Paleochora is a small town of about 2000 inhabitants nestling 75 km southwest of Chania, under the immense White Mountains on the Greek island of Crete. In the summer it entertains up to a couple of thousand tourists of all European nationalities.
On a small peninsula, at the southernmost tip of Europe, Paleochora enjoys very hot summers but with pleasant sea breezes.
Probably because of its distance from the airport in Chania it is fairly quiet even in high season and has retained a wonderful old-fashioned feel. Many visitors seem to return year after year.
Paleochora is a 2 hour car drive over the mountains from Chania Airport (use the National Highway to avoid the traffic in Chania and the North coast 18-30 strip!).
By public transport
5-6 buses a day from Chania bus station - takes 1 hr 50 mins on a good day and costs (2008) about €7 one way.
There are many places where you can hire cars/scooters/motor bikes.
- The Acretan Museum next to the main church.
- The flowers in the spring.
- The Fortress.
- The Byzantine/Venetian frescos in the churches specially those in Kandanos.
- The carnival at the start of Lent.
- Walk the local gorges.
- Walk up to the radio masts for a stunning view of the area.
- Visit the local villages - especially Azogires with its Museum in the old Monastery; its 'evergreen' plane tree; The Holy Father's cave and the Alfa Kafenion.
- Both the Paleochora Beaches are Blue Flag beaches, and both have life guards in attendance in the high season.
- The Sandy Beach on the western side of the peninsula has a lovely sand, is well stocked with beach umbrellas and some bars. It provides fabulous safe bathing, and is well used by families. A treeline at the top of the beach provides extra shade.
- The Rocky Beach on the east side is much smaller but has a nice restaurant, The Wave, just next to it.
- Catch a ferry, west to Elaphonisi or east to Chora Shakia.
- There is a cinema in the summer – in the open air – with a reasonable choice of films, changed quite frequently but even if you're only there for a week there's a good chance you'll catch Zorba The Greek.
- Dolphin spotting boats go out each day in the tourist season.
- The town enjoys a traditional long siesta, with shops open late into the night – very nice shops, too.
- Several large supermarkets are in the town - these do not keep the siesta.
On the east is a rocky beach, the harbour and some of the town's evening restaurants; the remainder are mostly on the main street, which closes to traffic at 19:00 from May to October, when the tables are set out. I's a great chance to hear the local music and enjoy some traditional Greek/Cretan cuisine.
Lots of choice of places to eat and drink - you'll hear the music bars but Agios, at the crossroads by the church, is good value.
Have a look for the local tavernas, in particular try ODAS next to the Agricultural Bank.
For fish try: To Kyma (The Wave) by the Rocky Beach,The Galaxy or The Caravella.
The Grameno Taverna, 5 km out on the western road towards Kondura, is renowned for its authentic Cretan food and well worth a trip out of town.
In the opposite direction, there's the Alpha Kafenion at Azogires, which makes a delicious omelette.
- The Third Eye Vegetarian Restaurant (Behind the Inka supermarket on the sandy beach), ☏ . 08:00-23:00. A vegetarian alternative with a variety of world dishes and traditional Cretan vegetarian meals. Open for breakfast lunch and dinner. Also has rooms available.
If you find a locals' taverna you might be lucky and find the local krassi (wine) or tsikudia (raki).
Many rooms available for rent, and you will be able to negotiate prices with the locals.
- Coronet Internet & Gaming Cafe, Paleochora (Main Street on the village), ☏ . 10:00 till late. Paleochora's only Internet & gaming cafe has 30 PCs for Internet access offering services for Skype with cameras,, USB, CD and DVD burning and gaming etc. Also fax, scanning, photocopying and printing.