It is located near the present-day Marathokefala of Spilia, a few hundred meters further from Arkoudosspilia and a little higher than the bed of the canyon. It is an old river bed and has a total length of about 135 meters in the form of a horizontal gallery.
It is distinguished by rich decoration in many places with large stalactites and stalagmites.
The small church of the Saint is built to the right of the entrance and celebrates on the 7th of October.
The story says that Saint John the Hermit, who is probably also the founder of the Catholic Monastery, probably the oldest monastery in Crete (6th or 7th century AD), lived as an ascetic in the area, living naked and roaming like a wild animal among the rocks. He prayed, hit the rock with his staff and since then holy water has been gushing out that does not dry up and is healing.
A hunter accidentally hit the saint, mistaking him for some animal, and just before he passed out, he asked the hunter to carry him into the cave to die. Thus it is said that his bones were found at that point in the depth of the cave.
Editor: Fotini Anastasopoulou