Frangokastello Crete travel guide

Built in 1371 to subdue the local population and warn off passing pirates, the Venetian castle at Frangokastello is now a popular beach destination on the south coast.

Impressive from a distance, the castle has less to offer at close quarters although Frango-themed facilities abound and surround its walls with 'Frango' tavernas and 'Kastello' mini-markets.

Frangokastello Castle is a small, square and squat fortress that can easily be explored in about 15 minutes and there is not much to keep the visitor interested.

The beach sits below the castle and is a splendid flat swathe that sweeps right around the bay to a spit of underwater rock.

The rocks form a protective barrier for the shallow waters of the bay and a beach taverna offers the basic facilities, including a few sun loungers scattered here and there.

At the western end of Frangokastello beach is a small harbour that gives way to a large but not intrusive holiday bungalow complex.

The majestic mountain backdrop not only gives fine views from the beach, it also keeps the strong northerly winds at bay and creates its own microclimate.

Tourists will escape the low season storms on the north coast to sunbathe on the sunny sands and swim in tranquil calm seas at Frangokastello.