Starting at the Monastery of Agia Irene in Rethymno, we head to Roussospiti, a village where we will visit the Church of the Virgin Mary, and to Chromonastiri, to a nearby picturesque village to visit the Churches of Agios Eftichios and Panagia Kera.

Leaving behind the hilly hinterland filled with olive trees, we head north to the village Pangalochori, where Arsaniou Monastery is located, and head on to visit the Church of Agios Dimitrios in the hamlet of the same name.

Following the road to the south, we will pass by Kyriana, where the Church of the Dormition of Mother Mary is located, before reaching Arkadi, one of the most important monuments of Cretan history, which has been designated by UNESCO as a European Freedom Monument.

After worshipping at Arkadiou Monastery and before returning to the city of Rethymno, we will visit the region of Eleftherna, which features important antiquities, including an important Early Christian Basilica, as well as the Church of the Saviour.


Early Christian Basilica (Eleftherna)

Recent excavations at Pyrgi brought to light a three-aisled Early Christian Basilica built in Ancient Eleftherna. The three aisled and the narthex have been fully revealed, while the mosaic floors with geometrical shapes and plant décor are visible. The walls of the basilica and the pillars supporting the interior arcades were decorated with tiles placed […]


Koimisi tis Theotokou (Dormition of Mother Mary) (Kyrianna)

The Byzantine church of the Dormition of Mother Mary is located at the centre of Kyrianna. It is an arch-covered cruciform domed church with a large narthex, dating back to the 11th century. During the early years of the era of Ventian rule, the church was expanded to the west, where doors were added with […]


Panagia Kera (Our Lady) (Chromonastiri)

Panagia Kera is an 11th century cruciform Byzantine church with a cylindrical dome and narthex that is higher than its central part. Its murals date back to two periods (11th & 14th century), although few of the 11th century murals survive. The most important is the large icon of the Virgin Mary.


Agios Eftichios (St. Eutychius) (Chromonastiri)

This is an 11th century Byzantine church, as its murals testify. It was originally a single-aisled cruciform church, but received various additions over time, resulting in four smaller rooms around its central aisle at present. Agios Eftichios is the only church on Crete with five spaces. The murals were painted by Ioannis Xenos.


Church of Panagia (Mother Mary) (Roussospiti)

This is a 14th century single-space basilica that served as the first parish church of Roussospiti. It was converted into a café in 1896 by the Ottomans. During its recent restoration, Christian and Muslim tombs were discovered in its courtyard, meaning that it also served as the first cemetery of the village. The church features […]


Arkadi Monastery

Arkadi Monatery is perhaps the best known monastery on Crete due to the Holocaust of 1866. However, its location and impressive architecture make it all the more special. It is a large fortified complex built during the end of the period of Venetian rule. Apart from the monks’ cells, the central building also includes warehouses, […]