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Dienstag, 23 August 2016 12:41

The (small) Mount Athos in Monemvasia

mikro agio oros m2The area is of unique natural beauty and importance, not only as far as religious tourism enthusiasts are concerned, but also for all its guests.

In this Laconian corner, which should definitely be included in the touring program of all its visitors, monasticism and asceticism flourished greatly in the past leaving significant monuments behind.

As small Mount Athos are considered to be dozens of byzantine and post-byzantine chapels and hermitages developed in all the area of Vatika, although their epicenter is the pilgrimages of Kavomalias.

Small monasteries were created in this remote- for most of the people- area. Wild caves put up hermits, while amazing byzantine monasteries constitute one of kind cultural and traditional assets for Laconia, as they are integrated in its inhabitants’ daily lives.

Thesepilgrimagesare:

- Agios Constantinos and Εleni (in the location Lemonia, on the left heading towards Agios Pavlos).

- Agios Ioannis Chrisostomos Sariotis (northern than the previous church).

- Agios Georgios Vavilas (on the north of Neapoli-Velanidia highway).

- Agios Ioannis Megahoras (hidden in the hills, above Kato Kastania).

- Agios Panteleimonas in Velanidia.

- Agios Mironas (in the homonymous settlement on the south of Velanidia)

- Agia Ιrini Kavomallousa (a 19th century chapel on the south part of Maleas).

- Agios Georgios Malea Monastery, a 13th-14th century monastery with great historical importance sitting at the edge of Maleas bluff.

- The ascetic caves of Saint Thomas situated in the remote south edge of the cape.

 

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The area

While walking to the southern part of Maleas, you will definitely relish an unprecedented experience. Kavo Malias (Maleas Cape) is a steep region with bluffs 500m deep and sometimes more, celebrating low, soft-leaved scrubland and a few olive groves. The route you will follow is a path, beginning at the end of the dusty track, after the fossil forest and Agia Marina’s chapel. It takes one hour to reach the cape, through a hiking route leading to the end of land and the beginning of the sea, with sweeping views on Kythira and Crete. You will be taken back in time, in history, in myths and pirates’ legends, while feelings of monasticism and asceticism will overwhelm you.

A wild, yet eerie landscape, but at the same time serene and “cathartical”. This is confirmed by the pirates, the buccaneers, all sorts of conquerors, but also the monks, the hermits, the anchorites who lived on these rocks. All you have to do is discover it for yourselves! You might also like to spend the night in Agia Irini’s monastic cells. It is said that by looking at the sky from Agia Irini’s monastery, you will see more stars than you have ever seen before…