The Monastery of Panagia Exakousti (the Renowned) lies just outside the village of Males of the road to Anatoli. It is an active female monastery since the 70’s.
The nuns operate a textile workshop, a sewing workshop, and a showroom/shop exhibiting the needlework and other souvenirs they make.
Surrounding the serene courtyard full of beautiful flowers are the central church, the little cave-church, the nun cells and the showroom/shop. From the monastery you have a beautiful view towards Males, Christos and the Dikti mountains.
There was probably a much older monastery in the same location, that was burned to the ground by the Turks. Only a small cave was left that was used as a chapel.
The monastery was founded in 1882 by the first abbot Hatzi Ananias, who was originally from Males. He found an icon in the cave, and started the building of the central church and surrounding buildings. The monastery was abandoned in 1935, destroyed by the Germans in the war, and rebuilt in 1963.
How to get there:
From Ierapetra drive west to Myrtos, and from there take the road up to Males. Drive through the village and follow the road for 2 kms until you see the sign for the monastery on the right side of the road.
Or drive up to Anatoli from Ierapetra, and take the road to Males. Just before Males the monastery lies on the left side of the road.
Coming from Agios Nikolaos you can take the main road to Ierapetra and drive up to Anatoli from there, or take the inland road from Istron up to Prina, then to Kalamafka, and from there to Anatoli and Males.
You can park in front of the monastery and the entrance is free. Clothing that covers shoulders and knees is mandatory.
Other sights in the area:
- Sarakina gorge