Starting in Moires, where the Information Centre of the Holy Metropolis of Gortyna and Arcadia is located, we will visit ancient Gortyna, where some of the most important Early Christian monuments of Crete can be found. The church of Agios Titos within the archaeological site of Gortyna and the enormous Early Christian Basilica before the village Mitropoli are among the most important churches of this period.
The small church – tomb of the Agioi Deka in the hamlet of the same name is dedicated to the Ten Martyrs who were martyred there during the persecutions of Emperor Decius in 250 AD.

We continue eastward to the village Pyrgos, where the Church of Agios Konstantinos is located, and after passing through the hamlets Prinia and Paranymfoi in the barren landscape of the Asteroussia, we reach Koudoumas Monastery on the shores of the Libyan Sea. The cavernous scetes of the rocky hillside of Mount Kofinas were once home to one of the largest monastic communities on Crete.

Following the ridge of the Asteroussia to the west, we reach the traditional hamlet Kapetaniana, where we will find the Church of Kyrie Eleisson and then, after heading down to the plains of Messara, we will once again climb the Asteroussia to visit Apezanes Monastery before returning to Moires.


The Church of Panagia at Kapetaniana

The small livestock farmers settlement of Kapetaniana is located on the eastern part of the sierra of Asterousia, in an area where monasticism thrived in the period of the early Venetian occupation, as is evinced from the large number of churches and hermitages that survive until this day. Inside the settlement is the church of […]


Saint George & Saint Constantine at Pyrgos

The nave and the south aisle, dedicated to St. George and St. Constantine ­respectively, are the only remains of the original three-aisled church today. The present, north, aisle of St. George has mural painting of the end of the 13th century, ­characteristic of the antiquated art of the period in which six scenes from the […]


The Early Christian Monuments of Agios Titos at Gortyna

The city of Gortyna, the capital of the Roman province of Cyrenaica (Africa) and seat of the governor of Crete from the 4th century AD was subject to the eastern Roman state and was a thriving city and seat of the archdiocese during the early Byzantine period. Indicative of its prosperity, during the early Christian […]


Ten Saints at Agioi Deka

In the centre of the settlement of Agioi Deka is a large three-aisled basilica with a narthex and two domed outbuildings to the east, dedicated to the homonymous saints. The church, which has multiple construction phases, was erected inside the Roman amphitheatre of ancient Gortyna where the saints were martyred in AD 250 during the […]


Holy Monastery of Koudoumas

The monastery is located at the south foot of mount Kofina, close to the sea, in a place full of ascetic memories. Even though the date of foundation is unknown, the sources confirm that it was not only functioning during the 14th century but it also had a school. This is the sole reference until […]


Holy Monastery of Apezana

The monastery of Apezana is located on the west side of the sierra of Asterousia and north of Kaloi Limenes (Fair Havens) in an area with a significant monastic tradition. The earliest known mention of the monastery is dated to the middle of the 16th century, even though it is likely that the existence of […]


Holy Metropolis of Gortyna and Arcadia

The Metropolis of Gortyna and Arkadia with its seat at Moires ­occupies the southwest part of the county of Heraklion. Its territory coincides to a great extent with that of the ancient metropolis of Gortyna whose seat was the homonymous city that was the political and ­religious centre of Crete from the first Christian years […]