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Paleochora in southern Crete
Paleochora is my absolute favourite among Crete's many package resorts. And I am not alone with that opinion. Many of the members of Kalimera (the Swedish version of Kalispera) do also have Paleochora as a favourite. It's not just Scandinavians who click like for Paleochora.
People travel here from all over Europe, and almost everyone returns. I only know a few who do not like Paleochora. It is - if you ask me - the ultimate destination. Actually all the year round. Most tourist resorts in Crete are more or less deserted in the winter. Paleochora is an exception. It says a lot about this amazing village.
Paleochora is as flat as a pancake.
So what makes Paleochora special? Well, I can only answer for myself, but I think most people agree with me when I say that one of the reasons is the wonderful mix of low-key tourism and Greek everyday life.
It is a Greek village with local life where tourism blends in so that it is hardly noticeable, in spite of the fact that it receives package tourism. Most of the hotels and restaurants are family owned, which makes you feel like a guest, and not as a tourist. You are like a single large family in Paleochora. For me, it's like travelling back to the time when tourists had just discovered Greece. Paleochora is like I experienced Rhodes in the late 1970s.
The square of Paleochora.
Another thing that I like about Paleochora is the feeling of being at the end of the line. It almost feels like Paleochora is a separate island. The village sets on a peninsula and is surrounded by the sea on three sides. The fact that the village is surrounded by sea, and is located on a peninsula, makes it possible to see both the sunrise and the sunset from the same place, which is quite unusual.
There is a beach on both sides of the village, and it is so cleverly arranged that one is a sandy beach, and the other is a pebble beach. So no matter what kind of beach you prefer, you will find it in Paleochora.
The pebbly beach of Paleochora.
The sandy beach is shallow and suitable for families with young children. There is really no distance between the beaches. You can go for a swim on one beach and lie and dry on the other. In addition, there are a number of nice beaches not far from Paleochora, including the beaches Gianiskari and Anidri, as well as Grameno and Krios. As if it were not enough, there are beach boats to the beach paradise of Elafonissi every day in good weather.
Between the beaches is the village itself. The main street Venizelos is the village's artery and the square its heart. In the evenings, the square is crowded with tourists and locals having a drink or a glass of wine before the dinner. I can sit here and linger away a lot of time and watch the world go by. The main street is closed for car traffic in the evenings. Then the tavernas, ouzerias and bars move out their tables and chairs onto the street. I promise you that it is as cosy and pleasant as it looks like in the picture below.
There are plenty of tavernas and most of them serve good Greek traditional dishes. Perhaps the hardest part is deciding whether to eat at one of the beaches, or among the alleys in the village. I have eaten excellent food in Paleochora, but it has also happened that I have been disappointed, additionally at the same places, so it is not easy to recommend a place to eat.
The main street is closed for car traffic in the evenings.
The Third Eye is a vegetarian restaurant where we have always been happy with both food and service. The restaurant is located in a block near the sandy beach. Ouzeri Pantelis is also a sure thing. You will find Pantelis if you go down the main street to the big church. Before you reach the church, turn left, and there is Ouzeri Pantelis. We have also eaten very good food at the relatively newly opened Methexis Taverna.
The Methexis Taverna is located on the seafront, after Haris Studios, quite far south on the same side as the pebble beach. By the way, below the taverna is a small beach with sunbeds. The Water's Edge Café, at Haris Studios, is a nice place to have lunch. Well, there are many good places to eat to choose from in Paleochora, and you will surely find your favourite.
Paleochora seen from the Venetian castle.
If you continue after the Methexis Taverna, you will eventually arrive at a large fishing harbour. From there you can continue until you are back in Paleochora again. On a hill between the village and the fishing harbour stands the ruins of a fort built by the Venetians at the end of the 13th century. The fort was destroyed in 1539 by the notorious pirate Barbarossa and was never properly rebuilt. There is not much to see, but the view from the fort is nice. Always something.
ACCOMMODATION IN PALEOCHORA
You can go on a package holiday to Paleochora. If you travel independently it is easiest to go by air to Chania and continue by bus to Paleochora. You can also go here by ferry from Chora Sfakion, Loutro, Agia Roumeli and Sougia. There is a wide range of hotels and family pensions in Paleochora, and the standard is good. We usually stay at Soula Apartments & Studios as we like very much.
The child-friendly sandy beach in Paleochora.
Paleochora is located about 70 kilometres south of Chania.
© 2007-2022 | Janni Eklund | Kalispera and Kalimera.