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Chora Sfakia

Mason City, Iowa
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Chora Sfakia

Not much on here about this town. We want to use it as a base for hiking the Samaria Gorge for two days. Any suggestions for this town? I.e. restaurants, lodging, hiking, swimming, fishing, boating, etc.?

Thanks

London, United...
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1. Re: Chora Sfakia

There's a great deal of information on line. Here is the best of many websites:

sfakia-crete.com/sfakia-crete/sfakia-crete.h…

But I'm confused. Why would you want to use Chora Sfakion as a base for hiking the Samaria Gorge? If that's what you want to do, you need to stay in Agia Roumeli so that you can make an early start. The earliest ferry from Chora Sfakion gets you to Agia Roumeli at noon, with just a few hours before you have to travel back again.

Chora Sfakion is a nice village with plenty of accommodation and some good restaurants. There is a small beach, good swimming, great hiking possibilities. But tell me exactly what you want to do: hike the gorge for two days, or do walks from Chora Sfakion for two days, and I'll help.

Here are a few more links:

www.west-crete.com/holidays-chora_sfakion.htm

http://www.chora-sfakion.com/

http://www.hotel-stavris-chora-sfakion.com/

sfakia-crete.com/sfakia-crete/accommodations…

http://www.chora-sfakion-crete.com/

http://www.xeniacrete.com/

http://www.sfakia-livikon.com/

http://www.three-brothers-sfakia-crete.com/

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Agia Roumeli
Agia Roumeli
Crete, Greece
Harbin, China
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for Kanchanaburi
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2. Re: Chora Sfakia

Hi,

I would leave most of my stuff in Chania, walk down the gorge and then spend a night or two in Sfakia. You could also stay in Ag. Roumeli, even better a night or two in the beautiful Loutro.

Many options/choices give by Alabastron above.

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Sfakia
Sfakia
Crete, Greece
Roumeli
Roumeli
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Crete, Greece
Loutro
Loutro
Crete, Greece
Mason City, Iowa
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3. Re: Chora Sfakia

The choice was based on keeping my car at a hotel in Sfakia instead of at the ferry port? Is there a road to Loutro or is that only accessible by boat? I'm also thinking about staying 3 days in the area. I guess I've heard that the last 6 KM are the most scenic so by going the reverse we hit that sooner. Also there's another scenic trail in the area we wanted to hit.

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Sfakia
Sfakia
Crete, Greece
Loutro
Loutro
Crete, Greece
Harbin, China
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4. Re: Chora Sfakia

Hi,

There isn't a road to Loutro, it can only be reached by boat or on foot from the village of Anopolis.

Edited: 12:04 pm, July 22, 2012
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Loutro
Loutro
Crete, Greece
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5. Re: Chora Sfakia

> I guess I've heard that the last 6 KM are the most scenic so by going the reverse we hit that sooner.<

I'm not sure what you mean by this: can you explain?

>Also there's another scenic trail in the area we wanted to hit.<

Or this? The area is full of scenic trails. (There is nothing in the whole of Sfakia that isn't scenic.)

Loutro is accessible only by ferry, or on foot - from Anopolis, as Andy says (1.5 hours) or along the coastal path (2 hours).

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Sfakia
Sfakia
Crete, Greece
Loutro
Loutro
Crete, Greece
Agii Apostoli...
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6. Re: Chora Sfakia

As a base from Sfakia, you can visit Imbros and Aradena gorge, but only if you like hiking. Samaria is the king of the gorges and nature in Crete and is unique. If you like nature, hike the whole length. East of Sfakia, around Frangocastelo there are some cool nice secluded beaches, but you have to search around a bit or ask locals!

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Sfakia
Sfakia
Crete, Greece
Aradena
Aradena
Crete, Greece
Crete
Crete
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7. Re: Chora Sfakia

I think that the historical background to Chora Sfakia is worth a mention. When it was no longer possible for the Allied troops to hold Crete against the German invasion in May 1941, they retreated to Chora Sfakia to await evacuation. A rearguard action was fought across the Askyfou pass and down the Imbros gorge.

Ships of the Royal Navy managed to take off about 18,000 allied soldiers: British, Australian, New Zealand and Greek troops, but with heavy losses of ships sunk, and about 12,000 other allied troops had to be left behind in Chora Sfakia and elsewhere on Crete.

I could not find this bit of Chora Sfakia's history directly mentioned in any of the excellent links that Alabastron has given us. A short account of the evacuation can be found online at a New Zealand history site:

nzhistory.net.nz/war/…evacuation-days-10-12

There are many good books covering the Battle for Crete in 1941. "The Battle at Sea" by David A. Thomas has been reprinted many times (and published in the USA as: "Nazi Victory"). A particularly good personal account of the retreat to Sfakia is "Climax in Crete" by Theodore Stephanides - a close friend of Lawrence Durrell during their pre-war days on Corfu. Unfortunately the latter book is now very rare, and neither seem to be readable online.

When we first went to Chora Sfakia in the 1970s the rusty remains of sunken landing craft were clearly visible in the bay. I have not been there recently, and I suppose that all the old military scrap has been tidied away by now. I am sure that the memorial to Cretans executed by the Nazis for resistance, that stood just outside the little town, is still there.

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Crete
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New Zealand
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Sfakia
Sfakia
Crete, Greece
Corfu
Corfu
Ionian Islands, Greece
Mason City, Iowa
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8. Re: Chora Sfakia

The "Iron Gates" are within 6 km of Agia Roumeli?

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Agia Roumeli
Agia Roumeli
Crete, Greece
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9. Re: Chora Sfakia

Yes, all the military scrap is gone, and yes, the memorial is still there. There was a moving ceremony there on the 70th anniversary last year.

There is a good deal of historical information on line, though not in the links I gave, which in the context of this thread were entirely to do with tourism.

The retreat was, I believe, down the Ilingas Gorge immediately to the west of Chora Sfakion, as well as the Imbros Gorge. Evelyn Waugh's Sword of Honour is a fictional account of the march, and the evacuation.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sword_of_Honour

Mason City, Iowa
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10. Re: Chora Sfakia

Thanks for the background on Hora Sfakion. I'd read something about the WW II status of the town. Very informative!