Plakias to Elofonissi

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George
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Plakias to Elofonissi

Postby George » Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:59 pm

Is it possible to drive along the south coast from Plakias to Elofonissi? I know there will have to be quite a detour round because of Samaria, and where would be a good place to stay over for a couple of nights down that neck of the woods? We haven't visited the south west coast and would like to know if there are any "must see" bits there; ancient sites, castles etc, anywhere that's worth a hike about.

Kilkis
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Re: Plakias to Elofonissi

Postby Kilkis » Sun Feb 17, 2013 11:41 am

George wrote:...I know there will have to be quite a detour round because of Samaria,...


Depends what you class as "quite a detour". Effectively at Chora Sfakion you have to more or less drive up to the north coast, travel along the national highway to the west of Chania and then back down to the south coast at Sougia. That's QUITE a detour in my book. Also when you get back down to Sougia there aren't really any coastal roads. Each time you want to move west along the coast you have to go inland quite a distance and then back down again. The problem is that the White Mountains are full of gorges which mostly run roughly north to south. Building roads that run east west across them is not easy and it is a pretty sparsely populated area so there is no real reason to expend the money and effort.

I understand Frankokastello near Chora Sfakion is worth a visit. Sougia and Paleochora are typical small holiday towns. Agia Roumeli can only be reached by boat or walking down the gorge. The main tourist activity is walking up and/or down the various gorges in the area. While Samaria is the biggest and best known there are plenty of other smaller ones that most people reckon are more interesting and not quite so packed with humanity. Imbros, running down to near Chora Sfakion, and Agia Irini, running down to near Sougia, are two of the bigger ones.

Warwick

Kalouchi
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South coast

Postby Kalouchi » Sun Feb 17, 2013 12:44 pm

You could always catch the ferry from Hora Sfakion. It stops off at Roumeli where the Samaria exits for an hour or so (lunch time?) and then continues to Paleochora. It's a delightful trip and gives you an opportunity to see the actual coast line from the sea.

Carolina
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Postby Carolina » Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:27 pm

It depends how many places you want to see - two possible routes as follows :

1) Drive Plakias to Frangokastello to Chora Sfakion (1hr). Then drive to Chania (1.5hrs) - perhaps overnight in Chania and then drive to Paleochora (1hr+) take the day trip boat to Elafonissi and then back to Paleohora to overnight. Drive back Paleochora - Chania - Rethymno - Plakias

2) Drive Plakias to Frangokastello to CHora Sfakion. LEave car in Chora Sfakion (3 euro day parking). Take boat to Agia Roumeli, you could stop off at Loutro for a couple of hours on the way. From Agia Roumeli take boat to Sougia and Paleochora. Overnight in Paleochora and take a day boat excursion to Elafonissi the next day. Return Paleochora - Agia Roumeli - CHora Sfakion on boat.


All times and prices approximate!

South coast boats timetable www.west-crete.com/ferry-boat-south-crete.htm

Elafonissi and day trip info www.west-crete.com/excursion-elafonisi.htm

Carolina
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Postby Carolina » Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:41 pm

I am presuming that you don't mean actual long distance hiking, e.g gorges etc. I took it that you mean hiking around sites of interest etc. If you do wish to hike it's also possible to walk along the coast Chora Sfakion to Loutro. And there a number of walks from and around Loutro itself.

If you have time, it's also worth driving (or hiking!) up to Anapolis from Chora Sfakion, above the Aradena Gorge and explore the deserted village of Agios Ioannis on foot.

Jean
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Postby Jean » Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:57 pm

explore the deserted village of Agios Ioannis on foot.

Agios Ioannis is not a deserted village. There are still a few people living there and it even has a guest house: http://www.alonia.gr/en/article/home

Jeffstclair
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Postby Jeffstclair » Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:37 pm

Carolina wrote..If you do wish to hike it's also possible to walk along the coast Chora Sfakion to Loutro. And there a number of walks from and around Loutro itself.
Yes we did that a few years ago when we came to Crete for holidays . A lovely place to walk, and after a day exploring , cool off skinny dipping on sweet water beach... . jeff... is the cafe bar on stilts at sweet water beach still there?

filippos
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Postby filippos » Mon Feb 18, 2013 12:18 am

Aren't there parts of that walk where you need a pretty good head for heights? I haven't tried it myself but I was told recently that the path has deteriorated in some places and gets quite close to some scary drops. Mind you, I could have been misinformed.

bobscott
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Postby bobscott » Mon Feb 18, 2013 9:41 am

Themost we've ever walked down that way was from Paleochora to Sfakia, but that did entail doing the Samaria Gorge. Using the ferries would make life a lot easier. Also, know nothing about getting from Elafonisi to Paleochora on foot. Good luck.
Yesterday today was tomorrow. Don't dilly dally!

Carolina
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Postby Carolina » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:03 am

Jean wrote:
explore the deserted village of Agios Ioannis on foot.

Agios Ioannis is not a deserted village. There are still a few people living there and it even has a guest house: http://www.alonia.gr/en/article/home

My mistake, I meant the abandoned village just beyond the bridge, which is Aradena village, not Agios Ioannis.


filippos wrote:Aren't there parts of that walk where you need a pretty good head for heights? I haven't tried it myself but I was told recently that the path has deteriorated in some places and gets quite close to some scary drops.

Yes, you do need a good head for heights. I have only walked part of the way, about 15 years ago and it was quite scary.

Graeme
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Postby Graeme » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:09 am

5 years ago we drove from Plakias to Chora Sfakion then took the ferry to Sougia, taking our hired 4x4 with us on the ferry. This was a very relaxing and enjoyable way to explore more fully that part of the south coast.
We stayed in Sougia for 3 days the first was spent catching the 0700 bus which took us to the top of Samaria gorge, we then caught the afternoon ferry back to Sougia after a a great day in the gorge.
Our second day at Sougia was spent exploring Elafonisi and surrounding area.

Perhaps Jean could assist with more info since she's the expert on western Crete :wink:

George
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Postby George » Wed Feb 20, 2013 12:27 pm

Plenty to think about there, thanks for all the info. As I suffer from a form of vertigo, I'll maybe give the coastal path a miss although my wife seems very keen about that bit!
I've always wanted to do a gorge or two as we've been to Crete many times but always got sidetracked as there's so much to see.
We were planning on a year off to test run the place as a retirement destination, and I'm thinking this could be the best plan -- try before you buy sort of thing.
Thanks again for all the information.

Stuart & Jo
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Postby Stuart & Jo » Wed Feb 20, 2013 2:04 pm

George wrote: As I suffer from a form of vertigo,


And you live in Scotland :!: :!: :!: :roll: :lol: :roll:

Kilkis
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Postby Kilkis » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:10 pm

George wrote:...As I suffer from a form of vertigo...
I've always wanted to do a gorge or two...


I'm not sure vertigo and walking down gorges go together that well? Some of the paths are pretty steep with drops to the sides. Perhaps worth driving to the top of Samaria and stand looking down for a bit before you commit?

Warwick

filippos
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Postby filippos » Wed Feb 20, 2013 3:57 pm

Kilkis wrote:I'm not sure vertigo and walking down gorges go together that well? Some of the paths are pretty steep with drops to the sides. Perhaps worth driving to the top of Samaria and stand looking down for a bit before you commit?
Imbros gorge is quite a pleasant, undemanding walk without vertigo inducing heights.


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