The fascinating Byzantine monastery of the Holy Trinity is known as Tzagaroli after the two brothers that built it in the 17th century, belonging to a Venetian family by the name of Zangaroli. The monastery is beautifully located on the slopes of the Akrotiri Peninsula, just a few kilometers from the city of Chania in western Crete.
Considered one of the most beautiful in all of Crete and preserving a rich cultural and religious heritage in its small museum, the monastery of Agia Triada is definitely among the most interesting sights on the island. Built on top of an older church, apart from its beautiful location and treasures it features, the monks also produce delicious wine and olive oil that you can buy. This guide will show you everything you should known before visiting the Agia Triada Tzagaroli Monastery in Crete!
Where is Agia Triada Tzagaroli Monastery
The monastery of Agia Triada is located on the charming peninsula of Akrotiri, about 15 km to the northeast of the city of Chania and very close to the international airport of Chania. It takes only a few minutes to reach the monastery from the city and there are plenty of other amazing attractions in the area, including stunning beaches. The distance to the capital of Heraklion is 150 km and you can certainly rent a car to Agia Triada Tzagaroli Monastery. It is surrounded by olive groves and vineyards, with a few villages located around the superb peninsula.
How to Get to Agia Triada Tzagaroli Monastery
Getting to Agia Triada Tzagaroli Monastery by Car
You can easily reach the monastery of Agia Triada Tzagaroli with a car rental from Chania. It is by far the best option to visit this fascinating monastery and the trip from Chania will take only a few minutes.
If you arrive at the airport of Heraklion, which is located about 150 km from the monastery, you will drive along the northern coastal road for about 2 hours, depending on the traffic. Nevertheless, the trip is extremely pleasant and you pass through Rethymno and by amazing beaches on the way.
Getting to Agia Triada Tzagaroli Monastery by Bus
While there are no buses directly to the monastery, you can catch one of the many buses between Heraklion and Chania, while in Chania you can search for a bus to one of the villages just a few km to the monastery or you can take a taxi for the rest of the trip. It is much easier to visit Agia Triada Monastery by car.
Best Things to Do at Agia Triada Tzagaroli Monastery
Considered the most famous and one of the most beautiful monasteries on the island, the Agia Triada Tzagaroli Monastery was built at the beginning of 17th century by the brothers Lavrentios and Ieremias from the Venetian Tzagarolos family.
There used to be an older and smaller church on this location before that, but the complex that stands now is truly magnificent. The splendid architecture of the monastery is a mix of styles, with the church of Agia Triada standing in the middle of an enchanting courtyards, with several buildings around lush vegetation. It contains few of its original decorations, as the monastery was deserted during the Greek Revolution and many treasures destroyed by the Turks.
Nevertheless, the Venetian dressed-stone style of the church and its majestic silhouette are quite impressive. Around the church, there are a few old buildings that are worth visiting, including the old school and library, the monk cells, the wine cellar or the olive oil press. There is also a fascinating museum that presents a collection of extremely rare and valuable artifacts, including icons and woodcarvings.
The Agia Triada Tzagaroli Monastery is one of the most highly regarded religious destinations in Crete, offering an unforgettable spiritual experience, but also allowing you to admire its superb architecture. There is also a shop where you can taste and buy delicious wine and olive oil produced by the monks of the monastery.
Visit the monastery of Katholiko
Just a few kilometers to the north of the Agia Triada, there is another astonishing monastery that is worth visiting. Known as the Katholiko Monastery, it stands in a dramatic landscape, perched inside the Avlaki Gorge and just a few steps from the rocky seashore of the Akrotiri Peninsula. If you start the trail from Agia Triada, you can reach Katholiko shortly, but you will also pass by other beautiful sights, including the Gouverneto Monastery, with its fortress architecture, the old cave church of Saint Anthony and the cave of Arkoudospilios.
The monastery of Katholiko dates back to the 17th century, being founded by the same Jeremiah Tzagarolo. Among the highlights of the monastery, you can admire the spectacular stone bridge over the gorge, the deserted cells, bell-tower and the cave of Saint John the Hermit.
Explore the other sights of Akrotiri Peninsula
The enchanting peninsula of Akrotiri is located to the northeast of Chania and features many exceptional attractions apart from the monasteries of Agia Triada and Katholiko. While it is mostly rocky, there are a few beaches that can be visited around the coast of the peninsula, including those of Agios Onoufrios, Kalathas, Tersanas, Pachia Ammos, Chrissi Akti, Marathi and Loutraki. While most of them are quite small, the beauty of the landscape and the clear turquoise water make them extremely enticing.
Apart from the marvelous monasteries of Agia Triada, Katholiko and Gouverneto, there are a lot of old small churches spread around the peninsula, which shows its importance throughout history. Just to the north of Chania, you can also stop to the Venizelos Graves, located inside a small charming park that offers a stunning panorama of the city. Other interesting sights on the Akrotiri Peninsula include the small cove of Seitan Limania, the gorge of Diplohahalo, Lera Cave just outside Stavros, as well as other things you can discover by exploring.
Visit the City of Chania
The picturesque town of Chania is the capital of Western Crete and features some amazing sights that are definitely worth a day trip. The old historical buildings with beautiful architecture, the atmospheric old Venetian port with its promenade, the fascinating maritime and archaeological museums, the splendid Venetian sea walls and lighthouse and many other sights make Chania truly breathtaking.
Where to Stay near Agia Triada Tzagaroli Monastery
All around the beautiful peninsula of Akrotiri, there are plenty of amazing accommodation options available, from small private villas to larger hotels, where you can taste the endless hospitality of Crete.
Most of them are located along the western coast of the peninsula, close to the villages of Stavros, Chorafakia or Kalathas, each of them also featuring splendid beaches nearby. You will thus be just a few minutes away from the monastery and the large town of Chania.
An exclusively delightful accommodation located on the stunning coast of the Akrotiri Peninsula just south of Stavros village, these 8 stylish villas feature spacious rooms, four bedrooms, kitchen and dining room, as well as a private pool and many activities.
☏ +44 694 580 3130
Zorbas Beach Villas
Perfectly located on the northwestern tip of the peninsula just outside the village of Stavros, this hotel complex is very close to several enchanting beaches and the Agia Triada Monastery. It offers comfortable accommodation in amazing apartments and studios, dining area, an outdoor swimming pool, playground and more.
☏ +30 2821 039011
Located among olive groves just minutes away from the coast and the monastery, it offers 16 spacious apartments with two or three bedrooms, as well as a kitchen, living room and bathroom, a common swimming pool and other activities.
☏ +30 2821 039722
Where to Eat near Agia Triada Tzagaroli Monastery
One of the most appreciated restaurants on the Akrotiri Peninsula, this superb tavern is located in the village of Stavros, close to its splendid beaches, offering delicious traditional food, including fresh seafood, in a very pleasant ambiance.
☏ +30 2821 029489
Located just outside Stavros village in a spectacular natural setting, this small tavern offers traditional Greek and Mediterranean food right on the seashore, with its own idyllic private beach.
☏ +30 2821 039110
Located in the village of Chorafakia, this small family business offers exceptionally delightful dishes made from fresh ingredients in a welcoming atmosphere, being extremely well reviewed by its guests.
☏ +30 2821 039470
Best Time to Visit Agia Triada Tzagaroli Monastery
You can visit the splendid monastery of Agia Triada Tzagaroli any time of the year and find it equally fascinating. Nevertheless, to fully appreciate the beauty of the island, you should also take into account the best time for going to the beach. The island of Crete offers the best conditions for most tourist activities during the months of April-June and September-October.