The picturesque fishing village of Sougia is located 67 km from Chania and has managed to remain unaffected by the growth of tourism in Crete, maybe due to the narrow winding road which links the village to the north of Crete. The fact is that Sougia, despite its long beach and its beautiful sea has remained one of the quieter and most relaxing places of Crete, away from mainstream tourism. There are of course tourists and many of them have kept coming back for years to enjoy the friendly and laid back atmosphere of Sougia, the thin-pebbled beach, the surrounding green slopes with the pine-trees and maybe the nudist beaches of the area.
Despite being a very small village the facilities are excellent: the restaurants offer well above average food, the long beach is never crowded and the sea was nominated as one of the cleanest in the whole of Greece in a national study made in 1999. Sougia is also quite well protected from the prevalent west winds.
Sougia is built on the grounds of the ancient town of Suia, on the south coast of Crete. The area is full of ancient ruins. One should visit the ruins of the Roman Period and the basilica which was excavated by A. Orlando. For the visitor who enjoys walking, nature and antiquities, a surprise awaits him west of Sougia: ancient Lissos. A path leading there begins west of the village at the small port of Sougia. In an idyllic verdant landscape the ruins of the ancient city are scattered around and the sole inhabitant is the custodian who guides you to the tiny Dorian temple of Asklepios, the ancient theatre and the vaulted tombs.
Further afield and if you have a car you can drive up to the ancient city of Elyros (situated close to present day Rodovani). It is located on a hill overlooking the sea and the mountains and there are plenty of ruins to see (although only a few have been excavated). Driving west you can also get to Paleohora if you feel like visiting a livelier village. Driving up (by bus early morning or by taxi) to the village of Agia Irini and walking down through the gorge of Agia Irini is also a very nice walk.Another beautiful walk follows the coast towards the East to the chapel of the Prophet Elias. As it takes about 4 hours to get there it is a good idea to hire a boat one way and return on foot.
The 150 inhabitants of the village are friendly and hospitable and are occupied with tourism and fishing. In Sougia there are some mini markets, a kiosk, and several tavernas along the beach inviting you to sit there and relax. There are also bars for your night-time amusement, but they have little to do with the nightclubs and "Greek music" joints in the tourist resorts on the north coast or the large towns and cities.