You will start at the monastery of Gouverneto which is located North of the city of Chania about 20 km away from the center and the drive there will take about 40 minutes. The monastery is not open all hours, so make sure you are there the right time to get in. The opening times can be found here.
2Church Panagia Arkoudiotissa & Bear Cave
After you spend some time around the monastery, you will need to make your way north past the monastery and through the mountains, following the stone pathway towards the Church Panagia Arkoudiotissa and the Bear Cave. You should be there in about 20 minutes. The church and cave are not very large, but they definitely worth a visit.
Next stop, as you continue down the stone pathway, is the abandoned monastery of Katholiko. You will need to hike about 20 more minutes from the Bear Cave towards the monastery. This is an exciting hike as you emerge yourself in the Cretan nature.
Once you spend some time at the monastery, you will need to make your way down the bridge, which is easier said than done. There are no steps down, so you need to climb down the rocks, but if you are careful enough, you should have no problem. As you walk under the bridge, you will need to cross the short Avlaki Gorge to reach the beautiful beach of Katholiko.
When you cross and reach the gorge, you will finally end up at the gorgeous Katholiko beach which used to be a port for the monks of the monastery. The waters are beautiful and very clear and there are also high rocks where you can cliff dive!
Tips: Make sure you wear hiking shoes, definitely don’t wear flip flops. Make sure you have enough water with you, as you won’t find any water past the Gouverneto monastery. Be sure to be back by afternoon, so you have enough light to see where you’re going. And lastly, there is no phone signal down there, so we wouldn’t recommend going alone. You can never be too careful! Have fun!