Sfakia Village in Chania
Information About Sfakia
Sfakia Chania: The unspoilt and historical village of Sfakia is built on the hill slopes, overlooking the natural bay. It is situated around the White Mountains range and the famous Samaria Gorge. Sfakia lies 72 km south east of Chania town. Most of the inhabitants here are involved in fishing and goat raining producing delightful cheeses such as anthotiri or mizithra.
The main town of Sfakia constitutes an excellent place to start your exploration of the southern coast of Crete. The village is very traditional and authentic and its calm atmosphere is only interrupted during the afternoon by the arrivals of hikers coming from the Samaria Gorge with small boats.
The village is known for its local cuisine and a few excellent restaurants can be found on the seafront and inside Chora. The picturesque port of Sfakia is surrounded by many cafes and fish taverns and nearby is the main beach of Sfakia which is an excellent choice for swimming. This part of Crete is linked regularly with the town of Chania. From Sfakia you can visit the remarkable cliffs of Imbros and Samaria gorge.
At first, I didn't believe him. I thought that all these stories were told with a lot of enthusiasm from him and maybe with a bit of excess. When we visited Sfakia this summer with my wife, we saw nothing more than a small, seaside village with smiling people and many hotels. Indeed, some men looked furious with their big moustaches but that is how most of Cretan men look.
People in Sfakia were very easy to talk to and we even started a conversation on my ancestors and how life used to be there in the "old good times". In my surprise, I heard similar rough stories about men defending their honour in any way.
From my whole trip on Crete, I understood that these stories were true, since Sfakia has the fame of a brutal and rough place many centuries now. It appears that the area was somehow isolated from the rest of Crete because transportation was not easy throught the high, rough mountains that exist in the middle of the island. So, when a crime happened, it would either take the judge a lot of days (even months) to come and punish the guilt, or he wouldn't come at all.
Those were difficult and dangerous times, as there was a war between the Cretans and the Turks and also many thiefs were threatening travellers along their way. So, the people of Sfakia decided not to lay to the formal justice but solve their problems with their "own laws". That is how they developed such a brutal and hard attitude. Now the connection of Sfakia with the rest of Crete is easy but this brutal attitude is still existing at some point. Pretty interesting story, isn't it?