Our latest trip to Crete (Greece) has been amazing to say the least. In a short period of time, we managed to see some very beautiful beaches, walk the 16 km Samaria Gorge and enjoy the Greek cuisine at its best. There was one day that was particularly great and memorable – Hora Sfakion and Loutro snorkeling day trip that we made by rental car.
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Why Loutro snorkeling day trip
The truth is, this place was recommended by the guy who brought us the rental car. When I mentioned that I’m looking for best snorkeling options on the island, he told us everything about this place, great underwater caves and crystal clear blue water. I knew right then – this is a place I shouldn’t miss.
Hora Sfakion is a village in the Southern part of Crete. The place is easily accessible by car, which could have an auto paint supply, (1h30min drive from Agia Marina/Chania) and quite nice in itself – I could imagine spending a day or two there. What is even better – it has a small harbor with local ferries leaving every hour in different directions. One of them is Loutro – our final destination for a perfect snorkeling day trip.
Ferry tickets and timing
We arrived in Hora Sfakion around 10 in the morning, parked our car for 3€/day and took a walk through this cute little village. The entire promenade consist of waterfront restaurants and small local shops. As you walk through, you see fresh fish and seafood on a grill, fantastic smelling bakeries, local handicraft and always smiling locals inviting you in. We located the ferry ticket counter at Xenia Hotel and easily bought return tickets for the day (10€/person).
Sadly, our ferry was leaving in 20 minutes so we had to run in order to catch it and didn’t get to enjoy Hora Sfakion for much longer. One thing is for sure – cheese pie that we got on the way was probably the most amazing one I have ever tasted (no joke!).
Loutro beach and snorkeling
Loutro is another small village with no access by road. There are two ways to get here – by boat or hiking. While we sailed, we noticed quite many hikers along the coast, as well as some impressive caves. Once we disembarked from the boat, we landed in a waterfront restaurant for a quick Frappe and a cake. Easy life can be so relaxing!
The beach is quite rocky with very little space, so eventually, in order to enjoy it, you need to rent a sunbed. Two sunbeds for the day cost us 7€. Of course, my prime goal was snorkeling, and in that sense Loutro did not disappoint! While the variety of wildlife was rather shy, the rocks and underwater formations, as well as caves were truly impressive.
The water was perfectly warm (it was on 07. September) and I could stay for 30-40 minutes at a time without getting cold. Before leaving for a return ferry we rented a pedal boat and sailed with it a bit further off the beach. I managed to snorkel closer to the caves and filmed it with my GoPro. Additionally to pedal boats, you can also rent kayaks and stand up paddle boards (SUP). Price range from 5€/hour, generally not too high compared to other resorts.
Getting back to Agia Marina
As our day was coming to an end, it was time to take a return boat back to Sfakion and drive back to hotel. One thing to remember is the sunset times, as you probably wouldn’t want to drive the mountain roads in darkness. We took the 16:30 boat back and returned to hotel around 19:30 – just in time for dinner!
I recommend this day trip to anyone who enjoys snorkeling. Even if you don’t have the equipment, you can easily buy everything you need either in Sfakion or in Loutro. The beach is not great for families, because it is rocky and painful to get in the water without swimming shoes.