Chania - Sfakia - SFAKIA
Due to its geographic position, is isolated from the rest of Crete, on the steep shores of the Lybian Sea. Also known for playing a key role in the revolution and liberation of the island and for its resident heroism. Today, it is a picturesque large village, built amphi-theatrically above the harbour. There are no indications of habitations in ancient times. Only the Venetian castle of the 15th and 16th centuries survives; it was called Sfakia or Sfachia and thus the entire province took its name. The fortress was used as the residence of the Providore, (administrative leader in the years of Venetian dominion). It was renovated and used by the Turks. Owing to the barren soil the inhabitants main occupation was navigation and commerce. Worth visiting are the temples of Agios Georgios (St George) and Agion Panton, which have remarkable murals. You can get there by suburban bus service (KTEL) from Chania or by car if you take the road to Sfakia. (72 km South of Chania). From Sfakia you can return to Chania by bus, where you will also cross Imbros gorge and the beautiful plateau of Askifou, circling around the White Mountains of Crete.
Another historic village, built near the ancient town of the same name, at an altitude of 600m on the slopes of the White Mountains of Crete, with a nice view to the Lybian sea. Cyclopian walls of pelasgic origin survive in the settlement Riza. It was well-known during the Hellenistic period, but it flourished chiefly during the Roman and Byzantine period. In the first centuries of Venetian dominion, Anopolis was the centre of resistance against the Venetians. After 1365 and the repression of the rebellion of Kalergi, the entire village was demolished and the inhabitants spread out to other districts. In addition Anopolis played an important role in the 1770 revolution against Turks, with Ioannis Daskalogiannis as leader. The revolt was a failure, and as a result the area of Anopolis-Sfakia was under even harder Turkish occupation. Worth visiting is the church of Agios Georgios (St. George's) where Ioannis Daskalogiannis raised the flag of the revolution in March 1770. Worth visiting also is the Aradenas Gorge, which is very steep and imposing with its wild natural beauty. Crossing the gorge is difficult but beautiful. You can get there by suburban bus service from Chania (KTEL) or by car car if you take the road to Sfakia.
On the western side of the homonymous gorge we find the deserted village of Aradena. Here existedthe ancient town Aradin or Iradin, ruins of which survive near the village. It is believed that it was founded by Phoenicians. Its name is related to the Phoenecian word Aruad, which means refuge. A homonymous city existed also in Phoeniki.
Between Agia Roumeli and Sfakia it is worth visiting the small seaside picturesque village Loutro. Here used to be the ancient town Phinikas, port of Anopolis. The foundations of buildings and vaulted reservoirs survive up to now. You can reach Loutro only by motor boat from Sfakia.
Loutro is a seaside resort on the south coast of Chania Prefecture (south-western Crete). It is only a few kilometres from Chora Sfakion, lying in the embrace of a cliff which towers 600 metres above the village. Loutro is a unique spot in Crete for many reasons:
- its white buildings with blue windows are reminiscent of the Cyclades and are unique in Crete.
- there is no road to Loutro. You can only go there by scheduled boat service (20 minutes from Sfakia) or on foot.
- there is no road in Loutro itself, no cars and no motorbikes. Actually, there is one car, which is used to transfer supplies from the boat to a hotel.
- all the houses are just a few metres from the waterĒs edge.
- the sea is always calm and meltemia (northeasterlies) are unknow
A very picturesque and beautiful plateau which is composed by many neighbourhoods. On the plateau where the village is built there is a Turkish castle. The area has a beautiful wild cypress forest. The plateau is surrounded by the highest peaks of Lephka Ori (White Mountains), it is believed that in this place used to be a lake! Askifou is also a historic area because of its role during the revolution against Turkish rule. Worth visiting is the Imbrou gorge, which starts in Askifou and ends at the sea. The walk is possible and the view from the footpath, as you walk towards Sfakia is breathtaking. You can get there by suburban bus service (KTEL) from Chania or by car if you take the road towards Sfakia (48 km South-East of Chania).
A village with vast, beautiful beaches, next to an impressive fort built by Venetians in 1371, which gives an idyllic setting. The shape of the fort is rectangular with a square-shaped tower at each corner. On its gate there is a relief of the lion of St. Mark and on the left and right Venetian crowns. The inner buildings and the loopholes are constructed by the Turks. Under the building there are vestiges of the church of St Mark. The history of Fragokastello is filled with bloody battles and even today, residents speak of ghosts, spirits of dead warriors called "Drosoulites" who appear in May or June of every year. One possible explanation of this phenomenon is that it is a mirage. Worth visiting are the Venetian fort and the "Orthi Amo" beach with many sandy steep hills. You can get there by suburban bus service (KTEL from Chania of by car if you take the road to Sfakia. (80 km South-East of Chania).