Messolonghi – Simiou Panigyri
24 – 31 May 2018
Have you been to a Greek Panigiri? – One more tick off your list!
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Holiday Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Moderate
Group Size Medium Group
24 – 31 May 2018 (8 day workshop)
We will show you the old traditional festivals mainly organised in provincial Greece for this photographic treat.
We have chosen to photograph and document the panigiri of Agios Simion near Messolonghi. With a wealth of visual excitement to get the creative juices flowing, from stunning costumes to traditional wind instruments and religious parades.
This feast is one of the most important and most historic in the country, organised in summer. It is unique for it’s duration and varied events, faithful, traditional and rhythmic it unites all participants in a unique way with a historic and religious character. The monastery was founded around 1740 and the celebration of the armed men is a victory of freedom, peace and also of summer, joy and life. All festivities also commemorate the dead in the siege against the Ottomans.
- Bed and Breakfast
- Daily photo workshops
- Photo critique sessions
- Tour guide for the entire tour.
- Travel insurance
- Camera and all other camera related gear.
Arrive in Athens
Arrive in Athens to unwind and settle in. A chance to get to know each other and then a tour of the picturesque centre of Athens taking in famous and photogenic areas such as Plaka, Monastiraki and of course the Acropolis!
Dinner at the hotel.
The Road to Delphi
Breakfast at the hotel and then we hit the road to Delphi to consult the Oracle about our important life and photographic decisions!
For the Ancient Greeks, Delphi was considered the centre of the world represented by the stone monument known as the Omphalos of Delphi. The stunning scenery around Mount Parnassos makes for the perfect location for some landscape photography and the archaeological site is a UNESCO world heritage site.
Lunch at Nafpaktos on the way to Messolonghi. Check into the hotel and settle in. Dinner together in town.
Visit to the Salt-flats
“He who loves not his country can love nothing” – Lord Byron
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.
We will also see Panagia Finikia which was a favourite church of Lord Byron and overlooks the salt-pans. The beautiful church, adds a pink colour to the water from the mineral salt and the reflections of the endless sky make for some great photographic opportunities.
As night falls street musicians begin to play traditional songs on local wind instruments called pipiza to welcome in the Panigyri festivities. With so much local colour to soak up from traditional costumes to street food and dancing. All of which make for a very atmospheric and photogenic night.
An early start for sunrise photography at Tourlida.
Free time to recover and have breakfast.
Flamingo photography on the other side of town if we get lucky. Patience is a virtue!
Lunch in town.
Free programme in the afternoon.
In the evening we head to the Simeon Monastery for the Panyigyri parade. Eating and dancing with big tables of food at the monastery. The men traditionally perform the dances.
Holy Spirit Day.
A visit to the church cut into the mountains at Panagia Eleousa. Overlooking some fantastically rugged and beautiful scenery.
In the afternoon we will be doing a location portrait photography workshop. Taking advantage of the many visually stunning backdrops that the area has to offer and teaching you about expression, posing, lighting and more.
In the evening we photograph the procession and the city centre celebrations with eating, dancing, music and traditional costumes.
In the morning we head back to Simeon Monastery to observe praying for those who died during the Exodus of Messolonghi and baptisms of the Roma children who traditionally come to the monastery for this time of year.
An afternoon photo critique will give you a chance to reflect on the images you have made so far on the trip and provide direction for future improvement.
Last dinner in Messolonghi.
Final Full Day
Drive back to Athens via the Rio-Antirrio bridge near Patras where we will take the boat across the Gulf of Corinth to photograph this incredible feat of engineering.
Goodbye dinner at the hotel and some free time in Athens for those that want to have a final wonder.
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.
A camera is the obvious one, but also a tripod is a must. Having spare batteries and memory cards is also strongly advised.
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.
All levels are welcome, from the novice to the seasoned professional.