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Arkadi Monastery (Moni Arkadiou)
Arkadi Monastery (Moni Arkadiou)

Arkadi Monastery (Moni Arkadiou)

Free admission
Arkadi, Crete, Greece

The Basics

The current monastery, a blend of both Renaissance and classical Greek architectural styles, dates from the 16th century and is built on the site of an earlier 13th-century Byzantine church. Surrounding the church are various other buildings to explore, including a monks’ cell, refectory, powder magazine, and hospice, as well as peaceful gardens—all surrounded by imposing walls.

The monastery played an important role during the Cretan rebellion against Ottoman rule. In 1866, about 1,000 Cretan women, children, and freedom fighters took refuge in the monastery, where they were held under siege by Turkish troops. Today the monastery is regarded as a symbol of Cretan heroism in the face of oppression. To learn more about the monastery and the rebellion, and to see more of this beautiful region, join a full-day guided tour. Many tours depart Chania or Patsos and include round-trip transportation.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • The Arkadi Monastery is ideal for history and culture buffs, and all first-time visitors to Crete.

  • The small entrance fee includes a leaflet and ground plan.

  • Facilities at the monastery include toilets, a café, and a small souvenir shop.

  • Don’t miss the ancient cyprus tree in the courtyard outside the refectory—it still has a shell from the 1866 siege wedged into the bark of its trunk.

  • Touring the monastery might be tricky for people with limited mobility.

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How to Get There

Located approximately 15.5 miles (25 kilometers) from Rethymnon on Crete’s north coast, the monastery is a worthwhile stop when driving along the coastal road between Heraklion and Chania. You can also reach the monastery by local bus from Rethymnon.

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Trip ideas

How to Spend 3 Days in Heraklion

How to Spend 3 Days in Heraklion

How to Spend 3 Days in Chania

How to Spend 3 Days in Chania


When to Get There

The monastery is open daily; hours vary throughout the year. Church services are held daily at 6am and 6pm. If visiting during the summer, try to arrive early to enjoy the tranquility before the sight gets busy. Annual festivals take place on May 21 and August 6, and the bravery of those involved in the 1866 siege is remembered on November 8.

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Explore Crete’s 3rd-Largest City

Despite being third in size to Heraklion and Chania, Rethymnon feels charming and provincial, with plenty of well-preserved medieval architecture to admire. Wander around the quaint old town, with its Venetian harbour and traditional fishing boats, and stop for lunch at one of the welcoming tavernas. Then head to the majestic 16-century Fortezza—the largest fortress in Crete—to discover more local history and swoon at panoramic views.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the nearest attractions to Arkadi Monastery (Moni Arkadiou)?
A:
Attractions near Arkadi Monastery (Moni Arkadiou):
Q:
What else should I know about attractions in Crete?
A:
As well as visiting the Arkadi Monastery (Moni Arkadiou), check out these trip ideas to make the most of your visit: