The Hermitages of Koudoumas

St Anthony

Saint Anthony Cave, Koudoumas
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On the trail leading from Agios Ioannis to Koudoumas monastery in Asterousia Range we meet an impressive cave, shaped Δ, in which there is the small church of Saint Anthony. The cave hosts stalagmites and stalactites; one stalactite, according to tradition, has the shape of Saint Anthony and forms a recess, where pilgrims have put icons of Saint Anthony.

The cave in the past served the religious needs of hermits, as it was a safe shelter in extreme weather conditions and was far away from civilization. From the original frescoes, few traces survive, such as the representation of the Crucifixion dating back to the second half of the 14th century.

The cave is visible throughout the route from Agios Ioannis to Koudoumas, as the entrance is particularly impressive with a height of 35m. It consists of a large hall, 60 meters long, and an average width of 10m. From around the middle of the room we can see constructions and cavred rocks from various eras, such as the seven cisterns for collecting water dripping from the roof, that is considered holy water. Shortly before the cave, the beautiful beaches of Agios Antonios and Agadiko are formed, next to the famous salt pans of Kapetaniana.

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Additional Info

  • Location: Heraklion Prefecture
  • Accessibility: Walking
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