21.4. Finikas Monastery from Selia Walk and Cycle in Crete

4. Finikas Monastery from Selia Walk and Cycle in Crete

Three kilometres of level track lead to the Monastery ruins. These occupy a magnificent setting, looking out at Plakias Bay over the olive trees. Enough of the ruins remain for you to visualise their past.

Good walking or cycling.

Selia sits astride a small ridge with a church prominent towards the south of the ridge. From the middle of the village the road leaves north-west. A small road drops down heading north-west below this and turns into a track. This soon curves round to the west and diverges from the surfaced road.

15 min. After one kilometre take a left fork and continue westward for another 500 metres.

35 min. Cross a junction of tracks, still heading west, and the track now drops through a series of hairpins but the overall route is still westwards.

40 min. The Monastery ruins are not visible from any distance but a single columnar cypress standing on the edge of olive groves above a sharp drop indicates your destination. Below the hairpins the track contours round to the right, heading west, with olive groves rising steeply above, less steeply below. The track now starts to rise again, turning north with several ruined buildings hidden in the vegetation.

45 min. A final hairpin east brings you in sight of the little church with the main monastery buildings above and behind it.

The church has been recently and expensively renovated inside.

The Monastery is largely ruinous but just inside its courtyard entrance there is a water cistern with its domed roof still intact. A hollow pillar guards the entrance to the cistern. It is well worth going through the ruins to the viewpoint on the east side with

excellent views across Plakias Bay and some ancient olive trees behind you.

If you return to the track and continue north another hairpin is followed by a straight track which after 750 metres brings you out on the main road three kilometres west of Selia.

Previous: - 3. Plakias to Souda Bay - Sweet Water Bay

Next: - 5. Finikas Monastery to Souda Bay