The Monastery of Panachrantou in Andros is built on the north side of Mount Gerakoni. and is surrounded by impressive rocks. On them, the years and the winds have left their mark. Caves and hidden peaks stand out on the mountain, places used by ascetics. The most impressive element, however, is the view, which remains unforgettable in the minds of all visitors.
From Mount Gerakoni you will have the opportunity to see all the villages of Andros and finally the sea embracing the island. In the Monastery of Panachrantou in Andros, you will also find the miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary, a work said to be that of Luke the Evangelist. The monastery is also called Agios Panteleimon, as its castle is preserved within it. The monastery therefore celebrates twice a year, on July 27, as well as, of course, on August 15.
Access is from the village of Vouni, an asphalt road which is the easiest. Access is also possible from the village of Falika, from a dirt road. If you are a lover of hiking there are also trails from Fallika, Livadia, and Vrahnou.
The Monastery of Panachrantou and its history
The exact time the Monastery of Panachrantou was built in Andros is a mystery. There are two manuscripts and of course local tradition, which place its creation in 960 AD. According to legend, two monks noticed a bright, shining light on the mountain opposite. Following the light so that they could explore where it was coming from, they reached a cave. There, they found the icon of the Virgin Mary which they took with them. The next morning, however, the image of the Virgin Mary had disappeared, to the surprise of all the monks. That same evening, however, this shining light appeared again on the mountain opposite.
The more times the monks took the icon with them, the more times the icon returned to its original spot. Despite prayers and prayers, the monks were unable to keep the icon. Eventually, they decided to settle permanently on the opposite mountain and build a small ascetic monastery. This was a major attraction for monks from all over the country who formed the first Brotherhood.
The first buildings of the Monastery of Panachrantos in Andros were built when Nikiforos Phokas, fulfilling his vow, left a lot of money after a successful campaign.