On the quiet south coast of Crete
and at the exit of Samaria gorge, where the mountains meet the sea, you will find the village of Agia
Roumeli with a handful of hotels, restaurants and a long beach. The village looks even smaller with the huge mountain hills hanging over it. Agia Roumeli can be reached only by boat or on foot through the gorge. The idea of being on such isolated place which you cannot leave any time you want attracts nature lovers and hikers who want to escape the lively northern resorts of the island and to explore the numerous hiking trails and wild beaches in the are.
Boats to Agia Roumeli depart from the villages of Loutro
and Chora Sfakion
. In the summer there are usually 2-3 boats daily, and you can visit Agia Roumeli for a day, leaving in the morning and coming back with the last afternoon boat.
The beach of Agia Roumeli has coarse grey sand mixed with pebbles and stones. The water is deep around the shore and people with small kids should pay more attention. In the summer there are sunbeds and parasols provided by two beach cafes but yet there is plenty of free space, no matter the travelers who come to the beach only for a day visit.
An interesting place to see close to Agia Roumeli is the beach of Agios Pavlos
with an old Byzantine chapel right on the sand. The chapel is dedicated to Agios Pavlos (St. Paul) and thus the name of the beach. It can be reached via a coastal path and it take approximately 30 minutes to get there from the village. On the top of the hill above Agia Roumeli rise up the ruins of an ancient castle, with breathtaking panoramic view of the village, the sea and the surrounding mountains. About a kilometer up the gorge is the old village, with some weird houses dug in the rocks and an old stone bridge.