View of Agia Roumeli from the sea

What to do in Agia Roumeli?

Agia Roumeli is located  right by the sea but also at the foot of steeply rising mountains, thus providing with two magnificent sources of activity.

Walking in Agia Roumeli

Most visitors will mainly relax on the pretty beach of fine pebble right by the village, enjoying the clear sea and the dramatic mountain backdrop. One can have this lovely beach more or less to oneself both before noon and in the late afternoon. In the midday hours it is shared with the "Samaria gorge walkers" but the beach is long and with just a few minutes walking distance there is peace and quiet.
For those who want to dive or snorkel, there are cliffs and rocks at the western end of the beach.

Gorgeous pristine beaches are hidden away by the mountains West of Agia Roumeli. Due to the cliffs, these beaches can only be reached by boat or strenuous hiking and are rarely visited by anyone. We can assist our guests with a boat trip, if the circumstances allow it.

Towards the East, one can walk along the shore, following a coastal path to the ancient Byzantine chapel of Agios Pavlos. This is the spot where St. Paul is said to have landed on Crete on his voyage to Greece. Further on, the path reaches the beach of Marmara, the village of Loutro and Hora Sfakion. This is approximately a 7 hour walk from Agia Roumeli. From Loutro and Hora Sfakion one can use the boat line in order to get back to Agia Roumeli.

Views to the East of the village
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  • The path to Agios Pavlos
  • The bay of Agia Roumeli at sunrise
  • View from the path to Agia Roumeli
  • The entrance of the gorge of Eligia seen from the sea
  • The chapel of Agios Pavlos
  • On the way to Agios Pavlos

With the mountains so close there are endless possibilities for hiking routes, such as the path up to the two ruined castles, situated on the nearest western hillside of the village. The view from the castles is superb. With the exception of the Samaria Gorge, this region has not been systematically mapped or explored by official trekking groups. Therefore, visitors are provided with the unique experience of having this information shared to them by the locals and being part of the very few who have walked these mountains. The brothers Roussos and Spiros Viglis will be very happy to share routes, helping organize hiking excursions and telling personal stories about their own experiences in these mountains. They were born here, in the old village, and know the surroundings like the back of their hands.

Last but not least, visitors will want to have a look at the gorge of Samaria. It is not difficult to follow it upwards from Agia Roumeli and starting in the early morning, one can enjoy this beautiful gorge almost privately, alone in nature. Eventually, one will come across walkers coming down from the other entrance of the gorge Omalos.

Two km from Agia Roumeli and right before the official entrance to the protected national park of the gorge, there is the old village of Agia Roumeli. Here  more recent history of the village is visible. It is interesting to see how old it looks while in actuality it was a big and lively place until only 40 years ago. The inhabitants of the old village started to leave after 1954 when the river flooded and many houses ruined. After that, the new village was slowly built up down by the seaside.
For a description of the walk through the gorge of Samaria (which you can work out in reverse) and photographs of it, go to The gorge of Samaria

More views from the area
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  • The 'Gates' of Samaria
  • Above Agia Roumeli
  • View of Domata in winter

and when the evening comes, return back to a small village with its quiet village life

The "main street" in the evening

Agia Roumeli, so much more than the end of Samaria