Sougia is one of the most laid back and refreshingly undeveloped beach places along the unique south coast of Crete, with a lovely wide curve of sand and pebble beach and a few taverns where you can enjoy excellent traditional food as well as fresh fish. As a bonus, there is an excellent pizza restaurant by the beach.
Visit the most popular Byzantine St Nikolas Chapel, built in 1315. The chapel is located on the propodes of a steep hill of Moni village just 10 minutes by car or on foot from the premises. The location is stupendous, in fact amongst the best in south Crete and the walk, on a shaded path among ancient olive oil trees is one of the most appealing short walks in the area. In the chapel you will see toixografies dated in the 13th century crafted with a unique “smoked” method of the famous painter of the area Ioannis Pagomenos.
Visit the nearby Panagia Kera (Chapel of Holy Mary), built in the early 19th century as a Nun’s Monastery, it is a unique monument of rural architecture. In the Chapel’s surrounding area, the visitor could admire a stone-built 20 meter tall bell house with amazing view from the top as well as the cells that nuns used as their homes.
Another Church, this from Prophet Elias Chapel, after a beautiful walk that follows the coast towards the East of Sougia beach to the chapel of the Prophet Elias. As it takes about 4 hours to get there it is a good idea to hire a boat one way and return on foot.
A walk to nearby Lissos is almost a must. Lissos was a very significant town in ancient times and there are still many ruins left, particularly an Aesculap (Asklipios) sanctuary. The walk to Lissos and back takes about 3 hours at a leisurely pace. The atmosphere in Lissos is so peaceful that it is well worth spending time there, wandering around the ruins and enjoying the silence.
Driving up (by bus early morning or by taxi) to the village of Agia Irini and walking down through the gorge of Agia Irini is also a very nice walk. It takes circa four hours.
Further afield you can drive up to the ancient city of Elyros (situated close to present day Rodovani). It is located on a hill overlooking the sea and the mountains and there are plenty of ruins to see (although only a few have been excavated).
Walk from Koustogerako to Omalos, a great little known walk through an old oak forest to the plateau of Omalos. Though not difficult this walk requires a good sense of orientation.
Walk to Paleohora, following the coast towards the West.
Walk to Tripiti, one of the most beautiful coastal walks in Crete.
Or a hike to Ochros (807 m), the local mountain will reward you with stunning views.
Maybe you are here just for this experience the Samaria Gorge. Take a public bus (or a taxi) in the morning to Omalos and walk through the famous Samaria Gorge. An alternative is to take the ferryboat.
Paleochora is the other well know village of the South Coast of Chania. You can drive there (40 minutes) and enjoy the sandy beach and very good restaurants and taverns.
Since you are in the area, you cannot miss Elafonisos, the beach is absolutely great with pink sand and landscape. The drive is circa 90 minutes but it does worth the effort.
Or bird watching in this rare beauty area.
Learn for more activities in Chania Prefecture.
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