Dave and Gerry's Alonissos Island Information Site
 

Excursion to Kyra Panagia and the Marine Park on The Odyssey

We took one excursion in the summer of 2004 on The Odyssey to the island of Kyra Panagia and the marine park.  The trip cost 25 euro per person including lunch and departed from Patitiri harbour at 10.30am.  The Odyssey is a wooden sailing ship with twin masts as you can see in the forefront of this picture taken at Kyra Panagia.  The trip takes in the east coast of Alonissos before heading into the marine park passed the islands of Peristera, Lechousa, Pappous, Strofili and Grammeza and arriving at the monastery mooring and beach on Kyra Panagia.  After time to visit the monastery the boat sails off around the island for a stop at the beach of Agios Petros.  After lunch the boat heads back towards Patitiri stopping at the Blue Cave for a photo shoot and the waters near Agios Demetrios beach for a swim stop off the boat.  Arrival time back in Patitiri is between 5.00 - 5.30pm.

Sailing along the east coast of Alonissos shows just how many smaller beaches there are dotted along the coast alongside the more accessible beaches.  You can also see how red the rocks are around Kokkinokastro.  You also notice how many isolated villas and houses have been built near the coast, especially near the small beaches.  Although they have a wonderful uninterrupted view across the sea we wondered how they would fare in case of emergency.

At the island of Kyra Panagia the boat pulls into a bay with a nice beach and moors up against some rocks.  We disembarked from the boat along the gangplank and onto the rocks which lead to a concrete staircase that goes steeply up the cliff face.  When you get to the top of the stairs there are dirt paths that climb up the mountain side to a dirt track that leads to the monastery and the undergrowth here pervades the air with a pungent aroma of herbs which is quite "heady".

The monastery is enclosed within a walled compound and you enter into the outer courtyard through a metal gate with a serious but amusing sign on the front.  A door leads to the inner courtyard and a fee of 1 euro is collected from everyone to help with the upkeep of the monastery.  Inside the courtyard you have access to the monks cells, work areas and the bakery.  Steps lead up to the rooms on the upper level and one room features some icons, pictures and framed documents.  From this upper level you get a very much better view of the red and blue dome and belltower which are probably the most enduring images of the monastery.  With suitable attire you can go through the door into the church to view the icons.  Taking pictures is quite difficult due to the smallness of the church and the number of people milling around.

With everyone safely back on-board the boat sails off to the bay of Agios Petros on the other side of the island and moors up to a low level stone and earth outcrop at the end of the beach.  To disembark you have to go down the gangplank at an angle of 45 degrees and walk along the outcrop to the gently shelving sand and shingle beach.  Beware:  if you wear shoes with no top or bottom grip it will not be easy to walk when they get wet and the fine earth gets under your feet.  After time for swimming and sunbathing the crew got everyone back on-board for lunch of 2 pork souvlaki, vegetable rice, greek salad and bread washed down with white wine, water or soft drinks.  NB:  Lunch was cooked and prepared on-board and was very good.

After lunch the boat sailed away from Kyra Panagia and back to Alonissos.  The first stop was at the Blue Cave where the captain manoeuvered the boat as close to the cave entrance as possible without demolishing the sails.  This gives a good view of the blue water inside the cave and time for a photo shoot.  Leaving the Blue Cave the boat sailed back along the east coast of Alonissos and moored for a while in the waters near Agios Demetrios beach.  People swum off the boat and the crew served up cold watermelon before we set sail for the last time for Patitiri.


The Odyssey

Rocks at Kokkinokastro

Kyra Panagia Bay

Disembarking from the Boat

Pathway to the Monastery

Sign on the Door

Door to the Inner Courtyard

Inside the Courtyard

The Bakery

Upper Level Room

Blue Dome and Belltower

Door into the Church

Icons in the Church

Bay of Agios Petros

Sailing Away from Kyra Panagia

Blue Cave

Inside the Blue Cave

Agios Demetrios Beach
For information about a charter cruise with Mike Holmes on board Pleione please follow the link to the Villa Seven Sisters web site
 
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