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Panormo

Fishing Village in Crete

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Panormo

is a fishing village on the north coast of the island of Crete, 52 kms West of Heraklion and 21 kms East of Rethymnon. There are some small swimming-bays with sandy beaches west of the port, and the Atlantis Dive Center has a branch office at one of the bigger hotels there.
In former times Panormo was the port of the town of Eleftherna which is 22 kms to the south. Eleftherna which has now been excavated was one of the most important cities of ancient Crete.
Until the 20th century, when they started to build a network of roads, the ports were the backbone of Crete's infrastructure. Ships were steadily sailing around the island and connecting all the bigger and smaller ports and townships. Panormo also has a small excavation site, and a fortification from the Venetian era.
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When the country road from Heraklion to Rethymnon was taken 9 kms south of Panormo to the larger village of Perama, Panormo fell into oblivion. It was recovered when the New National Road was built along the island's north coast.
Nowadays there are some new hotels on the beaches outside of the village center, and in the center as well as around the port there is a number of apartment facilities, tavernas and shops which have adapted to the needs of a rather relaxed way of tourism. In the summer the village center is closed to traffic and the tavernas fill the narrow lanes with tables.
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So Panormo suits well for relaxed holidays as things here run less hectically and noisy than in the bigger tourism centers. Here, the original Mediterranean lifestyle still is well preserved.
The airport of Heraklion is located 61 kms East and has its own connection to the National Road which takes you straight to Panormo. The best bet is to book a rental car from the airport on the Internet, e.g. at Eurocars Rent-a-Car. They will bring the car for that matter also to the port and deliver it straight at the ferry boats' landing pier.
Text and photos: Ingo H. Dietrich

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