at 10.5km (SE) from Kyra Eleoussa Monastery
Askoi (GR: Ασκοί) is small village in the municipality of Kasteli has 315 inhabitants. It lies in the foothills of the Dikti mountain, 11 km to the east of Kasteli and 8 km from Lyttos. Fr. Barozzi mentions it as Ascus, in the Pediada district, in 1577. Recently a ritual clay figurine of the Mid-Minoan period was fortuitously unearthed on a peak close to the village. The remains of a large building belonging to a peak sanctuary have been excavated at Amygdalokefalo to the NE of the village. A reference in a contract of 1271, mentions how Petri Comarii from the village (casali) Maski owes Ruggerino Temisano, resident in Chandax, 25 «mistata» of good Cretan wine from his vineyards in Maski. Among other natural beauties, the ravine at Aski is well worth seeing. On December 4th the village has a typical Cretan feast to honour Agia Varvara. And as in every Cretan village, raki and ‘mezedes’ are always available at the kafeneions.
at 10.5km (SW) from Kyra Eleoussa Monastery
The Nikos Kazantzakis Museum is dedicated to the great Greek writer, poet and philosopher Nikos Kazantzakis. It was founded in 1984 and it is located at the village Myrtia in Iraklion, next to his father's house. The museum contains some of his personal belongings (pipes, glasses, pens, etc.) and a rich collection of his manuscripts and letters, first Greek editions of his books, documents from theatrical productions of his works, copies of TV series and movies based on his novels, portraits of Nikos Kazantzakis, copies of press releases and articles on his life and work.
at 10.6km (E) from Kyra Eleoussa Monastery
Athena Apartments, located in the heart of Stalis, a stone's throw from the sandy beach of Stalis, offer modern accommodation services with free WiFi internet connection. Built in modern architecture, Athena Apartments consist of 20 airy and bright apartments, all with air conditioning, fully equipped kitchen, private bathroom and large balcony with a sublime view. Athena Apartments features a swimming pool with free sun beds and umbrellas and pool bar. Other features include billiards, BBQ, snack-bar, and satellite TV. Stalis, 3 kilometres after Hersonissos and 3 kilometres before Malia, not only has a beautiful sandy beach with water sports facilities including water ski, jet ski and canoeing, but is also home to dozens of restaurants, supermarkets, shops and bars. Hotel Rooms: 20
at 10.8km (E) from Kyra Eleoussa Monastery
Offering 2 restaurants and a spa with indoor pool, this 5-star beachfront resort is located in the famous resort of Stalis. Rooms have furnished balconies with views of the sea or the hotel’s exotic gardens. The air-conditioned guest rooms are equipped with free wired internet, a satellite TV and a fridge. All guests are greeted with complimentary bottle of wine, fruit and water.
at 11km (NW) from Kyra Eleoussa Monastery
This 2 km long sandy beach was for years and still is the favorite beach of the people of Heraklion town. It is named after the river "Karteros" which outflows at the west end of it near the airport. The water is clean, the seabed is sandy with smoothly shelving and swimming is safe. The access is free in most parts except for some areas that are reserved for military personnel and the municipal beach "Akti" where visitors should pay an entrance fee in order to use the facilities. At the east end there are some very good taverns offering fresh fish among their specialties and are very popular with locals and tourists alike.
at 11km (S) from Kyra Eleoussa Monastery
Evangelismos (GR: Ευαγγελισμός) at 360 m above sea level, with 365 inhabitants, lies to the SW of Kasteli, distant only 5 km from the county town and about 35 km from Heraklion. In earlier years, the village was called Mouktari or Mouchtari and its name figures in a 1381 contract for the buying and selling of grain. The Byzantine church of the Panagia is worth a visit. On August 6th the village celebrates the feast of the Metamorphosis. Evangelismos is the seat of the newly (2010) created municipality, according to the National "Kallikratis Project", by uniting the former municipalities of Kastelli, Thrapsano and Akalochori. The name of the new municipality is "Minoa Pediada"
at 11.1km (E) from Kyra Eleoussa Monastery
Memories Apartments are located walking distance from the sea and the lively centre of Stalis. The complex features a swimming pool and free public Wi-Fi. Rooms at Memories Apartments are modern with sea, pool or mountain views. All accommodations are en suite with kitchenette facilities, air conditioning and a balcony or patio. The pool area offers a deck with loungers and umbrellas. Breakfast, snacks and drinks are served at the pool bar. Greek nights are frequently organised here.Hotel Rooms: 14
at 11.4km (S) from Kyra Eleoussa Monastery
At an altitude of 380m, with 63 inhabitants, Liliano (GR: Λιλιανό) is first mentioned in the Turkish census of 1671. The Basilica with its three naves, dedicated to Saint John, was built in the 12th -13th centuries and is one of the oldest and the most interesting in Crete. The stones used in its construction came from earlier buildings. The three naves, with the middle nave higher than the other two, are supported by columns in Ionic style. The narthex in front is lower with wider arches, whereas the door and windows have pointed arches.
at 11.8km (E) from Kyra Eleoussa Monastery
Situated in the village of Stalida, 350 metres from the beach, La Luna offers spacious self-catering accommodation. It has a swimming pool and a pool bar, and provides free private parking. La Luna Apartments are bright and airy, and feature large balconies. They include a kitchenette with refrigerator and they have a dining area. A private bathroom with shower is standard in all rooms. Guests can relax at the sun terrace by the swimming pool or have a drink at the pool bar. La Luna hotel also offers free wired Internet in its public areas. Nikos Kazantzakis International Airport is 30 km away from La Luna Apartments. The resort of Malia, offering many nightlife options, is within 3 km. Hotel Rooms: 21
at 12.3km (SE) from Kyra Eleoussa Monastery
Kastamonitsa (GR: Κασταμονίτσα) is 7 km away from Kasteli, has 356 inhabitants and lies at 520 m above sea level, in the foothills of the Afendi mountain (1578 m), with the Dikti mountain in the background. The village is not mentioned in the Venetian registers of the 16th and 17th centuries, nor in the Turkish census of 1671. It is possible that the name is related to that of Kastamoni in Asia Minor: refugees, driven out of their land by the Turks, may well have come and settled here, giving their new home the same name as their old one. But it is impossible to establish a precise date. The Church of the Koimisi tis Theotokou (Dormition of Our Lady), located in the cemetery of the village, has wall paintings of the 14th century and points to a settlement here during the Venetian period. However, as we said before, the village is not mentioned in any Venetian census. The first reference is to be found in an Egyptian census conducted in 1834, where the village of Kastamonitsa is said to have 35 Christian families. And again in 1881, the village is said to have 320 Christian residents; no Turkish families are mentioned. The location of the village on the way to the natural fortress of the Lassithi plateau which protects all of Eastern Crete, turned the area into a battlefield during the last century. The Egyptian Pasha Hassan tried to invade the Lassithi plateau in 1822. The rebels cut him off between Krassi and Kastamonitsa, fighting him so well that he was forced to change his strategy and invade the plateau through its south side (Viannos and Ierapetra). Other fierce battles took place in and around Kastamonitsa during the 1866-67 rebellions. Finally Omer Pasha, known as the Attila of Lassithi, found a way up through the glen at Geraki where an betrayer showed him the way. A clay cast has been found in Mesarmi. It is elliptical in shape and has a width of about 0.25 m, and has a plaited decoration. A round glass vessel was also found at Xidiano Seli. 4 km out of the village you get to a lovely spot known as Mesada, where traditional celebrations take place on Easter Tuesday.The village boasts of several kapheneions and a taverna in the main square. There is an active cultural centre, that organizes events especially in the summer. The most important and traditional feast is held on July 7th in honour of Aghia Kyriaki.