The Village of Sougia
by Minoa.info / Juhani
Lying at the southern end of the Irini gorge, Sougia is one of
those villages where tourists get good treatment, but they are
clearly aside from the strongest streams of tourism. In the village
there are more than 200 flats to rent and more than ten taverns.
Sougia is a resting place in most cases for the groups that have been hiking in the Irini gorge and they are transported to the village
by bus from the endpoint of the gorge.
The main street of Sougia.
The beach in Sougia is good for swimming and food in the taverns is excellent and naturally, because of this, there are also Cretan people visiting the village.
The main beach. In the end of the beach is the harbor and path start to Lissos. (See a bigger panoramaphoto).
Main beach to the east. (See a bigger photo).
In ancient times Sougia was known by the name of Syia and it was the harbour of Elyros town. The groupings of the small ancient urban states were mentioned as early as in 300BC. Elyros, Lissos, Irtakina, Tarra, Syia and Pikilassos were located in the south western part of Crete, which is extremely sparsely populated, and later they joined to Gortys and Cyrenaica in North Africa.
During Roman times and the first Christian years Sougia flourished. In the eastern parts of the town the relics of buildings, parts of aqueducts can still be seen from Roman times. There is very little knowledge of the Byzantine era; probably Sougia had been more than just a fishing village.
After the Second World War the village revived. It had a boat connection to Piraeus and the commodities brought from Piraeus were transported to the mountain villages by donkeys because there were no roads.
In 1950 there was a school with 150 pupils in Sougia. After the road to the north was built, the village lost its importance as a centre, and because of that the population moved to the upper villages or abroad and the village fell into a sleepy life. It was “found” again in the 60’s and 70’s and there was a word of mouth reputation grew of a nice village and the local people started to build the rooms to rent.
Where to hike?
To the mouth of the Samaria gorge, Agia Roumeli, you can sail by boat from Sougia once a day. The boat schedule allows you to have a closer look at the southern end of the Samaria gorge. Ancient Lissos is located in the valley of Lissos about one and a half hours walk from Sougia. Its history is Hellenic and Roman and it is still possible to see plenty of the ruins from those days. The valley itself is a very peaceful and pleasant place. At the end of the valley there is sometimes access by boat from Sougia. Also from Paleochora a boat sails to Sougia once a day.
Book a HOTEL from Sougia.
Up-to-date schedules for boats: http://www.sfakia-crete.com/sfakia-crete/ferries.html#1
Sougia’s website: http://www.sougia.info
Minoa.info map of the area