Nea Figalia, Elis
The meeting point of ancient civilization and wonderful landscape
Nea Figalia is a large and vivid village, with rich history from the ancient times, within the limits of Elis prefecture, close to Messinia Prefecture and at the west side of the temple of Apollo Epikourios. The village is laid into the mountains, at a height of almost 400m from the sea but not far away from the vast sandy beaches of Ionion sea (15’ minutes by car) and has almost 1.200 inhabitants.
It is a village of great beauty which combines all tones of green, due to the rich waters and springs which rise from the mountains.
ILAKIA lodge is located at a fully renovated mansion of 1865, in the centre of the village.
A stay at ILAKIA offers a full relaxation package: tranquility and relax in a warm, stylish and friendly environment, waking-up in an authentic village, short walks to the mountain, visit to the ancient temple of Apollo Epikourios, one of the most important temples of antiquity and protected as a world heritage momunent by UNESCO; also, ride to the sea (in a short distance of 10km from the village) for swimming and enjoying the velvet sandy beaches of the wide area between Kyparissia and Zacharo or for tasting fresh fish in a small fish tavern.
During spring or summer, two further activities are suggested : visit to the famous Neda waterfalls or descent of Neda river either on foot or by swimming
Nea Figalia also offers delicious local tastes such as omelet with tomato (kayanas) and tsigarides, i.e. small bites of salted pork, served on their own or with omelet or kayanas and perfectly accompanied by local rose wine.
It is also suggested that you taste all kinds of local meat, handmade sausages and of course olive oil of highest quality, which is produced in abundance in the whole area.
All the above guarantee that staying at ILAKIA will be a real joy!
Useful information – Monuments of Nea Figalia
Church of the dormition of the Virgin Mary (Monastery) – The oldest Byzantine Monument of Elis
Approximately on kilometer east of New Figalia, at the area of the second cemetery of the village, is the church of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary, also known as the “Monastery”.
It dates from the last quarter of the 10th century and is probably the catholicon of a monastery. Indeed, a chrysobull by Andronikos II Palaiologos, in 1323, according to which the area of Nea Figalia was granted to the Monastery of Vrontochios of Mystras, refers the metochi of the Monastery of Panagia Vogali, while in the Venetian record of 1700 there is mention of the monastery of Panagia Ligovais. The monastery was closely related to the history of New Figalia and according to tradition during the period of the Turkish Occupation it housed an underground school, while in September 1825 it was set on fire by the army of Ibrahim. It operated as a men’s monastery until 1834, when it was abolished after an edict by King Otto. Approximately a century later, the cells of the monks and its other areas were demolished and only the church remained, which also undertook several modifications and alterations.
In its initial form it was a wooden-roofed three-aisled basilica. Later, the church was limited to two aisles and on the western side a narthex was added. On the western, more recent, part of masonry older, architectural members have been walled-in, which date from the Late Byzantine Period. Of particular interest is the ceramic decoration at the largest arch of the altar area, where a large window dominates. In its interior the church does not have icons and the altar area is defined by its small elevation and the wooden iconostasis.
Today, the Monastery has been fully restored under the supervision of the Ministry of Culture. The church is considered to be the oldest Byzantine monument of Elis and celebrates in the 15th of August.
In order to visit the church, kindly contact with the local priest to the following phone number and address:
Phone: 694 432 8253
Nea Figalia Cultural Centre – houses two museums and is almost adjacent to the guesthouse “ILAKIA”:
α. Geophysical-Geological Museum.
The Museum brings together the elements of the identity of a Natural-Geographical-Geological Museum focused on the Neda Basin.
It was carried out under the guidance and supervision of the Project’s Scientific Manager, Professor of Geology of EKPA Dimitris Papanikolaou and the scientific contribution of the academic professor of Architecture of NTUA Manolis Korres.
The stone building was provided by the Cultural Association of Nea Figalia, while the contribution of the Architect – Museologist Dr. Yannis Haskaris was significant in the final design of the spaces and exhibits.
The new Museum is a continuation and acts as a complement to the pre-existing Folklore Museum of Nea Figalia.
The aim is to describe, with the help of special geological-paleogeographic maps and drawings as well as samples of minerals, rocks and fossils, the geological history of the region of the Neda Basin from the beginning of the Mesozoic era, about 250 million years ago, until today. Particular emphasis is placed on the recent geological history of the last 2 million years, in the context of the geotectonic structure of the Greek crust and the continuously evolving geoenvironment of the Western Peloponnese.
β. Folklore Museum – A and B Floors-
The Museum is housed in a renovated stone-built mansion of 1847, known as ‘Balafareiko’. In the eyes of the visitor, the way of life of bygone times is revived with a variety of exhibits (utilitarian objects, artisans’ tools, costumes, handmade works of art, pictures), reviving the daily life of the farmers of the previous century. Ornate is the handmade wooden, painted ceiling that now adorns the second floor ceiling of the museum. It was taken from the mansion “Zarifeiko” (mid-19th century) where the guesthouse “ILAKIA” is now housed.
In the Folklore Museum are also kept important relics from the historical monastery of Zurcha (10th century), some icons and the historical cross of the monastery.
Surely the existence of this “rich” museum testifies to the effort of the inhabitants to keep their local tradition alive.
Restaurants/taverns in Nea Figalia:
- «PANORAMA» Restaurant is located at the entrance of the village on Tholo-Nea Figalia road. It serves Greek kitchen plates, pizza and grilled food.
Distance to ILAKIA: 5-7 minutes on foot
Orders and delivery phone: 2625041271
- «DIACHRONIKON» creperie is located in the centre of the village, near the village square, on Tholo-Nea Figalia road. It serves crepes.
Distance to ILAKIA: 5 minutes on foot
Coffee and Drinks
There are small cafes serving coffee and drinks within the day in various places of the village and especially to the traditional village square in the heart of the village.
- KOPITSAS CAFE
- CAFÉ CENTRO
- CAFÉ ADAMS
Nea Figalia has many mini-markets, traditional bakery, baker’s and sweets shop, butcher’s shops, groceries with traditional products and workshops of traditional pasta.