Five Things to Do in Fodele

Fodele is known as the birthplace of El Greco and a visit to the museum that celebrates this iconic Cretan artist is always a must when you stay in this village and even when you are just passing through.

  1. Museum of El Greco

    El Greco’s home is set in a peaceful rural area just outside the village, next to the Church of the Panayia, overlooking fragrant olive groves that seem to stretch forever in the valley below.

  2. Byzantine Church of the Panayia in Fodele

    It is evident why the home of Domenikos Theotokopoulos (El Greco) is a must-see for Fodele visitors. This touristic attraction is just across the lovely Church of the Panayia (Church of Annunciation of the Virgin Mary), a Byzantine church, which traces its history back to the 6th century, although, the current temple dates from the 11th century and the frescoes are from 1323. The postcard-pretty religious monument is only open during the tourist season – from the end of May until October.

    Church of Panayia at Fodele.

  3. Monastery of Agios Panteleimon in Fodele

    Another important religious landmark of Fodele is the fortress-like Monastery of Agios Panteleimon, which played an important role in the Cretan resistance against the Turks during the Turkish occupation. The monastery was probably founded in the last period of the Venetian occupation and although the Turks have destroyed and pillaged it several times, it has continued to operate and it is still functioning today. Among the priceless artworks safeguarded by this monastery, you will find 17th icons by Michael Damaskinos: the Second Coming, Saint Gerasimos, Saint Onoufrios, and the dance of the Saints.

  4. Kastelos Koules in Fodele

    Kastelos Koules was once a fortified structure built by the Turks to monitor the bay where the Greek ships would come with supplies to support the Cretan rebels. Today, these structures are abandoned but their ruins still stand like a testament of the past. Besides Kastelos Koules, you can also see Kokkinos Pirgos Koules – which is not easily accessible because you have to hike through dense shrubbery and vegetation – and Kelia Koules in the southern part of the Fodele beach. Close to Kelia Koules, you will find a small chapel dedicated to St. John.

  5. Bobias Range

    Part of the Kouloukonas Range, the Bobias Range is a destination for experienced hikers. The area is wild, with sharp rocks, but the views are fantastic. The range has a maximum altitude of 423 meters above sea level, but it’s still spectaculars and it ends in the sea where it forms the Cape of Stavros. On the range, the Turks erected five defense towers that form, together with the three mentioned in the previous paragraph, one of the most interesting defense systems in Greece. In fact, there is no other place like this in the country with so many forts concentrated in such a small area. This shows just how important Fodele was during the Turkish occupation, as a strategic buffer between western Crete and Heraklion.

Last, but not least, the beach of Fodele is delightful. It is well organized with sunbeds and umbrellas, as well as taverns serving traditional fare and drinks by the beach. In front of the Fodele Beach & Water Park Holiday Resort, you find the private beach area with a pier that protects the swimmer in the western part of the beach. The eastern side of the beach is not organized and exposed to the north winds.

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