The traditional village of Exambela is so close to Apollonia (some 2 kilometers far away) that in fact it is conjunct with the capital of the island. Exambela is situated some 8 kilometers southeastern to the port of Kamares and has only a few permanent residents occupied in tourism and agriculture. The name of the settlement indicates that viniculture was the main activity of the locals in the past: Exambela means “vineyards which have been formed through clearance of the scrub”. Exambela is the home village of the poet of the 19th century Aristomenes Provelengios and of the famous chef Nicolaos Tselementes.
Only a few accommodation facilities are available in the village, but the settlement is worth the visit for the interesting sightseeing. At the entrance of the village you will see “Arades” (meaning “rows” in Greek); it is a series of ten old windmills out of use for long time, now in process of restoration, in order to house several activities. The village has several old and very interesting churches as the church of Panaghia, dedicated to Virgin Mary and Geroaenicolas (“St. Nicolas the Old”). There is also a small religious museum with interesting collections of religious utensils, sacerdotal vestments and several codices of Gospels. Finally, within the village you may see the ruins of an ancient defensive tower.
At a short distance, some 2 kilometers southern to the village you may visit the Holy Monastery of Kyria Vrysiani or “Panaghia tis Vryssis” (“our Lady of the Spring”), established in the 17th century; the Monastery owes its local name to the cool water of a spring spouting nearby. The visitor should visit the Catholicon of the Monastery, dedicated to the Birth of Virgin Mary, to see the excellent wood carved icon screen. In the sacristy of the monastery are kept several religious utensils and relics, as sacerdotal vestments, old icons, gospel codices, precious reliquaries and old books.
Several stores for every day provisions, as well as gift and souvenir shops are available in the village. You will also find a few traditional cafés and small restaurants serving the famous local delicacies.
The devout locals along with the residents of the island and numerous visitors celebrate the Birth of Virgin Mary on the 8th of September with a great local religious feast (“panighyri”).
In case of emergence the corresponding services of the nearby capital Apollonia (less than 2 kilometers northern to Exambela) are available for you.
Access to Exambela from the port of Kamares and from Apollonia is possible by public buses running regularly, by taxi and by private means (car or motorbikes). If you like walking, you would certainly enjoy walking from Apollonia to Exambela and back, an ideal route for the fans of walking.