Loutro is a small seaside village situated approximately 71 km south of Chania, at the end of Cape Mouri. It is believed that this was the site of the ancient city of Phoenix and was the ancient port of Anopolis. Later, it became a winter port for Chora Sfakion, due to the fact that the enclosed bay and the small island at its entrance create a natural harbor where ships can be safe even in very bad weather.
You can stay at Loutro and use it as a base for visiting surrounding beaches, either by taxi boat, canoe or on foot. You can visit the magestic beach of Glyka Nera east of the village. Moreover, you can canoe or walk till the adjacent unorganized pebbly beaches of Timios Stavros and Pervolaki that are located 1km east of the village, just before Glyka Nera. However, if you want to stay at Loutro, the small beach in front of Loutro and the longer beach right after the east end of the village, called Keramos, are a very good choice, especially when wind from South is strong. The beaches are pebbly, well-organised and the water is always calm and has an amazing deep blue and green color. Moreover, you could visit the closeby beaches of Likos, Finikas and Marmara. There is a boat that leaves every day to Marmara and Glyka Nera.
Loutro is a place for those people who want something different. A small picturesque fishing village in south west Crete, not yet spoilt by mass tourism. For example there are no big hotels with swimming pools. There are no overcrowded streets, restaurants and beaches, there are no cars!
The only access is by boat or as you wish, by foot (1.5 hour hard trekking from Chora Sfakion). There are daily routes to/from Chora Sfakion, Sougia, Gavdos island, Paleochora and Agia Roumeli.
What to do in Loutro
Once in Loutro, enjoy walking in the scenic, unspoiled mountain countryside with its valleys and gorges. Firstly, you could visit the Koules of Loutro and admire the old endemic palm trees dispersed in the area. You could also climb to the beautiful village and plateau of Anopolis. You have to climb 2000 feet on a 2000 year old mule track, which you must take very easily, one foot in front of the other, sticking to the zigzag path, taking regular stops, especially if you are not walking in the shade. Allow just under two hours up to Anopolis where there is a very good choice of tavernas. You could also explore the Aradaina Gorge, the Imbros Gorge or the Samaria Gorge or make a day trip by boat to the island of Gavdos, the most southern tip of Europe and try to get a glimpse of escorting dolphins. Moreover, if you are a keen snorkeler, you might meet sea turtles that are very frequent visitors of Loutro.
The village was named ("Loutro" means "bath" in Greek) after the baths which have been found in the area and from which water was directed to nearby Anopolis. Among the older buildings that you can see here, you will find the Municipal Building used by the first government, in 1821. In ancient times, habitats of the area believed in Cretan Zeus and Apollo in Delphi. Some meters away from the village you can still see part of the ancient town and the temple of Apollon. In 1821 the Chancellor of Sfakia founded a hospital in Loutro that saved thousands of wounded fighters.