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It is a historic site. Already in Minoan times the region was a centre of trade. The port of Itanos, today several meters below sea level, is mentioned in ancient times. The very extensive Minoan commercial settlement Roussolakkos close to the Chiona beach, excavated by English archaeologists, clearly shows that the region was one of the most important commercial centres of the Minoan culture in the extreme east of the island of Crete. The Palaikastro Kouros is a carved figure of a youth that was recovered in fragments between 1987 and 1990.
The village remains free from mass tourism. The main business of the approximately 1100 inhabitants continues to be agriculture. Olives and grape vines are cultivated and a few fisherman remain. Commercial fishing however is difficult these days because of the substantial over fishing of the Mediterranean Sea. Tourism is an important source of supplementary income and is likely to remain so.
At the east edge of the village, visible from a distance, there is a flat hill called Kastri(s). This hill gave Palekastro its name in the Middle Ages when the region was dominated by the sovereign power of Venice. On its flat summit the Venetians established a fortress. In the course of the centuries the stones were cleared away and used by the people of the region to build houses.
- De Facto Population of Greece Population and Housing Census of March 18th, 2001 (PDF 39 MB). National Statistical Service of Greece. 2003.
- "The Palaikastro Kouros". Retrieved 14 November 2010.
- Ian Swindale. "Palaikastro". Retrieved 4 February 2006.
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