Paleochora Crete travel guide

The seaside resort of Paleochora has a huge 2km long sweep of fine sharp sand. The beach is deep and edged by shady tamarisk trees and has a few basic beach cantinas and a children's playground.

The shoreline is shallow but there are underwater rocks to stub the toes. These rocks surface at the western end to create interesting pools and small coves. To the east is a narrow stone and pebble beach, much smaller but with good tavernas nearby.

Paleochora town is a knot of one-way streets built on a square grid. Restaurants, cafes and shops lend a cosmopolitan air that defies the resort's backwater location.

August is a good month for cultural events including a music festival. It is also a good bet for a late break as summers linger in the south.

Above Paleochora is the restored Venetian fort of Kastel Seleno, built in 1252 and rebuilt 100 years later after Cretan rebels destroyed it. What remains is mostly Turkish, rebuilt in the late 1500s.

The resort is open all winter and a few tourists spend the winter months here. It can be wet and windy but there are many days of warm sunshine. This is a good base too for walkers.

Germans left their mark in the last war with many villages razed to the ground and their populations killed. Several local villages have simple, austere monuments to the atrocities.

Further west is Capri Krios, where many coves lie hidden. The best is at Halikia where there is a small harbour.