In Greece, religion is considered an important part in the evolution of life while for centuries it has been closely related to society and culture. The official religion in Greece is Orthodox Christianity, covering about 98% of Greeks. Greece is undoubtedly a must religious destination as it has more than 550 monasteries and convents with millions upon millions of visitors from all over the world. Many of these monasteries stand out for their history, Byzantine architecture, extraordinary wealth and the wonderful locations where they are at in the Greek countryside. They are an integral part of Greek nature and the result of human constructions.
Religious Tourism is widely known and popular with numerous fans around the globe. Read the following religious guide in order to travel to popular monasteries in Greece for pilgrimage. Through our tours in Greece we will single out monasteries that are really worth visiting at least once in your life. If you have already decided on a trip to a monastery CONTACT
MOST POPULAR AND VISITED MONASTERIES IN ATTICA
MONASTERY OF KAISARIANI: It is a Byzantine monastery built at the end of the 11th century AD, at an altitude of 350 meters at the base of Mount Hymettus and it is of special archaeological significance even today.
MONASTERY OF DAFNI: It is located in Chaidari, which is from downtown towards Eleusis. Fortified Byzantine monastery probably of the 11th century with similar architecture as the monastery of Saint Luke. Its location is very likely to be in the same place as the ancient sanctuary of Daphne Apollo. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
MONASTERY OF SAINT EPHRAIM and EVANGELISM OF THE VIRGIN MARY: It is a monastery of the 10th century AD with great attendance. It is located in Nea Makri, Attica, about 1 hour away from the city center. The place of martyrdom of many believers who died during the Turkish occupation in 1424-25 and one of them was Saint Ephraim whose remains were found with his clerical robe in 1950 by the abbess of the monastery.
MONASTERY OF THE SLEEP OF THE VIRGIN "FYLIS": It is a monastery founded around the 12th century AD, located on the southern outskirts of Parnis, right next to the gorge of Gouras almost 1 hour away from the center of Athens. It was there where the miraculous icon of Panagia Eleousa was found and people of faith asked the Virgin with prayers to allow them to build the Monastery on the site where it is today instead of the place where it was found due to the inaccessibility of the area.
MONASTERY OF PANAGIA GORGOEPIKOOS: Located in Mandra, Attica is a well-known monastery among women who want to get pregnant. There the miraculous icon of the Most Holy Theotokos from Mount Athos is kept since 1800. The icon is associated with the persecution of the Greeks of Asia Minor.
MONASTERY OF HONEST PRODROMOS of MAKRYNOS: It is Located outside Megara in Attica, at the base of Mount Geraneia. It’s a monastery whose history is lost in the centuries having great activity in the era of the Ottoman dominance. The relationship of the monastery with Agios Ioannis the Forerunner is famous and the worship of faithful people who ask for the wishes of those who cannot have children to be fulfilled is well known too.
POPULAR MONASTERIES IN PELOPONNESE PENINSULA
MONASTERY OF HOLY PATAPIOS: It is in Loutraki, Corinth, which began its activities in the 12th century AD and is exhibited in larnaca to people of faith where in the depths of the monastery there is the Relic of the Holy ascetic born in the 4th century. There is also the Cross of Holy Patience which was Empress Eleni, mother of the last emperor of Byzantium Constantine Paleologos. The empress became a nun and kept the relics of the Saint until they were taken to the cave to protect them from the Ottomans due to the Fall of the City.
MONASTERY OF THE GREAT CAVE: It’s an exceptional monastery just 10 km from Kalavrita and close to the Ski Center. Unbelievable yet true, the monastery was built in 362 AD in the Cave where the holy icon of the Virgin Mary was found, painted by the Evangelist Luke. The monastery has a great historical claim during the Struggle for the liberation of the Greeks, culminating in the victory of the monks against Ibrahim in 1827. It is unquestionably likened by historians as a "Lighthouse of Hellenism" over the centuries.
MONASTERY OF SAINT LAVRA: It is located in Kalavrita and is an integral part of Greek History and Orthodoxy. This is the monastery where the Metropolitan of Paleon Patron Germanos blessed the Flag of the Greek Revolution, which is still there today. The monastery experienced the barbarity of the conquerors with looting and destruction both during the Turkish dominance and the German occupation. Heirlooms and books of invaluable value inside are inside the monastery.
MONASTERY OF TIMOS PRODROMOS and AGIOS IOANNIS PRODROMIOU: It is in Arcadia between the villages of Dimitsana and Stemnitsa, in a landscape of unique and wild beauty next to the gurgling waters of the river Lousios. It is a construction of the 12th century AD with special wall-paintings all over the place. It is a spiritual center of the Peloponnese with an excellent collection of rare books.
FAMOUS MONASTERIES IN MAINLAND GREECE
MONASTERY OF HOSIOS LOUKAS: It is in Distomo, Boeotia which is a world heritage site. It was built in the 10th century AD by Hosios and was finished by his students after his death. Being famous throughout the Byzantium it was to become a model for other Byzantine churches. It is of the highest historical importance due to the beginning of the revolution in Roumeli against the Turks in 1821. In the old monastery, the relic of Saint Luke is kept for pilgrimage.
METEORA MONASTERIES: It is outside Kalambaka in Trikala. There are 6 Monasteries out of the 24 in total that are active in this uniquely beautiful landscape and the 2nd important monastic complex after Mount Athos. It is a special place from a geological point of view, without any access and beyond any human imagination, Christian ascetics began their activity in the 9th century AD in caves on the rocks of Meteora, with their faith as their only weapon. There are still remnants of the first monasteries even after the heinous looting suffered by the Ottomans. It is obviously a UNESCO World Heritage Site with innumerable treasures and hagiographies of incomparable art.
MOUNT ATHOS: This is a complex of 20 monasteries at the southern end of Halkidiki, on Mount Athos, about 2 hours away from Thessaloniki. It is the ultimate center of Orthodoxy since the beginning of Christianity. The place has a huge historical significance as the first reports start from the period of Mythology. Mount Athos is intertwined with the entire period of the Byzantine Empire and remains self-governing to this day. Officially, monastic life began with a large number of monasteries around the 8th AD. Unique treasures, icons, books and heirlooms are part of his wealth and worldwide respect. It is a widely known World Heritage Site of UNESCO and along with the monasteries of Meteora are the most popular religious destinations in Greece with an enormous number of visitors from around the world every year and as many others are on a waiting list to visit.
TOP VISITED MONASTERIES AT GREEK ISLANDS CLOSE OF ATHENS
MONASTERY OF SAINT DAVID: It is in Rovies, northern Evia. It was built in 1540 by the holy and bright teacher of the nation, on the ruins of the pre-existing temple that had been burned by the Turks. A monastery that had received great honors from the emperors of Byzantium and still preserves the relics of the Saint.
MONASTERY OF AGIOS IOANNIS ROSSOU: It is located in Prokopi, Northern Evia and dedicated to the Saint who with innumerable miracles helped many faithful people walk, see and receive curation from incurable diseases. Inside the temple there are kept the relics of the Saint which were brought by faithful Christians from Prokopi of Asia Minor in order to protect them from the Turks.
MONASTERY OF AGIOS NEKTARIOS: It is located on the island of Aegina traveling by boat about 1 hour from the port of Piraeus. The Monastery concerns the restoration of an older Byzantine monastery. The work took place by Saint Nektarios in 1904 and became the place where he left his last breath. It is of utmost importance for the Greek Orthodox Church and a place that gives reason to hundreds upon thousands of faithful people to travel to the beautiful island of Aegina every year.
If you are interested in learning more about all the monasteries in Greece, or to make your own choice based on your interest, you should visit the MONASTERIES
page.If you are a fan of country trips and you are interested in the human existence through religion then there is nothing left but to contact us. With the right tour guide you will enrich your knowledge, while living unforgettable experiences through the wide variety of programs that we offer you. On the page CHRISTIAN TOURS GREECE
, you will see our suggestions and information that is provided for religious tours in Greece in combination with other activities. The result will be right up your street.