Since ancient Greece, Greek pilgrimage destinations were frequented every year by the population. To this day, they are special places to reflect, pray and honor religion. Greece has evolved over the millennia, but pilgrimages remain a part of life. Today, Greek Orthodox festivals take place year round in some of the most beautiful Greek mainland and island destinations. August is one of the most significant months thanks to one special holiday.
A Reason to Journey
A pilgrimage is a journey that involves the pilgrim going on a mission of seeking a solution to a problem, where the worshippers travel with a specific objective in mind or in search of divine guidance and assistance. Even during ancient civilization, one of the most noted reasons pilgrims undertook a pilgrimage was to search of a cure. During times of illness one would call upon the help of gods.
Today, Orthodox Christians around the world consider Greek monasteries, churches and sanctuaries to be important pilgrimage destinations. Many plan their religious trips to Greece to experience these authentic and timeless monuments. These religious centers are located in some of the most breathtaking places around world.
In Greece, August is a significant month for Greek pilgrims. One of the biggest religious holidays takes place each year on August 15th which is in honor of the Virgin Mary. Feasts and special events are held at churches throughout the country. For this occasion, All About Aviation. gr has compiled a list of the three most popular Greek pilgrimage destinations that one can experience with a helicopter tour.
Mount Athos (Agion Oros)
Mount Athos which is also known as the Agion Oros is a monastic state that hosts some 20 large monasteries and operate as sacred male communes. The picturesque mountain is located on a peninsula in northern Greece near Thessaloniki. Although it is land linked, Mount Athos is accessible only by ferry. That’s even more reason to plan something special and take a flight to see this unique and holy destination from the sky. The significance and beauty of Mount Athos has long been admired by writers from ancient to modern times. Now, you can view it in all its natural and holy beauty from above. Sounds exciting right?
The name of this holy site translates to “middle of the sky,” “suspended in the air” or “in the heavens above.” Soaring above this breathtaking complex of Greek Orthodox monasteries that are amazingly built on top of towering sandstone rock pillars. From your helicopter seat you can watch pilgrims and visitors climb up stairs and walkways to the top of these fantastic sky-high monasteries. Just imagine flying around this unique UNESCO World Heritage Site – an experience not many people can claim.
Tinos is a charming island located in the Cyclades archipelago and is considered one of the most popular destinations for those of the Greek Orthodox faith. Greek pilgrims travel to the Cycladic island twice a year, on March 25 and August 15. Their journey includes a to visit the famous church of Panagia Megalochari (the Blessed Virgin Mary). With wishes in their hearts they make their way to it, some crawling from the port, in the hopes their vows will be fulfilled and to seek comfort.
Whether you plan to travel to Greece pilgrimage destinations to pray or just to observe, August is a special time in Greece for many Greeks and the Greek Orthodox religion.