© The Tropical Dog

July 27, 2015

Travel Stories from the Tropical Dog
Copyrighted from the Blog of the Tropical Dog

When you think of Greece, I bet you imagine your vacation on one of its hundreds of islands. Mykonos, Santorini or Paros in the Cyclades; Zante, Corfu or Kefalonia in the Ionian Sea, or even Crete or Rhodes. All these islands are amazingly beautiful. In fact, Greece has more than 6,000 islands (and islets) of which about 264 are inhabited. But islands represent only 1/5 of the total area of the country and yet they attract most visitors. So clearly, the majority of the country is unexplored by foreigners. My paradise lies off the beaten track, far from the tourist areas, in that Greece that very few people know. It is a small piece of the Northern Peloponnese, 200 km West of Athens. The Peloponnese is that huge peninsula connected to mainland Greece by the beautiful Corinth canal. Ziria is located between the towns of Aigio and Patras, in the region called Achaïa. This is where my mother was born and where I spent every summer of my life. Between sea and mountains, turquoise waters and verdant forests, pebbly beaches and hundred-year-old olive trees, wild creeks and fields of vines. Ziria has approximately 600 inhabitants, most of whom are farmers and produce mainly wine and olive oil. Therefore, the life of the village is punctuated by the harvest of the grapes in September, then the olives’ in November. There are also a few beekeepers that have installed their hives in the surrounding pine forests. Ziria is very peaceful. Still, it has a school and a few shops, including 3 restaurants and a small supermarket. In the summer afternoons, the life of the village is suspended. The only sound you can hear is the song of the cicadas, because for all villagers the nap is a sacred moment. However, by nightfall, the streets come alive and children gather to play on the village square, in front of the beautiful Orthodox Church. Ziria is secret because it is very little known. Only a small sign indicates the way to access it from the old road linking Aigio and Patras. However, this village hides so many treasures to offer to visitors looking for of authenticity, tranquility and nature.

Copyrighted from the Blog of the Tropical Dog

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