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.