It is situated on a hill and offers a panoramic view on the bay and the coastal village of Bali, which is situated 37 km from Rethymno.
It is also called Monastery of Atalis, a name, which the Venetians had given to the coastal village thus modifying the name of the ancient city of Astalis. Inscriptions testify that the monastery was built during the 17th century, which does not exclude that there had been a monastery there in earlier times. The church is dedicated to Aghios Ioannis. Its façade shows distinct elements of the architecture of the Renaissance.
Due to its position and abutting the Bay of Bali, the monastery played an important role during the revolution of 1821. Later it was deserted, and only as late as 1982 new life was breathed into it when it was restored.