Like the rest of Crete, it was the birthplace of the Minoan civilization, having
been for many years a colony, it was part of the Roman Empire of the East under the
name of Kydonia. After the 4th Crusade under the Venetian domination it becomes
a prosperous center of commerce and a land of long battles with the Turks... Chania
was conquered in 1645 and belonging to the Ottoman Empire until 1898, the year
when Crete became an autonomous island and its capital Chania, at the end of the
Greco-Turkish war. During the Second World War, it collapses under the bombard-
ments of the Nazi army, what made popular the famous battle of Crete. After the
union of the island with Greece, Chania kept its title as the regional capital until
1971, then attributed to the city of Candia known today as Heraklion.
Social life in Crete is closely linked to music and dance since ancient times.
Traditional Cretan dances represent the expression of the courage and dynamic
character of the Cretans, and these have been very influenced by the stormy history of
the island. Among the most famous are the Siganos, the Pendozalis, The Sirtos, also
called Chaniotikos and La Sousta; Men dancing also the Kastrinos or Maleviziotis.
The Cretan dances of the modern era still preserve all the passages of their evolution,
evident also to the eye of the tourist who is involved in a country party, in a Cretan
wedding celebrated in the square, or simply in a place where the spirit ( Κέφι - kèfi),
is high enough to entice the dances. In addition to the love for dance, the Cretans are
transmitting from father to son and from generation to generation, the musical techni-
ques of the Cretan instruments. The most characteristic musical instrument of the
Cretan musical tradition is the Lyra, a three-string instrument with a small violin-like
bow. There is also the lute (lagouto), an eight-string instrument similar to the guitar.
Other traditional instruments are the "askobandoura" - similar to a bagpipe - and the
"chabioli", a wind instrument played by shepherds, alone or connected to the
The island of Crete is known worldwide for being one of the best producer of
high quality olive oil. The unique climate and the natural way of extraction is the
key to its success. Also, in Chania, the production of extra virgin olive oil respects
the Cretan traditional production method. Crete and the Peloponnese are the regions
with the highest production in Greece. Cretan honey is an absolutely natural product
and its treatment is made in a natural way, without high temperatures that destroy
vitamins. The biome of the island is rich in endemic plants and especially in
aromatic plants such as thyme, offering to Cretan bees their favorite food. All this
makes the honey of Crete among the best in the world. Nowadays, Crete cheese
production, keeps the traditional recipes of thousands years, in combination with
modern methods that ensure quality. Free grazing throughout the year associated
with the plants and herbs of Crete give smell, taste and exceptional nutritional value
for all its dairy products. To taste absolutely, Myzithra, Graviera, Anthotyro and yogurt.
For Cretans, food is fundamental, all the dishes arrive at the table at the same
time and follow the recipes handed down generation to generation, which makes Crete
a very attractive destination for food lovers. His cuisine is simple and based on fresh
seasonal products, strictly balanced to ensure a healthy and balanced diet, now known
worldwide for its longevity dots. Its roots are very old and despite the fact that Crete
has been influenced by many cultures, his soul remains tied to the land products, olive
oil and honey. Among the most famous traditional dishes there is: The stew of rabbit -
chicken (Stifádo Kunéli - Kotópulo), Eggs with Staka (Avgá me Staka), the Kalitzúnia
stuffed with spinach and cheese (Kalitzúnia me spanáki ke tirí), the rooster in red wine
(Kókoras Krásato), herbs Avroniés and Vlíta and the intestines of lamb (Gardubákia).
According to Greek mythology, Dionysus (god of wine), married to Ariadne, daughter
of Minos brought in Crete the art of wine making. Since ancient times, Crete was known for
its excellent wine, exported all over the world, as evidenced by many ancient writings.Today
Crete continues to impress... alone produces over 20% of the country's wine and thanks to
the many qualities of grapes on the island, can produce a wide selection of fine wines,
including : Moskato Spinas, Vilana, Loisima, Acominato, Valetis, Voidomatis and Gemira.