Hania - ‘the jewel of Crete'

Most visitors stick to the beaches in Hania (or Chania), which leaves the old town’s atmospheric streets a haven for lingering lunchers, history buffs, and incurable romantics. Crumbling old pastel-shaded Venetian buildings, some recently licked with fresh paint, line up for photos in the Kastelli district, the peaks of the White Mountains forming a can’t-be-bettered backdrop. The little lanes narrow further still in the old Jewish quarter, bustling local restaurants billowing out tempting aromas into the alleyways. Nearby, the western section of Hania’s ancient, immense fortified walls lead down to the old harbour, its lighthouse, and a cluster of fishing boats. Not a town to hurry around, but try to be port-side come sunset, ice cream in hand – a perfect end to an aimless, charming ramble.

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