Hora Sfakion and Loutro, Crete 1998

In the Easter holidays, i.e. the first 2 weeks of April, 1998 Bill, Rory, Jens Peter and I spent 2 super weeks on Crete.

The second week we rented a car, which gave us a lot more freedom to travel farther afield. We drove to Hora Sfakion on the south coast and hiked west along the coast to Loutro, where we had lunch, then took the ferry back to Hora Sfakion. We drove south again to Imbros and hiked the Imbros Gorge from the village of Imbros down to the sea near Hora Sfakion, then drove along the south coast eastwards to the Venetian fortress Frangokastello and on to the monastery Moni Preveli before turning northward for "home". .

Askifou church
A pretty church on the Askifou plateau north of Imbros on the road to Hora Sfakion.

Hora Sfakion, the capital of Sfakia province which is the southwest corner of Crete. The harbour has been enlarged to accommodate the ferry service along the southwest coast. Some towns can be reached only by ferry or paths through the mountains.

Hora Sfakion harbour
Trail west of Hora Sfakion
We hiked from Hora Sfakion west to Loutro, about 7 km. The trail is just visible along the rocky mountainside. We will go down to the white beach, past the little white chapel on the headland, and around the next bay to Loutro.

Along the way, we went down to the shore and Bill, Rory and Jens went swimming. The air temperature was about 30°C but the water was way below 20°C - after all, it was just the beginning of April.

South coast rocks
Bill went swimming

Bill sunning on the warm rocks after swimming.

The chapel on the headland, east of Loutro. From here we could see Loutro across the bay.
Chapel east of Loutro
Dragon arum
Just outside Loutro we found these huge dragon arums, Dracungulus vulgaris, in bloom. The flowers are about a metre high.
Loutro, clinging to the shore under the White Mountains. All the buildings are white with blue or natural wood trim. Loutro must be one of the prettiest towns on Crete. Loutro
Looking back along south coast from Loutro
From Loutro, looking back the way we came.
One of the hotels along the waterfront. We found a table and settled down to rest our feet and enjoy a late lunch. In the summer there will be awnings but at the beginning of April we enjoyed sitting in the sunshine. Loutro - Restaurant
Loutro lighthouse
The lighthouse at Loutro.
The ruins of the Roman fort at Loutro. There are also the ruins of the Minoan town of Phinix but we were just too tired to hike up over the headland to see it. Roman fort at Loutro
Ferry coming into Loutro

The ferry coming in to Loutro. It is too big for the harbour so just comes right in to the beach and puts down a long gangway. We are taking the ferry back to Hora Sfakion.

The little white chapel east of Loutro, seen from the ferry.
Chapel from ferry
South coast looking west from Hora Sfakion
The south coast looking west from Hora Sfakion harbour. The end of a glorious day.

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November 19, 2013
©copyright 1998, 2004 Vicki Sherwood

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