Just a few months ago, we wrote about a very controversial ban introduced by the monks living in the Gouvernetou Monastery on the Akrotiri Peninsula. In October last year, they announced that they forbid tourists from swimming at the beach Αυλάκι του Αγίου. This option was used by hikers who, tired of walking through the surrounding gorge, reached the beach. There is also an abandoned Moni Katholiko monastery in this area, which is looked after by clergymen. The gorge trail here meets the path from the Gouvernetou monastery.
According to the monks, they had the full right to introduce such a ban, because the whole area belongs to them. Only those walkers and pilgrims who did not intend to swim on the beach were welcome here Αυλάκι του Αγίου.
However, it seems that that controversial decision was by no means the last word of the inhabitants of Gouvernetou Monastery. The first days of April brought another surprise. Taking advantage of the nice weather and slightly loosened restrictions, local residents went for a walk in the area of this monastery. They were surprised to see that a stone wall had been built on the main road leading to this monastery, along with the posts prepared to attach the entrance gate. At the moment, it is still possible to drive this road, but everything indicates that the installation of such a gate is only a matter of time. This structure is located about 3 km in front of the monastery buildings.
It is precisely this road that the monks want to exclude from public traffic
If the monks actually close the road leading to Moni Gouvernetou, it will be impossible to get to the Moni Katholiko monastery and the Bear's Cave from this side. It will be a great loss, especially for tourists who are attracted by this unusual and picturesque place.
The area of three monasteries: Agia Triada , Moni Katholiko and Gouvernetou is one of the biggest attractions in this area of Crete. However, as the inhabitants of this area note, the monks of the Gouvernetou monastery have been doing their best to limit the number of visitors to this area for many years. Their recent actions already clearly indicate that their goal is to exclude this area of Crete from tourist traffic and to create a closed area similar to Mount Athos.
It is worth noting that reaching Moni Katholiko from the Gouvernetou Monastery was for many people the only possibility to see this historic monastery complex, as the trail leading from this side is relatively short and easy. Putting the gate and possible closing the road is the actual exclusion of this unique and beautiful part of Crete from tourist traffic for most people. Going along another longer and more difficult trail leading through the gorge from the Stavros side is much more demanding than a dozen or so minutes walk along a comfortable path.
The region of Crete, the municipality of Chania and the police have announced that they will have to urgently check whether the monks from Gouvernetou have the right to close this road. However, preliminary information that appeared in the local media indicates that, according to the documentation prepared in 2017, this road was assigned to the public road network.
According to some residents, the monks are trying to create a closed area like Mount Athos