Following the Rethymno – Heraklion national road, we will visit the Bali region, featuring the Church of Panagia Harakiani and the Atalli – Bali Monastery.

Returning to Panormo, we will visit the ruins of the Early Christian Basilica and then head towards Episkopi to visit the Church of Agios Ioannis.

Following the beautiful valley of Geropotamos to the east, we will cross Heliana, where we will visit the Church of Agios Georgios, before ending at Vossakou Monastery.

To the south, in the region of Halepa, we will visit the Monastery of the same name and the Church of Agia Marina before heading to Diskouriou Monastery and the village Axos, which features a large number of Byzantine churches, including those of Agios Athanassios Patelaros, Agios Ioannis, Agia Irene and Michail Archangelou.

Leaving Axos behind, we will finish our trip at the historic hamlet of Anogia, where we will visit the Church of Agios Ioannis.


Agios Ioannis (St. John) (Anogia)

A two-aisled arch-covered church, with its south aisle dedicated to Saint John the Baptist and the north to the Presentation of the Virgin Mary. The murals date back to the 14th century but survive in poor condition. The mural of Panagia Glykofiloussa (Virgin Mary of Sweet Kisses), also known as ‘Paramythia’, is impressive and rare, […]


Michail Archangelos (Archangel Michael) (Axos)

A Byzantine two-aisled church located at the centre of the village. One of its aisles is bigger than the other and dates back to the 15th century. A medieval fountain has survived outside the church.


Agia Irini (St. Irene) (Axos)

The church of Saint Irene is a 14th century single-space arch-covered cruciform church that later acquired a dome. Few of its murals survive.


Agios Ioannis (St. John) (Axos)

Built on the ruins of an older basilica, the church of Saint John is situated in the cemetery of Axos. The church stands out for its well-preserved murals and its impressive mosaic. The most remarkable of its murals could be the one depicting scenes from hell.


Agios Athanassios Patelaros (St. Athanassius Patelaros) (Axos)

This is the most recent church in Axos. It was built in 2008 and was dedicated to Saint Athanassios Patelaros, who was born in Axos in 1590. He studied Ancient Greek, Philosophy, Theology, Latin and Italian and became a monk after the death of his father. In 1620, he became Archbishop of Thessaloniki and in […]


Agia Marina (St. Marina) (Halepa)

The chapel of Saint Marina is just 300 metres from Halepa Monastery. It bears the coat of arms of the Kallergis family, one of the most powerful families of the Venetian era that enjoyed unique privileges. The church contains many well-preserved murals.


Agios Georgios (St. George) (Heliana)

The Byzantine church of Saint George is located in the cemetery of Heliana, just outside the village. According to the carved inscription, the church was built in 1319. The surviving murals are in quite good condition, the most remarkable being that of Patriarch Nikolaos.


Agios Ioannis (St. John) (Episkopi)

The Byzantine basilica of Saint John in Episkopi was likely built on the ruins of an Early Christian Basilica. It is a wooden-roofed, three-aisled basilica that was built in the domed cruciform style after being destroyed in 1303. The surviving murals date back to the 14th century.


Early Christian Basilica (Panormo)

This is the largest Early Christian Basilica on Crete and is dedicated to Agia Sophia (Holy Wisdom). Architecturally speaking, it is a wooden-roofed basilica with a T-shaped transept, a total length of 54 metres and a total width of 23 metres. The basilica dates back to the 5th century and seems to have been in […]


Halepa Monastery

Halepa Monastery was founded at the end of the era of Venetian rule and, according to documents dating back to 1555, it owned a significant amount of property. Inside the Monastery, there is a fountain, a stable, as well as workshops. The founder, according to an inscription at the Monastery, was Ieremias Sgouros in 1637. […]


Diskouriou Monastery

Diskouriou Monastery is located near the traditional hamlet of Axos and served as a glebe of Halepa Monastery. It must have been in operation during the late years of Venetian Rule, as it is listed in 1630 in the list of Mylopotamos villages. The fact that an important religious centre was located here is also […]


Vossakos Monastery

Vossakos Monastery is located between the peaks of Koutsotrouli, Sofiani and Koufotos of Mount Kouloukonas. It belongs to the citadel style of architecture, being surrounded by walls, and is dedicated to the True Cross. Its catholicon is a small, single-space structured built in the late 19th century, but its first catholicon, according to the inscription […]


Attali Monastery or Bale

Attali Monatery or Bale is located on the hills of Agia Ypakoi near Bali and is dedicated to Saint John the Baptist. Although the monastery dates back to the 14th century, written testimonies date back to 1628 onwards. The Monastery is built on numerous levels and features stables, an oil mill, baking premises, a fountain, […]


Panagia Harakiani (Mother Mary of Harakas) Monastery

Panagia Harakiani Monastery is situated on the road from Heraklion to Rethymno, near Bali. According to the most likely version of events, it served as a glebe of Attali Monastery. At the west of the church, the sigil of the Kallergis family can be seen.