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Like many ports in this part of the world, archeological ruins dating back to antiquity are found everywhere. There are also hundreds of gorges around the island and over 1,500 land and sea caves, including Elefantos, noted for its remarkable white and red stalactites. Over the millennia, this harbor city was conquered many times over by Romans, Byzantines, Venetians, and Turks. Chania remains crisscrossed with Ottoman architecture and historic Venetian mansions, many of which have been transformed into quaint shops, inviting cafes, and boutique hotels.Experience Cretan hospitality and history on your cruise to Chania with a tour to the traditional Village of Vamos, the Karidi Monastery, the Braoudakis winery, and the Folklore Museum. Admire the local flora, the ancient homes, and time-worn old mill, with its 12 arches built in 1862. A stroll through Chania’s breathtaking Botanical Park, featuring 50 acres of exotic fruit trees, plants, and herbs.  You’ll learn about the Cretan diet and prepare a traditional dish using local products and extra virgin olive oil. A historic Venetian lighthouse still watches over the harbor and local artisans can still be seen crafting their wares in the older streets. However, beyond its rich history, Chania is a beachcomber’s paradise, with some of the finest sands and most inviting waters in all of Crete.

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Tip from Travel + Leisure

Boutari Wineries

Make a reservation well in advance to tour Boutari Wineries, known for its sprawling vineyards and modern glass-walled facility. After walking through the estate, head to the tasting room to sample Cretan wines such as Cava Boutari and Fantaxometocho—both reds—and snack on Cretan plates such as ntakos, bread with tomato, feta, and olive oil.

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