Places near Church
An easy to access beach with sand and pebbles very well equipped and safe to approach the sea, ideal for the children. Very close to a first aid station, telephone and a well organized beach restaurant. There are also travel agencies, a TAXI rank, and a regular bus service and many hotels and apartments witch they guarantee to the visitors an unforgettable and pleasant living. Aghios Panteleimonas is a particular beautiful beach, quiet and isolated optically by a steep cliff of a sandy hill with sea pines and the little church of Aghios Pante-Leimonas just clamed above the waves. All these together make an exotic and romantic atmosphere unforgettable to the visitors. The way to approach the beach is very easy and there’s a big parking just before the beach.
Church, 15th - 19th Century
The small, barrel-vaulted, single-nave church was propably rebuilt at the beginning of the 19th century, close to the commercial port of Kalo Chorio. The surviving inbuilt decorative glazed bowls on its exterior possibly testify to its being older.
The church was obviously destroyed by fire as only the cross and the damaged icon of St. Panteleimon survive from its once elaborate alter screen. As was determined after the icon's cleaning, it was used to paint the icon of Christ at around the beginning of the 2oth century. Outside of the small church are graves, not only of residents of Katevati but also of others who were slaughtered by the explosion of a mine from those that the Germans had placed along the coastline of Kalo Chorio. During embellishment work witch took place around the church,marble slabs were discovered that confirmed the tradition of the area known as "Marmara, marbles". The famous italian traveller, monk and geographer, Christopher Buondelmonti, during his visit to the area around 1415, mentions the port and the existence of large, rough marble slabs which were transported, suitably chiseled to the location "Marmaro", where there were the remains of an ancient pagan temple.
The church celebrates on July 27, feast day of the Great Martyr and Healer St Panteleimon, and constitutes the largest local feast. During Vespers, the procession of the Holy Icon of St. Panteleimon takes place, while on the dayof the feast, after the conclusionof the Divine Liturgy, the priest, according to an old tradition, blesses the waters and throws the Holy Cross into the sea, from where it is brought up by swimmers.
Istro is no bustling tourist village, and those who come to visit will live alongside the local people. It is easy to relax in the warmly welcoming atmosphere of the Greek tavernas, restaurants and kafenions, and the shops in the village provide everything you might need on holiday.
In all directions there are excellent bus connections, which offer the possibility to see much of Eastern part of Crete on a series of day trips. Well worth seeing, if you rent a car, is the palm tree lined beach at Vai, the famous Minoan palace of Knossos, the Lasithi plain with its windmills, the island of Spinalonga, and Chrisi Island, or Matala with its ancient man made caves, and much much more.
Apart from these there are beautiful walks in the area, and Istro is full of archaeological interest. The new village of Istro sits on the site of the ancient town of Istrona, remains of which are still being found today. Because of this, the land closest to the sea has a conservation order and no new building may take place, which leaves the beaches uncrowned and un spoilt.
There is a regular bus service to Agios Nikolaos and other areas, a Taxi rank, telephone and internet facilities, Post Office, petrol station, grocery stores, restaurants, taverns, mini markets, souvenir shops, clubs, bars, travel agencies, cars and bikes for rent, etc. catering for the 2800 tourists staying in hotels, villas and apartments and for the visitors or day-tourists from other areas. Kalo Chorio (or Istron) is also a perfect place for windsurfers. Most of the days there is wind strong enough (specially in Agios Panteleimon beach) to take you in surfers paradise.
The Folklore Museum operates in the Istron area and offers a detailed exhibition of life in the past. It was built in 1999 by The Folklore Association.
This museum declares a great love of and attention to the local popular culture. It is an important source of information of folklore and the history of the inhabitants of the Mirambello Gulf.
Very close to it two first aid stations, one belonging to a well organized diving centre, the telephone, and the beach restaurant of the hotel with Cretan and Mediterranean cuisine. Pilos is a particular beautiful beach, quiet and isolated optically from the hotel by a steep cliff of a sandy hill with sea pines. It has been praised repeatedly by the Greek and International Press for the unique colours of the sea.