LocationAgathias, Palekastro, Crete


Discover Kouremenos and Palekastro in Eastern Crete, unspoiled areas with pristine beaches and magnificent landscapes!

On this page, you will find travel information about Kouremenos area, Kouremenos beach and Palekastro (Palaikastro) in Eastern Crete.

There is also available information about attractions and sightseeing, such as Zakros, Toplou Monastery, the Minoan town of Rousolakos and famous beaches (Kouremenos beach, Chiona beach and Vai beach).

Beaches in Palekastro (Palaikastro), Sitia Crete

Olive Coast Suites lies on the traditional settlement of Agathias, just 900 meters from the blue flagged Chiona beach and just a few steps away from picturesque pathways featuring plenty of taverns overlooking the local olive groves and the big blue.

Just a very short drive from Olive Coast Suites & Apartments you will find Kouremenos beach, famous amongst windsurfers, Vai beach, a natural reserve, which is the largest palm tree forest in Europe, and Ermoupoli/Itanos beach with crystal clear turquoise waters on a golden beach, naturally sheltered by steep rocks.

Kouremenos beach is ideal for windsurfing and kitesurfing holidays; It is one of the most wind certain spots in Europe. Surfers from all over the world come here to conquer the waves. Due to the local thermal and funnelling effect, the surface wind in the area is increased by an average of 2 degrees on the Beaufort scale.

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Minoan Town of Rousolakos

Minoan town of Rousolakos is just a brief walk from Olive Coast Suites. It is located adjacent to the sheltered harbour of Chiona. The town is still undergoing excavations and what has been unearthed to date (a very small part of a vast settlement) reveals a vigorous commercial hub that was home to an affluent community.

The life of Minoan Palaikastro came to an abrupt end in around 1400BC. The volcanic eruption of Thera or foreign invasion appears as the most likely causes of the catastrophe. One gets the feeling that the olive groves beyond the site itself hide a wealth of Minoan secrets under their soil, and in fact, fragments of pottery along the beach testify to the abundant existence of archaeological ruins and artifacts.

The Palace of Zakros

The palace of Zakros, and the twelve houses around it, are East Crete’s main archaeological site, 40minutes south of Olive Coast Suites and Palekastro (Palaikastro). The drive down to the seashore and the setting of Zakros itself is spectacular. A few tavernas line the beach offering shade, food and drink.

Zakros was one of the four main administrative centres of the Minoans. The commercial destinations of Egypt, Cyprus and the Middle East transcended it to an important hub for economic and military activity.


Moni Toplou is a 15th-century monastery located 8 km north of Olive Coast Suites and Palekastro (Palaikastro). The monastery was plundered by the Knights of Malta in 1530, then shattered by a strong earthquake and rebuilt by the Senate of the Republic of Venice, then ruler of Crete.

The monastery flourished until the surrender of eastern Crete to the Turks in 1646. During the German occupation of 1941-44, Toplou was providing shelter to resistance fighters and housed their wireless radio. Despite its turbulent history, Toplou has many works of art to its possession.

It hosts an interesting exhibition of Byzantine icons, books and documents, a display of ancient engravings and a collection of artifacts and weapons as well as monks’ portraits, all reflecting its role in the historical events that influenced Crete during the last centuries.
Today the monks cultivate vineyards and olive trees and produce olive oil, organic wine and fabulous raki in their vast estate. You can buy their produce at the monastery.


Before the Cretan Revolt, Spinalonga fell under Venetian rule, followed by Ottoman rule. The island was subsequently used as a leper colony to 1957. Today, the uninhabited island is a beautiful attraction in Crete, 1:45minutes drive west of Olive Coast Suites and Palekastro (Palaikastro) followed by a short boat trip.

In addition to the abandoned leper colony and the fortress, Spinalonga is known for its small pebble beaches and shallow waters. Spinalonga is the setting for the 2005 novel The Island by Victoria Hislop.