The countless Orthodox churches and monasteries of Kefalonia mark the religious faith of the locals and bear witness to nearly two centuries of history which is strongly connected to the Venetian architecture.
In the Omala Valley, between the village of Fragata and Valsamata lies the Monastery of Agios Gerasimos dedicated to the patron saint of Kefalonia. Today, it is the most important female monastery, built by the saint Gerasimos himself in the 16th century. Inside the premises lies a tiny church and a cave where the saint lived.
Close to Peratata village lies the Byzantine monastery of Agios Andreas. It was built by three nuns in 1579 and includes within its premises the Ecclesiastical Museum where valuable treasures on display.
Amid a unique landscape, on 700 meters altitude in Peratata village stands the most ancient Byzantine monastery of Kefalonia, the monastery of Panagia Atrou. At least half of the distance can be covered by car and then you have to continue on foot. In any case, the route is ideal for hiking and visitors are impressed by the peaceful atmosphere and the natural beauty.
Near Sami is the 18th-century monastery of Agrilion. The monastery was built after the discovery of the miraculous icon of the Virgin, in 1722. If you find yourselves in Lourda village, you should definitely make a stop at the 13th-century monastery of Sissia, which used to be the richest monastery of Kefalonia.
At the most beautiful settings of Kefalonia, close to Paliki village stands the historical monastery of Kipoureon. It was built in the 17th century and today only one monk lives there. In the village of Makropoulos is located the church of the Virgin Mary Lagouvarda over the site of an old monastery. Other Kefalonia churches are The monastery of Agia Paraskevi and the church of Estavromenos.
The Monastery of Agios Gerasimos is located on a mountainside close to Valsamata village, in the center of the island. This is where the protector saint of the island lived as a monk and where his relics are kept. People believe that their saint has miraculous skills.
The monastery of Panagia Lagouvarda is located in Markopoulo village, above Katelios. Every August, on the celebration day of the monastery, harmless snakes appear in the area. The snakes are small, have a black cross on their head and people believe they have miraculous skills.
Partly destroyed by the strong earthquake of 1953, the Byzantine convent of Agios Andreas has since been restored and turned into a fine museum housing a unique collection of wonderful Byzantine icons and ecclesiastical items. The plaster that fell off the walls of the church during the earthquake revealed some fantastic frescoes dating back from the 16th century.
The Monastery of Agrilion stands on the top of the hill of Sami and is dedicated to Virgin Mary Theotokos. It was built during the 18th century on the site where the miraculous icon of Virgin Mary was found, in 1722, by two shepherds who decided after the discovering to dedicate themselves to the monastic life.
This is a lovely monastery close to Platies village. A legend says that is was founded by Saint Francis of Assisi and its name is actually a corruption of the word Assisi. Since the 16th century, the monastery is reported as an Orthodox convent.
Located in the area of Lassi, this natural cave is where Saint Gerassimos, patron of the island, stayed until he went to Omalos valley, where he reorganized the present monastery. A small church has been built into the cave in honor of the saint and attracts many pilgrims. From this spot, one can enjoy a fantastic view over the sea.
The Monastery of Panagia Atros is dedicated to the Virgin Mary and stands at an altitude of 500 meters, on the top of a green hill, a few kilometers from Poros. Originally built in the 8th century, this is the oldest monastery of Kefalonia and it has been destroyed and rebuilt 17 times. The monastery celebrates on the 8th of September.