Gouverneto Monastery

Gouverneto Monastery: Our lady of angels in Chania's Akrotiri Peninsula

Gouverneto Monastery, also known as the Monastery of Our Lady of the Angels, is situated among the beautiful, craggy environment of the Akrotiri Peninsula and offers a tranquil sanctuary away from the rush of modernity. This monastic complex, founded in the 16th century, has exceptional architecture, a serene atmosphere, and a rich cultural past. It can be accessed through the Agia Triada Monastery, where there is a sign leading to the Gouverneto.

Gouverneto Monastery


The Gouverneto Monastery was built in the 16th century by two brothers from the Monastery of Katholiko, Ioannis and Sofronios Venizelos.

It was begun during the Venetian Era, but it was completed 2.5 centuries later when the Turks seized Crete and forbade the construction of Christian temples.

The monastery replaced a previous monastery dedicated to St. John the Hermit, which had been abandoned due to pirate assaults.

The church of St. John the Hermit, which belonged to Gouverneto Monastery, was not mentioned in the Venetian census of 1637.

The monastery was crucial in the Cretan revolution against the Ottoman Empire in the nineteenth century.

Gouverneto Monastery: Entering the courtyard to the main church

Architecture and Spiritual Sanctum

When you enter the complex, you are met by the monastery’s spectacular façade, which incorporates aspects of Byzantine, Venetian, and Renaissance styles.

The tranquil courtyard leads to the main church, which is decked with beautiful flowers and greenery.

Because the monastery’s church is devoted to the Virgin Mary, it is also known as Kyria ton Agelon (Monastery of the Lady of the Angels).

It has a cruciform shape with a dome, and the entrance is ornamented with relief creatures.

The interior features stunning religious iconography, historic treasures, and an atmosphere that encourages silent thought and devotion.

The remaining buildings of the complex are arranged around the monastery’s church, which is placed in the center of the courtyard.

There are 50 monk cells on two stories, a dining room, a little museum, and so on. There are also two chapels next to the church dedicated to Agii Deka (Saints Ten) and Saint John the Hermit.

The complex is built like a fortress to be protected from raids. There are 4 towers at the corner of the complex, of which only 2 are in good condition.

Back in the day, there was an oil reserve above the entrance of the monastery that was heated to be thrown at any invaders.

Gouverneto Monastery: One of the structures of the complex

nearby attractions

The landscape surrounding Gouverneto Monastery is breathtakingly beautiful, with numerous hiking and walking trails to explore. The trip to Katholiko Bay, which begins at Gouverneto Monastery and leads to the abandoned Monastery of Katholiko through the scenic Avlaki Gorge, is one of the most popular. On your way there, you will encounter a cave called Arkoudospilios. Also at the abandoned monastery, you will find the cave where Saint John the Hermit lived. The saint is important to the area and to the monks and he is considered one of the founders of Gouverneto. The hike can be strenuous, so bring adequate footwear and be prepared for the heat.

Katholiko Monastery
Katholiko Monastery: Cave of Saint John the Hermit
Katholiko Monastery: cove of Katholiko

The trail

THINGS TO SEE AND DO at gouverneto monastery

Admire the Architecture
Get inside the main church
Walk around the courtyard
Visit the museum and Library
Explore the surrounding area
Hike to Katholiko Monastery
Visit Arkoudospilios
Swim at Katholiko Bay
Attend a service or a festival

Gouverneto monastery opening hours

Closed: Wednesdays and Fridays

Open: Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays 09:00 – 12:00 and 17:00 – 19:00

Saturdays and Sundays 09:00 – 11:00 and 17:00 – 20:00

Entrance fee: 2.5€

Photos featuring gouverneto monastery

How to Get There

The journey to Gouverneto Monastery is a wonderful expedition via Crete’s picturesque landscapes. It is around 20 kilometers (35 minutes by vehicle) from the city of Chania on the Akrotiri Peninsula. Here are some tips on how to get to this beautiful destination:

By Car: The most convenient approach to visit Gouverneto Monastery is to rent a car in Chania. Once you’ve obtained a car, go west out of Chania. Follow the signs towards the town of Kounoupidiana. Basically, you will follow the road leading to Chania Airport. Once you arrive at the airport, follow the signs to Agia Triada. Once at Agia Triada Monastery, follow the signs to Gouverneto (4 kilometers). During your drive along the picturesque northern coast of Crete, you’ll pass through charming villages, olive groves, and vineyards on your way to the monastery. The road leading to Agia Triada Monastery is well-marked. And then follow them until Gouverneto. When you arrive at the monastery, you’ll find a parking area where you can safely leave your car.

By Bus:

If you prefer public transportation, you can take a KTEL bus from Chania to the Agia Triada Monastery. Unfortunately, there is no direct bus to Gouverneto monastery. Buses depart from the central bus station in Chania. 

Taxi or Tour: Another option is to hire a taxi or join a guided tour to Agia Triada Monastery, Gouverneto and Katholiko. This way, you can relax and take in the beautiful landscapes of Avlaki Gorge without worrying about directions or transportation logistics. You will visit the caves of Arkoudospilios and Saint John’s.

Whether you choose to drive, take a bus, or arrange a tour, the journey to the Gouverneto Monastery is a captivating experience that culminates in the exploration of this historic and scenic site.


Gouverneto Monastery is a hidden gem in Chania, offering a unique and picturesque experience for visitors. The monastery’s rich history, stunning architecture, and beautiful surroundings make it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the island. Just remember to wear comfortable shoes, bring plenty of water, and be prepared for the heat during the summer months.


Appropriate Attire!
It is recommended that visitors dress modestly because the monastery is a sacred site. Both males and females should cover their shoulders and knees.
Guided Tours!
Consider joining a group tour covering all the nearby attractions. The hike is easy, and the views of both nature and monasteries are stunning.
Check the opening hours and seasonal variations before your visit. Working hours: Closed: Wednesdays and Fridays Open: Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays 09:00 – 12:00 and 17:00 – 19:00 Saturdays and Sundays 09:00 – 11:00 and 17:00 – 20:00 Entrance fee: 2.5€
tel:+30 2821063319
Respect the Rules!
Always follow any rules or restrictions listed in the monastery. This contains regions that may be closed to visitors.

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