Sea Kayak

In the past years, the number of people that surf and kayak in Chania is gradually increasing. Unique routes in the north and south of the beach, approaching unexplored bays, swimming and a exercise in the sea are some of the possibilities that sea kayaking offers.

In the south of Crete there are many routes for beginners and experienced kayakers, begining in Paleochora, crossing the Gialiskari beach, stopping at the gulf of ancient Lissos and ending in Sougia. The distance is about 12 miles.

Sailing: To menies and Gramvoussa by sailboat

Chania is known for its beautiful coasts, beaches and archeological sites. A sailboat can make your access to the hidden treasures of Chania even more interesting and adventurous.

In the Venetian harbor of Chania you can rent a sailboat with an experienced captain and experience unique moment on the Cretan sea.

These boats can accommodate 4-7 people in cabins and have full kitchens, bathroom, living room offering comfort even for a longer stay. Don't forget to take a hat, sunscreen, comfortable clothes and something warmer for the evenings.

A beautiful destination when traveling with a sailboat is Menies and Gravoussa.

Your trip begins at the old port of Chania heading north-northwest. After an hour you will reach the islet of Agii Theodori that today is a sanctuary for protected species like the cretan wild goat (the Kri-Kri).

The journey to the gulf of Menies is about 3 hours long and the distance is 16 nautical miles. The gulf has deep waters and a good seabed for setting the anchor. Fishing boats often come by and one can even purchase fresh fish. The beach is protected as the cliffs of the gulf are very tall. What is really alluring to the visitor is the turquoise color and transparency of the water. Some meters behind the beach there is a fenced archeological site and the home of the guard. The archeological area on the hill in front of the sea is really impressive.

The journey continues by sailing around the cape with the steep shores and heading west – southwest crossing the northern tip of Kissamos bay heading towards the small pass between the islet of Agria Gravoussa and the cape of Gramvoussa. Upon arrival you will encounter a magical spectacle: a cloud covering the top of the cape, the magical turquoise beaches of Balou and Tigani and on the other side the islet of Imeri Gramvoussa with its Venetian Castle and beautiful transparent waters. There is a small pier here that you can safely dock on during fair weather. You can swim, fish and, before sunset, walk up the trail that leads to the castle and enjoy a spectacular sunset.

Gramvoussa, along with the fort of Souda and Spinalonga, are important examples of the Venetians' fortification architecture. A night in Gravoussa will help you experience the vastness of the world. The sound of the sea is the only sound that accompanies the starlit sky.

Scubadiving in Chania

Crete is the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean is in between the Ionian the Aegean and the Libyan sea. Its exquisitely beautiful and interesting landscape is continued below today's sea level with gorges, cliffs, caves, valleys and ship wrecks that are hiding underwater just waiting to be explored.

The rich waters of the Atlantic Ocean that feed the Mediterranean lose many of their nutrients and evaporate before they reach this area. This results in the formation of a sea of low nutrition but high in salt. What this means is that fewer species live in these waters, the biodiversity, however, is not affected and offers clear waters with transparency better that most of the world famous diving destinations.

The morphology and relatively small surface of the Mediterranean make tides and the consequent currents are almost not existent to divers create ideal conditions for pleasant diving experiences. The temperature is high even in the winter with an average of 20⁰ degrees.

The ban of diving with autonomous diving equipment was recently lifted by the Ministry of Culture and the Curator of Underwater Antiquities. This permits even more people to discover this rich and unexplored world and the makes the development of organized diving possible. Some of the more popular diving sites are the following:

  • Agios Onoufrios
    This area attracts more divers that any other diving center in Chania. The caves in an inlet and difficulty levels ranging from beginner to advances guaranty a satisfactory experience to everyone. All the caves have natural light and you can rise to the surface through the caves. Access is only feasible by boat. On the western side that lies across you can enjoy a very interesting sea bed with small cracks and cavities that provide shelter to a plethora of organisms.
  • Macherida area, Akrotiri
    This is a small cove with two small sandy beaches. The most interesting part is on the left side of the small beach. The entrance and exit to and from the water is easy as is diving. A wall begins a few meters from the beach. You are sure to see it if you are swimming in deeper water and the rocks are to your left.
  • Paliosouda islet
    Paliosouda is a small island that is visible from Marathi in the entrance of Souda bay. You need a boat to get to the location. Make sure your dive includes the eastern portion as it is of great interest. The transition from the small wall in the beginning to the smaller and larger rocks that end in a sandy, full of seaweed, seabed is well worth the dive. This islet is protected from the winds with the rare exception of eastern winds.
  • Afrata Area
    The pebble beach that you reach after crossing the small village of Afrata has a beautiful seabed ideal for beginners. Almost the entire area is covered by rock and flat stones with interesting flora and fauna.
  • Grammeno
    On a flat seabed with single rocks that rise from the white sand combined with the crystal clear waters offer the diver the feeling that he is floating over islands. You will need a boat to get to this location as the seabed is located on the eastern tip of the cove that encompassed Grammeno beach quite far from the end road.
  • Krios
    This location is only for experienced divers. The tip of the cove to the left of the beach offers a scaled wall with unique morphology that reaches much deeper than the limits of amateur diving. There are currents in the area, something common in deeper water. It is worth it, however, as wherever there are disturbances in the water there is rich sea life with many surprises. Keep in mind the waters here are considerably chillier that in other areas but they are very clean and transparent.

Instructions for protecting the marine environment:
If you are not interested in the facilities that diving centers offer and wish to dive on your own or with your own group upon deciding the location with the best weather conditions you must contact the local port authority and get information about possible area restrictions (archeological, portal, military). You must keep in mind that some species and habitats require considerable caution by the diver. Both the environment of the cave and the various organisms that grow in the cave can be easily destroyed by even a simple brush by our bodies or equipment. In addition some of these locations are the last place of refuge for the endangered species of the Mediterranean sea. The sea turtles are more tolerant of divers when contact occurs on their terms. Let them distance themselves without going after them. The valleys that consist of sea plants and not sea weed have many functions. They are measures of the ecosystems proper function, offer refuge and a place of reproduction for a plethora of organisms and fish, filter the water and help its clarity and reduce the strength of the waves thus protecting the shores. Many endangered species live near or in them such as the Mediterranean bivalve seashell, the pinna and the difficult to find camouflaged seahorse. Pay them proper attention. Get and give information on how to better protect the marine environment that will lead to even better dives.

Water Sports

Chania and Crete in general are known for the many ideal locations that are offered to surfers.

If you enjoy windsurfing – a very popular sport on the island – locations like Elafonisi are ideal for beginners. For those that are seeking a more advanced thrill Agia Marina is ideal.

If you too have come to love the new craze of Stand Puddle Surfing (SUP) then the beach of Falassarna and Paleochora is the place for you.

For the classic surfer the entire northern shore is yours to explore with its shallow wavy waters and strong winds. The beach of Platanias is a favorite.

More About Rea Hotel

Rea Resort Hotel in
Chania, Crete, Greece

Stavros, Akrotiri, Chania
Tel:  +30 28210 39001-4
Fax: +30 28210 97504

explore chania with arrow