The bay of Fraskia of Panagia (i.e. Virgin Mary) is located 24km northwest of Heraklion, on the western side of the Gulf of Heraklion. It is located at the exit of a small valley next to the current private settlement of Theseus. The name Fraskia is taken after the Cretan word fraski, that was a type of jar that was used by Cretans as beehive. Indeed, the area is full of thyme, herbs and shrubs, which are ideal for producing honey.
A long part of the coast is full of alternating small coves with sand and rocky seabed, which stretch to the south till the area "The Garden of Priest”, south of which there are some amazing caves. The sea is usually very calm, since it suffers only from the eastern winds, relatively rare in Crete. The seabed is ideal for snorkeling, although it has been over-fished.
The beach can be accessed mainly by boat, although there is a tedious path leading to the bay, starting from the highway Heraklion-Rethymnon (before the exit to Ligaria). There is a second shortest, but harder path starting at the neighboring beach of Theseus. Especially on days when northwest winds blow, Panagia is a favorite choice of boat-owners of Heraklion.
You will not find anything on the beach, since it is secluded. Unfortunately, in recent years many constructions have popped up arbitrarily by some brainless locals, who have destroyed the shore. The squatters of the beach had the audacity to build cement bases on the beach, which combined with their rubbish, have created an untold damage to the landscape.
The beach takes its name after church of Virgin Mary, of which only ruins remain. Only a shrine now reminds us that here was once a church. The church still celebrates every year, when residents of Rogdia village come to the beach by boat. Close to the church, there is a dry creek with dense vegetation.
There is a very deep, pebbly beach in front of the settlement with flat sea, that is artificial and has been created for the residents of the settlement. The seabed is initially shallow, but turns to a steep "cliff" after some meters. There are umbrellas and a local canteen offering refreshments to the habitants of the village.
If you are not a resident or a visitor, you are not allowed to get your car to the beach and you have to park near the village exit. You are, however, allowed to walk 1km down to the beach, but the grade is so steep that return will be very exhaustive. The beach doesn't deserve this effort, unless you are allowed to get your car to the beach. As an alternative, you could come there by boat from the harbor of Pantanassa. If you are a keen snorkeler, the very deep water around Theseus vilage is ideal for fishing.