Monastery of Agios Nikolaos

The Monastery of Agios Nikolaos is located on the peninsula of Ira (or Nira as the locals call it) in the wider area of Athani (45 km from Lefkada town), in the southern part of the island. The site’s name allegedly comes from the sanctuary of Apollo Lefkatas, located in Cape Lefkatas.

Built in the 17th century by the families Robotis, Katzigiannis, Chritis, Koutsantonis, Bogordos, Zacharatos and Kamidavlis, the monastery was a place of exile for clerics several times due to its difficult access.

It is even speculated that the church was created after 1087, when the relics of Agios Nikolaos passed through the area during their transfer by the Crusaders from Myra in Asia Minor to Bari, Italy. The iconostasis of the monastery, a work by Andreas Betzos, dates back to 1799 while the icon of Agios Nikolaos was painted in 1699 by Dimitrios Foskaris.

Outside the monastery you will notice a threshing floor and structures that served as beehives, since Athani is famous for its aromatic, thyme honey.