Tour around Crete: from Elafonisi to Sougia
The beach of Elafonisi, Palaiohora, Sougia, the ancient
city of Lissos, the gorge of Agia Eirini and the Samaria Gorge in South
Early in the morning we head to Moni (Monastery) Hrysoskalitissa and keep driving to Elafonisi. This is
an idyllic lagoon which is visited by thousands of tourists every summer.
The beach is great and the sea is so shallow that you may walk to the
opposite isle. There are sunbeds and umbrellas on the beach and a couple
of canteens. The best time to see the place is past 4 in the afternoon when the buses with tourists leave.
We have decided to stay and enjoy the sunset at Elafonisi,
so we look for a shady tree for our tent. Later in the evening we are
driving up to the taverna; it is located about 1 km up on the hills.
Today we are going to Paleohora. It is a long and
tiring drive from Elafonisi but the route is quite scenic through chestnut
forests. We take a stop at Kantanos for a refreshing cold coffee
(frapè, a greek speciality) and 30 minutes later we arrive
to Paleohora. It's always a pleasure to be in Paleohora and visit the
Venetian castle of Selino, which was built in the 13th century.
Paleohora is a pretty town with great beaches both to the west and the
east. Drive and explore !
Early in the morning we arrive at Sougia (1 hr
from Palaiohora). It's one of my favorite places; it's a small village
by the sea with a great beach and many trekking opportunities. You may
either stay at a room or camp at the eastern part of the beach. It's
a quiet place but it may become over-crowded in August or weekends,
when people from Hania arrive.
As soon we settle into a room we buy some water and fruits and
start walking to the ancient city of Lissos. The path starts
west of the village from the small port of Sougia. For the first
30 minutes we are walking inside a pretty gorge and then turn
left (take care for the signs!) and ascend a hill; another
30 minutes later we see the valley of Lissos and start descending
The ruins of the ancient city are scattered around so it takes
some searching and wandering around. We are also looking for the
guard of the archaelogical site so that we will arrange our return
back by his boat.
As soon as we are back at Sougia we are heading to the beach for a
refreshing swim. If you are a naturist then go as far east as possible;
I think this is the finest part of the beach.
Today is the day for Samaria gorge.
We take the bus to Omalos Plateau at 7 o'clock in the morning
and arrive there 1 hour later. It's freezing up here so we run to
the entrance of the gorge and start our long hike.
We are walking as slow as possible because we want to enjoy the
beauty of the place. Six hours later we are in Agia Roumeli and wait for the afternoon ferry to Sougia and Paleohora. It takes
50 minutes back to Sougia and it's a lovely boat trip as the coast
is very impressive.
Time for some rest and lots of swimming and sunbathing. Life is pretty in Sougia !
We take the bus to Agia Eirini at 7 am. This is the entrance to the magnificent Agia Eirini
gorge, a 3,5 hour trek to Sougia.