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area informations

Only 5km away is the village of Platania’s, which you can visit by the public transfer,  by TAXI, or by own car and you can enjoy some shopping or night clubbing!!!!!

 

17km away, is the city of Chania, with the small alleys, the square public market and the magical old venetian harbor. Chania  is the ideal place for shopping souvenirs, clothes and many kind of unique local herbs and o products made from pure olive oil!!

 

From Maleme you can dash to the hundreds of beaches of the island such as:

Elafonisi,  Falasarna, Paleochora, Balos, Seitan Limania and many many others.

 

For those who like action holidays you can rent a bike to go around trekking, inside the hundreds small pure Cretan villages, or to walk the Samaria or Imbros  George, dive in the crystal clear waters of Crete or even if you like more extreme sports you can try the Bungee Jumping in Aradena George.

Chania city

Chania is the capital of the Prefecture of the same name and the second largest town in Crete, with a population of 60.000 inhabitants. It is the administrative, economical, commercial and cultural center of the Prefecture.

The Pablic Market is an impressive building, in the town center, built at the beginning of the present century (1911) and houses grocery stores, butchers' shops, a fish market and vegetable shops.

In A. Papandreou street you can find The Clock (To Roloi) which is located in the Northeast Corner of the Public Gardens, which are ideal for those in search of shade and tranquility. Entrance for the Public gardens are from Tzanakaki street, as also and from A. Papandreou street. Inside the Public Gardens you will find the lake with the ducks, as also and a selter of the wild KRI KRI goats.

The old town leads at the harbor, where many Venetian and Turkish buildings are preserved. At the entrance of the harbor, at its north-erst point, is the renovated fort Firkas built on 1629, that today houses the Maritime Museum of Chania as well as a summer theatre, where drama performances are presented.


To the west of Firkas is the restored Venetian church of San Salvadore that today houses the Byzantine Collection Of Chania


Opposite the Firkas fort, is the magnificent Lighthouse ("Pháros"), built on the 16th century and restored by the Egyptians. The harbor is protected by a Venetian breakwater, built of huge stones. At the center of the breakwater are the ruins of a fortress. 


Along the dock from Firkas to the east "Neoria" - Akti Koundourioti, Venizelos Square, Akti Tombazi and Akti Enoseos - there are some historical buildings such as:
The Kioutsouk Hassan Mosque or Giali Tzamissi, The Great Arsenal, The Venetian shipyards that today house the 'Mediterranean Centre of Architecture' and The Venetian Shipyards (Neoria).

The old city has preserved to a great extent the distinctive atmosphere and charm of the Venetian and Turkish periods. Entire Venetian, Turkish and Jewish quarters are saved, with well preserved buildings in the narrow picturesque streets.

Northeast of the Pubic Market is the beautiful neighborhood of Chalepa where the residences of Prince George and Eleftherios Venizelos (7 times Prime Minister of Greece between 1910 till 1933) were. 

Venizelos Residence, houses the Venizelos Museum and is the base of the National Research Foundation "Eleftherios K. Venizelos".

On the opposite road of  the Venizelos Residence , is the new Chania Arceological Museum. 

East of Chania, at a distance of 4.5 km from the center , is the hill of Profitis Ilias, where the memorial and tomb of Eleftherios Venizelos and his son Sophokles are located.

 
elafonisi

Elafonissi (some people also call it Elafonissos or Elafonisi) is something like an island and a peninsula, because to reach the island you have to walk through the sea.

It is located in the southwest end of the prefecture of Chania, Crete, about 70km from the city of Chania.

Elafonisi is a place of an exceptional natural beauty, and it has been included in the Natura 2000 Protection Program. Someone could say that nature made its wonder in Elafonisi.

What characterizes the area of Elafonissos and makes it such an exotic place, are the little sand islets formed, the shallow turquoise waters of the sea, which at a point looks like a lagoon, and certainly the fine white sand, pinkish at several spots because of the crushed shell powder.

The whole area is an endless summer playground for young and old alike.

That's why Elafonissi beach is such a popular destination in the prefecture of Chania, and a top of the top things to do / excursion from all over Crete. 

 
samaria george

Samaria Gorge, one of the largest canyons in Europe, is one of the major attractions on the island of Crete and of course in the prefecture of Chania.

Each year, about 250,000 - 300,000 visitors cross the gorge of Samaria during its operation, from early May to mid October.

The hike in Samaria gorge starts at the southern edge of Omalos plateau, located about 40 km from the city of Chania, and ends, after six to eight hours of hiking, to the south shore of Crete, in the Libyan Sea.

The 16 km trail descends beside cliffs and through dense forests with rare flora and fauna. The path crosses several times the riverbed into the gorge or is matched to it. Passes by the abandoned village of Samaria, and after passes through the narrow and steep walls of the gorge, ends in the seaside village of Agia Roumeli.

One of the most impressive spots in the gorge is the narrowest point of the gorge, the so called "Portes" (which means "Gates"), where the vertical walls come close to each other to 3,5 meters.

 
falasarna beach

Falassarna beach (or Falasarna) is located in the western part of the prefecture of Chania, Crete, about 53 km from the city of Chania and 13 km from the town of Kissamos.

Crystal clear waters, aquamarine sea and fine golden sand, are those which characterize Falasarna, which is considered to be one of the best beaches in the prefecture of Chania and all over Crete.

 
balos beach & lagoon

Balos beach - lagoon is located on the northwestern corner of Crete, 53 Km from the city of Chania and 15 Km from the town of Kissamos.

Balos is an exotic beach-lagoon formed between the peninsula of Gramvousa and cape Tigani , while further to the north lie two islands, Imeri Gramvousa and Agria Gramvousa.

Balos beach & lagoon as well as the island of Imeri Gramvousa can be reached by cruise ship that departs from the port of Kissamos. Driving in Balos, is not ideal, as the road is in very bad condition, and most of the car rental companies dont cover damages made there. 

 
ancient aptera

The archaeological site of Aptera, which was the most powerful city of western Crete during Minoan times, is located 15 km from the city of Chania, Crete, just south of Souda bay, on a hill above the national road which connects Chania with the city of Rethymnon.

The findings of the archaeological excavations that still coming to light, fill the history puzzle of this ancient city. They give details about the settlement's composition, the city's architecture, the religion and habits of Apterean residents who were keen archers.

Although the earliest mention of the Aptera is found as a-pa-ta-wa on the Linear script B tablets of Knossos, which dated to the 14th-13th century BC, the currently rich findings of the excavations indicate that the hill was inhabited the 8th century BC until the 7th century AD, when abandoned due to a strong earthquake and because of the attacks by the Saracen Arab pirates.

Learn the history of the most important and the most commercial ancient city- state of western Crete, as mentioned in the historical scrapbook issued by the 25th Ephorate of Prehistory and Classical Antiquities:

http://www.chania.gr/archive/souda/www.souda.gr/files/1/28/aptera_ok_low.pdf

At the archaeological site, you will be able to admire findings of all periods of inhabitation of this City-State, everything that could not be transferred to the Archaeological Museum of Chania. Indicatively.

If you follow the left road at the last junction before you arrive at the archaeological site, you will arrive to the fortress shown on a lower hill in the Northeast, that belongs in the period of the Turkish occupation in Crete. Its name is "Koules of Aptera" or "Fortress of Sousbasi", and built by the Turks in the context of a broader fortress construction program, to counter the Cretan revolutions. From there the view is unique!!!!!

 
kournas lake

Kournas Lake is the only physical lake in Crete as well as one of the most beautiful nature spots in the prefecture of Chania.

The scenery is picturesque, beautiful, idyllic, relaxing. You might see the lake when it shimmers, or you might see it when it mirrors the surrounding hills with the lush bushes.

Its circular dark color was the cause of creating the myth that the Lake is bottomless, while its beauty preserves until today, the nymph who lives into the lake of Kournas.

 

 
frangokastelo

Frangokastello (or Frangokastelo) is located on the south coast of the prefecture of Chania, Crete, in the region of Sfakia, 75 km from the city of Chania and 15 km from Chora Sfakion.

Explore the fortress of Frangokastelo, where historic events took place during the period of the Venetian rule, as well as during the subsequent period of the Ottoman rule. 

...Then enjoy the beach of Frangokastelo, in front of the fortress, or the beach of Orthi Ammos lying just to the east.

One of the legends associated with the battle of Frangokastelo is that of the Drosoulites which means "The Dew Men." :

It is said that during the mid to late May, i.e. the period which took place the battle between the Greeks and the Turks, the Drosoulites make their appearance in Frangokastelo. It is said that appears a procession of ghosts of the Greek soldiers, some are on horseback and others on foot - rigged as then, who pass by the nearby monastery of Agios Charalampos towards the fort and get lost in the sea. As the legend says, these are the souls of the soldiers of Chatzimichalis Dalianis, who never buried. The locals call them Drosoulites, because they appear the hour of morning dew, just before dawn. (In greek: dew means drosoula.

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stauros village

Stavros is a seaside resort located on the north coast of the peninsula of Akrotiri, in the prefecture of Chania, Crete.

It is 15 km away from the city of Chania and it will take you about 25 minutes to get there.

This place is mostly popular for the sheltered beach situated in a small cove on the northeast corner of the village.

Unlike most of the beaches of northern Crete, which are affected by the north winds, this beach is sheltered, has shallow waters, is safe, truly ideal for kids.

If you are visiting the prefecture of Chania with your children, then this is one of the beaches you should not miss, especially on windy days.

So enjoy the sea and relax on the beach under the hot sun of Crete, while your children play in the water.

When you come here, maybe you happen to see taverns and hotels having the naming of Zorbas, something usual in many other places of Greece. The only difference is that this is not happening by chance here, because scenes of the famous "Zorba the Greek," starring Anthony Quinn, were filmed here in 1964. At the beach, and against the backdrop of the hill of Stavros, the Zorba danced the famous Sirtaki, in music of a Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis.

 

 
sfendoni cave

Sfendoni Cave is located near the village of Zoniana (Rethymno Prefecture). It is one of the most important caves in Greece, covering an area of about 3.000 square meters. The cave’s unique and rare beauty mesmerizes everybody, establishing it as one of Crete's most beautiful caves. Visitors are allowed to explore a route of about 270 m, along which they can admire a variety of impressive formations.

Large columns create labyrinthine compartments inside the cave and stalactites and stalagmites of different colours and shapes decorate the cave’s chambers. In several spots one may observe water basins and the so-called “cave pearls”, a very intriguing type of speleothem. Finally, the glow coming from the tiny crystals of calcium carbonate that cover the cave walls is particularly impressive. 

Inside the cave, one may meet unique life forms (insects, snails, and bats amongst them) adjusted to total darkness, increased humidity and scarce food. Animals that live in caves are transparent or colourless, blind and usually tiny and delicate.

According to previously realized excavations, Sfendoni cave has been systematically used as a seasonal dwelling during the Protominoan age, while its use continued through theRoman period. Later on, during times of revolution, the cave has also been used as refuge for the so-called “chainides”, which means rebels in the Cretan dialect. Various legends also mention the presence of fairies in the cave, while in the last chamber (the lost child chamber) the skeleton of a young child, covered in stalactitic material, has been discovered and still remains a mystery.

 
knossos palace

The archaeological site of Knossos is sited 5 km southeast of the city of Iraklion.
There is evidence that this location was inhabited during the neolithic times (6000 B.C.) . On the ruins of the neolithic settlement was built the first Minoan palace (1900 B.C.) where the dynasty of Minos ruled.
This was destroyed in 1700 B.C and a new palace built in its place.
The palace covered an area of 22,000sq.m, it was multi- storeyed and had an intricate plan. Due to this fact the Palace is connected with thrilling legends, such as the myth of the Labyrinth with the Minotaur.

 

Between 1.700-1.450 BC, the Minoan civilisation was at its peak and Knossos was the most important city-state. During these years the city was destroyed twice by earthquakes (1.600 BC, 1.450 BC) and rebuilted. 
The city of Knossos had 100.000 citizens and it continued to be an important city-state until the early Byzantine period.