The Little Church of Saint Elias

A view of Agios Elias, perched on top of the forested mountain overlooking Leonidio.

Overlooking the town of Leonidion is the church "Prophet Elias". You can only guess that many men are named after this prophet whose nameday is celebrated on the 20th of July.

Every year many people, especially youth take a midnight hike up the unlit, forest infested mountain, which takes approximately a half-hour to climb. The youth generally hang out and socialize to the wee hours of the night, sometimes not even sleeping. Many sleep inside the church; others find a spot on the pavement outside.

One of my most beautiful sunrises was seen on this mountaintop. A soft mist lay over the orchards below, drifting off into the sea. Pictures could never capture the essence of its beauty. Many more towns people made the hike at 5:00am and met with the rest of us. At 6:00am a church service began, and the warmth of the holiday was felt.

Sitting on the ledge at the church St. Elias, while gazing at the sunrise. Below are orchards leading off into the sea.