Sougia is a small village located 75km west of Chania city, at the exit of the beautiful Gorge of Agia Irini. A favourite destination for hippies in the 70s’, today it is a perfect choice for peaceful holidays in a beautiful landscape with all the basic amenities provided. In Sougia you will find many restaurants, taverns, rooms, coffee shops, bars, mini markets, etc. However, you will not find gas stations, hospitals, pharmacies or banks.
In front of the village lies a lovely quiet long beach with coarse sand and crystal clear deep water. The beach starts from the small harbour of Sougia (west) at the exit of Lissos Gorge and stretches to the east for 1.5km. The beach ends in a small cove, hidden between rocks well protected from prying eyes. This part of the long beach is not organized and is preferred almost exclusively by naturists. Instead, the beach in front of the village offers umbrellas, showers, sports and a lifeguard tower. Along the beach, there are plenty of tamarisk trees where you can find shade.
In summer, ferries run daily from Sougia to Chora Sfakion, Paleochora, Agia Roumeli, Gavdos island and Loutro.
history and things to see
The ancient name of Sougia (Syia) means “place of hogs” in ancient Greek because pigs were fed on the plenty acorns of in the area. Today you don’t see any pigs, but you still see the oak trees, if you take a stroll through the magnificent gorge of Agia Irini, one of the three most visited gorges in West Crete.
You can also visit the ruins of the Doric town of Elyros; ancient Sougia (then called Syia) was its seaport. The ruins of Elyros are located on Kefala hill, near the village Rodovani. Elyros flourished until the Greek classical period, from 500 to 350 BC. It was one of the major towns of southwest Crete, with a population of approximately 16.000 residents. Elyros had its own currency and was famous for making weapons.
Another attraction is the church of Saint Panteleimon, built on the site of the early Christian Basilica of Syia, west of the village still preserving ancient mosaics on the floor. They depict scenes from nature and date back to the 6th century AD. The church is not open to the public, but you should ask for the keys at the local kiosk.
Near Sougia lies the ancient city of Lissos, which was the second seaport of Elyros. It was famous for its theatre, the thermal baths and the Asclepeion, watered by the spring of Lissos. If you don’t have a boat, you have to follow the path that leads to the west through Lissos Gorge and you will reach the ruined town of Lissos after 1.5-2 hours of hiking.
Lastly, if you follow the E4 trail leading to Agia Roumeli (east), you will meet after 2 hours of hiking the picturesque chapel of St. Anthony, hidden in a scenic cove. In the same direction, you will also find the legendary cave of Polyphemus.
There are various activities you can do at Sougia beach such as swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling, and hiking.
Yes, Sougia beach is suitable for families with children as the water is shallow and calm.
Yes, there are several restaurants and cafes near Sougia beach where you can enjoy local cuisine and drinks.
No, camping is not allowed at Sougia beach.
Unfortunately, Sougia beach is not fully accessible for people with disabilities as there are some steep paths and stairs.
No, there are no water sports available at Sougia beach.
No, there is no lifeguard on duty at Sougia beach. Swimmers are advised to take caution and swim at their own risk.
Yes, you can bring your dog to Sougia beach but it must be kept on a leash and you must clean up after it.
Yes, there is a parking area near Sougia beach where you can park your car for a fee.
The water colour of the beach is blue.
The beach has fine pebbles.
The water at the beach is deep.
The surface of the sea is usually calm at the beach.
The beach is usually quiet.
The beach has accommodation options, food/water nearby, umbrellas/beds, sports, lifeguard, showers, and a Blue Flag.
The beach can be accessed by bus services and a paved road.
Yes, the beach is nudism friendly.
The beach is ideal for snorkeling and spearfishing.
Yes, there is tree shade and rock shade available at the beach.
Beach sand type
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