Sougia, Crete

Sougia, Crete: A small, tranquil village in south Chania, with a long, magnificent beach and excellent walking paths all around.

Sougia, Crete
, is an ideal place to unwind. The village is located about 70 kilometers south of Chania city.

The village of Sougia, due to its relative remoteness, has retained its authentic feeling of a South Crete village, and is the perfect place for real relaxation. However, as it is also a known destination – less known than Paleochora for example, but with loyal visitors – it has efficient amenities for travelers, like small taverns, cafés and bars. The nightlife of Sougia, although interesting, is also slower and more cool than the summer frenzy in the north part of Crete.

The road from Chania city to Sougia is relatively narrow and winding. However, the one hour and a half route is very scenic: it passes through the Alikianos plain, where there are lots of orange trees, ascends up on the mountains, passes through Agia Irini village and the homonymous Agia Irini Gorge, and finally descends through small traditional villages, full of oak trees and olive groves, as it reaches Sougia.

You can also get to Sougia from Paleochora village, through a winding road that passes through picturesque village like Temenia.

Finally, as it is the case with most coastal villages in South Crete, you can get to Sougia by boat from Paleochora, Hora Sfakion and Agia Roumeli.

Sougia, Crete – a village with a really large beach

The village of Sougia is built on the mouth of the scenic Agia Irini Gorge, one of the finest gorges in Chania and Crete.

The central beach in front of the village has small pebbles and is crystal clear. It is relatively organized with sun beds and parasols.

Regarding beaches, Sougia is a natural paradise: with a total beach length of 1,5 kilometers, and many trees by the beach offering shade in the hot summer months, every visitor can find his ideal place in the sun in Sougia.

As Sougia was “discovered” by the hippies some decades ago, don’t be surprised to find that in Sougia beach is one of the most well-known beaches for nudists in Crete. It is located on the east part of the large coastal zone of Sougia.

Sougia, Crete – history and walking paths

Sougia is built on the exact location of ancient Syia, from which it took its name. Excavation works continue for many years now, and this is one of the main reasons that Sougia has been relatively unaffected by tourism: it’s very difficult to get a license to build a new house in or near the village.

Ancient Sougia, or Syia, was a port of the ancient city of Elyros, one of the prominent ancient cities in West Crete. Syia flourished during the Roman and Byzantine years, but it was finally destroyed by the Saracen pirates in the 9th century AD.

Another great ancient city near Sougia was Lissos, the second port of the ancient city of Elyros. Lissos was famous for its temple of Asklepios, and it was a medical centre in ancient Crete. There are two ways to get from Sougia to Lissos: one is by boat, and the other is on foot. The second option is through a picturesque path and takes about two hours.

Speaking of walking paths, Sougia is the kingdom of the walker. A great and short walk is towards the small church of Agia Irini. The path to Agia Irini goes up through the mountain side, which is full of pine trees and offers a magnificent view to Sougia and the sea of South Crete.

Another excellent walk near Sougia is through the gorge of Agia Irini. You can get you to the village of Agia Irini in about half an hour using the local bus service. From Agia Irini village, the homonymous gorge runs down to Sougia. The walking path is considered easy and takes about 4 hours.

Sougia is at the same time a tranquil, small village, a beach lover’s paradise and a historic location full of scenic walking paths. Although a little further away from Chania city, the village of Sougia, Crete, is an absolute must-see for the visitor.


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