The Monastery of Preveli is situated 37 km from Rethymno and includes two monasteries, which are 3 km apart: The “Lower Monastery”, which is deserted and the “Back Monastery”, which is still run and can be visited.
According to tradition the name of the monastery, which has been sanctioned after the 17th century, is either derived from an inhabitant of the village of Preveliana in the prefecture of Heraklio, who, after having committed a murder, found shelter in this area, or it is derived from one of the restorers of the monastery.
Towering above the central precinct is the two-aisled church of Aghios Ioannis the Theologist and of the Annunciation. To the West and to the South of the church the cells and the abbot’s quarters are situated.
The church was built during recent years on the remains of an older Byzantine church. The fountain with the inscription of the foundation year of 1701 is situated on a lower level, as is the Museum of the Monastery, which displays vestments, church utensils, icons etc.