Overview

Introduction

Paleochora • Loutro

Transfer time 90 minutes (Paleochora) to 2 hours (Loutro)

The spectacular south-west coast encapsulates the best of Crete – dizzy mountain scenery, a sparkling sea and some fine beaches. In fact a winding drive through the mountains is the only way in to Paleochora other than by sea.

There are plenty of restaurants and cafés above the sea or in the main street. In the summer evenings there is a positively cosmopolitan atmosphere, as both roads are sealed to traffic.

The main beach is of fine golden sand and stretches for nearly a kilometre – it affords superb swimming. Inland offers wonderful walking – try Agia Irini gorge as an alternative to popular Samaria. Boats run to the foot of Samaria and on to Loutro, to Sougia (another gorge here), remote Elafonissi island, or simply for spotting dolphins. A Dive Centre operated from Anidri Beach in 2012. During high summer Paleochora can be windy. In the early season, there is the bonus of countless wild flowers up in the hills.

Unrealistically pretty and quite tiny (pop. 100!), you can only reach Loutro on foot or by boat – there are no roads and no cars! Guarded by steep mountains, half-a-dozen waterfront restaurants serve an amazing variety of dishes.

Canoes can be rented to explore nearby sea caves and beaches, and a small boat runs to others. This is superb walking country and the hotel is happy to give further information.

Much of the time Loutro is peaceful, but it does get busy at weekends and in the high season. For a complete break in an idyllic setting, you could do no better.

Twin-centre holidays: Paleochora and Loutro make an excellent two-centre pairing. The transfer between the two is a scenic cruise along the dramatic south-western coastline, a total of c 2½ on the ferry. However you need to change boats at Roumeli at the foot of the Samaria Gorge.

Last year's connection Paleo to Loutro was very short, whereas Loutro to Paleo took most of the day, so we recommend Paleo as the first centre. If you do have time to kill at Roumeli you can have lunch and a swim, and even walk a little up the gorge (tavernas will keep your luggage).

Read more

Walks Around Loutro

This useful book will be available in Loutro for around 7 euros. The authors, Keith Linton and Danny Staples, describe it as 'a guide to ten thyme-scented walks on ancient limestone paths: graded from an easy evening stroll to a whole day adventure'. The book includes maps and photographs.

Holiday Tip

Our local representative Val, has highlighted the oldest ‘sticky cake shop’ in Paleochora run by Koula Angeliki. Koula moved to Paleochora in 1992 when her once thriving village (Voutas) was almost abandoned by its residents who moved to in search of employment. Koula and her shop ‘TO STEKI’ are well known in the area both with the local residents and passing tourists. She is particularly famed for her Loukoumades and Galaktobouriko. Recently she made 1500 Xerotigana (a traditional sweet) for a wedding.

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There is so much to see, discover and enjoy here. There is 1020 km of coastline boasting an abundance of beaches, from quiet coves to long expanses of golden sand. Inland there are lofty mountain peaks and lush countryside, dotted with traditional villages and walking trails, and fascinating archaeological sites.

Claire Kalatzis
Claire Kalatzis
Note: Map is for guidance purposes only.

Talk to our Crete expert

Claire Kalatzis
Claire Kalatzis

There is so much to see, discover and enjoy here. There is 1020 km of coastline boasting an abundance of beaches, from quiet coves to long expanses of golden sand. Inland there are lofty mountain peaks and lush countryside, dotted with traditional villages and walking trails, and fascinating archaeological sites.

Call one of our experts to discuss your next holiday with Sunvil on

020 8758 4758

We're open on Monday at 9:00 AM

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We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

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Loutro, Crete

South West Crete

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We promise that a member of our specialist reservation teams will reply personally to your holiday enquiry before 5.30pm if received before 12.00pm (Monday to Friday). Enquiries received after 12.00pm will be replied to within 24-hours (excluding Sundays).

If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Spain, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

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If your enquiry is of an urgent nature, please telephone our dedicated reservation teams on the numbers listed below.

Our lines are open from 9.00am to 5.30pm Monday-Friday and from 9.30am to 4.30pm Saturday.

  • Greece: 020 8758 4758
  • Cyprus: 020 8758 4759
  • Portugal, the Azores, Italy, Sicily and Scandinavia: 020 8758 4722
  • Latin America: 020 8758 4774

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