The seaside Monastery of Panagia Odigitria is located at the base of the peninsula of Spatha, about 26km west of Chania and 2.5km north of Kolimbari. The monastery is also known as Lady of the Angels Monastery of Gonia (Gonia = Corner) due to its location on the western edge-corner of the bay of Chania.
In the 9th century hermits founded the monastery of Saint George (Agios Georgios) in Menies on the site of the ancient sanctuary of Diktynna. Because of the constant pirate raids, the monks of St. George moved to the current position of the cemetery and founded the first monastery of Panagia. The new monastery of Gonia was founded by monk Vlasios at this position in the 17th century, his work being continued by monk Venedictos Tzagarolas.
Also, a noble of Chania called George Moumouris donated a huge fortune to the monastery, which helped in its construction significantly. The monastery soon flourished, as a rich monastic tradition was developed in Spatha and the monks soon gathered in Gonia. Gonia Monastery played an important role in local history. It has always been a shelter for the rebels of Crete and, thus, it was destroyed many times by the Turks and the Germans. This is also witnessed by a canon ball stuck in the east wall.
Today, the monastery gives a live testimony in Orthodoxy and Hellenism in general and our country in particular. The Monks serve the religious and spiritual needs in many villages, volunteer in charitable institutions of the Metropolis of Kisamos and Selinon, teach in local schools, while they are primarily involved in worship, spiritual and communal life of the monastery and uphold the tradition of Orthodoxy and the Greek race.
Moreover, the monastery, in recent years, has produced significant pieces of land for the development of facilities in the region of Kolymvari such as: the High School, the Agricultural Association, the Union of Agricultural Cooperatives, the Center for Rural Development, the Ecclesiastical Boarding School, the Stadium, the County Court, etc. Last but not least, it offered a substantial piece of land, just tens of meters from it, for the establishment of the Orthodox Academy of Crete.