This excursion brings us to West Crete and our first stop in Chania, the most ravishing city of Crete. It was an important Minoan city and the “mother of the Cretan cities”, according to ancient writers. The city is divided in the Old City, with the gorgeous harbor and the New City, beyond its Venetian fortifications. The Old City is one of the most beautiful cities in the Mediterranean and is called “Venice of the East”. We can admire samples of all the civilizations that have passed from here: archaeological Minoan sites, Turkish minarets and mosques, Muslim neighborhoods, Venetian fortresses, dockyards, fountains, squares, arches, mansions, Loggia and the Lighthouse. We can enjoy our lunch at the picturesque harbor or visit the famous Agora (Market), which houses traditional little shops and taverns. Here we can buy souvenirs or leather goods in very good prices.
Leaving this extraordinary city, we arrive at the quaint Kournas Lake, a beautiful habitat with natural freshwater, one of a kind on Crete. Lush greenery, steep cavities between hills, rare species of fish and birds, like eels, moorhens and two-color turtles, make Kournas the ideal place to enjoy a swim before our lunch or an early afternoon walk.
The whole area of Kournas is protected under Natura 2000, as it has been a designated wetland. Going back, we stop in Rethymnon, the third biggest town on Crete, where monuments of the archaeological, Ottoman and Venetian eras coexist, in an extremely interesting way. Have a stroll in the alleys of the old town, visit the Turkish minarets and the Venetian fortresses or just enjoy your coffee in the magnificent harbor.