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A tour South from Avdou

 

South from the settlement of "Avdou", you can visit the caves of "Aghia Foteini" and "Faneromeni", as well as the monastery of "Aghios Ioannis" and "Aghia Anna". In order to reach these sites, follow the street signs. The road that leads there is a bit difficult, as it is in a bad condition and has steep turns.

 

The most important sites to visit, in terms of natural beauty, are the mountainous area of the monastery and the temple inside the cave of "Aghia Foteini". The area features the oak-tree forest, which has been declared a site of unique natural wealth by the Forest Administration of Heraklion.  From the highest point of the forest, you will enjoy a spectacular view of the wider region, in an altitude of 700 m. If you continue walking uphill, you will end up in the deserted monastery of "Aghios Ioannis" and "Aghia Anna". If you take the path that starts next from the monastery, you will arrive at the cave of "Aghia Foteini", where a small shrine is located dedicated to "Aghia foteini" (a Saint). The landscape around the monastery and the cave is imposing. There are steep high rocks and unique Cretan vegetation.

 

  • Following the Gorge: in order to reach the entrance of the gorge, follow the road from "Avdou" to the church of "Aghios Georgios Melaniotis" (4-5km). 300 m. further from the church, you will arrive at the entrance of the gorge. It is about 2km long and ends at the river of "Aposelemis".

 

  • A walk in the cave of "Faneromeni": the cave is located in an altitude of 770m. It 43m. long, 4- 11,5m. wide and 8,5m. high. Various findings from the Geometric period have been found this cave, suggesting that it was a worship site. The most important finding was a golden axe. It is a bit difficult to enter the cave due to the dense vegetation and ground morphology, however, once you enter it becomes easier to walk.

 

  • A walk in the cave of "Aghia Foteini": the cave is located southeast from "Avdou", in an altitude of 760 m. It is 44m. long, 1,8 - 7,5m. wide and 5,3 - 20m. high. Inside the cave, right after the entrance, there is an iconostasis. 12m. further inside there is an underground hollowness, which was used to store cheese. From this point, there is a narrow passage that leads in the last chamber of the cave, which is used as the shrine of "Aghia Foteini". At the entrance of this chamber, there is a stone-made staircase and two stalagmites, known as "the knees of St. Foteini".

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