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Chora Sfakion near Loutro in Crete
Chora Sfakion is my absolute favourite village in Chania regional unit. I am well aware that this little gem does not suit everyone, probably it is rather the opposite. It is a small village where almost nothing happens. It is a perfect place for relaxation, to read books, to play tavli (greek backgammon) at one of the tavernas or to sit at a café over a long frappe, watching the world go by.
Chora Sfakion. The arrow points out where Loutro is located.
As mentioned, the village is very small and it does not take many minutes to stroll around the whole village. There are only about three streets, and a pleasant seafront promenade where several good tavernas are located. Tasty food is very important to me when I am travelling, and if it is somewhere I get good food, it is in Chora Sfakion. This is one of the reasons why I like the village so much. There is no lack of facilities, for example, there is both a bakery and an ATM.
The seafront promenade with all the cosy tavernas.
It doesn't matter which taverna you choose, they all serve delicious Greek traditional cooking. However, I have a favourite and it is Livikon. The reason may be that I have eaten there most times, it can also depend on the super-nice staff, or maybe because Livikon is located in the middle of the promenade. You can keep a look-out in all directions. The neighbouring taverna is called Samaria, and is just as good, they have the same owner, and the same kitchen.
The seafront promenade with a beautiful rainbow.
The evenings in Chora Sfakion are magical. Almost all tavernas have tables along the water, and it is incredibly meditative to sit and eat while listening to the waves from the endless Libyan Sea. If you are lucky you may see a beautiful rainbow, but most likely you will see the sunset.
Taverna The Three Brothers and the small beach.
It is not the beaches that attracts tourists to Chora Sfakion. Although there are two beaches to choose from for those who want to go for a swim. In the middle of the village, below the seafront tavernas, is a small poor beach reached by steps. A better beach lies on the other side of the village, below the Taverna The Three Brothers (also a very good taverna). Even if this beach is quite mediocre, it is okay. If you have seen the movie Tsatsiki, Dad and the Olive War, then you probably recognise yourself here.
Ilingas beach about 2 kilometres west of the village is a long
pebble beach usually empty of people. At least the times we've been here.
It is without doubt a better beach than the ones found in Chora Sfakion.
Above the beach lies a taverna. If you want to sunbathe and swim on a
better beach, you can go by taxi boat to Sweetwater
beach between Chora Sfakion and Loutro.
Sweetwater beach just west of Chora Sfakion.
One of the best things about staying in Chora Sfakion is that the village is a perfect base for excursions, there is plenty to see and do in the surrounding area. In addition, you can go by ferry along the coast as far as to Paleochora, a distance of 140 kilometres if you drive a car.
Taxi boats to Sweetwater beach, Loutro, Phoenix and Lykos, Marmara and Agia Roumeli departs from the port of Chora Sfakion. There is car ferry service to Loutro, Agia Roumeli, Sougia and Paleochora. During the summer there is also a ferry to the small island of Gavdos south of Crete. Tickets for the boats are bought in a small booth in the harbour. Something you must not miss is to drive up to the village of Anopolis and on to the amazing Aradena bridge!
Restaurant Street in Chora Sfakion.
Most people who hike in the Samaria Gorge arrive by ferry to Chora Sfakion from Agia Roumeli, for further travel by bus to Chania or Rethymno. It is a great pleasure to see all the tired hikers walk off the ferry. Speaking of boats, there is a large marina in Chora Sfakion. If you like boats, this is where you should go.
ACCOMMODATION IN CHORA SFAKION
The range is not so wide but it is seldom a problem to find available rooms, unless you arrive during high season. Still, it is always best to book in advance. We have stayed at the Livikon Hotel and Samaria Hotel, two simple hotels with great location.
The seafront promenade in Chora Sfakion.
Chora Sfakion is located 75 kilometres southeast of Chania and 65 kilometres southwest of Rethymno. The road you see by the arrow on the picture leads to Anopoli and the Aradena Gorge. The road up to Anopoli can be compared to a Formula 1 circuit.
If you like to hike it is close to the Imbros Gorge that offers
almost as spectacular scenery as the Samaria Gorge.