Fodele (Φόδελε in Greek) is a lovely, unspoiled traditional village some 30 km west of Heraklion on the island of Crete. It is set back a little inland from the coast and main highway in a lush green valley amongst the hills, surrounded by groves of oranges, lemons and mandarins. The smell of orange blossom in spring is a wonderful treat for the senses.

Fodele is the ideal location for either a getaway holiday or as a base for touring the island of Crete, and is a must for a day visit at least. There are several accommodation options in both in village and and down by Fodele beach - indeed George himself has an apartment for rent.

The river Pandomandri flows through the heart of the village, throughout the year. Many locals (and of course visitors) come to eat at tavernas by the running waters of the river, under the huge and shady Plane (Platanos) trees. Sundays throughout the year are especially busy, with many families coming from Heraklion for a day out in this lovely village. The village square in summer is the venue for the outdoor celebration of traditional Cretan concerts, christenings and weddings - some with as many as 2000 guests. Everyone is welcome!

The artist El Greco (full name Domenikos Theotokopoulos who, of course, has given his name to the Domenico Cafe) was born in Fódele in 1541. The renowned renaissance painter came to fame in Spain, having studied in Greece and Italy before establishing his reputation in Toledo and staying there until his death in 1614. A plaque from the University of Valladolid honouring Theotokopulos is prominent in the main street of Fódele. There is also the Museum of El Greco in the house said to be his birthplace.

The Byzantine church of Agia Panagia (above) from the 11th Century and the Monastery of Agios Panteleimon are also interesting highlights of visiting this pretty village.

Don't miss the footpath by the river, enjoy the cool shade, relax by the soothing waters and, of course, finish up in the Domenico Cafe for a meal or at least a fresh orange juice!