Douliana in Chania – Our magical escape at

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Douliana in Chania is the destination of this post. Before the summer breaks in for good making us think only the beach and the ice-cream flavors, there are some visits that are really worth it for many reasons! Douliana in Chania, West Crete is one of our favourites and I will tell you why!

Douliana in Chania prefecture is only a half hour drive from Chania town, and very easy to get to. From the national road, you only take the turn to Kalyves and then you keep going until you reach the signs that take you to Gavalochori. For safety reasons I would recommend you always have Google maps on because you feel more secure.

The view as you reach this beautiful and newly restored village is unique. The drive through other small villages is great and we were amazed to see a vast amount of beautiful new built hotels and villas.

The village of Doulania in Chania is neat and quiet. Every year at the end of August a big Fair is taking place at St. John chapel which also defines the end of the summer period. This chapel and the little gorge that takes you there is the magic of this excursion.

I told my children we’d be visiting the magical gardens because I had to tempt them and intrigue their imagination in order to walk through the gorge. The entrance to the small gorge is easily found from the center of the village. Soon you will reach the chapel of St.John with the beautiful old olive trees in the garden that seem to be standing there like guards ready to ask you for a passport.

The chapel is built inside a cave and it provokes a feeling of serenity. Time seems to stand still in this place of peace and purity.

On the way back we get to know the precious flora of the area. The trees are tagged so our class is a piece of cake! Carob trees, laurels, oaks, ivies, terebinths, black bryonies and many more. Of course being in a typical village we saw the sheep and goats, this is very typical but kids always love to see animals.

Before we say goodbye to this special village of Doulania in Chania, we always visit the small traditional kafeneio in the village center and the tavernas with offer the best quality meals. And if you are lucky enough and stay for the night, the sky will be your reward.

Have you been to Doulania in Chania? 

Anastasia Lainaki Zacharopoulou

Greek blogger Anastasia was born and raised in Chania, on the west side of Crete. She is the mother of two young children. Be inspired by Anastasia's local knowledge and join her in her journey around Crete.

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