Panoramic sea views
Messolonghi – Carnival Extravaganza
9 – 16 March 2019
An experience of the less travelled western Greece.
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Holiday Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Fairly Easy
Group Size Medium Group
9 – 16 March 2019 (8 day workshop)
Apokria (carnival) is a parade with fancy dress costumes and banqueting. It represents the last time you can eat animal products before Lent and is a great chance for a big party to wake up from the cold and hibernation of winter.
Apokira is one of the biggest Karnavali in Europe. With plenty of photographic opportunities including; giant decorated floats, carts, papier mâché figures. The biggest one is the carnival king who will be burned at the end of the parade in a huge bonfire. The carnival king figure is often a representation of a political figure so your photos will also take on a satirical and photo journalistic flavour. When your creative juices give way to a hungry stomach there will be a chance to taste authentic hand-made delicacies at street food stalls and local tavernas.
- Bed and Breakfast
- Daily local experiences
- One evening meal
- Tour guide for the entire tour.
- Travel insurance
Arrival at Location
Arrive in Athens to unwind and settle in. A chance to get to know each other and then a stroll around the picturesque centre of Athens taking in famous and photogenic areas such as; Plaka, Monastiraki and of course the Acropolis!
Dinner at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel followed by a stroll in Athens in a carnival atmosphere with confetti, paper serpentines, costumes and street entertainment.
After lunch our next stop will be the Rio-Antirrio bridge near Patras where we will take the boat across the Gulf of Corinth to photograph this incredible feat of engineering.
For dinner we will eat in Nafpaktos and continue our journey to Galaxidi where our hotel is located.
The ’Moutzouromata’ at Galaxidi is a colourful chaotic celebration where people throw coloured wheat flour at each other. This festival marks the beginning of the Lent period of fasting in the Orthodox Church and is an opportunity for some fun before the introspection and detoxing begins.
It is really important to wear old clothes and have some plastic bags you can use to protect belongings, e.g. phones, cameras etc for ’Moutzouromata’ as the wheat flour gets everywhere and can stain clothing.
Lunch on the way back which on ’Clean Monday’ means a chance to sample some traditional fare such as; lagana (flat bread), taramosalata, chalva, olives and fresh delicious seafood which is allowed on ’Clean Monday’, but no fish.
Arrive at the hotel in Messolonghi and settle in. A wander around town and then dinner.
In the morning we will be taking a boat trip to explore the lagoons that dominate the landscape and are such an integral part of life here. This is a chance to experience and photograph the incredibly diverse bird life that inhabits the area, and to see the lagoons from the perspective of the fishermen who have worked these waters for countless generations.
Back to Messolonghi for lunch.
In the afternoon we will be changing our mode of transport and rent bicycles to ride out to the island of Tourlida to visit the traditional wooden fishermen’s houses called pellades which stand on stilts above the surface of the water.
Day in the City
We take a drive along a beautiful scenic route that includes the archaeological site at Plevrona. On a hill on the northwest side of Messolonghi a big part of the 3-kilometre long walls of Ancient Plevrona are still kept in a very good condition, specifically, the New Ancient Plevrona also known as Castle of Kira Rini (Lady Rini). In this impressive archaeological site you will have the chance to see a huge, natural 6-metre tall stone tank, part of the market, the ancient road and a wonderful ancient theatre with the great panoramic views of the sea on the west of Messolonghi.
We will see the island of Aetoliko. This tiny land mass is one of the most densely populated areas of Greece with a maze of ramshackle streets and houses, with plenty of local life to explore.
Afterwards we’ll visit the salt flats or “alykes”. These are the largest salt-pans in operation in Greece. Salt has played a crucial role in the history of civilisation and in Greece. In fact, in ancient Greece it was used as a commodity for trading slaves. It is said that the time held expression of “not worth his salt” came from this practice. Also, in ancient times, most civilisations were accompanied by myths, religious and magic rites involving salt and Greece was no exception. With tales of its usage during sacrifices and religious rituals, the history of salt is as exotic as is the amazing alykes, or salt marsh gardens that extend for miles on end in Messolonghi, Greece.
After dinner there will be an opportunity to reflect on the day with your fellow travellers!
Drive to explore the landscape
A road trip to the traditional village of Katochi where we will admire the banks of the river Acheloos and then head into the wild and rugged landscape of Dioni in the far Western Greece. Stopping on the way to visit our friend Christos to get a glimpse into traditional life in a pellades complete with traditional Greek hospitality.
Morning to pack up, a leisurely lunch en route as we travel back to Athens
Goodbye dinner at the hotel and some free time in Athens for those that want to have a final wonder.
Leave with Memory
Final goodbyes and flights home.
The accommodation is located in an organic olive grove, near the historic city of Messolonghi, perched on the slope of a hill and surrounded by the verdant mountainsides of Arakynthos, enjoying a wonderful panoramic view. The hotel features a traditional taverna, outdoor bar, pool, space and sports equipment (basketball, volleyball, table tennis, archery, cycling).
This place offers you the chance to escape the chaos of the city in a tranquil natural environment. You will have plenty of time to relax and unwind but also time to do things together, to experience adventure, fun and entertainment.
There will be a fair amount of easy hiking and you will need to be able to get up hills, flights of stairs, and be ok with a certain level of heat. If you are carrying a camera bag full of equipment you will need to be ok with having this on your back for several hours at a time.
No, you have to make your own way to the destination, but wherever possible we will meet you at the airport in Greece.
Yes. We always ensure you will be staying at the best accommodation possible in the area. This means it will be clean and well presented, although in the more remote locations may not be as fancy as in the cities.