Chania is a picturesque port town which sits on the northern coast of the island. Filled with crooked streets, bars, restaurants and historical places of interest, there's plenty to get around and see while you're away.
Why hire a car at Chania Airport?
There is no doubting the city's charms, but its home island Crete, has much more to offer. Public transport is available, but limited and the only real way to explore this Mediterranean gem is to rent a car and explore it at your leisure.
That all important first mile - driving out of Chania Airport:
Cretans drive on the right hand side of the road, but apart from that the rules are the same as ours - stick to the speed limit, wear your seatbelt and if you're travelling with others, don't hog the radio.
Once you've had a stretch and collected your bags, head for the airport's arrivals hall, where you'll find a number of car hire desks.
No meal would be complete without Olive Oil. Central to Cretan cooking since 1800BC, Olive oil is a lasting taste of your trip worth taking home.
Cash machines are available in the arrivals hall, but there are no banks so it may be worth taking some Euros with you.
There is a small selection of bars in the terminal building which provide drinks and snacks.
If you ask a Cretan a question and the response is an upward movement of the head - this means you have been answered with a 'no'.
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For a traditional flavour of this historical island, make 'The Old Town' your first port of call. Just a short drive from the airport, it's considered to be among the most beautiful and accessible spots on the entire island.
If you really want to get away from it all, head to Stavros. This tiny village on Crete's northern peninsular has a stunning circular bay filled with clear shallow waters . This particular spot is often much quieter than other beaches along the coast because without a hire car, most tourists miss Stavros all together.
The 9 mile, Samariá Gorge is officially recognised by the council of Europe as one of the most beautiful places in Europe. Starting out at Omalos, this walk takes you through canyons, uninhabited villages and pine forests and ends with your arrival at a beach. Suitable for people of moderate, to good fitness only.
Located at the foot of the White Mountains, the botanical park provides a refreshing alternative to towns and beaches. Spread over 20 hectares, there are plants, trees, a lake and amphitheatre to stroll through on your way to the park's restaurant which is stocked by seasonal produce grown onsite. Yum.
Follow signs out of Chania for Lakkoi, Omalos, Samariá for 15 miles. At Fourne, turn right, follow signs to the park and five minutes later, you're there.
Situated between Chania and Heraklion, the Amari Valley takes you through traditional villages and the mountains beyond on a circular loop. Allow a full day, take your time and pack a picnic so you can stop somewhere scenic for lunch.
Take the New National Road to Rethymno. Shortly after Rehtymno the Amari is signposted.
Often overshadowed in tourist guides by the mighty Knossos, this ancient fort is often missed by the masses so is much less crowded. Look out from the fortress walls across the bay of Souda and the whole of Chania as if you're its emperor - just don't fling your friends into the sea if they refuse to peel grapes for you.
Take the E75/EO90 highway south out of town and follow it all the way to Aptera. The journey should take no more than 25 minutes and the roads alone make hiring a car worthwhile.
This small town just 40 minutes from the city has quaint stores filled with traditional crafts, cafes and winding narrow streets to explore. Top off a relaxing tour on foot with one on horseback. Tours and treks along the beach are suitable for experienced riders or beginners.
Follow the E75 motorway out of town, and stay on it until Georgioupolis is signposted.