100 Places in Greece Every Woman Should Go: Kandylakia

Chapter 99: Roadside Shrines and the Goddesses Who Tend Them

As you wend your way along the often steep and cliff hanging roads that hug the Greek coastline, you will surely notice myriad tiny shrines, known as kandylakia, that dot the way. These shrines are usually erected at the site where someone died in a car or motorcycle accident, a chilling reminder to drive carefully. 

They can be dedicated to saints, such as Saint Theodosios,

or Saint Ephraim, among many others.

I've always been fascinated by what people leave inside these mini chapels and wondered who - if anyone - tends to them. In the past, I've found packs of cigarettes and bottles of ouzo - for what reason I'm not sure! But usually you will find a lit candle, along with a bottle of oil, icons and portraits of favorite saints

such as Nicholas, Constantine and Helen.

Most of all, I marvel at the beauty these kandylakia overlook, 

and once was fortunate enough to - finally - capture

a woman lovingly tending to her personal roadside shrine.


  1. Well I just love those Amanda. Thank you for showing them. I'm so nosy, I would be looking at them too.

    1. When possible I love having a peek inside. Many are in a state of disarray, but some are neatly kept. The strangest finds were the bottle of ouzo and pack of cigs, tho :))

  2. I always find these roadside shrines a little lonely and haunted. We have similar shrines in Austria. I don't know. Somehow they whisper of promises to keep and miles to go before we sleep. Lovely photos. Thank you.

    1. Love that, Thomas - whisper of promises to keep and miles to go before we sleep. These shrines do seem to mark time as you pass along the endless roads...

  3. I have sen also such things as a bottle of coca cola

  4. You could write a short story collection about these roadside shrines, the deaths and the survivors.

  5. How lovely. We have a lot of wayside shrines here too but most of them are neglected, although there are others at which people may leave bunches of flower or a candle or two.


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