Sternes is a village of the Gortyna municipality, 55 kilometers from Heraclion.

The settlement is built on the northern foot of the Asterousia Mountain, 310 meters above the sea level.

Administratively, the desolated Agios Nikolaos settlement and one of the oldest monasteries in Crete, the Koudoumas Monastery, are under the Sternes district.

420 people live in Sternes. Their main occupations are livestock and agriculture and, particularly, the raisin and the olive oil production.


The first reference of the village is in a 1271 contract.

Sternes is mentioned in the Venetian census of Vasilikata and the 1671 Turkish census.


The village took its name by the large basin (i.e. “sterna” in Greek) in the west of the village. It is thought to be from the Roman Era and that the water of a torrent was gathered there.


The churches of Eisodia of Theotokos and Agios Ioannis (with frescos remnants) are in Sternes.

The country churches of Agia Paraskevi and Panagia (decorated with frescos) are also in the wide area of the village.