Heraklion Koudoumas Monastery

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Location: Koudoumas

The Monastery of Koudoumas can be found 80 km from Heraklion Town. It is situated on a lovely inlet on the southern coast of Crete washed by the Libyan Sea, and is one of the oldest monasteries in the area. The location is believed to have gotten its name from the tree koudoumalia, a wild tree that produces sweet and sour fruits.

The monastery was established in 1870 on the ruins of a 14th-century monastery possibly dedicated to Jesus Christ. It was built by two monks, called Parthenios and Evmenios, who then became saints. Their relics are kept inside the monastery. The chancel has been constructed inside a cave, and only a small fragment from a 14th-century mural has been preserved. Two important icons are being kept inside, too. There are also a few cells at the monastery, although most monks reside in cave houses nearby as hermits.

Nowadays, the monastery is dedicated to the Assumption of the Virgin, celebrated on the 15th of August. Visitors gather every year from the previous day in order to honor Virgin Mary, and are allowed to spend the night inside the monastery cells if they want to. It also celebrates on July 10th to honor the two monks who undertook its construction. After it was renovated, a second church to honor the two saints was built next to it.

The area is suitable for hiking and the picturesque landscape offers a calm and peaceful experience to all visitors. Moreover, you can enjoy a refreshing swim at the unorganized Koudoumas Beach, right outside the monastery.



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