The old Byzantine church of Agios Pavlos
is located on a beach with the same name, on the south coast of Chania and near the village of Agia Roumeli
. The beach is accessible only by boat or on foot from Agia Roumeli
. The coastal path from Agia Roumeli to the church is about 3.5 km long and the hike takes approximately 40-50 min. The hiking trail from Loutro is much longer and takes at least 3 hours.
The beach is covered with coarse, dark grey sand, smooth pebbles and pieces of rocks. It is long and wide, surrounded by thin pine trees. The church has the same color as the sand, and it is built right next to the water, so it is a bit hard to see it at first. It is named after St. John the baptist and according to the legend he baptized people on this place on his trip to Rome. The frescos inside the church have faded away a bit but you can still see the painted icons. Although the beach is hard to access, in the last few years a small beach cafe has been operating there during the summer, selling drinks and light snacks.