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No road. No cars. No mopeds. Most people arrive by one of the four or five
daily ferries from Chora Sfakia (15 minutes) or Agia Roumeli each day, but if impatient to sink into Loutro's spell a water taxi service is available (book this with Alison at the hotel).
Approaching and seeing Loutro for the first time, for the tenth time, is a wonderful experience - making the efforts of your journey, airport hassles and concerns slip away (see
comments from the hotel's guest book).
All the places to eat, drink or sip a coffee are on the waters edge, you can sit as if floating on the small
bay. There is a welcoming tradition in Crete and it appears magnified in Loutro. A friendliness that hardly exists elsewhere anymore.
Whatever you do the rest of the year, this place brings out all those things you'd like to feel, all the time.
To relax here for some people, is to let the day be punctuated by breakfast, a coffee later, a swim, an interested glance to see who arrives and who leaves on the ferry, a casual interest in what is being carried on or off the taverna-owners' small boats. Perhaps a trip on
the regular boat to Marmara (Marble) or Sweetwater beaches for swimming, sunbathing or the chance to walk back along the coast.
The story told is that St Paul sheltered in Loutro's bay, so should you. The bay is protected, the water is almost always calm and clear. As wonderful to see, as to swim in. There is no need to pretend, to dress for dinner - though you can - or to buy a new wardrobe before you visit (no one would notice!).
Walking and hiking. For this Loutro is a paradise. Some come to walk the Imbros gorge, visit the old village of Aradena. Walking via the Aradena gorge to Marmara Beach to take the
afternoon boat, back to Loutro after a cooling swim and a drink at the beachside cafe.
Others walk up to Anopolis - via a seemingly vertical zig-zag path to reach, at 600 metres, the point where the valley becomes visible and the further expanses of the White Mountains (Lefka Ori) tower higher still in the distance. To have an Elliniko coffee and Sfakian pitta at a cafe and then descend, back to Loutro, still in time for breakfast.
an easy walk is your pleasure? Ask Alison for a copy of "Walking for Softies" - specially
prepared for the hotel by a regular guest.
You may prefer idling, gazing, dreaming, re-charging. Some will laze through the day, glancing at the page of a book here an there, falling into conversation with others. Or spend a whole day where time does not matter and the biggest decision is which of the tavernas to choose for an evening meal.
The tavernas offer fresh fish, lamb, a wide variety of vegetarian dishes, as well as grilled, roast and
other interesting local recipes. The desire for simple or elaborate platters, many flavours and taste-treats are easily satisfied.
Sunbathing on the beach (no topless bathing) - just taking a few steps, dipping in the water and snoozing under a beach
umbrella. Perhaps you will take a canoe out for an hour or a day and visit bays and beaches at will. Umbrellas
and canoes can be rented from the hotel's beach assistant. (Nude sunbathing is freely pursued at, just a
boat-trip-away, Sweetwater beach!).
Caiques leave at 11 O'clock every day for Sweetwater and for Marmara beach. The same boat
does the return trip in the afternoon. This is also one of many ways to create an interesting walk - for
example, taking the caique to Marmara or for a shorter walk on to Phoenix then walking across the hill back to
Writing. reading, dreaming..
Do sweet.....nothing at all!
Nightlife. What? Nightlife in Loutro is just being here! No discos or clubs, just a bar or two where music is played softly - complementing the freshness of the air, the tranquility of the night. Nightlife here is you, your conversation, your next drink, your
gaze out to sea, toward the horizon.
Quieter times are April and October - particularly good for walks and hiking. In April
there are spring flowers in the gorges and mountain
plateaux. You can walk in bright sunlight and moderate temperatures.
During a Greek Easter visit, experience the Easter parade along the beach,
several church services on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The effigy of Judas is burnt. During this time the
hotel prepares the traditional goat on a spit. Greek Easter is on the 5th of May in 2002.
From later in July and especially August things are busier, many Greek families come
from Athens, mainland Greece and Crete. This is a time when Loutro always fills to capacity, the weather is hot, things are at their most
lively. But nightlife is still of your own making. From around the 25th of August, things are quieter
October is again more typically calm, the water is still suitable for swimming, with
daytime temperatures easier for longer walks and hikes.