Religious Monuments of Crete


The remote province of Sitia hosted several monasteries and convents, most of which followed the decline of the settlements and are now abandoned, retaining only their temples.

Kapsas Monastery

The Monastery of St. John in Kapsas is located 9km east of Makrigialos next to Goudouras. This is owned by Toplou Monastery, near Sitia, and is dedicated to the Beheading of St. John the Baptist, celebrated on August 29.


Faneromeni Monastery near Sitia

The Monastery of Panagia Faneromeni (Revealed Virgin Mary) in Trachilas area of Sitia is located on the edge of a steep area between the Cape Trachilas and Babakia, about 1.5km away from the sea and 8km west of Sitia town. It is built in a lush green area, next to the small gorge of Agii Pantes (All Saints), ideal for an easy walk.


Toplou Monastery near Sitia

Toplou Monastery is located in the northeastern tip of Crete, at the base of Sidero Cape, 10km east of Sitia and 6km north of Palekastro. The monastery is one of the most historic monasteries of Crete and is known for its vast real property. In religious circles it is known as the Monastery of Panagia Akrotiriani, while the locals just call it the Great Monastery.

Agia Sofia Monastery in Armeni

Agia Sophia is an old abandoned monastery located on the plateau of Armenochantrades. The monastery is surrounded by walls and in the center there still stands the church of Hagia Sophia. All around there are the ruins of the monk cells and some renovated buildings.


Saint John monastery at Liopetro

Below Liopetro Peak there is the very old church of St. John that once operated as a monastery, accessible through a very bad road starting from the main road connecting Lassithi to Sitia (initially cement road). The background to the towering phyllitic rocks of Liopetro is impressive.


Church of Christ at Orino

The Church of Transfiguration of Christ is located in the beautiful canyon Orino and you will meet it during the descent of the trail that leads in Koutsouras. The church bears remarkable frescoes in very good condition and has impressive architecture, as it is a single-nave barrel-vaulted with two equal-sized rooms on the sides.


Panagia Mirtidiotissa church at Lastros

At the western village of Sitia province, Lastros we meet the church of Panagia Myrtidiotissa at position Sygomalia. The chapel celebrates every year on September 24th and is one of the few called "Myrtidiotissa" in Crete. The church is located at an idyllic countryside location overlooking the sea and the village of Lastros. The area is covered by maquis vegetation of wild olive, oak, locust trees and brushwood.


Panagia Church at Kalo Nero

The settlement of Kalo Nero at province Sitia belongs to the village Pervolakia and was originally developed around the monastery of Panagia, dedicated to Zoodochos Pigi (Life Giving Spring). The monastery probably functioned for the first time in the 15th century next to the important spring of water in the area and functioned possibly as the religious center for the hermits who lived in the many caves around.


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