Kounistra Monastery

central side, 14 km. away from Skiathos town


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To reach the monastery, you need to move out of the city towards Koukounaries and after 13.5 km to turn right. Panagia Kounistara is the patroness of the island and the monastery. It is small, but all surrounded by trees. According to the legend, the place for monastery wasn’t chosen by chance. An elder-hermit had a vision, after which he found an icon of the Virgin in the forest, swinging in the pine branches. The icon then was brought to the city, but it mysteriously returned to its place in the forest. This repeated for several times. As the story goes, people decided to build a church on the place where icon was found. Kounistra is translated as “swinging”.

The icon of Panagia Kounistra is nowadays kept in the Cathedral of Tree Hierarchs. On November 21, Christians celebrate the Presentation of Mary. It is a big religious holiday on Skiathos too. On that day, the inhabitants of the island go to worship the icon and receive a blessing. The icon is being taken out of the Cathedral and with solemn procession delivered to the Monastery of Panagia Kounistra. After, an all-night service is held, and the next morning the icon is returned to the Cathedral.

The only one prioress is looking after the monastery.