The Monastery of Paleokastritsa
bears the name of Virgin Mary (Panagia
in Greek). It is situated on a hill by the sea in Paleokastritsa, Corfu
. The monastery was first established in 13 century but the present buildings were constructed in 18 century. By now the monastery is home to 8 monks.
It is easy to find it - once you have entered Paleokastritsa, keep going straight and in a few kilometers you will reach the central beach, Agios Spiridonas, which is on your left side and on your right side there is a big parking lot. In front of you is the hill where the monastery is. If you are with a car, you will notice is small traffic light - if red, you must stop and wait because the road is narrow and two vehicles cannot meet in some places (especially buses). If the light is green, go straight. You will start climbing a steep narrow road which leads to the parking lot in front of the monastery.
Entrance is free of charge. The monastery consists of two levels and only the cells of the monks are not open to visitors. The lower part is a garden with stone arches, resembling a tunnel. There are a few benches and a shop for olive oil, olives and kumquat liqueur produced by the monks. In the shop you can also see authentic olive press. Some stone steps lead to the upper level and there you find a small yard with a well, church and museum with icons and books. According to local legends, everyone who throws coins into the well will come back to the island one day.