Sougia is located at the end of the gorge of Agia Irini. This valley starts above the village of Agia Irini (at the water dividing line between north and south Crete) and narrows to a gorge a little south of the village. This is the point where most people enter the gorge for their walk.
The most convenient way to do this walk from Sougia is to either take the public bus to Hania in the early morning and get off at the entrance of the gorge (the driver will know where to stop) or to take a taxi there.
Although the gorge of Agia Irini is less spectacular than the gorge of Samaria it is far less crowded and very beautiful.
The walk back to Sougia takes a total of 4 hours and can be done throughout the year, provided that it hasn’t rained in the preceding days. The path in the gorge was improved considerably a few years ago and is, for the most, without difficulties and easy to follow with plenty of shade. There are several resting places where you can theoretically get water (but the taps don’t always work so make sure you bring your own supply).
After about 2 hours through the gorge the valley widens and you will see a sign pointing towards the left to a cafe. This is where you will meet the road again and it is probably easier to follow it than continue in the river bed to Sougia where the walking can get tedious. You can also eat at the cafe before continuing to Sougia so it is not necessary to carry food with you on this walk.
Bear in mind that the last part of the walk to Sougia (which takes about 1 1/2 to 2 hours) offers little shade.