12 Agia Roumeli – Agios Pavlos

12 Agia Roumeli – Agios Pavlos

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E4 Trail : Agia Roumeli - Agios Pavlos

This is the first part of the E4 route that connects Agia Roumeli to Loutro on foot. Loutro doesn’t have road access, and the only other way to reach this small coastal village is by boat. Agia Roumeli is mostly known as the place you end up in for a few hours after hiking Samaria gorge. Nestled between the high mountain tops and the long beach on the Libyan Sea, this is another spot you can only reach on foot or boat.

Another way to access Agia Roumeli that doesn’t go through the gorge follows the coastal path from Sougia through Poikilassos and Domata beach. In Agios Pavlos, you will be mesmerized by the unique stone chapel, with its terracotta-colored rocks and the vast dark-sand beach. A lot of travel brochures include the chapel of Agios Pavlos but not many people know where it is located, so if you do get to visit it, consider yourself lucky.

Due to the remote nature of the location, there are no amenities nearby apart from a small cafe so make sure to come prepared. This part of southern Crete has so much to offer to nature lovers, with numerous gorges, beaches, hikes, ruins of ancient castles, and small villages to explore.

The E4 route from Agia Roumeli to Agios Pavlos

Departing from Agia Roumeli (1), we bypass the heliport on its north side. We pass through a clump of pine trees by a stream bed and move towards the estuary, from where we cross to the eastern bank. In winter and spring, when the river is flooded, we go north and come to a small bridge, by which we cross to the opposite bank. The path is clear and moves parallel to the sea, just above the beach that stretches out for about 2 km, until the outlet of Eligias gorge (2).

After the gorge, the coast is mostly rocky, so we walk a little higher up, in a landscape full of pine trees and sparse bush vegetation. We follow this route for approximately 1,5 km, until the Byzantine chapel of Agios Pavlos (3). Here we can swim on the beautiful beach which has the same name and relax for a few hours.


Path Length 3.5 km
Hiking Duration 1 hour
When to hike Spring, Autumn, Summer, Winter
Path Region Chania