Visit to the Holy Shrine of Plataniotissa - Excursions from Plataniotissa
In the very lovely village of Plataniotissa (Klapatsouna), which the Kerinitis tributary passes through, we can visit the holy shrine of the Virgin Mary. It was here that the Holy Fathers Simeon and Theodore both had the same dream of the First-Called Andrew and Luke the Evangelist showing them where they could find the icon of the Virgin Mary (of the Megalo Spilaio Monastery).
The little church of the Virgin Mary of Plataniotissa was established in the hollow of a huge plane tree formed by the union of three large trees. The tree has a height of about 25 meters, a base with a 16-meter perimeter, and a capacity of 20 people. On the inside of the tree trunk, 3 meters above the ground, an image of the Virgin and Child identical to that in the Mega Spilaio Monastery has been imprinted.
In the same area, there is also a historic church in honor of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary. The church was built in the 10th or 11th century AD and-- in the 17th century--decorated with frescoes of significant artistic value.
With a base in Plataniotissa we can explore very beautiful excursions to local villages. Arriving at Plataniotissa from Valta, before we enter the village, we can see on our right a dirt road that heads south. This accessible road connects Plataniotissa with Skepasto (about 8 kilometers) and Kerpini (about 6 kilometers). Skepasto (to the south), Drosato (in the west), Plataniotissa (in the north) and Kerpini (to the east) form a kind of asymmetric diamond shape, with the villages forming vertices that are linked by a fairly dense dirt road network (which is in fairly good condition). It is worth making these short trips and adding small exploratory detours to visit country churches (such as those we have described) and fountains with their sources, and generally to observe the peculiar (completely bare) landscape of the area.
A second suggestion is to go from Plataniotissa to Vilivina, a very beautiful village whose residents have taken care to make it even more lovely by tending to it, highlighting and enhancing its attractions.