Frangokastello is located 14km east of SfakiaHora and 3km east of Plakias. It is a seaside touristic area and one of the most desirable destinations in Crete, especially in the summer, because of the Venetian Castle, the unique beaches and the phenomenal ‘Drosoulites’.
At Frangokastello, you can choose between three beaches to swim. The first one, with very shallow and clear waters, lies in front of the castle. Another one, in the west side of the castle, with fine, crystal-clear water gives good snorkeling opportunities. ‘Orthi Ammos’ beach is among the best spots in Crete and very close to the castle (10 minutes walking). A quiet beach for peaceful and relaxing moments, without sunbeds and accommodation, where you can enjoy its crystal blue waters.
The fortress was built at 1371 AD by the Venetians, who dominated the island that period, in order to protect the area from pirates. The name was inspired by the residents and means the castle of the Franks. At 1828 Frangokastello was occupied by the Greek chieftain Chatzimichalis Ntalianis attempting to spread the War of Independence from the mainland to Crete. A fierce battle took place between the Greeks and the Ottoman forces of Mustafa Nailli Pasha, but the Greeks were massacred. This is the reason that the legend of ‘Drosoulites’ has prevailed and the locals claim that the ghosts of Daliani and his army appear every year around dawn (in June-when the battle is commemorated) and march from the castle. Nothing but the bare walls survived with one tower in each corner. The southwest tower is the most important of them due to its large capacity and because it allows a scenic view. The main entrance (pictured above)is in the south side of the castle and it is decorated with the Lion of Saint Mark, the symbol of the city of Venice. Also one can see the carved coat of arms which belonged to eminent families of that period.