Some places are good for one thing. Some are good for two. Hosios Loukas is good for the mountain, the myth, the monastery, all that, and the cappuccino!

I saw a UNESCO site was not far off my planned route from Athens to Delphi and added it.

TIP: It’s a popular day trip from Athens, so start early to get there before the buses arrive.

Wow!  The drive was gorgeous.  Once I was out of Athens city traffic and off the highway, the mountain roads were fun to drive.  The monastery is alone above a valley on the slopes Mt Helicon.  The views almost hurt your eyes they are so amazing. And my photos while great, they don’t due justice to the views.

The Mountain

Mt Helicon is 1,749m (5,738 ft) high, it is located approximately 10km (6 mi) from the Gulf of Corinth. But you’d never know that driving up from Athens. The twisty turny mountain roads hide the water views, but share the sky views. There was some damage from a wildfire that burned many of the trees.
View of Mt Helicon

The Myths

Mt Helicon is also famous in Greek Mythology for the site of Pegasus kicking a rock so hard a spring was created. It’s other famous spring is where Narcissus fell in love with himself.  I didn’t look for either spring.

The Monastery

I don’t practice any religion, but when I travel, especially in Europe, I see a lot of religious sites.  I’m drawn to the art, history, and architecture.

Hosios Loukas Kathalicon
Hosios Loukas Kathalicon 2
Hosios Loukas Kathalicon 3
Hosios Loukas Tree
Hosios Loukas Clock Tower
Hosios Loukas Crypt Frescos
Hosios Loukas Crypt Frescos 2
Hosios Loukas Kathalicon

Hosios Loukas Kathalicon

Hosios Loukas Kathalicon 2

Hosios Loukas Kathalicon 2

Hosios Loukas Kathalicon 3

Hosios Loukas Kathalicon 3

Hosios Loukas Tree

Hosios Loukas Tree

Hosios Loukas Clock Tower

Hosios Loukas Clock Tower

Hosios Loukas Crypt Frescos

Hosios Loukas Crypt Frescos

Hosios Loukas Crypt Frescos 2

Hosios Loukas Crypt Frescos 2

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Hosios Loukas (St Luke) of Steiris was a 10th century hermit who famously predicted the conquest of Crete and his relics are still in the monastery crypt.  Legends say the relics emitted a perfumed oil with healing properties.  Legend or not the relics resulted in donations to build and maintain the monastery.  NOTE: He was not the author of the Gospel of St Luke.

Greek Orthodox structures are generally rough rock exteriors, with brick layers, and domes.  Interiors can be frescoes (paintings on wet plaster) or mosaic or in this case a combination.  Thankfully the frescoes were restored in the 1960s after centuries of soot and dust.

Here’s the whole Hosios Loukas Video Tour.

A very short walk up the hill leads to the Orthodox Metamorphosis Church which was built in 1891. It is a small chapel, but my video of frescos are stunning.

The entrance fee was only 4€.
After visiting all the places open to the public I enjoyed the spectacular view and a cappuccino.  (I saved the hand made fig pies for later.)  The view alone was worth the 4€.
Cappuccino and Fig Pie at Mt Helicon

CJ

I have visited 7 continents and 80 countries. I have lived in 9 different countries. I speak English, Spanish, French, and Russian. I like to hike, ski, dive, eat, drink, and wander the wonders of the world.