Dave and Gerry's Alonissos Island Information Site
 

Excursion to Kyra Panagia and the Marine Park on Planitis 2011

It was 7 years ago since we went on our first and only trip to the island of Kyra Panagia and the Marine Park in 2004 on the Odyssey but we got an offer we couldn't refuse, so we decided to see how things at the Monastery had changed over the years.  Seven years ago we paid 25 euro per person including lunch but inflation has lifted the price in 2011 to 45 euro   Last trip we sailed on the Odyssey but this time we went out on the Planitis which is a wooden sailing ship with twin masts as you can see from this picture taken at Kyra Panagia.

The trip takes in the east coast of Alonissos before heading into the marine Park passed the Two Brothers, Peristera and the Northern islands before sailing around Kyra Panagia and into the jetty below the Monastery.  On our previous visit there were only rocks to alight onto but now there is a proper jetty leading up to the steps and the goat path up the cliff to the Monastery.  Afterwards the boat stops in the bay of Agios Petros on Kyra Panagia for swimming and food then to Peristera for another swimming stop before heading back to Patitiri around 6.30pm

Planitis left Patitiri harbour around 10.15am and sailed along the east coast of the island passed Roussoum Yialos & Votsi harbour where if you look back you can see the houses of the Old Village in the distance.  Cruising along the island we passed the beaches of Spartines and Milia and the sandy beach of Chryssi Milia and Kokkino Kastro beach.  Kokkino Kastro has the ruins of an ancient city and we could see the remains of the walls on the end of the peninsular from the boat.  Next along the coast was the beach of Agios Petros and harbour of Steni Vala and we then pulled into the bay of Glyfa Beach to collect some Sunvil clients staying in the area.

After the people were safely on board, Planitis sailed up the north east of the island passed the bottom of the Kastania Gorg to the Blue Cave where the captain backed the boat into the cave as far as possible to see the intensely blue waters.  After leaving the Blue Cave Planitis headed into choppy open waters towards our destination island of Kyra Panagia.  Reaching the island of Kyra Panagia we passed by some very interesting rock formations before the Monastery of Kyra Panagia with its newly installed solar panel array came into view.

Alighting the boat onto the jetty there is an inscription and notices before climbing the steep stairs and heading up the old goat track and up to the front gates of the Monastery.  The first thing we noticed is the amount of renovation going on in the Monastery at the moment.  Going into the inner courtyard we saw the front door of the chapel with icons hanging up opposite.  In the cobble stones outside the chapel you can just make out the date of 1905 set in the stones.  Inside the chapel there are so many wonderful icons displayed around the walls.

Living on an isolated island over 2 hours from Alonissos the monks need some level of self sufficiency and to protect the Monastery an interesting form of earthquake protection has been included in the building works.  Dave went up onto the upper level which was cordoned off but only on one end to get a picture of the famous dome and bell tower of the Monastery that also need a bit of renovation work.  On the way out of the Monastery courtyard we noticed the thoughts of Dostoevsky on the Catholic Church laminated and pinned up on one of the wooden pergola uprights.  Leaving the Monastery and walking upwards on a small track you can get an overview of the Monastery complex.

Leaving the Monastery we went back to Planitis and when all safely on board the captain set sail for the bay of Agios Petros on the other side of Kyra Panagia.  While moored in the bay the crew helped people to go off the boat for a swim while the food was prepared and laid out on the table at the back of the boat.  After large amounts of food and copious amounts of wine the boat set sail for the island of Peristera for another swim stop.

The wine kept on flowing and eventually we passed the ruined huts of the archaeologists that had been diving in the area amongst the wrecks.  Lots of people went off the boat and swam to the shore or snorkelled around the bay.  Leaving Peristera for Alonissos we crossed the open waters near Kokkino Kastro and although there were no dolphins close to the boat there were sightings of tuna in the waters.  We arrived back in Patitiri around 6.30pm after a wonderful day out.


The Planitis

Jetty at Kyra Panagia

Patitiri Harbour

Roussoum Yialos

Votsi Harbour

Houses of the Old Village

Spartines Beach

Milia Bay Beach

Milia Bay Hotel and Apartments

Chryssi Milia Beach

Kokkino Kastro Beach

Kokkino Kastro Peninsular

Ruins of an Ancient City at Kokkino Kastro

Agios Petros Bay

Harbour of Steni Vala

Glyfa Beach

Small Harbour of Kalamakia

Vamvakies Beach

Beach of Agios Demetrios

Kastania Gorge

Blue Cave

Monastery of Kyra Panagia

Goat Track to the Monastery

Earthquake Protection

Thoughts of Dostoevsky on the Catholic Church

Overview of the Monastery Complex

Swim Stop

Food on the Boat

Ruined Archaeologists Huts

Another Swim Stop

Tuna in the Water
 
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