Chania is Crete’s most evocative city, with a pretty Venetian quarter and narrow alleys culminating at a magnificent harbor. Remnants of Venetian and Turkish architecture abound, with old townhouses now restored, transformed into atmospheric boutique hotels and restaurants.
Chania is Crete’s second biggest city, built around the hill where the important Minoan settlement of Kydonia used to stand. On this running tour, we will get “lost” in the narrow streets and the historic buildings of Splantzia quarter, run under the two minarets, remains of the ottoman period. We will see the impressive Venetian fortifications and run around the sea wall to the Venetian lighthouse, before we head to the modern city. While running we will talk about the rich history of Chania from the Minoan civilization, later as a Greek city state, Venetian and then Genoese harbor and part of the Ottoman Empire.
Chania was also the island’s first capital when Crete became independent of Turkish rule in 1898. The Battle of Crete took place during the WWII along the coast west of the city, part of which we will run, and was the place of the first airborne invasion in military history.