Thodorou island is the small island in the sea of Chania, lying opposite the beach of Agia Marina. It is a distinctive island of pristine natural beauty, with a sizable population of Kri-kri, the rare Cretan wild goats, living on it.
The island of Thodorou perfectly complements the great beaches west of Chania city. It is uninhabited by people and not open to visitors, in order to protect its unique flora and fauna, including, of course, the Kri-kri wild goats.
The island dominates the beach landscape west of Chania city, in the area between Stalos and Platanias. You can clearly see it from the elevated vantage location of Cretan Dream Royal hotel.
Thodorou island and the Kri-kri wild goats
Although it is not too far away from Agia Marina beach, the island of Thodorou is not easily accessible (you can only go there by boat). This fact, along with its unique natural environment, has lead the local authorities to declare the island a protected natural reserve in Chania.
The isolation of the island, along with its protected status, proved to be an ideal place for the breeding of the rare (and previously endangered) Kri-kri, the wild goats of Crete. Today, on the 700 sq m of the island live about 100 Kri-kri.
There is only a day each year when people can (cautiously) visit Thodorou: June 8th, the name day of Agios Theodoros (Saint Theodore), the patron saint of the island. This day the local boat services are allowed to transport visitors to Thodorou, so if you happen to be in Chania at that time, don’t lose your only chance to set foot on the island.
Thodorou island through history
The strategic location of the island of Thodorou in the sea west of Chania city, made it very important through the centuries. About 4.000 years ago, in the time of the Minoan civilization, the island was considered a sacred place. Historians believe that at that time there was a popular religious sanctuary on the island.
On the west side of the oblong island, there is a big cave. According to the local ancient legend, this is the open mouth of a big monster that attacked the area many centuries ago. Fortunately, and in order to protect the locals, the gods turned the monster into stone, and Thodorou is what remained of the petrified ancient monster. The cave, aka the open mouth of the monster, today is one of the playing fields for the many Kri-kri, the wild goats of Crete, on the island.
In the Venetian period, and in the 16th century, a big fortress was built on the island to protect all the surrounding region from the pirates and the Ottomans. The name of the fortress was San Teodoro, which was also the original name of the island, that in turn became Thodorou in recent history.
The island of Thodorou is a remarkable place, that you can’t fail to notice, when enjoying the great beaches west of Chania city. Its status as a protected natural reserve, along with the substantial population of the Cretan wild goats, the Kri-kri, that live on it, make it a very important part in the protection of the authentic local environment.
So now you know: When you are relaxing by the wonderful pool of Cretan Dream Royal hotel, and you admire the panoramic elevated view to the sea, the island that you see in the middle of the sea of Chania, is the island with the untouched environment that is home to the local population of the Kri-kri wild goats: the magnificent Thodorou island.