Museums – Culture
There is the Acrites Museum which was founded within Acrinet European framework by the folklore centre of Athens Academy. The head of the centre, Ms Aikaterini Polimerou-Kamilaki, says that Pelekanos municipality was chosen for the foundation of the museum because they still preserve the legends of the acrites and Digenis Acritas achievements through songs and places’ names, as well as the wonderful frescoes of St George, St Dimitrios and St Theodoros in the Byzantine and post-Byzantine churches of the area.
There are many beautiful beaches along the 18-kilometre coast of Paleohora.
On the east part of the coast there is Gianiskari area which consists of three different beaches. The one is sandy and the other two are pebble. For the next 3 kilometres there are only beaches with pebbles, rocks and caves until you reach Halikia beach which has been awarded a Blue Flag.
On the west, the coast starts with Pachia Ammos beach which has also been awarded a Blue Flag. Then there are Trahalos, Psilos Volakas, Karavopetra, Plakaki, Grammeno, Krios and Elafonisi beaches.
Samaria gorge, the longest in Europe, is 18 kilometres long surrounded by mountains of 2000-2500m in height. It takes about 6 hours to cross and its narrowest part is 3 metres. It starts from Omalos tableland and ends to Agia Roumeli village. You will have the opportunity to enjoy the wild nature of the gorge with the rare herbs and flowers. You may also spot some Cretan wild goats on the rocks. You will pass through the ‘doors’ of the gorge and arrive at the spotlessly clean, black sanded beach of Agia Roumeli.
Agia Irini gorge starts from Agia Irini village and ends in Sougia. Before you reach the crossroad leading to Leivadas, there are 13 caves in the gorge. Some of them are Nerotripa, Kokkini Spilia, Ellinikon, Spiles, Skotino and Harakas.
Anidri gorge is the closest one to Paleohora. It is evergreen containing local Cretan herbs such as diktamo and faskomilo as well as oregano, mint, thyme and a wide variety of wild flowers and plants. It starts from Azogires and ends to the sea.
Kalogirou gorge starts from Aligous and ends to Sasalo.
Topoliano gorge is along the road leading from Kissamos to Paleohora.
The main church of the area is 100-year-old St Mary’s Cathedral. It is said that while the church was burning, its dome fell from a height of 14 metres and remained intact. There are also the churches of St George, St Paraskevi, St John the Babtist, St John the Chrysostom, St Antonios, the Holy Trinity and the Ascension of Christ.
Lissos: ruins and domed arched buildings, a small ancient theatre, ancient baths, and the Doric temple of Asklipios containing mosaics of the 4th century BC.
Eliros: situated in Rodovani village.
Irtakina: built beside a castle just above Platania village.
Kadros: flourished in the 1st century AC.
Suia: the harbour of Eliros and Irtakina.
Pelkis: from which Pelekanos municipality took its name.
Kalamidi: Paleohora is built on its ruins.
Viena: on the west of Koudoura.
Pikilassos: close to Sougia.
The caves of the area are: Zoures in Azogires, Ligias, Sapouna in Rodovani village, Xotospiliaro, Nerospilie and Thafto in Koustogerako village, Dissea’s, Halaro and Stalihtra in Temenia village, Bitoro’s and Sfadahtospilio in Kabanos village as well as 13 caves in Agia Irini gorge.