Chania is the capital city in the administrative district of the same name. It is the second largest city on Crete. The history of Chania is particularly interesting as the attention of Crete’s conquerors has always been focused here. Linear-B Tablets found in the ancient workshops indicate that Chania was the site of the Minoan city of Kydonia. Homer described West Crete as the home of the Kydonians. The name originated from their king, Kydon, who is sometimes said to be the son of Minos, and at other times said to be his grandson. It was not surprising that this strategically important island was coveted by nearby states, and there were many attempts to invade.
Until 1971 Chania was the capital of Crete and is reputed to be the oldest city in the world. Continually inhabited since Neolithic times, the city today has modern looking outskirts, and a stunningly beautiful “old town” which is a mix of Venetian and Turkish influences. Situated around the main harbour, and in the narrow back alleys, are many museums (including the impressive Naval Museum), tavernas, cafes, and gift shops selling handicrafts, textiles, jewellery and hand made ceramics. Visit 'Leather Lane' for outstanding hand made leather bargains. There is also the famous “cross shaped” covered market and the Saturday morning street market. “Modern” Chania has many supermarkets, and shops which tend to every need, as well as nightclubs and sporting facilities. Evenings spent strolling around Chania harbour, watching the sunset, and soaking in the friendly atmosphere, are a must for locals and tourists alike.