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THE VILLAGE AND THE BEACH OF FODELE ON CRETE
Fodele, Crete, Kreta Fodele, Crete, Kreta Fodele, Crete, Kreta Fodele, Crete, Kreta
Fodele, Crete, Kreta Fodele, Crete, Kreta Fodele, Crete, Kreta Fodele, Crete, Kreta
Nederlands map of Crete

Fodele is a village 20 kilometers west of Heraklion, surrounded by orange tree groves and lemon trees. In the village you find a bakery, a couple of mini markets, a pharmacy, several taverns and souvenir shops and a couple of accommodations. There are also a couple of cute small churches in the village. Outside in the street you can see old ladies busy doing needlework. The area of Fodele is promoted as a place for making nature walks. Although it is a tourist spot it still has a very relaxed atmosphere and it is a great place to chill in a café under one of the large plane trees along the river.

Fodele, Crete, Kreta Fodele, Crete, Kreta Fodele, Crete, Kreta Fodele, Crete, Kreta
Fodele, Crete, Kreta Fodele, Crete, Kreta Fodele, Crete, Kreta Fodele, Crete, Kreta

The village is the reputedly the birthplace of the most famous Greek painter, El Greco (some claim that he was actually born in Heraklion), who has his own monument in the village next to a tree that is over a thousand years old. The plaque is made of stone from Toledo (where El Greco died) and was presented to the village of Fodele in 1934 by the University of Vallidolid. But also in other places in and around the village you can see busts and memorials to him. You can see the house in which El Greco was born, which is nowadays a small museum. In front of it is a small kafenion.

The green valley with the orange groves and other fruit trees that surrounds Fodele, in the distance the Byzantine Panagia church The church of Fodele (two of them on one square). The church of Fodele (two of them on one square). The church of Fodele (two of them on one square). The Byzantine Panagia church.

Both the house of El Greco as the kafenion are buildings dating from that time. It is posted with signs since it is situated 700 meters outside the village centre of Fodele. There are some copies of his work and some memorabilia. El Greco ("The Greek") was originally called Domenikos Theotokopolous. He was born in 1541 and worked mainly in Spain. He started making icons in Crete and then went to study with the Italian painter Titian. In 1577 he moved to Toledo in Spain and he mainly painted religious scenes and portraits of dignitaries. In 1614 he died.

Fodele, Crete, Kreta Fodele, Crete, Kreta Fodele, Crete, Kreta Fodele, Crete, Kreta
Fodele, Crete, Kreta Fodele, Crete, Kreta Fodele, Crete, Kreta Fodele, Crete, Kreta

Through the village runs the small Pandomandri river, named after an old city which was once situated on this spot. The river divides the village into two and also explains why the area is so fertile. The actual beach of Fodele is a commercial beach with hotels, and it can be reached from the main road. It is a bit outside the village along the highway.

Fodele Panagia, Crete, Kreta Fodele Panagia, Crete, Kreta Fodele Panagia, Crete, Kreta Fodele Panagia, Crete, Kreta
Fodele Panagia, Crete, Kreta Fodele Panagia, Crete, Kreta Fodele Panagia, Crete, Kreta Fodele Panagia, Crete, Kreta

Just outside of the village in the green valley you can find the Byzantine church of the Panagia, which is built on the remains of an earlier 8th century Christian Basilica, which was twice the size of the present one and was probably destroyed by the Saracens. The Panagia church in Fodele is dedicated to the Holy Virgin Maria. The newer church dates from the beginning of the second Byzantine period (11C) and has the typical cruciform shape. I read somewhere that there were opening hours, but when we arrived here the church was closed. The second time we tried it was open. Opening hours are Tuesday to Sunday, from 8.00 to 15.00 o'clock. Mondays the church is closed. The entrance is free and you are allowed to make pictures without a flash. Inside the church there are old frescoes dating from the 11th to the 14th century.

Fodele Panagia, Crete, Kreta Fodele Panagia, Crete, Kreta Fodele Panagia, Crete, Kreta Fodele Panagia, Crete, Kreta
Fodele Panagia, Crete, Kreta Fodele Panagia, Crete, Kreta Fodele Panagia, Crete, Kreta Fodele Panagia, Crete, Kreta

Also just outside the village Fodele, if you follow the riverbed you will find the last attraction of the village, the monastery of Agios Panteleimon, which is situated at 5 kilometres distance. As you drive up there are a few small Byzantine chapels. It was built in a fortress structure by monks after they had moved from the their seaside monastery because of attacks by pirates. The monastery was founded around 1539. The Agios Panteleimon monastery houses some icons of the 17th century.

Cafe Snackbar Domenico in Fodele
Cafe Snackbar Domenico in Fodele, Crete, Kreta Cafe Snackbar Domenico in Fodele, Crete, Kreta Cafe Snackbar Domenico in Fodele, Crete, Kreta Cafe Snackbar Domenico in Fodele, Crete, Kreta
Cafe Snackbar Domenico in Fodele, Crete, Kreta Cafe Snackbar Domenico in Fodele, Crete, Kreta Cafe Snackbar Domenico in Fodele, Crete, Kreta Cafe Snackbar Domenico in Fodele, Crete, Kreta

This taverna is located on the river in the main street of the village Fodele. The service is very friendly. They serve a very good Lavazza coffee with a glass of water.

Our verdict: an 8,5 out of 10


© Hans Huisman, http://www.angelfire.com/super2/greece/ 2014
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