Agia Triada, Gouverneto and Katholiko Monasteries

The most importand monasteries of Akrotiri are Monastery of Agia Triada (Holy Trinity) - Jagarolon, Monastery of Gouverneto and Moni Katholiko. You can include all these three monasteries in one sort, lovely trip since they are located one after the other.

The monastery of Agia Triada is located 8 Km from Giorgi's Blue Apts, while 4 Km further up the hill you find the Monastery of Gouverneto. The road stops here and the nicest part of your trip will start soon, after you finish visiting the monastery: Is a 30 minutes lovely and very easy walk, downhill, all the way to the sea. But let's take it from the beginning.

1. The monastery of Agia Triada (Holy Trinity) Jagarolonmonastery of Agia Triada (Holy Trinity) Jagarolon

This majestic monastery was built in 1612 by the monks Laurentius and Jeremiah, members of the Venetian orthodox family of Jagarolon.

Built on the ruins of an old church, is of Byzantine cruciform architecture with three domes.

An avenue of cypress trees will take you to the central gate while Ionic and Corinthian columns support the ceiling of the main entrance. Pay attention to a Greek inscription: "There was and there was and there was. But in there was there is and there will be Light, and Light, and Light. But in Light one God really (1631) "

It was burned down by the Turks during the 1821 revolution, desolated for many years and finally renovated yeas later by Calliopios and Gregorios, monks from the nearby area while an impressive bell-tower was added later, in 1864.

In the 19th century the monastery was an important theological school. A boarding school was founded in 1833 while in 1892 it was a seminary.

In our days, the visitor will see a beautiful, flourishing monastery in perfect condition, can visit their library, a small museum with a collection of icons and codices and can taste (and buy) their excellent home made wine and olive-oil.

2. Monastery of Gouverneto

Gouverneto Monastery Continuing northwards for 4 Km after the monastery of Agia Triada we find the monastery of Gouverneto.

It was built in 1548 in honour of the Virgin Mary, or as it is known widely, to the Lady of Angels. Locally it is known as the monastery of St. John the Hermit, the founder of the monastery, who lived and died in the nearby cave that bears his name and it is celebrated on the 7th October.

With obvious Venetian architectural influences the fortified enclosure of the monastery has a 50X40 m parallelogram shape with a square tower in each corner.

Central located there is a vaulted temple with a fašade decorated with Venetian sculpture.

This active now monastery was also destroyed by the Turks in 1821 during the Greek War of Independence and now belongs to the monastery of Agia Triada.

3. Moni Katholiko

Having parked your car at the front yard of the monastery of Gouverneto, the view to the sea is irresistibly inviting and the path through a wild and majestic ravine seems (and it is!) so promising.

The first stop on your walk down (in approx. 10 min.) will be at the so-called Cave of the Bear.

In the middle of the large cave there is a massive stalagmite in the shape of a bear.

Tradition connects this cave with the worship of Goddess Artemis.

After another 15 min. walk you find your self at the old monastery of Katholiko.

It is a Byzantine rock-carved building of the 11th century, with an impressive Venetian fašade, perhaps the most ancient monastery on Crete.

After numerous pirates' raids the monks abandoned it in the 16th century and stays uninhabited since then.

You can visit the nearby cells and crypts, while west of the monastery you can find the entrance to a deep cave in which St. John the Hermit (Xenos) spent his ascetic days. You can walk for approx. 20 min. to the bottom of this cave, kind of easy walk, but not recommended for claustrophobics.

Cross the massive stone bridge and head down to the sea. Soon you will really appreciate a swim from the rocks!

While the walk downhill is only 30-35 minutes, allow 1hour + 30 min. for the return trip. A bottle of water is always a good idea...