Chania is Crete’s second largest town and is the lively capital of the western half of this long, narrow Greek island. It is very ancient: 4,000 years ago Chania was called Cydonia. It preserves many handsome signs of a long history as a possession of Venice. The Old Town, alongside the Old Harbour, is enclosed by Venetian ramparts and guarded by a waterside Venetian fortress, Fort Firca. The modern city centre, just outside the old ramparts, offers the energy and character of a vibrant, authentic Greek town. Here are numerous shops, bars, restaurants and street life that are fun to explore. Chania is the focal point of western Crete’s coastline of small and charming beach resorts. Each resort has its own appeal, and all are just minutes from Chania by car or bus along the seashore highway that runs at the foot of high craggy peaks and rolling foothills green with olive groves.