In the province of Pediada and about 25 km from Heraklion there is the Monastery of Agarathos,at an altitude of 380 meters. (Outside the monastery is the old church of Saint Raphael). The temple was built brand new and inaugurated in 1894, while the founding of the old monastery took place at the 15th century and was owned by the Kallergis family. The name of the monastery comes from the local name of a bush resembling the sage (agarathos or agarathia). At the end of its branches grow its fruit, which resemble small heads made of yellow flowers.
According to tradition, the icon of the Virgin Mary was found in the area, placed under a sage. It is said that the monks later grafted this sage so that it became a tree, a beautiful pomegranate tree at the entrance of the church.
The monastery of Agarathos was an important spiritual center where scientists and intellectuals of the Venetian era, studied.
Guests can stay in the guesthouse of the monastery and visit the old buildings nad admire, the Wall, the cells, the cobblestone courtyard, the ecclesiastical museum and the rich manuscript library.
The hospitable monks are involved in the organic cultivation of vine and olive trees and produce top quality wine and olive oil.