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Loutro

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Overview

Loutro is a beautiful fishing village set in a small cove on the south coast of Crete.

The ancient settlement of whitewashed buildings sits at the foot of towering mountains which tumble into a semi-circular bay lapped by the pristine waters of the Libyan Sea.

Loutro has remained largely inaccessible for centuries and is one of the most untouched idylls on the island.

The village of Loutro is not connected by road with the rest of the villages in the Sfakia area and are best reached by ferry boat.

History

Loutro has a rich and colorful past. It is believed that this was once the site of the ancient city of Phoenix (Finikas) and Loutro was the port of Anopolis, a thriving metropolis during the Roman and Byzantine periods

Loutro is mentioned in the bible as the site where Paul the Apostle sheltered over winter after the ship, he was aboard from Jerusalem to Rome was caught in a hurricane. On a ridge above the bay are the ruins of a small chapel dedicated to the saint.

The port’s natural protection and remote location meant Loutro played a key role in the history of Crete. Revolutions and uprisings began here.

Throughout the centuries Loutro was a center of resistance against invading Venetians and Turks. All the while the cove offered a hideout for Saracen pirates and slavers.

During the Second World War, the mountainous region surrounding Loutro was the heartland of Cretan resistance to the German occupation.

How to Get There

Loutro does not have a road network. It is connected only by ferry, with Chora Sfakion, Agia Roumeli, Sougia, and Paleochora. Of course, nature lovers can reach by crossing the E4 path.

Things to Do

Loutro has a lot to offer visitors, but perhaps the easiest answer to what to do is to either simply do nothing and enjoy the peaceful beauty, or do as the locals do – as they like, when they like.

Loutro is one of the places on Crete where many visitors simply sit with a book on the beach or enjoy a swim in the cold, crystal clear Libyan sea. There are sea turtles in the waters which are a favorite for divers and snorkelers.

Loutro has a number of waterside tavernas offering welcome refreshments along with coffee shops and mini markets in the village.

Boats and kayaks are available for hire in order to explore isolated beaches along the coast. Or you can opt to board a taxi boat from which a local can show you the hidden gems that lie along the coast.

Above the village sits the ruined Venetian Castle of Loutro and the Church of Agia Ekaterini (St Catherine). For those who wish to explore further into the hills, the valleys and gorges reveal the true majesty of Crete. The E4 European long-distance path passes by linking Chora Sfakion with Agia Roumeli, built on the ruins of the city of Tara which was destroyed by an earthquake in 66 AD.

There are plenty of hotel rooms and apartments to rent in Loutro and the small populace of locals and visitors intermingle peacefully as the day turns to evening and thoughts turn to cocktails and a little music.

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Useful Information

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