Sougia, Crete, is a small, quiet village with a magnificent beach and excellent nature, which fascinates every calm-seeking traveller.
Sougia, Crete, is the ideal destination for tranquil holidays. The village lies in a distance of about 70 kilometers south of Chania city.
As the village is fairly remote, you can still find in Sougia the authentic feeling of a small Crete village. However, due to the number of visitors, many of which are loyal visitors who return to Sougia again and again, there are very good amenities, including taverns, cafes, bars and mini markets, for comfortable, trouble-free holidays.
The long beach of Sougia, in front of the village, is one of the best in South Crete. And entertainment in Sougia is like the village itself: friendly and authentic, and unlike the excesses in North Crete resorts.
Getting to Sougia, Crete
Sougia, Crete, owes largely its remote character to the narrow, winding road that reaches the village from the north of the island. It takes about one hour and a half to get to Sougia from Chania city. However, the road passes through some very picturesque sights.
When coming to Sougia, you first meet Alikianos plain, a plain full of orange trees. Then, the road goes up the mountain and passes through Agia Irini village and Agia Irini Gorge, one of the most scenic gorges in South Crete. Finally, the road descends through plenty of olive trees and small beautiful villages, as it reaches Sougia, the princess of South Crete!
If you come to Sougia from Paleochora, there is a winding road that connects the two villages. The road passes through the colorful village of Temenia and other traditional small villages, and is also very interesting.
Finally, another option to get to Sougia, Crete, is by boat, from either Paleochora, Chora Sfakion, or Agia Roumeli.
The outstanding beach of Sougia, Crete
The beach of Sougia has been gradually created by the forces of nature through the centuries. Sougia village lies on the mouth of the stunning Agia Irini Gorge, a real gem of a gorge in South Crete.
The beach has crystal-clear water and small pebbles. If you like comforts, at some parts of the beach you will find sun beds and parasols.
Sougia beach is a heaven for beach lovers and is rightfully considered one of the best beaches in Crete. It is very long - about 1.5 km in total - and has numerous trees by the beach offering ample shade for all visitors. The large beach, in relation to the relatively small number of visitors, make Sougia beach an interesting sight by its own.
The east part of Sougia beach, which is the most remote part of the beach, is popular among nudists. In fact, it was the hippies and the nudists - the real experts at discovering the best beaches around - that started frequenting the place some decades ago.
Sougia, Crete - a paradise for hikers
Sougia is in the middle of an area full of excellent walking paths. Centuries-old sights, magnificent nature, ancient cities, impressive gorges, in Sougia you can find everything!
One of the best hiking paths near Sougia is through Agia Irini Gorge. The gorge goes upward from Sougia village to Agia Irini village, so it is recommended that you get to Agia Irini village using the local bus (which takes you there in about 30 minutes) and descend the gorge towards Sougia. The hike is easy and takes about 4 hours.
Another excellent hiking path from Sougia is towards the ancient city of Lissos. Lissos was one of the two ports of the famous ancient city of Elyros, one of the biggest in Minoan Crete (the other port of Elyros was Syia, the ancient city in the place of present-day Sougia).
Lissos was the prominent medical centre in West Crete in the ancient years. In the city lied the famous temple of Asklepios, ruins of which you can see even today.
The hiking path to ancient Lissos is through the well-known Lissos Gorge. Lissos Gorge is one of the more spectacular gorges in Southwest Crete. When ascending through the gorge, you enjoy magnificent, breath-taking views of Sougia village, ancient Lissos and all the surrounding area.
Finally, a third popular hike, which is short and easy, is towards the small church of Agia Irini. The path to Agia Irini goes up on the mountain behind Sougia, which is full of pine trees, and offers a magnificent view to Sougia village and the sea of South Crete.
The remarkable history of Sougia, Crete
One of the things that have preserved the authentic traditional character of Sougia is its rich history. At the exact location of today’s village lied the ancient town of Syia, and the continuing excavations have prevented the big expansion of the village. Syia was destroyed by the Saracen pirates in the 9th century AD, but the excavations have unearthed precious findings in this historic city of South Crete.
The excellent location of Sougia, Crete, together with its rich history, which has protected the present-day village from becoming an impersonal modern resort, make the village a paradise for people who want to enjoy calm holidays, admire the magnificent nature, and stay in an authentic village of Crete. Sougia is the place where many visitors return to again and again, as its hidden charms are very hard to resist.