Towns in Crete

Palekastro

Palekastro is actually the easternest town of Crete, located about 20 km east of Sitia. It is the economic center of a fertile large area with many sights of historical, archaeological and naturalistic significance. It has about 1000 permanent residents who are mainly engaged in tourism and olive oil production. The small town does not have any particular beauty, but the surrounding area has many great places to explore.

Its name comes from the ruined fort Paleo Castro located on the nearby Kastri Hill, which separates the beautiful beaches of Kouremenos and Hionas, located about 1.5km to the east. Within walking distance there is the archaeological site of Roussolakos, that flourished as a great Minoan city.

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Skaria beaches

East of the main beach of Hiona, there are several small coves, where you can find a quiet place to swim alone and nude. The first sandy beach is called Bondalaki. Continuing driving along a bad dirt track to the esat, you will soon meet several coves with pebbles and enjoy the eerie landscape with gorges and wild mounts in the background. The last cove is Skaria and is the easternmost beach of Crete. It is highly affected by the sea currents (there is a lot of rubbish). The previous beach, Pilos, is formed in clay ground and is ideal for seclusion.

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Petsofas Peak Sanctuary

Petsofas peak is located near Palekastro and above the archaeological site of Roussolakos. In Minoan times here a peak sanctuary was founded where rituals included the deposition of clay figurines of cattle, men and women.

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Fort Paleo Castro

East of Paleokastro (Sitia Province) rises the steep hill Kastri, which separates the beaches of Kouremenos and Chiona. The hill was called Paleo Castro (Old Fort) by the Venetians, after which the current village is named.

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Folklore Museum of Palekastro

The museum exhibits many objects and tools used by the older generations from the Turkish Era until ’60s. Some of these are rare folk art samples.

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Grandes Islets

The islands of Grandes is a complex of three small lowland rocks in the province of Sitia, about half a mile opposite the beautiful beach of Hiona. In fact, the largest area (300 acres) is occupied by the middle island, known as Prasonisi, which is oblong and has the highest altitude at 31 meters. In the middle of the island there is a beautiful beach with two tamarisk trees, surrounded by rocks.

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