Walking on the South Side of Europe

This blog is the second part of our journey through Imbros Gorge and the E4 to Loutros. It takes us from the beginning of the trail near Hora Sfakion to Loutros and home. Enjoy!

First view of Loutros
The trail to Loutros

A taxi driver takes us from the exit of Imbros Gorge to the beginning of the Loutros trail.

The Road into Nothing
The Road into Nothing

As the road makes a hairpin turn on the mountain side, a small trail leads off at the side of the mountainous coastline. Though it is written as a nice walk in the park and good for kids too, I must admit that I am pretty freaked out for most of our walk to Loutros. Particularly the first part of the trail is daunting, as you look straight down into the azure blue sea while worried of either slipping or getting hit by loose rock from above.

On the E4 to Loutros
On the E4 to Loutros

Along the trail as we near the small paradise Sweetwater Beach, we have to cross an old avalanche of stones, climbing over tons of large rocks before finally resting our tired and sweaty feet in the sweet water.

Sweet Water Beach this way!
Sweet Water Beach this way!

After eating a well-deserved lunch, while gazing out over the sea from the small isolated beach, we push onwards for the final part of our journey.

Ascending the cliffs on the west side of Sweet Water Beach, we come across a small white-chalked chapel lying dramatically on the cliffs out to the sea. Further along we pass the most stunning lagoon, while catching our first glimpse of Loutros tugged away in a small alcove far in the distance.

Timios Stavros on the E4 from Sweet Water Beach to Loutros
Timios Stavros on the E4 from Sweet Water Beach to Loutros

For the remainder of the walk we have Loutros a head of us an within the hour we walk through a flower field full of honey producing bees. The field turns into a small street where the houses are white and everything else from windows to working tools are blue. We’ve finally arrived at our destination, the iconic fishing village Loutros.

Overlooking Loutros
Overlooking Loutros

Out of season only one taverna is open, while only a handful of foreigners walk around – most of them finding their way to the taverna, joining in for a cold drink and Greek salad. Also some of the 50 the locals are retreating from the heat and to the cool sea-side of the taverna front.

Lunch in Loutros
Lunch in Loutros

Greek salad in Denmark can be pretty boring; some tomato, some cucumber, olive oil and feta. It is the desperate 90’s appetizer before getting to the meaty main course. The attempt to convince oneself of being healthy and allow a later-on desert.

Loutros seaside
Loutros seaside

But Greek salad in Greece is so much more than that. Despite the simplicity of the dish, the ingredients are fresh and local, and in the simmering heat after walking 12 kilometres it is the perfect way to freshen up and relax. There is a reason that it is called Greek salad, because in Greece it tastes like heaven.

Loutros Pier
Loutros Pier

Sitting at the edge of the water, eating a Greek salad and a plate of marithes – small fried fish, has been the perfect end to our long and adventurous day in Sfakia. I’ve rarely felt so content and proud of myself, having walked such a long way.

The ferry to Hora Sfakion
The ferry to Hora Sfakion

We spend another few hours resting on the deck of the port while waiting for the boat to bring us back to Hora Sfakion and our evening bus. While the boat was 20 minutes late, the bus for Chania was waiting for us at the other end.

The south coast of Crete
The south coast of Crete

What a perfect ending to a most stunning day.

Zofka

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