Anafonitria Monastery is located in the northwestern region of Zakynthos
island, near the town of Anafonitria
. It’s just over 30 kilometres from the islands capital Zakynthos Town
and that would be about a 40 minute drive.
The island is filled with age-old churches and monasteries, perfect for both the ecclesiastical and the historically inclined sightseer and the Monastery of Anafonitria is one of the best known religious attractions on the island.
First founded in the 15th century, the monastery earned its status as a place of pilgrimage when Archbishop Dionysios Sigouros famously forgave the murderer of his brother. This event effectively canonised Saint Dionysios as the saint of forgiveness and he is now also remembered as the patron saint of Zakynthos Island, with lively festivals honouring his name.
The monastery itself features a tower and an entrance archway leading to a stone courtyard. There’s a number of buildings around the courtyard and potted plants, bushes and trees decorate the area making it a beautiful and serene place to spend some time.
Getting to Anafonitria monastery is pretty straightforward. Head to the village and then take the road west towards the coast and you’ll find it. Once there you’ll see a small car park as well as some roadside parking if needed. Another option is to book on to one of the coach trips that take you round the island as some of those make a stop here.
There’s a small gift shop on site and also a taverna just outside which is the perfect spot for a bit of lunch before or after your visit.