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“A Touch of the Past, a good walk, and boat trip”

The Ancient City Lissos
Ranked #3 of 4 things to do in Sougia
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed 8 September 2018 via mobile

To reach the ancient city of Lissos we walked from Sougia on the well marked trail up the Lissos gorge and over the hill and down a rough zig-zag path to Lissos. This walk of one and a half hours should not be underestimated. The descent in to the Lisos plain is quite tough especially in the heat. At first sight Lissos looks like a pile of rocks but there is spectacular history here of a flourishing city from the 3rd century BC. Give yourself time to recover from the walk before paying attention to the ruins. The first building you come to is the temple with a Roman mosaic, further down near the harbour is the chapel. Whole area is atmospheric and hard to believe once an important city. After a cool swim we waited for our pre-ordered water taxi - Captain George (plenty of adverts for him in Sougia) - who arrived promptly to whisk us away.

Thank ValentineH92
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"both directions"
in 3 reviews
"taxi boat"
in 3 reviews
"olive trees"
in 3 reviews
"lovely walk"
in 3 reviews
"lots of water"
in 2 reviews
"captain george"
in 2 reviews
"steep descent"
in 2 reviews
"gorge walk"
in 2 reviews
"hiking boots"
in 2 reviews
"beautiful beach"
in 2 reviews
"plateau"
in 9 reviews
"ascent"
in 5 reviews
"temple"
in 7 reviews
"ruins"
in 16 reviews
"cliffs"
in 5 reviews
"path"
in 8 reviews
"goats"
in 6 reviews
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Reviewed 16 June 2018

The E4 path winds from Palaiochora to Sougia along the coast. From Palaiochora the walk is 13k. On a scale 1 to 4 with 1 easiest, it is 2 for both the going underfoot and how strenuous it is. Overall the path includes some easy walking sections, but there are many sections where you are walking on loose stones and fixed rocks and some clambering is needed. There are a few steep ascents/descents. Good shoes are essential. The ferry leaves at 8.30 and returns departing from Sougia at 18.10. We decided to walk there and sail back, so avoiding rising early! We left about 10.30, stopped for lunch and deliberately slowed down for the last 3k; and we still had an hour for a beer in Sougia village. We walked on 31st May. The breeze kept the temperature down, but it was already a little hot for comfort in some sections.
From the harbour follow the seaside road. Near the end of the town it bends left a little away from the sea and shortly after that follow a bend to the right. Take the road on the right singed for Anidri. This leads out of the town and eventually past the camping site. When the tarmac road bends left and heads uphill and inland, take a right turning onto a rougher road that continues on in much the same direction towards Gialiskari. This road follows the coast closely and is a mixture of concrete and unmade sections. It passes a pebbly beach with a sheltered swimming bay and shortly afterwards is a sandy beach (Anidri and Gialiskari beaches). Head for the top left corner of the car park. There are now lots of helpful E4 signs to guide you. Walk along the back of the beach to the far end. Here there are elderly nudists sunbathing so you can choose eyes left or right! You come to an information board about the walk, which reminds you to take lots of water. The walk is 9k to Sougia from here. The walk starts off with a bit of a climb over flat rocks and is marked all the way with black and yellow stripes, yellow blobs and black and yellow poles. This signage is extensive and very useful. The paint splodges are only a few metres apart and are essential on some stretches through rocky terrain.
The first section wanders near the sea with great views in both directions. Ascents and descents are small. It dips down to a small cove, where a half dozen people were taking a dip. Thereafter there is a long hard ascent to cross the back of the crocodile cape, with the path zigzagging through rocks. Eventually it passes through a gap and becomes a flatter, wider path across flat lands with goats around. It then descends through shrubs and then turns right with a short section of a small ravine on the right. It winds down towards Lissos beach. The path doesn’t go to the beach but bends left. It passes the tallest building of ancient Lissos (originally two storeys), and very soon after into a small valley full of trees and oleander to emerge at a picnic spot. There are three large, shaded picnic table in good order. The spring (channelled through a stone water spout) was running well on 31st May, but I don’t know if it is an all year spring. There is an information board about ancient Lissos. To go to the beach take the path that continues on the same direction. To continue on the E4 for Sougia turn left uphill into a small valley. You can visit the temple of Asclepius – it is surrounded by a high fence but the gate is open. The path is a small right turn before the temple – not too easy to spot, but marked with yellow paint when you look closely. It winds up steeply though rocks and bushes. It is easy to take the occasional wrong turn, so keep your eyes peeled for the paint splodges. The path emerges onto a plateau and goes straight across amongst strange low volcanic rocks. It then goes down through the pines and emerges at the bottom of a gorge. Turn right and follow the gorge through the bushes and past a wonder concave yellowish cliff full of martins. This section through the bushes is quite long. It emerges eventually behind the harbour. Turn left over a patch of rough ground. In the fence is a section that opens – it isn’t a hinged gate. Pass through and follow the coast road to Sougia.
The road passes the white kiosk where tickets for the ferry back can be purchased. The kiosk opens about 30 minutes before the ferry is due. In 2018 a single coast 11.20 euros. It arrive about 50 minutes late and it passed the wonderful mountainous coast as the shadows lengthened and the views and opportunities for photos were fantastic. A great day.

5  Thank Mick082014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 June 2018

We had read about the gorge walks across Crete but were put off from the Samaria walk due to needing to really do it as part of a tour as it seemed to be difficult to drive yourself to it. After a bit of research we decided to do the Lissos gorge due to its shorter length, location to Sougia and the opportunity to see some ancient ruins in Lissos.

We were staying near Stavros right in the north of Chania and it took about 2 hours to drive down to Sougia but was very easy to find and we enjoyed the drive through the mountain, orange groves and olive trees. Sougia itself is lovely with leafy tavernas all along the beach.

Before the start of our walk we called the water taxi to arrange a lift back. The number to call is on posters all the way through Sougia and located at the start of the wak so you can't miss it! Even when you get to Lissos beach there's more posters so you can call up at the end of your walk. There are 2 scheduled trips to and from Lissos - one going there at 10am and one returning at 3pm so if you wanted you could do the walk, spend the rest of the day having lunch/sun lounging on the beach and know you can definitely get a taxi back without having to ring.

The route of the walk itself is clearly signposted all the way along with little yellow and black markers and the left turn to go up the hill towards Lissos is clearly marked with a signpost so you'd have a really difficult job missing it.
The shade from the pine trees along the gorge was lovely and actually more of the walk was shady than we thought it would be which was really good.
The gorge and ascent itself are fine and easy to do - there is a boulder you have to climb over right at the start which is a bit slippery (purely because of how many people have walked on it) but this wasn't too bad.
The descent was a bit of a scramble at points but taking it slowly and concentrating on your steps it was fine.
You cannot do it in sandals!! We were in trainers rather than hiking boots though and that was fine so don't worry you have to have the full hiking gear. Do take plenty of water with you though.

The beach at the end is a lovely reward of clear blue water! If you take the taxi back to Sougia just know that it doesn't leave from the beach itself but from a rock (you'll see a tire tied to a big rock) and you need to go towards the little house with the bell and the path to the boat is from there. The chap who runs the taxi I think is used to people not realising this so he will wait for you if you wave to him you want to get on like we did!

The walk itself takes about 90 minutes and I would leave another 40 minutes to enjoy the ancient Lissos ruins and the beach before heading back or getting the boat taxi.

1  Thank jemmavs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 May 2018

Near Sougia , there is the archaeological site of Lyssos which can be reached either on foot from the village or a taxi boat , we chose this last one mainly for time reason. You get to the temple of Asclepius where you can see the beautiful mosaic on the floor with geometric figures. It is still well preserved if we consider that no overlay is foreseen. Inscriptions are present on the left side the entrance and many temple numered remains lie on the ground . Temple area is protected by network , but the small entrance is parthially open, this should keep sheep and goats out . Just before a water sourge and picnik tables where a young people group grilled meat. Along the path there are two small chapels, where in one S. George who kills the dragon fresco, can be seen. Continuing on path to see Roman tombs , built with big stone. Very beautiful the pebbles beach , with its emerald-green sea.

1  Thank Maurizio M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 27 October 2017

Two thosand years of occupation; beautiful mosaics; silence. Perfect peace. Isolation. Good stop on the walk from Sougia to Paleohora.

1  Thank Bill M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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