The Friends of Mount Athos


Metropolitan Kallistos of Diokleia

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Pilgrimage to Aegean Turkey and the Greek Islands: 16 - 27 August, 2014

Following the highly successful pilgrimages to France (2002), Greece (2004), Romania (2005), Finland (2006), Turkey (2007), Egypt (2008), the Black Sea (2009), Russia (2010), Georgia (2011), Serbia (2012), and Armenia/West Georgia (2013) the society is now organizing its twelfth excursion, this time to the Aegean coastline of Turkey and to the Greek islands. The event will be for 12 days (including travel) from 16 to 27 August 2014.

Our itinerary will take us to the ancient Christian – and to some renowned pre-Christian – sites that lie between Smyrna (Izmir) and Kaş. In Turkey we shall visit Ephesus (temple of Artemis, ancient churches and basilicas), Fethiye (Makri), Myra (Demre), where is located the tomb of St Nicholas the Wonderworker, Laodicaea, Hieropolis, Pamukkale, and Aphrodisias. In Greece we shall travel by boat to Patmos and visit the Monastery of St John, attend a Liturgy in the Cave of the Apocalypse (to be celebrated by our President, Metropolitan Kallistos), be received by the nuns in the Convent of the Annunciation, and make short tours to adjacent small islands. On the island of Chios is located Nea Moni (‘New Monastery’), a World Heritage site dated to the 11th century, with its outstanding mosaics. In addition, we shall see on Chios some village churches and a fine Byzantine museum. Since we will spend three nights at Kaş, we may choose to pay a one-day visit (30 minutes by boat) to Greece’s smallest island, Castellorizo, with its cavernous grotto and Crusader castle. This very beautiful island is a favourite of British royalty, prominent poets, and artists.

Team leader will be Metropolitan Kallistos. The maximum number of participants will be 30 and the cost (excluding flights to Izmir) for accommodation, meals, guides, gratuities, donations, and domestic transportation will be around £1500.

This excursion is designed to be relaxing and unhurried. There will be opportunities to enjoy the Aegean Sea and to explore at leisure the environs. In the last two weeks of August the weather is (typically) considerably milder and not at all sweltering.

FoMA members interested in participating in this event should contact Dimitri Conomos as soon as possible and send the reservation form to him at 5 Moreton Road, Oxford OX2 7AX. It should be posted together with a deposit of £500 per person by 30 January 2014. Cheques should be made payable to the FRIENDS OF MT ATHOS PILGRIMAGE ACCOUNT. With restricted numbers the selection will be made on a first-come basis. The deposit is non-refundable.

Those who apply after the first 30 applications have been accepted will, depending on the wish of the applicant, either be wait-listed or have their cheques returned.