Visit Agios Gerasimos Monastery in Kefalonia
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The beautiful island of Corfu in Greece offers much to people of all ages. As the second largest of the Ionian Islands, Corfu’s whitewashed houses have lured visitors who long to explore its beaches. The island of Kefalonia is near Corfu and is well worth a trip to explore this large island and monastery. Taking a break from the idyllic scenery, travelers can explore the nearby Agios Gerasimos Monastery in Kefalonia.
Here’s more information about the Agios Gerasimos Monastery on the island of Kefalonia:
Getting to Agios Gerasimos Monastery
Before you can head to the monastery, you need to first make your way to the island of Kefalonia. If you start in Athens, you can get to Kefalonia by plane, a trip of an hour or less. There are also flights that go into Kefalonia from other places. There are also ferries from Italy, leaving from Brindisi, Bari, Ancona, or Venice. The Monastery is located near Omala on Kefalonia, near the villages of Fragata and Balsamata. Buses go from Argostoli town to the monastery.
About Agios Gerasimos Monastery
Located on Kefalonia, the Monastery is situated at the top of a green valley. It is named for the patron saint of Kefalonia, Agios Gerasimos, who founded the monastery in the 16th century. He died in 1597 and was sanctified years later, in 1622, as he was revered for miraculous work regarding people with mental illness.
The chapel and church are richly decorated with icons and wall paintings. Within the smaller church, there is the silver casket containing the holy relics of the saint. Below the monastary is a cave in which Agios Gerasimos said his daily prayers. It is a favorite destination for pilgrims who come to honor this saint.
What to Do at Agios Gerasimos Monastery
Enjoy the array of orthodox paintings that line the walls of the church. The nuns’ monastery also has paintings. Visit the cave through an iron ladder that leads down from the church. See the interior of the cave from the top, as it is lit. After you go down into the cave, you can visit a second smaller cave with a small entrance. Be sure to have your camera if you enjoy unique pictures.
It is also possible to visit the famous saint at certain times. Sometimes the casket is open and visitors see the mummified body of the saint. A blessing by a high priest may be taking place, while devout pilgrims kiss the toes of the saint’s body.
Activities to Do in the Area of the Monastery
There are also things that you can do while you are near the monastery. Consider visiting the cave in Lassi, where Agios Gerasimos lived for five years, prior to founding this monastery; a natural sea view and natural daylight are highlights of a visit to this cave. Nearby you can visit the Rombola Wine Factory.
Aside from visiting the historic monastery and seeing striking examples of orthodox art, you can enjoy views and serenity from the Omalon Plateau, where the monastery has been built. The surroundings comprise mountains, and picture-taking offers wonderful memories of this unforgettable monastery.
Visiting the Agios Gerasimos Monastery can be one of the highlights of your trip to the Ionian Islands. It sits high above the villages of Fragata and Valsamata under the strength of Mount Ainos.
This post was written by Greek Boston