The monastery of Kallergis or Kaleris is located southeast of Smari village, about 35km east of Heraklion and 4km north of Kastelli. It is built in a wooded area with many hills and mountainous morphology.
The monastery, built during the Venetian Era, is dedicated to St. John the Baptist and is a dependency of Vidiani Monastery in Lassithi Plateau. The monastery in its present form is relatively new and is believed to have been built on the ruins of an older monastery, ruined cells of which are preserved in the nearby church of Prophet Elijah.
Today, the monastery is restored by the “Friends of the Monastery Kalergis” Associaton. The main building and the refectory have been restored. Outside the monastery complex there is a newer two-aisled church dedicated to St. George and St. Spyridon. Also, there’s a chapel dedicated to the Cretan Martyrs (those Cretans who died for their Faith).