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Paleochora – Nymph of the Libyan Sea

A small town with great charm …. this is Paleochora.

Get comfortable late afternoon in one of the many pubs on the pedestrian zone, talk to people at the neighboring tables and depart at the earliest after midnight from the “Parea” (greek for company) …. this is Paleochora.

And as for the beach life in Paleochora: to be spoiled for choice are the endless long and wide sandy beach Pachia Ammos on the western waterfront of the resort, the much smaller but equally beautiful pebble beach Chalikia on the east promenade, the further away beaches amid a lunar landscape south the village Anidri, or west the great bay of Gramenos …..!

Pachia Ammos beach in Paleochora Crete
The endless Pachia Ammos beach at the west side

“The Nymph (bride) of the Libyan Sea”

The small town is situated on a peninsula between two picturesque bays, 70 km from Chania, surrounded by the Libyan Sea. Rightly the locals call their town “Nymph of the Libyan Sea” and also declare: “Europe ends here.” The title of the bride Paleochora shares this name with Ierapetra!

Whoever puts his foot on the promontory of Paleochora will feel right at home. Be it the sea with its turquoise water, the landscape, the Cretan delicacies, maintained customs and traditions or the discreet friendliness and hospitality of its people, Paleochora captures you in its spell.

Paleochora – Nymph of the Libyan Sea
Church tower of Paleochora
Paleochora – Nymph of the Libyan Sea
View to the east
Paleochora – Nymph of the Libyan Sea
Morning coffee at the beach in Paleochora Crete


The small town has many regular guests. Among them, many who once found here hitchhiking and backpacking. Also, a “Paleochora Art Week” takes place for several years, first in Koundoura at 2011 and since 2013 in Paleochora itself; Cafes, taverns and public spaces house the works of the now also international participating artists.

Paleochora in antiquity

East of Paleochora, specifically east of the river Vlithia, at the southern entrance of the homonymous valley, was, according to a text of the 5th AC. the ancient site Kalamidi, namely 50 stadia west of Lissus and 30 stadia east of Krios. Remains of this city have been, with the exception of Roman Ceramic, not found.

Castel Selino Paleochora Crete
Castel Selino fortress

Castel Selino

crowns the hill on the promontory jutting into the sea. It was built during the Venetian occupation of the island in 1282 by the Duke of Crete Marino Gradonigo, and its name was the impetus for the still official naming of the entire “province Selino”. Later, various craftsmen, fishermen and traders from the surrounding villages settled under the shadow of Castel Selino, and even today the old town part of the castle is characterized by its narrow streets and nestling buildings. The fortress was destroyed by the pirate Barbarossa in 1539. The village in its present form has existed since the late 19th century. Opening hours: 24 hrs a day    Entrance: free  We recommend visiting Castel Selino only during daylight.

The Traveller statue in Paleochora Crete
“The Traveller Monument” is a gift from the Dutch artist Bob Bunck to the small town of Paleochora and adorns the main entrance to Pachia Ammos beach since 1992.

What to do in Paleochora


Hikers staying in Paleochora have access to the Gorge of Samaria, Agia Irini or Anidri, or can explore the European path E4 from Paleochora via the ancient site Lissos to Sougia.

With the help of a car you can visit the beaches of Elafonisi or Kedrodasos, the monastery Chrysoskalitissa, or use the fairly good public bus connection to Chania city.

Paleochora is anchorage for ships to Sougia (end of Agia Irini Gorge), Agia Roumeli (end of Samaria Gorge), Loutro, Sfakia and the southernmost inhabited island in Europe, Gavdos.

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