Map

Starting in the city of Agios Nikolaos and having visited the churches of the Vrefotrofos and Agios Nikolaos in the cove, we will follow the route to Elounda, where we will visit the Early Christian Basilica.

Leaving behind the picturesque gulf of Elounda, with the Venetian castle of Spinalonga, we will head north to Skinias, where we will visit the church of Agios Georgios, and then slightly south to visit Areti Monastery and Kardamoutsa Monastery near the village Karydi.

We will visit the church of Agios Konstantinos in Dories, the Churches of Agios Antonios and Agia Varvara in Syrmesso and the Church of Agia Anna in the picturesque village of Fourni.

Leaving behind the barren landscape of the mountain villages of upper Mirabillo, we will visit the Metamorfosi tou Sotiros of Keramos Monastery in Neapolis, Agios Onoufrios in Voulismneni and Keraghoniotissa in Latsida before reaching Agios Georgios Selinaris Monastery.

South of Vrachassi, we will visit Agios Georgios Vrachassiotis Monastery and, upon returning to Neapolis, we will visit Fraro Monastery and Megali Panagia. Koufi Petra Convent and Kremasta Convent are located in the semi-mountainous terrain near the village of Vrysses.

Following the Neapolis valley to the east, we will visit the church of Panagia Koubelidiki in Houmeriako, Agios Ioannis Theologos in Limnes and the church of Michail Archangelos in Lakonia.

We then head south to the picturesque main village of Kritsa, which is home to Kera, one of the most important mural-adorned churches on Crete.

In Kritsa, a village with long tradition, we will also visit the churches of Agios Ioannis Prodromos, Hodegetria, Agios Georgios Kavoussiotis and Agios Ioannis.

Heading south to the village of Krousta, we will visit the churches of Kato Ai Giorgis and Ai Giannis in Lakki and before returning to Agios Nikolaos, we will pass through Prina, which is home to the church of Agios Georgios.

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Agios Georgios (St. George) (Prina)

This is a single-space arch-covered church with murals dating back to the first centuries of the era of Venetian rule.

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Saint John the Theologian at Lakkoi

The small church of St. John is located inside the settlement of Lakkoi, abandoned decades ago, to the northeast of Krousta. The church, which had been built in place of an older, larger church, was decorated in 1347/48 by the lord John Klontzias, as the dedicatory inscription on the west wall informs us. The iconographic […]

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Kato Ai Giorgis (Lower St. George) (Kroutas)

This is a single-space arch-covered church featuring Venetian stone sculptures and 13th century murals.

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Agios Georgios (St. George) Kavoussiotis (Kritsa)

This is a small single-space arch-covered church with 13th and 14th century murals depicting prophets and full-size-bodied Saints, the most impressive being the exceptionally vibrant Saint George on a horse.

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Hodegetria (Our Lady of the Way) (Kritsa)

The 19th century two-aisled church is dedicated to the Presentation of the Virgin Mary and to Saint Charalampus. The church is unique in that it combines elements of Byzantine, Venetian and Ottoman architecture. It is home to numerous portable icons, chief among them being that of Panagia Galaktotrofoussa (Virgin Mary Nursing the Baby Jesus).

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Agios Ioannis Prodromos (St. John the Baptist) (Kritsa)

This is a small arch-covered church that was recently restored. The murals date back to 1370 and the most remarkable are those on the eastern side, depicting scenes from hell.

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The church of Panagia Kera at Kritsa

The three-aisled, barrel-vaulted church of the All-Holy Virgin ‘the Lady’ with a dome on the nave is located to the south and at a distance of around 500 metres from the settlement of Kritsas. The church is one of the most important visited monuments of Crete because of its extensive and well-preserved wall painting decoration […]

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Michael the Archangel at Lakonia

The single-nave, externally simple, church of Michael the Archangel, in the south ­outskirts of the settlement of Lakonia, has in its interior one of the best preserved wall painting compositions of the 15th century in Crete, painted in 1431/32. The ­iconographic programme in the main church includes only five scenes from the Gospel cycle as […]

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Agios Ioannis Theologos (St. John the Divine) (Limnes)

The single-space arch-covered church of Agios Ioannis dates back to 1310. Of its surviving murals, the majority cover the story of the Crucifixion and the Ascension.

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All – Holy Virgin Koumbelina at Choumeriako

The church of the All-Holy Virgin the Koumbelina or Koumbelidiki (meaning ‘having a dome’) is built according to the architectural plan of the simple cross-in-square church. A wide barrel-vaulted, transverse narthex was added to the west later. Remains of an arch on the west of the north façade indicate that a barrel-vaulted narthex existed in […]

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Saint Onoufrios at Voulismeni

The single-nave church of St. Onoufrios is located to the north of the village of Voulismeni on a plateau at the top of a small hill. It may have been the catholicon of a monastery –abandoned today already from the beginning of the 20th century– without any known reference to it in the sources. The […]

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The Metropolitan church of Megali Panagia at Neapolis

The metropolitan church, dedicated to the Dormition of the Theotokos (August 15), rises magnificent in the north corner of the central square of Neapolis. Its erection at the turn of the 19th to the 20th century lasted a long time due to the financial ­constraints of the period. It had been founded in the year […]

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Metamorphosis tou Sotiros (Transfiguration of the Redeemer) (Neapolis)

The two-aisled church is located in the cemetery of Neapolis and is dedicated to the Transfiguration of Jesus and to All Saints. The northern aisle was the original centre of the church, in contrast to the southern aisle, which is more recent. The murals date back to the late 13th – early 14th century, the […]

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Saint Anna at Fourni

The barrel-vaulted church of St. Anna is dated to the late 14th– early 15th centuries on the basis of the stylistic features of the wall painting decoration which is preserved in its north and east sides. The church internally is shaped plastically with a series ­of ­shallow arches, while it also bears a plastic formation […]

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Agia Varvara (St. Barbara) (Syrmesso)

The single-space arch-covered church of Agia Varvara was the catholicon of a Monastery during the era of Venetian rule, with the monastery structures being visible around the church. The depiction of Saint Barbara on the drum of the semi-circular relief arch is particularly impressive.

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Agios Antonios (St. Anthony) (Syrmesso)

The church was the catholicon of a 16th century monastery of the same name. It is a single-space arch-covered church with a semi-circular relief arch at the southern entrance. Its western side is linked to the main church with an arched narthex, while around the catholicon one can see the ruins of the Monastery that […]

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Saint Constantine at Dories

The twin-naved church at Dories, dedicated to St. Constantine and to the Holy Cross, was the catholicon of a relatively small monastery from which only a few buildings survive with the most important of these being a barrel-vaulted one to the north of the church. The early ­history of the monastery, even though unknown in […]

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Agios Georgios (St. George) (Skinias)

This is a 16th century arch-covered single-space church, with impressive blind arches and an ogival apse. Its murals date back to the 14th century and survive in relatively good condition.

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The Early Christian Basilica at Elounda

In the location of the ancient city of Olous, at the isthmus of Poros, the settlement of Alyngos, as Elounda was called in the sources of the sixth century, developed in the early Byzantine period. The most important excavated monuments of the settlements are, until today, the two early Christian basilicas of the 5th century, […]

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Agios Nikolaos (St. Nicholas) at Ormos

The church of Agios Nikolaos is located at the small cove where ships were stranded during the Byzantine and Venetian eras. This is an exceptionally old domed church, one of the few of the Early Byzantine era that survive on Crete, with an impressive apse over the altar. It was built before the Arab conquest, […]

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All – Holy Virgin the Vrefokratousa at Agios Nikolaos

The particularly elongated church of the All-Holy Virgin in the old centre of the city of Agios Nikolaos is the result of two successive expansions to the west of the ­original barrel-vaulted, single-nave church. The original church and the first expansion have two layers of mural paintings of which the oldest, dating to the first […]

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Holy Monastery of Kremasta

The monastery of Kremasta is located at a distance of around 2,5 kilometres from Neapolis on the slopes of Mount Kavallara on the route towards the Plateau of ­Lasithi. According to the dedicatory inscription on the lintel of the catholicon, it was founded in 1593 by Metrophanes Agapetos. From around the middle of the 19th […]

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Holy Monastery of Koufi Petra

The female monastery of Koufi Petra (Hollow Stone) is built to the west and at a close distance from the monastery of Kremasta, also on the slopes of Mount Kavallara. The only mention of the monastery in the sources is the indirect reference in a contract of the monastery of Areti, in the year 1630, […]

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Holy Monastery of Saint George the Vrachasotes

Even though the oldest reference to the monastery dates to 1549, during the ­abbotship of Joachim Kontoioannes, the dating of the wall-painted north aisle of the catholicon to the 14th century, places the first use of the space to an earlier period. Indeed, the heyday of the monastery, as can be determined from the surviving […]

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Agios Georgios (St. George) of Selinari

Agios Georgios Monastery, located in Selinari gorge, was built during the 2nd Byzantine era. The catholicon is dedicated to Saint George. There are two other churches, one dedicated to the Epiphany and the other to the Resurrection. The icon of Saint George, the protector of travellers, is considered to be miraculous and is a traditional […]

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Fraro Monastery

This is a Franciscan monastery, its name originated from the phrase ‘Frates Minores’. It was founded before the second half of the 14th century and its catholicon, dedicated to Saint Anthony, is of Roman Catholicon construction with an ogival arch.

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Kardamoutsa Monastery

The monastery is dedicated to the True Cross. It was founded in the late 16th century and belongs to the citadel style. The monastery features stone sculptures, capitals and sculpted troughs that prove its peak during the 17th century. The catholicon dates back to 1580. It is situated at the centre of the monastery and […]

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Holy Monastery of Areti

The monastery was founded at the end of the 16th century by Markos Papadopoulos, who also bequeathed it great wealth, enough for the upkeep of twelve monks. Notary documents confirm its peak during the 17th century as they mention the multitude of its transactions with other monasteries or individuals. Despite its destruction by the Turks […]

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