Chora Sfakion or Sfakia is a small fishing village in the south western side of Crete, about 75 kilometers away from the main town of Chania. This charming village is right on the water along the coast of the Libyan Sea and overlooks a serene bay. It is a rare example of a place far away from mass tourism although this sleepy village wakes up in the afternoon with the arrival of hikers coming in from the gorge of Samaria in small boats, though only a few ends up staying here. Being far away from most of the major resort areas on the island, is the perfect offbeat destination for those who are looking for a unique place to relax. However, there are several accommodation options, including hotels, apartments and studios. Situated on the seafront has some excellent restaurants and quaint fish taverns, serving delicious local food and the popular Sfakian pies with honey.
The village is famous as one of the centers of resistance against the occupying forces of the Venetians, the Turks and the Germans later. The area stayed isolated and the Sfakians still have the reputation of being fiercely independent, proud, strong willed and willing to fight to the death if they have to. The locals are mainly engaged in fishing, cultivation, sheep and goat herding and tourism. They pride themselves on their hospitality and produce excellent olive oil and many different types of cheese.
There are several reasons why you might want to travel to the village. The gorge of Imbros and the quaint village of Komitades are some fine examples. The shoreline of Sfakia hosts some of the most beautiful beaches of Crete such as Fragokastelo, Glyka Nera beach, Loutro and the nearby beach of Illigas. The village itself has two beaches. The first one is in front of the main road and the second one, called Vrissi on the west side of the village right behind the breakwater. Both have fine pebbles, crystal-clear waters and sun loungers for rent. From the village start several hiking trails. You can hike all the way to the historical city of Anapolis, to the remote fishing village of Loutro or to Agia Roumeli and the entrance to the Gorge of Samaria. Near the village there is a small Venetian fortress which was built in 1526 as part of a defensive system of towers. Upon visiting it you will be taken aback by some stunning views of the village itself and the blue sea as far as the eye can see.
There are basically three types of travel methods you can take to get to Chora Sfakion. These are by car, bus or taxi. To get there from Chania, you have to get off at Vryses with the river that splits the town in half. It is a great place to stop for a coffee or meal under the shade of the huge trees. The road winds down from the south side of the White Mountains after passing through much of the Imbros Gorge. The village has a port for those traveling by ferry to Agia Roumeli, Sougia, Paleochora, Loutro and the unspoiled island of Gavdos. Hora Sfakion combines the fierceness of the mountainous landscape and the tranquility of the calm sea in a magical way. It is a great place to stay and explore the southern coast of Crete and an especially good choice for nature lovers.