The province of Pediada hosts one of the most important religious parks in Crete, with numerous painted temples and deserted monasteries scattered all around. Prominent in number and aesthetic value of monuments is the area around today's Episkopi, which was the seat of the Diocese as its name reveals.
The fortified monastery of Agarathos is located 23km east of Heraklion in a wooded location at an altitude of 538m near Episkopi. The monastery, especially during the Venetian Era, was one of the richest in Crete owning several other monasteries in Heraklion and Lassithi prefectures. It is considered the first in the hierarchy of the monasteries of the island.
The monastery of Panagia Spiliotissa is located 22km south of Heraklion, between the villages Houdetsi and Agios Vasilios. It is hidden in the sides of the lush green Spiliotissa canyon. It can be easily accessed by walking on a green path, 500m long, from Houdetsi. Along this path you will see the Byzantine churches of St. John and Anthony, and two old water mills.
The monastery of Kallergis or Kaleris is located southeast of Smari village, about 35km east of Heraklion and 4km north of Kastelli. It is built in a wooded area with many hills and mountainous morphology.
The monastery of Kera Eleoussa is located next to the village Voritsio and belongs to the monastery of Agarathos. The monastery is built on a hill at three different levels, because of the slope.
The monastery of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary is located at an elevated position, east of the village Sgourokefali. The nunnery was founded in 1990 and has beautiful views to the village of Sgourokefali.
The monastery of St. John Theologos (John the Apostle) in Anopolis is located relatively close to Heraklion. Although it has experienced the cruelty of the Turks during the Turkish occupation of Crete, the monastery still operates today. It is built in a beautiful valley at an altitude of 170m, southeast of Anopolis.
The Monastery of Kera Kardiotissa is located 50km southeast of Heraklion, in a wooded area of North Dikti Range, next to the road leading to the Plateau of Lassithi. This is a historic monastery, after which the nearby settlements of Kera and Ano Kera Kera have been named.
The monastery of Agia Marina is located 500m south of the village of Voni and during its feast day (July 17) huge crowds arrive from all over Greece. The number of people arriving at Agia Marina is the highest in Crete, with car queues of many kilometers. There are many vendors before reaching the church.