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The Regional unit of Chania is the westernmost division of the island of Crete with the Cretan Sea on the north and the Libyan Sea on the south. The majestic White Mountain range is the backbone of the region, interrupted by inaccessible and yet majestic gorges, caves and rivers crossing lush, green planes thickly covered with olive and citrus trees. Most of the islands in the region are uninhabited, with the exception of Gavdos, the southernmost populated area of Europe.
The beaches of the region are endless stretches of seashore lined with frothy lace, inlets and islands of exotic beauty tucked away at the foot of inaccessible mountains. They offer visitors the opportunity to enjoy a wide variety of water sports besides swimming such as sailing, kayaking, surfing, water skiing and diving.
Chania is a real paradise for those who seek adventure and the alternative forms of tourism. The European trail E4 which starts in the Pyrenean Mountains and traverses Greece, in Crete covers a distance from Kasteli in Chania all the way to Zakro in southern Lasithi. It runs along the entire mountain range of the region, with trails and paths that hold special fascination for nature lovers and hikers. The National Park on the White Mountains, known as the Samaria Gorge, is one of the longest ravines in Europe with the most spectacular hiking grounds.
For the lovers of antiquity, Chania offers a unique trip back in time. Beyond the ancient Minoan remains, cities of classical Greek and Roman ruins crop up in every corner. One of the many beautiful medieval monuments of the city of Chania, the imposing church of the monastery of the Frangiscan monks (16th century), houses the Archaeological Museum of Chania which features a collection of finds including clay tablets of early script - Linear A and Linear B - fragments of vases and a clay seal.
The Byzantine Empire and Orthodoxy left their indelible mark on the historical course of the area. In Chania alone there are more than 300 Byzantine churches well preserved.
In the semi mountainous and mountainous regions the traveler will stumble upon traditional villages with stone houses and narrow alleys, seemingly forgotten by time. On a daily basis, cultural societies and women’s cooperatives revive customs in Cretan traditional cuisine or traditional handicrafts such as knitting, embroidering, weaving and looming.
Festivities are held throughout the year: from the solemn religious celebrations and the traditional festivals in honour of patron saints to the stately commemorations of national anniversaries such as the anniversary of the Battle of Crete in May held with the participation of veteran soldiers from Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand. The production of tsikoudia (local spirit) winemaking, the harvesting of olives and oranges, are all an opportunity for celebration in the eyes of the Cretan.