DISTOMO, GREECE - Apr 20, 2019: Hosios Loukas, a historic walled monastery, one of the most important monuments of Middle Byzantine architecture and art; Shutterstock ID 1537582967; your: Barbara Di Castro; gl: 65050; netsuite: digital; full: poi

Shutterstock / Joaquin Ossorio Castillo

Moni Osios Loukas

Top choice in Central Greece

The monastery of Moni Osios Loukas, a World Heritage site, overlooks a remote valley 23km southeast of Arahova, between the villages of Distomo and Kyriaki.

Dedicated to a 10th-century hermit canonised for his healing and prophetic powers, its principal church, Agios Loukas, is a glorious symphony of marble and mosaics, with icons by Michael Damaskinos, the 16th-century Cretan painter. Opaque marble screens create striking contrasts of light and shade, while fine frescoes adorn the crypt where Loukas lies entombed.

The monks’ former living quarters hold historical displays, while a shop adjoining the spacious scenic terrace outside sells simple snacks. Modest dress is required (no shorts).

To get here from Delphi, you'll need your own transport or a taxi. Taxis from Delphi cost €50 return (20 minutes each way); they're €20 return from Distomo or €30 from Livadia. Taxis will normally wait one hour; arrange the price before you set off.

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