Chora Sfakion is a seaside village in the south part of Crete
, facing the Libyan sea. It is surround by the slopes of the Lefka Ori Mountain and three big gorges - Samaria, Aradena and Imbros
. The entire area is characterized by its wild landscape, scenic villages and numerous large and empty beaches. Chora Sfakion means "the main village of Sfakia", and Sfakia is the name of the district which was famous for its rebellious residents during the Venetian and Ottoman rule.
The village is far from big but it has two harbors, one for fishing boats and one for ferryboats, and two small beaches. From here depart ferries to the nearby settlements of Loutro
and Agia Roumeli
which can be visited only by boat or on foot, as well as to some of the magnificent beaches between them (for enthusiasts there is even a coastal hiking trail which starts from here and ends in Agia Roumeli, passing by all of them). If you want to visit the island of Gavdos
, the southernmost point of Europe, you should also take the ferry from Chora Sfakion.
The village is built amphitheatrically above the sea, with small hotels and guesthouses. Parking lots are provided at a few places to avoid parking in the small streets but distances are very short. The seafront is lined with tavernas, cafes and a couple of small shops, there is also a bakery in the center. One of the beaches is in front of the smaller harbor and thus called Limani ("port" in Greek). Limani is actually a narrow strip of pebbles under seafront tavernas. The other beach - Vrissi - is at the westernmost part, with a limited number of sunbeds and parasols to rent. It has pebbles and coarse dark sand around the shore. East of Chora Sfakion there are a few more pebbly coves accessible by dirt road, including a naturist beach which is managed by a naturist resort.
Except for the beaches and the hiking trails, the area has a lot more to offer its visitors. The old mountainous villages of Anopoli
and Aradena are great places for a walk, with authentic semi-ruined houses, churches and breathtaking view to the sea. In order to reach Aradena, you should pass a bridge above the homonymous gorge, at a height of 138 meters. In the summer bungee jumping is organized from the bridge. These villages are accessible both by asphalt road and by ancient cobbled path, as walking takes approximately 3-4 hours (the path is considered hard and part of the route includes 10-meters ladder climbing). Just above Chora Sfakion, in a huge rock nestles the cave church of Agios Antonios.