Koudouma Monastery

The monastery is dedicated to the Dormition of the Virgin Mary and lies to the west of the Aspes or Martelos headland, hidden in a small sandy bay by the Lybian sea.
The church, partly built inside a cave, has been successfully renovated, and shows some of the original stones used in its construction, as well as what has survived of its mural paintings

Moni (monastery) Koudouma is a unique opportunity to visit a secluded and virgin area of Crete. You can do that either from Kapetaniana or from Sternes village. From Kapetaniana you may walk (or drive if you have a genuine 4x4 car) down to Agios Ioannis (2 hrs). When you get to the village, ask them to show you the way to Agios Ioannis church; it is a church built inside a cave and there are some spectacular wall-paintings

From the village you may follow the path to Koudoumas Monastery (1hr 30 min). Thirty minutes before the monastery there is the cave of Agios Antonios with a church built inside; a torch-light will be useful.

From Koudoumas you may either return the same way or walk up the road (it is the road coming from Sternes) to Mt Kofinas and Kapetaniana (about 4 -5 hrs). This road is much better than the road from Kapetaniana to Agios Ioannis but still in need for a proper vehicle. It is a really scenic route as the road is steeply descending from 1000 m to sea-level, through woods of pine trees.

Another approach to Moni Koudouma is driving from Kapetaniana to Mt Kofinas and then turn the first turn right. If you go this way then you may reach Agios Ioannis by feet. Another great place is Psili Ammos; it is described in the naturism section of the site.

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