First of all, I have to say that I live very close to the monastery and I visit the area many times during the year.
Calm surroundings, virgin nature, traditional monastery. On the way to Vai forest of palm trees, although a rather difficult road if you are coming for the first time, about 20 minutes drive from Sitia. there is the monastery with religious museum, a small tourist shop with souvenirs and cretan products like olive oil and honey. There is a small cafe - taverna where you can taste the traditional cretan cousine, unfortunately not many dishes. If you do go, don't forget to taste sweet fruit preserves (gliko tou koutaliou) pear, mandarin, orage triantafyllo (rose petals). Believe me you will come back again just for this. All dishes and sweets are made from freshly picked products from their own garden by the owners.
Near the monastery there is the Toplou winery for the raki/tsikoudia and wine lovers. Biological products with wonderfull taste from biological grapes. There is also the Toplou oil factory (biological olive oil). All the above products have been awarded prizes. I should not foget the Toploy monastery honey that I love and eat everyday in my breakfast.
If you are the religious type (Greek orthodox), you will enjoy your visit even more and you will leave with a calmness in your soul, the church and the museum are wonderfull. But if you visit the church on Easter time...absolutely divine!
Absolutely worth visiting!
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