Chania is situated in the northwest of Crete and is possibly one of the most charming town on the island. It is beautiful and very picturesque, there is an old harbour – old buildings, museums, churches and crafts shops. The atmosphere has a touch of Florence and Venice due to its complex history. The area appears to have been inhabited since the Neolithic era and was later the site of the Minoan settlement. Rethymnon on the other hand, is the capital of the Prefecture of the same name and it is built between two other large cities of Crete. It lies along the north coast, having to the east one of the largest sand beaches in Crete and to the west, a rocky coastline that ends up to another large sand beach. It was built in antiquity but was never a competitive Minoan centre.