5 Days in Chania, Crete: The Ultimate 5-Day Itinerary!


Chania is a spectacular gem on the beautiful island of Crete featuring a rich history, a diverse culture, breathtaking landscapes, and delectable cuisine. 

In other words, Chania offers a myriad of things to do and see, meaning if you’re planning a trip to this beautiful city, you might feel overwhelmed.

Therefore, to help you make the most of your time in this enchanting town, discover how to make the most of 5 days in Chania. Let’s get started!

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5 Days In Chania: Top Things to Do

5 Days In Chania: Top Things to Do

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Boat cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa
Ticket to Knossos Archaeological Site

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Whether you’re interested in exploring the vibrant Old Town, relaxing on pristine beaches, delving into ancient history, or indulging in the local culinary delights, 5 days in Chania will ensure you experience the best of the region.

This curated 5-day itinerary will allow you to immerse yourself in its charms effortlessly. If you’re staying in town for a shorter time, check out this shorter itinerary to spend 2-3 days in Chania.

Getting Around in Chania: With BOOKAWAY, you can book a ferry, car, flight, or minivan from and to Chania 24/7 with trusted local operators.

Chania Day 1: Exploring the Old Town

5 days in chania
Chania Old Town.

Dedicate your first day to Chania Old Town. First, after arriving in Chania and checking in to your hotel, begin your adventure by visiting the iconic and bustling Venetian Harbor. Admire architectural wonders like the Egyptian Lighthouse and the historic Mosque of the Janissaries. 

Lighthouse, Chania Crete

Then, as you wander through the winding streets of the Old Town, browse along the colorful shops, boutique hotels, and welcoming cafes.

But don’t miss the chance to explore the Agora, Chania’s Municipal Market, where you can sample local delicacies and fresh produce. 

Locals know: The Municipal Market of Chania will be closed for renovations until December 2023 (or a bit more…).

End your day with a stroll along the waterfront promenade, basking in the magical atmosphere, savoring a delectable dinner at one of the seaside restaurants, and witnessing a breathtaking sunset over the harbor. 

You can join a Chania food tour like this to taste the local food and learn curious facts about our town. If you prefer to enjoy milder temperatures and refreshing craft beers, check out this Chania sunset tour with a local beer tasting.

>> Want to discover the old town with me? Download an updated Digital City Guide to Chania Town here.

Chania Day 2: Beaches and Nature

Elafonisi - How many days in Crete

On your second day in Chania, explore the stunning beaches and immerse yourself in the region’s natural beauty.

Visit one (or both) of the most renowned destinations in the region, the pink sand beach of Elafonisi or Falasarna. These two incredible shores are known for their breathtaking turquoise waters and long stretches of soft sand.

5 days in chania

You can take a dip in the refreshing sea, unwind under the warm Mediterranean sun, or engage in various water sports and other activities along the coast. 

Alternative #1: If beach life is not what you’re looking for and you’re more of an adventure enthusiast, devote the whole day to hiking the Samaria Gorge. This mesmerizing natural wonder with scenic landscapes offers an exhilarating hiking experience.

5 days in chania
Samaria Gorge.

As you walk through the most enchanting gorge in Crete, marvel at the rugged cliffs, beautiful streams, and unique wildlife. 

Be sure to take enough time to admire the imposing, towering cliffs at the trail’s end and then walk the last kilometers to the coastal town of Agia Roumeli.

In Agia Roumeli, you will catch the ferry to Sougia or Chora Sfakion. Public buses from both towns will take you back to Chania. This Samaria Gorge hike is a best-seller if you prefer to book an organized experience.

Alternative #2: Instead, if you’re seeking a more secluded escape, consider a trip to the protected Balos Lagoon.

5 days in chania

With its awe-inspiring lagoon surrounded by shallow azure waters, Balos is a paradise to explore.

Balos’ main characteristics include the impressive color of the sea, the white-pinkish sand, and the virgin landscape surrounding the area. All these features give Balos an exotic feel, which makes it one of the most visited spots in the Chania region.

This Boat Cruise to Balos Lagoon & Gramvousa Island offers amazing value for money and makes it easy to visit the area.

Chania Day 3: Historical and Cultural Sites

5 days in chania
Roman Baths, Aptera.

On the third day, immerse yourself in Chania’s rich history and diverse culture.  

Begin by visiting the new Archaeological Museum of Chania and delve into Crete’s ancient past through its impressive collection of artifacts and exhibits.

From Minoan treasures to Roman artifacts, the museum offers a captivating insight into the island’s archaeological wonders. 

5 days in chania
Ancient theater in Aptera.

Then, venture to the ancient site of Aptera, overlooking the impressive Souda Bay, Chania’s Commercial Port.

Over here, you can explore the remnants of an ancient 5th-century BC city and admire its architectural marvels. Guided tours are available to enhance your understanding of this historical landmark. 

After exploring Chania’s history, embrace the local culture by attending a traditional music or dance performance in Chania.

5 days in chania
Chania Municipal Garden, Kipos Cafe.

Experience the lively sounds of Cretan music, accompanied by impressive dance performances that showcase the island’s rich cultural heritage. 

And if you truly want to feel Cretan, take some time to enjoy a cup of Greek coffee in one of Chania’s oldest and most lively cafes, Kipos Café. 

Finally, end your visit day with a relaxing cultural experience at a traditional hammam, also known as a Turkish bath, to rejuvenate both your body and mind. 

Chania Day 4: Day Trip to Nearby Villages

5 days in chania

On day 4 of your Chania itinerary, venture beyond the city limits and explore the charming nearby villages. 

Start with a day trip with a visit to Manousakis Winery in the village of Vatolakkos, and indulge in a wine-tasting experience, allowing you to savor the unique flavors of Cretan wines and learn about the region’s viticulture. 

Then, venture to the enchanting village of Therisos, nestled amidst breathtaking mountains. In Therisos, you’ll be captivated by natural beauty and traditional tavernas serving mouthwatering Cretan cuisine.

Immerse yourself in the local atmosphere, and don’t forget to admire and photograph the stunning walls of Therisos Gorge and the green vistas surrounding the village. 

>> Visit Therisos with me! Check out the Mountain Villages Tour, one of my best-selling experiences.

Alternative #1: Head south to explore the small but picturesque village of Frangokastello, known for its historical fortress and tranquil beach.

Venetian castle, sand, beach

Visit the historic Venetian fortress that gives the village its name and learn about its unique and eerie legends. From the fortress, you can enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.

Later in the day, you can relax on the sandy beach of Frangokastello, where crystal-clear waters meet the endless blue of the Libyan Sea. 

Alternative #2: Drive through Imbros Gorge to reach the southern port city of Chora Sfakion and take a boat to the pristine beaches of Loutro, one of the most beautiful fishing villages in the Chania region.

5 days in chania

You can relax by the sea, enjoying the crystal clear sea and having lunch in the delicious seafood taverns on Loutro’s waterfront. A day trip to any of these villages will allow you to witness Chania’s most authentic and tranquil side.

Chania Day 5: Final Experiences and Departure 

5 days in chania
Delicious local bites.

On the final day of your ultimate 5-day itinerary in Chania, take some time to savor the last moments of your stay. 

Begin your day with a delightful food tour, exploring the culinary delights that define Cretan cuisine. Sample local delicacies such as dakos or kalitsounia, and bid farewell to the tantalizing flavors that have delighted your taste buds throughout your stay.

As the time for the departure closes in, reflect on the incredible moments and memories you’ve created during your time in Chania, knowing that the magic of this place will remain with you long after you leave. 

Depart from Chania with a sense of fulfillment, cherishing the remarkable experiences and yearning to return to this captivating destination.

Getting Around Chania

Chania horse old Venetian port
Chania Old Town.

Getting around Chania is easy, allowing travelers to explore everything the city offers effortlessly within the 5 days of this itinerary.  

The compact size of the old town allows for long and pleasant walks through narrow streets lined with charming shops, cafes, and historical landmarks.  

However, to delve deeper into the island’s rich history, Chania has an excellent bus network system connecting the city with other major cities, towns, and villages. 

Renting a car is recommended if you want to explore this fantastic island even more. Driving around the Chania region allows travelers to discover hidden gems, secluded beaches, picturesque tiny folk villages, and archaeological marvels that might be hard to reach without a car.

Which car rental service is the best to choose? If you want to rent a car for your trip, consider Discover Cars, a worldwide car rental booking service.

What to Eat in Chania

Where to eat in Chania
A restaurant in the old town.

While discovering Chania’s marvel with this 5-day itinerary, you should also try the city’s delectable cuisine. 

Regarding culinary delights, Chania has an array of delicious dishes that will tantalize your taste buds. Start your gastronomic journey with the mouthwatering dakos, a traditional Cretan salad consisting of dried bread, tomatoes, myzithra cheese, and olive oil. 

Indulge in kalitsounia, super tasty cheese or herb-filled pastries, and bougatsa, one of the staples in town. If you are a seafood enthusiast, choose a dish of grilled octopus. Don’t miss out on the famous Cretan lamb, slow-cooked with herbs and served with roasted potatoes.

And, of course, a visit to Chania is incomplete without sampling some exceptional local olive oil and a glass of raki, a local fiery spirit that perfectly complements the flavors of Crete.

Where to Stay in Chania

5 days in chania
Chania Old Town.

Chania has plenty of fantastic options for accommodation that suit every traveler’s preferences, from luxurious beach resorts and boutique hotels to guesthouses, unique villas, and budget hostels.

For those looking to immerse themselves in the charm of the old town, choose a boutique hotel within the Venetian harbor area. You’ll also be close to many historic sites, souvenir shops, and remarkable restaurants here. 

If you prefer a more tranquil setting, consider staying in one of the beachside resorts in nearby neighborhoods like Agia Marina or Platanias, or head to the fantastic Akrotiri Peninsula.

These areas offer stunning sandy beaches, a vibrant nightlife scene, and various accommodations suitable for families, couples, or solo travelers

These are some of the places I recommend for a short stay in Chania.

Five Days in Chania: Final Thoughts 

5 days in chania
Venetian Harbor.

In conclusion, Chania, Crete, offers an ultimate 5-day itinerary promising a delightful blend of history, culture, natural beauty, and culinary experiences.

From wandering through the Old Town’s narrow streets to witnessing mesmerizing sunsets at the Venetian Harbour, each day in Chania is filled with unforgettable moments. 

Furthermore, exploring the nearby beaches, ancient ruins, fascinating museums, and picturesque villages allows for a deeper understanding of Crete’s rich heritage.

5 days in chania
Koum Kapi, Chania town.

And most importantly, indulging in the local cuisine, from traditional salads to free-range goat, adds a flavorful touch to your journey. 

So get ready for an unforgettable adventure that will leave you yearning to return again and again!

I publish new content about Crete almost every day! Bookmark my Crete and Practical Guides pages to learn more before your trip.

Are you dreaming of a getaway to Crete but feeling overwhelmed with planning?

  • You can join my Facebook Group, Things to Do in Crete, a friendly gathering of Crete enthusiasts.
  • My personalized consultation calls assisted countless travelers in crafting the perfect Crete experience. Please email me your anticipated travel dates to turn your Crete dreams into reality!

Don’t forget travel insurance!

Although Crete is a safe destination, getting travel insurance is like having a safety net for your adventures. Consider purchasing travel insurance to protect yourself and your loved ones from unexpected situations.

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More resources to enhance Your Crete adventure

Start by checking out my ultimate guide to planning your trip to Crete, packed with helpful essential information. Explore the articles on prices in Crete, common mistakes to avoid, and insider secrets for an unforgettable experience.

Use this comprehensive Crete packing list to ensure you have everything you need. Explore the best places to visit on Crete Island, discover my tours and activities, be amazed at Crete’s incredible beaches, and check out the best times to experience its beauty.

If you are exploring specific areas like Heraklion or Chania, I’ve got detailed guides to help you make the most of your time.

Suggested accommodation in Chania

No time to read all my accommodation guides? Check out these hotels in the city:

More useful travel resources

  • Check out all the digital travel guides I’ve specifically written about Crete. They are affordable and practical to check from your mobile.
  • Find convenient ferry tickets with Ferryhopper.
  • Welcome Pickups offers a convenient pre-paid airport transfer service, while Discover Cars is my favorite engine for finding a rental car on the island.
  • Finally, to book adventures, tours, and cultural experiences, I always recommend Get Your Guide.

Pin this Guide to Enjoy the Best 5 Days in Chania During Your Time in Crete!


About me:

Gabi Ancarola | The Tiny Book

Gabi Ancarola

I have lived in Chania, Crete, since 2016. As a local, I have an intimate knowledge of the Crete. I host culinary and concierge tours and experiences in Crete and write about the island for several travel media. During the last five years, I have helped many travelers plan the perfect holiday in Crete. I co-authored DK Eyewitness Top 10 Crete and had more glasses of frappe than any regular person could ever handle.

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