A PILGRIMAGE TO HUMILITY
Cloaked by thriving forests, the Holy Mount´s steep slopes are punctuated by twenty majestic monasteries forming the Orthodox spiritual centre and UNESCO World Heritage “Mount Athos”. Covering the third Peninsula with over 33,000 hectares, the Monk Republic is an autonomous state and male-only sanctuary for the pious with a vocation to monastic life or hermit exaltation exiled from human company.
The panorama of the imposing monasteries tracing back to Byzantine times can be admired from aboard a private Yacht. Access to the peninsula is reserved for Gentlemen who choose to embark on a transformational pilgrimage to humility by land. Either unique experience may be arranged in cooperation with our Team however a pilgrimage is advised to be planned well- ahead of the vacation due to a required Visa-issuance.
For detailed information about the Monasteries please visit the official web site of the Municipality of Aristotle http://www.dimosaristoteli.gr/en/
NEIGHBOUR TO THE GODS
A first glance of the snowcapped peaks of „Mount Olympos“, the Godsˋ mythological residence, is already granted from the Resort‘s Breakfast Terrace. A closer look can be paid from the foot of the mountain which juts mid-way to the Meteora monasteries almost 3000 meters into the clouds, where Zeus would hurl his thunderbolts. On the iconic lonely trails, hikers run at risk to be overhauled by a native Greek Hermann`s tortoise when awestruck at the sight of the densely forested gorges, waterfalls, and mystic caves. The promise of an even more awe-inspiring sight is fulfilled at the end of the journey: the Meteora monasteries` stone labyrinths perched atop dramatic rock pinnacles! As early as the 9th-century Orthodox hermit monks climbed these rocks to settle in the spiritual world from within caves and hollows soaring 500 meters above the earthly. The 11th-century monasteries are listed as UNESCO World Heritage and treasure sacred artefacts, icons, and byzantine frescoes. We gladly enhance this full-day experience with an expert local guide.
VERGINA: A MACEDONIAN “EL DORADO”
1876: <<There is a chance that those who rake over the same grounds after us, which we earnestly hope for, shall indeed uncover the history of Macedonia, for we are convinced for it to lay in the Hills of Palatitsa>>. Determined Archaeologist Léon Heuzey earned his colleagues` pitiful smiles upon his fantastical quest for a Macedonian “El Dorado”. Those after him were Dr Manolis Andronikos and Team picking up the shovels to blister their hands for 40 long years under the burning sun to unearth a few minor tombs but mostly handfuls of dust. The 8th November 1977 was a Tuesday like any other when a shovel´s pounding sound from within a 17 feet pit brought the mockers to an abrupt silence. Dr Andronikos had knocked against a marble sarcophagus, the Tomb of Philip II, the man who conquered all the Greek cities, paving the way for his son, Alexander the Great. A stone at a time “Aigai” surfaced, the Royal Capital of Macedonia, the Hellenic Kingdom loaded with paintings, exquisite silver and gold ornaments, the monumental palace, and over 300 tumuli. “Aigai”, now Vergina is one of the world´s greatest discoveries, UNESCO world heritage, proof of Macedonia´s Greek origin and both Heuzy`s and Andronikos` legacy to live in the annals of history for all time to come. We gladly enhance this full-day experience with an expert local guide.
DION ARCHEOLOGICAL PARK
The site owes its name to the most important Macedonian sanctuary built in honour of Olympian Zeus (Dias). A sacred place for the ancient Macedonians it retained its prominence throughout antiquity as evidenced by the extensive variety of finds. It is the most impressive archaeological “park” in Greece; sanctuaries, Hellenistic and Roman theatres, paved pathways, baths with pools and mosaics, an auditorium, Roman houses, villas and Early Christian basilicas. All surrounded by lush vegetation, countless small springs and streams running through the whole site. One of the most beautiful spots in the sanctuary of Isis: it is surrounded by water and ruins emerge through the greenery. Nearby is the sanctuary of Demeter, one of the oldest ever excavated in Macedonia. The latest great discovery in Dion is the sanctuary of Zeus Hypsistos (2006). Situated between the sanctuaries of Demeter and Isis, the building comprises a large courtyard flanked by collonaded galleries and rooms. A full-length statue of Zeus was discovered fallen from its pedestal together with a marble eagle; reminiscent in the style of the god’s gold and ivory statue at Olympia. On the side of the ancient city of Dion, you will walk along the old pathway with the relief shields and armours, and you will see the Dionysus Villa with its mosaics and large baths – the impressive bathing complexes built in 200 AD. Take a look at the hypocausts (i.e. the system that channelled hot air to heat the floor, the walls and the rooms) and admire the exquisite mosaic on the bath floor, depicting the Nereids being grabbed by the Tritons.
Dion is 7 km away from Litochoro village. The site is open from 08:30-15:00 daily in the winter months. In the summer, you are advised to call, as there might be an extension to the opening hours. Tel.: +30 23510 53206
DION ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM
Its renovation was completed in November 2008. On the ground floor, you can admire an amazing collection of sculptures (statues, reliefs, steles etc.), together with artefacts from the sanctuary of Zeus Hypsistos (in a separate room). On the upper floor, you will find, amongst other things, a rare bronze “hydraulis” a mechanical pipe musical instrument, an ancestor of the modern church organ, found in a site workshop. (Open daily 08:30-15:00, except Mondays).