Church of Panagia and basilica

The road from Hania to the beginning of the Samaria Gorge is one of the most spectacular routes in Crete. After heading through orange groves to the village of Fournes, a left fork leads to Meskla, twisting and turning along a gorge offering beautiful views, with many religious surprises in store.

Although the bottom part of the town is not particularly attractive with boarded-up buildings, the road becomes more scenic as it winds uphill to the modern, multicoloured Church of the Panagia. Next to it is a 14th-century chapel built on the foundations of a 6th-century basilica that might have been built on an even earlier Temple of Aphrodite.

East of Agia Roumeli after a long walk you can reach the beach of Agios Pavlos (there are several beaches with this name). Here is a very special church from the 10th/11th century with frescoes dating from the 13th century.


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