Cave tourism: If you are a fan of this type of tourism, you will definitely be impressed by the Blue Cave, the cave-jewel of Greece and the Mediterranean. The BLUE CAVE or HOLE or FOTSALAKI is an impressive cave, with hidden beauty. It is located in the southern part of the island, but it is difficult to locate, because its mouth is very small compared to the height of the sea. Access is by small boat or by swimming. It is one of the largest caves in the world, and the largest of the underwater caves in Greece. It owes its unique blue colour to the following reason. The small entrance at the top and the large opening creates the reflection of the sun and the incredible shade of blue. It is about 150 meters long, 40 meters high, 37 meters wide and 20 meters deep. Inside there is a small sandy beach, while it is worth noting that the rarest stalactites are found there. The cave is also home to monk seals, which are usually invisible to visitors.
Ecotourism: Nature lovers will go crazy with the special and endemic species of flora and fauna, as shown above.
Gastronomy Tourism: Taste the fresh yeast fish, swordfish, fagria and shrimp. Also, don’t forget to try chickpea meatballs, stuffed onions, the sweet katoumari (round traditional sweet pie with sugar, cinnamon, cloves), halva and strava (baklava with yeast dough)
Hiking tourism: In Megisti there are several impressive hiking routes, which lovers of this tourism can choose to explore the island, its history and its beauties and enjoy the magnificent view throughout the hike. Some trail networks are:
- Towards Agios Georgios of the Mountain (circular route, 2.5 km.)
- Towards Paleokastro (1.2 km.).
- Towards the cape of Agios Stefanos (2 km.).
- Navlakas and the French path (3 km.)
- Towards cape Pounentis (5.4 km.)
PALEOKASTRO: The Ancient Acropolis of Megistis on the hill of Paleokastro was the central fortified settlement of the island in the 4th century. B.C. During the Middle Ages, various interventions were made in the masonry of the fortification, while in recent years churches had been built, cannons had been installed and it had been damaged due to many bombardments.
CASTLE: This is a fortress built by Sosiklis Nikagoras in ancient Greek times and rebuilt by the Knights of St. John in the 13th century.
LYCIAN TOMB: It is a tomb of the 4th century BC, carved at the foot of the Castle. It owes its name to the ancient inhabitants of Asia Minor, the Lycians, because their god was Lycian Apollo.
THE CYCLOPE WALLS: You will find them in the area of Kampos, Paleokastro and Munda hill
- The Monastery of Agios Georgios of the Mountain was built in 1759. Inside it there is a catacomb of Agios Charalambos and a spring that gushes water. However, access to the Monastery is difficult, as it requires climbing 400 steps.
- The Cathedral of Saints Constantine and Helen was built in 1835, on the site of a ruined early Christian basilica. It is a magnificent three-aisled basilica with an arched dome, its roof supported by 12 columns, which were brought there from the temple of Apollo in Patara, Lycia. The bell is made in 1222 in a Russian foundry.
- Other churches and monasteries of the island that can be visited are: Panagia, Agios Spyridonas and Agios Georgios Loukas (Horafia), Agios Savvas (Mikros Niftis), Agia Paraskevi (Mantraki), the double small temple of Agios Nikolaos and Demetrios ( Myloi), Panormites of Nicolettos (on the road to Avlonia), Agios Georgios, Agios Merkourios and within it Agios Fanourios (Pigadi), Agios Stefanos (Cape of Agios Stefanos), Agios Georgios (Nisi), Agios Georgios (in Rho), Panagia, Agios Panteleimonas, Agia Marina, Agia Paraskevi, Agioi Anargyroi and Agios Nikolaos (Palaiokastro), Prophet Elias and Agia Triada (Lofos).
MUSEUMS & OTHER SIGHTS
o The Archaeological Museum of the island. It is located below the Castle. It has rooms organized chronologically. In particular, the first is dedicated to the ancient Megisti, which preserves important findings. The second preserves finds from the early Christian years up to the Byzantine period. The third contains costumes and household goods of traditional houses of the 19th century.
o The Folklore Museum. It is located in the old mosque and includes various historical exhibits, including: traditional costumes, embroidery, ceramics, folk art items, a representation of the kitchen that existed in the folk houses of the island, a sponge diver’s uniform and other items related to sponging and navigation.
o Historical collection. It is housed in the settlement’s mosque. Exhibits, photographs and texts presenting the island’s recent history are stored there.
SANTRAPEIA CITY SCHOOL: It is a magnificent building that looks like the Propylaia of the University of Athens, and there the children learn letters. It was built in 1903 with the financing of Loukas Santrapes, an expatriate from Kastellorizo.
THE SCULPTURES OF ALEKOS: This is a work of art located on a path next to the Megisti hotel, with sculptures carved into the rocks, made by the sculptor Alexandros Zygouris.
FESTIVALS & EVENTS
- June 26, Agia Paraskevi
- May 21, Constantine and Eleni, the Patrons of our Island.
- July 20, of Prophet Ilias, where the villagers revive the custom of diving into the sea with their clothes on.
- August 15, of Panagia accompanied by a litany of icons.
- Manners and customs are revived with particular gusto during Holy Week, while an impressive multi-day feast follows after the Resurrection.
- On September 13, the liberation of the island is celebrated with splendour.
MEDITERRANEO: 1991 Italian film shot in Castellorizo and awarded the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. The scenario is as follows: An Italian ship left some soldiers on a small island, whose mission was to locate enemy ships and hold the island in case of attack. The island village they found looked deserted so there was no reason to worry. But things changed when Greeks destroyed their ship, and they were left abandoned and helpless. In fact, the island was never abandoned. When the Greeks realized that the Italian soldiers did not threaten them, they came out of their hiding places and went on with their lives normally. Then the Italian soldiers discovered the beauty of being forgotten on a remote Greek island.
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