Loutro in southern Crete
Loutro, near Chora Sfakion in southern Crete, is a pretty unique place. The village is completely free of motor vehicles, and that is extremely unusual. Sure, there are many car-free villages in Greece, but almost all car-free villages can be accessed by cars. Loutro is accessible only by boat, or on foot. (The islands of Hydra and Telendos are also car-free.) As you understand, it is wonderfully quiet in Loutro. The village set beautifully at the foot of a mighty mountain.
Loutro. Chora Sfakion is behind the mountain to the right.
It's a small village with almost no streets. The waterfront - lined with hotels, pensions, tavernas, bars, cafes and shops - is the heart of the village. Loutro is a former small fishing village, but today it is on the whole adapted for tourism. Although it is low-key tourism.
There is nothing to do but eat, drink, sunbathe, swim, hike and
laze. If you like reading books, you can hardly find a better place to
do it. Sometimes you need to rest your brain from impressions, and then
Loutro is the ultimate place.
The beach in Loutro.
I really appreciate peace and quiet, so for me Loutro is a paradise. But I can imagine that many people think that Loutro is too quiet, perhaps even boring. So if you like hustle and bustle, Loutro might not be for you. However, I think everyone should give Loutro a chance, just because it is such a unique place. Imagine sitting in a taverna located right next to the sea, enjoying good Greek food without hearing cars or scooters.
The only sounds heard come from the sea, and from some tavernas playing quiet Greek background music.
It is not easy to choose taverna since most of them serve good food and have the same inviting location. If I have to pick a favourite, it's Taverna Blue House owned by the two brothers Vangelis and Georgos. I have eaten here many times and I have never been disappointed, rather the opposite. Taverna Notos is also a very good taverna.
The evenings in Loutro are magical.
At the centre of the waterfront is a pebble beach that is okay. Sunbeds are available for rent during the summer. To the right of the ferry dock are several bathing places with rocks, the water is lovely and perfect if you like snorkelling. Just like from Chora Sfakion, you can go by taxi boat to nearby beaches, such as Marmara and Sweetwater beach.
Also the days are magical in Loutro.
The famous E4 path passes here and therefore many hikers have Loutro as their base. But you don't have to be an experienced hiker to walk the E4, at least not parts of it. It is very nice to walk from Loutro to Phoenix, Lykos and Livaniana on the other side of the hill.
The Swedish movie Tsatsiki, Dad and the Olive War was shot in Loutro in the summer of 2015. Many thought that the small village would be invaded by tourists afterwards, but it did not happen.
ACCOMMODATION IN LOUTRO
To really get to know Loutro, and to experience the magical evenings and mornings, not to mention the sunset, one should stay overnight. There are many hotels, and most are good, and all have a perfect location. You should book your accommodation in advance if you are going to stay in Loutro.
Suggestions for hotels and pensions in Loutro:
Loutro in southern Crete. The port to the left and the beach to the right.
You reach Loutro by boat from Chora Sfakion, located approximately 75 kilometres southeast of Chania, and about 65 kilometres southwest of Rethymno. To get to Chora Sfakion you either go with your own transport or by bus from Chania and Rethymno. You can also go to Loutro by ferry from Agia Roumeli, Sougia and Paleochora.