Monastery of Panagia Atros

Monastery of Panagia Atros

Two kilometres outside of Poros on the way back to Argostoli, a minor road branches off to the right and climbs up through oak woods to the oldest religious house on the island, the ninth-century Atros Monastery which is dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It stands at an altitude of 500 m in a remote spot near the summit of Mt. Atros. The feast day of the monastery is the 8th of September.

The iconostasis in the small, newly built church is the original one from the church destroyed by the 1953 earthquakes. The medieval tower next to the church contains the monastery’s old wine press, where the grapes were trodden with the feet in the traditional way.

The old monastic cells can still be seen. The monastery’s water supply came from wells in the precinct. A short distance to the west of the monastery there is a beautiful plateau where the olive trees grow to a great size: here the monks had their vineyard.

It is a 1½-hour hike from the road up to the monastery. You will be rewarded with panoramic views of the sea and the nearby islands, and in the evening you can see Zante to the west glowing golden in the sunset.

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