It’s impossible to be in Chania and not be overcome by the urge to get active. So prepare to set out with the wind in your sails and experience the best that Crete has to offer.
Set out with the wind in your sails
When you’re surrounded by all that incredible sea, it’s only right that your adventure-seeking tour of Chania starts in the water. Or rather on the water! And moving just as fast as you dare. If you’re a Stand Up Paddleboard type, that’s also fine. But we’re off windsurfing first – or maybe even kite-surfing, if you’re up to it.
There are so many great options. Agia Marina (just west of Chania town), Falasarna, Elafonisi… all beaches that have great conditions and equipment to rent.
Now to immerse yourself
You’ll also be getting into the water, of course, but not just swimming. There are some great dive sites and snorkelling options around the coastline. You could be a technical diver or a beginner, it doesn’t really matter. Chania’s distinctive rugged terrain continues below the sea surface, with some great caves and reefs to explore with diving clubs. Souda Bay, the Kalyves coastline and Georgioupolis all offer underwater gems.
There’s even the intriguingly named Underwater Cave of Elephants, so-called after the petrified elephant bones still on the sea floor. And if you want a really good tip, there’s a sunken German Junkers 52 aircraft, shot down during World War II, just north of Agia Marina, near the islet of Agioi Theodoroi. Try keeping that one to yourself.
Sky’s the limit
Your adrenaline’s up, so now to get it really pumping. Let’s get airborne. How else to get the most out of a landscape of rugged mountains, dreamy coastline and fabulous greenery? We’re talking paragliding or parasailing. Or perhaps paratriking.
If you’re in Chania town, there are flying options just 2km away in Nea Chora, but it’s worth heading to the Omalos Plateau, around 45km to the south, where you can glide beneath the peaks of the White Mountains at around 1,250m, right over the Samaria Gorge to Gigilos on the south coast.
Too gentle? Then there’s only one other adrenaline adventure for you: bungee jumping off the Aradena Bridge – all 138m of it. It’s the highest bungee jumping bridge in Greece and the second highest in Europe.
A gorgeous landscape
Your feet are back on the ground, so let’s go hiking! There’s the E4 European Long Distance trekking path running along the eastern and southern coastlines. With sea and mountain views and the scent of wild herbs (rosemary, thyme, sage and lavender), the miles tick by. But you can’t talk trekking in Chania without mentioning the gorges: Elygia in Sfakia is special, and others trip off the tongue – Diktamos, Lissos, Topolia, Asfendou, Kambos, Sirikari, Sassalos.
The hands-down winner for sheer majesty is the Samaria Gorge. The 16km path starts at Omalos Plateau and descends through a forest of cypresses and pine trees, squeezing between the narrowest of passages, with 500m vertical walls. Quite extraordinary! Of course, where there are mountains, there’s climbing. In fact, Chania has its own mountaineering club. Exhausted? How about 4×4 experience up to the White Mountains on a private jeep safari? No excuses!
Source: Discover Greece
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