Glyka Nera, near Sfakia

Beach Glika Nera,near Sfakia

After following the E4 path from Loutro,  I ended up in Glyka Nera Beach (Sweet Water beach). The seascape in this secluded beach is absolutely gorgeous, but there is yet another remarkable detail about this beach, which is also the reason for its name:  there is a fresh water gurgling spring just by the sea!

This beach is not busy at all. I was coming from the beaches in Chora Sfakion and Loutro, which had a fair share of tourists. Having been in other places with massive beach resorts, I really feel I need to clarify that I was pleasantly surprised to discover that at the height of summer, Cretan beaches I visited were busy, but by no means teeming with people. This said, I was looking for solitude, which I was very pleased to find at the pebbly shore in Glyka Nera.

The beach was not deserted, though.  There were quite convenient parasols and loungers for rent, and a simple Taverna, where  you can buy a delicious Greek salad, sandwiches or snacks.

If you wanted to get to this beach without walking the E4 path along the cliff, I recommend contacting Karma Travel for advise. I am told that you can reach it by boat, too.

Sfakia

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Loutro, kri kri, mountain goat

I spent half a day in Chora Sfakion, and used the time to visit nearby Loutro as well.

The seascapes in this area are stunning. I used to say that my favourite colours were blue and turquoise, but I don’t think I had an idea of the intensity of the hues these colours could have until I was in Crete last week.  What an amazing feast for the eyes, just to look at the Mediterranean glistening in the sunlight!

I had wanted to go to Loutro lured by the promise of Roman ruins and the opportunity to hike for a short distance towards another nearby beach.  I took a ferry from Chora Sfakion and as soon as I descended in Loutro, I walked up a hill.  The signposting, again, was missing, so I was not sure whether I was again looking for the E4 in the right place.  I suppose it becomes a matter of trusting your instinct, given that there will not be a sign, plaque, or arrow to direct you.  There were, indeed, some ruins, both of what seemed a Roman settlement and a Venetian fortress.  I took plenty of pictures.  There were also kri kri (wild goats) and these were so relaxed in my company, that they even posed for pictures!

I then spent about two hours swimming in the sea before taking the ferry back to Chora Sfakion.  Chora Sfakion (Sfakia) is a seaside resort, and has lovely tavernas by the seafront.  I had drinks by the beach in a taverna a little up the hill.  The owner was chatty and very hospitable.  I tried a local speciality, a ‘Sfakian pitta’ which is a pancake filled with soft white cheese and served with honey.  Simple and brilliant!

If you want to organise your travel to this area, ask Karma Travel for advise and buy a tour from them!  It will make your life easier 🙂

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