Paleochora, Crete: A great destination in south Chania with an authentic village atmosphere and numerous magnificent beaches.
Paleochora, Crete, is the biggest village in south Chania. It is a well known destination all over Europe. Paleochora is about 75 kilometers southwest of Chania city. The road is in excellent condition. First you take the national road from Chania city to Kissamos, and then you take the road to Paleochora, which is new and wide. There is a regular and frequent bus service from Chania city to Paleochora. The bus route is very interesting, passing through many small traditional villages, including the historical villages of Floria and Kandanos. Paleochora, Crete, is built on a strategic spot, on the edge of a peninsula overlooking two large bays. In 1279 the Venetians built a large castle, Castel Selino, exactly on the edge of the Paleochora peninsula. This castle was conquered and destroyed by the famous pirate Hayreddin Barbarossa in 1539. Today, Castel Selino has been renovated, and visitors to Paleochora have the opportunity to experience the feeling of the Venetian era in this strategic, fortified location.
Paleochora, Crete – a Chania village with a unique, superb atmosphere
What draws most visitors to Paleochora is the superb atmosphere of a beautiful coastal village in South Crete. The village of Paleochora was first “discovered” by the hippies in the ‘60s. Many of them stayed permanently here, built their one houses and raised their families in Paleochora. These first travellers were followed by others, and year after year Paleochora became well known all over Europe. However, although Paleochora is now a renowned destination, its atmosphere of a small beautiful coastal village of the Mediterranean has remained unchanged. Many first time visitors are impressed by its unique, warm feeling. The small, cobbled streets, the discreet but smart stores, the fine taverns and cafés, all add up to Paleochora’s unique atmosphere. In summer evenings, the centre of Paleochora is closed for vehicles, and it becomes the absolute meeting point. It’s like a large village square, with open air tables from the taverns and the cafés, and the traditional village stores nearby.
The amazing beaches of Paleochora, Crete
Paleochora is well known all over Chania and Crete for its numerous fine beaches. On the two coastal zones to the east and to the west of the village, there is a total coastline of about 18 kilometers, most of which is easily accessible. From the select collection of the more than 10 beaches of Paleochora, some of which are sandy, and some of which have pebbles, the most known are Platia Ammos, Chalikia, Psilos Volakas and Krios. All the beaches of Paleochora have crystal clear water, and are ideal for snorkelling. In the organized beaches, like the one inside Paleochora village, you can find sun beds and parasols. You can also find water sport facilities. Regarding small trips to the surrounding area, Paleochora, Crete, with its considerably large port, is the ideal place for getting by ferry to some of the best coastal destinations in South Crete. These include Sougia, Agia Roumeli, Loutro, Chora Sfakion and Gavdos Island, which is the southernmost part of Greece. Furthermore, there are many hiking opportunities around Paleochora, some of them in superb gorges like Agia Irini Gorge and, of course, the famous Samaria Gorge, the longest gorge in Europe. Paleochora, Crete, is a marvellous place, possibly the most interesting village in south Chania. With its unique, authentic atmosphere, its numerous fine beaches and its very good amenities, Paleochora should be at the schedule of every visitor to Crete.