Monastery of Agia (Saint) Kiriaki in Varipetro, Chania Crete
The Monastery of Agia Kiriaki (Saint Kiriaki) is located in the area of Varipetro, 12 km away from Chania and 20 km from Platanias. It is situated on a cliff of a lush green gorge which makes the monastery look especially dramatic.
The church of Agia Kiriaki and its monastery date back to the 17 century, when it was known to be a haven for the numerous refugees who tried to escape the Turkish occupation. The church and the monastery are dedicated to the divine Transfiguration and Saint Kiriaki. During the two hundred years of its operation, the monastery slowly deteriorated and turned into ruins until the moment it was decided to renovate this beautiful religious site.
After its complete restoration in 1993-1996, Agia Kiriaki female Monastery became once again an exemplary religious institution. Upon visiting Agia Kiriaki, you will find nuns tending to the property and its gardens, inquiring whether you need any help to get around and sharing with you the story behind this place.
Make sure to check out the church, the restored 16th-century olive mill, and the souvenir store where you can pick one of the many products produced in Agia Kiriaki Monastery: olive oil, rakomelo, soap, embroidered fabrics, religious souvenirs and more.
The Monastery of Agia Kiriaki in Varipetro is located in the preserved natural zone, the ecosystem of which is very rich and unique. The best way to discover the monastery and its surrounding area is to start from the Agia Kiriaki church, where you can park, and take a promenade across the valley, following the little paths that lead to the tiny churches in caves, and eventually ascending straight to the monastery.
To properly explore the area, make sure to devote 1-2 hours of your day to the Monastery of Agia Kiriaki. The promenade involves a lot of steps, so grab a bottle of water and wear comfortable shoes. If the walk didn’t tire you up, check out the ruins of the Byzantine castle situated right above the monastery.
While you can explore the area any time and day, the Monastery of Agia Kiriaki is not open to the crowd every day. Make a call beforehand to ensure it is open on the day you are planning to pay a visit.