“The Center of the World”

Of course this is not the official designation of the place, however its inhabitants like to use it occasionally. A conversation on the subject will usually take the following course:

“Did you happen to hold a map of Crete in your hands? You did? Then you will have noticed that the village of Panormo is situated exactly in the middle of the island, which means that it is its geographical centre. You will also be acquainted with the fact that Crete was created during the process of fusion of three continents – Asia, Europe an Africa. Therefore, if a place is situated in the centre of an island which was created by three continents, this place can definitely claim to be “the centre of the world”. You see, dear reader, a genuine ‘Panormian’ will not let you get the better of him. He will defend and praise his home village with this kind of subtle humour, which is characteristic for the Cretans.

The romantic and picturesque fishing village of Panormo is situated 22 km east of Rethymno and boasts 400 permanent residents, who are engaged in tourism during the summer season, while in winter they are occupied with farm work. The most important organizations are the Association for Tourism and the cultural company “Epimenidis”.

In a south westerly direction from the village and at a distance of 500 m the remains of the Basilica of Aghia Sofia were discovered, which according to archaeologists dates back to the 5th century AD. This early-Christian church had three aisles and was probably the largest of its kind on Crete.

In the beginning of the 13th century Erikos Pescatori from Genoa built a castle, the foundation of which can still be seen near the village harbour.
As soon as the new national road was finished, the village began to flourish again. New beaches were made accessible, hotels were built, and the harbour, which had served only a few fishermen, developed into the social centre of the village.

Visitors will find various shops and numerous taverns offering traditional Cretan food. However, the speciality of the village is fresh fish.

The beaches are very clean and the quality of the sea water is regularly examined by authorized laboratories. We unreservedly suggest you visit this beautiful village and its hospitable inhabitants. Besides, it is not difficult to find – it is situated in the centre of the world!