Sougia is a small village located 75km west of Chania, at the exit of the beautiful Gorge of Agia Irini. A favorite 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, a mini market, etc. However, you will not find gas station, hospital, pharmacy or bank.
In front of the village lies a lovely quiet long beach with coarse sand, crystal clear deep water. The beach starts from the small harbor of Sougia (west) and stretches to the east for 1.5km. The beach ends in a small cove, hidden between rocks well protected from prying eyes. The eastern 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 camp or find shade.
In summer, ferries run daily from Sougia to Chora Sfakion, Paleochora, Agia Roumeli and Loutro. Also there are routes to Gavdos.
What to see
The name of Sougia means "place of hogs" in the ancient greek, because pigs were fed on the plenty acorns of the area. Today you don’t see any pigs, but you still see the oakwoods, if you make a stroll through the magnificent gorge of Agia Irini.
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 in 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 the south-west 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, west of the village, with its magnificent mosaics of the floor. They depict images from nature and date back in the 6th century AD. The church is not open to 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 the theatre and the thermal baths. If you don’t have a boat, you have to follow the path that leads to the west and you will find the ruins and the beach of Lissos after two hours of hiking. The area is full of ancient ruins.
Lastly, if you follow the E4 trail leading to St. Roumeli (east), you will meet after 2 hours of hiking the picturesque chapel of St. Anthony, hidden in a scenic cove.