Located 20 km from Heraklion, the typical Greek village of Fodele at first glance seems lost in time. Many of its 500 inhabitants, like hundreds of years ago, are engaged in the cultivation of citrus fruits, olives and livestock. Meanwhile, Fodele is a symbolic place. Firstly, it was here that the painter, sculptor and architect of the Spanish Renaissance Domenikos Theotokopoulos, who became famous under the name of El Greco, was born. And secondly, a couple of kilometers from the village is the famous Fodele Beach & Water Park Holiday Resort. The unusual architecture of the hotel complex, reminiscent of an ancient amphitheater, proximity to the sea and convenient communication with Heraklion – it is not surprising that its 400 rooms are almost always occupied.
How to get to Fodele
According to Allcitycodes, Fodele is actually a suburb of Heraklion, where about 7 flights fly daily from Moscow during the season. Time in the sky 4 hours. True, there is no public transport from Nikos Kazantzakis Airport to a small village. A taxi ride will last half an hour (30 km) and cost 35-50 EUR. You can also get to Fodele by bus towards Chania from Heraklion Central Bus Station. It runs from 5:30 to 21:30 every hour. More details at [ of. website ] of the carrier (in English).
There is no public transport in Fodele, a bicycle can be rented at Fodele Beach & Water Park Holiday Resort. Parking is free everywhere. The prices on the page are for August 2021.
In Fodele, or rather, in its coastal part, there is one hotel – Fodele Beach & Water Park Holiday Resort 5 *, operating on an all-inclusive basis. It is in this luxurious hotel that 99% of the guests of the village live. The hotel has its own ennobled beach, water park, three swimming pools, three restaurants. You can play tennis on site or work out at the fitness centre. The hotel is expensive – about 350 EUR per day is a standard double room, but still almost always full. So it is better to take care of booking in advance.
The only alternative to a coastal resort is Orange Fodele Guest House right on the beach. For 80 EUR you can rent an apartment with a terrace and fantastic sea views.
In the vicinity of the village there are two beaches: equipped western and wild eastern. The vast majority of tourists rest on the first one (GPS coordinates: 35.401268, 24.954905). It is here that all two hotels of the city are located, there are sun loungers and umbrellas (use is free when buying a cocktail), taverns, bars, changing rooms, toilets. Thanks to the breakwater on the northwest side, there is minimal excitement.
The second beach is literally 100 m to the east, near a gas station (35.403608, 24.960835). It is wild – there are no cafes or sun loungers. There is no protection from the waves, so you need to swim carefully. With children, it is better to go to the western beach – it is safer there.
Both beaches are sandy, with a gentle entry into the sea, in some places small pebbles and stones. Free admission.
Cuisine and restaurants of Fodele
Fodele’s restaurants are exclusively taverns and small bistros. In addition to traditional Greek dishes such as moussaki or various mezes, you should definitely order freshly squeezed orange juice here – the village is famous for its delicious citrus fruits. A glass of cold fragrant juice, a light breeze, coolness from the shade of plane trees – unforgettable sensations.
In restaurants on the beach, there is more choice – grilled fish is added to the traditional “pastizio” (pasta casserole with minced meat) and “stifado” (meat stew in tomato sauce). A large “kebab” plus beer will cost 15 EUR. Here, in the coastal cafes, you can also “fast food”. We order, for example, “gyros” for 8 EUR and go for a walk in the coastal forests.
Fodele is surrounded by orange groves, so the village is extremely green. Not surprisingly, the most popular holiday destination (apart from the beach) is the park next to the central square. It is especially good here at the beginning of summer, when the air is still fresh and there is no strong heat.
The “Pearl” of Fodele is the El Greco Museum (Adelfon Melissidi Street), which is 1 km north of the village center. The institution was opened within the walls of a stone house in which the famous artist was born. The collection consists exclusively of reproductions and copies of works by El Greco, but they are of very good quality.
The museum and a small cafe attached to it are open during the warm season from 9:00 to 17:00 from Tuesday to Sunday; Monday is a day off.
50 m east of the El Greco Museum stands a tiny old Byzantine church of the Annunciation of the Virgin of the 12th century. Its walls are covered with authentic frescoes depicting saints. The church is open from 8:30 to 15:00 every day except Monday.
Starting in the south of Fodele, the road surrounded by cypress trees leads after 5 km to the monastery of St. Panteleimon (GPS coordinates: 35.360558, 24.960104). The monastery is quite tiny, preserving the architecture of distant Venetian times. Luxurious frescoes and gold-covered iconostases are not to be found here, but modest snow-white vaults and ancient carved wooden panels, if not impressive, then definitely immerse you in a peaceful atmosphere.