The fortified monastery of Agarathos is located 23km east of Heraklion in a wooded location at an altitude of 538m near Episkopi. The monastery, especially during the Venetian Era, was one of the richest in Crete owning several other monasteries in Heraklion and Lassithi prefectures. It is considered the first in the hierarchy of the monasteries of the island.
The name is taken after the plant Jerusalem Sage (Phlomis fruticosa), named agarathia in Cretan dialect. According to the tradition, below such a plant a monk found once the icon of Panagia (Virgin Mary) and he later built the church of Panagia on the same site. In front of the church you will see a pomegranate tree with a candle near its trunk. The pomegranate is said to be the initial plant of agarathia, which was turned miraculously to a tree.