Gouverneto Monastery or “Our Lady of the Angel” as it is also called is the first that you will come upon. The monastery was built in 1537, looted later on by the Turks, used as an outpost by the Germans during WWII and started being restored only a few years ago.
After walking along the path for about 600 meters there is the small church of Ipapanti. Next to it is the cave of Panagia Arkoudiotissa, in the centre of which there is a stalagmite in the form of a stooping bear. A legend says that the Virgin Mary turned the bear into rock as it was drinking the water of the monks.
Approximately in the middle of the path you will find the monastery of Saint John the Hermit that dates from the 17th century and is popularly known as Katholiko. Next to the monastery is the cave, where Saint John the Hermit lived in asceticism. The cave is about 100 m deep and you should have a flashlight if you are planning to explore it.
The pathway continues across Avlaki Gorge, where there are many caves in the slopes that have been used as shelters by hermit monks in the past. After about 15 minutes you will reach a rocky cove with turquoise waters. The return is sharply uphill and requires either good physical condition or enough patience. You should also bring along enough water, especially during summer months.
Leave Vlamis Villas gates and start heading to Chania airport. A couple of kilometers before the airport, the road is signposted towards the monastery. Follow the signs and there you are. Gouverneto monastery is 9.5km far from the property and takes roughly 15 minutes driving.
-Make sure you have enough water with you, since the walk under the sun will dehydrate you. Don’t forget your hat and your sunscreen!
-If you intend to pass through Avlaki gorge and end up down to the beach, appropriate hiking footware is highly recommended.
-The monastery is officially closed on Wednesdays and Fridays. It is open 09:00 -12:00 and 17:00 – 19:00 on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, and 09:00 – 11:00 and 17:00 – 20:00 on Saturdays and Sundays.
-A good combination is to visit Agia Triada Monastery as it’s only a few minutes far.