Παλαίκαστρο Palekastro village is 20 km from the town of Sitia in the region of Lasithi, in the east of Crete.
Palekastro sits surrounded by olive groves, grapevines and gardens in a hilly rugged part of the island. Above the town and between its two beaches is a curious flat-topped hill called Kastri. It gives a special character to the village and the beautiful bays.
There are plenty of cafés serving good food, and a local kafenion that is very authentic. There are lots of rooms, domatia and pensiones dotted in and about the town, and good local bus services.
The people of Palekastro village are proud of their Cretan heritage and local traditions, there is a unique restored Cretan house fully refurbished and decorated as a folkloric museum. It contains 20th Century artifacts and shows the traditional way of life of Kríti.
Locals still work at agriculture with olives, grapes and fishing. So locally they produce great olive oil, wine and the meals to go with them, and offering hospitality in their hotels and tavernas.
Between the village and the bay is the ancient Minoan site of the township Roussolakkos. This township has been dated back to 2000 BC and was the second largest Minoan township after Knossos. This is a significant historical site. So many beautiful pieces have been retrieved from the site, that show the activities and lifestyle of these ancient Cretans.
There are many accommodation options in the area including:
6 km from Palekastro village is Vai Beach and palm forest, (left) unique to Europe.
The beaches of Chionia and Kouremenos, just 2 km from the town, are pretty sandy beaches, drawing visitors for their clear waters, great diving, fresh seafood and wind-surfing. There is a wind-surfing school and club based here.
There is a pretty lagoon wetland behind the beach of Chionia which is used by migratory birds, try spotting swallows, warblers and goldfinches.
The ancient city of Itanos dated from 1500 BC is 3 km north of Vai, and there are three beautiful sandy beaches to explore, with trees for shade.
Karydi is a high mountain village 15 km from Palekastro, well worth a visit as it keeps itself intact over many years, with beautiful white houses and mountain scenery. Close by is the cave of Peristeras is one of the noteworthy caves of the area, the large cavern is 80m by 35m adorned with stalactites and stalagmites.
About 10 km from the village is the 15th century Monastery of Toplou which is famous for its fort-like architecture and its role in the underground resistance against the Turks and later the Germans. The monks hid resistance fighters and were killed for their involvement.
The Gorge of Chochlakies about 5 km from the village is a pleasure for nature lovers and takes a couple of hours to walk, ending in a pristine beach, it doesn’t get more natural than this.
20 km from the village is Zakros Gorge and upper and lower Zakros villages. This is one of the most dramatic gorges in Crete, ending at the beautiful beach of Kato Zakros and close to the Minoan ruins of Zakros Palace.
Below you will see the location of the village on the map of Crete...
Below you will see more beautiful images of the village and the area...