Hora Sfakion

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Hora Sfakion is the capital of Sfakia municipality in Chania prefecture, Crete. It is a small town of just 500 inhabitants. It is found on the Southern coast near the end of the Imbros Gorge, 74km south of Chania. In its two small harbours, the ferry boats from Agia Roumeli dock, which in the summer bring the hikers from the Samaria Gorge to take buses back to the North coast. It is a small village with a main harbourfront of tavernas, and has two minimarkets, a butcher and a bakery. You can hire a car, or arrange a local taxi. The village has a quiet local beach inside the village, and several pebbly beaches nearby. There are several accommodations available to guests looking for a room, studio or an apartment. Currently the local economy is prospering on tourism, fishing, olive oil production and sheep and goat herdering.

Hóra Sfakíon prospered during the Venetian and Turkish occupations and up to the 18th century carried on a flourishing trade with its own small fleet. It was said to have had a hundred churches but the town suffered badly from wartime bombardment during and after the Allied evacuation.

Not far east from Hóra Sfakíon is Frangokastello, literally "Frankish castle". The Venetian fortress here was built in 1371 to deter pirates and unsuccessfully, to control Sfakiá. It is largely ruined but is picturesquely set on a wide sandy beach with the towering White Mountains behind. Daskalogiannis was captured here in 1771.

Accessible only by boat from Sfakiá is Loutro, a small seaside village with some archaeological ruins, a few houses, small hotels and tavernas. Loutro is car-free, you have to park your car in Hóra Sfakíon or Paleohóra. In the North of Sfakiá is the fertile plain of Askyfou. The Sfakía region is crossed by many gorges which run from North to South and all end into the sea. Many of them can be walked, and several even by inexperienced walkers. The region still is inhabited by rare animals, like vultures and eagles, and the kri-kri, the wild Cretan goat. Sfakiá borders to the Libyan Sea, which is inhabited by a diminishing fish population, but occasionally shows dolphins, and even whales.