Chania is an ideal destination for religious tourism as well as the study of Byzantine art and religious architecture. During your summer vacation, it is worth leaving the warmth and comfort of your accommodation at Aisha Petite Suites in order to visit the monasteries available in Chania.
The Monastery of Panagia Hodegetria, known as “Gonia Monastery” and dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin, is located near the village of Kolymbari, 24 km away from Chania, in a picturesque area. Just opposite, on a hillside, there is a double temple used as burial ground for the monks. The Orthodox Academy of Crete, a very important educational institution of the Orthodox Christian faith, is situated near the monastery.
In Marathokefala, in Kissamos, 25 km west of the city of Chania and only 3 km away from Kolymbari, at a beautiful mountainside, lies the famous historical cave of St. John of Hermit or Xenos. Inside the cave, there is a 15th century temple and foundations of old cells dating back to the 17th – 18th century. In the area, marble altar was found and it is believed that the cave was probably used as a place of worship by pre-Christians. During winter and summer, next to the temple, from a slit of the rock, water is dripping. The faithful call it “agiasma” and store it in a small reservoir.
The monastery of Agia Kyriaki is located 12 km southwest of Chania, near Varipetro. Until 1992, the monastery was a wrecked building, but then it was restored and now it is a beautiful monastery. It is situated in a wonderful area, with a beautiful protected forest, a small gorge with a river and many paved paths which lead to cave chapels. Around the monastery, there are the cave chapels of Saint Anthony, the Seven Saints, St. John the Baptist of Athonite and the New Martyrs of Crete. The monastery houses the Orthodoxy and Ecology Center of Chrysopigi monastery, where educational environmental programs take place. Also, the restored 16th-century oil mill worths a visit. Today, it is used as a bank by the monks.