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Palio Enetiko Harbour

Agiou Markou 8, Chania 731 32, Greece
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East Meets West in Chania Harbor Chania  Greece

East Meets West in Chania Harbor

With its Venetian fortifications, Turkish mosque and waterfront tavernas, Chania Harbor is a medley of cultures that reflects Crete's layered past. The Venetians built its oft-photographed lighthouse in the 14th century. Egyptians restored it to its present form in the 19th. As the centerpiece of Firkas Fortress, it still illuminates the Sea of Crete's dark waters, guiding fishing boats and other small craft into the harbor while providing a historic backdrop for waterfront shopping and dining. Chania's commercial and passenger port is seven kilometers to the east, in Souda Bay.

A mix of ouzo shops, boutiques, restaurants, cafés and bars makes Chania Harbor a great spot for an evening stroll and dinner by the sea. To reach it, follow Halidon Street to Eleftherios Venizelos Square, once known as Sindrivani (Fountain) Square because of its Turkish fountain. Looking out at the sea, you'll see Kastelli Hill, the area of Chania first inhabited in the Neolithic period, site of the Minoan city of Cydonia. To the right, the Turkish mosque glimmers. Past it are shipyards where the Venetians repaired their galleys.

There's no dearth of touts on the waterfront, competing for your dining euros. Ignore them and find a quiet spot for dinner, where you can watch the waves slosh against the breakwater while savoring Mediterranean cuisine washed down with Mythos beer or a glass of icy ouzo.