The fact that there are at least nine ways to get from Venice in Italy to Crete’s Chania should make for a fair indication of the honest answer to the question of whether Chania is indeed better than Venice. But what would be the reasons for such a cruel traveller’s conundrum? Why does this have to be a choice between the two?
Well, this is usually a travel path taken by travellers who want to get the full measure of the Mediterranean – particularly seeking to get a good dose of perhaps the most unique destinations in the area. The reality however is that Venice is not a cheap place to visit, especially if you want to stay a while. It’s also pretty small though, which is why most travellers make a day trip out of visiting. Crete is not cheap either, so it would make for somewhat of a budget drainer to do both Venice and Crete on the same trip, unless you’re just passing through Venice and your traveller’s heart is set on the picturesque beauty of Greece’s largest island.
You’ll definitely want to hit the western region of Crete if you want to justify your decision to choose Crete over Venice.
Officially, perhaps the most popular city in Crete is geographically located in the northwest of the vast island, but this location makes it the perfect base from which to explore the western region of the island. Taking into account the topic of this particular post, it’s rather ironic that Chania houses the Venetian Harbour. Some of the old buildings you’ll see might echo visions of Venice in Italy, which is just one other reason for the comparison between the two popular destinations.
To be quite honest, Chania, with its waterfront restaurants, narrow shopping streets and the old port, in a sense feels like a better version of Venice. If you might have visited Venice a few years ago, before it got a bit overcrowded on account of its growing popularity with tourists, you might feel a little sense of déjà vu. The old buildings only add to this quirky sensation, being of Turkish and Venetian design…
Pick up a car through Rental Center Crete and you’ll have the freedom to explore the west of the island at your own pace.
Within Chania itself you might be better served to get in quite a bit of walking, as you visit sites such as the Venetian Lighthouse (walking along the harbour wall). You’ll need to jump into your rental when heading out to explore the nearby villages, where you can get an authentic taste of Greek island culture, with elderly men commiserating over card games and other fun activities!
The nearest beach is only half a kilometre away, so it’s definitely walkable, but Agil Apostogili is 4 km away, so you’ll want to drive. You might want to hit the extended beach of Agia Marina too, which is 7 km away.
There is PLENTY to see and do, but true to global exotic island culture, your experience of each of the activities largely depends on which day you’re taking part or visiting, as well as factors such as the weather. It can get really, really windy at times, which can spoil many plans.
So I personally choose Chania over Venice.