Agia Roumeli is peaceful, small, and feels like a village somewhere ... nowhere. It is located between the ravishing blue Libyan Sea and the steeply rising mountains at the exit of Samaria Gorge and is built on the ruins of ancient Tara, once famous for its oracle and destroyed by an earthquake in 66 AD.

Tarra was a small but independent city and cut its own coins depicting a wild goat's head and arrow on one side and on the other, a bee. It was a great religious centre with temples to Apollo, flourishing in the Roman period. Legend has it that when the Romans discovered the temple of Vritomartis, protector of flocks, they dedicated it to their corresponding goddess, Roumilia. Later, when Christianity prevailed, she was renamed St. Roumilia, or Agia Roumeli.

A great destination for relaxing 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 within 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. Artemis Studios can assist you to approach them with a boat trip, if the circumstances allow it.

To 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 Marmara Beach, the village of Loutro and, further still, Hora Sfakion. This is approximately a 7 hour walk from Agia Roumeli. From Loutro and Hora Sfakion, one can use the ferry to get back to Agia Roumeli.

Agia Roumelli is at the southern end of the Samaria Gorge. If you wish, you can easily hike the last section the gorge to the famous narrow point called "Portes".

Please have a look and book the 4-day programme to discover Samaria and Agia Roumeli, its nature and customs.

The nearby Loutro  is the only natural harbour on the south coast of Crete. Loutro is peaceful - it is small and feels like a village even if 95% of the people here in the summer are visitors. Really, Loutro is a place to let days flow by as they will. When you meet people whose poetic utterances appeal – converse. When striding rocky paths is the urge – proceed. When the water beckons - shout back, get in. Eat, relax, enjoy.

At nearby Marmara Beach is the exit to Aradena Gorge. Walk through the gorge and, if you dare, you can also go bungee-jumping.

Or maybe you are a bird lover? Read more about bird watching.

You can also take the ferry into Sfakia (Chora Sfakia or Sfakion) and spend a half hour or a few hours there for a change of scene (be sure to check ferry schedules first).

A great option to explore perhaps some of the best beaches in Crete by sea is with a Sea Kayak. More information here.

Find more activities in Chania region, here!

Hotel Information Recommended For
Type: Apartments - Studios Young Couples :
Rooms: 12 Village Atmosphere :
Pool: No Mountain :
Dining: No Beach/Seaside :
Children: Welcome Family hospitality :
Closed: November to March Family :

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