The region of Sphakia weds the natural beauty of the mountainscape with that of the sea. Located on the south and east slopes of the White Mountains range, it reaches down to the shores of the Libyan sea, taking in the Samaria Gorge and host of others, such as Aradaina, Imbros and Asphendos.
Sphakia offers many opportunities to the visitor: there exist interesting trails to hike (the European E4 Walking Trail passes through the area) and high mountain peaks for climbing. Further, the beaches provide ideal spots for diving, fishing and snorkeling – and obviously simple swimming!
Beginning the exploration, and moving from west to east along the local beaches (many of which are inaccessible by road), you first encounter Marmara.
At the mouth of the imposing Aradaina Gorge is the small and secluded beach: its name (Marble) comes from the appearance of the rocks that surround it and which take the form of layers of white marble.
This fishing village, built like an amphitheatre against the sloping terrain, is quiet and dominated by the colours of its paint, namely white, blue and indigo – as a result it feels like a village in the Cyclades. Its name (Baths) comes from the ruins of such in the neighbourhood that are still visible today; water from these was piped to Anopolis.
Three consecutive bays house three small beaches: the two westernmost are known as Pervolakia – Small and Large, whilst that at the east is Timios Stavros (the Holy Cross). Isolated and inaccessible by road (they can be reached on the E4 Walking Trail), they have pebbles and rocks, and are favoured by nudists. Quite undeveloped, they lack shade too.
The village of Chora Sfakion lies 74 km south of Chania town, not far from the mouth of the Imbros Gorge. Here are many amenities: restaurants, shops, cafés, as well as rent-rooms and hotels. It makes an ideal base from which to investigate the region of Sfakia.
This takes its name from an ancient goddess, worshipped in this region: the Minoan goddess of hunting and the mountains. It is favoured highly by nudists. Secluded, with pebbles and stones, it is open to the south winds.