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.

How to get to Agia Moni Monastery