Heraklion Agioi Deka

General information

Agioi Deka is one of the most picturesque villages of Crete, located in the heartland of the fertile Messara Valley. The village is located at the precipice between northern and southern Heraklion, 40 km southwest of the Town, on the way to Tymbaki and Matala.

The village's name translates to “Ten Saints”, named in reverence of the ten Martyrs of Crete, who suffered at the hands of the Decian persecution around 250 CE. At the southwestern end of the village stands Agia Limni church, which is said to hold the tombs of the ten Martyrs. A church dedicated to the Saints can be found in the center of the village, dating back to the 12th Century CE. A marble bench, on which it is said they knelt during their execution, can be found here.

The village is believed to have been built on the site of Ancient Gortyn, one of Crete’s most powerful cities. Gortyn flourished between the Hellenistic and Byzantine periods, serving as the island’s capital before it was destroyed by Arab invaders.
The ancient ruins, located just to the west of Agioi Deka, are home to a vast number of finds, including Greek temples and Christian churches, as well as a Roman odeon and baths, and one of the oldest surviving law codes of Europe, still located at the site.
The Messara Archaeological Museum is to the west of the village, along the provincial road, which presents not only from Gortyn but from all of the Messara Plain, including Phaestos and Hagia Triada.

Agioi Deka also offers a brilliant opportunity to witness the agricultural practices of Cretans up close, as it is surrounded by olive groves as far as the eye can see in any direction.

Things to See & Do in Agioi Deka

Check out the things to see & do in Agioi Deka during your stay and explore what the area has to offer.

Agioi Deka Map

Explore our interactive map of Agioi Deka.


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