Paleokastritsa Monastery

Corfu, Greece

The monastery of the Holy Theotokos, also known as Paleokastritsa Monastery, is one of the oldest in Corfu, dating to 1225. The reasons for visiting this monastery are two-fold. Set on the top of the cape, the views from the monastery are stunningly dramatic and indescribably beautiful. Perhaps the most visited of the island’s religious sites, due to its amazing position, it is also steeped in history.

It is built on the western side of the central bay of Paleokastritsa. Access to the monastery is by way of a steep, narrow road there starts from the main beach and winds its way through lush, green groves of tall cypress and olive trees. Pedestrians and vehicles share the road, so caution should be taken. Please note that there is a traffic light, which should not be ignored, as the road is one-way traffic only.

The main section, that of the Church, dedicated to the Holy Virgin Mary, and the monk’s cells were added in the 18th Century. Inside the monastery is a courtyard with a portico and a modern building which houses a small museum of Byzantine and post-Byzantine icons, books, souvenirs and memorabilia. For those interested in anthropology, there is also the very impressive, massive skeleton of a whale, which is said to have been killed by a fisherman in the 19th century.

On the lower level are the old olive press and shops with local products on sale namely wine, kumquat preserve, Kumquat liqueur, jams and Limoncello (lemon liqueur).

Dress code is expected to be modest; woman’s shoulders and bare legs to be covered. Skirts and shawls are provided at the entrance to the monastery for those inappropriately attired. Please note that there is the monastic code of silence which is also to be respected.



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Unnamed Road, Corfu, Greece
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Founded: 1225
Category: Religious sites in Greece

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4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Thomas James Badger (2 years ago)
Beautiful monastery with stunning sea views and a little gift shop. If your shorts/skit/dress is not knee-length you will be asked to wear a skirt-cover, which they provide on entry. Nice architecture, a little museum and flowers everywhere. I would say 45 minutes is plenty to enjoy this site.
Mike Antoniadis (2 years ago)
Great place to visit at the top of the mountain. Amazing grounds and garden and a great place to get breathtaking views. It's very close to another lookout, but make sure you visit a washroom ahead of time, as the washrooms are €1 to use!. Entrance is free and tou can roam around the grounds, small museum and church inside.
Steven (2 years ago)
The village of Palaiokastritsa and surrounding area is probably one of the most popular spots to visit on the island and the crown jewel is the iconic monastery set atop the cliffs commanding sweeping views of the coastline. The climb to the monastery is fairly short with a few steeper sections and plenty of spots for photos (and rest if you need it!). There's also a small car park at the top with limited parking. The monastery itself is free to wander around and explore (remember to have shoulders and knees covered out of respect) with a lovely chapel, beautiful gardens and nice views. There is also a souvenir shop on site. Outside of the monastery there are also some short trails leading to spectacular views from the surrounding cliffs.
Alexandra Pera (2 years ago)
Beautiful place, small indoor space, gardens are the most interesting for me. The view is spectacular... there’s a mini museum and gift shop. Tons of cats everywhere. I really loved visiting! It’s closed for an hour or two around 1pm-3pm I think. Beside the monastery I highly recommend the sunset/view, breathtaking! There’s no entrance fee I think just a voluntary donation. There’s also a super cool well inside with the most amazing echo. Worth a visit!!!
Markus “markobear1” (2 years ago)
This monastery is built up on a hill overlooking the ocean on all sides. There is a short road leading up to the monastery which the ambitious can walk or the not so ambitious can drive. Limited parking available at the monastery. Entrance is free . There are a number of vendors and hawkers surrounding the monastery but they don't hassle the visitors. Once inside , the small grounds explode with flowers and climbing star jasmine. The colors and fragrances are intoxicating. The museum houses old relics dating back from the hundreds of years of the monastery's existence. Interesting and well presented , the small museum is worth a quick walk through. Expect to spend an hour, maybe two visiting the monastery and taking pictures . The high viewpoint makes for some great ocean photo ops! Recommended and free is a good price!?
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