Chania, Municipalities, Satelliteimage
Chania prefecture is one of the four prefectures of Crete, Greece. It covers the westernmost quarter of the island. The capital is the city of Chania. Chania is bounded with the only prefecture, the Rethymno Prefecture to the east. The Cretan Sea is bounded to the north and the Mediterranean Sea to the west and south. The prefecture includes the southernmost point and island in Europe, Gavdos.
Chania prefecture, often informally termed 'Western Crete', is a beautiful and in many parts unspoilt part of the island. Districts include verdant Apokoronas, mountainous Sfakia, and Selino in the far South West corner. Some other notable towns in the Chania prefecture are: Hóra Sfakíon, Kastelli-Kissamos, Paleohora, Maleme, Vrisses, Vamos, Georgioupolis and Kalives.
The natural park of Samaria Gorge, a major tourist attraction and a refuge for the rare Cretan wild goat or kri kri, is in the South of the prefecture of Chania. The White Mountains or Lefka Ori, through which the Samaria, Aradena, Imbros and other gorges run, are the limestone peaks topped by snow until May that occupy much of Chania prefecture. They contain more than 40 peaks over 2,000 meters high. The highest peak in this area is Pahnes, at 2,452 meters above sea level.
Western Crete is popular with tourists for its spring flowers that linger on into early May in the mountains. Birdwatching is also popular, with the lammergeier and golden eagle especially sought for. As an island, Crete has many endemic species of plant and animal.
Crete's only freshwater lake, Lake Kournas, is in the prefecture close to the border with Rethymno Prefecture, 47 km from Chania. It is relatively large, with a perimeter of 3.5 km. The lake used to be called 'Korisia' after ancient 'Korion', a city thought to be in the area with a temple to Athena. The lake used to be reportedly full of eels but now is better known for its terrapins and tourists. Tavernas and pedalo rental shops line part of the shore. Overall, however, the lake retains its beauty, the White Mountains reflected in the mirror-like waters.
The municipalities of Chania prefecture, highlighting the municipality of Chania
Agia Triada, 17th century
Kyria ton Angelon
Eleftherios Venizelos (famous inhabitant of the Chania prefecture)