Paleochora is not your typical Cretan tourist destination. In many ways it has the characteristics of one, but once you set foot here you notice there is something very special about this village. A very high number of those who visit Paleochora every year are return visitors, some have been coming for decades and consider this more of a second home than a holiday spot. So what makes Paleochora so special? It isn’t one or two things, but many little things combined.
There are all the obvious reasons why it is easy to fall in love with Paleochora – a very sympathetic climate; picturesque environments; a wide selection of restaurants, cafés and bars and a safe and friendly atmosphere. But that is just scraping the surface of this little gem in the south – many other Cretan destinations could fit into that very same description.
Most accommodations are small, family run hotels and B&B’s where more often than not personal relationships grow between owners, workers and guests. Every year, restaurant waiters, bartenders and hotel staff greet their returning guests with big smiles, hugs and kisses, and the genuine feeling of meeting an old friend.
The selection of eating and drinking places is very well-balanced in Paleochora and over the last few years many new businesses have opened, and each of them add something to the plethora. Paleochora is not big, nor loud but offers a lot to enjoy!
Located on the southeast part of Crete, Paleochora is relatively far away from any city and the natural environments are breathtaking. There is an abundance of gorgeous beaches – something for each taste (and wind direction), walking paths and even mountainous areas nearby, but just sitting in a café sipping on something cool while watching the sea from a comfortable chair is also a favourite pastime for many.
If someone might want to try to describe Paleochora with just a few words, adjectives like warm, inviting, beautiful, friendly, genuine, peaceful and charming would be frequently used. You have everything you need here – gorgeous surroundings, great food, good prices, time and space for fun times as well as lazy days…
Paleochora is a living community; it is a genuine Cretan village where tradition harmonizes with tourism in quite a unique way. There are no massive hotels here, no all-inclusives and still a very limited number of swimming pools, because who needs them when there are so many beautiful beaches to choose between? Paleochora has everything any normal community needs: schools, supermarkets, a post office, banks, pharmacies, doctors and more. Even though tourism has become an importance income factor in the last few decades, it is not the only one. Agriculture, for example, is still a big and important pillar for the economy.
The tourist season is very long, beginning already in late March and running all the way to early November, and everything points towards Paleochora soon becoming an all-year round destination, and why not? It is a lovely place all the year round, even though the type of holidays you might enjoy here during the different seasons may vary. Because it is a real community, Paleochora doesn’t shut down at the end of the tourist season. Availability might seem limited here during the winter months, but there are alternatives, and on the other hand any visitor gets an even more genuine look into what daily life is all about in this little gem of a Cretan village.