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|The village and the beach of Agia Roumeli in the south of the island of Crete|
Agia Roumeli is a coastal village with around 100 permanent inhabitants and it is situated in the southwest of Crete. Agia Roumeli lies in a rough Cretan landscape and is surrounded by high mountains. It is mainly known because it is the end of the trip through the Samaria Gorge. In high season it can suddenly get very busy in the village (350,000 people per year visit the village because the walk through the Samaria Gorge is just about the most popular excursion on Crete).
Most people see Agia Roumeli only as a transit station after a tiring hike. The village is also accessible by one of the ferries that daily visit the village connecting Agia Roumeli with Loutro, Paleochora, Chora Sfakion and sometimes with Sougia. In these villages the tour buses depart homewards again (or: hotelwards). Other people see Agia Roumeli as a place to stay a bit longer and from where to make long nature walks and visit the smaller deserted beaches that lie in the area of Agia Roumeli.
The village of Agia Roumeli is not accessible by car and so it is car-free. The port of the village is not very good or safe and big ferries do not visit the village. If the weather is really bad no ferry at all will come and it is possible that you get stuck. In Agia Roumeli are enough tavernas and accommodations available. You can find two mini markets in Agia Roumeli. There is also a pebble beach with fine small pebbles where you can rent sun beds and umbrellas. Many people take the opportunity to to jump into the sea after their long and tiresome walk through the Samaria Gorge. The narrowest part of the Samaria Gorge is at a distance of a half an hour walk from Agia Roumeli. At the end of the canyon you can see the remains of a temple.
Before noon and in the late afternoon, when all the visitors to the Samaria Gorge have gone, peace and quiet falls over Agia Roumeli again. In the intervening period you share the beach with the many walkers, but the beach of Agia Roumeli is quite large, so there you can always find a place where you can relax.
Agia Roumeli is surrounded by high mountains. Along the coast west of Agia Roumeli and often out of view because of the high cliffs that surround it, there are several lonely beaches that can only by accessed by boat or after a strenuous walk.
|Ancient Agia Roumeli|
Agia Roumeli is also the site of the ancient Doric city and religious center of Tarra whose remnants lie east of the village. During the Roman occupation it was an independent town which minted it own coins (with a goat on one side and a bee on the other). Large temples have been built in the ancient town of Tarra. During excavations on the coast at the modern village of Agia Roumeli the site of the cemetery of Tarra was found. It is likely that also the harbour of Tarra was somewhere in the area, but during the intervening time the coastline has changed due to earthquakes and other natural causes. In the Archaeological Museum in Chania you can see a tombstone that was found in the area of Agia Roumeli, on which the typical Minoan double axes are depicted, from which one concludes that the Minoan religion has lasted a long time after its civilisation was gone.
Above the village on a hill after a tough climb you can see the remains of a Turkish castle. The walk takes about 45 minutes (an hour going up and half an hour going down) and is not really very difficult, but on some parts it is quite steep. Do not forget to bring water. From the fortress there are beautiful views of the Samaria Gorge, the village of Agia Roumeli, several beaches and the sea. A one and a half hours walk further will bring you to a second Turkish fortress. This fortress is less well preserved.
Formerly the village of Agia Roumeli was further inland at the entrance of the Samaria Gorge but after heavy rains and problems with the Samaria River, the village was moved to the coast. East of Agia Roumeli after a long walk (of three and a half kilometers) you can reach the beach of Agios Pavlos (there are several beaches with this name). Here is a very special church from the 10th/11th century with frescoes dating from the 13th century. If you plan to make the walk to Agios Pavlos beach than don't forget to take a good stock of water with you.
Other interesting sights in Agia Roumeli are the remains of the temple dedicated to Apollo Tarraeus at the entrance of the Samaria Gorge, and the Church of Panagia at the east side of the village. It is built on the ruins of the temple of Apollo and Artemis and it contains beautiful 16th century mosaics.
For all hotels, apartments, studios and villas in Agia Roumeli - click here.
|Agia Roumeli Hotels - Paralia Rooms - very good reviews|
Family owned and run, Paralia Rooms are located by the beach of Agia Roumeli, only 20 metres from the seafront. Free Wi-Fi is available in the entire property and the family fish tevern is right next door. Rooms are simply furnished and functional, with private bathroom with shower, air conditioning and a refrigerator. They each has an LCD TV, and most have a view of the sea. Fresh fish, lamb chops, boureki and stifado are some of the dishes served at the seafront tavern. The tavern is open all day, for breakfast, light snacks, ice creams and cooling drinks. Agia Roumeli is located at the end of the famous Samaria Gorge. The area offers many opportunities for activities, including trekking, swimming and snorkeling. A double kayak is available for rent.
Check availability and prices & book the Faragi Rooms - click here.
|Agia Roumeli Hotels - Samaria Rooms - very good reviews|
Just 70 metres from the beach of Agia Roumeli, Samaria offers air-conditioned rooms with a private balcony and an on-site tavern serving traditional Cretan cuisine. Free Wi-Fi is provided throughout the property. Samaria rooms feature wooden furnishings and enjoy views of the Libyan Sea or the White Mountains. They all come with a TV, mini fridge and en-suite bathroom with shower and hair dryer. At the tavern you can enjoy local specialities prepared with fresh ingredients grown by the owners. Continental breakfast is prepared in the morning. Agia Roumeli serves as a convenient starting point for exploring the natural beauty of South Crete. You can visit the famous Samaria Gorge or swim at the beaches of Agios Pavlos and Domata. Staff can arrange visits to secluded beaches by sea taxi upon charge.
Check availability and prices & book Samaria Rooms - click here.
|Agia Roumeli Hotels - Gigilos Rooms|
Located right on the beach of Agia Roumeli, the family-run Gigilos offers rooms with a private balcony overlooking the Cretan Sea. It has a seaside tavern and a bar, and provides free Wi-Fi access throughout. Gigilos rooms are bright featuring wooden furnishings. They include a mini fridge and air conditioning, and they all have an en-suite bathroom with bathtub or shower. At Gigilos Restaurant, you can taste traditional Cretan flavours prepared with virgin olive oil and fresh local products. Meals are served either under the vine roof or on the terrace overlooking the sea. In the village of Agia Roumeli, guests will find traditional taverns and mini markets. Gigilos also serves as a convenient base for visiting the nearby sights, such as the ancient town of Tarra or Samaria Gorge. Free parking can be found near the premises.
Check availability and prices & book Gigilos Rooms - click here.
|Agia Roumeli Hotels - Artemis Studios - very good reviews|
Located 60 metres from the beach of Agia Roumeli, at the exit of Samaria Gorge, Artemis Studios offers split-level, self-catering accommodation with sea, garden or mountain views from its balcony. It features a family-run restaurant. The air-conditioned studios of Artemis have an open-plan kitchenette with seating and dining area. Each is equipped with a fridge and cooking hobs. The private bathroom comes with shower and free toiletries. Free WiFi is offered.
Guests can start their day with a continental breakfast served daily at the Artemis Restaurant, where traditional Cretan dishes can also be enjoyed at discounted prices for lunch or dinner. Mini markets can be found within a short walk from the property. The village of Agia Roumeli is accessible either by crossing the Samaria Gorge or by ferry from Sfakia, Sougia or Paleochora. Guests have the chance to participate in a 4-day activity programme at Samaria Gorge.
Check availability and prices & book Artemis Studios in Agia Roumeli - click here.
|Agia Roumeli Hotels - Calypso Hotel - very good reviews|
Calypso Hotel is located just 20 metres from the beach, in Agia Roumeli village. It features rooms with air conditioning and a furnished balcony with Libyan Sea views. The on-site café-restaurant serves breakfast. Calypso rooms are fitted with tiled floors and wooden ceilings and include a refrigerator. Free Wi-Fi access is offered in all public areas.
Sun beds and umbrellas are available on the beach at an extra charge. Staff can provide information on organized excursions, such as a hike of the Samaria Gorge. Calypso Hotel is 75 km from Chania. Nearby Sfakia and Loutro are accessible by boat. Free public and private parking are available.
Check availability and prices & book the Calypso Hotel in Agia Roumeli - click here.
|Agia Roumeli Hotels - Faragi Rooms|
The family run Faragi sits right next to the beach, in the lovely seaside village of Agia Roumeli in south Crete. It features a tavern serving delicious Cretan dishes. Accommodation at Faragi consists of rooms and newly built apartments, each with beautiful sea or village views. All rooms and apartments offer free Wi-Fi, tea/coffee maker, fridge and air conditioning. In walking distance from Faragi, the quiet Agia Roumeli features a few taverns, restaurants and mini-markets.
Check availability and prices & book the Faragi Rooms - click here.