Palekastro CreteA Tour That Will Reward You to Your Heart’s Content

As you have probably already scented in the air, Palekastro Crete can be truly hypnotizing; even intoxicating. The picturesque settlement nestled some 17km from the scenic Sitia region and the amazing Vai palm forest in eastern Crete is a peaceful retreat offering unique charms and natural beauties, alongside a rich plethora of activities and things to experience no matter the taste or desire.

From pristine shores and windsurfing hot spots to paradisal, unspoiled areas with stunning landscapes and family-run tavernas serving delicious Cretan dishes and traditional, regional tastes, everything is within a short drive or walk from the elegant Olive Coast Suites, and the authentic ecosystem and archaeological treasures that envelop it so gracefully.

Perched amidst a peaceful scenery, Olive Coast Suites is, indeed, the ideal base for your explorations of the exotic area with the semi-tropical climate and cooling summer breezes that set the table for exquisite holidays. From here, you can head to the following popular local landmarks and attractions that will compensate you for your time and energy with unbelievably heartfelt moments and soul-pleasing adventures.

The sugary shoreline – From Spellbinding Chiona to Inviting Itanos Erimoupolis

Within less than one kilometre (a nice 10-minute leisure walk) from your elegant apartment lies one of the most famous beaches in the area awarded a Blue Flag for its pristine and safe waters and for meeting the strict environmental standards set by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) – Chiona Beach.

The serene shore with the shallow azure waters is an inviting heaven for families with children, couples, and visitors longing for some peaceful time by the sea, while there are even designated areas and charming coves for nudism and more enhanced privacy levels. Adorned with tamarisk trees and traditional fish taverns featuring ravishing seascapes and views of the lush olive groves, Chiona is a popular pole of attraction for everybody visiting Sitia and Palaikastro region.

Not far off is another equally captivating beach, Kouremenos beach, a windsurfer’s paradise. Also bearing a Blue Flag certification, this fine sand shore with the crystalline waters welcomes hundreds of windsurfers and kite surfers every year, due to the ideal conditions of the Kouremenos bay and the northern, side-shore, Meltemi winds that steadily blow in the area.

Besides a Kouremenos windsurfing experience, though, you may also enjoy a refreshing cocktail at the beach bar or treat your palate with delicious snacks, and, why not, even join a lively beach party of the ones that often take place here! Of course, swimming, sunbathing, napping on the beach, and snorkeling are also gratifying options, given the warm waters (around 24oc in the summer months), the many trees that provide natural shade during the day, and the magnificent submarine cosmos waiting to be explored.
Now, if you’d like to explore some more windsurf spots, we strongly recommend the following beaches within a short distance from your stylish hotel room:
• Faneromeni beach (for the most adrenaline-packed adventures and experienced windsurfers).
• Tenta beach (featuring both wave and flat areas, it is perfect for Freestyle windsurfing at Palekastro Crete).

Finally, there’s Vai Beach, perhaps the most famous beach not only in Palekastro Crete but the entire island and home to a staggering 2000-year-old natural reserve and conservation area hosting the largest palm tree forest (counting around 5,000 palm trees) in Europe. The shore itself is fully organized, with waters sports, canteens, sun loungers, umbrellas, and showers, while there is also a taverna to pamper your taste buds with mouth-watering local dishes and Cretan cuisine. As for those wanting some more privacy and alone time, the dazzling, fine-sand Psili Ammos Beach is a very short walk from Vai, offering seclusion and tranquil moments away from the crowds.

As a bonus for guests of Olive Coast Suites visiting the Palaikastro shores, the northern side of Vai Beach is where you’ll find Itanos Erimoupolis, a set of three lovely bays that hide an ancient underwater city, and a sugary beach with turquoise waters. Ideal for snorkelling fans, scuba diving enthusiasts, and adventure seekers alike!

The Archaeological Pearls

The colossal Minoan settlement of Rousolakos is a prominent local landmark at Paleokastro Crete and can be easily visited from Olive Coast Suites within just a few minutes on foot. It is nestled right next to the fab Chiona harbour and the findings unearthed so far have revealed a once glorious and prosperous community occupying this region. Sadly, the massive volcanic eruption of the Santorini volcano at around 14000BC forced the life here to end, while some accounts claim that the Minoan civilization at Rousolakos eventually became extinct due to recurring and ruthless pirate invasions.

If you feel like driving a bit further to the south of Palekastro Crete, and Olive Coast Suites, then we do recommend a stop at the archaeological site of Zakros Palace. Besides the twelve spectacular houses built around it, the palace is also notorious and much visited for its striking and totally breathtaking scenery as you head to the seashore with the pellucid waters of this buzzing commercial, economic, and military hub of ancient times.

Last but not least, although not a place of archaeological interest per se, the narrative of the 15th-century Toplou Monastery is worth listening to, at least once, while visiting Palekastro Crete. Raided multiple times by the Knights of Malta in the early 16th century and almost broken down into pieces after a strong earthquake, it has managed to survive and serve as an escape place and shelter for resistance fighters during the German occupation of Greece, due to the intense rebuilt works initiated by the Republic of Venice. Expect to be overwhelmed by a large number of artifacts and artworks in possession of the monastery, including ancient engravings, Byzantine icons, and more. In the beautiful outdoor area, the monks take care of the olive trees and vineyards, and produce raki, organic wine, and olive oil that you may also buy and take back home, at the premises of the monastery.

The Natural Allures

The region surrounding Kouremenos Apartments and the luxurious Olive Coast Suites is distinguished by profound natural beauty. Places like Xerokmpos, Richtis Gorge, the Gorge of the Dead, and Chochlakies (aka Karoumes) Gorge, offer unique spectacles comprised of imposing, steep mountains, golden shores (even beaches with clay), idyllic villages, hiking trails, traditional stone-arched bridges, lush plane tree forests, sage plains, impressive waterfalls, natural ponds, water fountains, snakelike canyons, mysterious caves, and many more that will compensate you for your time to the fullest.

The Notorious Lepers’ Island

Palekastro Crete is very close to Spinalonga island, which used to be where the lepers were sent to heal (or face death) almost a century ago. The stories and experiences of the leper colony have inspired acclaimed author Victoria Hislop to write “The Island”, a hugely successful novel that was also converted into a film. Today, Spinalonga is deserted and quiet and one of the most enchanting local attractions, particularly for the still-standing fortress, the shallow waters, and the pebbled shores.

And, after such a thrilling day, knowing that the comfort of your spacious apartment or suite awaits to spoil you with its superb views, relaxing and peaceful feel, and world-class service and facilities makes every experience even dreamier and satisfying! Welcome!