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Sougia Crete

May 2006

Note: All images are full size.

In May of 2006, my wife Barb had a chance to visit Crete. We were in Europe for a wedding and decided to extend our stay a bit and take a week beforehand and try to find some warm weather and a chance to get in some nude sunning. Southern Crete seemed like a good choice. We originally were going to stay at the clothing optional Vitromartis Resort on southeast Crete, but a delay in a response from the resort owner forced us to change plans (turns out he was on his honeymoon so it was not his fault). Anyway, we looked around some on the web and decided on a little village on the southwest shore of Crete called Sougia, accessible by either a very winding mountainous 3 hr road trip from Chania (which we did in a rental car), bus or by ferry. If you do rent a car, make sure you have a full tank of gas before leaving northern Crete. Gas stations are just about non existent along this route.

One of the better sections of the road to Sougia. Watch out for landslides.

We knew Sougia had a clothing optional section of beach and when we arrived, we asked a local storekeeper where the nude section of beach begins. He told us just look for a tree branch stuck in the beach. Everything northeast of there was clothing optional and he said that was where the majority of beach users go. Sougia sees a good deal of hikers on their trek along a very rugged national trail that traverses the ancient ruins at Lissos. Most of them set up their tents along the nude section of the beach for their stay over. It was not uncommon to see a group of 20-30 something year olds just going about their camping tasks nude, getting ready for the next leg of their hike. Europeans seem to be so much more at ease with nudity than we Americans.

These sticks mark the beginning of the nude portion of the beach.

Sougia’s beach is not a sand beach. More like rounded pebbles. But it is still very nice in spite of the lack of fine sand. You just have to walk a little more carefully if you’re barefoot. It has some very interesting rock outcroppings and shallow caves on the eastern end typical of the rugged Cretan coastline just begging to be investigated. But just being able to walk and lay around nude basking in the sun looking out over the Libyan Sea without a care in the world is good enough for me. The water was a bit chilly for me, but water-baby Barb had no reservations getting in. I did go in but not for long.

Me, contemplating if I want to jump in.

We arrived late May, just before the very busy summer season. Sougia is a very laid back sleepy village (which suits us fine) with like I said a lot of hiking tourists. A few small shops and some very nice tavernas. Everyone in town was so friendly. If you go be sure to stop by Roxanne’s bakery for just about the best spinach pies you’ll ever have.

We made the hike to Lissos (make sure you bring hiking footwear, and trekking poles are nice).

Looking down on the ancient ruins of Lissos from the trail above. Although we didn’t, you could probably hike a good portion of this trail nude.

To sum it up, we had a very relaxing stress free week in Sougia, enjoying the opportunity to be clothes-free on the beach everyday, take in the wonderful local culture and do some great hiking.

Looking at the nude beach from the ferry dock.

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