Nea Chora is a long sandy beach, located 1km west of Chania city center, along the Akti Papanikoli Street. You can walk to here from Chania old harbor, since it takes around 15 minutes. The main beach of Nea Chora is very well organized, with several amenities nearby. It is a nice sandy beach, with rocks in some places. Nea Chora is ideal for those that do not want to leave the city centre. Beyond the east side of the beach, there is the old soap factory (you can still see it's high chimney) and the old sanatorium of Chania. Nea Chora is popular to locals for it's fish taverns. Of course, there are many taverns, restaurants, snack bars and cafes in the area. The "Sardine Festival" is organized every summer at the beach of Nea Chora, with traditional music, dances and free fish for the visitors.
A second beach is shaped beyond the river Kladisos and extending up to Aptera beach. Kladisos beach is a nice long sandy (and pebbly in places) bay. Despite the fact that this is very close to Chania and it is very nice, this beach is secluded and not organized. The easiest way to access the beach, is by crossing the Kladisos river, using the pedestrian bridge.
The islet Lazaretta is located opposite Nea Chora and in the 17th century was used by the Venetians as the leprosarium island of Chania, like most islets off cities of Crete. Its name is taken after Lazarus, the patron saint of lepers by the Roman Catholic Church. Graves have been identified, apparently of patients, while we still discern the foundations of buildings demolished by the Turks in 1645 to place a large cannon to aid in their attack of Chania's stronghold at the mouth of the harbour. In some places you will see metal fragments from bombs that fell during military exercises of the Germans during the Second World War. The island hosts a shrine of St. Nicholas built by a local in 1954. This man suffered sunstroke on the island but managed to swim to Nea Chora and save his life. On the island there is a small sandy beach ideal for snorkeling currently visited by the local diving schools and sea excursion boats. In the 1950s long distance competitive swimmers used Lazaretta as a start point when racing - Chania inner harbour was the finish line.