Thinking of booking a trip to Agia Roumeli in Crete? Here’s what to expect from this tiny harbour village on the south coast.
Where is it?
Agia Roumela is in the southwest corner of Crete, between Sougia and Loutro. It’s at the end of the Samaria Gorge which is the most popular hike on the island.
What’s the vibe like?
Most visitors simply pass through Agia Roumeli as they finish their hike down the Samaria Gorge. There is no road to Agia Roumeli, only ferries, so hikers must wait for a ferry to either Sfakia or Paleochora to catch a bus back to Chania or their beach resort.
But the hikers dwell here long enough for some tourist infrastructure to have built up. Additionally, some stay overnight or use it as a base to hike up the final section of the gorge rather than do the whole thing (slightly easier on the knees).
If you want to explore the southwest coast by ferry then it’s the most practical choice for a base as it’s the main ferry interchange and you can sail in either direction. However Agia Roumeli is much smaller than Paleochora with less choice of accommodation and food.
It’s a small harbour village with a decent pebble beach. It sits at the bottom of the steep White Mountains – the landscape feels vast here as you look out at the Libyan Sea. Once the hikers have left it’s very peaceful in the evenings.
What’s the beach like?
Agia Roumeli is not particularly known for its beaches but the main beach is surprisingly nice. If it was in a different part of Crete it would be very popular.
It’s west of the harbour and consists of a wide stretch of small pebbles. The water is crystal clear and perfect for swimming.
A few of the cafes and tavernas nearest the beach have sun loungers. If you prefer an empty unorganised beach then head east. The beach nearest the village is narrow and not the nicest, but keep going along the coastal path until you reach Agios Pavlos (or you might be able to arrange a small boat at the harbour).
Activities and amenities
Transport and accessibility
There is no road to Agia Roumeli, you can only reach it by sea (or on foot down the Samaria Gorge).
Anendyk Ferries sail from Paelochora to Sougia, Agia Roumeli and Gavdos. Another ferry sails from Sfakion and Loutro to Agia Roumeli.
The ferries run twice a day, once in the morning and again in the late afternoon and are timed to connect with either other and the buses to Chania – see Anendyk website for timetables.
To reach (or leave) Agia Roumeli you will have to travel via Hora Sfakion and Paleochora. Both are a 90-minute drive from Chania International Airport and served by the regional KTEL Chania coaches – see the KTEL website for timetables.
Agia Roumeli is small and easily walkable. It’s slightly hilly and steps are involved in reaching the beach.
Prices in Agia Roumeli are below average for Crete as so few visitors stay here for more than a few hours. There’s a good choice of tavernas and cafes. The ferry tickets are probably the most.
Where to stay
The accommodation in Agia Roumeli is mostly budget basic rooms aimed at hikers resting their feet for the night before moving on.
You can’t beat Agia Roumeli Hotel and Gigilos for location, they’re both right on the beach and have sea-view rooms available.
But you can nearly always find rooms on arrival in Agia Roumeli, there are rooms here which don’t show up on the booking engines.
Read more about Crete:
Where to Stay in Chania Near the Beach
10 Most Beautiful Beaches Near Chania
Where to Stay on Crete: Ultimate Beach Resort Guide
10 Most Beautiful Beaches on Crete
Image credits: All images © The Mediterranean Traveller