Vasilitsi is located between Koroni and Foinikounta, 7 km and 12 km respectively, it has an altitude of 152m and about 2.5km from the sea. To its south is the Mavrovounni, or Black Mountain, an enigmatic mountain that divides Vasilitsi from an area known as Selitsa, a land mass of scenic hills, amazing views and paths that extend to the end of the Messinian peninsular or the Akrita (extremity) as it’s known.

To the Northwest of Vasilisi is Chrystokellaria at a distance around 6 km, and the village of Yiamia, to the northeast is Livadakia at 3km, to south is Faneromeni at around 2.5km and south-east is Agios Georgios at 3 km.

Vasilitsi has a long history, it follows the history of Messinia, the wider area of Koroni, and to an extent Foinikounta (aka Finikounda), the area of Selitsa is closely connected with the history of Vasilitsi.

It’s southern place in Greece means the climate is classic Mediterranean but it has its own micro climate. Due to the location and altitude of the village across the mountain and its proximity close to sea the humidity is relatively low especially in summer. The climate is mild, frost is rare and winters aren’t very cold nor are summers overly too hot.

During antiquity, the area of Vasilitsi was under control of Asini, the ancient Greek city that developed into Koroni. Historical maps from Venetian rule depict the village from 1500 and onwards. The Village existed during the Byzantine era and is mentioned in various sources under the name Vasiltisi.

The origin of the name is not certain, a few explanations is that the founder of a settlement was named Vasilis, a shepherd or cattle herder from Arcadia that eventually settled in the area. Another version is that the village is named after a Byzantine princess called Vasilitsa, legend says she married a wealthy Byzantine landowner and to honour her the Village settlement is named after her.

What is certain is the large majestic Church that towers over Vasilisti is named in honor of Agios Vasilis, (Saint Basil- born ad 329, Caesarea Mazaca, Cappadocia), and the original inhabitants influenced that naming.

Vasilitsi and the wider region experienced eras of Venetian and Ottoman occupation and with that the village and its inhabitants absorbed customs and linguistic influence from the occupiers, however the Greek character and language of the original inhabitants survived and passed down from generation to generation. 

This was due in large part to the Greek Orthodox religion that played a significant role in people’s lives. The Greek identity was never extinguished which culminated in the Greek “awakening” of the late 1700s and early 1800s, just like many other Greeks in Greece, people from Vasilitsi were heavily involved in the 1821 revolutionary war of independence against the Ottoman occupation of Greece.

During the early 20th century saw many displaced Greeks due to the Turkish hostilities and genocide against Greeks in Asia Minor. Many Greeks fled and thus becoming refugees, Greeks of Pontic background from Asia Minor migrated to Vasilitsi temporarily. The locals welcomed the new arrivals with warmth and great hospitality during their time of need, eventually, the Pontic Greeks settled in an area of Macedonia and named their new village as Vasilitsa in honor to the people and village of Vasilitsi who cared for them so well during their time there.

The period of the second world war was a scarring time for the people of Vasilitsi due to the  Greco – Italian war, the German led Axis occupation and the civil war that followed but even during those years of chaos and hardship non-combatant villagers rose up with acts of courage for freedom and bravery to aid people in need. People in Vasilitsi assisted stranded allied soldiers thus protecting them from the Nazis who occupied the area, effectively saving many of them from capture. 

Australian, British and New Zealand soldiers were given refuge and kept secret from the outside world for long periods of time until it was believed safe for them to escape and rejoin the allied forces who were located in North Africa, this came with great risk to all involved if caught.

Official records state that the population of Vasilitsi peaked to over 1000 inhabitants in the middle of the 20th century. During the post WW2 period poverty caused many to leave the village for the larger cities like Athens to seek employment, many also migrated to countries’ like Australia and Canada in the 1950s and 1960s and other countries like Germany in the decades that followed. Currently the village is residence to around 400 people permanently, this number doubles or more in the summer months, many returning to their village homes from the larger cities in Greece. 

In recent years’ tourists have also been drawn to the village for its unique charm, mild Mediterranean micro climate and rent homes for periods mostly in the summer, the area has also seen a steady migration of foreigners from mostly European nations to the village and wider region. Many acquiring property and setting up residence seasonally and/or permanently.

The local economy mainly revolves around agriculture, specifically olive oil harvesting and production, raisin harvesting is also part of this economy, although there’s been a big shift from to olive oil harvesting in recent years mainly due to the excellent oil that the region produces. Specifically a variety of olives called Koronaiki which yields a top quality extra virgin olive oil with low acidity, its highly sought after in Greece and abroad

About Us

Welcome to our little corner of the internet ! We wanted to share our love and knowledge about Vasilitsi and the surrounding area. We seek to share our experience and knowledge in this beautiful corner of Greece.


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