Lissos was an ancient city which ruins are preserved between Paleochora (west) and Sougia (east) of ArchonVilla, on the south coast of Chania Prefecture in Crete.

Lissos was a port for inland Elyros (now gone) arose under the Dorians, flourished in the Hellenistic, Roman and First Byzantine periods and was destroyed by the Saracens in the 9th century. It had its own gold coins depicted the head of the goddess Artemis on one side and a dolphin on the other with the word LISION (of the Lisians).

A notable feature is the mosaic floor of multicoloured stones intricately arranged in beautiful geometric shapes and images of birds.

There are also some traces of Roman ruins and on the western slopes of the valley are unusual barrel-vaulted tombs.

Nearby are the church of Mother Mary (Panagia) and the church of St. Kirikos which both were built on the ruins of early Christian basilicas.

Lissos has a lovely small pebble beach to cool you off after the walk but unfortunately almost always has quite a bit of tar on it.

THE HARD WAY TO GET THERE:              


Walking to Lissos by taking the path from Villa Archon which is approximately 6.5 Km or a 2-3 hours walk. It is not difficult as you can follow the dirt road which exists to help the shepherd to take care of their flocks of sheep. At the end of the road you will find yourself on a hill and bellow you are the ruins of Lissos.

Remember that going to Lissos is downhill so it is easy but when you return it will be a little bit difficult. Have with you snacks and water, important for your way there. There are not any facilities in the area but for your way back you can refill your bottle of water from the mineral spring.

THE EASY WAY:

You can also combine a daily excursion to Sougia which is a quite fishing village that has managed to remain unaffected by the growth of tourism in Crete. Sougia is located 20Km or half an hour drive away from ArchonVilla. It’s worth visiting it due to its relaxed and carefree atmosphere but also for a swimming to the 1.2 km excellent beach which is never crowded of people. Also after your walking you will have the opportunity to have a traditional dinner or just to cool down enjoy a cold beer just beside the seashore gazing the Lybian sea.

The ruins of ancient Lissos are a 3.5km walk from Sougia (approximately 90 minutes) on the coastal path to Paleohora, which starts at the far end of Sougia’s small port. The only other option is take a water taxi to the nearby cove and hike up.

From the little harbour of Sougia you enter to a small gorge, and half an hour later you start climbing the slope, which will bring you to a hill above Sougia.
Continue along the path and you'll soon see Lissos below you. Visit the Temple of Asklepios, explore the valley, have a swimming in the turquoise waters and return back either by the same path or by boat, a much more relaxing choice.

More information for that option you may have here.

THE LAZY WAY:

It's not a walking anyway, but for your information, by the regular boat trip from Sougia village, a pleasant 20-minutes sea trip.


  • A map showing the way from Villa Archon to Lissos can be found here.
  • A usefull detailed map showing the location of the temple, chapels, water, and Roman graves can be found here.


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