The monastery is located in the western part of the island, a few kilometers from the village of Kalokairines. Visitors are immersed in the holy atmosphere of this place which, through divine power, provides peace, love and harmony. According to the legend a shepherd was walking his sheep in the area. One day, as he was taking his animals to a drinking point, he saw an icon of the Virgin Mary near a small myrtle tree. He took the icon home but when night came the icon made its way back to the small tree. During the shepherd’s sleep an angel visited him in his dreams and told him that the Virgin Mary would like him to build a small church next to the myrtle tree. This small church can still be visited today: it is located below the current church of Panagia Myrtidiotissa, which was built in the 19th century.
The monastery owes its name to a woman who became a martyr on the spot where it was built. She was the daughter of Helladios, a rich Peloponnese lord. Thrown out of the house by her father for converting to Christianity she took refuge in Kythera. But Helladios found her and killed her on this mountain in 375 A.D. The current monastery was built in 1871 on the spot where she was killed, on the ruins of another church. Agia Elessa is celebrated every year on the 1st of August. The position of the monastery (close to Livadi) provides a magnificent view on the largest part of the island, and particularly the southwest coast.
The monastery of Agia Moni is located east of Kythera on the hills above Diakofti. On the 23rd of September 1767 a shepherd by the name of Viaros found an icon of the Virgin Mary in a bush which had the inscription “the only of all hopes”, as well as a representation of Agios Georgios. Nikiforos Mormoris, bishop of Kythera, visited the area and decided to build a monastery there. In the 19th century the monastery was refurbished and extended. The magnificent church tower made of sandstone (porus) was built in 1848. The church is a basilica with a single nave. Make sure you take the time to look at the spectacular façade. From the monastery’s courtyard you can admire the view of Kythera’s eastern coastline as well as the Peleopoli valley. From the back of the monastery you can see Diakofti and Cape Maleas.
Agios Theodoros is the protector of Kythera. His greatest wish was to become a monk. Around 921 A.D. he went to Kythera, when the island was practically deserted as its people had been driven away by Cretan pirates. Agios Theodoros stayed there as a monk in the monasteries of Agios Sergios and Vakchos. He died on the 9th of May 922. Shortly after some seamen found his body and buried him on the site. The old aforementioned monastery was rebuilt between the 12th and the 13th century by Monemvasian architects, who dedicated it to Agios Theodoros. The monastery is located outside the village of Logothetianika.
One of the largest Christian temples on the island. It is located at the heart of the village of Livadi and its current shape (after five construction phases) is that of a Latin cross with a small cupola in the middle.