“In Kapetaniana, whoever believes in God, he talks to Him”, Thanos Mikroutsikos.
A heaven on Earth is in the holly hill of Kofina and stares the Libyan sea. Kapetaniana is built in the southern sides of Asterousia Mountains, 750 meters above the sea level and 71 kilometers from Heraclion.
Administratively, the village falls under the local community of Sternes, in the Gortyna municipality and includes the beaches of Agios Ioannis, Eligia and some smaller ones but equally beautiful in the area.
Very few people live in Kapetaniana, while its tourist development is attempted, but without losing its characteristics.
The visitor can admire the rare species of predatory birds in the area. Harrier eagles, Golden Eagles , Bonneli’s eagles and vultures can be seen in any time. There is a bird feeder and an observatory for the rare birds in the east of the Kofina top.
Kapetaniana are a magnificent destination for those who like hiking, climbing and mountain bike.
Regarding to hiking, the visitor can follow the paths that connect the village with the caves, the ancient settlements and the monasteries. Such an example is the path that connects Agios Ioannis with the monastery of Koudoumas in which the cave of Agios Antonios is.
In ancient times, a holly top from the Middle Minoan era was in Metzolati, near the Kofina top, where the church of Timios Stavros is today. It is believed that it was used for ceremonies, as various statuettes and offerings were found in caves around there.
The settlement is not mentioned in any Venetian census, while its first reference is in the Turkish census, in 1834.
According to historical facts, the village was built by fighters from Sfakia, after the revolution of Daskalogiannis.
The origin of the name has to do with the “captains” of the village and their contribution to the struggle against Turks.
The Byzantine church from the 15th century dedicated to Panagia is in the settlement. The church of Timios Stavros is in Metzolati, which was built on the ruins of a Holly Top. On the 14th of September, the day when the church is celebrated, a Christian ceremony with some elements of pagan worship is taken place.
The priest blesses the fruit of 3 trees on the Kofina hillside and then he distributes them to the people instead of holly bread .
The village is celebrated on the 15th of August, in the celebration of Komisis of Theotokos , with a traditional Cretan feast.