Fodele

Taxi Rethymno - Fodele

Fodele is a village of the Municipality of Malevizi situated west of the city of Heraklion. To get there, take a right on the exit on the 25th km of the Heraklion-Chania national road.

The idyllic village extends in a verdant oasis full of orange and lemon groves, colourful flowers and running waters. The fertile valley of Fodele is crossed by the river Pantomantris and is surrounded by mountains with high wild trees and caves. A place characterized by its breathtaking landscape, long history, traditions and legends about fairies that dance by the streams at nights; katahanades (vampires) that sing sweet melodies while playing the lyre by the platans; saints that intervene in love stories; demons that tease the passersby at midnight; virtuous demons that protect the houses; church bells that toll at the caves in the middle of the night...

A place where - according to tradition - the great painter El Greco first saw daylight.

El Greco (1541 – 1614), as Domenicos Theotokopoulos was commonly known, is considered to be one of the greatest painters of the Spanish renaissance. He was born in the village of Fodele in Crete and started studying post-byzantine art at an early age. When he was 26 he travelled to Italy (Venice and Rome) where he enriched his style with elements of Mannerism and Venetian renaissance. In 1577, he moved to Toledo, Spain where he lived for the rest of his life and produced his best known paintings. El Greco was distinguished for developing his own dramatic expressionistic style evident in his paintings that still move and inspire many people and artists around the world.

The Museum of Domenicos Theotokopoulos 

The museum of Domenicos Theotokopoulos is located at the site of "archontika" in the beautiful setting of Skoteini, near the Byzantine church of Panagia. It is housed in a renovated post-Byzantine building complex and is open to the public since 1998. About ten thousand people visit the museum every year. The exhibition includes a small collection of reproductions of the works of the great painter, commonly known as 'El Greco'. An information pamphlet about the life and work of Theotokopoulos is available in 5 languages and is distributed to visitors. Next to the museum there is a rest area and a cafeteria under the shadow of the centuries-old trees while a bit further there is a stone-built water well, part of the post-Byzantine farm.

(Opening times; The Museum is open daily, 9.00 am to 7.00 pm (It is open from the 1st of April to the end of October).

The paleochristian Basilica of Fodele

A 6th century three section basilica 16 x 11, 30 m. The main section of the temple was separated from the altar with an iconostasis that bore marble columns. The sections were also divided by columns and the floor was adorned with small colourful marble cases in geometrical shapes. The preserved parts of the Basilica include the exterior walls, the two columns that have been incorporated on the northern and southern wall of the newer church of Panaghia (Mary) and parts of the marbles in the second section.

Taxi Rethymno - Fodele

The 11th Century Church of Eisodia tis Theotokou (Presentation of Mary)

A simple four-column vaulted temple of the hellenic school constructed on the central and eastern part of the paleochristian basilica. The architecture of the temple might belong to the Hellenic school; however, there are many decorative and structural elements that refer to the school of Constantinople. The interior is adorned with beautiful frescoes of three or four layers. The older layer dates back to the 11th century and it is considered extremely significant as is it is one of the few preserved samples of frescoed temples of this period in Crete, but also because of its high quality art. 

Suggested visits - loving routes

1. Starting from the entrance of the village and turn right at the first bridge, following the course of the river through a beautiful, leafy street is approx 15 minutes in the church of Panagia, a true jewel of Byzantine church architecture and art. Then you can visit El Greco museum while you can rest in the refreshment in the cool of the trees.

2. Having visited the tree with the dedicatory plaque in the village center, one can follow the proposed naturalistic route parallel to the river to the Community laundry room of the century.

3. Starting from the second bridge, on the right, someone can walk through nice narrow streets of the village to reach the village's main church, dedicated to Michael the Archangel, and the oldest (19th century) village's patron Saint George.

4. Leaving the car at the exit of the village and walking along a road rich in orange, tangerine, lemon and plane trees, arbutus, katsoprinous, agrelies, carob trees and aromatic shrubs can after an hour's journey to visit the monastery of St. Panteleimon.

5. For the adventurous we propose the ascent to the Kouledes on the top of the hills and exploring the waterfalls area (in rainy months).

Fodele beach
Taxi Rethymno - FodeleIt's a nice sandy beach, exposed to north winds and protected on the east by Cape Stavros and on the west by the hill of Kastellos, on top of which there are ruins of an old fort. The beach of Fodele is formed at the exit of the river Pantomantris or Fodelianos. Its western part is very well organized with umbrellas, sun beds, showers, water sports, cafes and taverns. Moreover, on the slope of the Kastellos hill you’ll see a grand hotel, in front of which there is a small pier. This pier "breaks" the waves in the western part of the beach. If you want to stay remote you can go to the eastern part of the beach, near the gas station of the area. It is unorganized, but also vulnerable to north winds. You can combine swimming with a visit to the beautiful village of Fodele. Inside the village and along the river, there are many taverns, offering traditional food under the shade of many huge plane trees.