Alice: Which way should I go?
Cat: That depends on where you are going.
Alice: I don’t know.
Cat: Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
South West Crete Drive
Stay a few nights in Hora Sfakia (Hóra Sfakíon). It is the capital of the remote and mountainous region of Sfakiá.
Hora Sfakia is a small town of around 265 inhabitants. Two small harbours, where the ferry boats from Agia Roumeli dock. Other ferries can take you to the nearby coastal town of Loutro and the island Gavdos. The main harbourfront, tavernas, minimarkets, butcher, and a bakery.
There is a quiet local beach immediately west of the village, and several pebbly beaches nearby. Available accommodations of rooms, studios, and apartments.
Day trip by boat to Loutro. Less crowded, The Old Phoenix is situated in the bay of Finix, 20-25 minutes on foot west of Loutro. Visit the Marine Adventures, located in the “inner” port. Plenty of activities on offer, like diving, boat trips, boat rental and more in and around Hora Sfakia.
Do the Imbros gorge
Local bus 30 minutes from Hora Sfakia to Imbros Village. Start point just below the village of Imbros. If you drive follow the signpost for the parking area. Several cafes and tavernas. (pack your bag with plenty of water and snacks). The entrance to the gorge is well marked. From the village about 5-8 minutes walk to the kiosk/small house where you need to purchase an entrance ticket for €2.50 (2018)
Walk Imbros Gorge
is easier to walk than the famous Samaria Gorge. Walking distance is less than 7.5 km, (including the walk to the entrance) total descent is around 580m. Walking time is about 2h – 3h. Imbros Gorge is the sort of walk that you could walk with children. After around 90 minutes walk from the entrance (slowly walk 2 hours) you will pass a stone arch on your right. You’re nearly at the end of the route and if you are intending to walk back up to Imbros (car parked) it is a good turning point. The gorge widens a little and after a further 15min (600 meters) takes you to the road and the village of Komitades, where you can catch a local bus back to Hora Sfakia.
On the road again
Komitades Village, 1km from the finishing of the Imbro gorge walk. A few cafes and tavernas, narrow road through the village. Further along the main road another small village, Vouvas, and close to the roadside a war monument of the centuries heroes of the Sfakias region, Deligiannakis family. The monument bears the following inscription: Stranger – Don’t ask to learn our names – Learn how to die for your country
At nearly the end of Nomikiana Village a roadsign to Koutelos Beach 3km, taverna on the beach, pebbles beach. Nothing spectacular, but a nice break during driving. Drive back to the main road again turn right. Follow the main road through a few small villages. Before the Patsianos village turn right and follow the sign for Frangokastello beaches. Straight down to the beaches, follow the road parallel with the beaches.
The resort of Frangokastello, plenty of rooms for let, apartments and a few hotels. Car and mountain bikes rental. Tavernas, mini-markets. The original fortress was built in 1371. Today, only the bare walls surround the impressive four square Kastello, with a tower in each corner.
Leaving Frangokastello onto the Sfakia – Rodakino road up to Ano and Kato Rodakino…
1st alternative from Ano and Kato Rodakino follow the road down to Rodakino beaches Polirizoz and Korakas. The main road is narrow and in places bendy road not at least in the two villages, however, the views are something special. The Rodakino beaches are still less discovered than Plakia beach, beautiful and sandy with some pebbles. Most beaches are shallow. If you appreciate the quiet life and you’re not looking for crowds and noise. There is virtually no nightlife, (2016).
2nd alternative from Ano and Kato Rodakino follow the road signpost Plakias. A popular seafront resort/village. Pretty busy in the high season. Hotels and self-catering accommodation. More lively than Rodakino. Tavernas, bars and cafe’s and the usual shopping facilities follow the sandy bay formed beach. Activities to keep you fit, mountain bikes, beach activities include diving and boat tours.
South West Crete Drive Google Map Hora Sfakia – Frangokastello – Plakias