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“remains of monastery” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Katholiko Monastery

Katholiko Monastery
Akrotiri, Crete, Greece
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Ranked #3 of 4 things to do in Akrotiri
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Senior Contributor
32 reviews 32 reviews
7 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“remains of monastery”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2014

We walked down from gouverneto monastery - took about an hour with a stop to look in the cave. Coming back was about 40 mins. I would think total walk is only 3 miles and only steep when near the deserted monastery. Its in an atnospheric location. Saw some lizards on the way down.

Visited June 2014
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15 reviews from our community

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English first
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 4, 2014 via mobile

There are been excellent information before me on reaching thus site-
It is long but not too difficult climb up and bAck although take water as it is quite hot and exposed.
A worthwhile visit and an interesting different view on life!

Visited June 2014
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BC, Canada
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
11 attraction reviews
Reviews in 60 cities Reviews in 60 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
“Feels like you are on a film set”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 19, 2014

I believe others before me have written how to get to this fascinating location. The trail is really very well established leading past the front of Gouvernetou Monastery and on down the hillside towards the ocean. While some parts a little uneven it is mostly paved with raw stone. The walk is definitely worth the effort. First one passes the Cave of St.John the Hermit and the remains of some simple shelters. Further down and closer to the ocean are the actual remains of the monastery made up of numerous small caves into the hillside, a larger house which must have served as living quarters and the most remarkable bridge set over a chasm. This arched bridge is wide enough to be made for road traffic, however there is no road and never has been. Leaving the visitor wondering why such a large bridge was built in the first place. We walked on down to the ocean through the valley which the bridge spans. There is no established trail beyond the monastery. The path terminates at a small bay, which was very nice to swim in,even though the sign at the gate to the Gouvernetou Monastery forbids such actions. Noteworthy is the small boat-ramp and shelter hewed into the solid rock which leads up the left side of the bay. It is a little difficult to see unless you walk along the left side of the bay. We really enjoyed our outing to this unique monastery and seaside cove. It was a highlight of our stay in Chania.

Visited May 2014
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Top Contributor
83 reviews 83 reviews
37 attraction reviews
Reviews in 37 cities Reviews in 37 cities
46 helpful votes 46 helpful votes
“Gouvernatou To Katholiko Monasteries hike”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 11, 2014

This is how I got to the Katholiko monastery. We started at the Gouvernetou Monastery (presently being renovated). We parked the car at the entrance and walked through the monastery without visiting it. If it is closed go around along the north wall. When you get to the other end you will see a gate existing the monastery walls, there's a small clearing with a memorial and beyond that there is a marked clear path.
A thoroughly enjoyable walk with lots of stairs. You first reach the Αrkoudospilios cave (Bear Cave) you will need a flashlight. After the cave we returned to the path and continued downwards, many more stairs. We eventually reach a complex that begins with the cave of St. John the Hermit (here you will need lights strapped to the forehead to visit inside, you will need both hands free one to hold the lead string and the other to help crawl through small openings), then a small church, followed by the remains of the Katholiko Monastery on a bridge across the Avlaki gorge.
At this point you can choose to return to the parked car or try to find the path descending to the Avlaki gorge and continue along the gorge down to a fjord. I didn't find it and anyway had started a bit late so we decided to return before it was hot. I recommend starting very early, since the path provides a view to the east try and get to Gouvernetou around sunrise and see it from the pathway, that way you are sure to return before it is hot even if you go down to the fjord. In summer it would probably be better to do it in the afternoon depending on the weather and the time the sun sets.
To find the Gouvernetou monastery on Google maps you will have to search for the full name "Moni Kirias ton Aggelon Agiou Ioannou Erimitou Gouvernetou, Chania, Hellas" cahanging to satellite view will allow you to see the pathway almost all the way to the Katholico complex but that's when it vanishes into the shade of the gorge.
The walk from Gouvernatou to Katholiko monasteries and back is about three hours easy walking, The distance is 1.5 km, 3 for there and back but some sections are very steep with many stairs you descend 200 meters along the 1.5 km there and ascend all that on the way back. If you continue to the fjord there's another 100 more meters to descend and climb back.
The path was beautiful with wonderful scenery and since it was still spring full of flowering plants and the smells of Cretan herbs, I thoroughly recommend it.

There is no good link to this hike that I could find. Here are some of the links
Arkoudospilios Cave:
The Cave of St. John the Hermit:
Katholiko Monastery:
Avlaki Gorge

Visited May 2014
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Dublin, Ireland
16 reviews 16 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Beautiful and worth the hike!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 27, 2014

We did this hike recently and would definitely recommend it. We also read that there was a fjord at the end of the path that leads from Katholiko. The hike was about 40min to Katholiko at a leisurely pace and the monastery didn't disappoint. However we did not find a path down to the gorge and other hikers seemed to have the same problem. In the end we found somewhere that looked reasonably safe and we kind of climbed down into the Avlaki Gorge. Walked underneath the bridge which was breathtaking, it's absolutely huge. Be careful of mountain goats (you hear them as they're wearing bells) as we had small stones/bits of rock falling down from the top quite near us and got really scared of landslip! The path to the fjord is not that easy to hike IMO and it took us another 30min (we read 10min on the internet but found that understated, just like many other distances and timings on Crete, actually!). It was very pretty at the fjord and we sat down with a picnic, but you might be disappointed if you were looking for a great swim. Access to the water is not that easy but certainly impossible. All in all, I would recommend the hike to Katholiko but not the fjord. Samaria is probably safer if you wanted to hike a gorge. Bring lots of water as the walk back is steep and uphill!

Visited April 2014
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