Like the mountain gorges, monasteries are an unexpected treasure of Crete. They offer a refreshing and interesting visage of the Cretan culture and History.Shaded courtyards, blossoming patios, welcoming nuns and monks eager to share the story of their place, it is a perfect peaceful escape to the heat of the summer!
Each one of them has its own personality and worth a visit. At Lootraki, we are always very happy to recommend the best of them and here is a
glimpse of what could be your future visits.
Below, a little portrait of four of our favourite ones, and further below, some pictures of these quiet and flowered places!
Only a few hundred meters away from the Guesthouse. One of our special hiking tour offer you a glimpse of its white and massive façade on the other side of the mountains.
To get there by car, you will need to follow a dead-end road, starting from the coast. After dozen of curves and having flirted with the mountain cliffs on an adventurous route, you will finally reach it.
You will cross a big door first, some cats might come and purr between your feet, and after a few steps, you will enter the troglodyte chapel, which dark rocks are illuminated by the golden and silver icons and the bright coloured paints on the walls.
Further east, even extreme east, Moni Toplou is proudly standing on an arid and deserted cape. Essential to your Cretan discovery, the monastery is surrounded by vineyards and offers a maze of courtyards, corridors and little rooms.
Once you’ve had a stroll in the lovely patios and through the rich and interesting museum (with its very famous Cretan Renaissance masterpiece “great is the Lord”) you will definitely be tempted by a visit in the shop where they sell “blessed” wine and “sacred” olive oil, along with plenty of theological and general books about Crete.
It is the mysterious one of the bunch, located inside the plain of Lakonia. Howerver, you will be warmly welcomed. After having crossed stairs and doors, getting narrower as you are going up, you will end up in the historical enclosure of the monastery.
A nun, young and enthusiastic, will offer a little guided tour and after a round to the chapel and on the roof of the dormitories, she’ll bring you to the dining room and show you the secret hatch, telling you a centennials captivating story…
On the plateau of Fourni, with its cool and refreshing temperatures, amongst the orchards and the green pastures, Karidi is waiting for you, peacefully and quietly. It could be easily merged between the dry stone walls.
Its monk, lonely however quite eager to talk, will welcome you with a traditional orange juice or a raki and will be pleased to share with you his theological knowledge. The small courtyards, simply flowered and charmingly obsolete, look inviting and the environment itself, on the plateau will uncover the best of the traditional Cretan way of life.