Agia Moni Monastery

There are various legends as to the origin of Agia Moni, a pilgrimage on a mountain top in eastern Kythera

The monastery of Agia Moni built on one of the highest mountains of Kythera, overlooks not only the whole island but the Peloponnesian coast as well. On one top of this mountain there was an ‘exomonio’ (literally meaning ‘outside the monastery’) for the Virgin Mary’s adoration, named Agia Moni (Lonely Saint), a reference to its remote and isolated location.

In the Katholico area there is a Virgin Mary icon with silver lining (poukamiso), inlaid in an elaborate marble shrine. The legend says that in 1766 a shepherd found a Virgin Mary icon inside some lentisk bushes with the inscription “Everyone’s Sole Hope”, the only thing that had survived a massive fire in the area caused by a thunderbolt.

On that spot the locals built a monastery. The pilgrimage’s restoration is related to an offering undertaken by the captain of the revolution against the Turks, Theorodos Kolokotronis who happened to be at Kythera on the eve of the revolution.

Monastery of Agios Yannis on the Cliff

Built literally on a cliff, the Agios Yannis on the Cliff church has great historic value

The small church of Agios Yannis on the Cliff is located on a 60 m high cliff above Kapsali. It was built in a hollowed-out space in the cliff, and there are two cells and a kitchen in the cave above.

These constructions were joined to the church in the 17th century, and this small monastery was renovated in 1725 as mentioned by the inscription on the way in. According to the legend this is where St. John started writing the Apocalypse before making his way to the island of Patmos.

Above the arched entrance there is the guest house, with two rooms and a kitchen, originally built 500 years ago. Going further up the stairs you’ll first meet a small ancient temple that was probably built in honor of Evangelist John and soon you’ll see the cave. The church is worth visiting not only for its historic value but for the amazing view it offers of the fortress at Kapsali and the rock islet Hytra in the middle of the sea.