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Panormitis Village Simi: The village of Panormitis is located 12 km south of Simi Town and apart from being quite picturesque, its single and unique characteristic makes it one of the most significant areas in Simi. This is the Monastery of Archangel Micheal Panormitis.
The 18th century monastery is located on the seafront of the village and it can be seen from the ferries that usually deck on the mentioned harbour, offering one of the best sights. It is protected by an inlet that leads to a wide harbour and a small beach with fine sand that is usually empty. The Venetian style monastery has great artifacts, such as antique chandeliers, and an impressive silver icon of the Archangel, which is the patron saint of the island, as well as the protector of sailors.
In addition, the monastery hosts two small museums that also attract many visitors to Panormitis. It displays a huge collection of offerings. According to the tradition, when asking a favour of the Archangel it is necessary to give something in retribution. Many of these objects are made of gold or silver, and some of them are also put into bottles by sailors to protect them. The other museum displays traditional examples of folk art, usually related to fishing, shepherding and agriculture.
Inside the monastery is a row of cells where the monks live, and they are also available for rental for the visitors who wish to spend the night there. In fact, on November 8th, the day that the island celebrates the saint, a great number of Greek travellers arrive in Simi to enjoy this local festivity. Pilgrims who come to this place during this period, are offered free accommodation, food and wine.
The inner courtyards of the monastery have many exotic plants and trees prividing a warm and pleasant environment for the visitors. There is also a sanctuary, ideal for those seeking for some solitude. It takes approximately an hour to see the museum, explore the church and the monks cells. Ferries and excursion boats connect Simi town with Panormitis. It is also accessed with a car. The small village of Panormitis provides a great sense of peace and a visit to the great Archangel Michael monastery is highly recommended.
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