South of the settlement of Neapoli, on the slope of Mount Kavalara and at an altitude of 397 m, is the Monastery of Kremaston. Its name is associated with the fortress architecture and the location that makes it look like it hangs from the slope.
According to the inscription, the monastery was founded by Mitrophanis Agapitos, in 1593. Although it was originally a male monastery, after 1993 it was converted into a nunnery. The one-room vaulted katholikon is dedicated to the Taxiarches and has a gilded wood-carved iconostasis. The Holy Table, which dates back to 1622, is one of the most significant features. Outside the monastery, there is another church dedicated to the Myrrh Bearers. The monastery was active during the years of Ottoman rule when all monasteries were centres for the revolutionaries. In 1866, the Turks destroyed the monastery and the monks fled to nearby caves where they unsuccessfully tried to hide the books and sacred relics. A school operated here, while to this day there is also a hagiography workshop.
The area is easy to reach from Agios Nikolaos at a distance of 18 km, not too far from the busy coastal resort of Malia on the other side. From here, visitors can explore the area of Dikti and the Lassithi plateau with charming villages and beautiful hikes. In the village of Kritsa, only half an hour to the south, you can stop to enjoy the view or dine in one of the local tavernas. The E4 European long-distance trail also runs through this area and crosses into the plateau of Katharo. This is a wild and untamed area, where you will encounter mostly shepherds and goat herds, with magnificent views of the Lassithi plateau and there are also a few tavernas with excellent local cheeses that you must try. On the coast, don’t skip a visit to Elounda and the tiny island of Spinalonga, that was once a leper colony.
Tel.: (+30) 2841032405