Excursion to Menites
OLIVE MUSEUM - MONASTERY OF AGIAS MARINA - FALLS PYTHARA - SOURCES SARIZA - MAINETES
We start from the hotel Andros 4 All Seasons Villas & Suites in Ormos Korthiou with destination Mainites and return.
This olive press in Pitrofos, also known as “vida”, occupies an important part of the ground floor “katogi” of the two-storey stone building. The first floor has always been the owner’s residence.
It is a wonderful example of a small pre-industrial livestock olive oil production unit. Its facades and the internal stonework have been beautifully restored, preserving all the original structural elements, which were typical of the rural architecture of the Cyclades.
The museum is ranked 1st out of 5 museums and 35 activities and attractions in Andros and 2nd out of 120 museums in the Cyclades.
The History of the Museum
The mill also has a peculiarity. In most of the olive mills of Andros the process was limited to a small space. But this mill was divided into different rooms for the different stages of the process.
In the village the house was also known as “Despotiko” because in 1823 came the Metropolitan (Despot) of Varna Filotheos Karkakis who came from Pitrofos and spent the last years of his life. Original elements of the building, such as three bullets, two stone grinding plates, and other structural details of the building, show that the olive press was in operation long before the 18th century, with some elements dating back more than 400 years.
The owner Dimitris Helmis, personally guides the visitors, explaining all the stages of olive oil production: The lively way of grinding in one room, the smart compression mechanism in the other, and finally in the storage room, where the room temperature is naturally regulated by design and the construction of massive masonry. The basics of different qualities of olive oil are clearly explained, so that visitors know much more now when buying olive oil.
Finally in the cool floor / storage of about 400 years, visitors are invited to watch a video showing the live olive oil production that took place in 2000 at the museum with its original equipment. The restoration of the mill was done with love by Mr. Helmis, and the video shows the joy of the reopening of the mill with people who had worked in the mill 40 years ago. The museum not only gives the visitor a new perspective on the oil he uses daily, but also provides an unforgettable look at the life of an island Cycladic village.
Once we finish our visit to the olive museum, we continue our excursion going to the monastery of Agia Marina!
Monastery of Agia Marina
The Holy Monastery of Agia Marina located in the north of Chora was recently renovated.
The Monastery dates back to 1325, when in the area of Litres, Agia Marina is miraculously presented to an old ascetic and he is instructed to find her image in a slit in a rock, as she did.
During the 16th century the monastery was burned three times by pirate raids, but the Hieromonk Sophronios manages to renovate it, selling his property in the Peloponnese. It turns it into a nunnery, which even hosted 100 nuns. In 1833, by decree, 417 monasteries were closed throughout Greece – including Agia Marina. Her miraculous icon is bought by the Empirikou family and transferred to the Holy Temple of Panagia, in Chora.
In 1975, the then Metropolitan of Syros, Dorotheos, passing through the ruins of the Monastery, asked his deacon, Kyprianos Winter, to restore the Monastery. Which happens in the years to come. The monastery became widely known for the miracle of healing a small child from Cyprus.
Waterfalls of Pithara
A place taken from a fairy tale. It is a destination that is not reminiscent of Cyclades and will be unforgettable.
Pythara Waterfalls in Andros are located in Apoikia, ten minutes away from the road. To get there we will cross a smooth path, full of vegetation, a fairytale route I would say, which predisposes you to the beauty you will see in the “Fairyland” as the folk tradition calls it.Its abundant waters run rapidly and create an amazing habitat.
Waterfalls and lakes are formed in the green landscape where aquatic life abounds. Like a dream with elves and enchanted forests, only in this way can the description of the Fairyland be made. Only if you walk, smell, bathe, experience this magical place, release the water and listen to the cicadas will you feel those, which are not easily described in words. Pythara Falls is a small ecosystem for many birds and amphibians.
At the same time for rare species of plants and wildflowers that grow along the entire length of the ravine. Pythara is used for the irrigation of the fields while from 1863 to 1936 its waters moved the largest watermill in the Balkans, the “Fabrika” a little further down in the village of Stenia.
The springs are on Mount Petalo, in the area of Evrousies, and the estuary is on Gyalia beach.Leaving the waterfalls, right next to it we will visit the Source of the Colonies, a place that come from all over Andros to fill their traditional “pitchers”.
A place where next to it is the factory that produces bottled water Sariza!
Village of Mainetes
And we complete our excursion leaving you in the village of Mainites, where you will take your walk, enjoy a coffee or launch.
You will dismiss the greenery and the coolness of the running waters in the homonymous springs.
Departure Point: Andros Hotel 4 All Seasons Villas & Suites, Ormos Korthiou,
Departure time: 09:00 a.m.
Return time: 16:00 p.m. (approximately)
Price per person: 30,00 €
Minimum / Maximum participation: 3 people up to 7 people
The price includes: your transfer to the respective location.
The excursion includes:
Transportation by luxury van of the company
The excursion does not include:
Entrances to museums, caves, meals, beverages and coffees,
Medical insurance in off-bus accidents,