Visit Monastery of Panagia Atros on Kefalonia
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The island of Kefalonia is home to pristine beaches, breathtaking mountains, and traditional villages. Kefalonia, Greece is rich in history and culture. The island is also known for its spiritual heritage. When visiting Kefalonia, you will want to explore everything the island has to offer. One of these special places is the Monastery of Panagia Atros. Here’s what you should know about the Monastery of Panagia Atros in Kefalonia, Greece.
About the Monastery of Panagia Atros
Located about 37 km from Argostoli and 5 km from Paros Town, the Monastery of Panagia Atros is the oldest on the island of Kefalonia. The monastery was built sometime around the 8th century, during the Byzantine era, and sits 760 meters above the Bay of Poros. The monastery is a lesser-seen example of monastic architecture. The Monastery of Panagia has been damaged and destroyed many times by both fires and earthquakes.
No matter the extent of the damage, the monks would always rebuild their monastery. The Saracens attacked the Monastery of Panagia Atros three times during the Middle Ages, which resulted in the loss of 127 monks. After these attacks, the monastery was equipped with a fortress to protect it, the monks, and their valuables.
The Monastery of Panagia Atros is also known as Theotokos Monastery. It is dedicated to the birth of the Virgin Mary. The first reference to the monastery was by the Latin Archbishop of Kefalonia in his report of 1248.
Visit the Monastery of Panagia Atros
When you visit the Monastery of Panagia Atros, you walk around the lovely grounds that have a view of the surrounding areas including the nearby islands and the Ioanian Sea. If you get to the monastery early enough, you will be treated to a beautiful sunrise. You’ll be impressed at the medieval tower of the monastery is well-preserved. There is a well outside of the monastery that is painted white and blue and used to be their source of water. West of the monastery are olive groves and the area where the monks used to have a vineyard.
Getting to the Monastery of Panagia Atros on Kefalonia
To get to the Monastery of Panagia Atros, you must first travel to the island of Kefalonia. The airport of Kefalonia, Greece is located in the region of Svoronata on the southwestern side of the island. This airport receives flights coming from Thessaloniki and Athens. You can also get to Kefalonia by ferry from Killini in the western Peloponnese. The main port of Kefalonia is Poros.
Once on the island of Kefalonia, you can get around by bus, car, or taxis. The road to the Monastery of Panagia Atros is about 4 miles long and not in the greatest condition. It is steep with rocks and rubble. You can get to the Monastery of Panagia Atros by 4-wheel drive, which is probably the easiest way to get there, but a standard car can make it up also.
Visiting the Monastery of Panagia Atros will be a nice addition to your trip to Kefalonia, Greece.
This post was written by Greek Boston