Travelers who love history and adventure can’t go wrong with a visit to the Monastery of Hozoviotissa.
Located on the Greek island of Amorgos — part of the Cyclades Islands — Panagia Hozoviotissa is the second-oldest monastery in Greece. It was constructed at the beginning of the 9th century by Alexius I Comnenus and is known worldwide for its striking white walls, which contrast beautifully with the deep blue sea below.
In addition to being centuries old, this monastery is famous for its unique building site. It sits on the side of a cliff and hangs 300 meters over the sea.
Alexius I Comnenus created the Monastery of Hozoviotissa as a tribute to Panagia (also known as the Virgin Mary), the island’s patron saint. Its walls are lined with portraits of monks and religious leaders, and visitors will notice the smell of incense as soon as they arrive.
Those who want to explore the monastery must abide by the dress code. Women must wear long skirts, and men are expected to don trousers. When they first arrive, guests will be greeted by monks and receive Greek loukoumia (traditional delights offered with coffee), and raki liqueur (an alcoholic beverage made from twice-distilled grapes).
The eight-story monastery offers stunning views from its windows, but the topmost balcony provides the most impressive view of the Aegean Sea. Even non-religious visitors pick up on a sense of reverence and something magical when they explore the structure.
After exploring the monastery, many visitors choose to take a 40-minute walk down to the beach, which offers brilliant and unspoiled waters, unlike those most guests have ever witnessed.