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ROUNDTRIP BYZANTINES MONUMENTS

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This example is a tailor made journey for a group who is following a course art history. The theme is ‘monuments from the Byzantines century in the Peloponnesus and Athens’. During this trip many Byzantines churches will be visited, each with their own specialty. Namely the paintings on the walls will be explained and discussed in detail by the group.

Byzantine

Osios Loukas
Osios Loukas

In Athens the group will visit 16 Byzantines churches, from the small Panagia Gorgoepikoos church till de big Sotera tou Lykoudemou church. Of course the group will visit also the Byzantines museum which has been renovated in 2004. Also in the program are the monasteries Dafni (at the moment closed for renovations) and Kaisariani located just outside of Athens.
From Athens the group departs to Delphi. On the way a stop will be made at the Byzantines monastery Osios Loukas. The interior of this church is decorated with mosaics which are in high contrast with their golden background. The monastery is located ina  beautiful green scenery with great views on the mountain Elikonas!

    Explaination of the site Delphi
    Explaination of the site Delphi

    Even though the excavations and the museum of Delphi have nothing to do with the theme of the group, a visit to this site should not be left out of the program.

    Entrance of the Mega Speleo monastery
    Entrance of the Mega Speleo monastery

Via the massive new bridge from Antirio to Rio the Gulf of Corinth is being crossed and the group travels to Diakofto where they take the rack-railway through the deep Varaikos gorge to the monastery Mega Speleo. The hike from the picturesque train station to the Mega Speleo is a stiff climb of about one hour with wonderful views on the valley of the Voraikos River. After the visit to this monastery, which is build in a rock from which holly water streams, follows an impressive ride through the mountains of the interior of the Peloponnesus to the city of Mystras.

    The Perivleptos monastery in Mystras
    The Perivleptos monastery in Mystras
    From the hotel in Mystras you have a magnificent view on the ruins and the restored churches in this mighty great Byzantines town.
    Details of the Mitropolis church
    Details of the Mitropolis church
    A day has been planned to explore Mystras with its interesting churches like the Ag. Nikolaos and the Mitropolis. The paintings on the walls tell each their own story. The Despoten palace has been reconstructed. Also the nunnery Pantanassa, which is still functional, will be visited. For the ones who like to climb they can climb up to the Frankish castle that stands high above the town.

     

     

    The rock of Monemvasia
    The rock of Monemvasia
    The next destination is also a Byzantines city, Monemvasia, which is situated at the foot of a rock on a small peninsula. Walking through this city you will get the feeling that you are back in the middle Ages.
    The old city in the night
    The old city in the night
    It is a long climb to the big Ag. Sofia church but it is worth it even for just climbing up to enjoy the incredible view.

 

 

    View from Geraki
    View from Geraki
    The journey continues from Monemvasia to Korinthos via the Byzantines Geraki. This is a small Byzantines village where still many old houses with old gates and of course many churches are preserved. From this village when the weather is clear, you can see Mystras, located on the other side of the wide Evrotas gorge.
 
Enjoying on the site of ancient Korinthos
Enjoying on the site of ancient Korinthos

The group follows the beautiful route from Geraki over the Parnon Mountains to Leonida and Cornithos. The trip ends in Athens after a stop at ancient Corinth.