The coastal village of Agios Pavlos (St. Paul) is located 58km south of Rethymnon city, west of Agia Galini, and very close to the tip of Cape Melissa. You can access the area by driving from the village Sachtouria; owners of land in Agios Pavlos come mainly from Sachtouria. It’s a peaceful place, well-hidden in a sheltered bay, which is ideal for quiet family holidays.
The bay has a beautiful beach with green deep waters and magnificent rocky seabed. Near the beach you can find a few rooms and taverns. Moreover, basic services are provided on the beach, such as umbrellas, sunbeds and pedal boats. Above the beach you can visit the small church of Saint Paul; according to the legend Saint Paul lived here during his journey to Rome (this legend is also adopted for some other places in Crete, such as Kali Limenes and Selouda).
Although the beach in front of the village is pretty, some visitors prefer Agios Pavlos for accommodation and food, but swim in the nearby idyllic beach with the huge sandhills. Akoumiani Gialia or Melissa, as this beach is called, is behind the western edge of Agios Pavlos bay and is considered one of the best beaches in Rethymno prefecture but it’s usually wavy. You can get there through a path that starts from Agios Pavlos.
Πηγή: ⭐ Travel Guide for Island Crete ⛵, Greece❗ – Agios Pavlos beach cretanbeaches.com
Agia Roumeli is a small secluded village, located 56km south of Chania city, on a wide bay shaped at the exit of the Samaria Gorge. Thousands of visitors, descending the gorge, reach this place every day. Agia Roumeli is a calm place in the wild and mountainous landscape of Sfakia province. The only way to reach the village is either through the gorge or by getting the ferry from Chora Sfakia, Loutro, Paleochora and Sougia. The more adventurous (and lucky) visitors could walk the path from Chora Sfakia to St. Roumeli (7 hours). The picturesque village of Agia Roumeli provides all basic amenities, such as taverns with traditional food, rooms for accommodation, cafes, mini market, internet access and telephone.
Πηγή: ⭐ Travel Guide for Island Crete ⛵, Greece❗ – Agia Roumeli beach cretanbeaches.com
At a distance of 42km from Chania, the longest gorge in Europe begins, the well-known Samaria Gorge. Internationally recognized with multiple international awards for its flora and fauna, it has been officially declared a national park since 1962 (chronologically, the second in Greece after Olympus, but certainly among the largest with an area of 46,000 hectares) and in 1981 was registered as a wildlife reserve by UNESCO.
The clear length of the National Park gorge (in the area under the protection of the Forestry Service) is 13km, while there are about another 3km from its end to the Libyan Sea. Midway through the gorge, at 7km to be exact, is located the abandoned settlement of Samaria, which took its name from a small church found in its precincts, dedicated to Holy Maria of Egypt, with frescoes from the first half of the 14th Century AD. The Venetians, in the quickness of their speech, shortened the phrase ‘Santa Maria Egiziaca’, simplifying it to ‘Sa-Maria’.
The walk through the Samaria Gorge comprises a section of the E4 European Footpath which starts at Xyloscalo (literally, the ‘Wooden Steps’) on the plateau of Omalos and ends at Agia Roumeli , on the coast of the Libyan Sea. It is a well – organized footpath, with springs at regular intervals, picnic areas, wardens and fire-wardens, interesting to geologists, botanists and also biologists, as it is a reserve for the Cretan wild goat, the so called “Agrimi”. Its entirety is enchanting with its unbelievable natural beauty and its scents from all the aromatic plants and herbs, but also with the geological strata which can be seen in its towering walls. Worth visiting for anyone in good physical shape, who wants to get to know the wild nature of the White Mountains, close up.