Monastery of Agios Gerasimos

Monastery of Agios Gerasimos, Kefalonia: Hours, Address, Monastery of Agios Gerasimos Reviews: 4.5/5

Monastery of Agios Gerasimos

Monastery of Agios Gerasimos
Points of Interest & Landmarks
8:00 AM - 1:00 PM, 3:30 PM - 8:00 PM
8:00 AM - 1:00 PM
3:30 PM - 8:00 PM
8:00 AM - 1:00 PM
3:30 PM - 8:00 PM
8:00 AM - 1:00 PM
3:30 PM - 8:00 PM
8:00 AM - 1:00 PM
3:30 PM - 8:00 PM
8:00 AM - 1:00 PM
3:30 PM - 8:00 PM
8:00 AM - 1:00 PM
3:30 PM - 8:00 PM
8:00 AM - 1:00 PM
3:30 PM - 8:00 PM
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478 reviews
Very good

Cardiff, UK1,365 contributions
Oct 2021
Visit before or after your wine tasting at the local winery. This is an active monastery and convent but very quiet. We saw a solitary nun and a monk but the church was closed despite coming at the supposed correct opening times. the grounds are peaceful and beautifully kept. Afterwards we drove up a very small road to the village of Valsamata that was destroyed by an earthquake. Actually you can walk to it but car was easier in the heat. This ruined village with church and graveyard, as well as streets and houses, is well worth the trip and a rather sad place where you can reflect on it's history.
Written October 19, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Lee D
Mossley, UK155 contributions
Sep 2017 • Couples
My wife wanted to visit this monastery, so we set off from our apartment in Poros in search of it. Unfortunately, it's not well signposted from that corner of the island and we had to enlist the help of a local running a petrol station in Katelios, who advised us that the road we'd been trying to find wasn't suitable for our car and gave us another route to try. Which, frankly, wasn't all that much easier on our poor, tired car! Thankfully, the Robolo Winery is better signposted and, seeing as it's pretty much next door, this made things a bit better. (Note: If you're travelling from Sami, the signposting is vastly superior and the road to it from there is much better)

We arrived 20 minutes before the monastery was due to close, which was just enough time for us to look through it. There are some beautiful frescoes on the ceiling, lovely chandeliers and a silver casket which, if I heard right, is where the patron saint of the island lies. But I may have that wrong.

We spent some time in the gardens, which were very well tended and populated with these strange bees which at first looked black, but on closer inspection of these docile insects, had a purple sheen to them. I Googled them when I got home and found they are called Violet Carpenter Bees, related to the bumble bee and are indeed as gentle as I'd found them to be.

The monastery's opening times are a bit vague, but it seems to be around about 7am when it opens, then closes at 1:30pm, reopens at 3:30pm and closes again around 9-ish in the evening. It's free to enter, but donations are requested if you want to light a candle of rememberance.

The big church was closed, so we couldn't see inside there.
Written July 23, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Birmingham, UK129 contributions
May 2018
Situated on a plateau in the foothills of the mountains this place is quiet and peaceful. the small chapel has beautifully colourful painting around the walls. Please dress properly when you visit as the nuns will ensure you are appropriately dressed.
Written May 14, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

14 contributions
Sep 2020
I love Kefalonia and have visited this Church on at least 2 occasions, it is truly amazing.
On this occasion in early September, during Covid, I was sadly very disappointed.
There were quite a few people, including the Lady inside dressed in a black robe not wearing face masks, so we left.
I do not understand why some people were not wearing masks?
Remains a lovely place worthy of 5 stars plus, spoiled by the Covid experience.
Written September 16, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

New York City, NY38 contributions
Aug 2017 • Family
The monastery of Agios (Saint) Gerasimos is definitely a place worth visiting.
There are two churches on the property - the new church built within the past 20 years where service is held on Sundays and the original smaller church where St. Gerasimos’ mummified remains lie in a silver casket. The smaller church is built over the cave where St. Gerasimos lived. The new church is colorfully painted with Saints and scenes from the New Testament.
While in the smaller church, if you ask the priest, they will open the casket for viewing and veneration where the priest will read the names of your loved ones asking the Saint for His blessing. People are allowed to kiss his covered feet and body as their names are read.
One must remember that this is a church and appropriate clothing should be worn.
If you are OK with tight spaces you should visit the cave where St. Gerasimos lived. You climb down a metal ladder to the 1st of 2 cave rooms. To get to the 2nd you need to crawl thru a small hole by the floor. I have been in the 2nd cave room a number of times and everyone who has tried to get through has made it no matter what their body shape and size. It is said that if you truly believe your clothes will not even get dirty. Be warned that is hot and very humid down there. I am in pretty decent shape and even I was breathing heavy by the time I came back up.
Written September 14, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Manchester, UK589 contributions
Jul 2020
Stunningly beautiful church and monastery where you could even visit the crypt and see his body. Recommended to see the beauty of this spiritual place.
Written August 4, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ant B
53 contributions
May 2019 • Family
Closed when we got there in mid-afternoon. Looked like it would be nice inside. At least you can walk around the rose garden at the front. See photo for opening times.
Written June 16, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Michael L
Somerset, England218 contributions
Sep 2018
Gerasimos (1506–1579) was ordained a Monk at Mount Athos, went to Jerusalem for 12 years, spent some time in Crete and Zakynthos and arrived on Kefalonia in 1555. He spent the first 5 years in a cave in the Lassi area, also now a shrine and also worth visiting. He went on to found a monastery which cared for the poor people and became a center for charity in the Valsamata area, now the site of his shrine, the monastery and the basilica.

Saint Gerasimos is believed by natives of Kefalonia to protect them and heal them of illness. Many natives of the island name their children after Saint Gerasimos as a tribute to the saint who protects them.

His body is preserved in a glass casement, heavily adorned in silver and is venerated several times a year at feastimes. The church containing his tomb, also covers a cave in which he lived. It is accessible within the church via a ladder which gives access to an antechamber and this leads into the cave proper, through a small aperture with just enough room for a person to crawl through. It is as humbling an experience to go down into the cave as it is to wonder at the artistic details of the chapel above.

On the same site you will find the basilica of the monastery, which was inaugurated on 19th July 1992. Opening times of the church can be erratic and it may be worth checking in advance if possible. The interior is lavishly decorated with paintings representing a large number of scenes from the Bible and is impressively bright. The artwork is in the Byzantine style and boasts some elaborate chandeliers. It is advisable to wear respectful attire when visiting both monuments.

Access is free and the visitor may wish to make a donation to light candles, which are available on entry. We were, however, disappointed to note that several candles were removed and extinguished even though they had burned for less than half their height, and some for just a third. They were then being collected, presumably for recycling. We wondered a little what the humble Saint Gerasimos would make of what we considered 'a candle scandal'. That said, we found the visit very rewarding and would recommend it.
Written October 2, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Edinburgh, UK389 contributions
Jun 2018 • Couples
The drive down to this beautiful monastery is spectacular , brings you slowly down the hills into a cool plain , the monastery itself is pretty spectacular , there is an unbelievable small church next to it which is open to the public ( please respect and dress appropriately) a space for quiet contemplation , had a walk around the extensive gardens and cemetery, all kept immaculate.
Written June 12, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Gina K
67 contributions
Sep 2017
Lovely isolated monastery in a peaceful surrounding..whether you're here to pray or just visit and admire the 'wild' beauty and vastness of the Omalon Plateau,a visit to the Monastery of Agios Gerasimos is a 'must'.You'll love the architecture of the new church with the beautiful wall paintings and icons.However the most amazing is St.Gerasimos himself who is the Patron Saint of the island and whose holy relics are kept in the silver casket in the smaller church.If you have the patience,at some point the nunns open up the casket and you can pay your respects.However you must be respectably dressed.The nunns are very strict.If you have come without decent enough clothes(men and women) on the front of the little church you will find clothing like kerchiefs,pareos,cardigans etc which will help you make your visit inside.When you come out ,just leave the clothing where you found it so others can take advantage of it too.Another incredible experience is seeing the cave inside the little church in which St.Gerasimos spent six years of his life.(The church itself has been built on top of the cave).It's easy to see as you enter the church because there's a silver railing enclosing the hole that leads down 5-6 metres underground.There's an iron ladder leading down to the cave but for the adventurous you have to be very careful of your stepping.And another thing is that the cave is very small,so if you have panic attacks,don't go down.You can see the interior of the cave from the top because there's a light switched on.The cave is connected to a second cave with a very small entrance.It's an incredible experience.Generally I would advise people visiting Cephalonia,should wear flat shoes all the way through their stay.Just a small distance away there's also the Rombola Wine Factory for those who want to taste local wine and products generally.The area is incredible.The plains are surrounded by very high mountains and it's in a nautral environment with very few houses at a distance.Take a camera!Otherwise you'll miss out!!!
Written February 27, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Monastery of Agios Gerasimos is open:
  • Sun - Sat 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM
  • Sun - Sat 3:30 PM - 8:00 PM
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