Gigilos Hotel & Restaurant – Agia Roumeli

At the very bottom of the Samaria Gorge is a quaint little town that straddles the sea shore for about 1000 meters.

It is not only small and intimate but very friendly. The ferry docks at the only dock and you drive right up the center of the cobble stone street to the only main road [of three roads]. This is the spot where all the hikers coming down from hiking the gorge and land at the sea! Tired, hot and hungry the town is ready to serve…

Our hostess at the Gigilos Hotel met us at the entrance and brought us to our room overlooking the Libyan Sea. As we did not have time to stop and eat in our mad dash to the next ferry breakfast was in order so we made our way to the Hotel restaurant for a wonderful omelette and coffee.

The beautiful pebble beach had sun chairs and the blue[est] water that we have seen. Warm yet relaxing, the water held us folded in its grasp for what seemed like an eternity. But, we did have to come back to reality some time, soon!

Back to the room and changed to go for a hike along the Samraia Gorge….well more like a stroll or a saunter! A warm wind caressed our arms and shoulders and we were glad to have come to this magical place.

The beach is not big but there are lines of sun beds and shades covering the area that each hotel owns and operates. Some areas have no sun beds and these areas are open to the public. There were more people on this beach in 1/2 a day then we have seen on all beaches in Greece in the last month! My husband agreed that there were close to 300 people trying to cool off and find food in a four hour period.

Being that it is toward the end of the tourist season [but a great time to hike the gorge for temperature] the small hotels and business here rely on the tourists to be viable again next year. If it rains [as it did for the first rain of the season today] the gorge is closed and the restaurants and hotels remain empty.

This is a highly rated experience! Go for the gorge but stay for the warm, friendly people who serve the masses of sweaty hikers!

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