Paleokastritsa Monastery

The monastery in Paleokastritsa is believed to have been founded in the early 13th century. The monastery is dedicated to the Panagia (Virgin Mary) and the current buildings were erected in the 18th century. From an architectural point of view the monastery is well worth a visit as it is a classic example of Greek monastic architecture.

The church of the monastery is highly ornate with painted icons and frescos covering the walls and ceilings. Within the walls of the monastery there is an arched inner courtyard resplendent with plants. It is cool even on the hottest day. The outer courtyards have intricate tile work and one offers amazing views out to sea. There is an interesting museum which houses both Byzantine and post-Byzantine icons, sacred books and other religious relics as well as a well-preserved mammoth skeleton.

Within one of the original monks' cells a shop has been established that sells icons, hand-made crafts, small bottles of olive oil pressed by the monks and other memorabilia. A small olive press can also be found within the monastery. Unlike many other historical sites on the island, it is still a working monastery and plays an important role in the life of the locals.

There are fantastic views of Angelokastro and the monastery is the only place in Paleokastritsa from which you are able to see the village of Lakones.