A timeless existence of….history, people, nature and culture!
Palaikastro located in northeastern part of the island of Crete in the prefecture of Lassithi, at Sitia province, close to the most famous palm forest of Europe, Vai.
The area consists of the main village consisting of 1300 inhabitants, the small community Agathia southeast and very small villages called “Mitata” Karydi, Xerolymni and Magasa up on the mountains.
The village’s history goes back centuries and specifically between 14th to 11th eg century when the Minoans settled in the area “elia”now called “Russo lakko”
The choice of the region was of course not accidental as is surrounded by a sheltered natural harbor, the port of Hiona, that could be used by the Minoans explorers to trade with other residential areas of the island, but even with Egypt over the known world.
Of Course, this alone would not be enough to flourish a culture…
The fertile soil of the area used for growing agricultural products to feed the population. The natural bay formed by the topography was necessary criterion, as the wind was to strong and remains the same even today. Access to the interior of the island for the exchange-trade with other cities of the island, Malia, Kato zakro, Knossos, Phaistos Millato etc. the existence of natural sources to supply the necessary drinking water as there is evidence that at the foot of “Petsophas” there is a cave was spring clean drinking water. The rich sea of fish and the landscape itself alone was enough to prefer by Minoans to inhabit the area.
The people engaged in agriculture, livestock, fisheries, trade, pottery, vases amazing pots and a gold and ivory statue found in the region and survives in the archaeological museum of Sitia us proves, it was great scientists too as in the region was found the first computer of antiquity calculated that it was earlier of what was found at Antikythera. We read an article ….” the first analog computer in the history of mankind had discovered the Minoans, as argued by the Cretan researcher Aegean scripts, Minas Tsikritsis. According to the researcher, the Minoan object that was found in 1898 in Palekastro Sitia, preceded the “Antikythera Mechanism” by 1,400 years and is the first analog computer in history and even portable.”
Life flowed smoothly when suddenly the explosion of the volcano deserted the area along with then Minoan civilization at Knossos and Phaistos.
In the modern history the area was inhabited again by modern humans, but because of the frequent pirate raids, this time on the tops of mountains rounds, “Petsophas” “Modi” and other small hills like ”Kastri” where the current village owes its name as on top there is a small town-fortress.
so the old castle on top of this hill gave the name of a place Palekastro.
Life these days has not changed much since the villagers are still engaged in agriculture, livestock, fisheries, trade, arts and literature, is just added a new activity for residents …
The region from 1980 onwards began to flourish as tourist areas in the region are endless natural beauty for nature lovers, as is the gorge of Chochlakoi, the gorge of the dead of Kato Zakros, the small settlements of walnut xerolymnis, mangasas, sitanou, called Mitata demarcated path known as E4 pass almost throughout the island and ends up in our parts, famous all over Europe palm forest Vai with the unique palm of Theophrastus, who is wild, vast beaches blue waters, Itanos, Vai, Maridati, Kouremenos, Plakopoules, Hiona, Bontalaki, isolated beaches secluded from public view to come in direct contact with nature and enjoy the feeling of nudism, and the landscape itself, all this predisposes you to spend a few days of calm relaxation and enjoyment, along with the people who know firsthand the real meaning of Cretan hospitality !
The area, among all others are blessed by the winds which, for the Minoans were annoying, but not for the current inhabitant of Palekastro as Palekastro has been the place that gathers all those who love the sport of windsurfing and at July and August flooding the beach area “Plakopoules” to enjoy their favorite sport .. Palekastro organized in 2008 pan-European competition of windsurfing! Also the wind which is essentially north winds helps to keep the temperature in the middle of summer reasonably, and not fired the visitors from the heat, especially August.
Palaikastro visitors beyond the physical activities can be practiced and spiritual activities, with a visit to archaeological sites, ”Itanos” and ”Russo lakko” to visit the famous monastery of Panagia akrotiriani, brilliant base against Turkish and unique value of religious icons, the archaeological museum of Sitia with exhibits from the region and especially the gold and ivory statuette found in the area, priceless antiques, and our folklore museum to admire the uniqueness of the folklore of the location and seen from near the Cretan traditional costumes, musical instruments and repairs and tools used within the year by local residents. Course to do all this need and a full stomach. So at the village there are over than 10 restaurants with traditional Cretan cuisine, 5 fish taverns front the waves go off to enjoy fresh fish, and all kinds of stores to buy the essentials for your daily diet.
Course not lacking and nightlife. At the village there are 3 cafes, a Rock Cocktail Bar, Beach bar, and music scene where periodically arranged musical evenings with famous Greek artists and local lyrists.
For one thing be sure … if you choose Palekastro for your holidays you will feel the warmth of the people who will offer you unique moments of relaxation and the real meaning of critical hospitality which lost in the depths of centuries!
Have a nice holiday !!!