From Aptera to Kalyves to Kournas SEE ALL AVAILABLE ROUTES
The region of Apokoronos is not only one of the most beautiful on Crete, but has also preserved a significant number of ecclesiastical monuments, many of which have been developed and are open to the public.
Travelling east from Chania, leaving the National Road, visitors can reach Aptera, where, among the ruins of the ancient city there stands the Monastery of St. John the Divine (Theologos), a dependency of Patmos Monastery.
Further on, at the village of Stylos, are the churches of Panagia Zerviotissa and St. John.
Further to the south travelers can visit the church of St. Nicholas at Kyriakoselia and then, at the village of Armenoi, the Church of St. John the Divine (Theologos).
At the coastal village of Kalyves, there is the Church of Panagia Kera (Our Lady) and further to the east there are the ruins of an early Christian basilica.
The road to Gavalochori and Vamos brings visitors to the deserted Monastery of St. George, at Karydi.
Following the valley of Vryses one can get to the churches of the wonderful traditional village of Fres and, in the equally beautiful village of Vafes, the Church of Agioi Asomatoi (The Gathering of the Angels).
At Alikambos there is the Church of the Dormition (Koimisis tis Theotokou), in Maza the Church of St. Nicholas, and past the Kournas Lake, at the village of the same name, there are the churches of St. George and of Christ.
Agioi Asomatoi (The Gathering of the Angels) (Vafes)
This is a small, one-aisled, arch-roofed church northeast of Vafes hamlet. During the excavation and restoration works it was found that it is built on the ruins of an older church, which seems to have been active as early as the 6th century. This older church was destroyed in the 12th century and replaced by […]
Agios Georgios & Christos (St. George & Christ) (Kournas)
The Church of St. George was built at the end of the 12th century, initially as a three-aisled basilica with a wooden roof, a narthex and adobe brick arches. In 1230 Christ’s roof-covered aisle was added. In the 19th century, the interior of the main church was unified and the narthex demolished, while a bell-tower […]
Panagia ton Dyo Vrachon (Mother Mary of the two rocks) (Fres)
This church which is built on two rocks has one aisle, an arched roof and interesting murals dating to the 13th century, painted using a particular style. Among them stand out the depiction of Abraham’s Hospitality (Philoxenia tou Avraam) and of Panagia Platytera (Our Lady of the Sign).
Panagia Kera (Our Lady) (Kalyves)
Panagia Kera is a 19th century church built on the site of an older monastery. It is very close to Kera Beach. According to a local legend, when pirates attempted to invade the area, the residents prayed to Our Lady who performed a miracle and turned their ship into stone.
Aghios Nikolaos (St. Nicholas) (Kyriakoselia)
The church of St. Nicholas is at the foot of the hill where the early Byzantine Castle controlling the Souda Bay stands. The church was built in the 11th century and initially was a one-isle church with an arched roof and probably a cupola. Then, in the 13th century, after various modifications, the church became […]
Panagia Zerviotissa (Mother Mary of the Left Hand) (Stylos)
Just outside Stylos, within its citrus orchards, stands the 12th century church of Panagia Zerviotissa, also known as ‘Monastira’. This is a cruciform church with an eight-sided cupola and its floor plan echoes of a three-aisled basilica. Although hardly anything of the mural decorations have survived, the church is truly impressive.
Agios Ioannis Theologos (St. John the Divine) (Stylos)
This 12th century two-aisled church is dedicated to St. John the Divine (Theologos) and St. Nicholas. Initially there was only one aisle, and an arched roof, but later a second aisle was added. There are murals dating back to the 13th century, and the one that stands out is the depiction of St. John the […]
Agiou Georgiou (St. George) Monastery
A short while before arriving at Vryses, within a lush landscape of olive groves, there is the Monastery of St. George of Karydi; According to documents of 1600, it was named after a small hamlet called Karydi which used to stand here (walnut). During the Ottoman occupation it was conceded as a dependency to the […]
Agiou Ioanni (St. John) Monastery (Aptera)
At a central spot in the ancient city of Aptera, which was erected and flourished in the 3rd and 4th centuries B.C., there is the Monastery of St. John the Divine (Theologos), a dependency of the Monastery of St. John on the island of Patmos. There is a reference to dependence as early as 1181 […]