A brief guide to Palaiochora
If you’re looking for the perfect sunshine hideaway, then the idyllic Cretan coastal village of Palaiochora may well be it. Situated on the south-west corner of the Greek island of Crete, it’s beautifully positioned at the end of a narrow peninsula that stretches out into the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean.
It’s one of Greece’s true hidden gems and is located 71 km south-west from the provincial capital of Chania.
A laid-back destination
The village is one of the most laid-back destinations in Crete and is regarded as probably the best place from which to explore the island’s unspoilt southern coastline.
It’s a place to take life slowly, relax and recuperate. It’s a great destination if you’re looking for an away-from-it-all holiday. It’s home to around 1500 people, with the population swelling during the main holiday season.
It rarely feels busy though, and part of the village is closed to traffic each evening. Cafes, bars, restaurants and tavernas give Palaiochora a pleasant buzz, meaning you’re never short of somewhere to eat or drink.
A choice of beautiful beaches
There are a number of beaches within reach of the village that are perfect for families and couples. The beach of Pachia Ammos is a great choice for families. It’s cosy and relaxed, with a choice of excellent tavernas. Grammeno is quiet and peaceful, with rocks that provide shelter and waters that are great to swim in.
Krios is a beautiful rocky beach at the start of the E4 walking trail. Gialiskari is a great place to sit and watch the world go by at the beachside taverna. None of the village’s beaches feels crowded, even during the height of summer.
A long history
The town has a long and fascinating history. Once upon a time, it was an ancient Greek city, and in the 13th century, the Venetian rulers of the island built a fortress, Castel Selino, to protect themselves from the rebellious locals. You can still visit the ruins today.
Below the Venetian Castle dominates the imposing Evangelistra Church. It was inaugurated in 1913, according to the inscription on the dome of the temple. A majestic church in the style of a basilica with a dome, whose central aisle is dedicated to the Virgin Mary (Evagg. Tis Theotokou), the right to the Ascension of the Lord and the left to Agios Nikolaos. The iconostasis is made of cement. Such constructions are rare today since in our time most of the iconostasis are wood carvings. The impressive church is located at the end of the pedestrian street and at night it is an ideal place to find some peace and relax in its idyllic environment.
Museum of the Acritans of Europe at Paleochora
The Museum of European Acritans is located in the center of Paleochora and is the result of many years of preparation and the product of conferences and scientific discussions within the European program “Culture 2000”, “European Acritic Heritage”.
A unique museum, with its exhibits and supervisory material proving the common cultural heritage of the European people.
Paleochora International Chess Tournament
The Paleochora International Chess Tournament started in 2008, and already in 13 years of successful course, it has managed to become an institution and a point of reference with Greek chess. High-level champions take part in it every year, while in parallel with the tournament, cultural events are organized that are worth visiting.
From 2018, the Paleochora Runners Association “Paleochora Trail Running Team” organizes the Paleochora Mountain Race “Crocodile Trail”.
The goals of the event are the development of mountain running in the area, the presentation of the sport to the new generation, the promotion and protection of the natural beauty of the area (most of the route is part of the “NATURA 2000” program.
The European E4 long-distance walking trail passes through Palaiochoral. Starting in Andalusia, it passes through ten countries before ending in Cyprus.
In Crete, this epic trail links up Sfakia, Samaria and Palaiochora. It crosses beautiful beaches, hugs the coastline, travels through gorges and beautiful countryside passing sights of historic interest along the way.
It’s a great way to explore the hidden Crete that many tourists never get to see. Whatever the scale of your walking ambitions, it makes Palaiochora a great destination for anyone who loves the great outdoors.
Palaiochora is a great
With so much stunning natural beauty on the doorstep, Palaiochora is a great year-round destination. With temperatures rarely dropping below 13C even during the middle of winter, it’s a great place to explore out of season.