> The Summer School will be hosted at Fodele Beach Hotel, 25 km west of Heraklion International Airport [Airport / city code: HER], situated beside the sandy beach of Fodele, birthplace of the world-wide famous painter Dominikos Theotokopoulos, also known as El Greco.
The village of Fodele is located a few kilometres inland from the hotel and is a refreshing oasis in the hot days of summer. It is famed for its orange groves which grow in this sheltered inland valley. The village square offers the opportunity for relaxation at tavernas and cafes next to the river, underneath shady plane trees. A little further from the square, at the Archontico settlement you will find the Dominico Theotokopoulos Museum of Replicas, which is housed at the alleged birth-place of the great painter. Nearby there is the small Byzantine church of the Panagia (Virgin Mary), which is said to have been the inspiration for El Greco's interest in hagiography. This church is built on the ruins of an older three-sectioned Byzantine church, with wonderful frescos and sculptures.
Other places worth a visit include the house of Dominico Theotokopoulos, the Byzantine church in Loumbinies and the Galini area where a stream surrounded by plane trees runs until mid summer and empties into a natural lake- an area so beautiful that it could be declared a national park.
Crete is the most southern region of Greece and Europe and is the largest Greek island. Separating the Aegean Sea from the Libyan sea, it marks a physical boundary between Europe and Africa.
The climate is one of the mildest and healthiest in Europe. On average, winter in Crete is mild and summer warm and sunny. Average year temperature is 19°C. During summer and throughout to October, expect the temperature to range from 24°C to 34°C with a mild sea breeze usually moderating the heat. Local time is +2 GMT (or +1 CET).
The landscape of the island is diverse: The magnificent mountain ranges of the Lefka Ori (White Mountains), Psiloritis and Dikti rise in the centre of the island and there are several fertile plains, such as the Lassithi plateau which is ringed by picturesque mountain villages. Parts of the island are split by deep gorges, such as the famous Samaria Gorge which can be explored by an organised tour. Imposing mountains and rocky terrain alternate with a coastline full of beaches, some secluded, others long and sandy, all with crystal clear waters.
Crete is also renowned for its variety of vegetation and is particularly famous for olive trees, orange groves, vineyards and vegetable gardens. Medicinal herbs and fragrant shrubs -cistus, dittany, marjoram and thyme - grow in rocky areas and the higher peaks are home to the 'Kri-Kri', the Cretan goat, a protected species you might encounter wondering in the National Reserve of Samaria Gorge.
This island's fertile soil and towering peaks witnessed the development of the Minoan civilization (2800-1150 B.C.), one of the most important in the history of mankind. The Minoans built the famous palatial centers of Knossos, Phaistos, Malia, Zakros, and others. These archaeological sites are open to visitors and guided tours are available at Knossos throughout the day.
Another characteristic of Crete is the exceptionally hospitable, independent, and proud attitude of the locals. Walk into a traditional village and they will invite you to sit and eat with them and offer you 'raki', the local spirit. Taste the Cretan Cuisine, which is considered as one of the most healthy in the world, listen to the sound of traditional lyra playing local music and be amazed by the scenery. Let yourself live this unique atmosphere and experience!
Crete is an ideal resort for extending your stay for holidays!
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