Seventy-five kilometres southwest of Chania city is hidden a real sanctuary! This is Sougia, a favourite destination for a timeless feeling and superb sunsets facing the Libyan sea. The seaside village is relatively quiet with a dreamy turquoise shore and only one small access road leading across the steep mountains. These different perspectives attract loyal repeated travellers looking to get away from it all, but also those who love camping or prefer nudism. Be that as it may, the dimensions of the beach (no matter how crowded, the beach will look empty), allow everyone to relax and enjoy a classic Greek beach holiday with plenty of sun, dives and fresh local food. From early April to late October ferries run daily from Sougia to Sfakia, Paleochora, Agia Roumeli, Loutro and Gavdos island.
Value for money
Located at the exit of the beautiful Gorge of Agia Irini, the small village of Sougia became a peaceful haven for alternative vacationers and hippies during the '60s and '70s. Today, its unique features have managed to remain unspoilt by the growth of tourism in Crete, with all the basic amenities provided, plenty of accommodation and excellent taverns to eat, all at prices below those found on most of the island.
In front of the village lies a lovely quiet long beach with coarse sand and crystal clear deep water. The beach is 1,2 km long, the longest beach in the South-West of Crete, where you can enjoy memorable swimming in the waters of the South Cretan Sea. In front of the settlement the beach is organized with sunbeds, umbrellas and showers, while the eastern part is natural with some tamarisk trees, preferred almost exclusively by naturists. On the edge, hidden by rocks and well protected from prying eyes, a small separate cove with crystal clear water is preferred by those who seek absolute isolation to feel even closer to nature. *Small children who cannot swim well will need to wear safety swimming aids or be supervised.
Sougia, apart from enjoying the relaxed atmosphere during your holiday, can be a base for several beautiful walks. You can climb up to the church of Agia Irini, just outside Sougia, where you will be compensated by the view of the Cretan south coast and the endless blue from above.
Lissos Gorge and the archeological site are connected to Sougia through 2 hours waking trail of medium difficulty. In Lissos, you will have the chance to visit the Asclepieion, where in antiquity patients from all over Crete were treated thanks to the thermal waters of the area.
Agia Irini Gorge is an excellent alternative to the Samaria Gorge, 7.5 km long, known for its high biodiversity or aesthetic value, but also for its historical and cultural identity.
Sougia also serves as a good base for the Samaria Gorge or visit the beautiful Paleochora Beaches or Elafonisi Beach through the E4 trail.
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