(Italiano) 6 – 13 JULY 2020 MISTERY, HISTORY, MITHOLOGY, SEE AND NATURE – GREECE

An amazing yoga holiday in the Mani peninsula

 “ Mistery, history, Mithology, sea and nature”

6 – 13 July 2020

With

Massimo Cantara and Sara Della Torre

Skoutari Beach hotel

Skoutari, Lakonia, Greece

www.yogaholiday.it – www.holismos.com – info@holismos.com

PURE BLISS IN AN AUTHENTIC PARADISE

We have been traveling to this part of Greece since 1995 and since then,  almost every year, I’ve been taking groups of people from all parts of the world, for teacher trainings, retreats or simply to share together a different kind of holiday in a pristine environment, with amazing beaches in total silence, calm and relax.

I’ve been exploring and working in Skoutari for more than ten years and the thought of going back to this magic place, makes me thrilled.

All rooms and hotel main areas are fully air-conditioned and have free access to the Internet via a private Wi-Fi Network.

Every morning you can enjoy a rich and delicious buffet breakfast, served in the terrace or in the dining room.

HOTEL FACILITIES:

Rooms

-Air Conditioning– Free Wi-Fi Internet –– 24 Hours Hot Water  – Balcony – Shower/Bath –Seating Area

Main Areas

-Air Conditioning – Free Wi-Fi Internet- TV Lounge –– Cafe – Snack Bar  – Playground – Free Open Parking

LOCATION

Skoutari Beach Hotel is located in Skoutari, a picturesque seaside village, with a splendid sandy beach and crystal clear waters, in one of Greece’s most lovely areas, Mani.
Built only 100-150m (109-164 yards) from the sea the Skoutari Beach Hotel is located 250km (156 miles) from Athens, 60km (37 miles) from Sparta and 18km (11 miles) from Gythion and Areopolis.
Skoutari Beach Hotel offers its guests spacious double and triple apartments/rooms, and two-room quad apartments. All units feature a sea view.
Each apartment has a private entrance and parking area.

YOGA CLASSES with Massimo Cantara

Massimo Lived and studied in England for more than ten years and speaks fluent English. He is a member of Three Treasures Yoga. Massimo is a registered yoga teacher with SYM (Shiatsu Yoga Mediterraneo) as well as a professional Shiatsu therapist and teacher. He is also a qualified kinesiologist and  Cranial Sacral therapist. In 1999 he founded Holismos, a center for yoga and complementary therapies in Poggibonsi, Tuscany, Italy. He also teaches Anatomy, Physiology and bodywork for yoga Teacher Trainings. Massimo spent 12 years practicing Shorinji Kempo (2° Dan) but trained originally as a percussionist, playing for many years in various groups in the UK and in Italy. Massimo teaches a solid classical style of Hatha yoga, sprinkled with ideas and suggestions from his back ground in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Kinesiology and percussion.

 

SARA DELLA TORRE:

yoga teacher ( 200hYAI), Shiatsu practitioner, co-director of Holismos yoga & wellness. Sara has  studied  yoga in India con Vinay Kumar, Mindulness educator, at the moment she is following a master  “Yoga Educational”  at Bologna to teach yoga in schools to children and teenagers.

 

 

 

FULL PROGRAM

Monday  6th

Meeting point at Athens International airport for those wishing to travel together to the Mani peninsula. Here we can hire car or minibus  and drive to the south. If you wish you can make your way down independently. We will arrive in the evening so we just do our check in and chill out for the night.

Tuesday  7th

8,00 – 9,30. Yoga, meditation and chanting

9,30. breakfast, after breakfast free day to restore the energy

18,30. Yoga, meditation and chanting

20.00. Dinner on the beach taverna

 

Wednesday 8th

7,30 – 9,30. Yoga, meditation and chanting

9,30. Breakfast

10,30. Excursion to the east side of Mani all the way down to cape Tanaron, the mythological entrance of the Ades. We are going to stop on the way to swim and visit the little villages, we can swim in cape Tanaron, there is one of the most beautiful bay in the pelopennese. Short trekking to the light house.

Thursday 9th

7,30 – 9,30. Yoga, meditation and chanting

9,30. Breakfast

10,30. Visit to the Diros caves, stop in areopoli for a stroll in the famous village, and later we can go to contemplate the wonderful sunset at limeni bay, Dinner in areopoli.

Friday 10th

7,30 – 9,30. Yoga, meditation and chanting

9,30. Breakfast

10,30. Excursion to see the famous towers of Vathi and other villages of deep Mani, visit to “Tigani Castle”

19,00. Dinner in Gerolimenas

 Saturday 11th

07,30 Breakfast

After Breakfast we take a trip to the archeological site of ancient Aigila, we can take a swim on the way down, we can visit a few villages, we go back via Kotronas and visit the old abandoned monastery on top of the mountain (we can drive by car all the way to the top)

Sunday 12th

7,30 – 9,30. Yoga, meditation and chanting

9,30 Breakfast

10,30 Visit to the ancient medioeval settlement of Mistra, after we can visit the archeological site and the town of Sparta

Monday 13th

7,30 – 9,30. Yoga, meditation and chanting

breakfast

Greetings and departure

COST: 580€ –  Early birds before 31st of March 520€

Price includes: the hotel with full continental breakfast, yoga lessons, and guided excursions.

Not included in the price are: your plane ticket, the car hire ( if you are willing to share a car or if we all agree to hire a minivan, the cost will be quite low, around 10/15€ per day), petrol,  the main meals ( food in Greece is quite cheap, you can have a full meal for 10/12 €, very good quality), the visits to the caves and the archeological sites..

Booking: to book your place send a mail or give us a call

Info@holismos.com  –   0039 338 3824280

To reserve your place you’ll need to pay 250€ deposit via bank transfer. This deposit will be 80% refundable before the 1st  of June 2020 non-returnable after that date but can use the money for another of our retreat or holiday. Balance will be paid on arrival in Greece.

www.yogaholiday.it  –  www.holismos.com

Visits an excursions

Cape Tainaron or Matapan

Cape Matapan (Greek: Κάβο Ματαπάς, or Ματαπά in the Maniot dialect), also named as Cape Tainaron (Greek: Ακρωτήριον Ταίναρον), or Cape Tenaro, is situated at the end of the Mani PeninsulaGreece. Cape Matapan is the southernmost point of mainland Greece, and the second southernmost point in mainland Europe. It separates the Messenian Gulf in the west from the Laconian Gulf in the east.Cape Matapan has been an important place for thousands of years. The tip of Cape Matapan was the site of the ancient town Tenarus, near which there was (and still is) a cave that Greek legends claim was the home of Hades, the god of the dead. The ancient Spartans built several temples there, dedicated to various gods. On the hill situated above the cave, lie the remnants of an ancient temple dedicated to the sea god Poseidon . Under the Byzantine Empire, the temple was converted into a Christian church, and Christian rites are conducted there to this day. Cape Matapan was once the place where mercenaries waited to be employed.

THE MANIOT POPULATION

The Maniots or Maniates  are a Greek ethnic group native to the Mani PeninsulaLaconia, in the southern PeloponneseGreece. They were also formerly known as Mainotes and the peninsula as Maina.Maniots are described as descendants of the ancient Dorian population of the Peloponnese and as such related to the ancient Spartans. The terrain is mountainous and inaccessible (until recently many Mani villages could be accessed only by sea), and the regional name “Mani” is thought to have meant originally “dry” or “barren”. The name “Maniot” is a derivative meaning “of Mani”. In the early modern period, Maniots had a reputation as fierce and proudly independent warriors, who practiced piracy and fierce blood feuds. For the most part, the Maniots lived in fortified villages (and “house-towers”) where they defended their lands against the armies of William II Villehardouin and later against those of the Ottoman Empire.

DIROS CAVES AND AREOPOLI

 

The cave of Vlychada covers an area of 16,700 m2 and since 1949 about 2,800 water passages have been explored. A 2.5-km-long winding passageway is the main route for sightseeing. During a 40-min boat trip, the visitor comes across an intricate network of passages and galleries, decorated with gleaming stalagmites and stalactites, whose reflection in the water accentuates their natural beauty. The guided tour into the cavern of Vlychada takes place by boat and on foot – part of it is on land. The Mani peninsula is mostly made up of Mesozoic carbonate rocks like limestone, which erode as a result of hydrogeological conditions on the peninsula and form karst caves like Alepotrypa. Study of the caves stalagmites has provided information about human activities in the cave and climate variations. The Diros Caves are considered amongst some of the most beautiful geological formations in the world.

AREOPOLI

Areopoli, capital of the Mani, is named after Ares, the god of war, to commemorate its role in Greek the independence struggle. Dominating the main square, Plateia Athanaton, is a statue of Petrobey Mavromichalis, who proclaimed the Maniot insurrection against the Ottoman Empire here in 1821. His brother and son, Konstantis and Georgios Mavromichalis, were responsible for the assassination of Ioannis Kapodistrias, the first president of independent Greece, in 1831. The town, formerly called Tsimova, retains many other reminders of its rumbustious past.

TIGANI CASTLE

The castle is on a rocky peninsula at the sheltered bay of Mezapos north from the Cape Cavo Grosso of Mani. Actually this is more a ruined byzantine town than a real castle. The peninsula sticks out like a frying pan (from whence it gets its name). The settlement was fortified probably in the 6th century but abandoned in the 7th century. There are signs of houses, cisterns and churches though little above the foundation level remains apart from some of the walls surmounting the cliffs. The impressiveness of the site has lead some observers to claim it as Grande Magne. But the remains are, if anything, a site of late antiquity or early Byzantine. The format of the churches, for example, is basilical – a style seldom after the 700s. The position, whereas relatively easy to defend, cannot dominate the surrounding deep Mani peninsular.

Ancient aigila

At the edge of the settlement of Vigla, we find the beginning of an ancient footpath that leads to the archaeological site of Kournos, ancient Aigila, and Kournos Monastery. The 3 kilometer ascent takes about one hour and includes a 300 meter change in altitude.

The few abandoned remains of ancient Aigila, at the site of Kionia or Vassilikes Petres. It was here, as Pausanias wrote, that there was a sacred temple of Dimitra which was demolished in the the 16th century by the abbot of the Kournos Monastery.

THE ANCIENT CITY OF MISTRA

Mystras, the ‘wonder of the Morea’, lies in the southeast of the Peloponnese. The town developed down the hillside from the fortress built in 1249 by the prince of Achaia, William II of Villehardouin, at the top of a 620 m high hill overlooking Sparta. The Franks surrendered the castle to the Byzantines in 1262, it was the centre of Byzantine power in southern Greece, first as the base of the military governor and from 1348 as the seat of the Despotate of Morea. Captured by the Turks in 1460, it was occupied thereafter by them and the Venetians. After 1834 the inhabitants of Mystras gradually started to move to the modern town of Sparta leaving only the breath-taking medieval ruins, standing in a beautiful landscape.

Mystras, as the centre of Byzantine power, quickly attracted inhabitants and institutions; the bishopric was transferred there from Sparta, with its cathedral, the Metropolis or church of Hagios Demetrios, built after 1264. Many monasteries were founded there, including those of the Brontochion and the monastery of Christos Zoodotes (Christ the Giver of Life). Under the Despots, Mystras reached its zenith with the building of churches, outstanding examples of Late Byzantine church architecture, such as Hagioi Theodoroi (1290-1295), the Hodegetria (c. 1310), the Hagia Sophia (1350-1365), the Peribleptos (3rd quarter of the 14th century), the Evangelistria (late 14th – early 15th century) and the Pantanassa (c. 1430). The city was a major piece on the political chessboard of the time and was developed and beautified as befitted its role as a centre of power and culture. The city’s complex history is clearly evident in its fortifications, palaces, churches, convents, houses, streets and public squares.

Mystras’ distinct architecture is influenced by the so-called “Helladic” school of Byzantine architecture as well as the architecture of Constantinople. The painting of churches reflects the quality and the eclecticism of the art of Constantinople. Elements of Romanesque and Gothic art are also present as a result of the city’s wide range of contacts during the 14th and 15th centuries. The beauty of its churches, which during the Palaeologan Renaissance were covered with magnificent frescoes, the renown of its libraries and the glory of its writers, including the philosopher Georgios Gemistos Plethon and his pupil, the intellectual Bessarion, later cardinal of the Roman Catholic church, who brought neo-platonic humanism to Italy, gave substance thereafter to the legend of the Wonder of the Morea. Mystras is therefore a truly outstanding example of late Byzantine culture which influenced the rest of the Mediterranean world and beyond.

 

 

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