1. Toplou Monastery
Toplou: One of the most significant and beautiful monasteries in Crete
Toplou Monastery or Monastery of Panagia Akrotiriani located on the northeast tip of Crete. The name Toplou is Turkish for cannonball and hides its own history.
Despite the fact that Toplou is at a distance of 2.5 hours from Heraklion, it is definitely worth a visit, that can be combined with the beautiful beaches of the area, the site of ancient Itanos and the famous palm grove of Vai.
Toplou monastery houses many works of art and an interesting exhibition of Byzantine icons, books, documents and ancient engravings that reflect Cretan history throughout the centuries.
Don’t miss the chance to visit it.
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Stay nearby to Sfendoni Cave, and explore the attractions
2. Arkadi Monastery
Arkadi Monastery: A sight with rich history and grandeur
The Arkadi monastery is located in the hilly country of Rethymno and has a special historical background.
The current monument bears every mark of Renaissance architecture, an obvious influence of the Venetian rule on the island. Apart from the Katholikon (main chapel) which stands at the centre, the monastery complex includes the monk cells and ancillary buildings, clustered around a central court yard.
This was an extremely wealthy monastery, an important center of copying Greek manuscripts and a workshop of church embroideries.
The monastery has easy access by car or by local transportation and some of the route is exceptionally scenic.
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3. Faneromeni Monastery
Panagia Faneromeni: One of the most popular monasteries in Crete
The Monastery of Panagia Faneromeni or Virgin Mary of Gournia is located northwest of Pachia Ammos, 24km south of Agios Nikolaos. This wonderful monastery was built into the cave in which appeared the marvellous Icon of Virgin Mary, according to an ecclesiastical legend. Moreover, is very known in Greece for the innumerable marvels, that Virgin Mary made to faithful.
It is built on a steep slope at an altitude of 540 meters with stunning sea views. The defensive character of the monastery is revealed by its strategic position and the fortress-like architecture.
Today the monastery is practically deserted,but it still remains a remarkable sight, that you should visit.
More information: https://www.mygreece.tv/crete-faneromeni-monastery/
4. Kapsa Monastery
Kapsa Monastery: A picturesque monastery in a great location
The Κapsa monastery on Crete’s southeast is situated at the mouth of Perivolakia Gorge and is east of Makry Gialos, on the road to Goudouras. This monastery looks as if it has been carved into the hills, gazing out over the Libyan Sea and Koufonissi Island.
The monastery, dating from the 14th century, is still active.
Before and after Kapsa monastery in the region of Kalo Nero, there are many pristine coves with emerald waters, salt cedars and small pebbles. One of them is the beach at Staousa. Enjoy a refreshing dip into the sea and then wear something decent to visit Kapsa.
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