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Crete's Southwest

Paleochóra, the Sélino and Gorge of Samaria

Samaria Gorge

The White Mountains only permit a few north–south roads to breach their rocky fastness. Those to the southwest run into the Eparchy of Sélino, where the seaside town of Paleochóra is the main attraction, along with a score of medieval churches near Kándanos. Most are locked, but ask in the nearest kafeneíon for the key.

Along the Road from Tavronítis to Paleochóra

Of the three roads from the north that wriggle down to the Sélino, the main one from Tavronítis gets the most takers. En route lies lush Kándanos, with the highest rainfall in Crete. Its nickname is ‘the city of victory’.

Although inhabited since Roman times, nothing is over 70 years old; in the Battle of Crete, the men and women of Kándanos resisted the Nazi advance to Paleochóra with such stubborn ferocity that the Germans were forced to retreat. They returned with reinforcements the next day, killing 180 people, all of their animals and burning the town to the ground.

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Crete

Text © Dana Facaros

Images by 71gimn, Wikiloc, Apeto, Creative Common License, dadofekl, Emmanuel Eragne from Tokyo, Japan, Jerzy Strzelecki, Kahvi, Pixabay, michalis fotinakis, Przemek Pietrak, Shadowgate, tedbassman, Zde, 马瑞