Warning
  • JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with ID: 261
MENU

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Pigi & Komi - Caves, Hills and the July Taurus Festival

  1. General Information
  2. Pigi Attractions
  3. Pigi Events
  4. Outdoor Activities in Pigi

General Information

Pigi is a remote village set at a 20-kilometer distance from Mytilene. Built on a steep rock in the year 1780, it was named after the fountain (‘Pigi in Greek) of holy water in the chapel of Panagia I Galatousa (the Lactating Virgin).

Pigi Attractions

Pigi’s main attractions are the three caves where Saints Thymianos, John and Philippos lived as hermits. The most significant of these is the cave of Saint Thymianos. The homonymous chapel was erected inside the cave and becomes inundated with pilgrims in January each year, when believers ascend to Pigi and pay their respects to the Saint.
The churches of Agia Paraskevi and Zoodochos Pigi (Life-giving Spring) are set on the main village square. Two-and-a-half kilometers from the village, in the location of Tavros, lies the chapel of Saint Charalambos: a site of religious worship which lies at the center of the three-day celebrations of the Saint.

Pigi Events

Pigi lies in close proximity to the small village of Komi and the two settlements are famed for their joint annual hosting of a major Lesvian religious festival. The ancient custom of animal sacrifice has been preserved in numerous areas of Lesvos, in the slaughter of a sacrificial bull on the feast of Saint Charalambos. The event is celebrated in Pigi and Komi over a three-day period, from July 11th to July 13th each year. Should you find yourself in eastern Lesvos between these dates, do come to Pigi and Komi and have an experience of one of the longest-standing celebratory practices on Lesvos.

In the evening of July 11th, the sacrificial animal is adorned with flowers and paraded around Pigi until the procession has arrived at the main village square. The bull’s arrival marks the commencement of celebrations and traditional music and dance permeate the village. The following day (July 12th) a procession of ornamented horses and an equine pageant unravel in Pigi, following which pilgrims, riders and horses march to the hill of Tavros and the Saint Charalambos priest gives them his blessing.

The bull becomes sacrificed at midnight of the same day, his flesh cut into pieces and boiled all through the night. The resultant meal is the traditional ‘kiskets’ of Lesvos: a mixture of wheat, lamb’s meat and beef cooked slowly and then stirred until the meat has become separated into fibers. The priest blesses the kiskets in the morning of July 13th, and each pilgrim is handed their share. July 13th is the final day of the celebrations, when horse racing takes place in the village and the participants to the festival gather in the village square and celebrate until dawn.

Outdoor Activities in Pigi

Pigi holds significant interest for botanists. Of the different varieties of olive tree to be discovered on Lesvos, all are present in Pigi. The village is surrounded by trees of the Kolovi, the Adramitiani and the Ladolia cultivars of Olea europaea, all three of which render small fruit and produce a fragrant, high-quality olive oil. Lovers of orchids will be able to admire the rare Ophrys minutula, the rare small-leaved orchid which grows in the area.

A cobblestone footpath joins Pigi to the Thermi location of Paliochori. The two-kilometer walk involves coursing through dense vegetation and crossing a running stream and is ideal for anyone with a fondness for the nature of eastern Lesvos. Alternatively, set off from Komi and proceed to the hill of Tavros with its altitude of 320 meters. The ascent means progressing through woodland, yet the landscape occasionally becomes barren, allowing for some outstanding far-reaching views.

Mistegna - Village Near Thermi, Mandamados & Some Good Beaches

  1. General Information
  2. Mistegna Attractions
  3. Mistegna Events
  4. Nearby Attractions

General Information

Mistegna is located 13.8 kilometers north of Mytilene. Set in proximity to the Monasteries of Saint Rafael (Thermi) and Taxiarches (Mandamados), the village might benefit from the occassional visit by tourists on their way back from the religious sites of Mandamados and Thermi, however, the sleepy location has so far escaped tourist development and wholly preserves its traditional character.

Mistegna Attractions

Mistegna is set in a landscape of olive groves 100 meters above sea level. Visitors here can enjoy the far-reaching views to the East, seek a sample of the red stone of Mistegna (which has been used to build or adorn the majority of stone-built houses on Lesvos) and discover the main attractions to the village: the church of the Assumption of the Virgin (1836) and the restored olive press with its characteristic tall chimney.

Mistegna Events

The chapel of Agii Akindini is set in the countryside just outside the village. An old, abandoned building surrounded by ancient monastic cells, the chapel is brought to life on the fourth Sunday after Easter each year, on the feast of its homonymous Saints. Agii Akindini are especially revered in the area, their feast an occasion for the revival of the ancient rite of animal sacrifice but in a more subdued manner than in other parts of Lesvos. Similar to the traditional celebratory practices of Agia Paraskevi and Pigi, Mistegna, too, has preserved the traditional rite of the sacrificial slaughter of a bull to celebrate a religious festival.

The bull is carefully adorned with wreaths of fresh, scented roses and paraded around the village to the sound of traditional music - a violinist, an accordionist and a drummer typically lead the procession together with a group of young men on horseback. As the procession makes its way through the village, the women of Mistegna pour their donations of olive oil (to be used in the cooking of the bull’s meat) in a large vat carried by a quartet of men. As the bull and pilgrims progress through Mistegna, donations of money are collected in order to purchase next year’s sacrificial animal. Whoever makes the highest donation will have the privilege of slaying the bull (though, in more recent years, the task of slaughtering the animal has begun being assumed by a professional).

If you are keen to discover more about one the island’s best-known traditional festival practices, do come to Mistegna on Agii Akindini Day - you will the chance to observe one of the age-old customs surrounding village life since the time of ancient idololatry and indulge in a little ‘kiskets’ (a meal of the bull’s flesh, herbs, spices and wheat) and one or more glasses of ouzo under the lilacs and crab apple trees in Mistegna square.

Nearby Attractions

Skala Mistegnon is the village harbor. With its beautiful beach and views to the East, it is a popular location ideal for swimming and a long meal by the shore of the sea. The beaches of Skala Neon Kidonion, Agios Georgios and Petalidi are also worth visiting.

Pyrgi Thermis

 

The first settlement you will meet as soon as you enter this municipality, only 11 km north of Mytilene, is Pyrgi Thermis. Main characteristic of the area are the impressive, of special architecture towers. They were used as fortified country houses, the center of rural properties, where the wealthy inhabitants of Mytilene spent their vacations.

Next on the map is Thermi’s beach, a very popular destination for tourists. There is a picturesque cove with smacks in every color and paved quays, where you can find many traditional small cafes and taverns.

Above the beach and the town, up the Karies hill, the Saint Raphael’s monastery is located. It attracts thousands of pilgrims from all over the world. Inside the two-stored Church with the impressive iconography, the relics of St Raphael, St Nickolaos and St Irene are kept. It is believed that they were found in miraculous way.

An also famous sightseeing is “Sarlitza Palace”, built in the end of the 10th century. It had been for many decades the most popular hotel of the whole island and even though it is now abandoned, it keeps granting Thermi with something of the lost Roman luxury.

Subscribe to this RSS feed

How to arrive

follow us

Newsletter