Religious Tourism

churchVisitors will feel awe during their visits to the religious monuments of Lasithi. They will be astonished before the diversity and the beauty of the religious feeling that has been expressed in this area through the centuries with numerous monasteries, churches, ascetic lodges and objects of incomparable religious art (such as byzantine icons, religious paintings, woodcut icon screens, vestments, etc..) that compose a mosaic of special beauty. This beauty is emphasized even more by the surrounding natural landscape of Lasithi, which is full of alternations and surprises.

Modern visitors, tired of the everyday life in the big cities, by coming to Crete, an island of special character, can discover warmth, human contact, hospitality but also give answers to metaphysical questions since the relation of the sky and the land is still intense here.

When visitors enter a simple chapel or monastery they have the opportunity to approach the orthodox tradition of the island. This tradition is expressed by the sacramental atmosphere and the devoutness of the byzantine icons and the chant as well as by the hospitality at the religious festivals where people from all over the world are being accepted as if they were friends.

In Crete and especially in Lasithi visitors will, even nowadays, meet pilgrims who walk for hours in order to reach a chapel on the mountain, and there after the service they share their food with everyone who is there. Moreover, they can discover springs with holy water which have been being visited by local people for centuries.

The stone built houses of the villages, as well as the churches, the springs and the bridges are the expression of the soul of people who used to build with natural materials in full harmony with the environment, without architectural plans or set budgets and without knowing that the result is what we nowadays call “sustainable development”.

Meeting the religious monuments and the sacred memories as well as the deep feeling they transfer is related to the search of spiritual way of living based on genuine and traditional values. This is why the monuments of this area are not just museum details or nonliving information. On the contrary, they are a strong presence in the cultural tradition of the island, a statement of emotions, hope and renewal and consequently they can even now inspire and offer the visitor of Crete a different meaning of life.

You can browse the part of our website with the points of interest, on the interactive map, in the category “churches” in order to obtain more information about the monasteries and the churches of the prefecture. You can find even more information on this in the special platform for religious tourism in Lasithi (where information used in this website has been obtained upon permission).

The material included has been gathered with the help of the two Dioceses of Lasithi Prefecture, the 13th Ephorate of Byzantine Antiquities and many volunteers who offered us the right to use their record material, and it is structured in a way that it can be used as easily as possible.

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