Hania Prefecture Overview Page One
Crete's westernmost province is famous for the city of Hania, and for its natural beauty more than for its archaeological sites (though there are some) or for its beach resorts (of which there are few).
Its nature is of a wild and rugged variety that doesn't accommodate the worst of tourism, though that there is as well, though more in the cities than by the beaches, the coast being rockier and less accessible.
The city of Hania is usually described as Crete's most beautiful city. It's the largest city, and was the captital of Crete until 1971. Its harbor, with its Venetian and Turkish architecture, is one of the most popular subjects of photographs from Crete, and indeed it is a beautiful place.
The northern coast has two large peninsulas, one smaller one, Akrotiri, with the large Bay of Souda just to the east of the city, where there is a NATO base and Rodhopou to the west, with its lush nature, quiet villages, serenity, and hiking possibilities.
Gramvousa is a smaller peninsula to the far west, a wild, uninhabited place at the island's northwestern-most tip. Inland are the deservedly famous Lefka Ori, (The White Mountains), with their snowcapped peaks that are rarely out of sight from anywhere in the province, (including the city of Hania itself), with their equally famous gorges which draw vast numbers of hikers every summer.
The mountain-hemmed, wild south coast with its bays, its rare sandy beaches, and the occasional resort such as Paleohora has its own unique beauty. Most of the tourism in this province is concentrated on the coast near Hania, leaving much to explore for those not fond of crowds.