Paliokastro (or Paleokastro) is located 14km west of Heraklion, on the west shores of the Bay of Heraklion. It is a picturesque beach with pebbles, shaped in the exit of a green valley which is crossed by the torrents descending from the village Rogdia. Paliokastro cove is well protected on both sides by tall cliffs and faces east. East of the beach, there is a huge limestone rock, on the top of which once dominated Paliokastro Venetian fortress that protected the bay of Heraklion from enemy attacks. The castle, a part of which survives, is believed to be built on the acropolis of ancient town Kytaeon.
Paliokastro is among the most beloved beaches of the inhabitants of Heraklion, who visit that with their families on a daily basis. Many of them have bought houses here. The beach is not very well organized and is ideal for relaxing moments. Several taverns serve traditional food and there are several small hotels and rooms. There is a mini market on the beach, in front an old limekiln, one of the best preserved buildings of this type in Crete.
The sea is deep and its western part has very large pebbles. The rocky seabed is ideal for fishing and snorkeling. On the rocks below the fort, large natural stairs are formed, where you can go up and dive from any height you want, from 1 to 20 meters. There you will see many children competing on how high they can jump from and who can make the best dives. Moreover, between these rocks and the beach, there is a tall and narrow dark cave. It is told that the castle was equipped with a cavernous tunnel that headed to the sea that could be used as an escape exit. This might have been that cave, however this is not confirmed. Paliokastro is easily accessible, since the highway Heraklion – Chania passes nearby and there is a separate exit to Paliokastro.