The little village is about 300 meters long, the majority of the houses are just behind a footpath next to the sea. The locals live from tourism - practically every house is a tavern or a cafe on the ground floor and has rent rooms for the holidaymakers on the upper floor.
We think, the inhabitants of Loutro understand what the visitors from Northern Europe want. It is a nice, romantic and quiet place. Most tourists love Loutro.
Since there are no roads, all goods must be transported by ship to Loutro. They are are loaded onto wheelbarrows at the port and transported through the village (see pictures below).
Unfortunately no long and beautiful beach exists in Loutro. There is only a 30 meter long beach in the center. Another hardly 20 meters long pebbly beach you find at the end of the village. Both beaches are often very crowded in summer.
Some locals bring people with small boats to beaches in the area. There are also "Boat Taxis". The best beach is Sweetwater-Beach, Boats go there daily in the season from Loutro. You can walk to Swetwater Beach in about 80 minutes.
Eating in Loutro: The restaurants in Loutro are ok. The prices are often surprisingly cheap. We ate very good at the taverna Kyma. From the port, it is the third house. The delicious swordfish steak with fries and some vegetables was in 2014 only 6.50 euro, a very good deal. Also the jemista (tomatoes and peppers stuffed with rice) is tasty. A large portion was only 5 Euro. In the tavern Notos (about in the middle of Loutro) we had a large portion of spaghetti with tomato sauce for only 4 euros.
Supermarkets in Loutro are quiet disappointing: All three small minimarkets in Loutro have a very small assortment and high prices. 100 grams of packaged ham costs three euros and more. Better bring your food to Loutro. Fresh bread is available in Loutro only from 11 o'clock, it comes with the first ferry.
Overnight in Loutro
Many people spend same nights or their whole holiday in Loutro. Especially in recent years, the number of regular visitors in the car-free village has increased considerably. Many tourists in Loutro come from Germany, Great Britain and France.
The best and most expensive accommodation is the Hotel Porto Loutro over the harbour. You pay during season at least 50 euros per room. In the middle of the village you can find the second part of this hotel.
Among the about room rentals along the beach we liked the very last named Keramos best. Also good are for example Faros and Madares (both by the sea).
In 2015: This time we were at Kyma. The very nice and friendly owner Nikos has over 10 rooms with different sizes and prices. A single room costs about 25 to 35 euros (depending on the month). Large apartments, some with two rooms and / or huge balcony with a great sea view, are around 40 to 50 euro.
WIFI is available, as in most hotels, pensions and restaurants in Loutro.
Directions to Loutro
To Loutro you can only go by boat or on foot. There is no road to the village.
By ferry: There are from and to Hora Sfakia in summer about 6 boats a day and to Agia Roumeli 2 to 3 times a day. From Agia Roumeli you can go on once a day with another ferry to Sougia and Paleochora. After walking through the Samaria Gorge you can stay in Loutro for the night (take the ferry from Agia Roumeli to Loutro in the late afternoon).
There are three ferries operating between Sfakia, Loutro, Agia Roumeli, Sougia, Paleochora and the island of Gavdos. Two of the ferries are significantly larger than the third boat. The bigger ones can also take same cars. The big ferries are called "Daskalogiannis" (named after a famous freedom fighter of the region from the mountain village Anopolis) and "Samaria". In addition, there is the tiny Neptune, actually rather a fishing boat than a ferry. People getting seasick should avoid the small ferry. The two larger ships have toilets and a bar. For hikers: You can sent your lagguage with the ferry, it was just 1 Euro per backpack in 2016! The bigger ferries take bicycles and motorbikes. In 2018 the price for a passenger was just 6 Euro from Hora Sfakia to Loutro. Longer distances are more expensive (e.g. Loutro - Sougia 15,30 euros). Cars must be registered at least one day in advance and are not particularly inexpensive. Length of the trips: From Loutro to Sfakia about 25 minutes, to Agia Roumeli from Loutro about an hour.
Walks around Loutro
Loutro - Hora Sfakion: Very nice coastal walk along the cliffs. The duration of the whole hike is around 3 hours. About halfway you reach Sweetwater-Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in South-Western Crete. There is fresh water on the beach. If you dig a hole, 20 to 30 cm deep, you find it. Some people stay for days or weeks here.
Loutro - Agia Roumeli: The footpath to Agia Roumeli is considerably longer and more challenging. It is at least 5 to 6 hours one way. It is a dramatic coastal path with almost constant sea view. Take water for 1 to 2 days and do not hike alone.
Hike through the Aradena Gorge: For many walkers this trail is more interesting than the world-famous hike through the nearby Samaria Gorge. From Loutro walk about 1 hour towards Agia Roumeli until Marmara Beach, then for 3 to 4 hours through the Aradena Gorge uphill to the abandoned village Aradena. In the other direction (downhill), of course it is less exhausting. Aradena is a narrow gorge with high walls. Dead goats are smelling from a big distance. Another highlight is the abandoned village of Aradena. It has one of the most interesting bridges in Europe. You can take the first ferry at 9:30 from Loutro to Hora Sfakia (in 2018 / 2019: about 6 euros per person), then take a taxi to the entrance of the Aradena Gorge (about 15 kilometers, 25 to 30 euros in 2019) and then walk the gorge downhill. After 3 to 3.5 hours of walking time you reach the end of the canyon by the sea. Here you can find the beautiful beach Marmara-Beach with a taverna (not always open). Sometimes you can take an excursion boat, which will bring you to Loutro in the late afternoon. However, the one-hour coastal hike to Loutro is anything but dull. You pass two villages with good tavernas and another beautiful beach.
The author: My name is Jorgy. I am German and I have been living in Crete for more than 10 years. I translated this article from German into English. I am not a native English speaker. When I will find a proofreader, the quality of the article will improve. If you know somebody who wants to help me, please write me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org