The Monastery of Panagia Kounistra (or Eikonistra) is 13km away from the town centre and the luxury skiathos hotels, at the west side of the island. It is inside a pine tree forest, so the atmosphere is unique and only 2 km away from Aselinos beach. Panagia Kounistra is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, who is the patron saint of the island. Panagia Kounistra was constructed in the 17th century. A monk called Symeon, who led an ascetic life, had found the icon of Virgin Mary hanging from a tree and moving back and forth like a swing. The appearance of the icon was considered a miracle and the monastery built was named after it “Panagia Kounistra”, meaning the swinging Mary. The icon is now kept in the cathedral at Skiathos town. Every year though, it travels back to the Monastery on the 21st November, in order to celebrate there the Presentation of Virgin Mary. This day is a public holiday only for Skiathos Island and worshipers come to the Monastery to pay tribute to their patron saint, Virgin Mary.
Handy information for tourists visiting the Monastery regarding dress code. Women need to wear long skirts and men long trousers. It is definitely worth the visit, as one can admire the wooden iconostasis and remnants of really old frescoes dated from the 17th century.