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Chania is a fascinating tapestry of splendid beaches, historical treasures, and landscapes encompassing vibrant sea-side resorts and picturesque villages, where locals share their culture, delightful cuisine and generous spirit of hospitality.
Akrotiri with is charming villages is one of the most popular places for a summer escape in Crete. The most northern point of Crete, the large island is surrounded by stunning blue waters and no end of gorgeous beaches. However, what people sometimes forget is that Chania has just as much to offer travelers inland.
Akrotiri, Chania is home to some of the most beautiful sites in Crete, with cultural history, dramatic landscapes and a plethora of charming towns and villages scattered all over the island.
Some of Akrotiri’s locations are well known, such as the stunning beaches of Tersanas, Marathi, Loutraki and the charming villages of Chorafakia, Stavros and Pithari. However, this area holds plenty of hidden gems, quiet communities that are perfect for experiencing the authentic Crete.
There is a unique culture in the area of Akrotiri that sets it apart from anywhere else in Crete. From the cuisine to how they spend their time with family and their hospitality. There are many ways to discover this way of life, but exploring the lesser-travelled but equally stunning locations on the island is one of the best!
Here at ARENCORES, we’ve listed just some of our favourite towns and villages in Akrotiri that provide the perfect day trip full of things to see and do, to help you have the holiday of a lifetime or identify a property that could be your home in Crete.
Souda Bay (or Suda Bay) is located in western Crete, 6.5 km east from the city of Chania and south of the Akrotiri peninsula. The town of Souda is a relatively new settlement, and stretches along the southern coast of the Gulf of Souda.
The north coast within the Bay is prohibited to be approached by ships and boats, because is a military territory of the Greek and NATO naval bases.
At the southwestern part of the Souda bay is located the port, which is the main passenger and commercial port of the prefecture of Chania that connects the island of Crete with Piraeus.
Nowadays, Souda port is continuously developing and plays a significantly important role to the commercial, tourist and economic development of Chania Prefecture. Closely identifiable with pub restaurants, brasseries serve food, coffee and drinks at moderate prices.
They offer a wider food selection and tend to be bustling and serving food all day long, from morning until late at night. The Allied war cemetery, mostly of soldiers from World War II, is also located in Souda.
According to Wikipedia, there are 1527 Commonwealth servicemen of the Second World War buried, mostly British with 447 New Zealanders and 197 Australians.
Souda is the largest natural harbour in the Mediterranean Sea and is formed by the main body of the island of Crete and Akrotiri Penisula. The geophysical setting and positioning of Souda, combined with the size and suitable depth, makes it a safe, yet important military, commercial and tourist (Cruise lines) harbour during the whole year.
From here the daily ferries to Piraeus leave throughout all the year. At the entrance of the harbor four gigantic silos of a flour milling corporation dominates the area, operating already in Souda since 1928.
The name of Souda originates from the Latin word suda = trenches, ruler, narrow passage, as mentioned by the British traveler Pasley. During the Venetian occupation the Venetians constructed salt evaporation ponds in the area and because of that the Ottomans called the region “Tuzla”, which means salt lake in the Turkish language.
In May 1822, 84 freighter ships disembarked in Tuzla, which escorted 40 warships, 10.000 Ottomans, Egyptians and Albanians, led by Hassan Pasha to destroy the revolution of the Cretans.
In 1870 Rauf Pasha drained the salterns and built there a settlement named Azizie in honor of the Sultan Abdul Aziz. During the Cretan State 1898 – 1913, the village became a center of interest of the “Great Powers” and also played a significant role (as a port and refueling point) in the First and the Second World War.
In the entrance of the Souda Bay there is small islet recorded on Venetian maps as the “island of rabbits”. According to records, a first fortification of the island was constructed in about 1230.
The Florentine monk C. Buondelmondi reported the existence of a temple of St. Nicolas on the island, where Augustine monks lived several years before it was fortified. The island was named “Isoloto dei Frati” (Island of Brothers) after them, or “Fraronisi”. On this islet the Venetians constructed one of the greatest fortresses of Crete, to protect the gulf from enemies and pirates.
The art of fortification was applied in its excellence on this building, which resisted the attacks of the Turkish army for many years. The fortress remained in the possession of the Venetians for half a century after the invasion of Crete by the Turkish army and was used as a refuge for convicted revolutionaries, until it was finally surrendered to the Turks with a treaty in 1715.
With its world famous cuisine, fabulous history that dates back to the Minoan times, and unbeatable charm shared between the dramatic mountain peaks of the White Mountains, magnificent gorges, and miles of stunning coastline, Chania could easily be considered one of the most attractive, yet of exceptionally beauty regions in the world.
A stroll in the Old City with its pretty Venetian quarter and criss-crossed by narrow lanes is a like book on the history of architecture. Romans, Saracen Arabs, Byzantines, Venetians, Ottomans and Egyptians ruled and influenced the area from the 13th until the 19th century.
One of the best ways to soak up the essence of this beautiful corner in the Mediterranean Sea is to explore the charming, historic villages scattered along its coast or inside its enchanting, unspoilt countryside. Trek through Europe’s longest gorge, cycle among orchards on Apokoronas peninsula or enjoy swimming to exceptional Blue Flag beaches.
The Akrotiri Peninsula, to the northeast of Chania, is a barren, mountainous stretch of rock covered with scrub. It has a few coastal yet, beautiful sea-side resorts, Chania International Airport, a massive NATO naval base on Souda Bay and two fascinating monasteries.
There are few buses and the poorly signposted roads make it difficult to explore, but if you have a car you can make a day trip combining a swim and lunch with a visit to the monasteries. The tombs of Eleftherios Venizelos and his son Sophoklis are found on Akrotiri, at a site overlooking Chania.
At this site, the Greek flag was raised in defiance of the Turks and the Great Powers, with the peninsula acting as a headquarters of the Cretan Revolution.
Why not explore some of the exceptionally beautiful villages in Akrotiri and Chania?
Finding a property for sale in Akrotiri, Chania isn’t hard. However, finding the right property is. Looking for your dream home in Akrotiri? A detached house or terraced villa?
Discover carefully selected real estate assets in Akrotiri, Chania and find your perfect property: apartment, house, villa, land plot, commercial property or residential property.
At ARENCORES we are using innovative property management, data analytics, intelligent search platforms and virtual tours to find the perfect property in Chania wherever in the world.
Discover the key steps to buying or selling a property in Chania. ARENCORES Magazine is is the only real estate magazine in Crete devoted exclusively to Chania Real estate investors. The magazine is distributed to several countries such as Denmark, the United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden, Germany and the USA. To request a complimentary copy, please contact us.
Souda – Chania Property Guide Disclaimer: Feedback about living in Souda, Chania has been submitted directly by the public and may not necessarily reflect the views of ARENCORES. The description of ARENCORES was modified from Wikipedia and Lonely Planet and is available under the Creative Commons license.
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