The small village of Palekastro is set upon some of the most stunning scenery you will ever see in Crete, with amazing local wildlife including exotic flowers and butterflies.
The town is only waking up to tourism now and caters well for the independent traveller, with modern apartments and studios as well as classical Cretan pensions. Don’t expect throngs of holiday makers as Palekastro is not advertised for mass tourism and thankfully that’s how the village is likely to stay.
You will find a small local Taverna’s and cafes open on a daily basis throughout the summer and of course into winter and also one local disco. The prices here reflect the cost of everyday Cretan life and have not been bumped up to fleece tourists.
If you want to get away from it all and enjoy a quiet traditional holiday to Crete then definitely look to book Palekastro
What to do and see
The first thing people ask is where is the beach in Palekastro, its only a short stroll away, and is called Chiona beach, a lovely quiet sandy beach with crystal clear blue waters. There are of course quiet little coves and untouched beach all around the area and its recommended to hire out a car or scooter and get exploring.
Another great beach is the famous Vai beach, where the chocolate bar bounty adverts of the 90’s were filmed. It sits only 8 km away and is an easy ride in a car.
If history and sightseeing is more your thing then you can book some excellent boat trips, from local fishing charters into scenic bays, to the historic island of Spinalonga near Elounda. A monastery well worth a mention is the Toplou Monastery near the area of Sitia. If that’s not enough you can visit the fourth Minoan palace on the island of Crete at Zakros, or even see the roman ruins at Itanos.
For an excellent restaurant or two within the village of Palekastro try Hellas restaurant for some great fish dishes and very cheap food. This is one holiday to Crete that wont break the bank.
For those interested in the local way of life and facts about Palekastro, the village only has about 1110 inhabitants, who rely mainly on agriculture for an income, including olive picking, making wine and olive oil. A few still rely on fishing to bring them an income and some live off the profits from tourism, although it is very little.
There is talk of a mass development of Palekastro, which many locals are firmly against as it would destroy local tradition and many important sights of interest. There is an ongoing fight to stop development on Cape Plako.
One thing that attracts many locals and tourists alike is the excellent surfing that can be had on the beaches of Palekastro. The place can get very windy and the waves can rise up without warning. You will find tourists and locals pick the small village of Palekastro to go surfing throughout the summer.
A popular choice for wind surfers is the beach of Chiona and the equipment including boards is there for the hire at a small fee.
The beaches here are quite sparse so its always recommended you bring your own refreshments. The Meltemi Breeze effects more than Palekastro, and is a way of nature that makes Crete as rugged it as it is. If your looking for a holiday off the beaten track then Palekastro is a must.