The seaside village of Chora Sfakia gets little more than a passing glance from visitors as they troop down from the large and expensive car park to the boat jetty to catch the ferry to the gorge. It seems to be little more than a row of expensive cafes and souvenir shops lining the small harbour. The village has a savage history that belies its modern meek appearance. Locals were considered little more than bandits for centuries and families were embroiled in a bitter and bloody feud for nearly 100 years.
During World War II locals helped evacuate retreating Allied troops. A monument on the jetty commemorates the mass evacuation while a memorial above the village honours the local men, women and children who were summarily executed by the occupying Germans as a result.