Monastery of Arkadi, Rethymnon

4.7
#1 of 9 in Historic Sites in Rethymnon
Must see · Religious Site · Landmark
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Resembling a fortress, the Eastern Orthodox Monastery of Arkadi served as an important site of Cretan resistance against the Ottoman rule. During the Cretan revolt of 1866, women, the elderly, and children sought refuge from battle in the monastery's powder room. When the Ottomans reached the powder room, the hidden Cretans lit the gunpowder, killing themselves, as well as many Turkish soldiers. Explore this important national site and admire the varied architecture of the complex. Make sure to spend time in the 16th century church. The striking construction was heavily influenced by Renaissance art. Take care to be respectful of the many pilgrims who come here for spiritual reasons. Use our Rethymnon trip planner to add Monastery of Arkadi and other attractions to your Rethymnon vacation plans.
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Monastery of Arkadi reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
2,693 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • We went to the Monastery on our own, as we had a rental car. The site is large and well-restored and maintained, as it is still a working monastery. The museum portion is well-curated, but read about....  more
    We went to the Monastery on our own, as we had a rental car. The site is large and well-restored and maintained, as it is still a working monastery. The museum portion is well-curated, but read about....  more »
  • Will try to leave a few tips not mentioned in other reviews This place is beautiful, sad, and sacred. Read up on wikipedia at the very least to understand the significance of this site. I showed... 
    Will try to leave a few tips not mentioned in other reviews This place is beautiful, sad, and sacred. Read up on wikipedia at the very least to understand the significance of this site. I showed...  more »
  • A peaceful, sad place when you read the history. This helps to understand the Cretan mentality of fierce pride and independence. Snack bar outside is very welcome on hot days, beautiful views down....  more
    A peaceful, sad place when you read the history. This helps to understand the Cretan mentality of fierce pride and independence. Snack bar outside is very welcome on hot days, beautiful views down....  more »
Google
  • We enjoyed the site very much. For us this vacation one of the nicest places we visited. The entry is only 3,-€ and there is quite something to see and learn about the islands history and wars. Definitely with the trip.
  • So for a few euros you can see this wonderful place. You can go up the top for amazing views. You can take your time walking around and getting some amazing pictures. It is beautiful and calming. I loved this monestery.
  • Absolutely a must see when you are in the area! Definitely read the history before or during your visit to understand the background. During the high season there can be lots of tourist so if you prefer more calmness I recommend coming in the morning. There are many little places to discover and you can walk around freely. Parking & toilets are also available as well a little souvenir shop inside the monastery where you can find unique Greek Orthodox icons,prayer ropes etc.. The small entrance fee is worth it since the place is in great condition and well cared for. I would like to mention that Greek Orthodox churches and monasteries might have a little different etiquette then your own country. Long skirts (knee length) are preferred for women and men should take of their hats inside, generally dressing moderate is always appreciated. It's not obligated but you might consider it out of respect. 😊
  • Lovely serene visit to this monastery, quite a small site. Started at the church and worked around clockwise; however some interesting historical facts learnt in the museum sent me back to the church afterwards. As well as the architecture, the flowers around were very colourful and relaxing. The cafe outside served delicious freshly squeezed orange juice. Toilets outside the monastery better than those outside the cafe. Don't forget the skulls upstairs near the cafe!
  • We arrived at the monastery around 10:30 and were lucky enough for it to be pretty quiet. The structure is very well preserved with lots of beautiful and intricate details. They gave us a leaflet as we entered which explained the different buildings and their brief history. One thing I personally thought that ruined it was a bit of a tacky gift shop within the monastery itself. The monastery was quite small making our visit around 20 minutes which isn't long, considering the lengthy but beautifu journey on the mountain roads leading up to it. Although it was pretty, I would only recommend you visit if you in that area.

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