Chania Monasteries

Chania Monasteries - 4 hours

Starting our short journey at the wider area of Chania Monasteries,

we reach the site of Profhetes Elias at Akrotiri, where there exists the  Venizelos  Graves.  From this location,  the view of   Chania is superb. Historically, the place is of significant importance taking into account the fact that it hosted the revolutionary armed forces which realized the autonomy of Crete from the Turkish rule back in 1897. Furthermore, it is the burial place of two of the most important political figures of Greece during the 20th century, Eleftherios Venizelos and his son, Sophocles.

Eleftherios Venizelos is considered the most prominent politician of Greece since its independence. He acted as a prime minister on several occasions between 1910 and 1933 and his era, was marked by the doubling of the Greek nation in terms of both area and population. Sophocles Venizelos has also been a member of the Greek government during the years that followed WorldWar II and became prime minister on three occasions.

Leaving behind the site of Profhetes Elias,

we pass through colorful villages and find ourselves in Aghia Triada (The Holy Trinity) Monastery, established in the early  17th century by  the Venetian monks Laurentius and Ieremias Tzagarollo.

It is still the biggest monastery complex,

in Crete and the earliest buildings are perfect examples of the local architecture of their time. The monk community has played an important rule in numerous Cretan revolts against the Turkish rule and has been pillaged by the conqueror’s army during the 1821 revolution. The monastery has been renovated in 1854, with the addition of the chapels of the Saint Crusifixionand the Saint Apostles and from 1892, it serves under the Greek orthodox dogma.

Our next stop, is the Gouverneto monastery (The Lady Of The Angels) built in 1537 by monks of the pre-existing Catholic monastery which due to its proximity to the sea, had been attacked on numerous occasions by pirates. The complex resembles to a fortress, having four towers at the respective corners and bearing a cousiderable fortification. At present, it has chapels dedicated to Saint John the Hermit and the Ten Saints.

Leaving behind the historical monasteries of Akrotiri,

we pass again through picturesque traditional villages and arrive at the beach of Marathi. It is situated on the north-east side of the Souda Bay and consists of a small fishing harbor and three islands at the front. Several taverns operate in the area, offering fresh fish at fair price.

Our last destination is the ancient city of Aptera, built during the Minoan period. The city dominated the area of Souda Bay and became an important City-State in antiquity. It was served by a couple of harbors, Minoan at the north entrance to the bay (today, the Marathi beach) and Kalami at the south (near the Kalives village). Aptera continued to be an important city during the Roman and Byzantine periods but it was eventually destroyed by the Arabs in 823. During the Venetian occupation, a fortress was built at the site but it was also sacked by the notorious pirate Barbarossa.

Time Duration : 4 hours

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