Where are we?

Akrotiri Peninsula and Monasteries

Thursday we headed just east of Chania on the Akrotiri peninsula to go to a monastery within a cave. I feel like a lump because we haven't been during our long walks, so thought going to the caves would be good.  We parked the car at the gate of the Gourveneto monastery which was built in 1548. It was the largest monastery on the island. It is still used by the monks. We didnt stop to go in before we headed down the gorge and when we got back it was closed until 4pm.  We are going to walk down into the gorge to see the ruins of Kathalico monastery that was built long before this one. It is believed to have started in the 11 century. It's over a 3km walk return but also drops 200 meters to the site.  So easy walk down but work coming back.

On the road to the monastery saw this goat enjoying the berries on this tree

The walk down is pretty interesting, can see a few caves across the gorge.  We also come up to what is call Bear Cave which is also part of an old church. But couldnt find any real info on it.

The walkway zigzags back and forth 

cave across the gorge used by the monks

crocus growing along the path- but not the saffron type like we saw in Morocco

Bear Cave - ringing the bell 

We keep going down down down.  I really didnt know what we were going to see and was just about ready to turn around and go back thinking the cave was what we were to see since I didnt know about Katholiko until we returned and I searched it online.  Then Dwayne spotted something further down so we continued.  Thats when we saw Katholiko! Wow really cool down here.  The first cave we come up to is the cave St John the Hermit used and his bones are now at the end of one of the tunnels. He is said to have started this monastery.  A lady that was with a group of people came up to us and said to go inside. Dwayne was already inside with my phone flashlight checking it out.  So I went with the lady since she had a small light, but I didnt go to far before I said "this is fine" :)  She took Dwayne further into the cave to show him where the body of St John was suppose to be buried, but would mean going thru a very narrow tunnel which they didnt go thru.

Walkway down to Kathalico ruins

walled in area across the gorge

Cave that have the remains of St John and that Dwayne went into quite aways
We then continued down the stairs to the Chapel.  There was also a bridge built over the river that flowed thru the gorge. Interesting place!

Bridge over the gorge 

Monks' rooms on the left 

Chapel into the cave

the walkway 

Inside of the Chapel

Front of the chapel 

Another opening next to the chapel but doesnt go anywhere 

Gourveneto monastery at the top of the gorge- still in use
It was time to head back up because the clouds started coming in.  We drove to another monastery on our way back. When we had passed it earlier there was a bus tour stopped there so decided to pass.  this time we had to pay 2.50E each entry fee.  We were shown the way to the museum that had all sorts of artifacts inside - but no pictures allowed.  We then walked around the cloister and into the church. Very ornate inside!  From there we walked around the courtyard a little more. LOTS of cats hang out here :)  As we leave there is a little shop in the basement where the monks sell the wine and olive oil they make.  We didn't go in because I didn't want to feel that I had to buy something since I have lots of both - can always drive there later when I run out of wine :)

Aghia Triada - Holy Trinity Monastery 

Front of the church inside the monestary 

                                                               Inside the church

Walking along the cloister with the monks' rooms on the left and garden on the right 

Now it was again 2pm and we haven't had lunch!  We decide to make a quick stop at the grocery store to pick up a few things and then head home for lunch.  We're both pooped out from our walk, which by the time we got back to the top monastery we had walked 4 kms.  Time to call it a day :)


  1. All of these places you are seeing just seem so incredibly interesting to me. Would love to be with you guys exploring. What is the temperature. You look kinda chilly.

    1. Yes its fun finding some of these things. It has been a little cool the last few days - about 16-18C but today it started raining around noon so cooling off :(