Moni Osios Loukas

sights / Religious

Moni Osios Loukas information

Prices
admission €3
Opening hours
8am-6pm summer, to 5pm winter
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Lonely Planet review

The World Heritage–listed monastery Moni Osios Loukas is 23km southeast of Arahova, between the villages of Distomo and Kyriaki. Its principal church contains some of Greece’s finest Byzantine frescoes. Modest dress is required (no shorts).

The monastery is dedicated to a local hermit who was canonised for his healing and prophetic powers. The monastic complex includes two churches. The interior of the larger Agios Loukas is a glorious symphony of marble and mosaics. There are also icons by Michael Damaskinos, the 16th-century Cretan painter.

In the main body of the church, the light is partially blocked by the ornate marble window decorations, creating striking contrasts of light and shade. Walk around the corner to find several fine frescoes which brighten up the crypt where St Luke is buried.

Nearby, the smaller Agia Panagia (Church of the Virgin Mary), built in the 10th century, has a colourful but less impressive interior as none of its original frescoes have survived.

The monastery boasts an idyllic setting, with breathtaking vistas from its terrace, where Café-Bar Yannis sells local sweets and coffee – in case you’re one of those people who can’t go anywhere outside hissing distance of an espresso machine.