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Title: Sfakia  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Crete, Sfakians, Hatzimichalis Dalianis, Chania, Ierapetra
Collection: Municipalities of Crete, Populated Places in Chania (Regional Unit), Provinces of Greece
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Sfakia landscape around Hóra Sfakíon
Sfakia landscape around Hóra Sfakíon
Sfakia is located in Greece
Country Greece
Administrative region Crete
Regional unit Chania
 • Mayor Pavlos Polakis
 • Municipality 467.6 km2 (180.5 sq mi)
Population (2011)[1]
 • Municipality 1,889
 • Municipality density 4.0/km2 (10/sq mi)
Time zone EET (UTC+2)
 • Summer (DST) EEST (UTC+3)
Vehicle registration ΧΝ
Map of Sfakia municipality
Sunset in Sfakia.
Traditional dancers at "Sfakian Liberation Festival".

Sfakiá (

See also

  • Portal site about the region of Sfakiá
  • Live webcam from the village of Hóra Sfakíon, Sfakiá
  • Live beach webcam from the village of Hóra Sfakíon, Sfakiá
  • Forum about the region of Sfakiá

External links

  1. ^
  2. ^ The derivation of the name of Sfakia
  3. ^ The Archaeology of Crete, Simon R. F. Price, L. Nixon, 2002 [1]
  4. ^ The Sphakia Survey: Internet Edition, Simon R. F. Price, L. Nixon, J. Moody and O. Rackham, 2000 [2]
  5. ^ Detailed census results 1991 PDF (39 MB) (Greek) (French)


The province of Sfakia (Greek: Επαρχία Σφακίων) was one of the provinces of the Chania Prefecture. It had the same territory as the present municipality.[5] It was abolished in 2006.


The archeology and history of Sfakia is the object of a field survey undertaken by the University of Oxford.[3][4]


The Sfakians are also famous for their hospitality and generosity towards guests, resulting in a shift from traditional labour towards tourism, with now many families running their own small hotel or restaurant.

...with an account of all the gifts God had given to other parts of Crete - olives to Ierapetra, Ayios Vasilios and Selinou; wine to Malevisi and Kissamou; cherries to Mylapotamos and Amari. But when God got to Sfakia only rocks were left. So the Sfakiots appeared before Him armed to the teeth. "And us Lord, how are we going to live on these rocks?" and the Almighty, looking at them with sympathy, replied in their own dialect (naturally): "Haven't you got a scrap of brains in your head? Don't you see that the lowlanders are cultivating all these riches for you?"

Stealing and banditry had been considered a way of life in the mountains, even appearing in a Creation myth, which made God Himself a Sfakiot, as recounted by Adam Hopkins:

Sfakiá is notorious for the harshness of the environment and the warlike people. Sfakians themselves are still considered somewhat beyond the reach of the lawmakers and tax collectors of Athens, with vendettas over stolen sheep and women's honour still fought late into the 20th century, with a whole village abandoned.

After the Germans invaded. Near the village of Komitades is the Church of Panagia Thymiani where the revolution of 1821 began. At the village of Loutro is the ruined "chancellery" where the first revolutionary government of 1821 met.

Patrick Leigh Fermor wrote about the tall proud Sfakians and their resistance to occupation. Many tales of revolts and uprisings in Crete start in the mountains of western Crete - mountain guerillas, pallikari fighters and rebel assemblies.

A famous legend and unexplained phenomenon describes a procession of visions (Drosoulites) seen in the nearby village Frangokastello as troops that died in the war of independence against the Turks.

Hóra Sfakíon is famous as one of the centers of the resistance against the occupying forces of both the Venetians and the Turks. The impenetrable White Mountains to the north combined with the rocky beaches on the south helped the locals fight off all invaders. Anopolis, a village near Hóra Sfakíon, is the birthplace of one of the most celebrated Cretan revolutionaries, Daskalogiannis.


The local speciality, "Sfakian Pies", are thin pancakes filled with cream cheese and served drizzled with honey.

Accessible only by boat from Sfakiá is kri-kri (or agrimi), the wild Cretan goat. The coast of Sfakiá is on the Libyan Sea, which is inhabited by a diminishing fish population, but occasionally dolphins, and even whales may be seen.

Not far east from Hóra Sfakíon is Frangokastello, literally "Frankish castle". The Venetian fortress here was built in 1371 to deter pirates and unsuccessfully, to control Sfakiá. It is largely ruined but is picturesquely set on a wide sandy beach with the towering White Mountains behind. Daskalogiannis was captured here in 1771.

There are many beaches in Sfakiá which do not see the numbers of tourists of the northern coast. More adventurous visitors can follow the European hiking footpath E4 which crosses Crete through Sfakiá's mountains. The coastal villages are not connected by a coastal road, but can be reached by ferry boats.

The road from Kapsodasos to the plateau of Kallikratis, northeast of Hóra Sfakíon.



  • Description 1
  • Resistance 2
  • History 3
  • Province 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6
  • See also 7


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