Photo Agia Marina is located at a distance of 9 km. west of Hania. This is a busy tourist resort with about 800 residents. Here, you will visit the small church of Agia Marina,giving its name to the village, which has also been connected with great moments of cretan opposition against the german occupation. Starting out from Agia Marina you can visit the small isle of Agioi Theodori, where you will have a chance to see the unique wild cretan goats, as well as the Nerospilia (Watercave) with the beautiful stalactites and stalagmites.


Photo Agia Roumeli is located 60 km. south of Hania. This is a small, sunwashed resort with very few residents, built next to an exquisite beach with crystal clear waters. Its modern name comes from the chrurch of Agia Roumeli, which is built on the older, roman temple of Agia Roumilia or Roumina. At the site of the contemporary village it is believed that was the ancient city Taras, the ruinw of which have been dated to the 5th century B.C. As proven by the excavations, the city of Taras was of great economic importance for the area, cutting its own coins, and as it is proven by the temple of Tarsios Apollo or Artemis, which was located at the exit of the gorge, this was also an importan religious center during antiquity. Today, at the site of the ancient temple, you will spot the church of Panagia (the Holy Mother), exhibiting worthwhile mosaics of the 15th century. During the summer months, lots of visitors come to Agia Roumeli, since the village is located at a distance of 1.5 km. from the exit of the Gorge of Samaria. From Agia Roumeli and at a walking distance of about an hour you will find the small byzantine church where it is said that the Apostle Paul came to teach.


Photo The village of Askifou, at an altitude of 730 meters, is located about 50 km. southeast of Hania. Its name originates from the ancient greek word "skifos", meaning "cup" and it apparently has to do with the shape of the mountain plateau surrounding it. During the Cretan Insurrection against the Turks, the villagers took part in the heroic battle which led to the destruction of the forces of Sherif Pasha, in the straights of Lagos in August 1821. This was also the village chosen by the the General Cretan Foundation in 1896, to meet in order to officiate the islands union with the rest of Greece. The inhabitants of Skifou live off the intensive cultivation of the rich lands of the plateau, producing potatoes, cereals, chestnuts and wine. Many visitors, whoc wish to enjoy the unique view and the famous cheese pies of Skyfou, choose to make a stop at its traditional tavernas and coffee shops.


Photo The seaside village of Georgioupolis is located 38 km. southeast of Hania and it has about 500 inhabitants. Although we have no formal proof from archaeological excavations, it is believed that this was the location of ancient Amfimalla, one of the ports of the city of Lappa. The village is named after one of the island Governors, Prince George. Today, Georgioupolis is considered on of most important tourist resorts of Crete, as its exquisite beaches attract great numbers of visitors every summer. From Georgioupolis you will have the chance to visit the Kourna Lake, the only lake on the island, and the nearby village which shares its name. The Kourna Caves were discovered in 1961 at the south side of the lake, presenting a unique site.


Photo Hania is the capital city of the Municipality of Hania, with 60.000 inhabitants. They are built at the site of the aqncient town of Kydonia, one of the oldest inhabited areas on the island. Its modern times name was given by the Arabs. In 1252, under the Venetian occupation, the town begun its fortification projects, which were finished in 1590. Hania was the first town in Crete occupied by the Turks, in 1654, until it was freed in 1898, when it also became the capital of the by then autonomous island. Today in Hania, the visitor will distinguish the modern from the traditional parts of the town, which includes areas such as the Top Hana or Topana, the Jewish neighbourhood, the Santrivani, the Spalntzia or Plaza, and the Casteli. Among the buildings surrounding the busy little port you will note the older structures of the venetian and the turkish occupation periods, as well as the newer buildings with modern architecture. The town monuments, its squares and its streets testify to its glorious history. Here you will also find many memorials to Eleftherios Venizelos, the great, forward looking politician who was born in the village of Mournies and spent a great part of his life in Hania. In the town, it is wothwile to visit the Halepa neighbourhood with the breathtaking mansions as well as the church of Saint Maria Magdalene, the arcaeological excavation sites of ancient Kidonia in Casteli (nearby the port) the metropolitan Cathedral, the Municipal and Zoologigal Gardens and the Municipal Market. Here, you will also find the Archaeological, Laographic, Historical and Nautical Museum as well as the Municipal Library.


Photo Hora Sfakion, with 350 ihabitants, is located at a distance of 74 km. south of Hania and is built at the center of a hidden cove in an area noted for the wilderness and the remoteness, which - as it is said - reflects in the personality and character of its inhabitants. Those courageous and free spirited people turned to the sea in order to make a living and for many years they chose to be sailors and commercial traders. Sfakia have always been connected with the great moments of cretan history. During the Venetian occupation the village had great financial development and the number of its inhabitants rose to 3000. At that time its fortress, Castelli, was built, becoming also the home of the local Venetian governor. Although the failed insurrection of 1770 was "drained in blood" the townspeople never gave up and kept fighting the Turks at every opportunity given. On May 31st, 1941, the little port of Sfakia was used - with the help of the villagers - by New Zealanders and Australians who had remained behind the main allied forces, in order to escape. Today, among the houses in the village, you will find many 300 to 400 year old mansios, testifying to its glorious history. Starting out from Sfakia it is worthwhile to pay a visit to the Church of Panagia of Thymiani, to the village of Komitades as well as to the legendary Fragocastello.


Photo The seaside village of Kalives is located at a distance of about 18 km. east of Hania. This is a small resort of about 1.100 inhabitants, built in a beautiful, green area. The village of Kalives is divided into two communities, the modern one with contemporary architectural structures and the traditional, with stone houses and narrow lanes.


Photo The beautiful town of Kastelli Kissamou is the capital of Kissamos county, located 36 km west of Hania. Here stood the ancient city of Kissamos, an independent city, and the harbour of Polyrrinia. During the Venetian Rule, a castle was built here (castle = Kastelli), the ruins of which, one can still visit. The modern town of Kastelli, built in a fertile valley with olive-trees and vineyards, is a significant commercial and tourist centre. It is the port that connects Crete with the Peloponnese (Gythio, Kalamata and Neapolis), as well as with the island of Kithira. When in the area, one should visit the archaeological collection housed in a room of the former venetian-Turkish head-quarters, as well as the ruins of the roman aqueduct and buildings at Kria Brysi.


Photo The islet of Gavdos, opposite Sfakia, is the southern-most border of Greece and Europe. It is 24 nautical miles away from Agia Roumeli, right in the middle of the Libyan Sea. According to Callimachus, this is the ancient isle of Ogygia where, as Homer claims in "Odyssey", the nymph Calypso lived. Other names of Gavdos in the past were "Cavdos" and "Clavdos" (Ptolemens and Ierocles), "Glavdi" (the Epistles), "Gozzo" (the Venetians) and "Bougadoz" (the Turks). In the first Byzantine period, Gavdos had a bishop, as it had many inhabitants, but, during the Venetian Rule, the islet was abandoned, as pirates sought refuge there. Until the late 18th, early 19th century, Gavdos belonged to Sfakia and was part of the Municipality of Anopolis Sfakion. In 1925, it was pronounced a separate community, and remained part of the county of Sfakia, until 1950. Then, since the majority of the locals had moved to Paleohora, Gavdos became part of the county of Selinos. Bibliography mentions the existence of 172 inhabitants in the settlements of Kastri, Ambelos, Vabiana and Metochia, as well as the existence of pre-war settlements such as Drethiana, Xenaki, Galana, Fragliathana. Today, apart from the harbour Karave, there are three village on the islet: Kastri (the capital), Vatsiana and Ambelos. The year- round inhabitants number approximately 40. Gavdos is shaped triangularly, its terrain plain and semi-rocky and the climate warm and dry, with few rain showers. A big part of the island is covered with pine-trees and cedars, the products of which are known for their aphrodisiac qualities. The islet's beaches (Saracenico, Korfos, Tripiti, Ag. Ioannis, Potamos), having recently won the award "Golden Starfish", lie here proud, golden, with crystal waters.


Photo The village of Kolimbari is located 23 km. west of Hania, and is built in an area of great natural beuaty. The village has played an important role in cretan history. This was the site of the turkish invation in 1645 as well as the place where in February 1897, Timoleon Vassos, begun the Cretan Struggle for the unification of the island with th rest of independent Greece. Today, the about 750 residents of the village live off the poroduction of the famous Kisamos wines as well as off tourism which has great development during the last few years. From Kolimbari, you will have the opportunity to visit the ruins of the ancient town of Diktina, at the end of Cpae Rodopou, as well as the Gonias Monastery, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, and was built in 1618.


Photo The seaside village of Loutro is located at a distance of about 85 km. south of Hania, at the end of Cape Mouri. It is believed that this was the site of the ancient city of Finikas, which is reffered to in the "Apostles' Acts" and was the port of ancient Anopolis. Later, it became the winter time port of the town of Sfakia, due to the fact that the enclosed bay and the small island in its entrance create a natural harbour where ships can be safe even at very bad weather conditions. The village was named after the baths which have been found in the area and from which water was directed to nearby Anopolis. Today, the village is a great attraction for tourists who come here in great numbers during the summer. Among the older buildings that you can see here, you will find the Municipal Building used by the first government, in 1821. From Loutro you can visit the ruins of the ancient town of Aradena, with the Byzantine Curch of Archangel Michael as well as the ruins of ancient Anopolis.


Photo The village of Maleme, with about 550 inhabitants, is located at a distance of 17 km. west of Hania. Before the Second World War this was the site of the Hania aorport, where in 1941 the villagers took part in the "Battle of Crete" trying to keep parachutists from invading the island. Today, Maleme is very much developed as a tourist resort, attracting great numbers of visitors during the summer months. From Maleme you have easy access to the Kafkales site, where you will see the ruins of a hatched grave dating from the later minoan period, as well as the German Cemetary.


Photo The mountain village of Omalos is located at a distance of 39 km. south of Hania, and is built on the homonemous plateau, at an altitude of 1,050 meters. Due to the terrain, with the high, remote mountains, Cretan revolutionaries chose the area during the turkish occupation, in order to find shelter. Today, the few residents of the village live off animal husbandry and the cultivation of potatoes and cereals, which however is not extensive. From Omalos, you may visit the hill of Agios Panteleimonas as well as the grave of the heroic fighter Hatzimihalis Giannaris, who fought with all his might during the independence wars of the Cretans, in 1866, 1878, 1897 and 1912.


Photo The seaside village of Paleohora is located at a distance of 74.5 km. southwest of Hania. With 2000 residents, this - after Ierapetra - is the biggest town in southern Crete. According to historians, this is the location of the ancient city of Kalamidi. During the last few years, Paleohora has turned into one of the busiest tourist destinations on the island, attracting great numbers of visitors during the summer months. In the town you will find the Museum of History, worth visiting due to its many exhibits testifying to the glorious history of the area. Next to the resort, you will find the fortress Castel Selino, built by the Duke of Crete, Marino Gradonico in 1279-82, in order to protect the harbour from invations from the sea and the Duke's property and riches from the uprisings of the locals. The fortress was later destroyed by the revolutionaries, in order to be refortified in 1334. As we see it today, it is the result of further conctrsuction after its destruction by the Pirate, Barnbarossa, in 1539. Starting out from Paleohora, you will have the chance to visit the caves of Zoures and haraks in the village of Azogires, which, it is believed was chosen by the 99 Fathers of our Church in order to lead their monastic lives. You will also have a chance to visit the small offshore isle of Gavdos.


Photo The picturesque fishing village of Sougia is located in 67 km from Hania. It is built on the grounds of the ancient town of Suia. Modern Sougia attracts many tourists, mainly because of its remarkable, thin- pebbled beach and the surrounding green slopes with the pine-trees. The 150 inhabitants are occupied with tourism and fishing, as within a small distance, in the west, there is a well-protected natural cove. One should visit the ruins of the Roman Period and the basilica which was excavated by A. Orlando. At a small distance lies the ancient city of Lissos, where the famous Asclipieum stood, upon the ruins of which the church of Agios Kiricus was built.


Photo The historic village of Theriso is located 16 km south of Hania, before the slopes of Lefka Ori. The road to the village crosses the imposing gorge of Eleftherios Venizelos, which is 6 km long. Theriso is known for its role in the modern history of Greece, as here, in 1905, Eleftherios Venizelos declared the revolution against the monarchy of Prince George who was forced upon the Greek people by the Great Powers. This revolution resulted in the union of Crete with the rest of Greece. The head-quarters of Venizelos, in the village is a site worth visiting. It would also be nice to visit the Saracena cave, 2 km outside the village, where ancient pots were found.


Photo The picturesque village of Vrysses is situated 31 km south-east of Hania, on the way to Hora Sfakion. It is a green, fertile area crossed by the Brysiotiko. The village's dairy products are famous, and travellers from all over enjoy them in the shady village squares. The nearby cave of Kera Spiliotissa, of great archaeological interest, is also worth a visit.