- Region : Crete
- Prefecture : Chania
- Municipality: East Selino
- Population: 109
Sougia (in Greek Σούγια) is a small village in the south shores of Chania (70km southern) region of Crete a little to the east from the villlage of Paleochora.
It was the site of the ancient town Syia that flourished during the Roman times. Sougia became a village after the second world war and late years it started to develop into a seaside tourist resort, not only due to its gorgeous beach and natural beauty but also for the peaceful and relaxed atmosphere that Sougia offers to its visitors.
The village has approximately 110 inhabitants and is part of the Sougia community which comprises three more little villages( Koustogerako, Livadas and Moni).
Sougia is one of the most laid back and refreshingly undeveloped beach places along the unique south coast of Crete, with a lovely wide curve of sand and pebble beach and a few taverns where you can enjoy excellent traditional food as well as fresh fish. As a bonus, there is an excellent pizza restaurant by the beach.
Sougia's beach is arouind one kilometer long, a mostly pebble beach, that stretches from east to the west, with a width that in some points reaches 70 meters. The pebbles are from coarse to very fine with nice colours. The sea is one of the cleanest in all Crete and safe, with no currents, although in some points it deepens abruptly. Please notet that in Summer somedays the prevalent westerly winds get strong and unpleasant. Umbrellas and sun beds are provided only in limited areas.
Nudism is tolerated at the east side of the beach, which for that reason is called "Matala" by the locals, reminding the village of Matala in the 60's.
More other activities
Visit the most popular Byzantine St Nikolas Chapel, built in 1315. The chapel is located on the propodes of a steep hill of Moni village just 10 minutes by car or on foot from the premises. The location is stupendous, in fact amongst the best in south Crete and the walk, on a shaded path among ancient olive oil trees is one of the most appealing short walks in the area. In the chapel you will see toixografies dated in the 13th century crafted with a unique “smoked” method of the famous painter of the area Ioannis Pagomenos.
Visit the nearby Panagia Kera (Chapel of Holy Mary), built in the early 19th century as a Nun’s Monastery, it is a unique monument of rural architecture. In the Chapel’s surrounding area, the visitor could admire a stone-built 20 meter tall bell house with amazing view from the top as well as the cells that nuns used as their homes.
Another Church, this from Prophet Elias Chapel, after a beautiful walk that follows the coast towards the East of Sougia beach to the chapel of the Prophet Elias. As it takes about 4 hours to get there it is a good idea to hire a boat one way and return on foot.
A walk to nearby Lissos is almost a must. Lissos was a very significant town in ancient times and there are still many ruins left, particularly an Aesculap (Asklipios) sanctuary. The walk to Lissos and back takes about 3 hours at a leisurely pace. The atmosphere in Lissos is so peaceful that it is well worth spending time there, wandering around the ruins and enjoying the silence.
Driving up (by bus early morning or by taxi) to the village of Agia Irini and walking down through the gorge of Agia Irini is also a very nice walk. It takes circa four hours.
Further afield you can drive up to the ancient city of Elyros (situated close to present day Rodovani). It is located on a hill overlooking the sea and the mountains and there are plenty of ruins to see (although only a few have been excavated).
There are several reasonably-priced tavernas and restaurants with good food in Sougia. Many are on the beach, while others are in the village. We highly recommned Rebetiko in the villlage.
In addition there are a lot of small hotels with rooms for rent,. Most of the hotels are open from April to the end of October, but you'll find a few open even in winter. Monastery Estate at Moni Village is highly recommended for your stay in this still untouched part of Crete.
Please note that there is not a petrol station at Sougia, so make sure you fill your tank before you get here. The is no pharmacy or bank, but there is an ATM cashpoint.
How to get there
By Air: From May through mid-October there are direct charter flights to Chania and, more frequently, to the capital Heraklion. Tickets can be bought in advance for almost all flights via our partner website.
By Sea: The journey is the thing". A superb way of enjoying the journey to Crete is to fly to Athens and take the ferry from Piraeus (Pireas) - the port serving Athens. A still-romantic way to travel by the overnight ferry from Piraeus to Chania-Souda port or Heraklion Port. Tickets can be bought in advance for all ferries via our website.
By Car: If you want to explore the region while you're here, we recommend that you rent a car, other means of transport are limited and/or infrequent. We suggest our Partner Budget, which offers competitive prices and you can collect your car at either airport.
By Taxi: Book your taxi transfer online easily and safely from the airport or port to any location via our website.