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September 2015

    "...Andrew Bostock has spent much of his life living in and writing guidebooks on Greece but in Kythira – with its gorges, waterfalls and perfect beaches – he’s finally found the idyll he has always dreamed of..."

    Andrew Bostock is the author of the Bradt Travel Guide Greece: The Peloponnese – new edition out spring 2016

    Source: http://www.theguardian.com

    "...In my 30-year hunt to find the perfect Greek island, I’ve visited around 40 of them – but my quest has been beset by twin, linked, problems. Firstly, many of them follow a fairly set pattern: a small main town or port, two or three amazing beaches and, if you’re lucky, a ruin or old church atop the island’s one hill. For many this is all that is needed for a week or two away, but I’ve always yearned for more.

    The second problem is that the larger islands can be blighted by an overabundance of visitors. Travellers in search of their own little bit of paradise go to more off-the-beaten-track islands, but these tend to get smaller and smaller, thus exacerbating problem number one. This year I followed advice from Greek friends and made for Kythira, and I think my hunt may just be over.

    Kythira can be troublesome to get to, a positive advantage in the perfect island stakes. It is not close to any of the better known islands, lying on its own at the bottom of the Peloponnese peninsula. You can fly there, but only on local flights, and the familiar UK package tour is unknown on the island. The best way to arrive is by boat. This can be done, rather indirectly, from Athens or, more pleasurably, from the little southern port of Neapoli, after a journey that can take in some of the delights of the Peloponnese itself.

    My nine-year-old daughter Jemima and I took the latter option and arrived in Diakofti, the new port of the island, but also home to perfect white sands and crystal blue water (as well as a rather large and disconcerting shipwreck). It was here that we first noticed one of Kythira’s quirks: the preponderance of Australian accents. In the early 20th century many islanders emigrated to Australia (or “Big Kythira” as it is known here). Many of their descendants return each summer, and even the locals often speak English with an Aussie twang. Apart from these, however, the island receives few tourists.

    Heading west over the island, the landscape looked rocky and treeless, but Kythira is deceptive, and is cut by gorges and valleys that can hide secret treasures. We soon descended into one of these above the village of Mylopotamos, following a tree lined road that led to what might be the ideal Greek village. The name means “river of mills” and the village is set around a slightly incongruous duck pond that lies below the source of the river. We sat above this for our evening meal, in the Platanos taverna. This name is normally a good sign, and means “plane trees”: the ubiquitous shady trees that seem to hang over every village square. This Platanos, which has been serving up local dishes under its three plane trees for 130 years, did not disappoint. Later, we observed Greek tradition by changing venue for dessert, strolling down the steps past the river spring and to the duck pond, and sitting beside it at the Kamari cafe for coffee and ice-cream.

    In the morning we followed the river down the gorge past the ruins of numerous mills that once ground the local wheat. We found our first waterfall only a five-minute walk away. It delights under two names: Neraida, after the mythological water nymphs, and Fonissa, meaning “murderess”. We couldn’t decide which we preferred. People were swimming here, but we continued down the gorge. One of the mills has been fully restored and here we met Phillipis Zervos, the owner and restorer. He showed us around and explained the history of the mill – built by his grandfather who shared the same name – and then he directed us to walk a further kilometre down the trail, to another waterfall, which was even more magical than the first.

    With a guide and the right equipment, you can continue down the gorge to the isolated beach of Kalami. This little slice of paradise is difficult to get to, as paradise should be. But, if you don’t fancy canyoning down the gorge, the alternative approach involves a hike that ends with a 30m cliff. There is a rope to help the brave, but we contented ourselves with staring at the deserted cove from above (I have been asked to point out that it was me, not Jemima, that chickened out). We did explore the nearby cave of Agia Sofia, impressively filled with stalactites and stalagmites, as well as a chapel with 700-year-old frescoes.

    Swimming in the sea had to wait until we reluctantly left Mylopotamos. A friend had emailed me a list of seven must-see beaches (among them the white sands of Diakofti and the hard-to-reach Kalami). Before arriving I presumed that this list would include most of the beaches on the island, but as I circled them on my map I realised that this was just a small selection of more than 30 beaches on Kythira. We opted for Kaladi, on the other side of the island, which at least looked a little easier to get to. This proved optimistic as the single-track and potholed road ended above a long and steep staircase. The pebbled beach repaid the hike, divided into three by rocky outcrops and easily accommodating the 20-odd people who were there – in August! There was not even a cantina, rare for the islands, so we went to nearby Avlemonas for lunch, a small string of houses set above small coves filled with fishing boats and swimming platforms. Sotiris, its taverna, is famous for its lobster pasta, a little above our budget, but its gavros, small fried fish, proved to be a satisfying taste of the sea.

    For our last few days we headed to Hora, the island’s capital, and a place that sums up what makes the Greek islands so special. The main town is set on a hill above its port of Kapsali, a common defensive measure in the days of piracy. We explored its white-washed lanes up to a Venetian castle with stunning views over to Hyrta, a sea-girt rock that lays claim to being the birth place of Aphrodite (don’t listen to the Cypriots we were told). Later in the evening, as little craft and bookshops opened their doors, we sat on a rooftop and enjoyed grilled meat and local wines from Zorbas, whose waiters still dress in black waistcoats and white shirts.

    Before catching the ferry back to the mainland we took a final trip down to Kapsali and joined Captain Spiros, who took us out on his boat to the rock of Hyrta. He moored at the entrance to an overhanging cave and we soon found ourselves following him into the sea. In the dark recesses, we turned to see the last light from outside turn the water a luminous sapphire. Like much of Kythira, getting there required a bit of effort, but it was well worth it.

    Where to stayKythira still has “rooms” – simple accommodation, often in owners’ homes. In Mylopotamos, we stayed with the delightful Giota in her house at the edge of the village (50 a night, +30 27360 33782). In Hora, the sprawling Niki offers real bargains (from €25, +30 27360 31488). More luxurious accommodation is also available, especially in the interior, where locals and a few foreigners have beautifully restored some of the old village houses. Try Xenonas Fos Ke Choros (from €95, +30 69807 29399, agreekisland.com)..."

    Source: http://www.theguardian.com

August 2018

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    For the seventh consecutive year, the Syros Accordion Festival took place and offered an exemplary musical experience to the visitors of Syros island. By combining two of the most popular music genres, "Zonaradiko" that originates from Thrace in Northern Greece, and "Tarantella" from Southern Italy, accordionists met on Syros and celebrated their passion for music.

    The festival is organized by “Syros Accordion Group”,  a group of professional and amateur musicians, united by their love for the accordion. They were formed in 2012 to realize a mutual dream, to establish a music festival that celebrated the accordion, in all its diversity and tradition. They achieved that goal and the Syros Accordion Festival was a great success both in 2012 and 2013, growing in reputation and size each year. Since 2014, the “Syros Accordion Group” works in co-operation with the non-profit organization “Ourios Anemos“, for the organizing of the Festival. Their aim is to continue to build on the success of the previous festivals and to attract an even greater audience from all over Greece and abroad.

    Throughout the 7th Syros Accordion Festival, various events took place including unique accordion concerts and recitals, children's workshops, dancing events, daily seminars led by renowned teachers, an exhibition for the accordion music as well as a maintenance-repair workshop for accordion and percussion.

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June 2018

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    As Greece’s largest island, Crete is a must-see destination for any adventure traveler. With landscapes varying from sandy beaches to soaring mountains to wildflower sprinkled plateaus, Crete is akin to paradise for outdoor enthusiasts.

    Crete is also an island brimming with culture and tradition, as its history dates back to Neolithic times. As one of the most ancient civilizations in Europe, Crete is home to a myriad of fortresses, castles, and other ancient ruins. No matter what kind of adventure you’re looking for, Crete is sure to have something for you. Be sure not to miss these destinations on the beautiful island.

    Chania

    photo of crete, Crete, travel & discover mysterious GreeceLocated on the northwest coast of Crete, the Chania region is an ideal location to discover authentic Cretan hospitality, local cuisine, and local wine. As one of the most well-preserved areas on the island, Chania’s quintessential cobblestone streets, local shops, and views of the Venetian harbor are radically distinctive.

    photo of balos, Top 10 Exotic Beaches in Greece, travel & discover mysterious GreeceBalos Beach is one of Chania’s most prized gems and cannot be missed. Nestled in the cliffside, Balos Beach boasts 50 shades of blue as far as the eye can see and the lagoon is one of purest on the island. The beach itself involves a 1.25-mile hike to reach, but rest assured, if you don’t feel like walking back up, donkey rides are available for a small price.

    Samaria Gorge, Sfakia

    photo of samaria, Hiking Samaria Gorge, travel & discover mysterious GreeceLocated in Samaria National Park, Samaria Gorge is Europe’s longest gorge and arguably the most scenic. Originally created by a river running down the White Mountains into the sea, this long, deep ravine is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful natural landscapes in Crete. The picturesque wooden bridges combined with the mountain views make this 10-mile hike totally worth it. The 450+ plant and animal species only add to the grandeur you’ll find as you make the descent to the ocean. In addition to the captivating natural beauty, the hike also passes by old churches and relics from old villages. Ending in a small village called, Agia Roumeli, the hike will have you well prepared for a dip in the crisp Libyan Sea. Group tours are available for roughly $35. The gorge can also be reached by public bus from Chania.

    Lasithi

    photo of lasithi, Lasithi, travel & discover mysterious GreeceThis region, located on the eastern side of the island, is the least-visited area in Crete. With fewer tourists and more locals, visiting Lasithi gives you a glimpse into real, rural life on the island. Widely known for its pebble stone beaches and lush resorts, Lasithi’s vibrant diversity goes beyond just fancy hotels and breathtaking beaches.

    For a break from bustling city life, be sure to check out Agios-Nikolaos. This small, sleepy town is the perfect place to get lost in the winding streets, savor a cup of coffee, and enjoy life at a slower pace.The most popular attraction in Lasithi is the Lasithi Windmills. The 10,000+ windmills were once used to help with irrigation, but now the remaining windmills serve as a beautiful reminder of simpler times.

    Rethymno

    photo of rethymno, Rethymno, travel & discover mysterious GreeceRich in history, Rethymno is the third largest city in Crete. It doesn’t take long to fall in love with this Medieval town after exploring its charming cafes, fairytale-like scenery, and small town feel.The Fortezza or Fortress towers over the city and offers a glimpse into Venetian life circa 1573. It also offers unparalleled views of the city below. Additional points of interest in Rethymno are the Venetian lighthouse, the Folklore and History Museum, the Neratze Mosque, and the countless beaches running alongside the city.

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April 2018

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    From the prehistoric times, Greece has marvelled with its cultural masterpieces, many of which have been included in the World Heritage List of UNESCO.

    Below, you will find our selection for 4 of the best UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Greece!

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    1. The Acropolis: A Universal Symbol of Classical Greece

    [caption id="attachment_19877" align="aligncenter" width="640"] View of the Parthenon © Robert Anders[/caption]

    Proclaimed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987, the Acropolis of Athens is a niversal symbol of the classical spirit of the Greek civilization.  The spellbound monuments of Ancient Athens dominate at the city centeron the glittering rock known as The Acropolis.

    This sacred temple complex is connected to the most celebrated myths of ancient Athens, its religious festivals and sophisticated rituals. The monuments of the Acropolis stand in harmony with their natural setting, as unique masterpieces of classical architecture that have influenced art and culture for many centuries.

    The Acropolis, made on the 5th century BC, is the most accurate reflection of the wealth of Athens at its greatest glory, the Golden Age of Pericles.

    After the liberation of Greece, the monuments of the Acropolis were systematically excavated from P. Kavvadias and the restoration project was assigned to N. Balanos. The Committee for the Conservation of the Monuments on the Acropolis was established in 1975 for the conservation and restoration on the Acropolis. Work is still in progress.

    The most important monuments of the Acropolis include the Parthenon, the Erectheion, the Propylaea, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Brauronion, the Temple of Augustus and Rome, the Pedestal of Agrippa, the Beule Gate, the Acropolis Fortification Wall, the Chalkotheke and the Old Temple of Athena.

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    UNESCO'S DESCRIPTION: The Acropolis of Athens and its monuments are universal symbols of the classical spirit and civilization and form the greatest architectural and artistic complex bequeathed by Greek Antiquity to the world.

    BEST FOR: Archaeology, City Lovers, History Junkies

    INSIDER TIP: Pendelikon Mount is one of the three mountains of Attica. Ever since antiquity, Pendelikon was famous for its flawless white marble that was used for the construction of the Acropolis. The ancient quarry of Pendelikon is protected from the Greek law, as it is used exclusively for the Acropolis Restoration Project.

    DISCOVER: More information for the Acropolis of Athens.

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    2. Delphi: The Famous Navel of the World

    [caption id="attachment_4984" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Ancient Theatre of Delphi The Theatre of Delphi was one of the places where the Pythian Games took place every four years.[/caption]

    Characterized as the navel of the world, Delphi is the famous oracle of Ancient Greece located at the foot of Mount Parnassus.

    Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987,the sanctuary of Delphi is set in one of the most specular landscapes of the country that was chosen from the two eagles sent out from legendary Zeus from the end of the universe to find the navel of earth.

    Delphi served as the cultural and religious center of the Hellenic world for many centuries, as its history begins from Greek mythology. The sanctuary was constructed from the Cretans who arrived at the port of Kirrha.

    Conquerors, cities and individuals consulted the oracle spreading its fame worldwide

    The earliest findings of Delphi, which include traces of a Mycenaean cemetery and settlement, come from the cave of Korikion Andron that date back to the Neolithic period.

    The Great Excavation of Delphi began from the French School of Athens in 1891, which uncovered spectacular traces for our knowledge of the life in Ancient Greece. Today, only the Treasury of the Athenians had enough of the original building material preserved while the Chiot Altar, Apollo’s and Athena’s Sanctuaries, Delphi’s Ancient Theatre, the Sacred Way, the Gymnasium of Delphi, and the Tholos of Athena Pronaia have been partially restored.

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    UNESCO'S DESCRIPTION: The pan-Hellenic sanctuary of Delphi, where the oracle of Apollo spoke, was the site of the omphalos, the 'navel of the world'. Blending harmoniously with the superb landscape and charged with sacred meaning, Delphi in the 6th century B.C. was indeed the religious centre and symbol of unity of the ancient Greek world.

    BEST FOR: Archaeology Aficionados, History Lovers, Mountain Expeditions

    INSIDER TIP: The European Long Distance Path E4 crosses the west slopes of Parnassus Mountain at the 51st kilometer, the highest point of Lamia – Amfissa Highway. Then, the route passes under the summit to the village of Agoriani and goes down to Delphi. Just above Delphi, E4 merges with the Ancient Path used from pilgrims in antiquity to visit the oracle of Delphi.

    DISCOVER: More information for Delphi.

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    3. Rhodes Medieval Town: An Outstanding Architectural Sample of  A  European Medieval City

    [caption id="attachment_19875" align="aligncenter" width="640"] The Street of the Knights was home to the Knights Hospitaller who dominated Rhodes © Kirk K[/caption]

    Rhodes Medieval Town is a mosaic of crossroads of different cultures and civilizations from twenty-four centuries of history with a unique atmosphere that creates sceneries of indescribable beauty of one of the best-preserved medieval settlements of Europe.

    It is the jewel of Rhodes island and one of the largest medieval cities of Europe that was proclaimed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. 

    The medieval town mixes Byzantine, Medieval, Italian and Ottoman influences and create an atmospheric complex of magnificent buildings.

    The magnificent Palace of the Grand Master was the administrative quarters of the Knights of Saint John along with cobblestone Street of the Knights, one of the most well preserved medieval streets of Europe, create a mesmerizing feeling of medieval times. An abundant number of magnificent buildings including the Hospital of the Knights, the Orthodox Cathedral of Rhodes, the Hippocrates Square and the Turkish baths and mosques create the medieval image of the Old Town of Rhodes.

    Rarely someone has the opportunity to stroll around the alleys of a medieval old town.

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    UNESCO'S DESCRIPTION: The Order of St John of Jerusalem occupied Rhodes from 1309 to 1523 and set about transforming the city into a stronghold. It subsequently came under Turkish and Italian rule. With the Palace of the Grand Masters, the Great Hospital and the Street of the Knights, the Upper Town is one of the most beautiful urban ensembles of the Gothic period. In the Lower Town, Gothic architecture coexists with mosques, public baths and other buildings dating from the Ottoman period.

    BEST FOR: Culture Seekers & History Lovers

    INSIDER TIP: Within the premises of the Grand Master Palace, visitors will have the opoortunity to visit the Byzantine Museum of Rhodes.

    DISCOVER: More information for Rhodes Medieval Town.

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    +1 . Mount Athos: The Autonomous Monastic State of Greece

    [caption id="attachment_19876" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Simonopetra Monastery © Emil Athanassiou[/caption]

    Officially known as Ayion Oros, Mount Athos is a self-governed part of the Greek State, administrated by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, which has been included in the World Heritage Sites List of UNESCO since 1988. 

    Mythology has it that Giant Athos threw a massive rock to god Poseidon that fell into the sea and became Mount Athos during a fight between the Gods and the Titans. Another legend, however, says that Virgin Mary’s hip was blown and docked on the peninsula of Athos while on her way to Cyprus; she was so amazed from the beauty of the peninsula that she blessed it. Subsequently, Mount Athos is called the Garden of Virgin Mary.

    Mount Athos, the Autonomous Monastic State of the Holy Mountain, consists of twenty Orthodox monasteries standing on the eastern peninsula of Halkidiki.Seventeen monasteries are Greek while the other three are Serbian, Bulgarian and Russian. Apart from the monasteries, there are twelve communities of monks and many solitary hermitages.

    The monasteries are rich storehouses of medieval history. You can see paintings from the 13th century AD, music manuscripts from the Byzantine era, marble sculptures of columns, turrets, chalices, icon screens and exquisite miniatures in gold and silver dating back to the 12th century. Approximately one quarter of all the Greek works in the world are collected there in the form of more than fifteen thousands books and handwritten manuscripts.

    Visitors must obtain their diamonitirion, a pass entrance, from the Agio Oros office in Thessaloniki. Apart from their passport, foreign visitors must possess a letter of recommendation from their embassy in Athens or consulate in Thessaloniki. Another required document for them is the entry permit from the Administration Division of Church Affairs at the Greek Foreign Ministry in Athens or Administration of Foreign Affairs at Ministry of Northern Greece in Thessaloniki.

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    UNESCO'S DESCRIPTION: An Orthodox spiritual centre since 1054, Mount Athos has enjoyed an autonomous statute since Byzantine times. The 'Holy Mountain', which is forbidden to women and children, is also a recognized artistic site. The layout of the monasteries (about 20 of which are presently inhabited by some 1,400 monks) had an influence as far afield as Russia, and its school of painting influenced the history of Orthodox art.

    BEST FOR: Religious tourism

    INSIDER TIP: Women are not allowed to enter Mount Athos, only men. However, there are boat trips departing from Ouranoupoli and follows the western side of the peninsula. Although, female visitors are forbidden to enter the moansteries, the circumnavigation of the peninsula is a one-of-a-kind experience. Just spectacular!

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    The Greek Islands is a neverending world of destinations. For your bucket list.

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    1. Poros: Characterized as the Bosporus of the Saronic Gulf, this Greek islands entails a bunch of astonishing sceneries.

    [caption id="attachment_19741" align="aligncenter" width="640"] The view of Poros island as seen from Aderes mountain ©️ Eugenios X.[/caption]

    Situated just one hour away from Piraeus, the main port of Athens, Poros is an excellent escape for weekenders. This island has the privillege of being not so popular, the reason why travellers will enjoy utmost moments of serenity.

    Its peculiar morphology lies in the fact that Poros is built on two isles of various geological formations connected through a thin strip of land. In fact, Spheria and Calabria were formed following the great eruption of Methana volcano!

    Perched on a hill, the town of Poros unveils a lovely village decorated with amazing neoclassic buildings and traditional houses. A maze of cobblestoned alleys will let you explore bits and pits of the genuine island character of this island. The views from the bell tower , which is built on the highest spot of Poros, are just spectacular, no one should miss it!

    POINTS OF INTEREST

    The LOVE BAY is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the Saronic Gulf. Turquoise waters encircled from verdant vegetation will offer to explorers an unforgettable experience!

    Re-constructed from Carl Wilhelm von Evdek, a famous Bavarian philhellene, the BOURTZI CASTLE is situated on the east entrance of Poros island. Bourtzi played a vital role in the munity of Miaoulis, a great hero of the Greek War of Independence, in 1831, who achieved to capture the fort in order to control the artillery of the strait.

    Characterized as the most important religious monument of Poros, ZOODOHOS PIGI MONASTERY was founded from the Archibishop of Athens, Iakovos, in 1720. It is situated in a splendid location amidst pine trees. It is worth mentioning that the monastery helped financially the freedom fighters during the Greek Revolution.

    Situated on Calabria area, the RUSSIAN NAVAL BASE is an architectural landmark of great historical importance. It is a symbol of the military collaboration of Russia and Greece during the 18th and 19th century. Historical fact is that the Russian  Naval Fleet assisted Greece during the war with Turkey.

    BEST FOR: Spring, Rib Voyages, Weekend Escapes, Couples

    INSIDER TIP: Devil's Gorge is a rugged region of extreme natural beauty situated off Trizina village. It's a wonderful ravine with lush vegetation. Indeed, Devil's Gorge is a perfect destination for hiking aficionados!

    DISCOVER: More information for Poros.

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    2. Anafi: The satellite island of the world-famous Santorini reveals wild sceneries at the edge of the Cyclades

    [caption id="attachment_19744" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Sunrise over Kalamos Rock ©️ Kostas Limitsios[/caption]

    Characterised as the Gibraltar of the Aegean, Anafi is one of the smallest islands of the the Greek Islands and the Cyclades.  Mythology has it that this tiny island emerged from the sea so as to offer a shelter for the Argonauts during their return journey from the Golden Fleece.

    Isolated at the edge of the Cyclades, Anafi is a genuine Cycladic island with the idiomorphic architecture of this region. Whitewashed houses, labyrinthine alleys and fuschia bouggainvillea will unveil to the travellers the genuine spirit of its finesse.

    The most fascinating fact about Anafi is the gigantic Kalamos cape,  the second largest monolith of Europe only after GIBRALTAR. Nonetheless, the entire island, which is no more than 38 square kilometers, is dotted from a  rocky  terrain of limestone and granite as overlaid from the great eruption of Santorini - previously known as Strongyli island.

    POINTS OF INTEREST

    ROUKOUNAS BEACH is the longest beach of Anafi. Oftenly characterised as one of the most beautiful beaches in the Aegean Sea, Roukounas is an ideal destination for those searching for isolation and seclusion.

    A stroll around HORA OF ANAFI is a must! A genuine specimen of the Cycladic architecture will guide travelers though the ecstatic views to the Aegean.

    Hiking/Climbing to PANAGIA KALAMIOTISSA OLD MONASTERY holds the first position in the to-do list for Anafi. Perched on Kalamos Rock, the monastery consists of a single room with interesting architectural style. Although the path is quite difficult, the view will reward you! Keep in mind that entry to the monastery is only possible with prior arrangement.

    Scattered through Anafi's countryside, KATIKIES are secluded stone farmhouses that played a vital role for the island's rural economy. Some of them are inhabited even today!

    BEST FOR: Remoteness, Authentic, Hiking, Hospitality, Rock Climbing

    INSIDER TIP: No one should miss the exhilarating view from the Old Monastery of Panagia Kalamiotissa perched on the edge of Kalamos Cape. Can you imagine staring at the most stunning sunrise of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea?

    DISCOVER: More information for Anafi.

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    3: Arki: A miniature archipelago off the coast of Asia Minor

    [caption id="attachment_19748" align="aligncenter" width="640"] View of Tiganakia beach ©️ cezarygolebiewski [/caption]

    Unquestionably, Arki is a divine escape. One of the most unknown Greek islands.

    Scattered pieces of land, a bunch of deserted isles and rocky reefs unveil the most authentic side of the Dodecadese. The miniature archipelago of Arki consist of Aspronisi, Avaptistos, Kalovolos, Marathi, Makronisi, Nisaki Psathonisi, Smineronisi, Tsouka and Tsoukaki. Greek islands

    In fact, the entire island of Arki has been declared as an important area from the European Network of Natura 2000.

    As they say, expensive perfumes come in small bottles...

    POINTS OF INTEREST

    Be advised, the main points of interest of Arki is Mother Nature herself. Other than that:

    The CASTLE OF ARKI was built from a colony of Miletus during the 4th century BC. It was later reconstructed from the Byzantines.

    On the northern side of Arki, travellers will have the opportunity to explore REMNANTS OF A BUILDING probably constructed from the Italians.

    Close to Halaro region, the VOTSI CAVE can be found. In that cave, the inhabitants of Arki found a safe shelter during the German bombardments.

    No one could ever forget the PANAGIA PANTANASSA CHURCH that celebrates in honor of the Virgin on August 23.

    BEST FOR: Remoteness, Unexplored, Couples, Sailing

    INSIDER TIP: Tiganakia is the most beautiful beach of Arki. Don't miss it!

    DISCOVER: More information for Arki.

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    4. Fourni: An island used as a shelter from the pirates of Corsica

    [caption id="attachment_19750" align="aligncenter" width="662"] Panoramic View of Fourni Archipelago ©️ Kjell Arne Berntsen[/caption]

    Fourni is one of the remotest Greek islands. A cluster of tiny isles and deserted rocks reveals another spirit in the chapter of the Aegean Sea.  Fourni' archipelago.Fourni' microcosm consist of Agios Minas, Alatonisi, Anthro, Kedro, Thymainaki, Kisiria, Makronisi, Petrokaravo, Plaka, Plakaki and Strogilo and the inhabited islands of Fourni and Thymaina. 

    Fourni served as one of the most important bases of operation for the pirates of Corsica who invated the Aegean Sea during the Middle Ages. The pirates took advantage the exclusive morphology of Fourni that consists of hundreds of small fjords and hidden bays where the ships could hide. This is the main reason that Fourni used to be called Coresoi Islands, after the pirates of Corsica!

    Those looking for a secluded destination, search no more. Fourni is the right place for you! Secluded away from the rest of the world, the life pace on this island has an inimitable tranquility aura. Hospitable people, picturesque bays, traditional houses and pristine beaches await avid travellers to experience the other side of the Greek summer.

    POINTS OF INTEREST

    KAMBOS is the main settlement of Fourni. Situated on the west part of the island, the life of the village centers around the main square with the plane tree.

    Wander around CHRISOMILLIA SETTLEMENT; the southern peninsula of Fourni unveils a series of spectacular beaches.

    The ANCIENT MARBLE QUARRIES OF PETROKOPIO used to supply with marble many Mediterranean cities including Ancient Miletus. Archaeological excavations brought to light traces of the ancient quarry. Explorers should visit Petrokopio beach because they will be able to witness traces of chunks and gravel of marble just above the beach.

    A trip to THYMAINA ISLAND is a must! Travellers can visit Keramidou beach and the chapel of Agios Dimitrios for its panoramic views. Don't miss the delicious seafood at the seaside taverns!

    BEST FOR: Remoteness, Spring, Hiking, Relaxation

    INSIDER TIP: Fourni hosts one of the largest fishing boat fleet in the Aegean, so it is highly advisable to taste the fresh fish at the seaside taverns of the three villages!

    DISCOVER: More information for Fourni.

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    5. Samothrace: Intoxicating sceneries and imposing waterfalls on thesacred island of the Great Gods

    [caption id="attachment_19752" align="aligncenter" width="739"] The "vathra" of Fonias ©️ Onur Mustafaoglu [/caption]

    Mythology has it that Poseidon observed the War of Troy from the grand arc of the wild ridge of Fengari (Moon), the highest spot of Mount Saos. Once upon a time, on the land of the most important religious center of Ancient Greece, the Cabirian mysteries took place, which were highly regarded and respected from the entire world in the Mediterranean.

    Motherland of the Wings of Victory, one of the main exhibits of the Louvre Museum in Paris, Samothrace is blessed with landscapes of extreme wild nature. One of the most beautiful Greek islands. Lush canyons, gigantic waterfalls, flowing springs and the constant view to the endless blue of the Aegean Sea. It is a fact that Samothrace is a favorite destination for adventure aficionados and nature lovers. Why shouldn't it be?

    POINTS OF INTEREST

    Declared as a preserved traditional settlement, HORA is the capital of the island. The village stretches between the mountain slopes of Saos. It is a lovely settlement that has managed to preserve its traditional character. Worth visiting sights include the Church of the Assumption of Virgin Mary, the Folklore Museum and the traces of the Castle of Gateluzi.

    The SANCTUARY OF THE GREAT GODS is one of the most important archaeological sights of Greece. Situated off the ancient town of Paleopoli, the sanctuary served as a worship place of the Cabirian mysteries in hobor of the Great Gods.

    It is a must to visit PROPHET ELIAS VILLAGE for its astonishing sunset views. This settlement is known for the delicious "stuffed goat" traditional dish of the island.

    BEST FOR:Nature, Adventure, Bird Watching,Camping, Mountaineering, Autumn, Hiking

    INSIDER TIP: Swimming in the Vathes (lakes formed from the waterfalls) is a must! The famous lakes reach the waterfalls and rivers of the island.This is perhaps the most unique experience of Samothrace!; the easiest accessible Vathres begin from the Vathra of Fonias and Gria Vathra. Greek islands

    DISCOVER: More information for Samothrace.

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    Hero Image Anne-Claude Faillétaz

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    Discover five Greek islands off the beaten track. The Greek archipelago is a neverending world of destinations; for your bucket list.

March 2018

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    Greece is the ultimate summer classic for a multitude of reasons. The overarching three are incredible Mediterranean weather that graces the country with summer temperatures from May and well into September, the particular geo-morphology that has created over 200 islands, and the endless experiences that the combination of the aforementioned conditions create. With so much to see and discover in Greece, not even the Greeks can say that that they know their country entirely. Each place harbours different visuals, different activities, yet all are unique in their own special way. In the quest to uncover the best, we present 3 plus 1 unique summer experiences to be discovered.



    1) A quiet retreat for nature lovers in Thassos

    Not such a known destination for travellers outside of Greece, and referred to as the emerald island of the North Aegean, Thassos is truly a hidden gem! This island enjoys a different kind of biodiversity on its landscapes than the more known islands of the Cyclades for example, with lush vegetation that reaches down to its turquoise shores, creating a sense of absolute tranquility for the visitor. It is home of the infamous and spectacular Giola natural lagoon, and the Drakotrypa cave, that means dragon hole named after a stalactite with the shape of a dragon! The best of Greek nature can be found here resulting in many eco and agro tourism activities that stem from the fertility of the soil of Thassos. The abundance of lush landscapes allows for many amazing activities that will immediately connect you with nature. You can feast your eyes on estuaries, caves, marble quarries, while you can tour olive oil factories and engage in bird watching, diving and hiking. For a restful stay, treat yourself to comfortable accommodation just a few minutes from the sea at Aelia Villa in Limenas and plan your days exactly as you wish with the unique personalised services offered. Even if it’s for just a weekend in Thassos.

    Giola Laggoon
    2) Relax or be active by day, romance or party by night in Paros

    Paros in the Cyclades is known to have a bit of everything. The classic Cycladic architecture, the fishing village settlements, some wonderful beaches that welcome wind and kite surf enthusiasts, gorgeous vantage points and a vibrant nightlife to dance the night away. Parikia is the main port that welcomes visitors arriving on the island, whereas the party happens on the quainter and more colourful Naousa area. If it’s romance you are seeking you can choose a quiet spot like Minois Village in Parasporos beach, and tuck yourselves away in a superior sea view suite in Paros. The visuals and elegant ambiance will relax you whether it’s morning or evening, leaving plenty of time for enhancing your stay by either indulging in the services offered, or taking to the beaches or the numerous bars that promise entertainment until dawn. With a healthy mix between locals and foreign visitors, Paros is definitely the perfect hybrid between understated luxury and authenticity in the Cyclades cluster.




    3) Indulge in luxurious living & Santorini dreaming


    For experiencing Greece’s most cosmopolitan albeit breathtaking and mystical island, Santorini is definitely the one. If you have never been, then you must visit it in order to get a true sense of the magic of this place - even the most professional of photographs do not do it justice as they fail to capture the energy that fills each viewer at each colour of the sky at sunset. The magnificent volcano views, the mysticism of such a mesmerising crescent shaped island that has been linked to the myth of the lost Atlantis; a fascinating volcanic landscape of visible strata, clifftop settlements of white and blue simplicity and the one of a kind, colourful beaches of red, white and black sands paint an amalgam of incredible beauty that must be seen up close and personal. Indulge in privacy, exclusivity, elegance and luxury that will fill you with a sense of tranquility by staying either at a Santorini sunset villa or a sublime Santorini cave pool suite elevating your Santorini experience even further, with all the superior services and amenities of the Andronis Exclusive Luxury Suites. This way you can get the best out of your accommodation experience behind closed doors, including superior dining and spa treatments, while the rest of the Santorini is your oyster.



    +1) Smooth sailing & island exploration

    The Aegean sea has been referred to as a nursery of seafaring, and justifiably so. There is so much to discover by sea as the close proximity of the islands allows for endless possibilities of filling your soul with the blissful effect of smooth sailing, also combining a cultural fix as nearly all islands have great historic and archaeological significance. For the seafarers among you,boutique cruising around the Cyclades will reveal countless interchanging images of Greek beauty, from azure shores to graphic villages, natural wonders and riveting landmarks,Variety Cruises offer a diverse and uniquely intriguing mix between conventional sailing and private cruising, guaranteeing privacy when you need it, and multiple, sensational destinations to be discovered, without lifting a single finger. Choose the Jewels of Cyclades cruise and be prepared to be amazed by all the highlights of at least 8 island destinations.


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February 2018

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     Written by Lee & Bhanu from Adventureinourteacups.com

    Opa! is a well loved Greek exclamation, often accompanying the happy tradition of plate smashing at weddings. It sums up the people well; loud, vibrant, warm, genuine and always ready for a celebration. Actually, as a traveler in Greece, these may well be the words used to describe your big fat Greek adventure. For such a seemingly small country, the stories that emerge are so dramatic in their richness, so emblazoned in history and larger than life. They make this heroic little country a masterpiece to travel through.

    Walking through Athens, every street bursting with Mediterranean charm, the magic of the bustling ancient city is bewitching.

    [caption id="attachment_20149" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Athens View © Lee & Bhanu from Adventureinourteacups.com[/caption]

    The sun drenched ruins of the Acropolis Temple in Athens are an enthralling place to start your journey. Though packed with summertime tourists, the expansive views of the city from the nearby Pantheon are a silhouette of antiquity.

    [caption id="attachment_20143" align="aligncenter" width="800"] The Parthenon © Lee & Bhanu from Adventureinourteacups.com[/caption]

    Athens skyline today though is a rambling assembly of concrete box like buildings, adorned with satellite dishes, half-finished paintwork and impulsiveness. But there’s a vibrant currency to its culture, the same heartbeat that has shaped the city for centuries.

    If you love history…

    For history enthusiasts, the spectacular heritage of Greece is akin to Disneyworld for a six-year-old. Bathed in the open sunlight, sand coloured columns and crumbling temple walls have stood before the passing of empires.

    As the cradle of Western civilisation and the birth of the Olympics, walking the archaeological ruins of Olympia is breathtaking, especially as the whole stadium is made of marble. Olympia became the most sacred place for the worship of Zeus. In his name, the temple was the largest and most significant building at Olympia and was regarded as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

    [caption id="attachment_17614" align="aligncenter" width="1169"] Ancient Olympia[/caption]

    Just hours from Athens the stories of classical Greece are etched within the preserved cities. Sometimes overlooked on the tourist trail, the modern city of Sparta 2 1/2 hours from Athens, is full of fascinating excursions and great cafes. As a rival city to Athens in many a Greek drama, the fierce warrior spirit of the Spartan’s clearly put this constitutional society on the map.

    [caption id="attachment_11865" align="aligncenter" width="800"] The Oracle of Delphi[/caption]

    Northwest of Athens at the Temple of Apollo in Delphi, the Oracle heralded the time and tide of Greece’s destiny by imparting her wisdom. Today it’s an impressive archaeological site on the south-western slope of Mount Parnassus, less than 3 hours drive from the capital.

    Off the beaten track

    Locals will tell you that if you hire a car and drive out of Athens, you’ll fall in love with the provincial side of life as much as Greece’s ancient heritage. The pastoral villages where time seems to have stood still, have a rustic and captivating charm, while the harmonious and industrial lives of those in the coastal fishing villages are a tranquil reprieve for travellers. Heading north with a free spirit and not really knowing where you’ll stay or for how long, is one of the most enchanting things about Greece. It’s refreshing to find yourself in a landscape that’s perhaps more dramatic than the ruins you’ve spent days walking around in Athens and to know that Greece is defined by more than her past.

    Our road trip takes you from Athens and head north to Chalkida, the main town of the second largest island Euboea. It’s a favourite spot for locals to get a dose of sunshine and not touristy at all. There’s a beautiful shopping village and vibrant food and bar scene along the open bay. This is a great spot to continue on to the fascinating Monasteries at Meteora. Here, around 4 hours drive north of Athens, tall slices of sandstone pierce into the burning sky and remnants of the original 24 monasteries remain. For hikers, the sweeping views from the summits make it perfect climbing country.

    [caption id="attachment_10947" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Meteora Monasteries[/caption]

    Another stop on the winding drive through Greece is the city of Thessaloniki, else known as Salonika. It has the second largest population in Greece and being a University city is a vibrant arts and cultural scene, not the historic one you're used to in Athens. The architecture is Turkish and French inspired and in the main food and wine district of Aristotle's Plaza, it’s always buzzing.

    White TowerThessaloniki has a fresh face and vibrant cultural scene that may see it overtaking Athens. From here, venture to the small fishing village Neos Marmaras on Poseidon’s Trident for the burnt orange sunsets and magnificent horizon. Parthenonas is a short 15-minute drive and worth it to see the ancient 1000-year-old olive tree. Continue to portside city of Alexandroupoli, only 40km shy of the Turkish border. As gateway to the historic Ottoman Empire, it’s the last capital of the Thracian states.

    Revel in Island life

    Wherever you decide to spend your time in Greece, it’s the island life you simply can’t skip. The crisp white-washed walls and splashes of azure ignite a yearning for the dreamiest of Mediterranean escapes. The Greek Archipelago is a unique stretch of islands, deeply rooted in tradition and history and familiar to travellers for their breathtaking sunsets, pebble beaches and warm transparent waters.

    Over 6,000 islands belong to Greek sovereignty with just over 200 home to the locals. The dazzling scenery precedes a spirited and sophisticated nightlife, that is the draw card for much of it’s bustling tourism. You can hire ATV’s and zip from one village to the other or meander curiously through the laneways and marketplaces. Many of the hotels are perched into the hillsides and so a good pair of walking shoes and moderate luggage is recommended. The donkeys on Santorini handle it well and it’s charming to see them plodding along, but it’s advised not to ride them or load them up.

    [caption id="attachment_20139" align="aligncenter" width="800"] View of Santorini © Lee & Bhanu from Adventureinourteacups.com[/caption]

    While the most frequented islands are Santorini, Mykonos, Rhodes and Crete, there are many other smaller lesser known islands to excite the spirit. There’s Shipwreck Bay at Zakynthos; Corfu in the Ionian Islands, best for budget stays. Paxos is a sophisticated Mediterranean hideaway and Lefkada, a haven for water sports. Paros, Cyclades is perfect for island hopping between Santorini and Mykonos and Naxos is ideal for an energy packed island holiday. Skiathos, Sporades is known for it’s pristine beaches and wildlife and is loved by families during the scorching summers.

    It’s all Greek to me

    With it’s lengthy though poetic place names, getting comfortable with the language can be tricky for first timers. But as you drive a little, it gets easier as the towns are spelled out in Latin as well as written in Greek. There are trains that travel as far as Thessaloniki but it’s really best to hire a car. Remember, you will need an international drivers license and a good dose of boldness, even the locals will tell you they’re devils behind the wheel and driving on the shoulder of the road is normal.

    You can comfortably eat dinner street-side for $10 euro’s for 2 people and even in Tavern’s a dinner of fresh seafood will still be about 25 euros for two. As a vibrant outdoor evening culture, locals eat at about 9.30pm and the traditional sounds of a musical fiesta start at about 10.00pm. A regular shopping day stretches from 10am to 10pm 7 days with a siesta squeezed in after lunch, mainly in the villages.

    Opa! is a well loved Greek exclamation, often accompanying the happy tradition of plate smashing at weddings. It sums up the people well; loud, vibrant, warm, genuine and always ready for a celebration.

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November 2017

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    Greece’s First Negroni Bar Unveiled

    With this Caffeè Torino, Athens welcomed the first-ever Negroni bar in Greece!

    A carefully polished pop up event by the iconic brand Martini® introduced the concept of Caffeè Torino to the Greek capital so as to introduce the trend of the true Italian ritual, the Aperitivo time.

    On Skouleniou Street, right next to eminent Hermou Street, Caffeè Torino popped-up to spread the most celebrated Italian concept to the Athenian locales who have experienced a cultural outbreak in recent years.

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    A grandiose pop up café with a genuine Italian spirit was established for three days to familiarize locals this great tradition.

    Once entered to this lavish space, everything seemed so-Italian! Sumptuous buffets, cheese platters and a unique assortment of deli meats accompanied with Martini® Riversa Speciale Cocktails under the rhythms of jazz and lounge music welcomed visitors in downtown Athens.

    Guest bartenders from some of the world’s 50 Best Bars, including the Clumsies in Athens, the Little Red Door in France and Lost & Found in Cyprus, served an extensive list of signature cocktails by using exclusively Martini® Riserva Speciale.

    The Aperitivo ritual is such a unique Italian moment, and the story behind its origins is really fascinating!

    Torino, Italy’s Aperitivo Capital

    Torino flourished during the 19th century, as it is birthplace of the modern Vermouth (who many suggest that vermouth may be the oldest alcoholic beverage in the world) and Italy’s Aperitivo Capital.

    This royal city had the privilege to be the first capital of unified Italy (1861), home to some of the noblest dynasties, greatest intellectuals, political figures, artists, and opera composers.

    The city was built in the Italian Baroque style, dotting its grandeur all over the city with majestic boulevards and arcaded shopping streets. Dozens of sophisticated caffés also introduced to the Italian world the so-called aperitivo moment, a pre-dinner drink, usually between 7pm to 9pm, that gives the chance to socialize with friends and relax post-work. Not long after, this great tradition was an everyday habit for the Italians.

    Up until today, Torino is probably the only city with so many historic caffés still in operation where culture seekers and travel enthusiasts can dive into the legendary atmosphere of another, bygone era.

    The Martini Negroni Cocktail An intrinsic part of the Aperitivo Experience is the exclusive series of cocktails with Martini® Negroni cocktail being the protagonist of the show. It is believed that the Negroni cocktail was invited in Florence (Italy) at Caffè Rivoire in 1919.

    According to the legend, Count Camillo Negroni requested his friend and bartender, Forsco Scarselli, to alter his favorite cocktail – the Americano – by replacing the soda water with gin. So did he, and also added an orange garnish. Since then, everyone visited this bar for a ‘Negroni’. Made of equal parts of sweet vermouth, bitter and dry and gin, this lovely cocktail impressed millions of palates. Since that day, bartenders from all over the world have experimented with developments challenging the traditional recipe without distorting its heritage. Sbagliato, The Boulevardier and Negroni Bianco are only some of the greatest samples of this experimentation.

    Forget about your comfort zone and trust the most innovative bartenders at Odori Vermuteria di Atene to experience the genuine Martini® Negroni Cocktail.

    The Newcomer Martini Riserva Speciale Bitter Inspired from the original 1872 Martini® recipe, the award-winning Martini® Riserva Speciale Bitter combines tradition with heritage and introduces new groundbreaking blends and mixtures to the world of aperitivo cocktail, an original signature of Torino, the capital of aperitivo.

    By creating the perfect recipe for the inimitable Martini Negroni, Martini® Riserva Speciale Bitter is made up 100% from natural ingredients and the original 1872 recipe, as formed from Luigi Rossi, the founder of Martini®. Ivano Tonnuti, the Master Herbalist of Martini®, selected three distinctive botanicals to deliver the exclusive richness and complexity through bitterness variations. According to the Master Blender of Martini®, Beppe Musso:

    The art of the bitter aperitivo is to create a complete and rounded sensation of bitterness in the mouth. This is achieved by our incredible Master Herbalist Ivano Tonutti slowly building up layers of different styles of  bitter botanicals, one by one for a more complex profile, until all are beautifully playing together like in an orchestra creating an uplifting melody.

     

    A bottle of vibrant red bitter aperitif with extra rich sweetness and a unique recipe of aromatic herbs welcomes the Negroni of the Future. As Martini® believes “Innovation is tradition that hasn’t happened yet”.

    #CAFFETORINO #MARTININEGRONI #PLAYWITHTIME

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October 2017

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    Everybody wonders when is the best time to visit Santorini. The answer is simple: anytime you want. However, if you wish to experience the authentic side of this worldwide famous island, fall is the best season. Find out why!

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    Santorini is, no doubt, one of the most famous destinations in the world. If you have visited Santorini in July or August, even September, you can realize what we are talking about. Santorini gets packed from visitors! From October onwards, though,  the island is much more less crowded. You won't have to wait in order to get in the arcaheological sites and museums, make reservations to your favorite restaurant and wake up early to find a sunbed. An excellent scenario for a peaceful and calmer autumn escape!

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    Due to its popularity, Santorini is one of the most expensive islands in the Mediterranean during the high season. Visiting the Greek islands during autumn is less expensive. For the off-peak season, there are great deals for boutique hotels and long-haul flights. Maybe your dream to sleep in a wonderful room with a caldera view can actually become true! Book now your room!

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    Sailing around an active volcano is an experience of a lifetime! It’s no wonder why Santorini’s name has been recognized worldwide as one of the most beautiful places on earth.Although travellers get impressed from these astonishing landscapes of this island of the Cyclades, they seem to disregard the story behind the creation of this masterpiece of nature. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to experience the Geological Park of Nea Kameni in autumn.

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    The vineyard of Thera is considered to be one of the most peculiar in the entire planet. Can you imagine harvesting grapes in such a volcanic soil, where one of the largest volcanic events on earth in recorded history took place? Indeed, the wines of Santorini distinguish worldwide for its smell and taste. The vines of Santorini flourish, as they withstand drought and its roots penetrate the Theran land. The vineyards of Santorini have played an important role in the life of the island, since their production exceeded the needs of the population, thus exporting it in collaboration with the rich shipping industry of the island, and creating a unique advantage on the island’s economy on its heyday. The local grape varieties produce wines of high quality that withstand the distinctive ecosystem of Santorini, as the cultivated region begins at a height of 300 meters whose vines go all the way down to the sea level. The varieties of Santorini include the white Asyrtiko, the best known variety of the Mediterranean grapevine, the red Mandilaria and Mavrotragano, the sweet red award-winning Vinsanto, produced from Aidani and Asyrtiko then harvest and aged in wooden vats, and the traditional Nykteri made with three white grape varieties including white Asyrtiko, gentle Athiri and aromatic Aidani.

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    Hiking lover or not, the cobblestone path from Fira to Oia via Firostefani and Imerovigli is a must for your explorations in Santorini, as it lines up half of the volcanic caldera. Characterized as the most scenic route in Santorini, this path will offer you millions of spots to catch the sunset. It’s a ten kilometer hike that lasts about four hours. Although it might be a tiring route, you will definitely find your mysterious spots to capture images with your camera from the sunset on your way. From Skaros Rock in Imerovigli and the Church of Agios Antonios with its spectacular view over Thirassia Island to the windmills of Oia and its castle walls, the cobblestone path from Fira to Oia will leave you speechless.

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    The Greek Islands might be the protagonist of the show; however, you don't know what you are missing out in the winter.80% of Greece's land is mountainous. Can you imagine the adrenaline rush on the snow-capped slopes?

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    1. Parnassus Mountain: Slide your Skis Like A Pro with the Twelve Olympians

    Unquestionably, Parnassos is one of the most beautiful mountains of Greece with verdant vegetation and rare natural beauty that charms the travellers all year long. Its spectacular morphology and rich biodiversity place it among the most important mountain environments in Greece.

    At an elevation of 1.600 to 2.250 meters, in the regions of Fterolakka and Kelaria, Parnassos Ski Center offers the opportunity to practice your slides like a pro from December until the beginning of May!

    It is worth mentioning that Parnassos is the biggest and the best organised ski center of our country with 19 ski runs, 7 ski routes, 10 trails and three mini-beginner runs of a total length of 36 kilometers. For adventure lovers, there are 12 black-country runs that offer moments of deep snow and lots of adrenaline. What’s more, there are two chalets and a restaurant in the ski center as well as ski and snowboard schools, special stores stores for ski and snowboard equipment rental and a playground for the younger visitors.

    Whether you choose to downhill blue Aphrodite, challenging Odysseus, risky Sahara or even exciting Hera, as quite all the pistes are named after the Twelve Olympians, it is definite that Parnassos Ski Resort will offer you moments of utmost adrenaline!

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    2. Kaimaktsalan: Greece's Highest Ski Resort

    Perched on the craggy slopes of Voras Mountain, Kaimáktsalan Ski Resort is one of the stunning Greek destinations for skiing. In fact, it is the highest ski resort in Greece! It is trully an experience of a lifetime to practise ski on Kaimaktsalan since the view from the top is amazing overlooking the Thermaic Gulf and the peak of Olympus Mountain.

    Kaimaktsalan Ski Center is well equipped with 6 ski lifts and 13 ski runs over an area of 15 kilometers in length at an altitude of 2,470 meters. The runs are of various difficulty level; more specifically, there are 4 red runs, 4 blue runs, 3 for beginners and 2 langlauf slopes.Moreover, the ski resort also features 4 ski trails of 3,250 meters in length. Though, that's not all! Kaimaktsalan's snowboard fun park invites snowboarders and lovers of the snowboard scene to experience their favorite sport in Greece !

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    3: Kalavryta: Chelmos' Mountain One of A Kind Experience

    Situated on the foothills of Chelmos Mountain, at the peninsula of Peloponnese, Kalavryta Ski Resort is the second biggest ski center of Greece. The resort consists of 12 downhill ski slopes with a total length of 20 kilometers in the locations of Xerokambos and Neiradorahi. What's more, the ski center also features a snowboard park and ski runs for snowmobiles! 

    Kalavryta Ski Resort offers modern facilities, 8 ski lifts and 13 slaloms of all categories. The highest altitude of the pistes is at an altitude of 2.340 meters. The resort also provides equipment hire facilities.

    For adventure lovers, the black and red runs of Styga, Eno and Nefeli, challenge even the most expert skiers with deep snow for a dose of adrenaline.

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    Discover five Greek islands off the beaten track. The Greek archipelago is a neverending world of destinations; for your bucket list.

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    1. Zagorohoria: 46 mind-blowing villages perched on Pindus Mountain

    [caption id="attachment_19762" align="aligncenter" width="640"] View of Astraka Peak © Spyros Vathis[/caption]

    Zagorohoria, one of the most beautiful regions of the country, is of the most impressive destinations as they are situated in an area with rich flora and fauna, of the richest of the country within the boundaries of Vikos-Aoos National Park.

    The 46 picturesque villages are ideal for hiking aficionados, as walking through the old paths and the stone bridges that used to connect the villages is definitely an experience of a lifetime. In Zagorohoria, there are 31 sign-posted trails from LIFE – Zagori program with yellow plates (Code Z) that connect the villages of Central Zagori and routes with Code P that connect East Zagori as well as important areas between Metsovo and Zagori. Of the most beautiful routes include (1) the route of Vradeto Stairs, the most imposing cobblestone road of Epirus, which connects Kapesovo and Vradeto villages, (2) the route from Mikro Papigo village to Drakolimni Lake of Tymfi through the mountain shelter (3) the route of Vitsa Stairs, made in the 17

    Of the most beautiful routes include (1) the route of Vradeto Stairs, the most imposing cobblestone road of Epirus, which connects Kapesovo and Vradeto villages, (2) the route from Mikro Papigo village to Drakolimni Lake of Tymfi through the mountain shelter (3) the route of Vitsa Stairs, made in the 17th century, that connects Vitsa with Koukouli villages, (4) the magical route that starts from Voutsas Monastery in Greveniti towards the village of Doliani, (5) the route that starts from Karies village and leads to Anthrakitis village through Kavallari passing through traditional settlements and many monuments and (6) the route that starts from Kipi village towards Tsepelovo village.

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    2. Halkidiki: Perhaps, once you set foot on that land, you will appreciate the saying "there is not place like Halkidiki".

    Halkidiki ΙslandsIf you are a nature lover, Sithonia will surely blow your mind! Pine forests reaching the crystalline waters of the Aegean Sea and hidden coves with white sand will travel you to the genuine nature of Greece. The charm of tranquility, the picturesque seaside villages and the magical beaches will offer you the most tranquil vacations ever!

    It is a must to visit traditional Nikiti for its genuine Macedonian hospitality, cosmopolitan Neos Marmaras for its monuments from Asia Minor and alternative Vourvourou with its turquoise waters. Sithonia is an ideal place for a peaceful and relaxing holiday, especially for nature lovers. In Sithonia, travellers will have the opportunity to admire breathtaking landscapes with picturesque coves, deserted sandy beaches, some of the most beautiful beaches of Chalkidiki, which have been awarded many times with the blue flag secluded coves next to lush forests, traditional fishing villages and stunning architecture in homes and churches.

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    3. Pelion: Explorations on Centaurs' Mountain

    [caption id="attachment_19765" align="aligncenter" width="640"] "Moutzouris" train © afc45014[/caption]

    The sound of the steam engine will charm you instantly. Strange and rigorous sounds will fill you with excitement and enthusiasm. Can you imagine entering another epoch by travelling in wooden wagons of the past? This very dream of yours may become true on this corner of Greece. Legendary “Moutzouris”/ ”Smudgy” the legendary train of Pelion, is a symbol of the local culture of Pelio that has marked the lives of the inhabitants since the dawn of time. The legendary train of “Moutzouris” whistles and wheezes with his wonderful steam engine the beginning of a journey to another era! On the blossoming days of spring and the golden shadows of autumn, “Moutzouris” will travel you from the charming station of Ano Lehonia to the picturesque station of Milies through a wonderful trip of ninety minutes. This 60 centimeters gauge line, one of the narrowest in the world, hosts four wonderful wooden wagons that will travel you in the past. His nickname, Moutzouris, literally means someone who turns things black, which was named obviously after the black steam smoke of the engines! Are you ready for one of the most spectacular rides of your life? As the maximum speed of the train is 20 kilometers per hour, travellers will have the opportunity to admire panoramic vistas over wonderful gorges, magnificent old bridges and tight tunnels that will make them want to stay there forever. Starting from the picturesque station of Lehonia, lovely Moutzouris ascends the verdant olive groves with sceneries of utmost serenity. The route is of great natural beauty with numerous architectural marvels including constructions from carved stone and grey limestone that form arched bridges, tunnel entries and retaining walls. On the final approach towards Milies, the scenery will take your breath away, especially after the crossing of the steel bridge of Taxiarhis, else known as De Chirico’s Bridge, a rare occasion where a train crosses a bridge that is straight and the tracks that lie on it are actually curved!

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    4. Mountainous Arcadia: An Exhilarating River Rafting Experience

    [caption id="attachment_19766" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Lousios River © Nick Christodoulou[/caption]

    Who said that Greece is not an ideal destination for rafting enthusiasts? The unimaginable beauty of Arcadia will definitely thrill rafting enthusiasts!

    Breathtaking landscapes and water routes promise one of the most unforgettable rafting experiences in the most impressive river of Peloponnese. The sound of the impetuous waters of Lousios River combined with the smell of the wet soil invite the adventurers to test their strength in river rafting. A unique path to one of the most pristine water trails of Greek nature will take you to the unexplored landscapes of Arcadia. Passing through a wooded gorge with a mysterious tunnel, arched bridges and impressive passages, it is certain that all of you will spend a memorable travel experience exacerbation of adventure and adrenaline will reach its maximum!

    Undeniably, Lousios River is one of our country’s most impressive rivers ideal for rafters with experience in the sport.

    Spring and autumn are the most appropriate seasons for rafting. Wear your rafting waistcoat and helmet and embark on your rafting boat to explore the mysterious beauty of the Arcadian nature.

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    5. Karpenisi: Gifted with the finest of nature

    [caption id="attachment_19769" align="aligncenter" width="640"] River Trekking at Panta Vrexei Gorge © Adventure Endurance Network[/caption]

    Where it Always Raining (the explanation of Panta Vrexei), the waterfalls never stop flowing. Sometime impetuous others serene, the cool waters of Krikelopotamos paint wonderful sceneries for the lovers of river trekking revealing the ulterior secrets of the wild beauty of Evrytania. Panta Vrehei Gorge is one of the most beautiful gorges of Evrytania. Literally meaning always raining, the gorge owes its name to an area of the gorge with icy waters that come from Krikelopotamos River at Kaliakouda Mountain and find their way out from the sources in the tops of the canyon creating beautiful waterfalls. Panta Vrehi Gorge distinguishes for its idyllic atmosphere, its beautiful colours and its dense vegetation. Running waters and majestic waterfalls decorate the enchanting landscape. The gorge is accessible through a stunning path with the grandeur of nature playing the leading role. If you love extreme sports, Panta Vrehi is the place for river trekking enthusiasts.

    [button href="https://www.mysteriousgreece.com/travel-guides/mainland/central-greece/karpenisi/" style="flat" size="large" color="#1cbaa8" hovercolor="#d6d6d6" textcolor="#ffffff" texthovercolor="#1cbaa8" target="_blank"]Discover the region of Karpenisi! [/button]

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    6. Samaria Gorge:A One of A Kind Experience at Europe's Longest Gorge

    [caption id="attachment_19771" align="alignnone" width="640"] Samaria Gorge © Krzysztof Belczyński[/caption]

    The Gorge of Samaria is the longest gorge of Europe. The gorge lies on the south side of Chania in the largest uninhabited area of Europe. The gorge was declared as a National Park in 1962 for the survival of the endangered species of the wild goats of Crete. The length of the gorge reaches eighteen kilometers and it is accessible from the northern side of the plateau of Omalos. The gorge of Samaria is a place of exceptional natural beauty lying between the White Mountains and the Mountain Volakias ending in the seafront of the village of Agia Roumeli.

    Hiking in the longest gorge of Europe is definitely an experience of a lifetime!

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    From caves, forests and gorges to lakes, rivers and waterfalls and forests, mountains, Greece is one of the best destinations nature lovers!

September 2017

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    An eco-friendly & adventurous way to discover the best of Athens

    Often denoted as the cradle of Western Civilisation, Athens is a 2,500-year-old mishmash of cultural and historical triumphs. Theatre, philosophy, architecture, science, historiography, political thought, the arts, reached their zenith in a period of intellectual consummation, unique in the history of the world.

    Captivating travellers with its timeless allure, the culture and history of Athens will definitely hypnotise you. This is Athens; exciting and thrilling, breathtaking and sensational, mysterious and sophisticated, adventurous and glorious, which stirs the spirit as only the cradle of Western civilisation can.

    If you are wondering which is the best way to experience the magnificent city of Athens, we’ve got the best solution. Scooterise. A specialized tour operator like no other. The team of Scooterise prioritise your travel desires in order to offer you a memorable experience you will never forget.

    Passionate about what they do, the Scooterisers will ensure to have a once in a lifetime opportunity to discover Athens like a local. Their motto “see more - sweat less” lies in the fact that they operate their tours with eco-friendly electric scooters, the so-called “Trikke”; a three-wheeled vehicle that let riders to ride without touching foot to the ground. The travel designers, else known as Scooterisers, have chosen safe routes ensuring an enjoyable ride while exploring the most astonishing parts of Athens.

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    The “Athens Complete Tour” is one of the best adventures offered from Scooterise. A two-hour tour with the easy-to-ride Trikke scooter that gives you the opportunity to witness the best of Athens!

    Once you feel comfortable with your Trikke, after the short-training session, it is definite that you will ride like a pro and enjoy the whole tour! The “Athens Complete Tour” is a private tour that lets you unveil the best monuments of Athens. Frequent stops at sights of interest, and lots of photo opportunities, in an enjoyable and active tour by Scooterise.

    [caption id="attachment_19706" align="aligncenter" width="488"]scooterise Map of Athens Complete Tour[/caption]

    From the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Acropolis, the Panathenaic Stadium where the first Modern Olympic Games (1896) took place and the National Gardens, a peaceful refugee in downtown Athens to the historical centre of Plaka - Monastiraki - Thissio with its monuments such as the Tower of the Winds and the Handrian’s Library, the Syntagma Square with the Parliament House and the Presidential Palace guarded from the Presidential Guard, it is definite that this tour will guide you through the entire Athens city centre!

     

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    Perfect for couples, families with kids and solo travellers, the “Athens Complete Tour” is the most eco-friendly and fun way to discover Athens.

    Scooterise has been awarded the certificate of excellence award for consecutive years by TripAdvisor website.

    scooterize

     

     

     

    [button href="http://bit.ly/2wVUm87" style="flat" size="large" color="#e67330" hovercolor="#ffffff" textcolor="#ffffff" texthovercolor="#e67330" target="_blank"]Book now your Scooterise Experience![/button]

     

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    Who said Greece is not a #winter destination?

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    Climate gets colder and temperatures decrease. Mountains turn snowy and valleys become white. Rivers and lakes get frosted frozen. The sky is filled with greyish calling clouds and the sweet feeling of melancholy surpasses you. Whoever believes that Greece is not for winter, he is mistaken! Characterized as one of the craggiest countries of Europe, eighty percent of Greece is mountainous hiding

    Whoever believes that Greece is not for winter, he is mistaken! Characterized as one of the craggiest countries of Europe, eighty percent of Greece is mountainous hiding

    Characterized as one of the craggiest countries of Europe, eighty percent of Greece is mountainous hiding millions sceneries of unbelievable diversity.

    Discover the top winter destinations in Greece!

    Winter Destinations in Greece

    1. Arahova, Parnassos

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    [caption id="attachment_11466" align="aligncenter" width="1015"]Top Winter Destinations in Greece View of Arahova village © Dimitra Kirgannaki[/caption]

    Behind the craggy and imperious mountain slopes of Parnassus, the true heart of the mountain is revealed through its authentic traditional villages. Sceneries of untamed beauty are hidden in the wild soul of the mountains. Wrapped in fog and mist, your eyes will be captivated from the dramatic views of the picturesqueness of this village.

    Favored from adventure lovers eager for unexpected emotions of mountainous nature, Arahova is the nymph of Parnassus. Nestling at an altitude of nine hundred meters, Arahova dazzles from the sparkling lights of the winter. Red tiled roofs blend with the whitewashed clouds and stone chimneys pour greyish smoke to the mountain sceneries. The supreme silence of the snowy slopes behind the embroidered curtains of your window is the absolute master of the peaceful landscape in the mountain life of Arahova.

    Praised for its beauty and acclaimed as the natural balcony of Parnassus, beautiful and timeless Arahova, the winter duchess, will steal your heart.

    MUST VISIT

    Climb the 264 stairs of Egarsios Dromos to reach the historic church of Agios Georgios with the magnificent views!

    Discover the cave of Korikion Andron for its rich composition of stalactites and stalagmites!

    Pay your visit to the oracle of Delphi for its archaeological significance and its untamed beauty!

    Practise your favorite winter sport at the ski center of Parnassos for practising winter sports!

    Visit the village of Agoriani for its authentic spirit and its delicious taverns!

    Visit the Byzantine monastery of Osios Loukas for its religious importance that has been declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site!

    MYSTERIOUS GREECE TIP

    Slide your skis at Parnassos Ski Center during the afternoon hours where you will have the opportunity to admire one of the most spectacular alpine sunsets of Greece!

     

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    2. Elatohori, Pieria

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    [caption id="attachment_11467" align="aligncenter" width="625"]Top Winter Destinations in Greece Snowcapped Trees © Kostas[/caption]

    Once upon a time, the muses of Pieria, the priestesses of the arts and letters, used to reside in the primeval forests of Piria. Nowadays, walking lovers, hiking enthusiasts and winter sports aficionados with an immense passion on nature, enjoy this unique plateau.

    Pieria Mountains are considered to be the most beautiful mountain range of the country characterized from verdant and lush vegetation. Perched at an altitude of 1000 meters on the craggy slopes of Pieria Mountains, Elatohori, which literally translates to the fir tree village, holds the reigns of one of the most beautiful winter destinations of Macedonia. With magnificent views to the legendary homeland of the Twelve Olympians and the splendor of wild beauty and alpine nature with dense forests, the village of Elatohori promises to offer you unforgettable moments of relaxation and tranquility.

    Magical trails, picturesque villages, friendly hospitality, beautiful nature, rich vegetation and panoramic vistas to the endless blue of the Thermaic Gulf, Elatohori is one of your best choices if you are looking for a Greek winter destination to escape!

    MUST VISIT

    The church of Agios Nikolaos in Palio Elatohori village for its wonderful wood-carved temple!

    The plateau of Sarakatsana for its stunning views to Mount Olympus and the Thermaic Gulf!

    The refugee of Olympus after hiking to the imperious slopes of the homeland of the Twelve Olympians!

    The ski center of Elatohori for practising winter sports with amazing views to Olympus Mountain and Aliakmonas River!

    The Square of Palio Elatohori for its authentic character and its charming beauty! From there, one can visit the Folklore Museum!

    The village of Ritini for its traditional character and its wonderful view to the plateau of Katerini, the Thermaic Gulf and the Aegean Sea and the village of Vria for its impressive nature, an amazing driving route! From there, you can always visit the ancient quarry!

    The village of Palios Panteleimonas for its traditional character!

    The wooded location of Keramida with its gigantic plane trees, its wooden bridges and its gurgling waters, which, during the winter, becomes an iddylic frozen landscape!

    MYSTERIOUS GREECE TIP

    You should definitely visit the village of Litohoro for its unimaginable beauty with a magical view to the Mountains of Pieria! Litohoro can serve as a starting point for trekking, hiking and mountain biking to the Olympus Mountain!

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    3. Kalavryta, Achaia

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    [caption id="attachment_11468" align="aligncenter" width="625"]Top Winter Destinations in Greece View of Kalavryta © Kostas Giannoulis[/caption]

    Nestling on the forested slopes of Chelmos, Kalavryta is filled with millions of images. Historical monasteries and charming villages, snowy slopes filled with skiers and rough dirt roads for courageous explorers, craggy ravines and verdant fir forests for tireless walkers; Chelmos, the most imposing mountain of Peloponnese, promises unforgettable experiences. From its rugged hills, the landscapes dramatically transform from the azure waters of the Corinthian Gulf to the foaming waters of Vouraikos and the imperious fir trees.

    Lovely and picturesque Kalavryta, notoriously known for its spectacular train journey and its astonishing snowy slopes, will hypnotize you with its mysteries. One of the most breathtaking railway journeys in the world combined with striking natural beauty sceneries compose the outstanding images of Kalavryta; from ancient monasteries and underground cave lakes to flowing rivers, snowy mountains and verdant vegetation, Kalavryta has it all! A dreamy setting with charming squares, cobblestone alleys and stone houses salutes the romantic souls! The snowwhite costume of Chelmos with the abundant fir forest creates a magical setting up until the red-tiled roofs of the Kalavritan houses that spread over the werstern slopes of the mountain.

    Undoubtedly, Kalavryta’s melodiousness is concealed behind the craggy slopes of Chelmos; dreamier than you ever have dreamt about! Ready to dive into the mysticity of Kalavryta?

    MUST VISIT

    The Cave of the Lakes as it is considered to be one of the most beautiful caves of the Peloponnese that distinguishes for its multicolor chamber and its impressive stalactite and stalagmite formations!

    The Forest of Strofilia as it is the biggest pine forest of Greece and a spectacular natural reserve that separates the lake of Prokopios from the Ionian Sea with a think strip of pine trees that belongs to the European Network of Natura 2000! Strofilia Forest is one of the most beautiful natural wonders of Greece ideal for natural explorations.

    The Monastery of Agia Lavra as it is one of the most important monasteries of Kalavryta where the Greek Revolution of 1821 against the Ottomans was declared.

    The Ski Center of Kalavryta, the second largest ski center of Greece, for pracising your favorite winter sports!

    The Village of Planitero, one of the most beautiful villages of Achaea, distinguishes for its verdurous vegetation and its flowing streams. The springs of Aroanios River is one of the most attractive locations of the wider area whose sources are famous for its delicious trouts fishery.

    The Village of Zarouchla that distinguishes for its picturesqueness with its stone houses and its cobblestone alleys. For those you love hiking, a network of paths and trail has been planned around Helmos Mountain.

    MYSTERIOUS GREECE TIP

    One of the most spectacular railway rides, Diakofto – Kalavryta Railway, awaits you for showcasing its almighty beauties! Located on the northern side of the Peloponnese peninsula, the railway is the narrowest rack railway of Europe running for 22 kilometers from Diakofto village through Vouraikos Gorge, the Monastery of Mega Spileo and Zachlorou village to the town of Kalavryta. Find more information from Odontotos Rack Railway Official Website

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    4. Mountainous Nafpaktia, Etoloakarnania

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    [caption id="attachment_11471" align="aligncenter" width="625"]Top Winter Destinations in Greece Ano Hora village © John Pappas Φ[/caption]

    Mountainous Nafpaktia is a fascinating mountain destination, one of Greece’s mainland best-kept-secrets ideal for nature lovers. Forty-five villages hanging between the endless forests of beech, fir, walnut and chestnut trees are connected through valleys and magical landscapes travel you to the heart of the mountain.

    Standing above the lovely seaside Greek sceneries, mountainous Nafpaktia is one of the most beautiful destinations for winter escapes. The local people and the timeless tradition of mountainous Nafpaktia mark the true and genuine soul of this region. The diverse landscape and the geological importance of Nafpaktia favour the rich flora and fauna of the Greek nature enchanting even the most demanding travellers through enjoyable routes through the beautiful wooded regions full of oak, fir, beech, plane and chestnut trees and crystalline streams. Whether you are a nature lover or an adventure admirer, mountainous Nafplaktia is a paradise for winter activities and adventure sports. Dotted with specially marked trails through verdant forests, craggy gorges, flowing streams and picturesque villages, hiking enthusiasts will fall in love with this corner of Greece.

    Forests of oak, fir, beech, walnut, chestnut and plane trees, crystal clear streams, the Evinos river and magnificent Evinolimni lake, trails in ravines and forest roads in beautiful landscapes create the fantastic images of this region drawing attraction for nature lovers by offering alternative tourism activities from kayaking and rafting to Evinos River to mountain biking, off-roading and trekking in the bare regions of mountainous Nafpaktia.

    MUST VISIT

    The artificial lake of Evinolimni! From the villages of Arahova, Klepa and Neohori, you will have the opportunity to admire panoramic vistas of Evinolimni!

    The river of Evinos where you can have an amazing rafting experience! Don’t forget to look for the arched bridge of Artotiva on the banks of Evinos, southwest of Platanos!

    The hiking trail that crosses Kakavos Gorge, one of the most famous trails of mountainous Nafpaktia!

    The monastery of Ambelakiotissa with the miraculous icon of Virgin Mary in the homonymous village!

    The triangle villages of Ano Hora-Kato Hora, Platanos and Simos to discover the mysterious beauties of mountainous Nafpaktia! Ano Hora and Kato Hora are the main villages of mountainous Nafpaktia!

    The verdurous village of Elatou to admire the majestic nature, the lovely village of Limnitsa for its panoramic views to the region of Nafpaktia and the genuine village of Platanos that still mantains the traditional character of the region! In Platanos, you can also visit the pictursque cobblestone square with the church of Agios Nikolaos, the National Resistance Museum as well as the Folklore Collection of Platanos!

    MYSTERIOUS GREECE TIP

    Follow the famous trail of Hercules that connects the villages of Ano Hora with Ambelakiotissa passing through the impressive gorge of Kakavos! Ask the locals before following it since the trail can be rough depending the weather conditions!

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    5. Karpenisi, Evrytania

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    [caption id="attachment_11469" align="aligncenter" width="625"]Top Winter Destinations in Greece View of Karpenisi © Gk Kona[/caption]

    Trails in steep canyons with verdurous sceneries, huge waterfalls with gurgling streams and icy rivers with fairytale sceneries will guide you through the magic of nature of Evrytania. This is the magnetic and incomparable charm of Evrytania. As the miles roll, the winding roads reveal upright fir trees and strapping oak trees on the misty atmosphere of the wild mountains. Snowcapped mountains with ageless summits and towering fir trees, crystalline lakes and frozen rivers, picturesque villages planted in the green landscape.

    Lost in the fog, this is the alpine beauty of Evrytania’s nature. Imperious mountains and imposing rivers challenge you to live adventurous moments to the fullest. Karpenisi is a place covered with snow nestling at an altitude of 950 meters in the verdurous mountain slopes of Velouhi. It is the most mountainous capital of Greece that stands in the heart of the massive mountains of the most rugged region of Roumeli. The beautiful town will welcome you with the rustling of the fir trees and the coolness of the water.

    All the magical elements of the mountainous nature intertwine in the most harmonious way creating an environment of unparalleled beauty that was conquered from thousands of imperious and rebellious characters over the centuries. This is Evrytania, a majestic place to live in.

    Are you ready to dive into the alpine state of mind?

    MUST VISIT

    The folklore museum of Megalo Horio that exhibits an extensive collection with agricultural tools and utensils from the traditional occupations of the village while two rooms are dedicated to the typical representation of the traditional house of Megalo Horio. It is worth mentioning that the collections of the museum were a courtesy of the residents of Megalo Horio!

    The Gorge of Panta Vrehi, one of the most beautiful gorges of Evrytania, which distinguishes for its idyllic atmosphere, its beautiful colors and its dense vegetation!

    The monastery of Panagia Prousiotissa, the spiritual and pilgrimage center of Evrytania, for its impressive steep rocky location and its religious importance to the history of the region!

    The lake of Kremasta, the largest artificial lake of Greece, which distinguishes for its incomparable beauty of Kremasta Lake with its turquoise waters, its lovely fjords and its scattered isles!

    The ski center of Velouhi as it is one of the most spectacular ski centers of Greece where you can practice your favorite winter sports!

    The village of Korisades for its verdurous vegetation and its serene atmosphere, where you can visit the National Resistance Museum that displays the rich history of the village, the villages of Nostimo and Voutyro for their spectacular natural sceneries, the village of Megalo Horio for its authentic atmosphere spectacular views to the Valley of Karpenisiotis River and the peaks of Mount Helidona and the village of Mikro Horio picturesque character with a tranquil atmosphere ideal for those looking for peacefulness!

    MYSTERIOUS GREECE TIP

    Evrytania is fortunate enough to be covered from the finest of nature like of which can be found only in fairytales. Imperious mountains and challenging canyons, flowing rivers and waterfalls and lush vegetation compoze a puzzle of outstanding beauty. Follow the route from Kaprenisi to Prouso to let you eyes be dazzled!

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    6. Metsovo, Epirus

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    [caption id="attachment_11470" align="aligncenter" width="625"]Top Winter Destinations in Greece Metsovo view © Kostis Tatakis[/caption]

    Descending through the misty atmosphere, dazzling lights twinkle in the ravine blending with the stone houses and their gray slate roofs between the labyrinthine alleys; this is Metsovo standing proudly between the imposing mountains and the flowing rivers.

    Charming Metsovo, one of the most beautiful regions of Epirus, challenges all of your senses through its picturesque character, its traditional atmosphere, its high quality cheeses and its intoxicating red wines. Nestling in one of the highest peaks of Pindus Mountains, Metsovo, the largest Vlach village of Greece, will captivate your eyes with its fresh mountain air and its natural beauty. A town of Epirus that has managed to maintain its traditional colors will give you the opportunity to experience an authentic image of the Greek countryside through its distinctive atmosphere.

    It is definite that a journey in Metsovo will leave you with unforgettable memories; its traditional character, its ultimate tranquility and its alpine beauty will revitalize you. When time will come, you will leave behind the intoxicating aroma of Katogi wine and the spicy flavor of metsovone cheese blended with the fresh air of Pindus to discover Metsovo’s mysteries with your own eyes!

    MUST VISIT

    The Art Gallery of Evangelos Averoff with 200 artworks of the most important painters of Greece from the 19th and 20th century!

    The artificial Lake of Aoos for its spectacular sceneries of extreme natural beauty!

    The central square of Metsovo that is considered to be one of the most beautiful squares of Greece!

    The church of Agia Paraskevi, the patron saint of Metsovo, which holds its prominence at the central square of Metsovo!

    The Folklore Museum of Metsovo, which is housed within the mansion of the Tossizza family, with a remarkable collection of folklore materials and fighters weapons of the Greek Revolution!

    The Katogi Averoff Winery for a tasteful wine taste experience!

    The Tossizza Foundation, which houses the model cheese factory of Metsovo, for one of the greatest views of the village!

    The three Ski Centers of Metsovo for practising your favorite winter sports activities!

    The Valia Calda National Park, one of the most beautiful forests of Greece, with amazing landscapes of immense beauty!

    MYSTERIOUS GREECE TIP

    The Pass of Katara is one of the most dangerous and highest mountain passes in the Pindus Mountains (1.746 m). The Greek National Road (Larissa- Trikala – Metsovo – Ioannina – Igoumenitsa) passes from the pass of Katara. However, traffic declined with the opening of Egnatia motorway that passes through tunnels. However, it is worth mentioning that Katara Pass offers fabulous views and pure mountain air.

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    7. Pelio, Magnesia

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    Top Winter Destinations in Greece

    Perched on the mountain slopes, the villages of Pelio have been recognized as one of the most beautiful regions of Greece that have managed to maintain their traditional character and their rich history. Pelio boasts some of the most famous traditional villages in Greece; set against an idyllic backdrop of shimmering olive groves, dense forests and lush orchards, these lovely stone villages are the true gems of Magnesia.

    Undoubtedly, Pelio has something mysterious; it might be the micro-climate of the wider region that has caused million explosions of nature by creating the myth of the mountain of the Centaurs. One of our favorite seasons in Pelio, however, is the winter with the purifying snowfalls and the rays of the sun, along with the misty and foggy atmosphere that emits an exclusive charm. The narrow labyrinthine roads, gliding from verdant oak ridges, crossing extensive chestrnut forests, the villages of Pelio will spellbound you.

    In such a wonderful place, where the sea and the mountains are immersed in such a mysterious way, in all the shades of white and blue, the nature of Pelio transforms the prefecture of Magnesia every single season. From Portaria, Makrinitsa and Tsagarada to Kissos, Zagora, Drakia, and Agios Lavrentios, the villages of Pelio will make you fall in love with this region.

    MUST VISIT

    The Agriolefkes Ski Center, the pf the first ski centers of Greece, which offers panoramic views to the Aegean Sea!

    The verdant village of Portaria, the gate of the mountain of the Centaurs and one of the most popular winter resorts of Pelio! In Portaria, make sure you enjoy your coffee at the central square of Melina Mercouri and visit the byzantine chapel of Panagia Portarea

    The lovely village of Makrinitsa, the balcony of Pelio, with its cobblestone square and the fountains with the bronze lions that offers one of the most beautiful views to the gulf of Pagasitikos! Don’t miss a visit to the monastery of Agios Gerasimos, the highest spot of Makrinitsa, as well as the monastery of Theotokos, the museum of Folklore Art and the tower of Tsotiniotis!

    The picturesque village of Tsagarada, one of the most romantic destinations of Pelio, with its stone mansions, its cobblestoned alleys, its plane trees and its flowing springs!

    The traditional village of Vyzitsa that has managed to preserve the authentic traditiona architecture of Pelio with its stone mansions, its cobblestone alleys and the perennial plane tree, the trademark of Vyzitsa where you can enjoy Greek coffee and local raki at the surrounding taverns!

    The beautiful village of Zagora for the historic Library of Zagora with the 3.000 volumes, maps and documents form the 17th and 18th centuries!

    MYSTERIOUS GREECE TIP

    Visit the unknown village of Agios Georgios Nilias that distinguishes for its cobblestone alleys and its traditional mansions with one of the most picturesque squares of Pelio and the hidden village of Pouri that offers panoramic vistas to the Aegean Sea!

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    8. Zagorohoria, Epirus

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    Top Winter Destinations in Greece

    Where natural beauty exceeds imagination, in this inaccessible mountainous massif of Epirus, these forty-six stone fairytales will guide you to dreamy sceneries through their traditional stone bridges. Under the fireplaces smoke from the stone chimneys of Zagorohoria and the snowcapped peaks of the massive mountains, golden leaves obscure the fertile ground and the water swells in the rivers of Aoos and Voidomatis.

    Beyond the mountains, as evidenced from their Slavic name, lovely Zagorohoria conceal millions of beauties; calm and cosmopolitan with charming views or hidden in the mountains with spectacular sceneries on the bare peaks or the forests by the rivers with the crystalline waters or the alpine lakes, Zagorohoria is a destination for your bucket list; a destination you deserve to explore even for once in this life.

    It is no coincidence that Zagorohoria are considered to be some of the best-preserved villages of beautiful Greece. Perched on the mountain slopes of Epirus, these forty-six stone villages challenge you to explore their mysteries. If you were to describe Zagorohoria with one word, then this would definitely be authentic.

    Authentic Zagorohoria; this is what you will adore about Zagorohoria, the feeling of seeking for destinations off the beaten track.

    Authentic!

    MUST VISIT

    The gorge of Vikos as it is the deepest gorge in the world perched in Pindus Mountains of Northern Greece!

    The lake of Drakolimni Tymfi that is located at an altitude of 2.050 meters above the sea level accessible from the village of Mikro Papigo. The hiking duration usually lasts five hours.

    The village of Elati that is built in a wonderful location smothered from sceneries of greenery overlooking the wilderness of the mountains and forest of Tymfi. Fir, oak and pine trees combined with traditional stone buildings and running water create endless sceneries of natural beauty.

    The river of Voidomatis as it is considered to be one of the most beautiful rivers of Epirus with a total length of 15 kilometers.

    The village of Papigo as it is one of the most beautiful villages of Zagori, which consists from the Megalo (Grand) Papigo village and Mikro (Tiny) Papigo village. Both of the settlements have an authentic atmosphere with traditional stone houses and cobblestone alleys.

    The bridge of Kalogeriko as it is considered is one of the most beautiful stone bridges of Zagorohoria located in the villages of Kipi and Koukouli of central Zagori.

    The village of Kipi has an authentic atmosphere that has managed to maintain the traditional architecture of Zagori with its cobblestone alleys, its stone houses and its arched loggia. Majestic mountains, verdant forests, steep gorges, flowing streams and arched bridges compose a mosaic of inexhaustible beauty completed from stone staircases, fountains and watermills.

    MYSTERIOUS GREECE TIP

    Vradeto Stairs, one of the most spectacular monuments of Zagorohoria, is an architectural masterpiece of the traditional architecture of Epirus located on the highest spot of the villages of Zagori. Nestling at an altitude of 1.370 meters, the stairs of Vradeto were once the sole way to get from Vradeto village to Kapesovo village. It is highly advisable to follow this magnificent route in order to admire panoramic views of the untamed beauty of Zagorohoria!

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    Discover the top winter destinations in Greece !

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    Our September contest is here. What better prize than to win tickets to Chios and Lesvos with Hellenic Seaways?

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    With 18 conventional and high speed vessels, Hellenic seaways is the largest maritime company in Greece that connects more than 35 ports in the Cyclades, the Northeast Aegean Islands, the Saronic Gulf as well as the Sporades.

    Technology lovers be aware that Hellenic Seaways has a mobile state-of-the-art app that lets you book tickets. Save your Hellenic Seaways SMART TICKET in your smartphone or tablet and you are ready to board!

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    HOW TO ENTER THE COMPETITION

    Share a moment from your favorite Greek summer with the hashtag #MysteriousGreeceTravels

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    TERMS & CONDITIONS

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    By entering the competition, you agree to following terms and conditions. Purpose of Competition - Mysterious Greece is organizing a competition for 2 round trip tickets to Chios or Lesvos with Hellenic Seaways. Eligibility of Participation to the Competition - Eligibility of participation in this contest have those who are over 16 years old. Duration of the Competition - The duration of the contest is from Wednesday, September 6 2017  until Saturday, September 30 2017. How to Participate in the Competition - To participate in the competition, one has to share a status update or an image with the hashtag #mysteriousgreecetravels in Facebook or Instagram. Prizes of the Competition -The prizes of the competition include 2 (two) round trip tickets from Piraeus to Chios or Lesvos . How the Winner will be Selected - The winner of the competition will be selected upon electronic lottery that will be held on Saturday, September 30 2017 . In case the tender winner is not reachable within a period of three working days from the dispatch of the electronic email sent from contact@mysteriousgreece.com, or if at any time the participation is considered not valid, that person permanently loses his entitlement to the relevant prize. How Prize will be Collected - The  winner will have to contact directly Hellenic Seaways to book the tickets upon availability. He/She can use the tickets until the end of 2017 season. Privacy - Mysterious Greece will not share personal data with any third parties . Complaints - For any information or complaints about the promotion, please send relevant email at contact@mysteriousgreece.com Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.

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July 2017

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    [the_ad id="18919"]

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    As summer is approaching, what else better to organize your vacations and discover the Greek islands with Hellenic Seaways?

    [divider style="single" border="small" color="#ffffff"]

    With 18 conventional and high speed vessels, Hellenic seaways is the largest maritime company in Greece that connects more than 35 ports in the Cyclades, the Northeast Aegean Islands, the Saronic Gulf as well as the Sporades.

    Technology lovers be aware that Hellenic Seaways has a mobile state-of-the-art app that lets you book tickets. Save your Hellenic Seaways SMART TICKET in your smartphone or tablet and you are ready to board!

    [divider style="dotted" border="small" color="#1cbaa8"]

    HOW TO ENTER THE COMPETITION

    Share a moment from your favorite Greek summer with the hashtag #MysteriousGreeceTravels

    [divider style="dotted" border="small" color="#1cbaa8"]

    TERMS & CONDITIONS

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    By entering the competition, you agree to following terms and conditions. Purpose of Competition - Mysterious Greece is organizing a competition for 2 round trip tickets to Sifnos, Ios and Santorini with Hellenic Seaways. Eligibility of Participation to the Competition - Eligibility of participation in this contest have those who are over 16 years old. Duration of the Competition - The duration of the contest is from Thursday, July 6 2017  until Monday, July 31 2017. How to Participate in the Competition - To participate in the competition, one has to share a status update or an image with the hashtag #mysteriousummer in Facebook or Instagram. Prizes of the Competition -The prizes of the competition include 2 (two) round trip tickets from Piraeus to Sifnos, Ios or Santorini . How the Winner will be Selected - The winner of the competition will be selected upon electronic lottery that will be held on Monday, July 31 2017 . In case the tender winner is not reachable within a period of three working days from the dispatch of the electronic email sent from contact@mysteriousgreece.com, or if at any time the participation is considered not valid, that person permanently loses his entitlement to the relevant prize. How Prize will be Collected - The  winner will have to contact directly Hellenic Seaways to book the tickets upon availability. He/She can use the tickets until the end of 2017 season. Privacy - Mysterious Greece will not share personal data with any third parties . Complaints - For any information or complaints about the promotion, please send relevant email at contact@mysteriousgreece.com Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.

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June 2017

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    The Museum of ancient Eleutherna - Homer in Crete, the first archaeological site museum in Crete, although smaller in size, is similar to those of Olympia, Delphi, and Vergina. The museum was created to house the results of the excavations carried out for thirty years in the ancient city of Eleutherna.

    The originality of this museum is that the objects of the permanent exhibition will be updated periodically with new and older finds, so that the public's interest is continuous and relates to the discoveries and expansion of the excavation work on the site.

    The exhibition will be accompanied by original and modern audiovisual exhibits.

    The project entitled "Building Complex of Eleftherna archaeological site museum - Travelogue" was implemented under the Operational Programme "Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship 2007-2013" (NSRF) of the University of Crete and the Ministry of Culture and Sport, who are the actors operation. In the southern wing of the building housed the Study Centre with its offices.

    The effort was supported by private initiatives (Aristindin members of the Mediterranean Archaeological Society/ MAE), Organizations, Institutions, and individuals).

    Find out more information from the official website of the Eleftherna Archaeological Museum!

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    A brand-new interesting museum that takes visitors on a virtual tour of the history and culture of Meteora recently opened its doors in Kalambaka. The “Digital Projection Centre of Meteora’s History and Culture” aims to promote the sacred rocks and the surrounding areas even more.

    Through the ultra modern facilities of the museum, visitors discover the unique phenomenon of Meteora and enjoy a three-dimensional virtual tour of the historical monasteries.

    Source: Blog.tresorhotels.com



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    The beloved summer cinephile appointment, the Athens Open Air Film Festival co-organized by the City of Athens Cultural, Sport and Youth Organization, is back for its 7th edition, with more than 20 screenings, from June to September.

    Special spots in town, archaeological sites, parks, squares, beaches and few of the prettiest museums and places in Athens, turn into «open-air cinemas»  with free entrance for everyone.

    This year, the 7th Athens Open Air Film Festival, in collaboration with the British Council, picks out and presents, for the first time in our country, a series of films – heritage of the British gothic horror. The films included in the Tribute «British Gothic», masterpieces of the genre, will be screened in digitally restored copies, offering the audience the chance to enjoy them in their full cinematic magnificence! 

    Even more, acclaimed dramas and award-winning masterpieces from all over the world, everlasting cult movies, Greek films worth watching and unexplored treasures of cinema accompanied by live music all constitute this year’s 7th Athens Open Air Film Festival program!

    The screenings of the biggest film celebration in Athens begin at sunset, that precise hour of the day when Strongbow, cider at its best is ideally served, and which this year meets cinema at its best in order to indulgingly refresh the audience of the 7th Athens Open Air Film Festival.

    Find out more information from the official website of the Athens Open Air Film Festival!

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    The first mapping of the active cracks around Santorini was carried out by a research team with the participation of Greek and American scientists. By analyzing the data that were gathered two years ago with a research vessel, scientists unveiled that the enchanting sea bottom of Santorini is full of typical volcanic cones and submarine terraces.

    New impressive features have recently been published in the Tectonophysics journal. The evidence is based on the processing of data collected by the oceanographic vessel Marcus Langseth (the world's largest vessel, that traveled from America for this purpose) in 2015 under the Proteus research program. Scientific coordinator of the program, Emily Houft of Oregon University, and Evi Nomikou, a Greek Assistant Professor at the Department of Geology of the University of Athens.

    Thanks to the state-of-the-art equipment of the oceanographic ship, a high-resolution mapping of the bottom was created. The new scientific work concerns the basin west of the Christiana (islands in the southwest of Akrotiri) up to the Amorgos basin. "For the first time, we mapped the active ruins of the area between Santorini and Amorgos," Mrs. Nomikou explains. "It is a valuable knowledge. For example, in the recent earthquake in Lesvos, one of the problems was that the fault that has been done has not been mapped. Thus, we now know that the area east of Santorini is more active than the region to its west. "

    High-resolution mapping of the bottom gave many new elements to the existing researches. "In the area between Santorini and Amorgos, we found two underwater landslides, probably linked to the 1956 earthquake (7.4 Richter at the Amorgos fault) and to the tsunami generation. These data are important for tsunami scientists because they can use them to understand the mechanism of generating a tsunami and to model simulation models. "

    http://s.kathimerini.gr/resources/2017-06/santorini3-thumb-large.jpg

    As it turns out, volcanic activity is concentrated in the area of the Kolumbo volcano (located in the basin of the island of Anidros, northwest of Santorini). "We mapped a total of 26 volcanic cones. In fact, we found an old volcanic cone between Milos and Santorini, a region for which we did not have much data yet. "

    The bottom around Santorini is impressive. "The analysis of the topography of the bottom revealed submarine "stairs ", like the terraces that exist in the Cyclades. Their systematic study will show us if they were created by the gradual deposition of material from the volcano or the deformation of the bottom and the volcanic landslides from the great eruption of the Minoan era."

    The mapping of the sea bottom of Santorini is highly accurate. "We need an oceanographic ship, high-quality machinery, and therefore collaborations with scientific institutions in Greece (such as HCMR) and abroad," explains Evi Nomikou. "But most of the earthquakes in Greece are taking place in the subsoil area. Therefore, the mapping of underwater active fissures in the Aegean is necessary ".

    Translated from Kathimerini.gr

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    A one-thousand-member choir directed by Panagis Barbatis and 50.000 spectators paid tribute to Greek legendary composer Mikis Theodorakis took place in Athens on Monday, June 19.

    It was already a magical summer night at the Panathinaic stadium before the largest ever assembled choir in Greece took the stage to make history in front of people of all ages who came together to honor Mikis Theodorakis.

    The concert was many times interrupted by sudden cheers of love towards Thedorakis.

    The composer of Zorba took to the stage towards the end of the concert bringing the crowd to tears. As the crowd wouldn’t stop applauding he also broke to tears!

    Text Source: Greece.greekreporter.com

    Image Source: X-andra Photography via Flickr

    Video Source: Vimeo.com

     

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May 2017

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    The Island

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    The eternal beauty of Santorini is crafted through the reddish cliffs and the colorful houses hanging over the deep blue of the Aegean. Characterized as one of the most beautiful islands in the world, Santorini will definitely leave you speechless from her invigorating beauty of the imposing sceneries of the island. From whitewashed houses hanging over the rising cliffs on the edge of the caldera, the traditional houses of the Cyclades and the cave rock-hewn houses of Santorini painted with earth colors to the neoclassical mansions of the 19th century and the medieval houses dating back to the Venetian occupation, it is definite that Santorini ignites the imagination.

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    The Location

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    In the heart of Oia, at the very edge of the Caldera, overlooking the stunning view of the volcano.

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    The Villa

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    Villa Ilivatos is one of the most beautiful residences in Santorini. It is quite interesting that the name of the villa, ilivatos, means a high and steep rock, which can only be reached from the sun itself. Extraordinary volcanic views and traditional interiors together with the endless blue of the Aegean. Once used as an observatory and a command center, this villa has been transformed into the perfect hide-away escape for family, couples or even friends! No wonder why travellers will truly have an experience of a lifetime at Villa Ilivatos.

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    The Rooms

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    Hidden behind the multicolored buildings of Oia, and following the traditional architecture of Santorini, Villa Ilivatos consists of two houses and a guesthouse, set on three terraces, connected with exterior stairs. It can be rented either as a whole or individually, and can accommodate up to 11 persons. The first house has a bedroom-loft, one bathroom, a fully quipped kitchen, a living room with a sofa bed for two and a dining space while the second house is a studio-like space with one double bedroom, one bathroom, a fully equipped kitchen, a sofa and a dining table. Those two are connected with a staircase sharing a large terrace with a 360 view to the volcano and the caldera. The guesthouse comprises from a twin bedroom and a private shower with a private veranda.

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    VILLA ILIVATOS

    Oia, Santorini

    • Tel. 0030.694.807.8222  • Email: irini@ilivatos.com

    Opening dates and prices may vary depending on the season, so

    please contact the villa directly for further information.

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    The Experience

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    The panoramic views to the volcano, the neighboring volcanic islets and the legendary sunsets form an experience beyond your imagination. Nowhere else on earth exist such an impressive scenery hosting human life. As though the works of the almighty volcano create awe, as though the island is exposed in the most imposing landscapes of the world, as though thousands of travellers grasp subtly a piece of her soul, Santorini is a miracle itself. If there is a paradise on earth, this must be it.

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    Top Things to do

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    • Visit the isle of Nea Kameni

    Whether you choose to follow your guide or you decide to explore the volcano by yourself, it will be thrilling. Reaching the top, a miraculous 360-degree view of the entire island of Santorini emerges from every point of the caldera. A mixture of brown, red and yellow colours arise all around the volcano creating an inimitable canvas of an unknown, yet legendary, artist, none other than Mother Nature.

    • A wine tourism experience

    Enjoy a wine-tourism experience to discover the vineyard of Santorini, one of the most peculiar in the entire planet. Can you imagine harvesting grapes in such a volcanic soil, where one of the largest volcanic events on earth took place?

    • Dive in the deep blue waters of Columbo beach

    Columbo beach is home to the underwater crater of Santorini, and distinguishes for its dramatic landscapes and its wild beauty. According to volcanologists, this is the most dangerous underwater volcanic region in the Mediterranean.

    • The cobblestone path from Fira to Oia

    It is a must to follow the cobblestone path from Oia to Fira via Imerovigli and Firostefani, as it lines up half of the volcanic caldera. Characterized as the most scenic route in Santorini, this path will offer you millions of spots to catch the sunset. It's a ten-kilometer hike that lasts about four hours.

    • Discover the Greek Pompeii

    Known as the Greek Pompeii and claimant of the location of the lost Atlantis, the Prehistoric Settlement of Akrotiri deserves your attention. Unearthed from carved lava, Akrotiri is one of the most important archaeological sites in the Mediterranean.

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    Villa Ilivatos is one of the most beautiful residences in Oia. No wonder why travellers will truly have an experience of a lifetime at this villa.

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    The Museum

    The Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil, in Sparta (Peloponnese), transports you to the culture, history and technology of the olive and olive oil production in the Greek realm, from prehistoric times to the early 20th century. 

    The Museum's objective is to highlight the ineffable relation of the olive with the identity of our country and, more generally, the Mediterranean basin. The olive and olive oil are presented here from different optical angles: the economy, nutrition and the olive's uses, religious worship, art and technology. 

    What is on display?

    The Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil offers you the opportunity to see the very first testimonies about the presence of the olive tree and the production of olive oil in Greece: 

    • Rare fossilized olive leaves, 50,000-60,000 years old, from the island of Santorini, the oldest findings offering proof of the presence of the olive tree en Greece
    • Linear B Tablets of the 14th century BC (exact replicas), with the first written testimonies about the olive and olive oil. 

    For each historical period you will discover the contribution of the olive and olive oil to the economy and to everyday life: nutrition, body care, but also now outdated uses, such as lighting. 

    You will also see how the olive acquires a symbolic dimension in the mythology, religion, the manners and customs of the Greeks. 

    [caption id="attachment_18965" align="aligncenter" width="625"] Museum Network, Photography : Georgiadis Vasillis, ΠΙΟΠ[/caption]

    Examples of ancient and contemporary art prove the place held by the olive in Art and how it was - and continues to be - a constant source of inspiration for Greek artists. 

    On the ground floor, discover the evolution of the technology used to produce olive oil, from ancient times through to the proto-industrial period. Here you will see: 

    • Exact replicas of a Prehistoric, a Hellenistic and a Byzantine olive press
    • An impressive wooden double press with a winch from the neighbouring village of Xirokambi
    • An olive press from the island of Lefkada, which documents the survival of animal power in the 20th century
    • Models representing the functioning of engine-powered olive presses. 

    A separate module is devoted to the production of soap, domestic and industrial: from the large cauldron (harani), still used by old-fashioned housewives to make soap, to the soap-vats used in industry. 

    [caption id="attachment_18962" align="alignnone" width="625"] Museum Network, , ΠΙΟΠ[/caption]

    At the end of your visit, maps and information leaflets direct you to archaeological sites of olive oil production and to traditional olive presses that can be visited in the Peloponnese and the rest of Greece, so that you might pursue your journey of discovery. 

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    Address: Othonos & Amalias 129, Sparta

    Telephone: (+30) 27310 89315  Fax: (+30) 27310 89325

    Opening hours

    From March 1st through to October 15th: Daily (except Tuesdays) 10 am - 6 pm. From October 16th through to February 28th: Daily (except Tuesdays) 10 am - 5 pm.

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    History

    The Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil opened to the public at the end of 2002. It is housed in the building of the old Sparta Power Company (IES), in the heart of the Prefecture of Laconia, one of the main olive producing regions in Greece. It functions under the responsibility of the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation, and will continue to do so for a period of fifty years since its establishment.

     

    The building of the Sparta Power Company

    The building of the former Sparta Power Company, which belonged to the Municipality of Sparta, is a characteristic Greek industrial building of the interwar period.

    The transformation into a Museum

    The Municipality of Sparta conceded the building of the former Sparta Power Company to the Piraeus Bank Group Cultural Foundation, with the objective of creating the Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil. The project was included in the Regional Operational Programme of the Peloponnese and was financed through the Second and Third Community Support Framework.

    The building was radically renovated. Only the main (northern) façade was preserved, which was incorporated into a modern construction. The imaginative architectural shell was adapted to themuseological requirements of a pioneering museum. The new construction is reminiscent of industrial buildings and offers visual escapes towards the surrounding area, the neighbouring olive grove and the Taygettus mountain range.

    The Museum's Multipurpose Hall was built along similar specifications. It hosts activities that invigorate the cultural life of local society and the region (organization of conferences/ lectures, temporary exhibitions, events, etc.)

    Today, the Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil constitutes a living organism that contributes significantly to the region's sustainable development.

    In 2004, the Museum won the first prize of the Hellenic Institute of Architecture, in the competition «Architecture Awards», under the category «Public Works».

    Source: Piop.gr

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    The legendary ship, “George Averof” is beloved by all – something which that has earned in its years of service in the Hellenic Navy. It’s been 65 years since the ship was decommissioned, and  has served as a floating Naval museum in the bay of Paleo Faliro just south of Athens since 1984.

    It may be out of commission, but recently the famous Greek shipowner Alexandros Goulandris along with members of Hydra’s Ecologists Club and retired Naval officers have decided to come together and revive the old ship to see her sail the Greek seas again.

    [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="700"] Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c3/Averof_Today.jpg[/caption]

    It has been a while since “George Averof,” also known as “Lucky Uncle George” has sailed the seas. Back in the 40’s it made a name for itself and its crew who defied the threat of German airstrikes as it made its way to Souda Bay, Crete. “George Averof” went on to patrol the Indian Ocean and remained in commission until 1952.

    Now, Alexandros Goulandris, known for his philanthropy in all things Hellenic – especially maritime tradition – has taken on the task of reviving the old ship. It is a daunting task, as it has been anchored for decades and, being a 110 year-old cruiser, it has a lot of mechanical work that must be completed before it can ever sail the seas of Greece again.

    Image Source: Karwik via Flikr

    Text Source: Greekreporter.com

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    One of the greatest engineering achievements of ancient times, a Greek wonder on the island of Samos, the 6th century BC Eupalinos Tunnel re-opened to the public this week following extensive restoration works.

    The 1,036m tunnel or Eupalinian aqueduct was excavated more than 2,500 years ago from both ends using the principles of geometry to such precision that it stands as a testament to the ingenuity of ancient Greek engineer Eupalinos. Today laser-guided machines are used to drill tunnels from both ends.

    The tunnel is the second known tunnel in history which was excavated from both ends (Ancient Greek: αμφίστομον, amphistomon, “having two openings”), and the first with a geometry-based approach in doing so.

    The tunnel was dug during the reign of tyrant Polycrates. The tunnel was mentioned by Herodotes.

    Two groups working under the direction of the engineer Eupalinos from Megara dug a tunnel through Mount Kastro to build an aqueduct to supply the ancient capital of Samos (today called Pythagoreion) with fresh water.

    This was of utmost defensive importance, as the aqueduct ran underground it was not easily found by an enemy who could otherwise cut off the water supply. The Eupalinian aqueduct was used for a thousand years before it fell into disuse, archaeological findings proved.

    The tunnel was rediscovered in 1882-1884.

    The Eupalinos Tunnel is part of the Pythagoreion archaeological site, an UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992.

    “Traversing the Eupalinos Tunnel is a once-in-lifetime experience… Let’s take heed of what it has to say about the ancient and contemporary engineers,” said Greek Culture Minister Lydia Koniordou on Tuesday, during the opening event on Samos.

    The restoration works were funded by the EU’s NSRF program and cost 3.1 million euros.

    The site can now be visited in its entirety and together with the Pythagoreion and Heraion offer one of the most rewarding travel experiences in Greece and on Samos.

    Source: Keeptalkinggreece.com

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    The annual festivals are guiding the visitors through the world of Culture, emphasizing the rich and distinguished cultural route, on which Syros has been travelling for centuries. The choices are many and apart from the already established festivals, year after year new are added to the cultural program of the Municipality of Syros - Ermoupolis, always focusing on class and respect for the history and tradition of the island.

    Scattered all over the island, the festivals will be hosted in the: Tsiropina Villa in Posidonia, Apollon TheaterHermoupolis Cultural Center, Cyclades Art Gallery, Town Hall , Industrial Museum of Hermoupolis , Miaouli Square , Evanthia Kairi Theater in Lazareta, Y. & E. Vatis Art Hall, Ano Syros , Manos Eleftheriou Concert Arena, Finikas Village , Komito beach in Posidonia, Asteria area in Ermoupolis, Movie Theater "Pallas", Agios Athanasios Pigi in Ano Syros, Pedestrian street in Hermoupolis, Kini Village.

    5th Akropoditi DanceFest 2017 (8-21/7/2017)

    Akropoditi DanceFest started in Syros island in July 2013 by Akropoditi Dancetheatre, a Non-Profit Organisation, registered in Syros. The very first dance festival, Akropoditi DanceFest 2013, took place in July 2013 (15-28/07/13) at the Dance Center, expression & creation in contemporary arts, which exists since January 2013 at Iroon Polytechneiou 84, in Hermoupolis of Syros island. The festival lasts fifteen days and includes 10-day, 5-day and 2-day workshops, presentations and video projections from both the teachers and workshop participants, dance and dancetheatre performances, open jams and more throughout the island. The festival hosts artists from Greece and abroad, combining theoretical and practical workshops with diverse content. The workshops, depending on their content, are aimed at beginners, amateurs or professionals of dance and theater, and each participant may choose a combination of weekly workshops and independent workshops carried out over the weekends.

    Founded in 2013, the Syros International Film Festival showcases a wide spectrum of cinema in traditional and re-purposed island sites. Located in the middle of the Aegean summer, removed from the usual demands and hierarchies of the film industry, SIFF embeds events, styles and programs-experimental and narrative, recent and retrospective, Greek and international, workshops and expanded cinema performance-into its unique setting. The festival aims to welcome an array of cinematic experiences into this immersive dreamscape, allowing us to re-think the question of “What is cinema”?

    Eye's Walk Digital Festival (27-29/7/2017) |

    "Eye's Walk Digital". An innovative festival combining digital technology, video installation and performing art, the designing experience with the particular cultural and architectural background of a city. "Eye's Walk Digital" draws its subjects from man and society to create a new kind of art by composing all of the above. Its productions grow in the public place with boldness and with the participation of artists, visitors and the community.

     

    Hermoupolis Guitar Festival

     

    Founded in 1994, Hermoupolis Guitar Festival is regarded as one of the top guitar festivals in Greece, noted both for its musical quality as well as its friendly atmosphere. The five-day summer festival includes solo and chamber music performances, master classes, competitions and a big guitar orchestra by the participants. It's an open celebration, a gathering of creative musicians, teachers and students with the audience. Meet them all over the city, on the streets, in restaurants, in cafe and sit among them in the intimate venues! The Festival is open to guitarists of any age and at any stage of their career and explores the many aspects of the world's most popular instrument through a rich and varied program. It gives unforgettable events to the audience and step expression to young artists while enriches experiences for students through active participation in seminars, competitions and music ensembles.

    13th International Festival of the Aegean (16-30/7/2017) |

     

    The International Festival of the Aegean, which takes place annually on the Island of Syros, Greece, was founded in 2005 by the Greek-American conductor Peter Tiboris. The Festival attracts world-class musicians, dancers, and actors from dozens of countries, and has become a summer destination for lovers of the arts from Europe and beyond. MidAmerica Productions and MidAm International are the primary producers of this Festival in Syros. MidAmerica Productions was founded in 1983 and has produced worldwide 1300 concerts of which 550 of them have been in historic Carnegie Hall in New York City.

     

    Syros Accordion Festival

     

    The Syros Accordion Festival provides us with the opportunity to explore of the roots of accordion and its routes through the time, as well as the influences it received from the traditional music of the East to the contemporary rhythms of the West. Every day, for a whole week, there are seminars, expositions, workshops and lectures, in which children, students, artists, music teachers, professional or amateur accordionists and other musicians of any age and level of knowledge and skills can participate. Additionally, various concerts are organised through which the manifold potentials of the accordion are presented.

    The International Classical Music festival of the Cyclades brings together world renown soloists and ensembles, providing the solid ground for international chamber music creativity and presenting masterclasses and concerts to a wide audience from all over the world, the mission of the festival being to promote the art of classical music. Reviving the european musical tradition of the 19th century in the city of Hermoupolis, the Festival offers a unique experience for classical music lovers. Alongside, it is an excellent option for those wishing to combine their sea-and-sun holidays in the Cyclades with a classical music event of excellence.

    Syros has always been in the center of the Greek folk music scene, which was an integral part of island’s culture in the first decades of the 20th century. Markos Vamvakaris, was the first musician to make rembetiko, as well as the island of Syros known across the world. The Rembetiko Festival aims to officially pay tribute to the famous artist, by recognizing his work and artistic value. The Rebetiko Festival includes a wide variety of events, such as concerts, documentary showings, lectures, exhibitions, book presentations and children-friendly events, in order to promote rembetiko music and showcase Markos Vamvakaris’s contribution to Greek culture.

     



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    It’s small wonder how so many mythical gods and giants stem from Greek lands. Waters range from deep cobalt to glittering turquoise, speckled with white-sand islands like strings of pearls in the big blue. Naturally, the country has no shortage of postcard-worthy views that are begging to be turned into photographic memories on Instagram. Here are a few of them:

    For cliffside sunsets: Santorini

    Esperas Santorini Instagrammable locations in Greece

    Everyone must experience a Santorini sunset at least once in their life. Watch as the orange glow reflects on the white-painted houses of the Cyclades, be moved by old-world outdoor cinema under the stars and discover picture-perfect beauty around every corner in this breathtaking part of Europe. You’ll find yourself in the ultimate paradise at the award-winning Esperas Santorini, a dream-worthy hideaway carved into rock high on the cliffs of Oia.

    For ancient wonders: Rhodes Island

    Rhodes Island Instagrammable locations in Greece

    The best way to encounter the magnificent history of Greece is by witnessing its ancient monuments, sun-bleached and emanating centuries of mesmerising culture. There’s no better place to spectate such old-age wonder than Rhodes. Visit the unfortified town of Kamiros, snap photos of the wondrous Acropolis of Lindos and discover the sparse remains of the Hellenistic Era as you explore this architectural heritage site. As you wander round medieval cobblestone streets, you’ll find a more luxurious retreat tucked away – the Allegory Boutique Hotel blends historic charm with contemporary luxe for a stay you won’t forget.

    For seaside luxury: Preveza

    Preveza Instagrammable locations in Greece

    Drop your anchor off the beaten path with a trip to the historic port of Preveza. Calm, sun-kissed beaches await – enjoy days that melt away as you look out to the electric blue waters beyond. Adventurers who explore this area are also rewarded the impressive ruins of Nikopolis, built to honour Roman victory, and castles galore. After a scenic stroll down the seaside promenade, spend a night in the iconic The Captain’s House. Dating back to 1896, this luxury boutique hotel was once the mansion of Captain George Potamianos. Today, this unique abode provides guests with superb Grecian hospitality, joyful ambience and, of course, a remarkably picturesque location.

    For romantic lazing: Paxos

    Paxos Instagrammable locations in Greece

    Paxos is proof that great things come in small packages. The tiny Ionian island measures just 10 km by 4 km, but it packs in a lot for its size. Savour homemade tzatziki and crumbling feta in a charming fishing village, wander through olive groves under the revitalising Mediterranean sun and swim in the crystal-clear waters of the incredible Blue Caves – you have to see it to believe it.

    Legend goes that Poseidon, God of the Sea, created Paxos when he was looking for a romantic escape with the alluring sea nymph, Amphitrite. Today’s sumptuous retreat for discerning travellers takes the form of Torri e Merli – a chic and contemporary hotel that harks back to 18th century, when it was one of few remaining fortified manor houses on the island.

    For vibrant forests: Halkidiki

    Halkidiki Villa Galini Instagrammable locations in Greece

    The sparkling beaches of Halkidiki demand attention. But while Greece’s sizzling northern region is bursting with shores that elicit blissful sighs and breathtaking photographs, explorers that look beyond sun and sand are rewarded with glorious Mediterranean forests. At the westernmost point of Halkidiki, in Kassandra, rich pine forests and pristine vineyards offer an alternative Grecian escape. Everyone from Salvador Dali to royals have travelled to these parts to stay in Villa Galini – a secluded sanctuary in the renowned estate of Porto Carras.Book a night here and recharge with spa services, wine-tasting and luxurious suites to spend the night in.

    Source: Historichotelsofeurope.com

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    5th of April 2017 || Hotel Grand Bretagne

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    SWOT | Simple Way Of Tourism is one of the leading hospitality management companies in Greece, specializing in Management Consulting, Sales Representation and Marketing Services, and certified for its quality services and specialization in the Greek and international market as a member of the most important tourism institutions of Greece, SETE & HAPCO.

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    For the first time, SWOT organizes the Sales Growth Forum for Small Lodgings on 5th of April 2016, at the Grand Bretagne Hotel in the city of Athens.

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    The representatives of Small Lodgings will have the opportunity to meet with travel agents, online sales companies (B2B & B2C), specialists in digital marketing services, and key suppliers regarding products and services needed for the excellent operation of their business. Within the framework of the event and through the Sales Academy by SWOT, participants will have the opportunity to attend a unique 2-hours sales seminar presented by tourism professionals. Certification of attendance will be available for all attendees.

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    Participants will have the opportunity to meet key decision-makers of the tourism industry in Greece in order to raise awareness, increase demand and promote their business in worldwide client networks. A key point of participation will be the familiarization with online channels of sales since the digital revolution and the internet play a key role in the hotels booking system. During the forum, participants will also have the opportunity to meet suppliers that provide products and services for small lodgings; through direct acquaintances, their business can be benefited from special agreements directly from the source of their needs.

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    For the first time, SWOT organizes the Sales Growth Forum for Small Lodgings on 5th of April 2016, at the Grand Bretagne Hotel in the city of Athens.

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    Escape to one of the most stunning alpine resorts of mainland Greece

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    Address: Eptalofos, Parnassos Telephone: 0030.22430.61162 Website: Elatosresort.gr

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    Situated in the dense fir forest of Parnassus Mountain, Elatos Resort and Health Club is a utopian escape.

    With more than twenty years of operation, Elatos Resort has managed to combine the traditional values of Greek hospitality with high-end and luxury facilities by respecting the local environment. Made entirely from wood and stone materials, the 39 chalets blend in total harmony with the natural environment.

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    Situated in the heart of Parnassus Mount, within the majesty of its dense fir forest at an altitude of 1.300 meters, Elatos Resort & Health Club is one of the most stunning alpine resorts of mainland Greece. It is true that Elatos Resort is a unique opportunity to enjoy the authentic hospitality of Greece along with an inimitable alpine and luxury experience.

    Whether you choose to visit Elatos Resort in the cold days of the winter, the sunshine days of the summer, the blossoming days of the spring or even the golden days of the autumn, the resort is an ideal holiday escape all year round. Elatos Resort has managed to combine the pleasure of living your adventure with all the comforts of a hotel and Health Club.

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    The romantic atmosphere and warmth of the chalets make Elatos Resort an ideal destination for couples and honeymooners while the picturesque chapel of the resort is an excellent choice for organizing a wedding or christening with absolute privacy. Those looking for a stress free holiday, will have the opportunity to enjoy rejuvenation and relaxation at the Health Club while families with kids will be able to enjoy quality time and the younger members will be provided with endless hours of fun under the supervision of experienced educators and tutors. By respecting the natural environment, in such a region of rich biodiversity, Elatos Resort is also a unique haven for nature lovers and an exemplary destination for alternative activities including hiking, mountain biking, off-road driving and skydiving!

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    Elatos Resort consists of 39 wooden chalets from 70 to 140 square meters, with two or three bedrooms, ideal for two to six people. All chalets have a living room with a fireplace, one or two bathrooms along with a terrace, while the majority of them offer a kitchenette. Other amenities include satellite TV, DVD Player, telephone, mini bar and independent heating. It is really interesting that Elatos Resort is a pet-friendly hotel, as pets are allowed in some public areas with prior consultation!

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    Made entirely from wood and stone materials, the 39 chalets of Elatos Resort blend in total harmony with the natural environment.

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    The Family Chalets are the largest chalets of the complex, ideal for families and friend groups, which can comfortably accommodate up to six people in three bedrooms. They are well equipped with two bathrooms, a spacious living room and a fireplace, and they range from 90 to 110 square meters.

    The Deluxe Chalets have been designed to accommodate six people in two bedrooms and two beds in the open loft in an area between 80 and 90 square meters. They have one bathroom and, likewise the Family Chalets, a spacious living room with a fireplace.

    The Classic Chalets are an ideal choice for couples or small families, as they can accommodate up to four people in two bedrooms. This type of chalet has also one bathroom and a living room with a fireplace, while some of them have two floors with a loft – an ideal place for children. The size of the classic chalets range from 60 to 70 squares meters.

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    Meeting point of the guests is the Club House, in the heart of Elatos Resort, which has a fine restaurant with an emphasis on pure ingredients and local cuisine and large terraces with panoramic views of the fir forest, as well as a bar with a fireplace for the cold days and nights of the winter, a lounge with comfortable sofas, and a specially designed area for children.

    The resort is also an ideal venue for conferences, seminars and events! The conference hall can accommodate up to 80 people, with all the necessary audiovisual equipment, guaranteeing the implementation of successful meetings and seminar in such a striking scenery.

    One of the most exceptional facilities of the resort is the Health Club that offers the opportunity to visitors to enjoy the finest of relaxation. Whether you want to dive into the heated indoor pool with majestic views of the mountains, or you choose to relax in the Jacuzzi, it is definite that Elatos Resort offers a unique experience. That is not all since the Health Club has a fully equipped gym as well as a beauty care area. The wellness experience is completed through the beauty suggestions offer by Elatos Spa by Apivita. Treatments include facial and body treatments for men and women, massages and reflexology.

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    In 2016, Elatos Resort launched the program Elatos Mountain Wellness – Discover a better you , where one can discover a world of wellness with group fitness programs, personal training, spa treatments, and specialized wellness retreats. The specialized Wellness Retreats have duration of three to seven days. Every weekend, visitors can participate in fitness programs of a wide range of sports such as cross training, yoga, pilates, aqua classes, baby swimming and personal traning, all of which are performed with the latest fitness machines within the premises of the resort as well as the natural environment surrounding the hotel.

    By acquiring the member card of Elatos Mountain Wellness, you can attend all group programs of the weekend, have free access to the gym, pool and the Jacuzzi, while you can enjoy special privileges on spa treatments and personal training services.

    Elatos Resort also organizes thematic weekends focused on wellness and relaxation, mushroom hunting, wine tasting and hiking adventures in order to ameliorate the authentic experience of its guests.

    Warm hospitality, intimate atmosphere and the friendly staff are ready to meet every desire of yours! Undeniably, Elatos Resort & Health Club is one of the most stunning alpine resorts of mainland Greece. Do not miss the unique escape from the everyday world at Greece’s best-kept secret!

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    Undeniably, Elatos Resort & Health Club is one of the most stunning alpine resorts of mainland Greece. Do not miss the unique escape from the everyday world at Greece’s best-kept secret!

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    Situated in the heart of Parnassus Mount, within the majesty of its dense fir forest at an altitude of 1.300 meters, Elatos Resort & Health Club is one of the most stunning alpine resorts of mainland Greece.

    Reflecting on Peloponnese - Aerial Landscape Video from N. Kechagias, A. Lykoudi on Vimeo.

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    "Mount Athos with skis and snowboard. This was an idea we all had been dreaming about for many years, but were not sure would ever be possible. Athos has been a holy sanctuary of Christian tradition for well over 1000 years. It is not a place you travel to for recreation. Regardless of the deep spiritual experience that we, as true skiers and snowboarders, feel on the mountain, most people regard what we do simply as a bunch of "dudes" having fun in the snow. Would the church see it the same way? Or would they understand our perspective. This was the dilemma. Thankfully, we received a blessing and were able to make our winter pilgrimage to Agion Oros, the Holy Mountain."

    Full film coming soon!

    George Klaoudatos, Yannis Kotileas, Socratis Bounovas, Dimitris Pantelias, George Armogenis, Constantine Papanicolaou and Alexandros Tsilogeorgis.

    Mount Athos Pilgrimage from Constantine Papanicolaou on Vimeo.

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    For the first time, WayOut Adventures and Oceanman organize the first international open water race on July 2nd in Oitylo bay, Mani.

    OCEANMAN started out in 2015 (Only Spain & Italy) as the first global open water swimming races franchise designed by swimmers, for swimmers. In 2016 Oceanman became the only International World Championship in Open Waters, offering both professional and amateur swimmers the chance to achieve their personal goals in unique locations, for their beauty and surroundings, like the Putrajaya and Orta Lakes, the Caribbean Sea, Pacific and Mediterranean.

    Qualification System: The first 10 women and first 10 men classified in each category, in each race before Benidorm, in both OCEANMAN & HALF OCEANMAN, will automatically pass through to the Oceanman Worldwide Championship final.

    You simply have to classify in just ONE of the qualifying races to participate in the Oceanman Worldwide Championship.  It is not necessary, under any circumstances, to participate in all of the qualifying races of the championship.

    Find out more information from the Facebook page of Oceanman Greece and OOceanman Official Website!

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February 2017

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    Greece - a stunning country, blessed with enormous richness in both its land and its seas. A hospitable country, filled with warm, welcoming people. A riveting country, brimming with ancient relics and remnants that remind us that this was once considered, and justifiably so, the navel of the world. With these facts as a given, travellers sometimes feel at a loss about where to start experiencing Greece. As the Greek weather is never in crisis (thankfully), summer comes early even during spring! And as spring is almost about to dawn on us, here are four top recommendations that will place you ahead of summer, taking advantage of these amazing locations and the experiences they have to offer.



    Ultimate indulgence in Crete’s most exclusive gulf

    Elounda3Crete is an entire destination on its own; Greece’s most autonomous island with a particular character, a strong personality and countless natural beauties, points of interest, landmarks, and experiences to be had. One of these striking places is the Mirabello Gulf, the largest one of the Greek islands that offers travellers an incredible advantage. Complete seclusion in an exclusive location found nowhere else in Greece. 


    
You can indulge in the extensive facilities of Elounda Gulf Villas & Suites and you are sure to experience a vacation of luxurious experiences. Ideal for groups of friends or families, as well as being the perfect romantic retreat for couples, your wellness goals can also be achieved with incredible spa pool facilities, plus you’ll get to taste the best of Crete’s flavours with hearty, buffet breakfasts & dinners. For even more exclusive dining, in-villa or in-suite dining is available, tailoring your culinary experience to your preferences and desires. Also boasting a private beach only for guests, all members of families can fully enjoy themselves through the Cool Kids club services that also available. Exploring Crete is also within your grasp, by land or sea, so all you need to do is figure out how many days would suffice for you to say that you’ve relaxed enough. 




    Absolute comfort in the heart of Santorini


    SantoriniSantorini is by far a very popular destination with unsurpassable natural beauty. A strange, crescent shape, a dormant volcano, colourful beaches and a town that is perched on a dramatic caldera cliff. Choices and possibilities on this island are endless, although it has been branded as the mecca of honeymoons. Santorini is a great destination for friends, families as well, as apart from the romance factor that the island exudes, it also offers quality nightlife options, and a myriad of activities suitable for families too! Archaeological findings are not scarce either, so there is also a strong cultural element of Santorini through the ages to be explored. Staying in Fira town is undoubtedly a wise choice as you will get to experience the island’s vibe first hand, at any time you choose to. Surround yourself with Cycladic aesthetics and absolute comfort in an environment of understated luxury by choosing Kalisti Hotel and indulge in the luxury of simplicities that make visiting a place part of a lifetime memory. 



    Unlimited panoramas of bliss in Corfu


    Pelekas1The Ionian sea and islands that exist among it are known for a more tropic kind of beauty than their eastern counterparts in the deep blue Aegean sea. First time travellers will not believe the amazingly azure waters and silky shores that grace the Paxos and Antipaxos islands, however, these are best experienced as day trips by boat while staying at a more cosmopolitan island like Corfu, the emerald lady of the Ionian. Now imagine one of Corfu’s best beaches with unlimited panoramas of a sky painted majestically in the colours of the Corfiot sunset. You’ve arrived at the highly sought after destination of the cliff-like Kontogialos beach and Pelekas Monastery. A place that offers a fulfilling, integrated hospitality experience for everyone who seeks to combine a resort ambiance with incredible views, day or night, and has a itch to explore the Ionian further. 


    Explore Athens and discover a coastal paradise close-by

    acropolisBeing a coastal city, Athens almost always has the summer vibe. The whole extrovert Greek mentality is inextricably linked to the general gloriousness of the Greek climate, and the generosity of the Greek sun. Athens has so much to show, starting with the old town centre areas of Plaka and Monastiraki that will charm you with their quaint shops, under the imposing rock of the Acropolis. People out and about, having their coffees outdoors, dawdling around and soaking in the aura of the ancients that permeates the entire city. A thousand plus one ancient landmarks patiently await to be discovered, and they are not only restricted to the centre. The further beyond Athens you go, the more interesting the landmarks become, bearing in mind that Athens was a fully fledged cosmopolitan city even in ancient times. The temple of Poseidon in Sounio is a must visit especially during sunset, and it is only a 40 minute drive approximately, within the outskirts of Athens. And if you wish to venture out a bit further to a coastal paradise not so far away, a summer favourite among locals is the area of Porto Heli in the Peloponnese, about 2 ½ hours from Athens.

    Hinitsa1Home to a gorgeous bay, Porto Heli is situated opposite the Argosaronic island of Spetses which you can easily visit via boat crossing over from AKS Hinitsa Bay’s private pier. And since you’ve reached Peloponnese’s most tranquil bay, this opens up another world of exploring mystical places such as Mycenae, the ancient theatre of Epidaurus, the charming city of Nafplio and even the most impressive of all, Monemvasia. 


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    The first step in creating the "Museum of Dynasty George" in the building of Tatoi Palace was made by the Central Council for Modern Monuments on December of 2016. The KNSM examined the restoration preliminary study thanks to the initiative of the Friends Association of the Tatoi Estate.

    [caption id="attachment_18158" align="aligncenter" width="600"]131358_10151286013098077_757552923_o-600x391 Tatoi Royal Palace, 1930's[/caption]



    The study presented by the Director of the Directorate for Protection and Restoration of Modern Monuments, Amalia Androulidaki, and architect Magkourilou Anastasia, specialist for the restoration of the summer palace in a royal estate ,got approval for the next phase of drafting the final design.

    The restoration research and the museological study will take place in order to convert the palace into a museum, since an incalculable inventory of furniture and works of art of the royal family are stacked in warehouses.

    Today, the building, a replica summer palace in Petergof Russia, is in good condition , despite its long abandonment. The main building of the palace, designed by Savvas Boukis, was erected in 1884 by King George I, while specially designed gardens and an aesthetic forest were also developed in the surroundings of the palace.

    The restoration will focus on the initial internal and external form of the palace and the internal traffic.

    Source: Royalchronicles.gr

     

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    Costa Navarino, the prime sustainable golf destination in the Mediterranean, inaugurates the 1st Messinia Pro Am, on 21-24 February 2017, under the auspices of the PGAs of Europe, the PGA of Greece, the Hellenic Golf Federation and the Hellenic Olympic Academy.

    Top professional players, celebrities and amateurs from all over the world will have the chance to compete in the awarded golf courses, The Dunes Course and The Bay Course.

    Participants will be able to enjoy the mild climate of the region, the unspoilt Mediterranean landscape and play golf surrounded by centuries old olive groves and rolling hills overlooking the Ionian Sea.

    Mr. Bernhard Langer, former two times US Masters Champion, Ryder Cup Captain and designer of The Dunes Course, Costa Navarino mentioned:

    "Following the two recent awards that Costa Navarino received this year both by IAGTO and IGTM, it is super exciting that the 2017 season kicks off with the Messinian Pro-Am Golf Tournament! Launching the Messinia Pro-Am at a time that golf has once again become an Olympic sport for the first time since 1904, Costa Navarino proves its devotion and dedication to golf and golf tourism. A new tournament to discover and hopefully a well-established annual golf event in the near future, the Pro-Am presents a great opportunity to mingle among top golfers from around the globe, while play golf at a world-class golf destination of unprecedented natural beauty, historical and culinary legacy. I am sure that alongside the tournament, participants will experience a rich program of entertaining events, on top of the warm and genuine hospitality of the Messinians. This cannot be missed!”

    The tournament will be held at both golf courses The Dunes Course and The Bay Course. In The Dunes Course, athletes will play golf amongst olive trees over 100 years old and enjoy stunning views of the Sellas River and the Ionian Sea. Similarly, in The Bay Course, athletes will follow a spectacular path among hills and olive groves overlooking the historic bay of Navarino. Costa Navarino has recently been recognised by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) and presented with the prestigious European Golf Resort of the Year 2017 award.

    Each team will play a total of 54 holes, 18 holes per day, while the three best professional players and the three best teams will be awarded for their success. In addition, special awards will be given in both men and women’s categories.

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Every five years the German city of Kassel hosts the documenta, an exhibition of modern and contemporary art. Now, for the first time since its inception in 1955, Kassel will share that honor with a city located almost 3000 kilometers away: Athens.

Athens’ municipal council approved on Thursday the use of central squares by the artists of the “Documenta 14” modern art exhibition, part of which will be held in the Greek capital in April.

“Athens will be at the center of cultural interest and important foreign newspapers, such as the Guardian and the New York Times to host is to promote Athens as a dynamic center of modern culture and urge their readers to visit,” Athens mayor Giorgos Kaminis said.

Syntagma square, National Resistance square located in front of the city hall, Avdi square in Metaxourgio and the pedestrian walkway of Dionysiou Areopagitou will host original works by artists from around the world. Cultural bodies and universities are also cooperating with the exhibition.

Kaminis said that more than 5,000 people involved in art, such as museum directors and collectors have confirmed their participation, as well as 1,400 journalists from around the world.

The opening of the Athens exhibition, titled “Learning from Athens”, is scheduled for April 6, 7 and 8 and the event will last until July 12.

Source: Greekreporter.com


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January 2017

    Enjoy a lovely video from Steni village in Euboea!

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    'The fact that nobody has never explored the hill before is a mystery'


    A few weeks ago, Egyptian archaeologists excavated parts of Abydos, a “lost city” they believe dates back to 5,316 BCE and could have been part of the first capital of one of the earliest Egyptian empires. Now, a similar discovery has been made in Greece.

    An international team of Swedish and Greek archaeologists discovered the remains of a former metropolis located 190 miles north of Athens. The 2,500-year-old lost city is buried underground, yet it is high in the sky on the Strongilovoúni hill on the great Thessalian plains.

    “A colleague and I came across the site in connection with another project last year, and we realized the great potential right away. The fact that nobody has never explored the hill before is a mystery,” Robin Rönnlund, PhD student in Classical Archaeology and Ancient History at the University of Gothenburg and leader of the fieldwork, said in a statement.

    [caption id="attachment_881359" align="aligncenter" width="635"] The city’s acropolis is barely visible during a cloudy day on the Thessalian plains.[/caption]

    At the 99-acre site, towers, walls and city gates can be found on the summit and slopes of the mountain, but hardly anything is visible from the ground below. The discovery of a town square and street grid indicates they’ve discovered a large city.

    But rather than excavate, the team is using ground-penetrating radar, which will enable them to learn from the site without disturbing it. So far this method has been successful and led to the discovery of many of the aforementioned city structures.

    Fragment of red-figure pottery from the late 6th century BC, probably by Attic painter Paseas.

    Fragment of red-figure pottery from the late 6th century BC, probably by Attic painter Paseas. SIA/EFAK/YPPOA

    “We also found ancient pottery and coins that can help to date the city. Our oldest finds are from around 500 BC, but the city seems to have flourished mainly from the fourth to the third century BC before it was abandoned for some reason, maybe in connection with the Roman conquest of the area,” Rönnlund said.

    He believes the find can change the view of an area that traditionally has been considered a backwater of the ancient world and provide clues as to what happened during a particularly violent time in Greek history.

     
    Source: Observer.com
     
     
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    Discover Karpenisi from our travel guides!

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    Researchers from the Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities (Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports) and the University of Copenhagen are continuing to make important discoveries at Lechaion, the main harbour town of ancient Corinth. Among them structures that join the Inner and Outer Harbours, and a unique wooden bulwark that made up part of a mole flanking the entrance to the Inner Harbour.

    This short movie, financed by the Carlsberg Foundation, offers a journey from the Outer Harbour into the Inner Harbour and back in time to the 5th and 6th centuries AD. 

    Greek and Danish archaeologists investigating Lechaion’s harbour areas are finding that the town appears to have been much more important than previously thought. In the course of three excavation seasons, they have delineated major offshore structures, a monumental entrance canal and several inland canals connecting at least four harbour basins. In total, the area is greater than 500.000 m2 – bringing it on par with other major harbour towns of the age, such as Athens’ harbours in the Piraeus and Roman Portus.

    "This season topographical and geophysical surveys have made it possible for us to successfully delineate the canal zone between the inner and outer harbours. In the process we discovered that the entrance canal connecting the Inner and Outer Harbours was up to 30 m wide in the 4th and 3rd century BC, then grew narrower in later centuries. The precise reason why remains to be discovered," says co-director of the Lechaion Harbour Project Bjørn Lovén.

    The team mapped the full extent of the mole flanking the eastern side of the entrance canal as far as 46 meters offshore in 1–3 meters of water. Working carefully and methodically for 35 days, divers defined the eastern side of the canal. At the harbour entrance, and interconnected with this mole, they discovered strong stone foundations, perhaps for a tower that would protect the entrance. Nearby were found two column drums. Their precise purpose remains unknown, but such drums found at other excavated Roman harbours supported porticoes on the harbour front. Future explorations promise more discoveries. “The extremely rare wooden structures we’ve found in the early stages at Lechaion give us hope that we’ll find other organic materials, such as wooden tools, furniture, wooden parts of buildings and shipwrecks – the potential is immense and it is important to stress that we almost never find organic material on land in the central Mediterranean region”, says Bjørn Lovén.


    This movie, financed by the Carlsberg Foundation, offers an overview of the investigations and discoveries of the Lechaion Harbour Project in 2016.

    About Corinth and Lechaion

    Located on the isthmus connecting the Peloponnese and the rest of mainland Greece, Corinth and Lechaion served as a perennial nexus of land and sea routes. From an early date Lechaion’s wharves swelled with trading goods, helping Corinth to become

    [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="217"]Photo: Vassilis Tsiairis Archaeologists Konstantina Vafeiadou and Matej Školc remove a column drum from the harbour front area. Click on the image to see it full size.fabulously wealthy. Ancient authors comment that transhipping goods at Lechaion was far preferable to sailing around the bottom of the Peloponnese, a kind of mini Cape Horn. One of them, the first-century BC author Strabo, quoted a timeworn proverb: “If you see Cape Malea [at the southeast tip of the Peloponnese], forget your home” (Fig. 2).[/caption]

     

    Throughout antiquity, Lechaion played a crucial role in supporting Corinth's function as a cultural metropolis. Beginning in the 8th century BC her waterfront saw Corinthian colonists set out for Corfu and Sicily and elsewhere as they sowed the seeds of Hellenism to the rest of southern Europe. In addition, by the Late Roman period Lechaion, while still linked with Corinth, had developed her own identity as a town and religious centre. In the 6th century AD the town showcased one of the largest Christian churches of the time, the 180-m-long Leonidas Basilica.

     

     

     

     

     

    Source: Humanities.ku.dk

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    Site of one of the most memorable battles in history and a timeless symbol of heroism

    Source: Discovergreece.com

    You are in Central Greece. You gaze out over the now serene valley spreading towards the sea. The Spercheios River and the centuries have tamed the landscape and widened it so that the pass is no longer narrow. But in your mind’s eye you see Leonidas in full armour, ready to attack.

    Images flash through your mind as you begin travelling through the history of Ancient Greece. You see the site as it was, a truly narrow pass, with hordes of Persians on the one side and a handful of Greeks on the other. You can almost hear the clash of weapons and the screams of the wounded. The real meaning of heroism and the glory of dying for the idea of freedom stand revealed. The power and force of the site’s symbolism move you more than you expect.

    What to do in Thermopylae

    In the words of the poet

    Thermopylae

    Honour to those who in their lives
    are committed and guard their Thermopylae.
    Never stirring from duty;
    just and upright in all their deeds,
    but with pity and compassion too;
    generous whenever they are rich, and when
    they are poor, again a little generous,
    again helping as much as they are able;
    always speaking the truth,
    but without rancor for those who lie.
    And they meet greater honor
    when they foresee (and many do foresee)
    that Ephialtes will finally appear,
    and in the end the Medes will go through.

    The famous Greek poet Constantine Cavafy wrote these words in honour of the heroes of Thermopylae (translation Rae Dalven).

    The Battle of Thermopylae: universal history lessons


    In antiquity the pass at Thermopylae, between Mt Kallidromos and the Maliakos Gulf, was the only practical route for large armies to reach southern Greece and thus it was often fought over. The most famous battle occurred in 480 BC, when 300 Spartans under King Leonidas, along with 700 Thespians, delayed the vast army of Xerxes in a legendary last stand, following the betrayal by Ephialtes, who showed the Persians how to outflank the Greek forces.

    Monument to the leader of heroes


    A tribute to the memory and history of heroes: In the 1950s a monument depicting Leonidas in full armour was placed opposite the historic hill of Kolonos, in the central gate of the ancient pass where the final stage of the battle was fought. Mounds of 5th century bronze and iron spearheads were found at the foot of the hill. In the past the Athens-Lamia national road ran by here but the new national road requires that you use the exit at Themopyles or Kamena Vourla in order to visit the monument.

    The hot springs of Thermopylae


    According to mythology the area’s hot springs were created by Hephestus at Athena’s request, as a gift for Hercules. The modern spa was built in 1935 and the village of Thermopyles – the name means Hot Gates – has developed into an important spa resort in Central Greece.

    Kamena Vourla
    For travellers, Kamena Vourla is a good place to stop for a coffee under the shade of trees next to the sea. For vacationers it’s a timeless holiday resort offering hot springs, hotels, restaurants and shops. The spa, built at the foot of Mt Knimi, is surrounded by beautiful beaches.

    Hidden gems of Thermopylae

    Loutra Mylos, Koniaviti and Pigi Afroditis

    Six cisterns fed by hot springs freely offer visitors a singular opportunity for revitalisation and invigoration.

    Agios Konstantinos: gateway to the Sporades


    This coastal town near Kamena Vourla is the point of departure for ferries to Skiathos, Alonissos, Skopelos and other north Aegean islands. Take a dive into the blue-green sea before you travel.

    The Monastery of Metamorfosi Sotiros


    Around 4km above the spa town of Kamena Vourla, you’ll find the Monastery of Metamorfosi Sotiros (Transfiguration of the Saviour). Feel the aura of this holy place from the monastery’s balcony and take in the amazing sea view.


    Source: Discovergreece.com


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    Corfu is an island that has seen many conquests through the centuries, with each leaving its own distinct mark on the town’s appearance, as well as contributing to the cultural diversity that is aplenty. The Venetians, the British, the French and the Austrians all had their time in Corfu, not to mention the Barbarian and pirate raids during the 4th century. All this conquest activity left in its wake some truly impressive structures: grand buildings and glamorous mansions, imposing palaces and fortified castles, extravagant manors and elegant villas. Corfu old town has it all! And if their walls could talk, they would tell a million stories…

There are very few places in the world that gather so many grandiose buildings, and in such close proximity to one another; this ‘emerald island’, the cosmopolitan Corfu is one of them. Here, we take a closer look at the top 3 most impressive buildings and touch upon their glorified past. 



    1) Palace of St. Michael & St. George

    palace-of-st-michael-and-st-george-corfu-panoramaBuilt in 1819 using Maltese limestone, this sizeable Royal or City Palace, as it is locally known, features elements of Georgian, romantic classicism with neo palladianism in its architectural style. To this effect, the outdoors are awe-inspiring: a wide facade, intricately decorated with relief metopes, further adding to the opulence factor. A lovely garden welcomes you with a fountain in its centre that serves as a pedestal for the bronze statue of Sir. Frederic Adam, in honour of him supervising the town’s aqueduct construction (and later to become the next Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian islands). Ιonic and Corinthian style columns frame the interiors, with its walls decorated with frescoes of scenes from the Odyssea, and a splendid staircase leading up to the first floor. It boasts 3 main halls: a ballroom, a throne hall and a banquet hall. Intended as the residence for the British Lord High Commissioner at the time, Sir Thomas Maitland, it was also the original home of the Order of the Knights of St. George and St. Michael, a British order of chivalry related to achievements of the Napoleonic Wars. Some of its other purposes included becoming a summer residence for the Greek royal family, housing the Ionian Republic Senate and being the venue for a European Summit. Today visitors can admire not only the exteriors of this beautiful palatial structure, but also the interesting exhibits of the interiors. Now the proud host of the Museum of Asian Art, the Department of classical antiquities of Corfu and the works of Corfiot artists from the 19th century plus other temporary exhibitions, it is also a municipal library. Having survived WWII and the Greek Civil war, albeit with some damage to the structure, the Palace still emits a grandeur that is unmistakable. 



     

    2) Mon Repos mansion

    mon-repos-palace

    A summer residence for the Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian islands, Sir Frederic Adam, the Mon Repos mansion was constructed in 1828 in the old town’s southern area, opposite the forest of Palaiopolis (Corfu’s ancient city of ruins). The prime location of this mansion offers wonderful, refreshing views of the old town landmarks, and today it also overlooks the same name Mon Repos Palace Art Hotel that has been designed with the original mansion in mind. Apart from the elegant interiors that are fit for royalty, the mansion’s bountiful exteriors are an attraction point in themselves, as the grounds contain ancient Doric temple ruins and the infamous Heraneum (in honour of goddess Hera) that dates back to 7th-4th centuries B.C. Only used by Sir Frederic Adam and his Corfiot wife until 1832 before relocating to India, Mon Repos mansion underwent through a number of changes in use over time. In 1833 it became the school for fine arts, while it’s beautiful park was opened to the public the following year. In 1863, it welcomed the Empress Elisabeth of Austria, or more commonly known as the loved Princess Sisi, who became completely infatuated with the island of Corfu during her stay there, giving her motivation to later build the Achilleion Palace in the 1890’s. Following the Ionian islands’ union with Greece in 1864, the mansion was given to Greece’s first king, King George I of the Hellenes, and the royal family until 1967 when King Constantine II fled Greece, prior to the military junta regime taking over. During this period, the Mon Repos mansion witnessed two royal births, the first is that of current British royal consort, Prince Philip Duke of Edinburgh, spouse of ruling Queen Elizabeth II, Prince of Greece and Denmark at birth in 1921, and Princess Alexia of Greece and Denmark in 1965.

     

    
3) Villa Rossa - Aspioti residence

    villa_rossa_in_corfu

    One of the private family residences that contributed to Corfu’s cultural and social salience. Built in 1864, this red villa, or Villa Rossa is a most peculiar villa of artist Nikos Aspiotis. Inspired by Italian neoclassical design and British functionality, Villa Rossa boasted 24 rooms that have seen days when the lavish halls vibrated with laughter, song and dance. The Aspiotis family were innovators and benefactors of Corfu, and their deluxe villa was a point of social gatherings, the exclusive guestlist of which included members of the royal family and other distinguished people. Enveloped in beautifully verdant gardens that used to house a tennis court among other gaming activities, the exteriors now show little signs of these past days of grandeur. They are still primarily red, although worn down and sallow, as the villa (barely) stands, in absolute dereliction. Villa Rossa’s ownership was passed from the Aspiotis family to the Greek state in 1997 which essentially sealed the villa’s fate, enter a decade of complacency. Now, the once glamorous Villa Rossa has broken shutters and windows all around, ruined ceilings, shattered tiles and flooded basements while the intricate, wooden detailing that once covered the interior’s columns and mantelpieces, falls apart daily. The quality craftsmanship found in its leather furniture items and velour tapestry lays in line to rot, making Villa Rossa the saddest story to be contained within ...four walls.

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    Enjoy a lovely video from Tempe!

    Enjoy a lovely video adventure from Pelion Ski Center!

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    A history stretching back centuries and a thoroughly modern European swagger.

    Source: Discovergreece.com


    Here in the homeland of the iconic doctor of antiquity, Asclepius, a veritable treasure trove of cultural attractions await you.

    That perfect selfie with a jaw-dropping panorama in the frame may be all the encouragement you need to make the climb to the town’s medieval fortress. However, once at the top you cannot help but be bowled over by the aura of the building itself. The clock tower in the east, stubbornly defiant in the face of a considerable pummeling over the centuries, now makes a more sedate vantage point from which to enjoy beautiful sunsets.

    A leisurely stroll around the town reveals the ornate architectural style of the famed stately homes, as well as the older churches in the districts of Varousi and Palia Manavika, all commanding your undivided attention. And should you work up an appetite, the surrounding taverns and café-bars are a tempting proposition. From the heart of this verdant landscape, emerges a remarkable industrial monument; the Matsopoulos Park and Mill, the first flour and pasta producing factory in Greece. An imposing stone-clad structure, it will take you on a trip back to the days when mechanized production was taking its first tentative steps. Just as you are dreaming of a couple of centuries ago, you will come across a reminder of Greece’s ancient past at the Trikala Asclepeion. The next stop is Koursoum Mosque, a source of inspiration as one of the best preserved mosques on Greek soil. Finally, the “Kliafa” Centre of History and Culture guarantees a front row seat for a dazzling display of exhibits.

    Nature combined with the urban landscape


    Whether you have a romantic rendezvous or a quiet walk with a view of the Lithaios River in mind, the pedestrianized Bridge of Trikala is a cherished spot. The “green jungle” on the hill of Prophetes Helias is a surprise sweetened by the fact that it is so close to the city, while in the neighbouring zoo you will get nature with an exotic spin as kangaroos, lamas and deer lead the line-up!



    Gastronomy & Local products

    The inhabitants of Trikala are well known for their eclectic palates!  Here Feta, the queen of white cheeses, rules alongside other delights of the dairy; yoghurt, galotyri and mizithra – both cheeses made mostly of sheep’s milk. In a town with a long tradition for rearing livestock, it comes as no surprise that the Trikala sausage is reputed for its sublime taste, further enhanced by herbs and spices from nearby Mount Koziakas and then washed down by a drop of quality wine or tsipouro.



    Nearby destinations


    With Trikala as your base, there are plenty of sights to keep you fascinated in the surrounding area. Not least of which is Meteora, where giant slabs of granite shoot bolt upright from the ground. A wonderful, surreal spectacle in itself, but when you realize each is crowned by a monastery, you’ll certainly begin to doubt your senses. How did the rocks form in this way? How were the monasteries built in such a precarious position? Surely, a little divine intervention? Meteora is also a first choice for hikers and abseilers who want to take on the challenge of this beguiling landscape. Once you’ve got your breath back from Meteora, a visit to the newly established Museum of Natural History and the utterly unique Museum of Mushrooms in Kalambaka is essential. Naturally, this includes a mushroom hunt in the forest, followed by some invaluable cooking tips.

     

    Elati, Pertouli, Pyli, Neraidohori


    Of course, in Elati, named after the Greek word for fir tree, you can expect nothing less than a majestic alpine landscape. Mere minutes away is picturesque Pertouli, with idyllic scenes of red stone roofs and horses roaming freely in the meadows, as well as the villages of Pyli and Neraidohori, waiting to reveal their charms.

    An ideal all year round destination, Trikala guarantees a medley of authentic experiences. European spirit in the heart of the Greek countryside- to satisfy even the most “restless” of travellers.

    Source: Discovergreece.com


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    A 500-foot bronze statue of the Greek god Helios, towering over the entryway to a port. Just think of the Titan of Braavos from Game of Thrones.

    Source: Popularmechanics.com

    A collective of European architects has proposed to build a 21st-century version of the Colossus of Rhodes, the ancient Greek statue erected on the island of Rhodes in the 3rd century B.C. The new statue would stand 500-feet tall and serve as a cultural center as well as a lighthouse.

    One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Colossus of Rhodes was a 100-foot bronze statue of Helios, the Greek titan-god of the sun. It was constructed in 280 B.C. to celebrate a military victory over Antigonus I Monophthalmus, the ruler of Cyprus who unsuccessfully besieged Rhodes in 305 B.C. The Colossus stood as one of the tallest structures of the ancient world until an earthquake brought it crashing down in 226 B.C.

    160104_EYE_Colossus1

    Now, a group of architects, civil engineers, and archeologists from around Europe want to build a modern version of the statue, five times taller than the original. The project website describes "a contemporary 150-meters-tall building which would be used as a cultural center, as a library, an exhibition hall and a lighthouse."

    The designers want to cover the entire exterior with solar panels to power the enormous building. To ensure that the statue won't succumb to the same fate as the old Colossus, the engineering team says they will use "intelligent systems to prevent the consequences of earthquakes and wind forces." This amounts to building the statue as a tripod structure—two legs and a third support from the sash draped over the titan's arm and touching the ground—and placing a heavy steel support around the base to act as a counterbalance. A suspension system would allow the statue to rock back and forth.

    The Colossus of Rhodes Project says in its mission statement that one of the project's goals is to ease the economic hardships that have plagued Greece lately by both employing construction workers and attracting tourists to the island of Rhodes. The planned statue is intended to "put Rhodes again on the world map."

    160104_EYE_ColossusofRhodes33

    The backers estimate the cost of the statue at $283 million. They believe they can raise that much money through crowdfunding and private investments. It's an incredibly ambitious plan to be sure, and we're not convinced that it will ever get off the ground. But if the Colossus of Rhodes is resurrected, sailing into the island's harbor would be the experience of a lifetime—a real life version of cruising into Braavos.

    Source: Popularmechanics.com

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    Greece has so much sea around it, that its marine attraction should never be underestimated. In actual fact, there is immense wealth in its aquatic territories; both at surface level and underwater. As November marks the end of the sailing season in Greece, it’s worth looking at why sailing off-peak is more appealing, and which are the best parts to discover in the northern and in the southern parts of the deep Aegean sea.

    Why sailing off-peak is the best time to sail

    Defining the peak season as June to September and the off-peak between April and June plus October to November, there are many advantages to be had for people looking to discover Greece through its marine treasures. 
Benefits of setting sail in the springtime (April and May) are the verdant, lush, green landscapes of the coast and islands that you will experience as you sail by. Spring is in full bloom and the otherwise more barren, rocky terrains are bursting with colours and are decorated with flowers. Furthermore, the winter weather has given way to the warm, pleasant temperatures of Spring. You can also combine an Orthodox Easter vacation and a Greek sailing getaway and experience the local festivities first hand!
Advantages of sailing in the Autumn months of October and November are the fewer boats, yachts and tourists while the sea temperatures are at their highest, having absorbed the heat during the height of the summer.

    Classical Greece in the South Aegean

    Greece is an all time classic, and its riveting ancient sites are scattered all over its land and seas. For discovering the classical side of Greece by sea, there are three island highlights that are must visits, located in the South of the Aegean sea. Delos is your number one stop. It is a tranquil place with a mesmerising aura and imposing remnants of the glory days of anciency. Referred to as the ‘birthplace of the immortals’, and a UNESCO World Heritage site, a visit there will fill you with an unprecedented awe and wonder.

    [caption id="attachment_17633" align="alignleft" width="800"]harmony-v-in-delos Harmony V, Delos[/caption]

     

    The neighbouring Santorini, although a contemporary cosmopolitan destination, has also played a part in Greece’s classical ...upbringing! Visit the archaeological areas and excavations of Akrotiri, plus the Ancient Thira settlement, while you also entertain the idea that this place may have been the location of the long lost Atlantis. Finally, you should also check the more alternative island of Kythira that also carried great importance during Greece’s classical period. This is the place where the mysterious Antikythera mechanism was found; an ancient analogue computer, now located in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens.

    [caption id="attachment_5486" align="alignleft" width="800"]Red Beach Red Beach, Santorini[/caption] [caption id="attachment_15599" align="alignleft" width="1200"]Kythera Kaladi beach, Kythera[/caption]
     
    Mystical Greece in the North Aegean

    Sailing northeast from Kythira, you’ll be able to reach the three peninsulas of Halkidiki. Referred to as Poseidon’s triton occasionally, and linked to legends & myths of Giants and Titans, the geomorphology of this popular destination reinforces the fact that Greece is a country that has lived off the fat of the sea for centuries. Kassandra, Sithonia, Mount Athos are the three ‘feet’ that provide extra coast for the Greeks of the North who claim ‘like Halkidiki, there is no other’.

    [caption id="attachment_17635" align="alignleft" width="800"]kassandra Kassandra Coastline, Halkidiki[/caption]

    Gorgeous azure waters and golden beaches are abundant in Kassandra, as are natural thermal springs especially on its tip where the stunning Miraggio Thermal Spa Resort is located. There, you can enjoy luxury holidays before sailing off from its marina to explore the Toroneos Gulf, the secret caves of Porto Carras, Kelifos (or Turtle) island and Spalathronisia while making your way to the second ‘foot’, Sithonia. Make sure you also check out Kavourotripes (crab holes) and Vourvourou on the east of Sithonia too! The third and final ‘foot’, Mount Athos, is a holy place that requires special permission to approach. You can sail around and admire the Mount and its monasteries from a distance, before disembarking at Ouranoupoli and onward travel to the monasteries. It should be noted that women are not allowed, as part of an effort for the monks to maintain their celibacy.

    [caption id="attachment_12136" align="alignleft" width="800"]Kavourotrypes Beach Kavourotrypes Beach, Halkidiki[/caption]

    Do you still need an island fix? Then, from Miraggio’s marina in Kassandra, you can easily also sail a bit south, and explore the North Sporades island cluster and particularly the three most popular islands of Skopelos, Alonissos and Skiathos.

    [caption id="attachment_2086" align="alignleft" width="800"]Lalaria Beach Lalaria beach, Skiathos[/caption]

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    The most spectacular supermoon since 1948 will light up the sky, appearing 14 per cent bigger and 30 per cent brighter than usual.

    The event on Monday November 14 - described as "undeniably beautiful" by American space agency Nasa - is the result of the moon coming closer to Earth than it has done for 69 years.

    Nothing will match it until the moon makes a similar approach on November 25 2034.

    On top of the moon's bigger than usual size, they will then be treated to an additional "low-hanging moon" effect.

    This is an optical illusion caused by the moon being close to the horizon, where it can be measured against familiar objects such as trees and houses.

    This cosmic coincidence won't happen again until 2034, according to NASA.

    Where can I observe it?

    So, how can you see it?

    Basically, just look up.

    From Sunday night through Monday night, the moon will be big, bright and shining just about 216,486 miles from Earth's surface. If you have good weather, you should be able to spot it.

    Supermoons like these are rare thanks to the moon's wacky orbit. The natural satellite doesn't move around Earth in a perfect circle, which means that occasionally the moon will hit full phase when it is at its closest point (perigee) or farthest point (apogee) from the planet.

    What is a supermoon?

    Ever looked up at the night sky to see a full moon so close you could almost touch it? Well done, you've spotted a supermoon.

    The impressive sight happens when a full moon is closest to Earth. It orbits our planet in an oval shape so sometimes it comes closer to us than at other times. To us Earth-lings, the moon appears 30 per cent brighter and 14 per cent bigger.

    By the way, supermoon is not an astrological term. It's scientific name is perigee-syzygy, but supermoon is more catchy, and is used by the media to describe our celestial neighbour when it gets up close.

    Astrologer Richard Nolle first came up with the term and he defined it as "… a new or full moon which occurs with the moon at or near (within 90 per cent of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit", according to earthsky.org.

    How common are supermoons?

    They're fairly frequent, although November's supermoon will be a once-in-a-generation sight. There are six supermoons in 2016. We've already had four, and after next week there's one on December 14.

    Each full moon of the year is given a name - although they vary according to the source. October's full moon is referred to as the Hunter's moon because it appears very soon after sunset, and traditionally generated more light for farmers working in the fields and hunters to spot wildlife.

     

    Spectacular moon pictures from over the weekend

    [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="609"]An aeroplane flies past the London Eye on Sunday An aeroplane flies past the London Eye on Sunday Credit: TOBY MELVILLE/Reuters[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="799"]The moon rises over the ancient Acropolis of Athens The moon rises over the ancient Acropolis of Athens Credit: ANDREA BONETTI/EPA[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1262"] A flock of birds fly by as the super moon rises in Mir, Belarus.[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="650"] A supermoon behind the Chrysler Building in New York City.[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1209"]http://d3i6fh83elv35t.cloudfront.net/newshour/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/RTX1SSAG.jpg The “blood moon” rises next to a brightly lit Eiffel Tower in Paris, France on Sept. 28. Photo by Charles Platiau/Reuters[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1185"] The last of this year’s supermoons rises above a minaret of a mosque in Wadi El-Rayan Lake at the desert of Al Fayoum Governorate, southwest of Cairo, Egypt, on Sept. 27. Photo by Amr Abdallah Dalsh/Reuters[/caption]

    There's lots of other moons too

    Full moon: We all know what these are. They come around every month and light up the night at night.

    Harvest moon: The full moon closest to the autumn equinox.

    Black moon: Most experts agree that this refers to the second new moon in a calendar month. The last black moon was at the start of October 2016 and the next one is expected in 2019.

    Blue moon: A phenomenon that occurs when there is a second full moon in one calendar month. Joe Rao from space.com explains: "A second full moon in a single calendar month is sometimes called a blue moon. A black moon is supposedly the flip side of a blue moon; the second new moon in a single calendar month."

    The infrequent nature of this lunar event led to the phrase "once in a blue moon" to signify a rare occurrence. It does not actually mean the moon will be blue.

    Blood moon: Also known as a supermoon lunar eclipse. It's when the shadow of Earth casts a reddish glow on the moon, the result of a rare combination of an eclipse with the closest full moon of the year.  There was one in September 2015, and before that in 1982 but the next one won't be until 2033.

    Strawberry moon: A rare event when there's a full moon on the same day as the summer solstice. It happened in June 2016 for the first time since 1967 when 17 hours of sunlight gave way to a bright moonlit sky.

    Despite the name, the moon does appear pink or red. The romantic label was coined by the Algonquin tribes of North America who believed June’s full moon signalled the beginning of the strawberry picking season.

    Source: Telegraph.co.uk

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    A Unesco World Heritage Monument and a region of particular natural beauty: one of the most important archaeological discoveries of the 20th century

    The ancient site of Aigai or ‘goats’, the curiously named first capital of the kingdom of Macedon, lies on the southwest edge of the plain of Macedonia in Northern Greece, in the foothills of Mt Pieria. Although there are open-air ruins, you have come here to see the extraordinary subterranean museum of Vergina and the tombs of the Macedonian dynasty. Here you’ll witness the grandeur of Ancient Greece: one of the most important archaeological finds in the country, and the most important in Macedonia, is ready to reveal its secrets. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="820"] Museum of the Royal Tombs[/caption] Like everyone else, you enter the raised mound or tumulus through an ominously dark passage, leaving daylight behind, only to emerge in an open circular space where wonderful lighting illuminates some of the most extraordinary finds ever discovered. You feel a bit like archaeologist Manolis Andronikos, when he unearthed treasures emblazoned with the golden star of Macedon and knew he had stumbled upon the unpillaged tomb of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great. This shell was erected over the tombs and the other invaluable finds to protect them from the elements in 1997. They represent one of the most astonishing archaeological discoveries in 20th century Europe.
    What to do in Vergina
    The tomb of Philip II in Vergina Manolis Andronikos’ discovery of the tombs of the Macedonian kings Philip II and Alexander IV in 1977 shook the archaeological community and the world at large. Philip’s tomb is large, double-chambered and its facade resembles a Doric temple, with columns, a frieze and metopes carved in relief. The chamber concealed its famous golden larnax with the bones of the dead king intact for more than two millennia. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="820"] The tomb of Phillip II in Vergina[/caption] The awe-inspiring museum of the royal tombs The Great Tumulus that covered the circle where the tombs were found was reconstructed to create the impression of an ancient grave monument. Maintaining constant temperatures and humidity, the subterranean construction shelters and protects these priceless finds. Apart from the royal tombs, you’ll see the brilliant frescoes depicting the Abduction of Persophone and the Royal Hunt, which are the only examples of the great artists of the Hellenistic period that have survived. In this darkened space, the beautifully illuminated ancient objects provoke multiple emotions: awe in the face of death, wonder at the royal prestige that inspired such creativity and admiration for the modern wizards who designed such a magnificent repository for these invaluable exhibits. The gold larnax and the oak leaf wreath http://www.timothysfamily.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/vergina3-555x360.jpg One of the museum’s most important exhibits is the gold larnax, which held the bones of the dead king. It weighed 11kg. Emblazoned on its lid is the Macedonian sun or star and on its sides floral motifs and rosettes. The gold wreath is the most valuable crown we have from antiquity. It consists of 313 oak leaves and 68 acorns linked with unimaginable artistry by a master jeweller. The Prince’s tomb In the last section of the museum, you’ll witness finds from tomb III, which is thought to have contained the remains of Alexander IV, the son of Alexander the Great and Roxane, who was murdered by Kassander in 310 BC. At its centre lies the silver urn that held the cremated bones of the young prince, surrounded by exquisite ivory reliefs decorating the bier. The birthplace of the kings of Macedon Aigai, where the Macedonian kings originated, was the heartland of the Temenides, the dynasty that ruled Macedonia for four centuries and gave the world Philip II and his son Alexander the Great. The ancient city included the outer walls with a tower and entrance gate, the palace, a theatre, the agora with a shrine to Eukleia, the sanctuary of Cybele, mother of the gods, public buildings and private houses. The archaeological site lies close to the tumulus of Vergina and is a Unesco World Heritage Monument and a region of particular natural beauty.
    Hidden gems of Vergina
    The grave of Persephone Built by expert masons using large limestone blocks, this tomb is one of the largest monuments of its type, and the most significant attraction in the area. The few pieces of pottery discovered within it indicate that it must date to about 350 BC. The grave belonged to a young woman about 25 years of age who died in childbirth and was buried here with her newborn infant. The Palace at Aigai: one of the most important buildings of Ancient Greece Just below the hill crowned by the acropolis of Aigai, the impressive ruins of the royal palace dominate the area from a raised plateau marked by a venerable oak tree. Sumptuously decorated, it was indeed fit for the illustrious dynasty. The Vergina Sun Discover the mystical symbolism contained in the rays of the Vergina Sun, depicted on the golden larnax found in the famous royal tomb of Philip II and other members of Alexander the Great’s family. There are 16 rays in all. Four of them represent the natural elements – earth, air, fire and water – and the remaining dozen are the 12 Olympian gods.

    Source: Discovergreece.com

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    Imagine the thrill of unearthing three ancient greek mosaics dating back 2,220 years ago. Back in 2014, Professor Kutalmış Görkay of Ankara University and his team of archeologists discovered three ancient greek mosaics in the Turkish city of Zeugma near the border of Syria.

    http://sbly-web-prod.shareably.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/15221955/zeugma1.jpg

    For some context, back in 2007, Zeugma was expecting a flood due to constructions of a dam. The archeologist team feared that they would lose the ancient treasures of Zeugma to this flood and immediately began their expeditions.

    Upon their search for ancient treasures, they stumbled upon three ancient greek mosaics belonging to the 2nd century BC. The mosaics, shockingly, were uncovered in almost pristine condition. Although the Zeugma city is now 80 percent underwater, the team continues their searches in hopes of unveiling hidden artifacts.

    Here are some of the gorgeous artifacts discovered.

    http://sbly-web-prod.shareably.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/15222039/zeugma2.jpg

    Above is a mosaic of the Nine Muses: Clio, Euterpe, Thalia,Melpomene, Terpsichore, Erato, Polymnia, Ourania, and Calliope. Back in the renaissance days, the Nine muses were an inspiration to artists since they were the first ones to discover many art forms. Many artists did art works on the nine Muse as a dedication and recognition of their importance.

    http://sbly-web-prod.shareably.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/15222703/zeugma4.jpg

    Pictured above, Oceanus- the divine personification of the sea and his sister, Tethys- the embodiment of the waters of the world.

    According to Professor Görkay, back in the 2nd century BC, many homes had mosaics in them. Mosaics in homes held a social aspect. Guests often times would admire the works of arts while drinking and chatting with the home owners. Subject matters were taken into consideration and put into specific rooms. E.g. a bedroom perhaps may have a mosaic that portrayed lovers such as Eros and Telete.

    http://sbly-web-prod.shareably.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/15223341/zeugma3.jpg

    The mosaic above, Thalia- the muse of comedy and idyllic poetry is beautifully intact.

    Experts commented on Thalia’s face saying how the mosaic required special pieces of glass that is used specifically for this mosaic’s face alone. The mosaic of Thalia is vivid as it is aesthetically pleasing. A wonder piece of art discovered by the archeologists.

    http://sbly-web-prod.shareably.netdna-cdn.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/15225704/zeugma6.jpg

    In the mosaic above, a well known Greek God, Poseidon- God of the sea.

    For a little history about the city of Zeugma, back in the early BCs the city was very important due to its location. The city being geographically located on the borders between the Greco-Roman world and the Persian Empire, it acted as a bridge which everyone had to cross.

    Eventually as the Roman empire started to decline, so did the Zeugma city. As Zeugma finally fell in AD 253 when Sassanids from Persia attacked the city, the city has been forgotten until the recent expeditions unveiling the buried treasures.

    Source: Shareably.net

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October 2016

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    swot-new-logo-all[divider style="single" border="small" color="#ffffff"] SWOT | Simple Way Of Tourism is one of the leading hospitality management companies in Greece, specializing in Management Consulting, Sales Representation and Marketing Services, and certified for its quality services and specialization in the Greek and international market as a member of the most important tourism institutions of Greece, SETE & HAPCO. For the fourth consecutive year, SWOT organizes the 4th Business Travel Professionals Forum (BTPF) on 24th and 25th of November 2016, at Metropolitan Athens Hotel. BTPF, the largest meeting of tourism professionals in Greece, is an annual B2B Forum for travel professionals, with participants from leading hotels, travel agencies and trading companies from the international market. BTPF gives the opportunity to the exhibitors to meet, introduce and create cooperation opportunities by communicating “face to face” with the decision makers from corporations and various travel companies (DMC’s, PCO’s, MICE, T.O., Business Travel & Wholesalers) who materialize corporate travels and events.

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    The main goal of BTPF is the achievement of initiating collaboration agreements between the participants in order to develop direct relations with the protagonists of the travel and tourism industry. The program of the Business Travel Professionals Forum (BTPF) includes a series of events including B2B Meetings between exhibitors, national travel agencies and hosted buyers, networking cocktail events, speeches from tourism professionals and a Grow Greek Tourism Online seminar by Google. The Managing Director of SWOT Mr. George Constantinides has stated: "With the 4th edition of the leading tourism B2B Forum in Greece, we are continuing a modern institution in the development of sales and partnerships among the most important market players. It is noteworthy that more than 1500 meetings occur within a total of 8 hours, with a large number of successful agreements for all participating hotels. Also, for the second year we will have the pleasure of welcoming Travel Organizations from all over Europe who are interested in the destination of Greece and developing partnerships».  [divider style="single" border="small" color="#ffffff"] [gallery link="file" columns="5" ids="17391,17392,17395,17394,17396"] [divider style="single" border="small" color="#ffffff"] BTFP takes place under the auspices of the Ministry of Economy, Development and Tourism, Visit Greece, tbe Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), the Hellenic Association of Professional Congress Organizers (HAPCO), the City of Athens Convention and Visitors Bureau (ACVB). Sponsors of BTFP include Aegean Airlines, Era Events, Tore Event Furnishing, and Groupco. Official partners of BTPF are Grafima Printing Services, Podimatas Audiovisual, Alpha Transfers, and Broustas Law Firm. The Business Travel Professionals Forum is supported from the communication partners of News 247, GTP | Greek Travel Pages, Travelling,gr, Synedrio, Hotel Magazine and Mysterious Greece. The Google Initiative of Grow Greek Tourism Online is a special partner of BTPF. Find out more information from the Official Website of BTPF! [/three_fifth] [one_fifth_last]   [/one_fifth_last]

    [one_fifth]   [/one_fifth] [three_fifth]   Christmas is arguably “the most wonderful time of the year, with the kids jingle belling. And everyone telling you, be of good cheer”! An emotional holiday no doubt, filled with light and hope, is the perfect opportunity to explore Athens at your own pace, taking in the festive aura of city fused out of antiquity and modernity. Let the Christmas spirit flow through you, cleansing any bad thoughts or worries of the year that is coming to pass, just in time for the new year and new beginnings. [caption id="attachment_17374" align="alignleft" width="3500"]People walk past an illuminated boat, which is part of this year's Christmas decorations, at Syntagma (Constitution) square in central Athens December 11, 2013. The centrepiece of this year's Christmas light up, which is an old tradition in Athens, is a boat instead of the usual Christmas tree. REUTERS/John Kolesidis (GREECE - Tags: SOCIETY) People walk past an illuminated boat, which is part of this year's Christmas decorations, at Syntagma (Constitution) square in central Athens December 11, 2013. The centrepiece of this year's Christmas light up, which is an old tradition in Athens, is a boat instead of the usual Christmas tree. REUTERS/John Kolesidis (GREECE )[/caption] Athens has so much to discover, around the centre and beyond. Even locals don’t know it all by heart, as there is always something changing; apart from all the ancient heritage with which Athens city is brimming, all the main historic artefacts and impressive sites are within your… walking reach. Christmas however, breathes new life into Athens, starting at Syntagma square with its massive X-mas tree, and brightening up every corner of Plaka, Monastiraki and Psirri, with decorated streetlights and lamp posts to create a truly enchanting ambiance. 



As the city is dressed in its best attire and the weather is colder but still very bearable, Athens is full of possibilities!

    Discovering the historical sites of the centre, on foot

    stoa-attalou_1920x1200 Athens has myriad of archaeological finds; others are obvious and others are hidden. This gives you the choice to either explore the city on your own or if you want to avoid being distracted, you can trust the Athens tour professionals, Key Tours and unveil all that Athens has to offer paired with the deep knowledge of an experienced guide. If you decide to do it on your own terms, then your exploration can begin at the impressive Temple of Olympian Zeus, and the monumental gateway of Hadrian’s Arch. Two ancient sites that are separated by many centuries that are just minutes from the foot of the Acropolis. Walking up towards the ancient rock on Dionysiou Aeropagitou str., you’ll find yourselves on the Acropolis promenade, Athens’ most exclusive residential street that offers direct views of the Acropolis and Parthenon. Don’t miss out on the occasional horse & carriage ride which is especially romantic. To the left, you come across the Acropolis museum that displays a myriad of ancient secrets, in a beautiful glass building that reflects light from everywhere. The Acropolis is, figuratively speaking, on a platter if you choose to dine at the rooftop of AthensWas, while it may be even more magical to book a Christmas dinner with an Acropolis view.  

    Leisurely strolls for shopping and entertainment

    plakaChristmas time finds the high street of Athens, Ermou, packed with Athenians who, unlike most Europeans, do their Christmas shopping at the very last minute. For this reason, shops have special holiday opening times, and the shopping malls and centres are dressed in festivity. If you can’t brave the crowds, you can hold off shopping until January which is the winter sale season! Apart from the popular Ermou which begins opposite Syntagma square, the area of Kolonaki is the haute couture fashion hub and much quieter, if you can afford it, at a walking distance from the centre. The City Link ‘stoa’ is at its most picturesque during Christmas, a shopping walkway that hosts quaint cafes and bistros in which you can have a short break to rest your feet. And to show that shopping has been an ancient tradition in Athens, introducing the Stoa of Attalos, the first Greek Agora (now in reconstructed condition) in the area of Thiseio, on the other side of the Acropolis as you follow the promenade round. In terms of entertainment, casual local drinks such as the hot Rakomela are very popular in the areas around Monastiraki and Psirri, and apart from the endless bars you’ll come across while sauntering around, if it’s a quality show you’re after during Christmas, then the Athens concert hall, Megaron, is hosting Tchaikovsky's ‘The Snow Queen’.

    One Day Trips near Athens to quench that cultural thirst

    View of the Meteora MonasteriesIf you simply can’t get enough of the ancient charm of Athens, and if you have a day (or two or three) to spare, consider embarking on a one day tour to some truly landmark locations, easily accessible from Athens. The oracle site of Delphi is one of those. Once thought to be the navel of the world, this temple site is laden with myth and legend against a backdrop of spectacular landscapes. Roam around the well preserved monuments and feel the power of this spiritual place. The ancient site of Mycenae is another such location, and combined with a tour of Epidaurus theatre you’ll discover a major centre of civilisation and get a sense of the culture that once flood this place.

 

Last but not least, one of Greece’s most astonishing natural sites, the Meteora mountains that are home to numerous Monasteries, making it a place of spiritual healing as well as an imposing natural landmark. To get to see Meteora within a day, opt for the one day train tour which gets you there effortlessly while experiencing stunning visuals of the countryside during your journey! [/three_fifth] [one_fifth_last]   [/one_fifth_last]

    Oxi Day on October 28 commemorates the anniversary when former military general and Prime Minister Ioannis Metaxas said, “No” to an ultimatum made by Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini to allow Italian forces to occupy strategic locations in Greece or otherwise face war back in 1940. That makes 2016 the 76th anniversary. The motivation behind Mussolini’s ultimatum was an attempt to impress his ally Adolf Hitler, by securing what was thought would be an easy victory and expanding his fascist regime. But when Italian Ambassador Emanuele Grazzi presented the demands at dawn after a party at the German embassy, it was clear that Greece was destined to enter WWII with Metaxas’ unwavering refusal. Though there is no documented proof that Metaxas responded with a simple “no” or “oxi,” the word perfectly encapsulates the longer reply said to be either “You shall not pass” or the French phrase “Alors, c’est la guerre” (“Then it is war”). Residents were reportedly shouting ‘oxi’ as they ran through the streets to arm themselves and prepare for war. Less than two hours later, Italian troops stationed in Albania attacked the border. Initial success by Italians was fiercely countered by Greeks, causing Mussolini to embarrass himself and call Hitler for help. Greek and British forces continued to fight and decimate German troops, which was considered to be the most powerful army in Europe, until Greece surrendered in Epirus to conclude the Greco-Italian War lasting six months. The extent of casualties caused Hitler to delay an attack on Russia, thus subjecting his troops to harsh winter conditions and contributing to the defeat of Germany. For many, Oxi Day is more than an anniversary commemorated with parades of schoolchildren in Thessaloniki, military grandstanding and flag waving. It is a day to remember Hellenic values, passion and ‘filotimo,’ and the courageous words and deeds of ancestors who fought for this land with flesh and blood. May we one day honor this country by mirroring the virtues set forth for us in decades past and be worthy to inherit its rich legacy.

    Source: http://livingingreece.gr

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    Greece is a paragon of a great fall shoulder season, dragging the remnants of summer way into September and through October, with Autumn barely making its appearance on the post summer landscapes. As the progression of the seasons is less distinctive and dramatic, the mildness of Greece’s climate makes the heaviest season of all, full of options!

Christmas, the highest spiritual celebration of the impending Winter season, is traditionally a homely holiday experience. Families find their winter sanctuary in the warmth of their own home, all gathered round the brightly lit tree or fireplace, exchanging gifts, tucking into home cooked holiday dinners, spreading hope and joy among all the members. Yet in Greece, the weather does not keep you homebound and allows for a …different kind of Christmas; why not consider a Christmas break away from your base, and enrich your Christmas agenda for a change, seeking new experiences rather than being the host (or a guest) for yet another year!

    Classy Christmas for leisure seekers || Corfu, Ionian Sea

    corfutown_shutterstock_94342615-jpg Corfu is an island in the Ionian that combines island feel and city life, quite expertly. Caught somewhere in the middle between the eras of history that have passed and the modern day, it offers such a classy, sophisticated atmosphere, especially during Winter. With the summer tourist buzz gone, Corfu town comes into its own, finding its own rhythms. The picturesque alleyways are brightly lit, and strolls up and down the main promenade will fill you with impressive winter visuals. Although the temperatures will allow for leisurely walks, couples seeking cozy privacy can indulge in panoramic views of the Ionian in luxurious comfort, and surround themselves with artistic flair. As for experiencing all the Christmas magic of Corfu, the carols, hymns and the community philharmonic band processions will absolutely enchant you!

     

    Cosmopolitan Christmas for families || Heraklion, Chania

    psiloritismountain Crete is an island that needs no introductions. Enjoying the most ambient whether in all of Greece, the variety of the land makes it possible to experience Christmas in many different scenarios. Heraklion, the Cretan capital, is a city by the sea that is more than capable of welcoming visitors of all sorts, and all year round. Families can explore all the treasures of Heraklion, its interesting archeological and historic sites and saunter around the cobblestone streets, the grandiose piazzas all lit up anticipating the celebration of Christmas. Consider staying at the family-friendly Galaxy Hotel Iraklio, and be prepared to be enveloped in the warm hospitality of their spacious family rooms, with a personal touch to their services that will excite you and your little ones. Spend some quality time with the family, yet in the case that the parents need to do some work during their stay, all the professional amenities are at their disposal.

    Cozy Christmas for business & pleasure || Chania, Crete

    chaniatown If you are looking for a place to combine business with pleasure, then Chania offers the best of both worlds. During a business trip, you don’t want to bring the office on holiday, but rather, you want to find that perfect mix between constructive days and pleasant nights. Chania town offers wonderful scenic views, a relaxed and cozy atmosphere full of Christmas ambiance, while it also lends itself for getting some work done, especially if you choose to stay at a city hotel such as Samaria Hotel. Get your days work done and dusted in time for dinner, so you can admire the evening lights and winter aura with a stroll on the harbour promenade, up to the famous Venetian Lighthouse. Similarly, couples will become enamoured with the charm that Chania exudes, as it is also quite a romantic destination. Colourful stores in a labyrinth of alleyways, bars and coffeeshops, authentic tavernas and quaint bistros brimming with the scent of freshly brewed Raki; all through December Crete is alive with the Raki festivities of Rakokazana or Kazanemata, which is a Cretan tradition you don’t want to miss either.

    Spa-rkling Christmas for a brand new you || Aidipsos, Euboea

    aedipsosSpas and winter go together ...like marshmallows and hot cocoa! Wellness is more easily achieved during the colder, winter months when your body burns more calories and is more susceptible to treatments and therapies, fortifying itself against the lower temperatures of the season. This is a great opportunity for a spa-rkling Christmas getaway during which you will be pampered and rejuvenated. Choose to stay in a historic location that combines spa experiences, such as Thermae Sylla Wellness Spa Hotel in Aidipsos, and indulge in the caring, healing hands of the spa professionals. The added bonus is the wonderful winterland aura that will surround you while you dive into wellness; soak in the outdoor thermal pool of Thermae and feel the sense of total bliss fill you up as snowflakes sit on your nose and eyelashes, while you gaze into a sky full of contradictions. If you are not brave enough for an outdoor session (which is strongly recommended), there is plenty of wellness to be achieved indoors, with numerous treatments designed to relax your senses, nurture your skin, relieve tension, and replenish your being. After all of that, you can cozy up in lobby and revel in the Christmas spirit, and feel the difference from the inside, out! [/three_fifth] [one_fifth_last]   [/one_fifth_last]

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    Discover the unique beauty and distinct character of Folegandros
    Folegandros island is a place where time stands still. It is a place of wonderment, a place where authenticity has a charm that resonates through the decades. This island is set in its traditional ways, strategically resisting mass modernization in order to keep the refreshing aura that prevails despite its “out-dated” ways.

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    Sheer, frugal beauty of landscapes

    Folegandros generally has rough, barren landscapes with infertile soil predominantly. This feature has played a part not only in the island’s unsuitability to becoming a hugely popular tourism destination, but also in the years of hardship its local inhabitants have endured. However, it is precisely this wild and rugged morphology that has brought about spots of sheer, frugal beauty that will literally take visitors’ breath away: Pristine cliff beaches, with undisturbed sand and the clearest, most transparent waters you’ve ever laid eyes on. Imposing precipices that instill a feeling of reverence at nature’s work. Impressive historic structures such as Hora’s castle and charming villages that accentuate the frugal character of the island. Last but not least, unique marine caves, such as Chryssospilia, that carries a long and intriguing history within its rocky bosom. img_9488

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    Oxygenating, fulfilling activities

    The purity of the landscape allows for numerous exciting, oxygen-filling activities. The island is small, with around 15 km total of road distance, making it extremely easy to explore by car. The natural structure of the morphology has allowed for various paths and trails to be created, suitable for walking, hiking and trekking activities enthusiasts of which, will simply fall in love with. These activities involve no cost and will re energise your batteries and breathe new air into your soul. Offering mesmerizing views, you can follow one of the many paths that lead to a beach, depending on your trekking abilities. The island is ideal for numerous fitness activities, taking advantage of all the clean air that fills your lungs, and giving you a new outlook on life. From soothing sunset yoga sessions to core strengthening pilates, in Folegandros you can easily combine fitness with leisure, for pleasure! yiannismouzakitis111 yiannismouzakitis-1

    Experience a different, local way of life

    The locals of Folegandros have strong community ties, due to the way of life they have had to embrace over the years. They lead mostly agrarian lives, with a siesta time in the middle of the day. Their customs and habits are resilient in time, starting from their traditional “themonies” in which they live in. These are agricultural, residential and stock breeding units that helped the locals become as self-sufficient as possible.The homes are stark white, following the typical Cycladic style, and lime washed on a regular basis. The Greeks have a saying: ‘cleanliness is half the gentility’, which makes locals quite fastidious. Although extremely functional by definition, the locals’ homes are beautified by small things that make a world of difference: flower pots and vases, handmade intricate curtains as well as colourful doors, windows, decanters and watering cans. Apart from the religious holidays that come hand in hand with funfare celebrations, visitors can easily experience the even more personal customs such as the occasional square feasts with plenty of food, wine, music and dance as well as the occasional wedding, the preparations for which can last up to one whole week.

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Alternative tourism friendly destination

    If you are looking for a cosmopolitan destination with a glamorous nightlife and uber comforts at every turn, then Folegandros is not that kind of island. If you are looking to enter a dimension where local island life is honored in an unspoiled setting of absolute tranquility, then head to Folegandros on your next holiday escape and experience its aura of raw authenticity amidst sheer beauty. However, if you are looking for the best of both worlds, then the design hotel Anemi in Karavostasi, Folegandros’ most modernised village and port, bridges the gap between the old and new, offering its guests some understated contemporary luxuries all the while maintaining the island’s traditional character. 4t2f8630 The uniqueness of Folegandros is gradually coming to the forefront of alternative tourism, and has recently received significant attention from travel bloggers who are seeking a different, more quality travel experience that allows the visitor to become fully integrated local island life, uninterrupted by the modern day rhythms of life. [/three_fifth] [one_fifth_last] [/one_fifth_last]

September 2016

    [vc_row][vc_column width="1/6"][/vc_column][vc_column width="2/3"][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_custom_heading text="Explore the best Athens has to offer" font_container="tag:h5|font_size:25|text_align:center|color:%23aaaaaa|line_height:3" use_theme_fonts="yes" css=".vc_custom_1470387874225{background-color: #ffffff !important;}"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text]

    From the Golden Age of Pericles, Athens has marveled the world with its mysterious spirit. Often denoted as the cradle of Western Civilization, Athens is a 2,500-year-old mishmash of cultural and historical triumphs. Theatre, philosophy, architecture, science, historiography, political thought, the arts, reached their zenith in a period of intellectual consummation, unique in the history of the world. And above all, democracy and the Olympic Games were born in Greece. Unquestionably, Athens is the city to be, one of the most important cities of Europe that ought to be in your bucket list.Exciting and thrilling, breathtaking and sensational, mysterious and sophisticated, adventurous and glorious, Athens will be waiting for you, again and again! If you are wondering which is the best way to discover the city of Athens, we’ve got the best solution for you. Turbopass Athens City Pass is the most convenient way to explore Athens, so that you can save time and money and enjoy your holidays. As Athens is a city everyone should visit once in his or her lifetime, the best and most inexpensive way to explore it is the Turbopass Athens City Pass, a time-and-money-saving tool. The Turbopass Athens City Pass is an ideal solution, as it allows entry to over 10 of the city’s best attractions and museums of the Greek capital. Create your own itinerary for discovering the mysteries of the historical city of Athens with the free two-day hop-on-hop-off bus tour, so that you can explore the city from an insider’s point of view. With a 48-hour ticket, you can hop aboard the distinctive open-deck City Sightseeing bus, and be familiarized with the best monuments of the Greek capital. One of the most mesmerizing moments of your journey will be the ascend to the holy rock of Acropolis with the world-renowned temple of Parthenon, and, of course, the New Acropolis Museum, one of the most interesting museums of Athens, if not Europe, that has been awarded the Keck Award for the innovative program of the conservation and restoration of the Caryatids from the International Institute for Conservation and the Honor Award for Architecture from the American Institute of Architects. What’s more, do not opt out the mini train ride to seaside Piraeus, one of the leading ports of the Mediterranean and one of the most historical neighborhoods of Athens.Depending on the package of the pass that you will get (Mini, Classic, Complete), you will also have a free public transport ticket for 72 hours with transfer from/to the airport, free entry to the main archaeological sites and interesting museums of the city including the Ancient Agora, the Roman Agora, the Hadrian’s Library, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Kerameikos, and the Stoa of Attalos, museum tickets and special discounts from museums and selected partners, a fashion pass for discounts at McArthurGlen - Greece's first Designer Outlet, a practical city map with metro network plan, a travel brochure in English, Spanish & German. Undeniably, the Turbopass Athens City Pass is the best way to explore the city on the go. Prices vary (€14.90 to €112,90) depending on the city pass package (Mini, Classic, Complete) you will purchase. Remember that the Athens City Pass can be either sent to you directly via post or you can collect it on your own at one of two pickup stations at  the Athens International Airport and the Piraeus port, an ideal pickup for cruise travellers.  If you have a smartphone, you can save extra time, as your Turbopass Athens City Pass is also offered in digital form.
    [divider style="dotted" border="medium" color="#ffffff"] Save Save[/vc_column_text][vc_btn title="Book your Turbopass Athens City Pass!" style="flat" shape="round" color="danger" align="center" link="url:http%3A%2F%2Fwww.turbopass.com%2Fathens-city-pass||target:%20_blank|rel:nofollow" button_block="true"][vc_custom_heading text="Packages of Turbopass Athens City Pass " font_container="tag:h5|font_size:30|text_align:center|color:%231cbaa8|line_height:3" use_theme_fonts="yes" css=".vc_custom_1470387799548{background-color: #ffffff !important;}"][vc_column_text]

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    The Turbopass Athens City Pass is available in three distinct categories: Mini, Classic and Complete. Each of them is designed to offer you a memorable experience in Athens. Below, you may find the specifications and price (no extra or hidden costs) of every Athens City Pass package:

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    Free and fast track entry to the New Acropolis Museum

    Free hop-on-hop-off open top bus tour for 2 days in 3 different routes

    Free guided summer walking tours

    Tour with the mini train of Piraeus

    Museum discounts including 50% of the B. & M. Theocharakis Arts Foundation and 10% discount at the museum shop, 50% of the Frissiras Museum and 20% discount at the museum shop for books, 50% of the Hellenic Motor Museum, €4 entrance fee at Herakleidon Museum & 10% discount at the museum shop of the Alex Mylona Macedonian Museum for Contemporary Art

    Fashion Pass for discounts at McArthurGlen - Greece's first Designer Outlet

    Special offers with selected partners

    City map & informational brochure

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    Price: Minors  €14,90   & Adults €29,90

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    [/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title="Athens City Pass Classic" tab_id="1470317885290-f04e0992-c766"][vc_column_text]

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    Free and fast track entry to the New Acropolis Museum

    Free and fast track entry to the Acropolis Archaeological Site

    Free hop-on-hop-off open top bus tour for 2 days in 3 different routes

    Free Tour with the mini train of Piraeus

    Free public transport for 72 hours including to/from airport

    Walking guided summer tours

    Museum discounts including 50% of the B. & M. Theocharakis Arts Foundation and 10% discount at the museum shop, 50% of the Frissiras Museum and 20% discount at the museum shop for books, 50% of the Hellenic Motor Museum, €4 entrance fee at Herakleidon Museum & 10% discount at the museum shop of the Alex Mylona Macedonian Museum for Contemporary Art

    Fashion Pass for discounts at McArthurGlen - Greece's first Designer Outlet

    Special offers with selected partners

    City map & informational brochure

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    Price: Minors  €34,90   & Adults €79,90

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    [/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][vc_tta_section title="Athens City Pass Complete" tab_id="1470318037247-686ea84c-d399"][vc_column_text]

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    Free and fast track entry to the New Acropolis Museum

    Free entry to the Acropolis Archaeological Site, the Ancient Agora, the Roman Agora, the Hadrian’s Library, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Kerameikos and the Stoa of Attalos

    Free public transport for 72 hours including to/from airport

    Free hop-on-hop-off open top bus tour for 2 days in 3 different routes

    Tour with Piraeus mini train

    Museum tickets for the National Archeological Museum, the Epigraphic Museum, the Numismatic Museum and the Byzantine & Christian Museum

    Walking guided summer tours

    Museum discounts including 50% of the B. & M. Theocharakis Arts Foundation and 10% discount at the museum shop, 50% of the Frissiras Museum and 20% discount at the museum shop for books, 50% of the Hellenic Motor Museum, €4 entrance fee at Herakleidon Museum & 10% discount at the museum shop of the Alex Mylona Macedonian Museum for Contemporary Art

    Fashion Pass for discounts at McArthurGlen - Greece's first Designer Outlet

    Special offers with selected partners

    City map & informational brochure

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    Price: Minors  €45,90   & Adults €112,90

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    €25 for wine & food pairing at By the Glass, wine bar

    €11.95 p.p. for the Vinyl Set Menu and a Hard Rock souvenir for buys from €35 and up at the Hard Rock Cafe Athens

    10% discount for lunch or dinner at La Suite Lounge, St. George Lycabettus Hotel

    20% discount at Athens One Day Cruise

    15% discount at Key Tours, Electric Bike Tours and Meet in Athens Tours

    10% discount at Scooterise Tours, Athens Segway Tours, Shopping Centre Plaka , Freshline, natural cosmetics, Elixirio, spices & herbs, El. Marneri Gallery, Heteroclito Cave & Bar a Vin

    10% discount for one treatment and 15% for two at Konstantinos Hatzis Natural Hair Care

    10% discount for buys up to €1000 and 15% for buys higher than €1000 at Elena Votsi Gallery

    10% discount at the deli/bakery/cafe Meliartos & 10% discount for tasting sessions & cooking lessons at Meliartos

    €7 entrance for the projections at Hellenic Cosmos Centre

    €5 discount on the entry ticket for a performance at Dora Stratou Dance Theatre

    5% discount at Miran Deli

    [/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_tabs][vc_btn title="Book Now!" style="flat" shape="round" color="danger" align="center" link="url:http%3A%2F%2Fwww.turbopass.com%2Fathens-city-pass||target:%20_blank|rel:nofollow" button_block="true"][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner][vc_column_text] [gallery link="file" columns="5" ids="4955,4956,4949,4959,4958,4960,4961,4964,4967,4968,16852,16851,16850,16849,16848"] Save Save Save Save[/vc_column_text][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/6"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text] Save[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row] Save Save

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    Telephone: 0030.22980.75444 Address: Palio Limani, Spetses Website: Orloffresort.com

    [divider style="dotted" border="medium" color="#1cbaa8"] Spetses, the island of aromas, invites travellers to explore a handful-island with whitewashed houses, horse carriages and fuchsia bougainvillea on a stunning Mediterranean backdrop with blue skies and green pine trees. Distinguished for its picturesque character and its traditional identity, Spetses is drawn with lush verdant forests, emerald waters and picturesque houses. Set amidst this lovely island, Orloff Resort is a historical family mansion of the 19th century that has been transformed into one of the finest boutique hotels in Greece. A contemporary and chic hotel with stylish and minimal rooms and suites characterize this wonderful establishment, with a blend of design and tradition, along with a great swimming pool and pebbled pathways shaded from ancient olive trees, and two fine residences. Undoubtedly, the relaxing atmosphere of Orloff Resort is a rare-to-find hideaway just two hours away from Athens. Orloff Resort belongs to the Orloff brothers, one of the oldest families of the island, who have created this establishment with love and great care for the lovers of travelling. [divider style="single" border="small" color="#ffffff"] [justified_image_grid ids=17134,17135,17136,17137,17138,17131,17132,17133] [divider style="single" border="small" color="#ffffff"] Built in the local traditional style of architecture, Orloff Resort distinguishes for its simple elegance offering moments of great comfort. All of the rooms and suites are nicely decorated with great-quality materials, in shades of white and earth colours, and a fine collection of furniture. A harmonious blend of modern aesthetics combined with traditional materials of Spetses meets the dominant decorative minimalist style with a discreet glimpse of luxury. The 1865 mansion of Orloff family was constructed as a a haven in complete harmony with its surroundings, an estate verdant with olive trees, agaves, jasmines, cranesbills and basils. With great respect towards the local character of the island, this boutique hotel has a contemporary design by providing the luxury and comfort of a modern hotel in order to achieve a definite and unique visual identity. Design drew heavily from the design principles of local homes; geometrical strictness, grace and simplicity blend in the most harmonious way by maintaining a sense of scale and harmony with the rest of the island. Traditional white walls and external stone stairs are set among  the trees, the age old olives and the flowers around the courtyard of the pool. The typical windows used in the resort with their colorful wooden shutters on the inside reflect one of the most characteristic images of local homes. Great emphasis was placed on selecting traditional materials, mostly from local suppliers; rough stone for the walls, traditional roofs with wooden frames and old clay tiles, slab-stone in all interior spaces, marble one-piece surfaces in the bathrooms and local pebbled floors, traditional statue-like chimneys, made by local craftsmen. By respecting the surrounding environment and creating a unique design for the indoor spaces, Orloff Resort combines the materials’ rustic elements with modern design and color selection. [divider style="single" border="small" color="#ffffff"] [justified_image_grid ids=17120,17122,17123,17124,17125,17126,17127,17130,17129] [divider style="single" border="small" color="#ffffff"] Orloff Resort offers 11 double rooms, 4 apartments, 1 suite, 2 maisonettes and 2 villas well-equipped with all the amenities of a boutique hotel. Built in beds with cavities, metal-framed beds designed as simple cube outlines, tree trunks turned into bedside tables, colorful lights designed for each different room and a selection of seats and objects of contemporary design, create a place of tranquility to relax the eye and calm the senses. Couples can share their love in one of the spacious double rooms while the suites and maisonettes are perfect for families. If you are a group of friends, the two 5-bedroom houses, the Superior Residence and the Old Mansion are just ideal to have a perfect set of vacations. Packed up from the friendly management of the Orloff brothers, it is definite that this lovely boutique hotel will offer you moments of utmost tranquility and comfort. Orloff Resort, a great jewel of Spetses island where nobility and historical traditional beats, is exactly what the namesake brothers wanted to be; a tranquil place to relax in a Mediterranean landscape. [divider style="single" border="small" color="#ffffff"] [justified_image_grid ids=17114,17115,17116,17117,17118,17119,,17128,] [divider style="single" border="small" color="#ffffff"] [/three_fifth]

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August 2016

    The Municipality of Syros and the Development Association of the Cyclades, promote the cultural heritage of Syros by honoring the popular composer Markos Vamvakaris through the organization of the Rembetiko Festival Markos Vamvakaris. The "patriarch" of Rebetiko was born on May 10, 1905 in the settlement of Ano Hora in Syros. His parents were poor farmers and he was the eldest of his six siblings. His grandfather wrote songs and his father played zampouna, and from an early age, young Markos accompanied the last toubi playing at various festivals. Due to the poor financial situation of his family, Markos was forced to leave school. In 1917, at age of 12, he left Syros and went to the Piraeus, where his family joined him in the following years. Find more information from this link.

    With naval tradition and rich history, the island of Spetses is the ideal choice for a sports weekend. Having adopted a policy that prohibits the use of cars on the island and offering a regional network of 25 km, Spetses is an original and safe choice for organizing sports events. Their beauty is striking and the island is characterized by the particular combination of the green of the pines and the blue of the sea. The beautiful forests and panoramic views of Spetses, the nearby islands and the Peloponnesian coast offer idyllic images of the race tracks. Since 2010, the Communication Lab company, in collaboration with the Municipality of Spetses organizes the sporting event that has attracted participants, outside urban centers, and has become an institution in sports events in Greece and abroad. Especially in 2015, Spetses mini Marathon made a series of anniversary events to celebrate five years of the competition (competition personal video "SMM 5 Years Experience", Facebook contests, open workouts with important coaches, impressive Spetsathlon and finally one spectacular award ceremony of the great champions of SMM). All the paths and parallel activities are designed to show off the unique architecture and culture of Spetses. Games Activities: • Children Swimming race (8-12 years Primary) 150 m. - Free Admission • Children Swimming race (12-15 years, High School) 300 m. - Free Admission • Children Road Race (0-5 years) 500 m. - Free Admission • Children Road Race (children A, B, C grade) 500 m. - Free Admission • Children Road Race (children D, E, F grade) 1000 m. - Free Admission • Swimming Race 3,000 and 5,000 meters • Runnin Races 5, 10 & 25 km. Parallel activities • "Spetses Treats" from women of Spetses - Free for Participants • "Free for all MELISSA Pasta Night" - Free for Participants Discover more information from the official website of Spetses mini Marathon! Discover Spetses from our travel guides!

    The festival of Cycladic Gastronomy "Nikolaos Tselementes", the sole festival of Cycladic gastronomy, will take place on Sifnos from 8 to 10 of September, 2016. Every year, Artemonas village welcomes the Festival of Cycladic Gastronomy "Nikolaos Tselementes". The great festival gains international recognition with a wide program of happenings for a period of three days. Local people and organisations from the islands of the Cyclades, gather on Sifnos and present the special culinary and cultural tradition of their hometown.Each island has its own pavilion in the central square of Artemonas, where amateurs with professional chefs, prepare and present the recipes of their place. The guests can sample every single recipe from the pavillions.In a corner of the square, the "Tselementakia" (children 6-12 years), dressed in gowns and colorful culinary caps, participate in cooking games and competitions.The festival opens its doors to the public every day at 18.00, while at the end of each day, at 21.30, made musical events with traditional purposes both of the island and the other islands. Entrance to the festival is free. You are all invited! Programme of the festival Presentation of traditional customs and crafts of Sifnos, such as pottery and basketry, traditional wedding celebration, will take place on the island. Also, a small bazaar with products and treats the islands involved will take place in the Strait of Artemonas. What's more, the folklore exhibition "John Atsonios" will happen on the narrow of Artemonas opposite of the church of Virgin Mary of Bali. Furthermore, exhibitions of photography and painting will take place in elementary school of Artemonas and the Sifnos Cultural center "Marianthi Simou". Under the three-day festival each morning, by the sea, under the responsibility of local clubs, Thalassomagiremata, a display of manufacturing traditional recipes of Sifnos, will take place along with a stand with local treats. Discover Sifnos from our travel guides!

    Following a maintenance and restoration project, the Tower of the Winds, on the outskirts of the Roman Agora in Plaka Athens, has opened its doors for the public. The covers have been long removed from the unique reliefs of the exterior of the octagonal tower, and now they just gave back to the Athenians and the visitors the genuine beauty of the eight winds personalized depicted. The conservation and restoration work was carried out under the NSRF, and became specialized tasks from the permanent maintenance staff of the Inspectorate of Antiquities of Athens took place in the interior of the monument. This imposing tower, the renowned Tower of the "Winds" as it usually is called , is a building that was constructed at the end of the 1st century. B.C. The official name is the Horologion Kyrristos (The Watch of Kyrristos) and it is considered that has been erected from Andronicus of Kyrristis (or Kyrristos), Greek astronomer from Cyrrhus of Macedonia. The impressive marble building is located on the northern foothills of the Acropolis, at the Roman Agora, and it is made from Pentelic marble and each side of the tower has a length of 3.20 meters and an overall height of 12 meters with no columns, while the sides are carved with reliefs of the eight major winds, from which it takes its popular name. It has two doors, one to the north and one to the west and the roof is made as a conical tile roof. The monument impressed travelers and historians through time, both for its construction and its scientific use. Renowned as the Tower of the Winds or Temple of Aeolus, the monument has been described in great detail and have been classified into two rates. The exterior part of these columns belong to the Corinthian order and the interior of the Doric order. Besides a weather station, the tower also served as an hour metric station in order to calculate the time in sunless days, as there was also a special installation of an hydraulic clock within the monument. It is believed that the manufacturer of the monument combined previous inventions pf clofk manufacturers such as Archimedes, Ctesibius and Philo. The handsome winged winds are the most striking feature of the Winds. Fly embossed, engraved with their name on each of the eight sides of the tower and everyone bears a special symbol. Is the North (north), the Kaikias (northeast), the Apiliotis (east), the range (southeast), the South (Southern), the Lips (Livas, south west), the Zephyr (west), and Skiron (northwest ). A brazen Triton adorned as anemodeichtis the top of the roof showing the wind direction. The tower's historical path is closely associated with the Christian religion, as in the early Christian years, the tower was used as a Byzantine church steeple, while it was described as a temple of Aeolus from the travellers Kyriakos Agonitis. Thereafter, the tower was converted into a "tekke" (Muslim Monastery), and various dervishes settled there from various regions of the Ottoman Empire.In 1821, when Athens was occupied from the Greeks, the Tower of the Winds was included in the archaeological sites of Athens. It was fully excavated in the 19th century from the Greek Archaeological Society. Today, the region of the tower still is one of the most scenic spots of old Athens.

    Translated from Elculture.gr

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    Paranesti, located in the Region of Eastern Macedonia and Thrace, hosts for the tenth year the Virgin Forest Trail which will be held on May 15, 2016 and on October 14, 15 and 16, 2016 in the forest paths of Rodopi Mountain Range National Park.Virgin Forest Trail includes 7 races that take place in the Virgin Forest of Paranesti with the participation of athletes from Greece and abroad.
    On May the Paranesti Path (46.2km), which is an official qualifying race for events such as the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc, and the Nestos Trail (10km) will be held. On October the event’s programme includes the Virgin Forest Ultramarathon Trail (162km, 14-16/10), the Nature Trail Race (110km, 15-16/10) and the Nestos Trail (10km, 16/10). On October 16, 2016 Alkimi Paides I (1,000m for children 10-13 y.o.), Alkimi Paides II (2,000m for children 14-17 y.o.) and the Special VFT (800m) addressed to children with special needs will also take place.The event is held under the auspices of the Ministry of Economy, Development and Tourism, the Greek National Tourism Organisation, the General Secretariat for Sports and the Central Union of Municipalities and Communities of Greece. It is supported by the European Commission representation in Greece and the European Parliament Office in Greece. Find more information from the official website of Virgin Forest Trail!

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