Paleochora(updated August 4, 2007)
Paleochora is a small town in the south-west of Crete. It's situated approximately 75 miles southwest of Chania and about 1,500 people inhabit in the place. It used to be a quiet fishing village until in the sixties when it was discovered by the hippies. From that moment on Paleochora is a tourist resort.
A lot of tourists spend there holidays in Paleochora. It is therefore entirely set to them; there are many hotels and apartment buildings. There are enough restaurants and there cafes and dancings. The atmosphere in this place is a little less over-the-top than in, for example Chersonissos and Malia. There is a bit of a surfing atmosphere. The town is also popular among surfers. To the west of the land is a fine sandy beach and the water in the bay is ideal for windsurfing because it is free of obstructions. The sandy beach on the west side, Sandy Beach, is the most beautiful beach of the town. It is a good beach from which you can enter the sea in order to go swimming. It often gets very windy is the region, but the wind is obviously not a problem for wind surfers. On the east side lays Pebble Beach. Along Pebble Beach you'll find the promenade on which the nightlife takes place. Here you'll find the most places to eat. In the center of Paleochora are many shops where almost everything is sold. There is also a post office and there are some internet cafés.
On the south side of the town is a Venetian castle which is built in the year 1279. The town was called Selino Kastelli during that time. From the castle the Venetians watched over southwestern corner of the island. The castle has been destroyed many times. First by the Venetians themselves, then by the Ottomans (Turks) and again in the year 1539 by the pirate Barbarossa. In the Second World War the Germans destroyed another part. But it is worthwhile to visit the ruins. The parts of the castle which are left are in good condition. From the hill on which the castle was built you have a fine view over the sea and the mountains.
During the summer small boats departure to beaches and villages in the vicinity, such as Hora Sfakion, Loutro and Sougia. Also the ferry to the isle of Gavdos departs from Paleochora several times a week.
Paleochora is best to be reached by bus from Chania. The bus drives a few times a day. The trip takes about 2 hours. A taxi from Chania to Paleochora costs about 53 euro's. With a rental you can reach Paleochora very easily. On the main road on the island you drive in a westerly direction to Chania. From there you take the E65 in the direction of Kolimbari and Kissamos - Kastelli. In the village of Tavronitis you turn left towards Paleochora. It is a very twisty but good asphalt road for Greek concepts and it runs along a number of mountains. When you plan to stay your whole holiday in Paleochora you might consider flying to the airport of Chania. This saves you from a lot of hassle with transportation from the airport Heraklion to the destination.