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Agios Ioannis

The village is located west of Aradena 5 kilometers at an altitude of 800m. The road from Aradena to St. John, passes through a beautiful pine forest, one of the few in Crete, and offers a magnificent view of the waters of the Libyan sea from a great height and the massif of the White Mountains on the south side. The village followed and that the fate of Anopoli and Aradaina and was destroyed in 1770 and 1867. From here, some families fighters tried to flee to the White Mountains to secure Samaria Gorge.

In 1823 thirty-two local militants blockaded the exit of St. John to Samaria Gorge, the cavalry of the Egyptians who persecuted after the Turko alliance. They were confronted with very army and killed all but gave enough time to the women of the surrounding villages to flee to the safety of the gorge of Samaria. St. John is one of the smaller villages of Sfakia. It is an ideal place for those who love nature and trekking. Arriving in St. John, the road ends and displays a beautiful landscape that calls you to walk.

A large network of trails can satisfy every visitor, from the casual walker to the discerning climber. Forested paths divert you from human intervention and let you know closely harmonic rhythms of nature, leading you to the beaches and canyons of the area and sometimes the high peaks of the White Mountains. The options are really many. Going for the small ruined Kule located above the village, is slowly and steadily unfolding landscape and revealing the surrounding area, like a colorful table that anyway steal a little of the black mountains, a bit of dark green cypress and a bit of blue sea, creating an image that travels through space and time! Although the point is Koula not exceed 1000 meters, the view extends east from Asterousia Mountains in southern Heraklion, as Paleochora west of Crete!

The area has two Byzantine churches of the thirteenth century frescoes dedicated to St. John and the Virgin Mary. As you enter the village from the west are two churches in the south, down the road and frescoes dating from the 14th century. South of the village to the sea side, there is the Byzantine church of St. Paul at the beach, built by St. John the Hermit Sun to commemorate the crossing from there to St. Paul where according to the tradition of his journey to Rome, was shipwrecked here and baptized pagans in the nearby source. This trail takes you one hour, with wonderful views of the deep blue sea. The area is also large caves. Here you will find traditional houses, which operate throughout the year. The visit to St. John, will be unforgettable!