From Sougia to Loutro

Crete travel guide Explorecrete.com

Sougia, Therisso, Vamos, Askyfou, Sfakia, Loutro in southern Crete

map of crete, hania

 

Travel around Crete: from Sougia to Loutro

day 11

From Sougia we are going to Alikianos village and turn right to Meskla village, a pretty village built in a scenic landscape. We continue past it to Zourva ( a very scenic route along a dirt road) and Therisso. Therisso is the hometown of Eleftherios Venizelos' mother. He was a great leader of Crete first and Greece later and responsible for the union of Crete with Greece. E.Venizelos also set Macedonia and Thrace free from the Turks.

From Therissos starts a 14 km scenic route through Therissos Gorge; you may drive all the way through it.

Later in the afternoon we are following the signs to Akrotiri in order to visit the Venizelos' Graves. The setting is magnificent and there is a panoramic view of Hania city.

The close-by village of Stavros looks like a good idea for a bath in the sea.

Day 12

We take the dirt road back to Agia Triada (Moni Tzagarolou), a 17th century monastery. After that we continue to Moni Gouvernetou. There is a path starting here, leading to the abandoned, over three hundred years old monastery of Katholiko. It takes 30 minutes to get there. The ruined monastery is really impressive and is located inside a pretty ravine. It was abandoned due to pirate raids. If you go past the old bridge then 15 min later you reach a tiny harbor with green sea.

From Moni Gouvernetou we drive up to Malaxa, a village with a couple of taverns serving very tasty food (ask for the traditional pies) and a panoramic view of Hania and Souda bay.

Next is the village of Aptera with the ruins of the ancient city of Aptera, a major city of the 5th century BC. The view from the Turkish Fort is astonishing.

 

inside one of Vamos's restored traditional houses

Late in the evening we reach Vamos and ask for a room at the restored traditional houses (tel. 08250-23350, fax 23100). It certainly was a tiring Day!...

Day 13

 

Another tiring Day is starting. We are driving to Askyfou plateau and Impros village. Here starts the path crossing Impros ravine. We will leave the motorcycle here, descend to Komitades and then return by taxi.

In the afternoon we reach Anopoli.

hiking in Impros gorge, another pretty Cretan gorge

Day 14

30 minutes from Anopolis starts the Aradaina gorge, 500 m before the impressive steel bridge leading to Agios Ioannis village. It takes about 3 hours to descend the gorge and it's a quite demanding trek; if you are afraid of heights avoid it as there are some difficult points where you have to use metal ladders to climb down.

At the end of the gorge is the beach of Marmara and a small tavern. There is a 90 minutes path to Loutro via Likos and Foinix beach (follow the blue signs) or you may go by boat.

Day 15

the village of LoutroLoutro !!! There is something about this place that makes it unique to me. It's a small village by the sea, there are no roads inside it or leading to it (the only transportation way is by sea or by feet) and the sea is always calm. Loutro is isolated by a huge cliff right behind the last houses of the village; there is a steep path here ascending to Anopolis. You will have to walk up to 2000 feet (700 m) above Loutro.

Don't miss a visit to the ruins of the Venetian castle of Loutro or the turkish castle; the view is great.

There are many nice rooms for rent; just choose the location you like most. Hotel Sifis (0825-91346) is a good choice.

Early in the morning, after a great breakfast, we take the path leading to Glyka Nera beach and Sfakia town (Hora Sfakion). Glyka Nera or Sweet Water beach is one of the finest in southern Crete. It's 90 minutes walk form Loutro to the beach.

In the afternoon we return by boat. We both are really hungry and looking forward to the evening dinner: grilled lamb and sfakianes pites. After that a drink at the only bar by the sea is a "must"!

Day 16

I am never happy when I have to leave Loutro but I know that I will come back many more times. I hope it stays like that for ever.

The trek up to Anopolis is really exhausting; 2 hrs on an almost vertical cliff. However the views are rewarding. After enjoying a refreshing ice-cold frapè at Anopolis we drive to Sfakia; and Frangokastello. It looks that we are lucky today as there is almost no wind here.

Swimming at Orthi Ammos beach is a "must" , as well as a visit to the castle of Frangocastello.



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