Area Activities …beautiful places to visit
Beaches to visit – While staying with us at Emerald Hotel, you can visit the nearby beaches of Almyrida and Kalives (both are sandy beaches, great for families) and Kalami (pebble beach).
In Almyrida, you will also find a variety of water sports such as diving, snorkeling, boat trips and windsurfing.
Aptera archaeological site – This small archaeological site (ancient town of the Minoan era) is well worth a visit. From here there are wonderful sea views to the port of Chania (Souda) and the Akrotiri peninsula.
Itzedin Castle – A Turkish castle, built in the 19th Century. Also known as the Kalami fort.
Visit the centre of Chania as well as the must-see old Venetian harbor and town (about 25 kilometers from Emerald Hotel).
Some of the more popular places there are the Naval Museum, the Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Museum, the Archaeological museum, the Turkish mosque (which now functions as an arts exhibit hall), the Municipal Art Gallery of Chania, the Jewish Synagogue and Hallidon Street (the main street that leads to the waterfront). For more information, have a look at www.chania.gr and www.xania.net (with several photos).
Traditional villages nearby – Vamos, Vrisses, Armenoi, Samonas, Kokkino Horio. These are just some of the small traditional villages that will give you a taste of rural traditional Crete.
Lake Kournas – The only freshwater lake in Crete! A good small trip to take with the family to enjoy the wonderful views to the mountains, lake and the sea. Walk around the lake, paddle-boat, feed the ducks and have a snack/lunch at one of several cafes/taverns.
Samaria gorge – This is the well known gorge of Samaria, where thousands of visitors come to Crete and hike this gorge. This is a 15km (mainly downhill) hike – a whole day event. You can do it on your own by use of the local bus service from Chania central bus station or by organized tour (ask us while you are staying with us).
Imbros gorge – A short and easy hike (about 8km) that starts at originates from the last houses of the village and end at Komitades village. A guide is not needed. Once at Komitades village you can take a taxi back to your car (or if you are up to it, hike all the way back).
Diktamos gorge – Hike the 7km gorge of Diktamos. This begins at Katochori Malaksa and ends in Stylos village (or vice versa).
Maheri gorge – Hike this 4km gorge which starts at Kares village (at the church of Agios Nikolaou) and ends at the entrance to Maheri village (or vice versa). This church of Agios Nikolaou is located at Kuriakosellia (towards Samonas village) and has byzantine frescoes. It is a beautiful church with archaeological significance. If you intend on visiting this church, do let us know as we would need to make arrangements for the key to the church (as it is not always open).
The church of Agios Ioannis – in Douliana village is a very beautiful church, built in the mountain rock.
Day Trip Ideas …explore the beauty of Chania
Hora Sfakion – Frangokastello – Plakias – Myrthios – Rethymno. Drive down to Hora Sfakion and either take the ferry to Loutro or Agia Roumeli (see ferry schedules here) or continue on from Chora Sfakion for a further 12 kilometers to Frangokastello (see the castle on the beach) and onto the large coastal village of Plakias. From there drive up to the inland village of Myrthios (for a traditional Cretan lunch at any of the taverns with panoramic sea views) and then onto Rethymno. From there you can easily get to the New National Road (heading west to ‘Chania’) to get back to Emerald Hotel.
Explore the Akrotiri peninsula: Monastery of Agia Triada – Gouverneto Monastery – Eleftherios Venizelos Graves (historical site) From Souda (port of Chania) drive towards the airport. Visit the Monastery of Agia Triada and then the Gouverneto Monastery. On your way back towards Chania stop at the Eleftherios Venizelos Graves – a historical site with wonderful views to the old Venetian harbor of Chania. Also there you will find a choice of coffee shops for you to enjoy.
Falassarna beach – Elafonisos beach – Monastery of Chrisoskalitissa The two top beaches to visit while in Chania are Falassarna and Elafonisos. On route you can also visit the Monastery of Chrisoskalitissa. This is a full day trip with approximately a 2 hour drive each way.
Balos lagoon and Gramvousa islet Take a ferry from Kissamos port (daily) and spend a day sunbathing and swimming at Balos lagoon and the islet of Gramvousa. Total time on the ferry is 55 minutes.