Agios Pavlos beach lies on the south coast of Chania region, Crete
, in the wild area between Agia Roumeli
, accessible only by foot or by boat. The beach bear the name of the homonymous church which is built right on the sand, using stones from the area. The church dates back to Byzantine times and it is related to St. John the Baptist. The color of the church facade somehow merges with the environment and may be missed at first sight but it is right there, at the north end of the beach.
The easiest way to reach Agios Pavlos beach on foot is from Agia Roumeli. From the east end of the village a narrow path running along the coast will take you to the beach in about 3 km and 40-50 min. The hike from Loutro is much longer and tiresome (takes roughly 3-4 hours), and it is part of the hiking trail which connects Chora Sfakion
and Agia Roumeli.
The beach is more than 1 km long and up to 50 meters wide in the widest part. It is covered with coarse dark grey sand, smooth pebbles and scattered rocks. The sea is deep around the shore and there are sudden slopes of the seafloor, so people who cannot swim should pay more attention. Waves are also common. Although the place is quite remote and difficult to get to, a small cafeteria was built there and it has been operating in the summer season for a few years. It sells drinks and light snacks but no parasols and sunbeds are available (by 2016). Behind the beach there are pine trees which can provide some shade in the hottest days.