Apezanes Monastery

The Monastery of St. Anthony in Apezanes or Apezana, is built on a rocky plateau of Asterousia Mountains, at an altitude of 440m, approximately 63km south of Herakleion. From there starts a short valley that leads from Antiskari village to the beachfront of Platia Peramata.

The monastery can be accessed via a dirt road, either from Plora village or through the road that leads to Kala Limania from Pompia. In both cases, you’ll meet relevant signs to Apezanes.

The monastery serves as a male monastery and is one of the oldest in Crete. It was built according to fortress architecture, although its fort\'s character has undergone major changes due to the alterations of the early 20th century. The fort was rectangular and was formed by the external walls of the complex buildings. Also, it was protected by three towers with cannons and, therefore it was called Toplou monastery by the Turks (top = cannon), just as the Toplou Monastery in Sitia.

An icon on it is said to belong to El Greco, the most famous Greek painter of the Renaissance. Moreover, the monastery hosts the icon of St. Anthony, a work of Michael Damaskinos, the second most famous Cretan religious painter, after El Greco.