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Crete's Lasithi Prefecture Overview continued Page Nine

Heading East from Aghios Nikolaos

The landscape is rather barren going south along the Gulf of Mirabello and then northeast towards Sitia, but it is worth going up the long uphill road to the right 5km/3.1 miles beyond Kalo Horio, a 6km climb to the monastery Moni Faneromeni.

The stunning gulf views along the way are climaxed by the view from the monastery itself, among the most spectacular in Crete, though the buildings are rather drab. The chapel built into a cave sanctuary, however, as well as the frescoes, make up for this.

The most impressive is that of the Panaghia Theokotou, the Mother of God. There is an icon of the Virgin here which was found by a shepherd, said to have miraculous powers, and it was due to this discovery that the monastery was built. Sometimes it takes repeated loud knocking to get the attention of the monks who will then let you in. A modest contribution to the monastery may get you more time with the frescoes as well.

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