We start in the morning from the STUDIOS rooms in Pyrgos Thermis and we drive east towards the monastery of AGIOS RAFAEL which is about 10 minutes from the rooms. A living journey through the history of the island and the martyrdom of Saints Raphael, Nicholas and Irene. It’s worth learning the story of the Saints which is closely tied to the early Ottoman rule and the witnessing moments experienced by the inhabitants of the island. In addition, admiration cause the thousands of miracles of the Saints, proof of the countless tributes in their honor! Leaving MONI we turn around same road and we go North towards the village of Mystegna. Just before the village and along the entire coastline there is a wide range of beaches, sandy beaches,pebble beaches and some organizations that offer to tourists umbrellas and chairs, while others are free. Seaside areas are “Pedi”, “Agios Stefanos”, “Palios” and a little further north the "Geni Port" and “Tsonia” with beautiful taverns where one can relax and drink his ouzo. Of course there is also the Monastery of Taxiarch Michael.
According to tradition, the monastery already existed in the 10th century and towards the end he was attacked by Saracen pirates, who destroyed the facilities and massacred her monks. Only one probationary monk was saved, Fr Gabriel, who made it from the blood of the monks and clay miraculous image of Taxiarchis. The first historical evidence for existence of the monastery, however, is a document of 1661 and an almost contemporary one inscription on the temple itself. It is also known that in the 18th century the old small catholicon was replaced with a new, larger church.
The complex looks like a fortress, as it is surrounded by tall buildings and spire-tower on the north-west side. Today’s Catholic, which dominates the area, was built from foundations in 1879 and belongs to its type three-aisled basilica.
Inside, the dominant position is given to the one-of-a-kind embossed image of the Archangel Michael, kept in a luxurious canopy built in 1766. The high priest’s bag and the petrachili of the ethnomartyr Patriarch Gregory V, in a special position on the right of the entrance. The relics had been given by the patriarch himself to the first council of Porphyrios, who later became Metropolitan of Mytilene. Admirable
they are the small metal shoes offered to the temple by the faithful, since according to tradition the Taximaster wears out his shoes by running the island at night.
The monastery has guest houses for hosting guests. He celebrates twice year, on November 8 and Myroforos Sunday, which is anniversary of the opening of the temple.
On our way out we can shop for the famous cheese products from the three private cheese factories as well as that of the cooperative that is close to Taxiarchi and it is worth visiting to see how the oil cheese is made, the butter and the feta from its modern facilities. Leaving further north pass the villages of KAPI and KLEIO and reach the village of SYKAMIA. The village Sykaminea or Sykamia is the birthplace of the writer Stratis Myrivilis. Against on your tour of the settlement you will also see his house. The view from the village, the which is built amphitheatrically on the slope of Mount Lepetymnos, is magical. The verdant olive groves that surround the village create beautiful landscapes, which are completed with its blue accents Aegean… At a distance of 3 km from the village is Skala Sykamias, with the wonderful beach and the most picturesque fishing port of the island. The area also suitable for fishing. Here, it is built on a rock at the entrance of the small port, the small church of Panagia tis Gorgona, from which the Stratis Mirivilis was inspired by his novel of the same name. In particular used for tourism, Skala Sykamnia, near the beautiful harbor, will see the small church of “Panagia tis Gorgona”. The mural it depicted the Virgin Mary with a mermaid’s tail, inspired Stratis Myrivilis to write the novel of the same name. After this full day we return in the STUDIOS rooms in Pyrgos Thermis for rest.