This small fishing town is an attractive yet low key resort for those in the know. Palairos lacks the cache of an island location though has excellent views of them. It is often overlooked by international travellers and so feels more truly Greek. It also means yachts will find more room in the harbour than elsewhere.
The setting is superb with pines and olive groves stretching up the lower slopes of the steep hills behind the town. To the south, Palairos boasts a good beach, with a line of tavernas and cafes along the front. The centre overlooks the harbour and offers a couple of mini markets, a bakers and butchers. There are more restaurants and cafes tucked away here too – these are where the locals are more likely to head.
Palairos dates back to around 2000BC, though with a long period of abandonment in between. There are a number of ruins in the area including the gate and walls of Kechropoula Castle, a couple of watchtowers at Sterna and a number of more recent (16-17th Century) buildings in Plagia castle, the Ragou Mansion and Saint Dimitris Monastery. You’ll need transport to reach these but as is usual, bikes are available for hire in town.
Palairos is usually a sleepy place but at weekends comes alive (to an extent). The harbour is home to a local yacht charter company and this is when the yachts return. Bareboat charterers headed to Palairos at weekends may therefore want to get in early as the charter company takes much of the available space.
If you’re looking for a wild party town, give Palairos a miss. If you fancy relaxing in a typical small Greek town a bit of the beaten track, it’s worth including on your itinerary.