In the Prefecture of Heraklion, one has the opportunity to visit the ruins of historical monasteries that feature remarkable Byzantine frescoes, and forgotten chapels which were linked with local legends, as well as the Cretaquarium, one of the largest aquariums of the Mediterranean.
The Monastery of the Virgin Gouverniotissa (Panagia Gouverniotissa) which isdeserted today, is located a little before the village of Potamies, on a slope thick with cypresses, olive trees and carob trees. When exactly it was founded is not known. However, judging by the numerous frescoes in the main church, it seems that the monastery existed in the 14th century.
Numerous small churches are to be found at various places in the area of Viannos, which are believed to have been used as small monasteries in earlier times. For instance, such a chapel existed at the location of the church of the Prophet Elijah (Profitis Ilias), north-east of Keratokambos, which was seemingly plundered and then destroyed by the Turks.
It is believed that the monastery was founded circa 1880 by a monk called Artemios. History has it that Artemios initially chose the outlet of the Arvi gorge to build the monastery...
The so-called Agia Moni (= Holy Monastery), dedicated to the Dormition of the Virgin (Kimisi tis Theotokou), is to be found south of the village of Ano Viannos, in a verdant landscape.
Deep in the valley of Faflagos, 200 metres above sea level, one can visit the monastery of Panagia (the Virgin) Keralimeniotissa, which is dedicated to the Dormition of the Virgin (Kimisi tis Theotokou). Entering the church nowadays, one only sees whitewashed walls.