Located on the south-west coast of Crete, Palaiochora is a seaside town that’s built atop the ancient city of Kalamydi. It’s long been renowned for its cultivation of tomatoes and olive oil and has been a popular holiday destination since the arrival of the hippies in the early 1970s.
Things to do in Palaiochora
Spend a day relaxing on the sands of Pachia Ammos, which is the most popular beach in Palaiochora. Its shallow waters are ideal for swimming and there are a few bars backing the beach where you can grab drinks and snacks throughout the day. If you prefer something more secluded, continue west to one of Palaiochora’s naturist-friendly coves.
Dominating the town of Palaiochora are the ruins of Castel Selino, a fortified castle founded by the Venetians in the 13th century. Its name comes from the celery plant that is found in abundance in the region. The castle was destroyed and rebuilt numerous times throughout its history and offers panoramic views across Palaiochora and the Libyan Sea.
En route to the castle, you can’t miss the beautiful Church of Evangelistria, which is topped by a uniquely tiered bell tower. Step inside to admire the historic frescoes that decorate the interior, then grab a bite to eat from one of the traditional tavernas that dot the surroundings. While exploring Palaiochora, keep an eye out for the statue of Kriaris Konstantinos, who played an influential role in fighting against Crete’s Ottoman rule.
Getting around Palaiochora
Palaiochora is just over an hour’s drive from Chania and 1.5 hours from Chania International Airport Ioannis Daskalogiannis, which has seasonal flights to destinations across Europe. Buses connect to Palaiochora from towns across Crete while ferries travel from the town’s marina to Gavdos. The centre of Palaiochora is compact enough to explore on foot.