Frangokastello | Chania Crete | The Ottoman Expulsion and the Drosoulites Phenomenon
Updated: Sep 13
George Papadellis | SG Head
Frangokastello is a unique castle 12 km east from Sfakia village at the south coast of Chania Crete. The castle is just some meters before Frangokastello Beach, a long sheltered sandy beach which serves a low local tourism activity (but considered one of the great beaches of Crete among other 5 islands of the Mediterranean), and a walking distance from Frangokastello village.
Frangokastello Crete Castle
With a rectangular shape with four towers, the Castle Frangokastello Greece was built in the end of the 14th century by the Venetians as a means to fight and conquer the rebels of Sfakia and to protect themselves from pirates. Within the structure, there are buildings which were formed during the 400-years Ottoman occupation.
There are tourism facilities around Frangokastello beach in southern Crete, and the distance of the area from main urban centers helps it keep at minor development levels.
The area does not have luxury facilities, but rooms and apartments are generally clean and the owners very kind. We propose Milos studios (with the 100 years old renovated windmill - apartment), Flisvos apartments (also restaurant), Coral Hotel Frangokastello (also restaurant) and Monachus Monachus hotel.
Stories of the locals reveal that the rebellious Sfakians did not allow the Venetians to built the Frangokastello Castle Crete. Specifically, a wild group of locals destroyed for a long time, at night, what the Venetians were building during the day. Finally, the Venetians brought a big army that arrested this group and hanged all Sfakians.
During the fights of the Greeks against the Ottoman rule, the Battle of Frangokastello took place. Sfakians with Epirotes (people from Epirus region, north Greece) occupied the Frangokastello Castle. Later they were killed from the Ottomans, and finally the Ottomans were killed by other Sfakians. According to local tradition, each year, during the anniversary of this battle, shadows of the Sfakians and the Epirotes appear at dawn (the Frangokastello Mirage). They are called Drosoulites, actually a meteorological phenomenon.
Frangokastello Crete Map
Source: Google Maps
Frangokastello weather is generally very good and similar to the weather of Chania. During April, May and October it is most likely for a visitor to experience pleasant average temperatures falling between 20 degrees Celsius (68°F) and 25 degrees Celsius (77°F). The warmest months of Frangokastello Crete are June, July (the warmest and driest month of the year) and August. Dry periods can be experienced in May, June, August and September. The coldest and most wet month of the year is January.