Sougia can be the starting point for a number of excursions around the south-west of Crete. Some of these can be made on foot, others by car or by boat. Some of the walks have links to more detailed descriptions.
The ancient town of Lissos is located about
1,5 hour walk (one way) from Sougia.
It used to be an important site in Hellenistic and Roman times and you can still see many ruins, especially those of an Aesculap temple.
The valley of Lissos is an extremely peaceful place to spend a day exploring. In summer there is a small boat going there from Sougia.
The chapel of the Prophet Elias is located on top of the steep hill which you can see from Sougia, quite far to the East. The views from the top are stupendous, in fact amongst the best in south Crete and the walk, on a shaded path above the sea is one of the most appealing coastal walks in Crete. A word of warning though: it takes around 4 hours one way so it might be best to arrange to be taken one way by boat and return on foot. Don't forget to take enough water with you.
The gorge of Agia Irini is a very nice alternative to the gorge of Samaria, especially if you want to avoid crowds. The best way to do this walk is to take the morning bus to Hania and get off at the entrance of the gorge. From there it will take you around 3 hours to return to Sougia on foot. Bear in mind that the last third of the walk doesn't offer much shade and can get pretty hot.
Drive up the road leading north up to the junction to Rodovani. Around 50 meters before the junction you will notice a small road to your left going steeply up the hill. Follow it for to the church where it ends. Walk on the path which leads along the right side of the church and you will soon get to a number of Hellenistic remains of the ancient city of Elyros. The site is very large (Elyros probably had a population of 30.000) but most of it has not been excavated.
It is possible to take the ferryboat to the village of Paleochora but it goes only once a day in the afternoon and returns to Sougia in the morning, meaning that you would have to spend the night in Paleochora. A better option is to go by car via Rodovani and either through Kandanos or following the small road which passes through Anidri or Azogires. The drive to Paleochora takes about an hour.
To get to the plateau of Omalos you have to drive up beyond the village of Agia Irini and take the turn right at the top of the hill. A good road leads to the plateau of Omalos and the entrance of the Samaria gorge. It is also possible to go to Omalos by bus early in the morning, changing bus in Rodovani.
You can visit the village of Agia Roumeli and the entrance of the Samaria gorge by taking the morning ferry (the travel time is about 45 minutes) and returning in the afternoon. This will give you enough time to walk up part of the gorge of Samaria, return to Agia Roumeli and catch the ferry back to Sougia.