Galaxidi is a small coastal town in Phocis County and one of the best-preserved traditional towns of Greece, with two natural harbors, the Agora and Chirolaka. Galaxidi was built upon hills and has a view of rocky islands, reefs, churches and lighthouses. This place is famous for its rich history and picturesque beauty.
We can divide the history of Galaxidi into five periods: ancient (by 10om.Ch. century), Byzantine (until 1446m.Ch.), The Turkish, the era of sailing ships (1830-1910) and later. Galaxidi by historical testimonies behaves as an ancient maritime town of the most remarkable of Esperion Locris.
The ancient name was “Oianthia” or Chaleio, according to research scientists. The ruins of the walls are still preserved. Modern archaeologists place in today Galaxidi the ancient Chaleion or Chalaion. The significance of the finding suggests the momentousness 1848 two bronze inscriptions of the 5th century with the “colony of Locris letters,” culminating in the British Museum, as well as about 97 bronze findings. The historian Pausanias describes the city as it was the Temple of Venus. Above the town there was a forest of cypress and pine trees in the forest and the Temple of Artemis, with her statue.
Delphi, a town on the slopes of Mount Parnassus in Greece, was the site of the main temple of Apollo and of the Delphic oracle, the most famous oracle of ancient times. Before making important decisions, Greeks and other peoples traveled to this sacred place to consult the oracle and learn the gods’ wishes.
According to Greek mythology, Zeus wanted to locate the exact center of the world. To do this, he released two eagles from opposite ends of the earth. The eagles met at Delphi. Zeus marked the spot with a large, egg-shaped stone called the omphalos, meaning “navel.”
Originally, Delphi was the site of an oracle of the earth goddess Gaia. The site was guarded by a monstrous serpent (or dragon, in some accounts) called Pytho. Apollo killed Pytho and forced Gaia to leave Delphi. Thereafter, the temple at Delphi belonged to Apollo’s oracle. After Delphi site we are going to Galaxidi for overnight.
Galaxidi is the noblest naval town has 4000 years history. Today, visitors are enjoying this town with the neoclassical houses with floral balconies, the charming courtyards, the alleys and the picturesque harbor. Galaxidi, because of its privileged geographical position, has experienced great glory in the 18th and 19th century. So the Galaxidi in 1815 was the fourth port of Greece in maritime and commercial activity. Naval School was founded with excellent seamanship teachers.
Galaxidi became one of the largest naval forces of Greece and its inhabitants most of them ship owners have traveled to many countries. They brought their knowledge, ideas, objects and materials, enriching the city and giving the elegance which is maintained even today.
To discover Galaxidi you need to walk to the harbor to admire the old mansions and explore the inner city. Distinguished for their beauty are Tsalaggira’s buildings, which houses the Town Hall, the city Custom and the Girls school (1880). At the top of the village is the church of St. Nicholas, patron saint of sailors, with its famous wooden temple.
Next, walk to the church of Agia Paraskevi. The paradox is that the zodiac is designed on the floor, while in the courtyard there is a solar clock. Visit the Nautical Museum, which is housed in a renovated mansion and hosts interesting exhibits and the Folklore Museum.
In City Park you will see two more monuments of antiquity: the Tomb of Lokrou and ruins of the ancient wall of Oianthi that was built there. Don’t forget to walk in Pera Panta along the harbor to enjoy Galaxidi from across the street. After leaving the beautiful Galaxidi on our way back to Athens we make a stop to the Monastery of Osios Loukas.
The Monastery of Osios Loukas (Saint Luke) is built on the western slopes of Helicon below the acropolis of the ancient town of Steiri , near the village Steiri in Boeotia . It is one of the most important monuments of Middle Byzantine art and architecture and is included in the list of world heritage of UNESCO.
The center of the complex is dominated by two majestic and impressive churches: Virgin Mary and St. Luke, which are linked together.
The church of Virgin Mary is the older of the two churches. Dated to the second half of the 10th century. Built according to the Constantinopolitan models, the church holds a prominent place in the history of Byzantine architecture in Greece.
Half a century or so, after the church of Virgin Mary a second temple made dedicated to the St. Luke (1011). A thousand years now this temple has constantly causing feelings of admiration and wonder with the splendor and rich and perfect interior decoration (mosaics, frescoes). After Osios Loukas monastery, we take the way back to Athens.
Alternative Tour Options:
There are so many other things to see in this area. Keep in mind that your driver is at your disposal, so if you would like to adjust the proposed itinerary at all, just let him know!
What Makes this Tour Unique?
- This is the only tour which covers all the most important sites of Galaxidi.
- Galaxidi is protected traditional village since 1978.
- Allows you to tour Galaxidi with a local driver able to show you the real face of the region.
- Around Galaxidi you will find scattered small islands which you can visit by tourist boats.
- See the St. Georges island with the two chapels, continue to the island Apsifia and admire the lighthouse, dating from 1887. Notable are the islands Molemeno, St. Demetrios and that of the Virgin Mary.
Did you Know?
In Galaxidi on Clean Monday, there is a unique custom called Alevromoutzouroma. Clean Monday also known as Pure Monday, Ash Monday, Monday of Lent or Green Monday, is the first day of the Eastern Orthodox Christian. It is a movable feast that occurs at the beginning of the 7th week before Orthodox Easter Sunday. The custom is relatively simple. Residents gather at the harbor equipped with bags of flour and paint. Then indulge in “epic” battles, which last for hours. It is a Dionysian revelry that does not exist anywhere in the world.