Frangokastello, also known as the Castle of the Franks, is a charming seaside village nestled on the southern coast of Crete, Greece Located just 12 km east of Chora Sfakion and within the Chania prefecture, this picturesque village is steeped in history and offers visitors a glimpse into the past

Built in 1371-74 by the Venetians, the castle was originally intended as a garrison to bring order to the rebellious Sfakia region and to protect the Venetians and their properties from pirates Today, Frangokastello is famous for its stunning beach and the legendary ghosts known as Drosoulites, as well as its well-preserved Venetian castle

The beach at Frangokastello is truly a sight to behold, with its expansive sandy shores and crystal-clear turquoise waters This idyllic spot is perfect for families, as the gentle slope and shallow waters make it ideal for children to play in However, be aware that the beach can get quite busy during the summer months, particularly in July and August Additionally, the winds from the south can sometimes be strong and carry sand, which may be bothersome to some visitors

Frangokastello offers a variety of accommodation options, including hotels, restaurants, cafes, and shops However, the nearest ATM and hospital can be found in Sfakia, so it is important to plan accordingly

For those looking to explore beyond the main beach, there is the long stretch of Vatalos Beach to the west, which is perfect for snorkeling due to its mix of sand, pebbles, and rocks And just a 10-minute walk east from the main beach lies the stunning Orthi Ammos Beach, known for its impressive sand dunes

The area surrounding Frangokastello is relatively undeveloped, adding to its unique charm and natural beauty This is in stark contrast to the bustling, tourist-filled areas of Crete, making it a peaceful and authentic destination for travelers

One of the most intriguing aspects of Frangokastello is its history The Venetians named the castle after the nearby church of St Nikitas, but the locals, who did not welcome the Venetians, scornfully referred to it as Frangokastello, meaning “Castle of the Franks” According to legend, the locals would destroy the castle each night, forcing the Venetians to bring in additional troops The Patsos brothers, who were leading the rebellion, were eventually captured and executed

Over the centuries, many monuments were built in the area, but most were destroyed during wars and conflicts The stones from these ruins were used to build the castle, which stands as a testament to the area’s turbulent past

Every May, the area is filled with excitement as the anniversary of the famous battle of Frangokastello is remembered It is said that at dawn, the shadows of the soldiers who lost their lives in the battle can be seen marching towards the fortress This phenomenon, known as Drosoulites, is a local legend and has been attributed to a meteorological phenomenon

Near the fortress, visitors can also explore the ruins of a monastery and a church dedicated to Saint Nicetas, celebrated on September 15th In the past, this day was marked with grand festivities, including traditional dances and athletic events

For those planning a visit to Frangokastello, there are plenty of accommodation options and restaurants to choose from Local specialties include tsigariasto (sauteed kid or lamb), boureki (a courgette and potato bake), and Sfakianes pites (sweet pies with local cheese) While there is a mini-market in the village, the nearest ATM can be found in Chora Sfakion

Frangokastello is located within the Chania region, about 85 km from Chania Airport with a driving time of 1 hour and 45 minutes, and 135 km from Heraklion Airport with a driving time of 2 hours and 13 minutes This beautiful village is a must-visit for anyone seeking a unique and authentic experience on the island of Crete

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Frangokastello weather

Feels like 31.9°C
Partly cloudy
Partly cloudy
WNW 3.6 km/h
7 UV

3 Day Forecast

30 / 24.2°C29.7 / 24.2°C29.2 / 24.7°C
18.7 km/h 20.5 km/h 19.1 km/h
53% 54% 55%
10 UV 10 UV 10 UV
Sunrise 06:17 AM
Sunset 08:38 PM

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Beaches near Frangokastello

Fragokastelo beach

Fragokastelo beach

Distance 0.18 km
Orthi Ammos beach

Orthi Ammos beach

Distance 1.31 km
Vatalos beach

Vatalos beach

Distance 1.7 km
Viglistiri beach

Viglistiri beach

Distance 2.86 km
Lakki beach

Lakki beach

Distance 3.59 km
Keratidi beach

Keratidi beach

Distance 4.18 km
Koutelos beach

Koutelos beach

Distance 4.29 km
Leska beach

Leska beach

Distance 5.17 km
Agia Marina beach

Agia Marina beach

Distance 5.44 km
Peristeres beach

Peristeres beach

Distance 5.92 km