This beautiful village is located 20km from Megali Panagia. Once there, you can access wonderful beaches such as Develiki, Kastri, Pyrgos, Hiliadou and many hidden ones near Arkouda cape such as Petalidi. According to archaeologist Julia Vokotopoulou, the ancient city Assira was located in the area. According to written sources, Gomati, or “the country of Gomato” was a part of Mount Athos up until the 9th century. The monastery of Panagia (Virgin Mary) of Gomati made it the “Seat of the Elders”. A great part of it belonged to the monasteries of Megisti (Great) Lavra, Iviron, Dionisiou and Xiropotamou. According to a version, Gormatos, a general of the Byzantine Empire, had in his jurisdiction the area of the island Lemnos, where a village named Gomatou (and later Gomati) existed. Many of its residents fled from Limnos due to pirate raids. Some of them fled to northern Halkidiki, to a forested and inaccessible -but safe from the pirates- area where they built Gomati.
Old Gomati, remains of which are still preserved, is 4km away from today’s settlement and was protected by 3 towers named Orfanou, Kounoupi and Develikisa. The village existed alongside the monastery of Theotokos of Gomatou before 942. According to a study of Aggeliki Laiou, professor of the University of Harvard, in the late Byzantine era it was one of the largest of the Theme of Thessalonica. In 1400 it became a dependency of Megistis Lavras monastery. Only the ruins of the tower of Orfanos are preserved nowadays. The church of St. Athanasios the Athonite* was built within it.The village was relocated due to the destruction of the old one by the 1932 earthquake.
*Source: Records of the Cultural Educational Association of Gomatians of Thessaloniki.
-Since the Byzantine era, the main agricultural products of the people living here are cereals, oil, wine, honey and raki. From the Ottoman rule era, most of the male population worked in the Sidirokafsia-Mademochoria mines.
-The largest celebration-feast in Gomati, takes place in the main temple of Assumption of Theotokos, on August 15.
From Megali Panagia to old Gomati
You follow the signs to the Pilgrimage of Megali Panagia from the center of Megali Panagia village. After the last sign to the left, you drive straight and enter the dirt road that used to be a cobbled road. After 5,3km without taking any of the side roads, you pass from the fountain and the recreation space to a locaction called Manna. In approximately 8km you will see on each side of the road the few ruins of the οld Gomati that was leveled by the 1932 earthquake. At 8,4 km you can step out of your car and search for the byzantine tower, located on the left of the mountain’s foot. Approximately 2km further down, you will see on the road the double arched bridge of St. George, beside of which a cobbled path that leads to a cave begins. Having travelled 13km in total and leaving the bridge behind, you arrive behind a church at the new village of Gomati.
Exactly in the cove of the Athonian bay, between Tripiti and Pirgadikia, with holy Athos and Ammouliani as a background, Develiki is a place of myth and reality, in a scenery of cool streams, shady sycamores, heavy olive trees and the sea breeze of the endless beach.
Its coastline is indeed ideal: sandy, curvy, with clean waters, certified with “Blue Flags”, with a view that combines the green of the mountain and the blue of the sky in impressive alternations.
What can you do in Develiki?
If it is summer, you will enjoy ideal summer holidays, with swimming, fishing, water sports, diving, good food, local delicacies, live music and lots of fun in the local tavernas and beach bars.
You will enjoy the Mediterranean landscape of the most beautiful season of the year, away from the noise, the crowded and loud beaches. We will relax, unwind and feel rejuvenated, full of experiences and memories.
If you like excursions, everything around you is a destination: the island area of Ammouliani, the holy Mount Athos, traditional Arnea, ancient Stagira, and the magnificent Pirgadikia! Each one, a day trip, which will transform your holiday to a fantastic tourist experience.
During autumn, you will get the chance to follow “The paths of olive and oil” and live the experience of harvesting the blessed fruit in the fertile olive groves of Develiki and Pirgadikia and watch how oil is produced in the traditional oil presses of Metangitsi!