Frangokastello, a castle on Crete’s southern coast, was built by the Venetians in 1371-74.
Its purpose was to subdue the local Cretans, warn off pirates, and protect the wealthy Venetians.
The fortress itself is sturdy if ancient; here the Cretans have struggled against Italians, Turks and Germans. Frangokastello is said to be haunted every May by the ghosts of Greek rebels who were massacred in 1829. The “dhrosoulties” (dewy ones) march across the coastal plain and then disappear into the sea. The is actually a meteorological phenomenon, but it is clear that Crete has seen its share of conquest.
Frangokastello has a fine beach. Protected by a picturesque backdrop of mountains, the bay is calm and the taverna is pleasant.