The Paleochora Coves are a chain of miniature bays that commence 1.5 km west of Paleochora and stretch 2.5 km westward to Cape Grammenos. These beaches are a complex of adjacent coves with crystal clear waters and magnificent pebbles. The main road, which links Paleochora and Koundoura, is situated alongside the coves, making them less popular with nudists.
Kalamia is the first beach you encounter 700m west of Paleohora, named after the reeds that inhabit the area (Kalamia translates to reeds). The next bay on the east side, 1.5 km west of Paleochora, is Psilos Volakas (Tall Rock), named after a large rock that shields the beach from southern winds. With its lovely small pebbles and lack of natural shade, the rocky seabed behind the large rock is perfect for snorkelling.
Continuing 200m westward from the beach, you’ll discover the secluded cove of Trohalou, a more rugged version of Psilos Volakas with larger pebbles and stones (Trohalou translates to “stony beach”). Although it’s never crowded, it’s one of the best snorkelling spots in the broader Paleochora area.
300m west of Trochalou lies the charming beach of Karavopetra (Ship-Stone in Greek), noted for its large rock that resembles a boat in the center of the beach. Apart from the main beach, a separate little cove can be found on Karavopetra’s western edge. Open to the southern winds, Karavopetra’s coarse sand and pebbles make it an excellent choice for bathing.
Next to Karavopetra, you’ll find Plakaki, a small cove shielded by a short rocky peninsula. This unorganized beach with pebbles is a wonderful spot. With rooms and restaurants nearby, Plakaki is a great option for those not wishing to head back to Paleochora. The beautiful beaches of Grammenos start directly west of Plakaki.
Choosing among these splendid beaches can be challenging, as each one offers something unique. We suggest driving down the road that runs along the shore to see which cove catches your eye!
Keratides beach, situated approximately 1km west of Paleochora harbour and 79km south of Chania city, is found just past the Azogirianos river and Halikia beach. Characterized by its coarse pebbles and stones, it’s a preferred spot for those seeking tranquility and solitude. Its name, Keratides, is derived from the term for locust or carob trees, ‘keratia’. Nearby, there’s a camping site which attracts most of the beach’s visitors.
While there are numerous remarkable beaches in the vicinity of Paleochora, Keratides doesn’t particularly stand out. Nonetheless, it’s a viable option for those without access to a car or motorbike.
Pahia Ammos (translating to Thick Sand) beach is situated on the western flank of Paleochora, a distance of 79km to the south of the city of Chania. It serves as the primary beach of Paleochora, offering an array of amenities for tourists and is meticulously maintained. Despite its impressive length of nearly 500m, it often appears unoccupied due to its expansive size. With its gentle sandy shore and shallow waters, it’s an ideal spot for children. However, caution is advised during periods of westerly or southerly winds, as they cause substantial waves.
A variety of services are available, including umbrellas, bars, snack bars, water sports gear, showers, and a lifeguard tower. The beach’s western area offers privacy and is frequently chosen by nudists.
Votsala or Halikia beaches are situated just beyond the western limit of Paleochora harbour, about 79km to the south of Chania city, adjacent to the Kakodiakianos River’s outlet and stretch approximately 1km eastward. Halikia and Pahia Ammos are the primary beaches in the town of Paleohora. Halikia, with its round pebbles, is well maintained and is primarily favored by Greeks over the sandy Pahia Ammos beach. This beach is a popular choice for those who wish to stay near the town and enjoy easy access to all facilities.
Following the Azogirianos River’s exit, the subsequent beach named Keratides beach is formed. This beach is conveniently located next to the Paleochora camping site.
The Grammeno peninsula is situated at the mouth of the Pelekaniotis river, 85km southward from Chania and 5km to the east of Paleochora. It lies on the route that links Paleochora with Koundoura. The beautiful Alonaki, Votsalo or Gialos beach with its fine and coarse pebbles as well as its crystalline sea stretches from the eastern part of the peninsula, extending eastwards. The unprotected 500m-long beach is prone to waves, with umbrellas provided on its western part for shade, while the eastern part is more serene.
On the western side of the peninsula, you’ll find the stunning Chouma bay. This sandy cove is well-sheltered and faces west. The Grammeno peninsula is home to a significant colony of protected junipers. While these trees provide shade, they are incredibly fragile and hence should be treated with care. It’s strictly forbidden to break branches, given their slow growth rate of only 1cm per year. Visitors are encouraged to use the umbrellas provided on the beach and avoid any contact with the trees.