychoundakis is a great book describing some of the heroic exploits the Cretan resistance along with British soldiers and pilots got up to during the second world war. Giorgios was originally a shepherd but became a member of the resistance after the German invasion. Both his heroic and selfless exploits and the general population's are described in the book. It is regarded as a classic book of its type. There are two British War cemeteries in Souda Bay, however, much of the action took place around Maleme where a large German War cemetery dedicated to German soldiers was until recently tended by Giorgos himself. The British cemeteries are in a beautifully kept place, moving and humbling.
Absorb yourself in modern Cretan history
The Cretan Runner written by Giorgos Psychoundakis is a great book describing some of the heroic exploits the Cretan resistance along with British soldiers and pilots got up to during the second world war. Giorgios was originally a shepherd but became a member of the resistance after the German invasion. His heroic and selfless exploits and the general population are described in the book. It is regarded as a classic book of its type. There are two British War cemeteries in Souda Bay, however, much of the action took place around Maleme where a large German War cemetery dedicated to German soldiers was until recently tended by Giorgos himself. The British cemeteries are in a beautifully kept place, moving and humbling.
Wine tasting at the Manousakis Winery Vatolakos
The Manousakis Winery is the culmination of the dream and passion of founder Theodore Manousakis. Ted, as he is more frequently called, was born in Vatolakkos in 1943, and spent his early childhood years in the village until the age of 11. For reasons much beyond his control and much too complex for a young boy to understand, he left his home to find a better future in the far away “Promised Land”, America. Following his university education in the U.S., he entered business and was successful in a number of business endeavours including industrial security, real estate development, and hotels. Meanwhile, he assimilated in the great melting pot of the world, America, and nearly forgot his native language and Cretan traditions. Yet during the years away from his native village he always yearned to return home and find his roots; if not permanently, certainly more than as a mere visitor. Wine was a way of life in the village for as long as he could remember from his boyhood years. What a way to pay tribute to and honour the Cretan traditions and way of life, he thought. And, what a wonderful and civilized way to bring people together to enjoy the simple joys of life! The combination of nostalgia or “nostos”, as the ancient Greeks made reference, along with the perfect soil, sun, and weather conditions of Crete were the driving forces behind our first vineyards in the foothills above Vatolakkos. For Ted, the Manousakis Winery represents his roots; his yearning to return, his tradition, his heritage, and, above all, his family. Our logo with the three flowers called “Manousakia” in the Cretan dialect, (from which our name is derived), represents his three daughters. It is only fitting that the inspiration of this symbol is a blending of the beauty and exquisite fragrance of nature and the warmth and comfort of family! Ted Manousakis has his permanent home in Washington, D.C., but the winery remains a family-run business. His youngest daughter, Alexandra, moved to Chania in 2007 following studies at New York University, and now manages the Manousakis Winery. - See more at: http://nostoswines.com
Chania is the capital of the Prefecture of the same name and the second biggest town in Crete, with a population of 60,000 inhabitants. Chania is one of the nicest towns of Crete with wonderful houses, parks and squares.The old city has preserved the charm of the Venetian and Turkish periods. Entire Venetian, Turkish and Jewish quarters are saved, with many well preserved buildings in the narrow picturesque streets. On Leather Lane near the harbour selling all kinds and qualities of leather goods and a really interesting indoor covered market. Chania Town is worth a visit just for the shopping. The harbour is beautiful with an old mosque providing interesting architecture. Museums at Chania include the Naval Museum and the Byzantine Museum - there is something for everyone. Restaurants and Taverna's surround the harbour and boats leave from here for 2-3hr trips and you can also catch a horse and buggy. Have a wander around the back streets, they are mainly pedestrianised and the houses and shops are very interesting and pretty, with little restaurants and Café's tucked away in corners - very romantic.
All sorts of watersports available in this part of Crete Including Scuba diving,wind surfing, parascending, water skiing, kayaking, jet skiing, Rib inflatable trips and hire. surfing, fishing trips etc. Ask your representative for details.