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The Holy Monastery of Makellaria is located opposite the village of Lapanagoi, built atop a striking, sheer cliff. Small wonder, then, that it’s been called the “Meteora of the Peloponnese”.

To access the monastery by car from Patras, follow the Patras-Kalavrita provincial road through Chalandritsa and make a right turn at Flampoura. The route is similar when approaching from Athens, just follow the Kalavrita-Patras provincial road and turn right at Flampoura.

No other routes provide access to the Holy Monastery, so visitors are advised to ignore the routes suggested by mobile GPS apps etc.

The road after the sign passes through the oak forest at Kaniska, where a 10-kilometre section is dirt road. As such, visitors are advised to contact the monks before attempting to visit the Monastery, as the road may be in


Avoid using GPS systems, as the route they navigate is cut off and hazardous.

Any difficulties on the road to the Monastery (namely the 10km of dirt track) are more than made up for by the route’s unparalleled natural beauty.


Kaniska Forest

Pilgrims approaching the Holy Monastery of Makellaria (situated at an altitude of 640 m) will pass through the oak forest at Kaniska.

A wooded expanse covering 12,860 acres, the oak forest at Kaniska is the largest in Achaia Prefecture. Numerous species of animal make their homes in this striking woodland environment, which is also ideal for outdoor activities (Mountain biking, alpine sports) and mild forms of tourism. It was recently purchased by the Municipal Enterprise “Kalavrita Ski Centre”, and its operation is expected to contribute to the development of the wider region.


The village of Lapanagoi sits directly opposite the Monastery. It’s just south of Leontio and belongs to the old municipality of Kerpini, currently the municipality of Kalavrita, at an altitude of 707 metres.

The village takes its name from the Vlach phrase “LAI PANAIT”, little Virgin Mary in other words. A picturesque stone-built church dedicated to the Theotokos stands in the village, on the site of a previous church. Lapanagoi was once a station on the old wagon trail that connected Zoumpata via Leontio and continued on to the monastery of Makellaria (which is located directly opposite the village). The wagon trail forked after Makellaria, one path leading off to Kalavrita, the other to Arcadia.

Lapanagoi is accessible by road via Kounina – Rakita (the location of a guerrilla airfield back during the German occupation) or via the Moirali – Vetaiika route, and there is also a direct connection between the village and the Monastery itself.


A prominent local feature is Kafkaria, a sheer, forested mountain (1150 metre summit) near Lapanagoi. According to an account from the Greek war of independence, the Greeks wisely chose the mountaintop as the place for their stand against Ibrahim Pasha and his Egyptian forces.

Leading the roughly 2000 Greeks was D. Plapoutas, accompanied by D. Meletopoulos, N. Petmezas, Feitzopoulos, Rodopoulos and Chr. Fotomaras with his 100 Souliotes. Battle was joined on 26 and 27 August 1827. The Greeks put up stiff resistance against the Ottoman aggression, using everything they had at their disposal to repel the enemy attacks, from their firearms right down to rocks and boulders they would hurl or roll downhill towards their attackers. In the face of mounting casualties, the Ottomans were forced to call off their assault and retreat.

As tradition has it, in the wake of this defeat the Turkish commander and his remaining forces passed by a hovel, which they mistakenly passed for a caravansary. One of the Greek traitors the commander had among his entourage told him that the hovel was in fact the chapel of St Paraskevi, and the Greeks attributed their victory to her divine intervention. The commander became enraged upon hearing this and stormed into the chapel, dead set on torching it and the Saint’s icon, but he was mysteriously struck blind. Eventually the Saint restored his eyesight after he had repented on bended knee and dedicated his white horse to her.

With their victory at the battle of Kafkaria, the Greeks forced the proud Ibrahim to retreat to Gastouni, thus alleviating the pressure on the local Greek populations that had been hiding out in the surrounding mountains. The Greek victory at Kafkaria and the destruction of the Turkish-Egyptian fleet at Navarino (20 October 1827) by an allied (English, French and Russian) fleet dashed Ottomans hopes of ever reasserting their control over Greece, thus paving the way for the country’s independence.


Yerakovouni, a true miracle of nature, towers over the length of the Selinountas river.

Yerakovouni took its name from the numerous falcons (yeraki is Greek for falcon while vouni, vouno means mountain) and other birds of prey that make their nests atop its ridges. It’s a massive, uninterrupted, sheer and imposing rock that rises like a battlement west of Lapanagoi. Starting at a relatively low altitude from the left bed of the Selinountas directly across from the Monastery, it gradually rises to 350-400 metres and remains at that height as it stretches down to the area known as Kochla.

Tou Despoti i Vrysi (The Lord’s Fountain)

The Fountain of the Despot is located west of the Holy Monastery of Makellaria, while the fertile Lefterochori plain lies between two hills beyond the right bank of the Selinountas. Well-watered, the plain served as the breadbasket for the village of Lapanagoi historically, with its inhabitants cultivating corn, alfalfa and produce there.

On either side of the plain, as well as behind it, stands the striking Kaniska oak forest. The plain is home to a fountain, known as the Lord’s Fountain. Ibrahim Pasha passed through the plain in June 1827 at the head of an army of 13,000. They were led by the Greek traitor Dimitrios Nenekos on the road to Kalavrita.


"Path of Paleon
Patron Germanos"

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Towards the village of Lapanagoi, time has carved this geological formation with many folds. Countless waterfalls are formed by the rainfall in the recesses of the folds, while by the frosts, countless ice crystals are created, which look like stalactites and stalagmites.

At the foot of the steep rock, on which the holy monastery of Makellaria is built, next to the river Selinunda, we find Gyftapidima. At this point between the rocks of Makellaria and Gerakovouni, the bed of the river Selinounda narrows too much and its waters pass through a strait about 8-10 meters wide. In this place, the waters stagnate for a considerable length, as a result of which they also form a rich fishing ground. The strait is formed by two stone volumes. These, starting from the banks of the river, rise converging and at a height of about 20 meters, which end, leaving an opening of about four to five meters.

This opening is called Gyftapidima, because according to tradition, a Gypsy, chased by the Turks, had jumped it.

In this place, the Lapanagitites had built a stone bridge, which is still preserved, to communicate with Makellaria and their estates on the opposite side of Selinounda, that is, in the location of Lefterochori, where it also belongs to "Despoti the Vrysi".

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