Monastery of St. John the Hermit (Catholic)

The Monastery of St. John the Hermit (or Catholic) is now a ruined monastery built in the 11th century and it is the oldest of Crete.

The Monastery of St. John the Hermit was built in the Gorge Avlaki near its exit, about 20 km northeast of the city of Chania, near the north coast of Akrotiri.

A very large stone bridge leads to the Monastery of St. John the Hermit. The cells were built around the courtyard and to the right of the church is the entrance of the cave where St. John the Hermit or Stranger lived. This cave is the river bed of an ancient underground river,decorated with stalactites and stalagmites.

The surrounding caves were originally a refuge for monks, before the construction of their cells. When the coast of Crete was targeted by pirates, the monks were forced to flee to a more remote place and thus they founded the adjacent monastery of Gouvernetos.

To reach the ruined Monastery of St. John the Hermit, you can follow the path, that begins at the Monastery Gouvernetos. To reach the monastery, it will take you 30 minutes by foot.

If you walk for another 10 minutes towards the sea, you will see the lovely little fjord with turquoise waters, where once stood the port of St. John the Hermit.

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