Palaikastro is a big village in eastern Crete. It is located 16 km from Sitia. The area of Palaikastro has great beaches, archaeological sites and generally is an area of unique natural beauty. If you are interested in arheology you can visit the Minoan city at Roussolakos area. You can also visit the folklore museum of the village where you can see how a traditional Cretan house used to be. In the area there are many restaurants with traditional food and fresh fish from the local area. You can even enjoy a coffee or drink in the cafe bars of the area. In the village there are several shops for shopping as well as pharmacy. The area is ideal for your holidays. The hotels and the apartments of the area will ensure comfortable pleasant stay.
The ideal beach for the whole family. It is situated only 1.5 km from Palaikastro, at close proximitry to the small village of Agathias. There are three restaurants serving fresh fish by the beach. You may visit the archaeological site, still under excavation by the British arhaeologists.
Kouremenos is a long sandy beach near Palaikastro. Along the beach, there are apartments to rent, resturants and the small fishing harbour of the village. In the area Palaikastro, the trade wind "Meltemi" increases its streght through the local thermal and funnellinf effect that gives the surface wind an additional 2 beaufort. This makes Kouremenos bay one of the most wind-certain spots in Europe with wind statistics of 20 -28 wind days per month from April to october.
Roussolakos - The ancient site of Palaikastro
What we call "Palaikastro" today is a Minoan town unearthed at the Roussolakos location near the modern town of Palaikastro. It is located strategically at the East shore of Crete adjacent to the sheltered harbor of Chiona, a few kilometers North of the palace of Kato Zakros. The town is still undergoing excavations, and what has been unearthed to date reveal a vigorous commercial hub that was home to an affluent community. The homes, especially those facing the main road were very impressive, can find evidence of affluence in a large building found in area B with a kitchen, four rows of columns, a bathing tank, a well, an altar, a bathroom, and an oil storage facility. A complete sewage systems serviced the entire town. Many every day utilitarian artifacts were found in the ruins like amphoras and oil lamps, along with some precious objects like the Ivory statuette now exhibited at the Sitia Museum.
Famous monastery built in the 16th century. Toplou monastery is one of the biggest and most important monasteries in Crete and It is 6 km away from Palaikastro.
The buildings are very imposing and look like a castle. The official name is "Panagia Akrotiriani" There a great number of signiificant icons from 14th and 15th centuries.
The palm forest of Vai
A palm tree forest stetching on a marvelous valley and sandy beach, close to the ancient Itanos 7 km away from Palaikastro. It covers 200 acres and consists of self planted palm trees of Theophrastus (Phonix Theophrastii). It is unique of its kind in Greece, Europe and probaply the world. There are many legends about how it was born. It is said it was created by the seeds of dates that Egyptians soldiers of Ptolemy VI used to eat, or by the Saracen pirates. Whatever may be the cause of the existence of Vai, one thing is for sur, it is maintaned due to the dry, hot climate and the underground water of the valley. In addition, the palm trees existed in ancient Crete, as mentioned in the works of Theophrastus and piny and depliction of the palm tree on coins and pots. Apart from palam trees, you also find other species of African vegetation that contribute to the biodiversity of this area. This lacation is also a meeting point, a crossroad for migrating birds.
Itanos (Erimoupoli) wich consists of three smallers picturesque beaches. The ruins of the ancient city of Itanos can be found here, part of wich is sunk in the sea. It is a lee area, 9 km from Palaikastro on the way to vai.
Ancient site of Itanos
Itanos has been one of the most important coastal cities of eastern Crete from the Minoan years untill the first Christian era. Nowadays it is known under the name of Erimoupolis.
Itanos thanks the trade of laver, glass and fish, as well as the great income generated by the Diktaion Zeus temple, became a rich and prosperious city as one can infer by the great number of temples and luxurious marble structures that have been found there.
It is a coastal erea with a settlement, 8 km away from Zakros, at the magnificent bay with a beach of special beauty. kato Zakros is hidden away in the south-east corner of Crete. Everyone would enjoy to walk down the gorge, approximately a 2 hour walk, wich leads down from Zakros to the sea, at kato Zakros.
Xerokampos is a pristine isolated area which is located 29 km from Palaikastro. The beaches are beautiful and ideal for those who seek peace and relaxing vacations. At the same time the shallow crystal clear water make Xerokampos an ideal destination for family vacations.