During our 2021 Greece trip to Naxos, we found many places to explore with Kalamitsia Monastery being one of our favorites. Also known as The Jesuit Monastery, this was much easier to find than we anticipated and so much fun to explore. We had a small SUV so we were able to drive the road to the monastery, but you can walk it as well.
Kalamitsia Monastery is located 1.4 km south of the village of Melanes and 3.6 km NW of Ano Potamia. It is also a little over 9 km SE of Chora, Naxos. The monastery is located on a narrow dirt road. We had no difficulty with a small 4 wheel drive, but a car could probably drive this road as well. The road ends just after the monastery and we parked there.
The Kalamitsia Monastery was built in 1673 as a summer retreat for the Jesuit Monks up until about 1773. It was a fairly large and beautiful complex. Locals at that time referred to it as The Jesuit Palace because of its size and luxury. Other orders of monks occupied the monastery over the years. Now abandoned and in ruins, you can still see the beauty and grandeur from long ago.
Exploring the Monastery
The monastery is free to visit and from my understanding can be visited from dawn to dusk. There are no restrictions as to where you can not go, but it should be noted that extreme carefulness is necessary. The monastery sits on the side of a hill, almost hidden from the distance, so it seemed like we suddenly came upon it.
Since the monastery is in ruins, and there is no restoration in progress, this can definitely be a dangerous place. There are loose stones, dark areas, fallen walls, and also debris throughout the complex. Be very careful and watch where you are stepping. We would have loved to explore even more than we did, but we also erred on the side of safety and only explored areas which we felt comfortable walking about.
Kalamitsia Monastery was everything we hoped it to be and was also one of our favorite places to explore in Naxos, Greece. We loved the solitude and the beauty, not just the monastery, but the general area as well. It was a great stop for the day. Follow my next post which will continue the day hiking to two of the three Naxos Kouros. The Kouros are giant marble statues found in ancient quarries.
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