Paleochora, a small charming village occupying the south-west peninsula of Crete, is one of the island’s best kept secrets. It is cut off from the rest of the island by a mountainous area with olive groves, which protects it from the crowds. The fact that it is so well hidden makes it a perfect spot for a tranquil and safe family holiday.
There are no big commercial hotels, only small but very nice family-run hostels and apartments to let. There should be no big crowds even during the high season. The beaches are clean -and perfect for kids to play, swim and snorkel-, the waters are shallow and transparent and there are even cedar trees on the beach if you need a shaded spot. You should also visit with your kids the “Pirate Beach” where they can play pirates with a pirate flag, comfy hammocks and a real tree house.Paleochora lies in close proximity to the famous Elafonissi lagoon, and the most exciting way to get there is to take a small boat from the village port. It takes around an hour one way to get there but will be super fun for your little ones!
In Paleochora everyone is friendly and welcoming, and once you are there you must meet Barba – the local sculptor and artist. He is an elderly bearded man with a heart of gold who loves family life and children. If you happen to bump into him in the narrow streets of Paleochora, he may tell you some local stories or show your kids the shipwreck. And if you are lucky, he may even craft some beautiful and truly unique wooden souvenirs for you and your little ones. Our son got an olive tree sword which he still keeps as the greatest treasure!
Families should know
- The village is best enjoyed from late September through October and November when it is still hot, the water is calm and pleasant, and most tourists are already gone
- Paleochora can be reached by bus or car only, but to get there you will need to go through the mountains. For those with motion sickness a two-hour trip from Chania may be a challenge
Paleochora, Chania Prefecture, Crete
Best season to visit
Get inspired by our top ideas for vacation in Greece. Discover our blog full of ideas, insights about Greek destinations, reviews for kid friendly activities, hotels, beaches, museums and so much more!