There is still a vaguely 1972 feel about Paleohora (pal-ee-oh-hor-a), originally ‘discovered’ by hippies. The place is still appealing, full of colour, and retains a laid-back feel. Popular with older tourists on package tours, it also attracts many walkers in spring and autumn, and people who come back year after year. The long sandy beach with shallow waters and general quietude also make it a good choice for families with small children, though it gets much livelier in the peak of summer. It is also the only beach resort in Crete that does not go into total hibernation in winter.
The oddly shaped town lies on a narrow peninsula with a long, curving tamarisk-shaded sandy beach (Pahia Ammos), exposed to the wind, on one side and a sheltered pebbly beach (Halikia Beach) on the other. The most picturesque part of Paleohora is the maze of narrow streets around the castle.
On summer evenings the main street and pebble beach road are closed to traffic. With the main-street tavernas moved out onto the pavement, the town garners a lively summer ambience complemented by occasional cultural happenings and Cretan and international music.