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Probably the most mysterious place in Crete. Situated in the Sfakia region, Frangokastello offers a quiet vacation, with little surprises. It is full of shops, taverns a bakery etc so the visitor won’t be missing anything. The view is astounding. Look south, and you ‘ll see the Libyan sea traveling all the way till the African coasts. Look south, and you ‘ll see sky-high mountains and a gorge ripping them in half.

Frangokastello is also famous for its stories. But there is one story, that even today gives chills to anyone who hears it. A story that happened long ago, during the Ottoman occupation. The Cretan revolution was fighting against the Turks. The sultan sent everyone he had under his command to Frangokastello, at the Venetian castle built there during the previous Venetian occupation. Cretans were trapped in the castle with limited ammo and no way out. The Castello was surrounded. The end was nigh. The Cretan warriors were asked to surrender, as there was no hope of getting out alive. But Hatzimihalis Dlianis, the captain from continental Greece and the Cretans had other plans. They ironically invited the Ottomans in, so they could fight bravely face to face, and end this. The day after, the castle was breached, the Turks found their way in, and a massacre followed. Many Turks died that day, but they were thousands. The Greeks were only 400, so they lost the fight. The Turks threw the Greek bodies into the sea. For months, death was upon the region. Dead bodies everywhere, on the land, the sand and the sea. The smell was awful. As the years passed, the land ate them, the sand buried them, and the sea swallowed them. The story was then forgotten for a century. Until one day, during the early summer, a fisherman near the castle noticed something really weird. Armed figures on horses, exiting the castle and heading towards the sea. Reaching the coast, the horses didn’t stop. They roamed on the sea until they eventually disappeared. The fisherman was frightened to see it and told what he witnessed to the locals. A very old man concluded that they were the souls of the dead warriors, that were bravely sacrificed for freedom. In the following years, they kept appearing in the region in the early summer, running towards the sea and then disappearing. They were named Drosoulites because they appear during the morning dewiness (drosia). Many people to this day claim to have seen them. If you happen to be there during May, give it a try. You never know…