can you do in Sfakia and Crete?
Activities during your holiday - discovering Crete
and Crete have everything for your holidays, whether you just want
to relax and lie on the beach or want to be active, and like to
browse through the categories below to find out!
natural beaches in and around Sfakia are numerous and
quiet, and the sea water is the cleanest you can find in Europe.
Most beaches are pebbly beaches, but there are also very beautiful
sandy beaches, and even sand dunes. It is possible to find your 'own'
deserted beach just walking along the coast.
Sfakia we recommend:
Beach : Chora Sfakion village beach (pebbles; rented beds &
umbrellas, 70 meters behind Hotel Stavris)
beach : 1,5 km outside Chora Sfakion (pebbles; taverna; 1 part nudism)
beach : 2 km outside Chora Sfakion (pebbles, taverna, nudist beach)
water beach : 15 minutes boat trip or 1 hour walking along coastal
path (pebbles; taverna; camping site; caves; sweet water wells;
boat departure: 10.30, return 17.30)
beach : near Loutro
Sfakia gorge beach : between Chora Sfakion and Filaki beach: follow
the path along the small gorge just before Vritomartis Hotel (pebbles;
Frangokastello beach : down the castle in
Frangokastello (sandy, beds & umbrellas, taverna; sea level
knee deep for 100 metres offshore; ideal for kids)
Stavris Frangokastello : private hotel beach (sandy with some pebbles;
directly behind hotel)
you are interested in shorter walks (1-2 hours), we can
recommend the following. Some walks start at your hotel in Chora Sfakion,
others can be better accessed by car or bus.
Sfakion - Sweetwater beach - Loutro:
2 hrs. 15 min: start at Hotel Stavris, Chora Sfakion, walk
the asphalt road, follow west bound, pass Ilingas tavern, follow
the curve. Just before the road starts it's first sharp
up to the mountain, step over the iron protection fence. You see
a sign E4, marking the European walking path. It is a path
from Gibraltar, going through Spain, France, Switzerland, Austria,
Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece, ending in Crete;
it is crossing
Crete along its entire length from Elafonisi to Kato Zakros. Follow
the rock path down along the coast: this is the beginning
only ongoing connection between the villages in South West Crete!
After 1 hour you reach Sweetwater Beach, which is cliff
there is a small tavern for drinks. Continue west and you will
soon see the picture perfect village of Loutro: a small
strip of houses
and taverns and hotels around a small harbour. There are no cars
here! From here you can take back the ferry to Chora Sfakion,
back or continue up hill to Anopoli.
of this walk: Loutro - Sfakia: click
Sfakion - Anopoli: 2 hrs.: following the old Venitian road to
Anopoli (800 meters uphill): just behind Hotel Stavris, take the
steps up to the asphalt road, turn left and after about 30 meters
you should see a possibility to step up the rocks to your right.
After 10 meters the old Venetian road starts, typically with stone
walls. The path winds on the hill and goes back into Ilingas gorge.
There is a beautiful small bridge here along the cliff slope. Go
to the bottom of the gorge and cross it. Don't follow the gorge!
On the other side a hollow path takes you uphill, meeting the asphalt
road to Anopoli just before the village. This is a very quiet route!
- Loutro: 1 hr.: from Chora Sfakion follow the 12 km. road up
hill (800 m) to Anopoli (bus, taxi). When you see the first buildings,
turn left at a small square. Follow the path and continue down hill.
All the time you have the magnificent overview of the village of
Loutro. Walk back to Chora Sfakion along the coastal path or take
back the ferry.
- Aradena: 1 hr. one way: follow the asphalt road heading north
towards the mountains. After 30 minutes you reach the 'real' village
of Anopoli, continue from the square with the statue of Daskalogiannis
to the north. After a sharp curve to the left you see Aradena Gorge,
with a Bailey bridge crossing it. This spectacular view you will
never forget again in your life. Cross the bridge to have a look
at the deserted village of Aradena. You can also take the old 'road'
to Aradena: a little before the bridge to the right you see the
old path down the gorge (1 hr.) and on the other side up again (1
Sfakion - Komitades: 45 min or try to car hike: follow the asphalt
road from Chora Sfakion to the east. After 35 minutes at the crossroads,
go right. You see the church of Agios Giorgos, with very old frescoes.
In Komitades you can take a rest at Taverna Giorgos, the first one
to the right. If you like, Giorgos can take you up to Imbros by
car (drs. 5000), so you can walk the gorge from up to down. Or just
fllow the road out of the village and start Imbros gorge from down
up (2 hrs.)
- Frangokastello: 2 hrs.: you pass the small villages of Vraskas,
Vouvas, Nomikiana, Agios Giorgos, Patsianos. Just before Patsianos
there is a T-form crossroads: to the left you go to Patsianos, to
the right to Frangokastello. From Patsianos you can make a loop
via Skaloti to Frangokastello ( 1 hr.). In Frangokastello you can
visit the Venetian fortress, built in 1371.
- Komitades: Imbros Gorge: take from Chora Sfakion the bus to
Chania at 7 or 11 o'clock and get out at the village of Imbros.
Or take a taxi or ask Giorgos from Komitades if he is available
(tel. 0825-91005). When you go by car to Imbros to walk the gorge,
please realise you have to walk the gorge both ways: down and up
again (2 hrs. one way). Imbros gorge is very beautiful and nature
is unharmed here. Wait for the 2 very narrow passages and the natural
archway at the end! Imbros gorge used to be the only way to reach
Chora Sfakion by the ground, before the asphalt road was built in
of the Imbros gorge walk: click
Preveli - Limni Beach : 45 min. one way: drive by bus or car
to Plakias. Continue to Lefkogia and turn right there. You can take
the Plakias - Rethymnon bus. From Lefkogia it's a 45 min. walk to
the monastery, and another 45 min. to Limni Beach, which is a very
beautiful palm beach with also pink oleanders.
You can find more information, and walking suggestions, on this page
is very famous for its gorges, which almost all can be walked, depending
on your walking experience.
Gorge: named after Saint Maria
of Egypt. Your home base for this loop trip is Chania. Catch the
from Chania to Xyloskalo to beat the heat and midday crowds. After
a scenic 40 km bus ride, you'll be standing high above the wild
Gorge of Samaria. Xyloskalo (Omalos) is a small lodge, the end of
the road, and the beginning of the trail. The bus will be full of
hikers; no one else would come here at this hour. The air is crisp,
the fresh blue sky is cool, and most of the gorge has yet to see
the sun. Before you lies a 18 km downhill trek, dropping 1400 m
through some of the most spectacular scenery anywhere in Greece
to a black-sand beach on the south coast. (The hike takes four to
six hours, the gorge is open from May through October and costs
about $5 to enter.) Descend to the floor of the gorge down an hour
of steep switchbacks, and between you and the Libyan Sea on Crete's
southern shore are about 12 km of gently sloping downhill trails.
There is a hour-long boat ride (or eight-hour hike) to Chora Sfakion,
where buses wait to take you back to Chania. If you stay in Chora
Sfakion, you can take an early morning taxi to Omalos or the 7 o'clock
bus to Chania. Since all buses have left already here, take a taxi
to Omalos. Be sure to know what time the last ferry goes from the
end of the gorge in Agia Roumeli! Usually this is at 18.00.
of the Samaria gorge walk
Gorge: from Anopoli to Marmara beach, Loutro. A really impressive
gorge; it looks like someone cut with a knife through the mountains.
However, it's a gorge that needs some experience! It takes
3 hrs from Anopoli and 1hr 15 min from Marmara to Loutro. At Marmara
you may ask at the taverna if there is a boat to Loutro. You can
also follow the path above the gorge to Livandiana. Some 500 meters
before you reach Aradena, the path starts at a sign to the left.
Gorge: ask for directions at Hotel Stavris!
Gorge: 7 km, 2 hrs. Starting at the village of Imbros you will
wend your way down the sculpted, pebble-strewn convolutions of the
gorge through the conifers, herbs and flowers. Sheer cliffs tower
above us and butterflies rise and fall in the currents of air. The
Libyan Sea eventually opens out in mesmeric peacock colours before
us and the mysterious island of Gavdos floats there, a stepping-stone
Gorge: 2,5 hrs. starting from Asfendou. Steep gorge, deep canyon,
ending in Agios Niktorios. 20 minutes to the east is a very beautiful
and quiet beach, down a dirt road. Ask for directions!
interesting mountain hikes:
- Gingilos - Omalos: (5 hours) Gingilos, the impressive mountain
that rises vertically above the Samaria gorge is actually quite
easy to climb. The view from its summit (2080 m) is one of the best
mountain views in Crete. You can see the Libyan sea (to the South)
and the Aegean sea (to the North) from the same spot. Those not
up to walking to the summit can stop at the spring of Lino Seli
or at the saddle below the summit. This mountain can only be climbed
when the weather is stable and there are no clouds. As an alternative
you can walk to the mountain refuge of Kallergi, which offers a
stunning bird's eye view of the Samaria gorge.
gorge: From Marmara beach you can walk up the gorge of Aradena
(3 hours) to the abandoned village of the same name. After a tour
of the village, walk to Anopolis (40 min.) on a surfaced road then
down the old path back to Finix (1 hour).
Roumeli - Finix: (5 hours) Follow the coast eastwards past the
chapel of Agios Pavlos (Saint Paul is said to have landed here
on his journey to Greece) then through a pine forest. The path,
high above the coast then offers little shade for the next 2 hours
but there is an opportunity to swim at the small beach of Marmara.
From there another ½ hour walk brings you to the tiny secluded
beach of Finix, just a short walk from the village of Loutro. You
may take a boat to Loutro as an alternative to walking. (recommended
in high summer because of the heat and lack of shade)
- Loutro - Sweet water beach - Chora Sfakion: (2 ½ hours) From
the village of Loutro, walk along or above the coast to the spectacular
Sweet water beach (drinking water comes out if you dig a hole
on the beach) to the village of Chora Sfakion. Little shade but
plenty of sea! You may take a boat as an alternative to this
- Kallergi - Melindaou (2153 m) - Katsiveli: (8 hours) This
route starts at the entrance of the Samaria gorge. Walk up to the
roof of the White Mountains and proceed eastwards, at an altitude
of about 2000 m to Katsiveli, at the foot of Pachnes. The night
is spent in the open.
- Pachnes (optional) - Anopolis - Finix beach: This day will
take you through as much changes as you can expect on Crete: first
walking a couple of hours through a lunar landscape, then driving
endlessly down a rough track on the back of a pickup truck through
a pine forest to the plateau of Anopolis. From there walk down to
Finix beach (1 hour). It is possible to climb Pachnes (2453 m) on
a fairly easy path (about 3 hours return) before driving down to
gorge - Agia Roumeli: (8 hours) The densely forested gorge of
Eligas is one of the wildest and least known gorge in Western Crete.
Though shorter than the Samaria gorge it takes considerably longer
to walk through because of the difficult terrain. It reaches the
Libyan sea about ½ hour's walk east of Agia Roumeli.
E4 - the famous international walking path crossing Crete: the part
in Chania prefecture:
LENGTH OF WAY: 56 km
DIFFICULTY OF WAY:
Easy pathway with small bents and provincial streets
12-13 hours (This route can becomes with mountain bike, motorcycle
or even car).
LENGTH OF WAY:36 km
OF WAY: Path without particular difficulties and provincial streets
TOTAL TIME: Chrisoskalitisa - Elafonisi: 1 hours Εlafonisi-Paleoxora:
7 hours Paleochora-Sougia: 6 hours
LENGTH OF WAY: 20 km
DIFFICULTY OF WAY: Very difficult
Sougia-Τripiti: 4 hours Τripiti-Ag.Roumeli : 7 hours Require
increased quantity of water
LENGTH OF WAY:
DIFFICULTY OF WAY: Medium difficulty / Koustogerako-Οmalos
TOTAL TIME: Sougia - Ag.Irini gorge - Οmalos :
LENGTH OF WAY: 20 km
OF WAY: Koustogerako-Omalos difficult
TOTAL TIME: Sougia- Koustogerako-
Omalos : 9 hours
OMALOS-AGIA ROUMELI: "SAMARIA
LENGTH OF WAY: Omalos6
km , Xiloskalo-Ag.Roumeli: 17 km
DIFFICULTY OF WAY: Easy going
TIME: Omalos-Xiloskalo: 1 hour , Xiloskalo-Ag.Roumeli :6 hours
LENGTH OF WAY:33 km
DIFFICULTY OF WAY:Medium difficulty path and
TOTAL TIME: 8,30 hours
DIFFICULTY OF WAY:Very difficult. Mountaineering in altitude
without trees. Require increased quantity of water
TOTAL TIME: Omalos
- Kallergi refuge : 2,45' hours Kallergi refuge - Melidaou peak :
3,30' hours Melidaou peak - Svourixti refuge : 4,30' hours Svourihti
refuge - Tavri refuge : 7 hours, Tavri refuge - Askifou : 1.15' hours
LENGTH OF WAY: 19 km
DIFFICULTY OF WAY:
TOTAL TIME: 6.30' hours
OF WAY: 18 km
DIFFICULTY OF WAY: Easy path , provincial streets
TIME: Fragokastelo - Kapsodasos : 0,45 hour , Kallikratis gorge:
3 hours, Kallikratis - Asi Gonia : 2.30 hours