Aghios Antonios (Koudoumas)
This quiet and secluded beach is located between Aghios Ioannis and the Monastery of Koudoumas.
To get there on foot, follow a path from Aghios Ioannis to the Monastery: a beautiful journey of about an hour that passes through pine forests.
On the way you will come across the church of Aghios Antonios – built high up on the cliffs and deep in a cave that was once the haunt of hermit monks. Inside the church, water drops from the stalagmites and collects in three basins: this phenomenon is considered miraculous by the believers.
The other approach, from Koudoumas monastery, takes about the same time, viz. 1 hour. The beach itself is to the west of the cave with the church: it has coarse sand and deep blue crystal-clear waters: perfect for underwater exploration.
As well as the cave with the church, you can visit a smaller one, called Chostospilios, northwest of the beach.
One of the most important religious centres in the Asteroussia Mountains is the Monastery of Koudoumas, built in a pine forest and dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin Mary.
The quiet beach in front of the monastery has pebbles and crystal-clear, deep and green waters; it is surrounded by large cliffs in which caves have formed. Without any organization of any sort, it provides no tavernas, rent-rooms or any other facilities: thus it is perfect for those seeking complete isolation and the chance to unwind.
Because of the proximity of the Monastery, nudism is not permitted. On the other hand, unsupervised camping is allowed, provided that the campers do not disturb the monks.
On the 15th August, the Monastery celebrates the name day of the Panagia: a traditional festival takes place and numbers of believers spend the night on the beach. Another festival is held on July 10th, in honour of the saints Eumenios and Parthenios – the monks who built the monastery in 1878.
To reach Koudoumas and its beach, you go to the village of Sternes. Thence you drive down the dirt-road for some 20 km to the Monastery – a journey of 1.5 hours. Along the way, which can become tiring with the continuous bends in the road, you will spot signs to the monastery. The views you have from on high, however, over the vastness of the Libyan sea will provide you with excellent recompense. Alternatively you can arrive on the beach by boat from Tsoutsoura.
- Tips, Suggestions, Iseful info
- History, Culture
- What to do (Activities)
- What to see (Culture, Nature)
- location Koudoumas Monastery, Gortina, Heraklio
- free camping Yes
- nudism No
- beach type Sandy, Thin Pebble
- accommodation No
- dinning No
- other facilities
relevant routes & paths:
Agios Antonios (Koudoumas)
Distance: 71 km from the city of Heraklion.
By car/motorcycle: take the dirt road from the village Kapetaniana. After 8 km you will come to the beach.
Distance: 74 km from Heraklion.
By car/motorcycle: From the village of Sternes follow the dirt road to Koudoumas Moni (Monastery) for 20 km, some 1.5 hour’s travelling. The journey is rather tiring, because of the constant bends in it.
By sea: By boat from Tsoutsoura.