A Quick Guide to Loutro, Crete

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Thinking of booking a trip to Loutro in Crete? Here’s what to expect from this bijou harbour village on the south coast.

Where is it?

Loutro is in the southwest corner of Crete, between Agia Roumeli and Hora Sfakion.

What’s the vibe like? 

White buildings of Loutro from the sea.

Loutro is one of those rare places that looks just as pretty in real life as it does in the photos. It’s undoubtedly one of the most beautiful villages in Greece.

The catch is that there’s no road to Loutro though, you can only reach it by boat. This has kept the crowds away and it remains unspoiled – although that’s not to say it’s untouristy.

Loutro is a small harbour village set amphitheatrically around a crescent-shaped bay. Its low-lying buildings are all harmoniously whitewashed and the woodwork is painted blue. To top it all off, the water here is an incredible turquoise colour.

The waterfront is lined with traditional tavernas, some with a seafood focus. It’s the kind of place you come to for the atmosphere and the views, not to mention the lack of traffic. 

Loutro attracts daytrippers from the Chania and Rethymnon resort areas – some excursions are available, or you can catch the bus to Sfakia and then the ferry. Daytrippers also visit from neighbouring villages like Paleochora and Agia Roumeli.

Once the daytrippers go home it’s just you, your chosen taverna, a couple of glasses of ouzo, and the sparkling night skies over the Libyan Sea.

An example of a menu from Notos seafood taverna.

Loutro from rocks near the harbour.

What’s the beach like?

Loutro beach.

Loutro does have a small beach although it’s not the main draw. It consists of small flat pebbles. The sea is perfect for swimming though, as it’s so delightfully clear and turquoise.

There are some sun loungers available to rent on the beach.

Additionally, there are numerous other beaches to discover in the wider area. Some are possible to reach by walking trail, others with scheduled water taxis from the harbour. Marmara and Glyka Nera are highlights.

Loutro beach from inside Hotel Loutro Bay.

Close-up of pebbles on Loutro Beach.

Activities and amenities

Sign displaying prices for canoe, pedalo and SUP hire.

Loutro is a while-away-the-hours-in-a-taverna kind of place, but if you feel the need for some activity then there are a few hiking trails in the area. The long-distance E4 trail runs through Loutro although it’s not well-maintained in all places.

Pedalos, paddleboards and canoes can be rented from the beach.

There are one or two mini-market for provisions and enough tavernas to keep you going for a week but for anything else you’ll have to go to Sfakia.

Transport and accessibility

The ferry docking at Loutro.

Board showing times for water taxis to the beach.

There is no road to Loutra, you can only reach it by sea.

By ferry:

Anendyk Ferries sail from Hora Sfakion to Loutro. It also sails from Loutro to Agia Roumeli, where you can connect with ferries to Gavdos, Sougia and Paleochora.

The ferries run twice a day, once in the morning and again in the late afternoon and are timed to connect with either other and the buses to Chania – see Anendyk website for timetables.

To reach (or leave) Loutro you will have to travel via Hora Sfakion (or Paleochora with a change of ferry). Both are a 90-minute drive from Chania International Airport and are served by the regional KTEL Chania coaches – see the KTEL website for timetables


Loutro is small and easily walkable – it’s 5 minutes from one end to the other. Most accommodation is either on the waterfront or the block behind, and there are a few steps to the beach from the main walkway. Some accommodations may be located further uphill.

Hotel Porto Loutro and beach from the sea.

Bright green parasols on a rocky sunbathing platform.

Where to stay

Hotel Porto Loutro entrance.

Sifis Hotel from the sea.

Loutro has a limited number of places to stay and they’re mostly basic but nearly all of them are right on the harbour and have amazing views:

If you don’t mind taking a few steps more uphill:

If you have a particular hotel in mind then booking long in advance is recommended. Rooms can fill up quickly, especially in high season or Greek national holidays.

Read more about Crete:

Where to Stay in Chania Near the Beach

10 Most Beautiful Beaches Near Chania

Where to Stay on Crete: Ultimate Beach Resort Guide

10 Most Beautiful Beaches on Crete

Image credits: All images © The Mediterranean Traveller

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