We got sort of caught up by the Chania Santa run for charity.  We were staying for a Christmas break in the lovely Kydon hotel in central Chania. Its got a great view from the 5th floor over the town.

Our room overlooked the giant Christmas tree in front of the Agora where there was this Santa Run booth. 

Yasmin wanted to contribute to the “Santa Run” charities we could see advertised on the booth.

Queuing for Santa

But when we got into the queue we found we got a full Santa outfit, complete with beard, as well as a whistle and an invitation to the party afterwards. How could we resist?

Its a tradition which started in 2011.  It’s a parody on the “runs” held in cities around the world, here there is no competition, are no medals but only the disadvantaged children win.  Every year Santas gather on Boxing Day to walk nearly 4 km in the streets of Chania.  This year, there must have been over a thousand of them, all donating to four charities for children with health issues.

Before the event, Santas begin to appear dotted about amongst the crowds. 

Sometimes looking a bit forlorn…

We all gather in the grounds of the school where there’s some heavy rock from Change House

to get everyone in the mood, including us!

There were young Santas

Elves adjusting their dress

There were some splendid beards around too.

Santas taking photos, on the phone, milling around

And we’re off on the Chania Santa Run 2019! The Start

The start is sort of staggered by the small size of the exit and gradually we Santas spilled out into the street!

Along the way are countless DJs with a cluster of enormous speakers, blasting out pop songs and Christmas tunes. 

There are dancers, acts and tables with free beer.  At one point, high above the road, suspended from a crane was an aerial silk display. 

The young lady performer climbed the silks, wrapped and finally dropped a heart stopping 15m with no safety nets above the cobbled street. 

When we got to the harbour the sea was breaking over the quai and spraying unsuspecting Santas!

On the far wall, near the lighthouse a display of Cretan dancing – the high kicks particularly daring on the narrow wall!

And in front nautical Santas patrolling the harbour.

Gradually the Santa crowd diluted, with elements drifting off for a coffee, a rest or a quiet smoke! 

We were all under surveillance, hopefully not malevolent…

But leaving the harbour, up Daskoligianni St, the density grew as the entry gate back in to the school grounds came close.

Back inside it was souvlaki and Xarma beer and more music and dancing.  We oldies, tired by all the excitement drifted out and back to our car.

Celebrating success with hats raised!

Find out more about the Santa Run – better still, be here at Christmas 2020 and join in!

A Bit about us…

We live in the Apokoronas at Panokosmos, where we run a small holiday suites business. Wherever you stay when you come for a holiday in Crete you might like to look at our blogs which show things to do in Crete, whether it be walking a gorge, hiking in the foothills of the White Mountains, or taking a drive to see the sites.  

Chania is a great town to visit, particularly to go to the street markets, and of course you’ll want to get the benefits of the Cretan diet – be it the yoghurt and cheese, or the olive oil