With one of the most impressive backdrops in Crete, the quaint and picturesque fishing village of Loutro promises a Greek island getaway full of swimming, delicious local cuisine, hiking, and loads of R&R!
The main reason to spend time in Loutro is to unwind and slow down. Boasting a unique waterfront filled with whitewashed villas, blossoming bougainvillea and charming seaside taverns, this Cretan destination (that can only be accessed by sea or on foot) is the ideal place to de-stress while enjoying the Greek island life.
We have put together a list of the Top 10 Things to do in Loutro!
1. Enjoy the simple things in life
When travelling to Loutro you don’t need much. Pack lightly and enjoy the fact that you don’t need to dress up or impress. In Loutro, visitors go from a long swim at the beach straight to a tavern for lunch, back to the beach before making their way to another great local restaurant to eat dinner before heading back to their hotel to sleep (and repeat the same thing the next day). Loutro is all about keeping things simple and enjoying the natural beauty that surrounds you. The tiny village is quite easy to explore on foot. Loutro is shaped in such a great way that keeps everything and everyone connected.
2. Sail the day away
Take in the stunning sea, which ranges from light turquoise to deep navy blue. There’s no better way to appreciate the pristine sea of Loutro than hiring a boat and sailing along the coast. This way you can reach some of the gorgeous remote nearby beaches where you can swim, dive, and snorkel to discover the Lybian sea. A cheaper option is hiring a kayak or canoe and make your way over to the nearby beaches of Glyka Nera and Marmara.
3. Experience the unforgettable Imbros Gorge
Less crowded and shorter than the famous Samaria, Imbros Gorge is the perfect spot for those who want some adventure for the day, while taking in the striking landscape. Take a day off from the beach and catch the ferry to Chora Sfakia, then take the bus that heads towards Chania and stops off at the entrance of Imbros. This is truly an unforgettable experience for anyone who loves being close to nature.
4. Hike the Aradena gorge
For those after a more challenging hike try the Aradena Gorge, which is surrounded by high red stoned walls. Keep in mind the hike can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours (depending on experience) but the effort is worth it. From here you can go bungee jumping off Aradena Bridge; this is the tallest bridge for bungee jumping in all of Greece and the second tallest in Europe!
5. Head to the Cyclopean Walls
From Anopoli’s main square, continue to Agia Ekaterini where you will come across the remains of the Cyclopean Walls that once surrounded the city. From this spot, you can admire the panoramic views of Loutro and the open sea off the coast of Crete.
6. Visit the Venetian castle
Known as the Venetian Castle of Loutro, this abandoned fortress overlooking the bay from above offers some magical vistas. Enjoy walking through the scenic and mountainous valleys and gorges.
7. Stroll around the tiny village
Loutros’ tiny village, with its quiet vibe, is filled with lovely narrow alleyways that lead up to the mountain. During the seaside walk, you will come across many fish taverns, cafes, and friendly locals who will show you what Cretan hospitality is all about. You will also come across a few shops that have items made by local artisans, including sandals, jewellery, ceramics, and other art. Also, make sure to sit down at one of the cafés and enjoy a Greek coffee while taking in the breathtaking landscape.
8. Swim all day and night
If you love to swim, Loutro has you covered. Within walking distance are beaches such as Loutro Bay, Timios Stavros Beach and Ilingas. Also, make sure you get across and swim at the incredibly beautiful Glyka Nera and Marmara Beach. Around 700 meters west of Loutro, you will find the small beach of Finikas as well as Lykos.
9. Taste local delicacies
Make sure to stop at one of the many bakeries to sample Cretan Paximadia that are semi-sweet biscuits or rusks with star anise. If you make your way over to the historic settlement of Anopolis, you will be able to try a hot Sfakian pie filled with goat cheese and drizzled with delicious thyme honey, also make sure to try famous Cretan Kalitsounia and Boureki. And don’t leave before having a shot of Tsikoudia (Cretan specialty).
10. Try some of the best Cretan food
Our fave places to eat at are Pavlos for their fresh seafood, and be sure to taste their homemade Sfakian pita. Head to Stratis for their grilled meat and Notos is a small family-run taverna with a huge range of fresh vegan and vegetarian dishes and a gorgeous little terrace. Blue House is also a lovely family restaurant, where you can enjoy a range of Cretan cuisine. And for a drink and casual light meal, head to Akroyiali, which is the only beach bar in Loutro.
Where to stay
Madares is a family-run hotel with panoramic views of the Libyan Sea, Villa Niki is a great place to stay in the village, with wonderful views of the bay, and the mountains. Porto Loutro is one of the bigger hotels but still offers friendly, family-like hospitality. At Daskalogiannis Hotel you can also expect great service, traditional Cretan hospitality, and sea views.
How to get there
In order to reach Loutro, you first need to make your way to Chora Sfakion. Boats to Loutro depart from the port of Chora Sfakion daily during peak season and the boat trip is about 20 minutes.