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Sougia beach

Beach description

Sougia is a charming village situated at the entrance of the beautiful Agia Irini Gorge, 75km west of Chania city. Once a 70’s hippie haven, it now serves as a peaceful getaway offering relaxing vacations amidst scenic landscapes, equipped with necessary amenities. The village features a variety of restaurants, taverns, accommodation choices, cafes, bars, and mini markets, though larger facilities like gas stations, hospitals, pharmacies or banks are not available in this secluded paradise.

The village is home to a beautiful, long beach adorned with pebbly sand and crystal-clear deep water. The beach stretches an impressive 1.5km from the quaint harbour of Sougia at the Lissos Gorge exit to the east, concluding in a private cove surrounded by rocks. This part of the beach, largely undeveloped, is a favourite among naturists. The beach section facing the village, however, is well-equipped with facilities including umbrellas, showers, sports facilities, and a lifeguard tower. Tamarisk trees dotted along the beach provide ample shade.

In the summer, daily ferries carry tourists from Sougia to various destinations such as Chora Sfakion, Paleochora, Agia Roumeli, Gavdos Island, and Loutro.

Historical Importance and Nearby Attractions to Sougia

Known as Syia (“place of hogs” in Greek) in ancient times, Sougia was once a hub for pig herding due to the region’s abundant oak trees. Today, you can still see the oak trees while trekking through the majestic Agia Irini Gorge, a popular tourist spot in West Crete.

Consider exploring the remains of the Doric town of Elyros, with Syia acting as its port in the past. The ruins are located on Kefala hill, near Rodovani village. Elyros flourished from 500 to 350 BC, being one of the main cities of southwest Crete with approximately 16,000 inhabitants. Known for its weapons manufacturing, Elyros even had its own currency.

Other points of interest include the Church of Saint Panteleimon, built on the site of Syia’s early Christian Basilica, which houses ancient mosaics depicting natural scenes from the 6th century AD. Although the church is usually closed, keys can be obtained at the local kiosk.

Near Sougia, the archaeological site of Lissos, Elyros’ secondary seaport, contains remnants of an ancient theatre, thermal baths, and the Asclepeion, fed by the Lissos spring. Accessible by a boat or a hike through the Lissos Gorge, the ruined city is a two-hour walk away.

Lastly, a two-hour hike east on the E4 trail towards Agia Roumeli will take you to the picturesque St. Anthony Chapel, situated in a scenic cove, and further on, the legendary cave of Polyphemus.