Loutro is a small fishing village at the south coast of Crete with plenty of nice accomodations and a reasonably dark sky. Some hotels have balconies, and there’s much mention online of sitting on one’s balcony and looking at the stars. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a serious dark sky, for serious observing, Loutro is probably too well lit to be your location of choice. The EarthSky friend who recommended Loutro wrote, “What makes Loutro so special is that is has no roads and cars and it can only be reached by boat or ferry. The lack of traffic gives the village a tranquil atmosphere day and night. Since Loutro is a small village distant from any densely populated areas, there is practically no light pollution and the night sky is as crystal clear as the Mediterranean Sea. The Milky Way can be seen brightly even from the center of the village. Visitors taking an evening stroll outside of Loutro are rewarded with a truly splendid night sky with thousands of stars above a magical seaside landscape. The best time to visit Crete is from April until October.”
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as Lead Editor at EarthSky.org, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She also serves as one of the voices of EarthSky on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and G+. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have two grown sons.