Preveli Monastery

Crete travel guide

The Holy Monastery of Preveli in Southern Rethymnon area, Crete

The Monastery of Preveli is aged since the end of the 17th century. It flourished during the 18th and 19th century.

Two different buildings consist the Monastery:

  • the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian, which is closer to the sea and is also referred to as Piso (back) Moni (monastery).
  • the monastery of Saint John the Baptist, also referred as Kato (lower) Moni (monastery), which is closer to the Megas (great) River.


The Monastery of Preveli has always offered support and shelter to all the people who needed them. The abbot Melhisedek Tsouderos was one of the local leaders in the revolution against the Turkish occupation (1821). Abbot Tsouderos' family was a branch of the royal family of the Byzantine Empire.

Much later, during the German occupation, the Monastery of Preveli became a shelter for the foreign troops that were trapped in Crete and hunted by the German Army. Two escape missions were organized and the troops were transferred safely to Egypt. However the second mission became known to the German Army and they tried to arrest the abbot Agathagelos Lagouvardos. Abbot Agathagelos was early informed about the german plans and managed to escape to Middle East. The German Army arrived at the Monastery on August 25, 1941 and interrogated and arrested the monks. The german soldiers caused severe damage to the Monastery and transferred the arrested monks to the Firkas prison. Later they were released due to the strong pressure from various important persons of Crete. The Monastery never gave up its action against the Occupation Army.

The Monastery of Preveli has always promoted the art of icon- painting and many important icons are kept in its museum.

the famous palm tree forest in Limni, Preveli



Read more:

Preveli Project

Geoff Edwards

Battle of Crete

HMS Thrasher

Prevelly, Australia

Preveli, Crete

How to go to Preveli

By Car

To drive to Preveli from Chania or Heraklion, first drive to Rethymnon and then follow the road signs to Spili and turn right after the village of Armeni.  The GPS position of Monastery of Prevely is 35.157675, 24.457131

If you stay in Southern Crete and want to visit Preveli, then take the road to Plakias and follow the signs.

Day Trip to Preveli Beach and Monastery

The best way to see the Monastery of Preveli, visit the river with the plam trees and get plenty of information about the history and tradition of Crete, is a shared bus tour. The advantages are many: comfortable buses, English-speaking  guides and many photo stops in beautiful places.

Custom Search

This page about Preveli Monastery is protected by International Copyright Law - Web-design and SEO by

search newsletter video english german french dutch swedish danish russian chinese greek crete travel crete beaches, beach guide maps crete weather activities, sports, hiking, fishing, snorkelling, scubadiving in crete Crete history and archaeology fauna and flora of Crete cretan diet and recipes traditions of crete and greece information learn greek forum gallery, photos, pictures hotel reviews, restaurant reviews, bar reviews crete books music contact form