Municipality of Pelekanos - Paleohora

Location...

Paleochora (Greek: Παλαιόχωρα or Παλιόχωρα) is a small town in Chania prefecture. Paleochora is located 77 km south of Chania, at the southwest coastline of Crete and it’s built on a small peninsula of 400m width and 700m length. The Libyan Sea wets its coasts of 11km length. It is the capital town of the municipality of Pelekanos, in the province of Selino and its population is 2.213 (2001 census source).

The place...

Paleochora’s economy is based in tourism and in agriculture (mainly tomatoes cultivated in glass-houses and also the production of olive-oil). It is a relaxing holiday place since early 70’s, when it was a famous hippies’ center. Nowadays Paleochora is one of the fastest growing tourist towns Crete. Paleochora has crystal clear waters, well-organized beaches and beautiful isolated little anchorages. Visitors can find many hotels, restaurants, taverns, cafes, bars and nightclubs. Paleochora has all the facilities such as bank branches, a post office, central telephone office, health centre, doctor offices, dentists, pharmacies, police station, coast guard and customs office and many kind of stores. There are ferry boats, connecting Paleochora with Sougia, Agia Roumeli, Loutro, Chora Sfakion and Gavdos. Paleochora is built on the ruins of the ancient city of Kalamydi. There are also many Byzantine churches in the area.

History...

In 1278, the Venetian general Marinos Gradengos built a fort, called Selino - Kasteli. The fort gave its name to the whole province, which then renamed from "Orina" to "Selino". The fort was destroyed in 1332 and it was rebuilt in 1334. Under the fort, Venetians founded a new settlement for workers and merchants, that took the name Vourgos. The pirate Barbarosa destroyed the fort in 1539, but later in 1595 Dolf revamped it. In 1645, the Turks conquered the town and modified the fort to suit their needs. In 1834 an English traveler named Robert Pashley found the fort completely destroyed and the whole area without any inhabitants and with only a granary and one or two small buildings left. In 1866 begun the recolonization of the place known today as Paleochora. During the Battle of Crete during World War II, the town was the scene of fighting between motorcycle-riding troops of the German 95th Reconnaissance Battalion and the Eighth Greek Regiment (Provisional) with elements of the Cretan Gendarmerie.