Why You Need to Spend the Night in Agia Roumeli, Crete
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Each year, thousands of people pass through Agia Roumeli on their way out of the Samaria Gorge without giving it a second glance. Exhausted from the eleven-mile downhill climb through the gorge, most people dip their toe in the water, eat a quick lunch, and board the ferry back to their homes and hotels. Even though the Samaria Gorge is one of Greece’s most popular hikes, the town of Agia Roumeli is essentially forgotten. However, it shouldn’t be! Even though it’s small, it does have a lot to offer. Here are some of the reasons why you should spend at least one night here before heading home.
Quiet Gem in the Libyan Sea
When the last ferry leaves for the night, the village is relatively quiet. There are only two ways to enter and exit the village – on foot or by ferry. Since there’s no way to drive here, that keeps most of the tourists away. The only people who venture here are the ones who just pass through after the hike is over. Rather than rush to the ferry port, why not stop and enjoy it? Traditional village life is quiet and most people are happy to entertain visitors and share a bit of the local culture with them. Mostly, it’s a great place to stop and relax before moving on.
Enjoy the Beautiful Black Sand Beach
Agia Roumeli is the home of one Greece’s most beautiful beaches. Nestled between mountains, this beach boasts some great scenery. Another unique feature is that the sand is completely black due to the area’s volcanic activity. It takes thousands of years for sand to get that fine! The heat from the Greek sun absorbs into the sand and creates a unique affect. It’s nearly impossible to walk on with bare feet, but the extra heat radiating up on your body is incredibly relaxing. Wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy this beach for more than just a few minutes?
Eat the Local Foods
One of the most noticeable things about this area is that there are a lot of bees. While hiking through the gorge, they tend to follow people around who smell like flowers. Since I made the mistake of showering before my hike, I was a popular favorite with the bees. When I emerged from the gorge, one thing I noticed is the abundance of honey in the village. Shops sell local honey and many of the restaurant’s dishes are prepared with it. There are also orange trees in the area, and a refreshing treat after the hike is some of the fresh squeezed orange juice.
There are a few restaurants in town, and each of them has a selection of foods that are unique to Crete and to the village itself. One of the main restaurants is also an inn. Being able to take a shower, eat a great meal, and relax by the beach without worrying about making the last ferry makes spending the night in the village even more worthwhile.
This post was written by GreekBoston.com