The town of Paleochora sits on the south coast of Crete on a peninsular surrounded by mountains about an 1½ hours coach ride from Chania Airport
Looking at the picture above it has a pebble beach on the left and a large sandy beach on the right, both are now blue flag beaches
Mrs DB and I, were there 6 years ago and little has altered in that time, one or two restaurants have changed and there is a development of new houses at the end of the town just below the mountains.
Also apart from a new Townhall, there is the new five star hotel called the Libyan Princess
At the end of the peninsular there is a fort buit in 1279 by the Venetians and it failed to do its job because it was invaded and destroyed by the Turks, Access to the fort is by a staircase, but i believe there is a road at the back of town
There are still remains to be seen at the fort
Since we were last there, I think some repairs may have been carried out on the wall.
Once up in the fort, one can get good views of the town
And of course the coastline itself
The town itself is a working town and local people come in to eat, especially at weekends. There are 5 parallel roads running through the peninsular, the central road in town and the pebble beach side road are closed to traffic in the evenings, to allow tables and chairs to be put out and it all gives a nice atmosphere for eating but being May, the restaurants were just beginning to open
There are thirty three restaurants in the town, around half a dozen stay open during the winter. In our first week whilst there, it was said the town had about 50 tourists, so some restaurants were nearly empty.
Pebble beachside restaurants
Niki’s Pizza place which has been running for years and is in the Lonely Planet Guide, just had us and a French couple eating but they did do takeaways.
But come summer, it will have many more people in there. In contrast the Pizzeria on the seafront was doing quite well
For us, the Small Garden restaurant run by a Dutch couple who have spent many years in Thailand did exceptionally good Thai food, the inside restaurant has been refurbished but it only has 7 tables in the garden, where most wish to eat.
Captain Jim's has also been refurbished into the style of a ship and the first week of opening, gave 6 different dips as starters, they have tried to put a bit of class into to eating, proper table cloths and shiny quality cutlery . It has a small menu but their burgers stuffed with cheese and tomatoes were lovely and they were no more expensive than any other restaurant. They did nicely cooked cauilflower and brocoli which is unusual to get in most of the Greek restaurants we have been in. We also rated them as having the best red house wine, which was slightly dearer than most, at 4 euro’s for ½ litre.
Generally, ½ litre of beer ranged between 2 and 2.5 euro’s, ½ lire of house wine 2 to 4 euro’s. Most evening meals were around 7/8 euro’s, so one could drink and eat as a couple for under 25 euro’s.
In Greece the bread in the past was lovely for a day but the next day one could play baseball with a loaf. In the local bakers in Paleochora they have developed the yeasts to make bread last a lot longer and buying a warm loaf was lovely. They also had a full range of cakes to die for
Paleochora Town is so versatile, that across the road, I could have bought a chainsaw lol
All the shops are there, including a bank with a cash machine
Also an internet cafe which charged 1.20 euro’s for ½ hour or 2 euro’s for the hour
And at least 3 exchange places for changing money who gave the full bank rate less 2%
The town also has a bus station which doubles up as a cafe.
The town has a taxi rank, and the charge to the airport is 100 euro’s but a word of warning when using taxi’s from Chania Airport, as I heard one guy was charged 230 euro’s going to Paleochora by a taxi driver, so ask the price first before getting into the cab. The bus fare to Chania itself is 7 euro’s, however, the price of petrol has rocketed in Crete and the cheapest we saw was 1.69 euro’s per litre. The Paleochora petrol station was charging 1.77 per litre but this price dropped to 1.74 before we left.
The Town has its own harbour and apparently the EEC have invested some money there but I could not remember/ or see any of the changes and it had the odd boat or two tied up there. I think trips to various Islands may run from there.
Walking around the harbour one can head to the sandy beach, I spotted this carved rock in the shape of a horse
Going around to the sandy beach at the main point there is a sculpture called the Traveller unveiled in 1992 made by Bob Bunck as a gesture to the town’s people and the trippers who visit there.
Now the sand beach is about 600metres long and 100metre wide
There were about four sections of sunbeds placed out in two or three rows, more rows will be added as the season goes on. Two sunbeds and brolly nearest the town were 6 euro’s a day but the next block down the charge was 5 euro’s. No need for Mrs DB to get up at dawn to reserve a bed, more like which bed would we choose in May
Halfway down the beach, some rocks appear and they capture the water behind them to make safe rock pools for young children to play in.
Further down the far end of the beach I am told people do bath nude but I didn’t see anybody doing it but if one is not keen, stay town end or middle part of the beach.
Now the sandy beach side can have a wind blow up for a few of days, generally in June and you can get grit blasted if that happens, one can however, go to the other side of town to the pebble beach. The chairbeds had not yet been set up.
In May there were a number of wild flowers in bloom
Apart from Samaria Gorge, there are a number of walks one can do, we walked 4 miles through the mountains to the next local village, it has a taverna which overlooks a smaller Gorge. The Gorge has a few tight spots that one would have to squeeze through to get back down to the sea. One can then walk back along the pebble beach into Palechora.
Mrs DB and I did not have proper boots on, so after lemonades and iced water in the tavern, we returned back down the same road.
Also one can climb the mountain footpath to the point where the two aerials are and you can gets some good shots of the surrounding area.
you can just make out the path going up the mountain in the picture above
Some of the views up near the aerial towers
No even I was not going up there lol
The people of Paleochora are very proud of their church which is central to the town so one last shot
I have more pictures of flowers and other things but finally I must say the people in the town are so friendly they make you feel part of their community within two weeks of being there.
A nice place for us....