I'm wondering if this is a 'Ginger or Mary Ann' kind of question : ) We're not into discos or rowdy bars. Looking for a naturally pretty place, with bonus points for low key night life, e.g. a bar with guitar player, that kind of thing. We tend to dislike over-development. Which would you choose for an overnight stay? Our next stop the morning after is Elafonisi Beach, which is closer to Paleochora. It seems Paleochora is about 40-50 minutes closer and we do want to avoid the late morning crowds. Sougia just looks more laid back and scenic, which is appealing. The walk to Lissos from Sougia looks good as well. Thanks in advance for your help!
When are you going. Sougia is very small and hotels book up fast. I had a problem getting a hotel in September. Sougia is indeed very laid back but there are three excellent tavernas so dining is a pleasure.
There is a day excursion boat from Paleochora to Elafonisssi if you don't want to drive.
You actually don't need a car for this portion of the trip as there is a ferry that runs daily from Paleochora to Sougia and on to Agia Roumeli where you can do the lower hike up the Samaria gorge. That will be a memorable day.
Ferry trip Libyan Sea https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/sets/72157653434073393
Samaria Gorge hike the easy way. https://www.flickr.com/photos/stanbr54/albums/72157670610409530
I'd pick Paleochora--it's a low-key town with good restaurants and a nice vibe. We stayed at Aris Hotel for two nights. We didn't go, but I think that Elafonisi Beach is easy to get to from Paleochora. We did a really nice hike from our hotel to the small village of Anidri, had a lovely lunch (at the old school house restaurant--Kafeneio sto Scholieo) and visited the Agios Georgios Byzantine Church very nearby. From the church, we took the path back towards the sea and then walked along the shoreline to return to Paleochora. Our hotel manager mapped it out the route for us.
The day we were planning to take the ferry from Paleochora to Sougia, the water was rough and the ferry didn't run. We took a taxi to get to Sougia (seems like it was about 50 Euros for the taxi--not an inexpensive option). We spent 2 nights in Sougia which is much smaller than Paleochora. We felt that the hike to Lissos was worth the trip. If you hike to Lissos, take plenty of water and snacks as the hike is a bit rigorous.
Paleochora is a place that we'd love to return to--seems to me that it has what you're looking for!
We're going in early June. I already have a reservation in Paleochora but was just fine tuning some aspects of the trip and realized how cool Sougia looks. But it sounds like Paleochora is a good match for us as well. Thank you for preventing me from entering an endless loop of second guessing : )