Yasmyr Villas are situated in the beach shore village of Platanias northwest of Chania. In a close distance, less than a mile from the sandy beach of Platanias there is a small uninhabited island called Thodorou Island or Agii Theodoroi island. In this article from our luxury villas blog we will inform you about this island and its history.
Thodorou - or - Agii Theodoroi island had taken its name from the Greek Orthodox Tradition, as “Agii” means “Saints” in Greek. We say saints, plural, because there are actually two islands and not one! From the beach of Platanias you may see the bigger more prominent island with the cave clearly visible from the shore, but actually right abaft there is one smaller island called “Glaraki” which in Greek means “the smaller seagull”.
Those two islands comprise the Thodorou island (s) we have already stated. The name of those islands is due to the fact that in the island there is a small church of those particular saints, and if you do look closely from ashore, you will be able to recognize it by yourself.
The island has also big archaeological significance, as there was a fortress that was constructed by the Venetians in the 16th century for defence purposes and also there are clear signs that even from the Minoan Times the island was also used for ritual and spiritual purposes.
The Venetians had also established another smaller fortress on the top of the island, for defence purposes as well. Fragments of those establishments can be easily found still on the island, as well as the byzantine church of the newer years.
Because of the archaeological significance of the island tourists can not go there, in order not to obstruct the vital and fragile environment of the island. On top of that, there is a big (and steadily increasing) number of endangered Cretan goats (Kri- Kri) on the island, so it is crucial environment for their breeding as well.
Those animals were close to extinction and can only been found in few places, most certainly on the Thodorou island and in the Samaria Gorge as well. There is also some newer buildings on the island, a huge water tank and some buildings that specialists of the forestry department live in order to take care and preserve the Kri- Kri population on the island.
We already said that its strictly prohibited to visit the island. Even reaching the shore in less than 100m by boat is also considered illegal. However, you can visit the island as a visitor but only once per year. On one day during the summer months, the Byzantine Church that is on top of the island has a commemoration and there are numerous boats that transfer you from Agia Marina and Platanias to and from the Agii Theodoroi island.
On this specific date they honour those greek orthodox tradition saints and they are also doing a small fest with some free holy bread and holy liturgy. Except from the -once a year- opportunity to visit a secluded island, you can also see from first sight the way locals attend the church, and the greek orthodoxy tradition and rituals. We, at Yasmyr Villas, strongly recommend to have that in mind, blend in with the locals and learn more about our homeland tradition, folklore, customs and rituals.
The date when you are able to get to Thodorou Island is 8 of June, where they host the homonym fest in the island. You can further educate yourself on our island's tradition and especially on Thodorou island by also reading the island’s wikipedia article .