Sougia, Therisso, Vamos, Askyfou, Sfakia, Loutro in southern Crete
Travel around Crete: from Sougia to Loutro
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.
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.
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!...
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
In the afternoon we reach Anopoli.
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.
Loutro !!! 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"!
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.
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