Discover South West Crete by boat

The southwestern coast of Crete from Paleochora to Hora Sfakion is famous for its stunning nature, distinctive culture and strong history. It is one of the most remote regions in the island, located behind rough mountains, and many of its beautiful pearls are only revealed to those who take the effort to reach them by boat or by foot.South West Coast of CreteDuring our two trips to Crete this year, we visited all of the ferry line stops except Sougia and the Gavdos island.

1. Paleochora is the largest of these ferry stops, and a very good base for exploring the famous southwestern corner of Crete. One-day trips are organized from Paleochora to visit the famous “pink beach” Elafonisi. We visited Paleochora last May but because the high season had not yet started, the ferries were smaller and not capable of accepting cars (check this if you are traveling by car!). However, despite this small disappointment, we spent four lovely days in Paleochora and stayed at Hotel On The Rocks ( Paleochora

2. Sougia is a laid-back, small village that lived its golden years during the Romans and the Byzantines. It is 40 minutes away from Paleochora by ferry. We did not visit Sougia, but the photos look appealing. For more info, visit

3. Agia Roumeli is 1h30minutes away from Palechora and one hour from Hora Sfakion. It is the “official” main base for exploring Europe’s longest gorge, the Samaria Gorge. We did a day trip to Agia Roumeli from Hora Sfakion, and enjoyed beach time. If you are not using the opportunity to explore the gorge (you definitely need running/hiking shoes), then there is nothing much else to do except watch colorful fish to swim by your feet. Agia Roumeli

4. Loutro is a tiny, delightful village only accessible by boat or foot. The fact that there are no cars makes it very charming. I fell in love with Loutro and could spend one week there. In a way it is this picture-perfect Greek village that you have always dreamed about. LoutroThere is a nice beach right in the center and the water is very clear. It seems that every single house on the waterfront is a hotel or a bed and breakfast, and the restaurants are multiple, too. Since Loutro is not easily reachable,  I would recommend reserving accommodation at least for the first night. LoutroWe only made a day trip to Loutro (15 minutes from Hora Sfakion) but if I ever return to Crete, Loutro will be on my must-do list!! I would bring a pile of books with me, and when I get tired of reading, I would rent a boat for a day (I saw ads for 60€ per day) and catch octopus. Talking about relaxation…

5. Hora Sfakion is the easternmost stop on the ferry line. It is the capital of the Sfakia region, which is the only region of Crete that was not taken over by the Arabs, Turks or Venetians. Thanks to its rebellious nature, Hora Sfakion has remained very authentic (read my previous article Hora Sfakion: one of a kind).  Hora SfakionToday, this charming little village provides tourists with a variety of activities. One can rent a boat, hike all the way to Loutro or Agia Roumeli (and return by ferry) or visit the nearby mountain villages. Or simply talk to locals who are very friendly and happy to share stories about their daily life. Southern Crete by ferryWe stayed four nights at Xenia Hotel –the only hotel in town– but there are several bed and breakfast places. To taste famous Sfakian dishes, you have a choice of several restaurant on the waterfront, or Three Brothers with an impressive view on the Libyan Sea.Three Brothers Visiting this part of Crete by ferry should be on everyone’s must-do list, regardless of one’s age group or interests, I reckon. Most of the tourists you will meet are those hiking in the gorges, and the places I mentioned above are quiet and authentic. As you already know, my favorite is Loutro, but I enjoyed every single village we visited on the ferry line. If I intrigued your curiosity, visit this wonderful website called for more information (it is also where the map in the beginning of this article comes from).

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7 thoughts on “Discover South West Crete by boat

    1. Miia Post author

      The coast is spectacular!

      I would like to do some Greek islands by a boat/yacht. We visited the Seychelles this way and it was super cool. A group of 8 ppl plus a captain and a cook. Nobody dived but everyone snorkeled every day. Turtles 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Miia Post author

        The company we used is called Dream Yacht Charter but there are several operators/travel agencies that use their services. They do cruises all over, small catamarans and yachts, not big cruises ships!

        Ideally one should gather a group of friends to hire an entire boat. We were with ppl we didn’t know, but it was ok. Everyone behaved him/herself 🙂 But it would be nice with family or friends I think!

        Liked by 1 person

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