Excursion to St. John Riganas

1 Day Excursion

Excursion to St. John Riganas

Ancient Calydon – Panagia Finikia – St. John Riganas – Agia Paraskevi (Skopas Hill) – Oinodikeio

A wonderful excursion, primarily religious, organised by Discover Messolonghi. This tour is a unique opportunity to get to know our place, while aiming at maximum acquaintance and promotion of Byzantine – Religious sites of the wider region of the Holy City of Messolonghi. The route curriculum that follow describe below.

Day Trip Program

We start at 08:30 from our office to visit the ancient Calydon, which was one of the most important Aetolian cities of the Hellenistic period and was known for its strong fortification. Ancient Calydon is located near the present Evinochori. In particular there we will admire the holy city which is built on a hill in the Southwest and was dedicated to the goddess Artemis. We will also admire the lesser sanctuary of Artemis’ brother Apollo which is located nearby.

Furthermore we will see the theatre of the city with the unusual shape of the quadrangle, which in Roman times had a capacity of at least 4,000 seats. Then, towards the picturesque Aetoliko we will arrive at the beautiful church of Virgin Mary Finikia which is located on an islet deep in Aetoliko – Messolonghi lagoon. The island is connected to the road network with mild dirt road. The church operates occasionally while on the beach formed right and left of the dirt road, and in the summer it is the ideal place for therapeutic mud baths. A large number of visitors from the surrounding areas, daily inundate the area and enjoy the beneficial properties of the rich therapeutic mud ingredients of the region.

Finikia, according to legend, used to be visited by Lord Byron during his stay in Messolonghi, for physical and spiritual recovery.

Then we depart from Aetoliko to visit the temple of John the Baptist which stands on a low hill south of the Mastros village. This distinctive Byzantine church is a three-aisled basilica with a raised nave, three semicircular apses and narthex. Its dimensions are 16,90m. by 13,60m. The Church of John the Baptist is known as Mastros Diocese and its name probably because it was the seat of the Bishop Acheloos in the late 7th early 8th century. The frescoes that are preserved date between the 12th and 13th century. But over the centuries the side aisles and the narthex collapsed and for this reason much was done for the maintenance, restoration and enhancement of the majestic Byzantine monument with several important work that was done inside and outside of the temple as well as work maintenance of stonework and archaeological-excavation in the vicinity of the temple. Finally, the temple stands majestically even today while there is a celebration for the saint, twice a year, on 23 and 24 June.

Finishing our floating tour in this sacred place we will head to Neochori, the chapel of Agia Paraskevi, situated at the foot of the Skopas hill, with low vegetation and of 183 m. height and distance of 8km from Neochori. There we will be informed about the history and biodiversity of the area.

The memory of this very miraculous Saint, is honoured majestically on July 26 when a brilliant national-religious festival happens. The festival lasts until morning.

Then, we will make a stop at Paleopotamos who belongs to the Neochori region and is one of the eight fish farms of the Messolonghi – Aetoliko lagoon. The Paleopotamos produces about 15% of the total fishery production of the lagoon.

Then we can sit for lunch and rest at the “Oinodikeio” restaurant which has one of the best traditional cuisines of the place. A restaurant with delicious, quality and affordable food.

After lunch we will board the bus for our departure and return, having previously gained the best impression of the beauties of the Byzantine-religious monuments and natural beauty of the areas of the Holy City of Messolonghi.


  • Minimum number of participants is 15 people.

  • If the proposed dates or the duration or the travel programme do not meet your expectations, please contact us and one of our colleagues will help you create the trip of your dreams.

  • Available Bank Accounts (for deposits):  NATIONAL BANK OF GREECE (IBAN): GR89 4120 0000 4120 0184 228

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