private tour of saint theodora - Apollo epikourios


Agia Theodora of Vasta is a small Byzantine church and has 17 holly and maple trees growing from its roof. It is considered as one of the most beautiful and most unique churches in the world and has been registered in the Guinness Book as “miracle church”.
According to the local legend, Theodora lived in the 10th century in the town of Vasta. When the area was raided by bandits, she disguised herself as a man to join the defense. In the battle that followed she was fatally wounded, and just before her death asked God to change her body into a church, her hair into a forest, and her blood into the water that will feed the trees.
The villagers, moved by her bravery, built a church at her grave. Legend has it that a local river re-routed to pass directly under the church. Eventually, trees grew from the roof of the church. The site has become important for Greek Orthodox pilgrims and sightseeing visitors.
In this tour we are going to visit the St Theodora church and see the miracle that the church is famous about.

You will experience:
-St.Theodora church.
-Many tavernas amongst the forest green where you can enjoy lunch and refreshments like Nikola's Watermill ("NEROMILOS") Nikolas' Watermill, is one of the most elegant and tasteful travel stops throughout Greece operating for 28 whole years. The quality and the purity of its tastes are based on the traditional Greek cuisine. At a breathtaking landscape, the pleasant and easy environment has been perfectly combined with the traditional tastes offering unforgetable gastronomic experiences to travellers.

Apollo Epikourios

The temple of Apollo Epikourios was built sometime between 450 and 400 BC, around the time of the constructing of Parthenon in Athens. The ancient writer Pausanius attributed the design to Iktinus, architect of the Parthenon, but so far this has not been independently confirmed.
Ictinus made an extensive study of the surrounding area when he undertook the temple. He preferred to use grey limestone for construction, which is endemic to the site. This choice had the result of making the temple appear as a natural element of its surrounding environment, standing proud and eternal. The proportions of length and width are such that the enormous size of the temple is balanced by the grace it exudes.
The temple is unusual in that it has examples of all three of the classical orders used in ancient Greek architecture: Doric, Ionic, and Corinthian. Doric columns form the peristyle while Ionic columns support the interior and a single Corinthian column features in the center of the interior.
The temple of Apollo Epikourios remained well-preserved over the centuries, thanks primarily to its isolation. it was too far up in the mountains for looting of materials. The temple of Apollo is presently covered in a white tent in order to protect the ruins from the elements. In this tour you will see the remains of the temple that still stands today.

You will experience:
-Driving through the picturesque villages of Elis.
-Temple of Apollo Epicurius.
-Lunch or Coffee/drinks at stunning Andritsena village.

Temple of Apollo Epikourios, Bassae
Bassae meaning' little vale in the rocks' is an archeological site in the northeastern part of Elis.
It is famous for the well preserved mid to late 5th century BC Temple of Apollo Epicurius.
Bassae was the first Greek site to be inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1986 and its construction is placed between 450 BCE and 400 BCE.
The temple was dedicated to Apollo Epicurius or Apollo the 'Helper'. It was designed by Iktinos, architect at Athens of the Temple of Hephaestus and the Parthenon. It sits at an elevation of 1 131 meters above sea level on the steps of Kotylion Mountain. The temple is unusual in that it has examples of all three of the classical orders used in ancient Greek architecture :DORIC, IONIC, and CORINTHIAN. It was constructed entirely out of a grey Arcadian limestone,except for the frieze which was carved from marble.

Saint Theodora - Vasta
Vastas is a village in the municipality of Megalopoli, Arcadia, Greece. It is situated on a mountainside near the border with Messenia at about 850 m elevation.
It is known for it's "miracle church" of Saint Theodora who was an 11th century Byzantine citizen. When the area was raided by bandits, Theodora was determinated to help defend her village, but as a woman it was unthikable to do so. Not to be deterred Theodora secretly disguised herself as a male soldier in order to join the defense. Unfortunately, Theodora did not survive, and as she lay dying she uttered the following words:
"Let my body become a church, My blood a river, My hair the forest".
The villagers moved by her bravery and her untimely demise, built a church at the site of her grave. Legend has it that a local river re-routed to pass directly under the church. Eventually trees sprouted from the roof of the church, the roots of which are not visible under the roof and neither inside or outside the church. Currently the church has 17 enormous holly and maple trees growing on its roof. Most of them are taller than 30 meters.
Saint Theodora has become an important saint of the Greek Orthodox church and the site has become important for religious pilgrims and sightseers alike.

Activity level: Moderate
Duration: Full day
Type: Ancient History, Religious, Sightseeing, Walking

Infant seats available
Children must be accompanied by an adult
Refunds will not be issued if tour/activity is missed due to late or non-arrival of cruise ship

Pickup Information

Athens International Airport
Centre of Athens
Piraeus port
Corinth Suburban Train Station (Proastiakos)
All Hotels, AirBnbs and Apartments from the regions listed above
    Private Certified Tourist Guide (Available Upon Request At Extra Charge)
    Hotel/port pickup and drop-off
    Pickup and drop-off from designated meeting points
    Port pickup and drop-off
    Private tour
    Round-trip private transfer
    Transport by private vehicle
    Transport by air-conditioned minivan
    We speak your language
    On-board WiFi
    Handmade candies
    Refreshment wipes
    Bottled water
    Accommodation as per itinerary
    Coffee and/or Tea
Private Certified Tourist Guide (Available Upon Request At Extra Charge)
Food and drinks
Gratuities (Appreciated not expected!)