Chora Sfakion

The Peaceful South of Crete

Chora Sfakion also known as Sfakia in the south of Crete (photo by vasdekis)

Chora Sfakion Χώρα Σφακίων is located 75 km from Chania town on the island of Crete in Greece. Located in the region of Chania, it is the capital of the region of Sfakia, a unique and proud mountainous region and people of the island. The town is also known as Sfakia.

This is a small seaside village with a big history. The history includes insurrection against invaders in most recent times the Venetians and the Turks, and then resistance during the second World War in what was known as the Battle of Crete.

Daskalogiannis - a famous Cretan resistance leader - was born in the village of Anopolis just 10 km from this village. He is one of the proudest sons of the Sfakian region.

Today the industries are fishing, shepherding, olive production and tourism, which tends to be for the more adventurous hikers and independent travellers seeking authenticity. The modern Sfakian people pride themselves on their hospitality.

Chora Sfakion Beaches

Χώρα Σφακίων also known as Sfakia, close to Sweetwater Beach in the south of Crete, Greece

There are many beautiful, almost untouched beaches near Chora Sfakion. There is a small town beach called Vrissi, while to the west a 20 minute walk along the coastal footpath arrives at Ilingas Beach with a taverna.

A walk track further west comes out at Sweetwater Beach also with a tavern. There are many taxi boats called Delfini daily visiting to this and other beaches. Nearby also are Amoudi, Filaki, Vatalos and Frangokastello beaches.

There are naturist beaches at Sweetwater, Filaki, at the Vritomartis resort beach and Mamaris beach.

Ferries to South Coast

Ferries on the south coast of Crete

Ferries leave here for the beaches of the south of Crete and the remote villages of LoutroSougia and Agia Roumeli, ending at Paleochora in the west of the island. Ferries also depart from here to Gavdos Island. 

The company that runs the ferries is named Anendyk, they publish timetables online every year, many visitors come through Sfakia village to take these ferries to one of the remote seaside villages, or walk along the south coast trail.

There are daily bus services from Chania town to Sfakia with KTEL, the local bus service, check the timetables as they differ in summer and winter and you will need to ensure your ferry links up with your bus.

Hiking in Mountains & Gorges

Imbros Gorge, Crete

This region is dominated by the Lefka Ori - White Mountains and includes Samaria Gorge, Imbros Gorge, Aradena Gorge, Omalos Plateau and Askifou Plateau.

The nearest gorge to Sfakia is Imbros Gorge Φαράγγι Ίμπου Faragi Imbrou which begins at Imbros on the Askifou Plateau and ends after 11 km at Kommitades about 5 km from Sfakia. The walk is much less well known than Samaria, but just as beautiful and less strenuous.

Where to Stay...

Livikon Hotel - a small hotel right in the village, just a heartbeat away from the port.  It is run by the local Dourountakis family; they will look after you. Views over the harbour, simple, friendly, clean and good value. There is a good taverna downstairs, which is the place for fresh seafood, try the octopus, and don't forget the local speciality - Sfakian pies with honey (they are like pancakes).

Flisvos Rooms - are 15 km from this village in the seaside village of Frangokastello, budget accommodation by the water.

The Lefkoritis Resort - is inland on the Askifou Plateau, a true country experience, 25 km into the mountains from the village. Hiking, horseriding, mountain climbing and fresh mountain air,a s well as pool, tennis court and mountain biking.

Vritomartis Naturist Resort - is 2.5 km out of town with its own private beach and complete resort facilities, this is a very popular destination in Crete, as there are many naturist beaches dotted all over the south coast.

Σφακιανή Πίτα - Sfakian Pie - like a yummy pancake with local honey

Exploring Around Sfakia

Snorkel and Scuba with Notos Mare Diving Centre in Sfakia

The sea is the most beautiful and peaceful attraction of this region. The clear water and lack of industy make the waters perfect for wildlife and exploring. Local brothers Domulis and Lefteris Tsirintanis runs snorkelling and diving from Chora Sfakion Notos Mare Diving Centre. All the beaches and coves of the south can be explored with charter boats including Gavdos island, the most southerly point of Europe.

European Walking Track E4 - Yellow and Black signs show the way

A must is a visit to the high village of Anopoli and the blissful bay of Loutro. Hiking is excellent here – the European Walking Track E4 passes through here.

Just 15 km to the east along the coast is the beach side village of Frangokastello. It takes its name from the Venetian Castle built there in 1371, which is now in ruins. It was the site of a dramatic battle in 1828 between Cretans and Turks. Many were killed in this battle and now it is said that their ghosts rise up on the anniversary of the battle (late May to early June). The visions of the rows of soldiers are seen during the morning, at the time of the dew, so the apparitions are referred to as 'those of the dew' or drousoulites  ~ Δροσουλίτες. 

Nearby villages for those wanting to explore inland and find the real character of the Cretan mountains include Anopoli, Aradena, Agios Ioannis, Asfendou, Askifou, Imbros and Kalikratis.

There are daily bus services from Chania to Sfakia with KTEL, the local bus service.

Video Sfakia

Sfakians are also well known for their dancing you see traditional Cretan music and dance group performing in front of the Xenia Hotel in Chora Sfakion, with the beautiful Libyan Sea sparkling in the background...

There is a village in Chania called Roumata and this dance is from that village, it is named the 'Roumatiani Sousta'.

This video below shows the whole region of Sfakia including the village of Chora Sfakion, the gorges and mountains, seas and beaches of this beautiful rugged area.

Images Sfakia...

Ilingas Beach, Sfakia, south Crete (image by vasdekis)Ilingas Beach

Sweetwater Beach, Sfakia (image by Yatmandu)Sweetwater Beach

Take a ferry from here to this beautiful little village of Loutro (image by M Cavalho)Loutro

Just 15 km to FrangokastelloFrangokastello Beach and Castle

Map of Villages of Crete

See the location of this village on the map of Crete...

Return to Villages of Crete

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