Moist surreal landscapes, eerie lagoons, mythical ancient cities, transcendental monasteries, heroes and sacrificial monuments. A "magical" world pulsates here before the eyes of the visitor, on the outskirts of a "sacred" city, on the natural canvas of a rich and vibrant wetland, one of the largest in the Mediterranean. At the foot of Arakynthos and in the arms of three lagoons, the two lake states of Aitoloakarnania emerge as hidden nearby beauties.
1st DAY: ATHENS- KLEISOURA-MONASTERY OF AGIA ELEOUSA- LIMNI TRICHONIDAS-MEGAS DENDROS-HOLY MONASTERY OF KOSMAS AITOLOS-THERMOTH
' depart at 7.30 a.m. from ATHENS and from the points designated by our office and after intermediate stops for coffee or snack we will pass the largest cable bridge in the world that bears the honorary name of Charilaos Trikoupis. On our way we will admire the imposing Gorge of Kleisoura . A landscape of outstanding natural beauty and a place soaked in the blood of our ancestors for freedom and independence. The mountain of Arakynthos seems to be cut in two by the gorge that crosses it and there at the beginning of the narrow passage of Kleisoura, at a height of 150 meters, there is one of the most beautiful monasteries of mainland Greece, the Monastery of Agia Eleousa which is perched, in a cave of wild rocks. The landscape reminds of Meteora In the rugged Gorge the Holy Monastery reminiscent of a meteorite monastery as it is nailed to the top of the mountain celebrates every year on the first Friday after the Resurrection, where Zoodochos Pigi is honored, because in the small chapel of the monastery there is a spring, where with a small staircase descended reverently, those who suffered from various diseases. environment, it is unique. The colors, the water, the fauna - starting with the rare, strange and beautiful birds of passing - the peculiar flora, all compose a landscape of rare interest and beauty. Inside the lagoon there are 8 islands, many of which were also used during the siege of Messolonghi and during the revolution of 1821 battles were fought on them. We will continue our all-day wandering to make the round of Lake Trichonida, the "sea" of Aetolia.We depart for the village of Megas Dendros, in the footsteps of the father-Kosmas. The Great Tree is the place where the famous teacher of the Nation Kosmas, Kosmas Aitolos, known for the prophecies of Patrokosmas Isapostolos, enlightener of the enslaved Nation, was born in 1714. miraculous saint, glorious and popular holy martyr. After receiving the first letters in his homeland, he came for higher education at the Athonite Academy. With fiery love for Christ and deep zeal for the Nation, he made four great tours, crossing almost all of Greece. His sermons accompanied miracles and prophecies Everywhere he founded churches and schools and passionately cared about the education of the enslaved. The rich were made to buy baptismal fonts for the baptisms of Christians, books, crosses and prayer ropes, which he distributed to the faithful as a blessing. Saint Kosmas enjoyed great respect from the Turks, who were listeners of his teachings and his donors. But he was mortally hated by the Jews because he carried the bazaars of the Christians from Sunday to the Sabbath. He was slandered by the Turkish authorities and managed to achieve his killing. He was hung by a tree in the village of Kolikontasi and his relic was thrown into the waters of the river Apsos. Despite the stone that had been tied to his neck, the relic floated. It was found by the priest Markos and was buried in the monastery of Theotokos Ardonitsa of Northern Epirus, where he was found. We will visit the Holy Monastery of Agios Kosmas to worship the relic of the Saint. Late in the afternoon we will reach Thermo, the main village of Trichonida. The stone houses, the paved square with the town hall, the running waters and the plane trees compose the beautiful image of Thermos. In the center of the village stands out the square of Kosmas the Aetolian, with the perennial plane trees and the running waters. Arrival at the hotel but arranging in the rooms -free time to get to know the city- Overnight. 2nd DAY
: MONASTERY OF AG PARASKEVI-SECRET SCHOOL-MONASTERY OF ENTRANCES THEOTOKOS MYRTIAS-AITOLIKO-MESSOLONGHI-GARDEN OF HEROES-ATHENSAfter
breakfast, we depart and in the center of a small plateau between towering mountains and at a short distance from the settlement of Mandra we will visit the Monastery of Agia Paraskevi . The important monastery during the Turkish occupation was founded in the 16th century, and during its long course played an important national, social and economic role. In the crypt of the Monastery of Agia Paraskevi, which dates back to the 12th century, under the earth, among the cypress trees, we will discover the "Secret School", an impressive representation of the wax effigies of the students and the monk teacher. Here kosmas Aetolos learned his first letters and here his first teacher, Prokopios Giannelos, taught ecclesiastical . or Myrtiotissa one of the most important Byzantine monuments in Greece. After the pilgrimage we will visit.After worshipping we will depart for Aetoliko. In the middle of the serene lagoon, the densely populated islet is connected to the mainland by two stone arched bridges of the 19th century, emitting Venetian beauty. Beauty taken from a postcard. It is the Aetoliko, which is not unfairly called the "little Venice" of Greece.We will admire the church of taxiarches with the well inside and the tomb of Kyra-Vasiliki, companion of Ali Pasha of Ioannina in the precinct and the Dormition of the Virgin Mary, where one side of the icon of the Virgin Mary is said to have been blushed by the indiscretions of Karaiskakis. We will continue our journey to Messolonghi , a beautiful city, with buildings of traditional architecture and buildings in which people important to the Greek Revolution and the political life of modern Greece lived. The city occupies a very important place in the pages of Greek history, culminating of course the heroic exodus, but also a rich cultural heritage, as the birthplace of Kostis Palamas, Miltiadis Malakasi, Georgiou Drosinis, Charilaou and Spyridon Trikoupi. Here we will visit the Garden of Heroes. It is an area of 14 acres and is the place where the fighters of the garrison of the Holy City and Messolonghi have been buried. It was created in 1830 on the initiative of Ioannis Kapodistrias and is dedicated to the memory of the fallen of the siege of Messolonghi. In this dense garden stand out the Tomb of heroes, that contains the relics of the fighters, the monument of Markos Botsaris, the marble statue of the English philhellene Lord Byron, the monument of the Swiss Philhellene John-James Mayer, but also the monument of the Philhellenes, made of stones, broken cannons and balls of the Struggle. Here in Messolonghi we will get our lunch. After lunch we will depart for the way back and with intermediate stops for coffee we will arrive in the evening in ATHENS and the other points designated by our office.