Opposite the main beach of Malia, at the north coast of Crete, there is an islet named Afentis Christos, on which the church of Metamorphosis tou Sotiros (the Transfiguration of the Savior) is located and is celebrated on August 6th. It is a small, one-aisled church whose exact date of erection remains unknown. In this church there is not a winged altarpiece but there was an old icon of Afentis Christos which has now been transferred to Malia. Every year, many people gather at this islet where a service and then a feast are held. Just opposite the church, there is a spring, the water of which, according to the tradition, helped those women who drunk it or washed with it to conceive a child.
The island was not recorder on a map of 1618. It was created in 1650 with the eruption of the Thira Volcano with seismic vibrations and tidal waves. When the church was built, the islet was not formed. The islet before was a rocky land that formed a small hill like a cape. In this area there also were a barracks and a Venetian outpost. After major earthquakes during the 17th century, there were significant geological changes in the gulf of Malia. The land slumps and tidal waves resulted in the island’s creation. On this islet there are remnants of the Venetian barracks as well as a Minoan cemetery with carved graves on the rocks. The islet is at an area of 4.400 square meters and one can go there even swimming as it is near the beach. The islet is a distinctive touch of this landscape.
Τake a tour of the area