Sougia in the past
Sougia was known as Syia in ancient times
and was one of the harbours of the city of Elyros. The multitude
of small, independent city-states is illustrated by the Confederation
of Oreii, an accord formed around 300 BC between Elyros, Lissos,
Irtakina, Tarra, Syia and Pikilassos, six towns in a now barely
populated area of the Southwest. They were later joined in the
Confederation by Gortys and Cyrenaica (in North Africa).
Meanwhile Roman power was growing in the Mediterranean, and
Crete's strategic position and turbulent reputation drew her
inexorably into the struggle. Syia flourished in the Roman Period
and the first Christian Years.
There are some ruins of Roman houses in the eastern part of the valley as well
as the remains of an aqueduct.
After the early Byzantine period little is known about Sougia.
It was probably no more than a fishing settlement for the villages
up in the hills (Livadas, Koustogerako and Moni).
Sougia became a village again after W.W.II. At the time there
was no road leading from the North of the island to the region
and a regular boat connection from Piraeus was established in
order to trade goods. These were then carried by mule to the
inland villages. Soon there were five trade counters in Sougia
and a number of families moved to the village. In the1950's Sougia
had a school with 150 pupils attending. When the road linking
Sougia to the North was built the village lost its significance
as a trading post. The majority of the villagers went back to
their original village or emigrated (to the US, Canada, Australia
and the Greek mainland) and Sougia once again became a tiny,
Sougia was "discovered" in the 60s by the first travellers
and became quite popular in the 70s, especially with young Germans.
At the time there were hardly any rooms for rent and only a couple
of small tavernas, but the continuing popularity of the village
(people kept coming back and were also telling their friends
what a nice place it was) encouraged some landowners to build