Amalias Things to Do
Dimokratias is one of the main squares in the heart of Amaliada (along with Evagelistrias, Agios Athanasios, Lazaraki, Mpelogianni, Anemomylos) as you can see at the map (pic 3). When we arrived in Amaliada we decided to park the car in this square trying to orient ourselves when we realized we were already at the very center of the city (follow Ermou street upwards to check Agios Athanasios church) or walk back to see Evagelistria church).
There’s a big fountain in the square but it wasn’t operating that day, no need because God’s fountain was in full action so we didn’t need extra water. Some locals were just playing under the kiosk (pic 2), I thought it was the usual card games but no they were playing domino.
On most maps I saw the square as Metaksa square, named after the greek general Ioannis Metaksas (1871-1941) that was a dictator in Greece from 1936 to 1941, a controversial figure for us because many admired him for his victory against Italy (Greco-Italian war from October 28, 1940 to april 23, 1941) while many others focus on his dictatorial rule. Because of the latter the square is named today as Dimokratias (democracy)
After buing coffee and lagana at the bakery we visited the large church at the corner. It’s Evagelismos Tis Theotokou (Annunciation of God-bearer) also know as Evagelistria church. Simple lines at the crème painted exterior but nicely decorated inside (lots of Christian figures as expected but not any more complicated painting).
The church celebrates on march 25 (one of the great feast for Orthodox Church and public holiday in Greece)Related to:
- Religious Travel
On our way out of Amaliada we noticed this church. It’s dedicated to Agios Georgios (Saint George ) the famous military saint for the orthodox church that killed the dragon (the dragon represends the satan).
The church is painted in white and Bordeaux, we noticed the painting over the main door showing the iconic killing of the dragon by St George but we didn’t get inside (the door was locked)Related to:
- Religious Travel
Sitari & Meli (wheat and honey) is a bakery opposite Evagelistria church where we stopped to buy some bread and coffee. It was lent Monday, a public holiday for most stores but bakeries stay open not to give normal bread but lagana, an unleavened bread that is made only that day. It’s symbolizes the bread that Israelites consumed during the exodus from Egypt.
We gave 3,50euro for one Nescafe and a lagana.
Amaliada is located in the plains of Elis prefecture in west Peloponnese, 12km S of Ancient Ilida, 16km NW of Pyrgos, 10km SE of Gastouni, 60km SW of Patras.
We drove there from Olympia with no problem following the signs to Amaliada.
The best option if you don’t have a car is the bus. There are numerous buses from Pyrgos but also about 8 buses daily to/from Athens.
There is a train station on the line Patras-Pyrgos but the line stopped operation the last years.
Amaliada has a surprisingly for greek town good street plan with many parallel roads. We walked around the center, checked the main squares and churches but obviously the car is handy to check the general region (no one comes here for Amaliada itself I guess). As expected there are also local taxis.
The town has no hills so those with bicycle will be happy, but again it was a surprise to see so many cycle paths in the center (officially they are 6km long in total but I don’t know if there’s a plan to expand them, many claim it was just a waste of money), the truth is that we didn’t see anyone cycling during our stay.
0 Hotels in Amalias
Amalias Local Customs
We were in Amaliada on Kathara Deytera (Clean Monday) a popular christian feast where in symbolic level you start cleaning your conscience, soul and body on the way to the Easter (40days later). Traditionally you stop eating meat but in reality most people I know do this only that day and then again during the Easter Week.
Clean Monday is a public holiday, greeks go for picnic where they eat lagana bread (bakeries stay open not to give normal bread but lagana, an unleavened bread that is made only that day. It’s symbolizes the bread that Israelites consumed during the exodus from Egypt), halva (not the famous typical in most Balkan countries but another type based on tahini), tarama salad (salted roe of the cod or the carp) and olives avoiding meat, eggs and dairy products. I guess the rain didn’t allow many people go for the usual outdoor excursion so we saw many people eating these products outside some stores (pic4)
Another popular custom is to buy kites (or create custom made at home), we saw people selling kites in some streets (pic5) but no customers around.