The small resort town of Agia Pelagia is located on the shore of the cozy Cretan bay of Bali. It is known that the Cretan beaches are usually open to all winds, but not in this place. The lagoon is reliably protected on three sides by high hills, which means that vacationers are waiting for windless weather, clean calm sea and unsurpassed hospitality of local residents. Since the fishing village began to turn into a resort of the European level, a good tourist infrastructure has been organized here, fashionable hotels have been built, a lot of taverns and shops have been opened. There are several car rental offices. Their services can be used to rent a car for trips to local attractions.
Chapel of St. Pelagia
The main attraction of the resort town is the Chapel of St. Pelagia. The righteous woman is the patroness of a former fishing village, which has recently become a rapidly developing resort. The Christian saint was distinguished by her rare beauty. The Orthodox call her the Protector. It protects innocent girls from male encroachments and daughters from the despotism of their parents. The patronal feast of the Holy Is celebrated on October 8.
In the church, built in her honor, come to pray and put a candle all the inhabitants of the village and believers from among the tourists. For other travelers, it is of interest as an architectural and cultural object. This is a single-nave basilica with a small belfry, which is taken out of the building. Above the main entrance to the church in a small niche is the icon of St. Pelagia. A lamp is always lit in front of the face. Two bells are installed in a design of curved metal rods.
The exact date of construction of the temple is not known. Some researchers are inclined to the 600s, others attribute the laying of the church in the 12-13 centuries, others argue that the basilica was built in 417. In any case, it is a monument of history, culture and architecture, which is worthy of comprehensive study. It is known for sure that in the Middle Ages there was the first monastery in Crete dedicated to St. Pelagia. It then became part of the very influential monastery of Savvatian.
Today it is an active church, in which services, Orthodox holidays, weddings and triznas are held. On the left side of the main beach of the resort right in the rock is built a small chapel with a whitewashed entrance. It is called the cave-chapel of Evresi. According to legend, a miraculous icon of the Saint was found here, in honor of which the basilica was later built. The chapel is very small in size, you can enter it only by bending. Pilgrims still come here, as it was in ancient times, to receive healing or blessing. By the way, the locals claim that they have repeatedly tried to transfer the icon to the temple, but it somehow constantly returned back to the cave.
Address: Akhlad village (Αχλάδα), Agia Pelagia, Crete, Greece
Monastery of St. Savvatian in Rogdia
A trip to the holy places of Agia Pelagia will not be complete if you do not reach the village of Rogdia and visit the ancient monastery of Crete. When the monastery of St. Savvatian was built, it was not possible to establish exactly. Therefore, the dating was carried out according to the time of construction of its main temples. The church of St. Panagia appeared in the 16th century, and the church of St. Anthony carved into the rock – in the 15th. It is believed that in the 16th century the monastery was miraculously saved from destruction during the Great Cretan War. Then it turned into a powerful and influential Orthodox center of the island.
The main temple of the monastery was built relatively recently. It is consecrated in honor of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin. All buildings were restored without violating the original style. On the territory, tourists can visit the monastery cemetery, where the heroes of the struggle against Turkish rule Evmeny Voureksakis and Irakli Kokkinidis rest; the remains of an ancient mill; refectory and rest room for wanderers and pilgrims; cells; an old water tower. The monastery is active, is a women’s monastery. The main relic is the icon “Great you, Lord”, which was considered lost until 1991. It was accidentally discovered by archaeologists when they removed a black sooty layer from the surface of an ancient board.
Address: Rogdia village, Agia Pelagia, Crete, Greece
The mountain village of Akhlad is located a kilometer from the resort village of Agia Pelagia. It is a favorite place for walking, especially on hot sunny days, when the body can no longer withstand the beach inferno, and you want something cool, fresh, mountainous. When the coast began to develop infrastructure for recreation, the villagers were the first to build home hotels and welcome tourists. Going up to Ahlada, you can get acquainted with their own life. There are many taverns serving classic Cretan food, not burdened with delights and artistic elements of serving dishes. From here from the top of the hill there are amazing views of the surrounding area. Intricately curved streets each time will lead to different interesting places, built up on both sides of authentic residential buildings.
Address: Ahlad village, Agia Pelagia, Crete, Greece
City of Fådele
If desired, you can spend a couple of hours and walk to the neighboring town of Fådele. The distance is about 9 km. Not so far away that the walk was a full-fledged motion before dinner. But many tourists prefer to come here by transport to wander around the local attractions of the village. It is believed that it was here that the artist El Greco was born and spent his childhood years. His house has been preserved, where a museum is now open. It is located opposite the old Byzantine church, where at a young age the painter made his first sketches. During the Turkish occupation, the temple was badly damaged. Later it was restored, but the gallery could not be restored. The best hotels in Fådele are located in the coastal resort area, 2 km from the city. The National Highway of Crete passes near the resort buildings and the main beach of the village.
Address: Fådele City, Crete, Greece
Archaeological site of Kladissos
Kladissos is one of the beaches of Agia Pelagia. It is located west of the village, near the largest hotel in the region of the 5-star Capsis Elite Resort. Here, in 1970, archaeologists found the ruins of an ancient Greek polis. Presumably, it was the city of Apollonia. All artifacts found are dishes. household utensils, coins, tools for winemaking and pressing olive oil are in the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion. At the site of the excavations there were fortifications, a Roman aqueduct, a burial ground, cisterns for collecting water, the remains of the main building, where meetings of the rulers of the city were held – pritanei.
Address: Kladissos Beach, Agia Pelagia, Crete, Greece
Cave-chapel of Evresi
Returning to the religious sights of Agia Pelagia, it is worth walking to a small cave-chapel of Evresi, hollowed out right in the rock. In front of the entrance to it is laid out tiles, the entrance is painted white, and an Orthodox cross is fixed on the blue door. According to legend, it was here that the miraculous icon of St. Pelagia was found, which gave its name to both the village and the single-nave basilica, which to this day is the main temple of the resort. The size of the cave is so small that it is difficult to fit one person there, and you need to go inside with your head bowed low. Pilgrims from all over the island come here and come here. Often you can see foreign tourists who come here to pray and ask for protection from the Saint.
Every year on October 8, celebrations are held here on the occasion of honoring the patroness of Agia Pelagia. This custom appeared during the Byzantine rule. Centuries later, thousands of believers gather here to glorify the name of St. Pelagia, to pray, to take part in the festive liturgy. It is believed that on this day you can be healed from any disease, just sprinkled hands, feet and body with sand, which lies next to the chapel. Parishioners repeatedly tried to transfer the miraculous icon to the church of St. Pelagia, but it somehow miraculously returned to the cave.
Address: main beach of Agia Pelagia, Crete, Greece
Minoan Amusement Club
Hotels of the resort provide vacationers with multidisciplinary leisure. One of the most interesting places for children from 4 to 14 years old will be the Minoan Entertainment Club, located in the 5-star hotel complex Capsis Elite Resort. Anyone can get here. On the territory of 4 sq. km there are attractions, game rooms, thematic programs are held. The concept of the club includes a fairy-tale world of ancient Greek mythology. The main building is decorated in the style of the Minoan Palace with various game rooms. On the street there are the Minotaur Labyrinth, a small children’s pool, an amphitheater and quest areas. A unique children’s club was created to familiarize young guests of the island with the Cretan culture. Every day, the team of animators shows children puppet shows, plays performances with mythological plots, conducts quests searching for ancient artifacts and treasures on a specially equipped archaeological site. The guys can also play Robin Hood using tree houses. In the park there is a snack bar, a café. souvenir shop, buffet with sweets.
Address: Capsis Elite Resort, Agia Pelagia, Crete, Greece
Malevizi Archaeological Collection
If you go towards Heraklion, then 14 km from Agia Pelagia you can visit the town of Gazi and the exhibition of archaeological finds of Malevizi. The collection is exhibited in the city hall. It occupies 40 showcases and is divided into 7 thematic sections. Items relating to the period from 4000 BC to 300 AD are presented. Most of the artifacts were donated from the private collection of entrepreneur Nikolaos Metaxas, collected between 1959 and 1997 from all over Crete. The museum’s collection has been replenished with another 30 finds from recent excavations in the Malevizi area. The exposition is open for inspection from Tuesday to Sunday from 08.00 to 15.00. Monday is a day off.
Address: Gazi City, Crete Greece
Heraklion and the Palace of Knossos
The distance from Agia Peligia to the capital of Crete Heraklion is only 24.5 km by road. It is not so far away, so every tourist can afford a trip to the main attraction of the island – the Palace of Knossos. It is located on the outskirts of Heraklion and by default will be the first object of acquaintance with the sights of the capital. The legendary architectural monument covers an area of 24 thousand square meters. meters. The palace complex was built in the 2000s BC. and lasted almost 300 years until 1700 BC. was not destroyed by a strong earthquake. The majestic palace was a multi-storey structure with intricate entrances / exits, corridors, 1300 rooms, not counting courtyard buildings, platforms, terraces, gardens and galleries. It is no coincidence that many legends and myths were composed about this place, including in the labyrinth in which the Minotaur lived.
Address: Heraklion 71409, Crete, Greece
You can walk around the Palace of Knossos for more than one day, and there will be a need to visit the historically significant places of the Cretan capital. Hotels in Heraklion meet all the requirements of European standards, and hospitable Cretans will make your stay flawless thanks to excellent service.