An important religious site for locals and the most significant monastery on Ithaki, Katharon is located at an altitude of 600 meters on Homer’s Mount Neriton and traces of its history go back to the 17th century. According to religious legend, an icon of the Virgin Mary was accidentally found amid a pile of flaming branches and despite being made of wood, it remained undamaged.
Locals considered the item’s discovery a miracle and soon after built a monastery dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Today, three monks living there offer visitors enthusiastic accounts of its philanthropic endeavors. The monastery’s biggest annual celebration, on September 8, is a major social and religious event that draws islanders from all over Ithaki for the Virgin’s blessing.