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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

April 2020

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    It is no surprise that Greece has historically been one of the top sailing destinations for sailors worldwide. With a combination of its rich history, beautiful coastline and unforgettable cuisine, it is what holiday dreams are made of.

    When sailing, you’ll discover that there are an endless amount of itineraries available to you. You’ll have different port of departures, different regions and island chains and different routes depending on the time of the year and your boat. To make it simple, we created an itinerary to cover several islands on a typical 7-day yacht charter ​in Greece​. Don’t worry, you do not need to have prior knowledge (or any knowledge) of sailing to enjoy island hopping in the Cyclades.

    Day 1: Arrive in Mykonos

    [caption id="attachment_2667" align="aligncenter" width="1169"]photo of mykonos, Travel Experiences, travel & discover mysterious Greece © Shutterstock[/caption]

    When arriving in Mykonos, the first day will be saved for exploring on land. Typical charters don’t have check-in until the evening and don’t depart until the morning so you’ll have plenty of time to explore. One of the biggest attractions is the amount of beaches on the island, 25 to be exact. Each one is suited for different purposes as some will be calm and some will be more for the partygoers. After taking in some sun, the local dining scene is a must in Mykonos. Explore the different culinary offerings and end the perfect day with a signature Greek sunset.

    Day 2: Mykonos to Naxos

    [caption id="attachment_4094" align="aligncenter" width="1169"]photo of naxos, Naxos, travel & discover mysterious Greece © Shutterstock[/caption]

    After your early departure from the marina in Mykonos, start sailing south and start your adventure. Your first point of interest will be the historical island of Delos. This island holds some of the most important history and artifacts of all Greece. Birthplace of Apollo, you will be instantly emerged in an unbelievable setting only known to the island in the center of the Cyclades.

    Continue your journey to Naxos which is only 23 nautical miles from Mykonos. The island is increasing in popularity as more and more tourists are discovering the beauty and charm of Naxos. The island has picturesque hilltop villages and numerous pristine beaches. After taking a quick swim, head into the village and try some of the local cuisine and local delicacies.

    Day 3: Naxos to Paros

    [caption id="attachment_4301" align="aligncenter" width="1169"]photo of paros, Paros, travel & discover mysterious Greece Paros © Shutterstock[/caption]

    On the third day, we recommend leaving Naxos and heading to Paros, which is only a short distance away from Naxos. Paros will show you how to mix completely modern elements while keeping its traditional touch. The architecture of the island is traditional of the Cyclades that holds a bustling, vivid nightlife. One of the main attractions of Paros is its beaches. Like most of the islands, you’ll find beaches that are better for partygoers and

    some that lend themselves to those wanting to layout and take in some sun. Whichever beach you choose, you’ll have the option to partake in water activities that are a big draw in Paros.

    After visiting the island a bit, you’ll head north to the beautiful port of Naoussa. It is a smaller port so you will need a bit of planning, but it will be more than worth it when you arrive. When travelling through the different Greek towns, you’ll soon realise that it is hard to find a town that has held onto its authentic culture for that long. Paired with the perfectly clear blue water and its signature architecture will easily make it a highlight of your trip.

    Day 4. Paros to Serifos

    [caption id="attachment_4178" align="aligncenter" width="1169"]photo of serifos, Serifos, travel & discover mysterious Greece Serifos © Shutterstock[/caption]

    When departing from Paros, you’ll head west to the beautiful island of Serifos. This will surely be the longest trip you’ll make on your 7-day journey so be prepared. Like much of the islands you’ll see, the Cycladic architecture will be very present with whitewashed houses and incredible churches.

    This is one of the biggest appeals of the island is that it has remained unchanged over time. The combination of the different landscapes is surely something unique for the island. The rugged countrysides are a sight to see and you will marvel at them and at the sight of the view changing with the light.

    Day 5: Serifos to Kythnos

    [caption id="attachment_4053" align="aligncenter" width="1169"]photo of kythnos, Kythnos, travel & discover mysterious Greece Kythnos © Shutterstock[/caption]

    Depart from Serifos and head north towards Kythnos. Kythnos is known for its magnificent beaches, numerous white churches and thermal springs in the north. You can also anchor on the west coast in the Sand Bar Bay where you’ll find perfect shelter. Since the voyage is relatively short, you should take advantage of exploring the area. Here, you can find a taverna close to the beach and take in the views. You’ll also have the option of going to Merikhas where you’ll have a busier setting where you’ll find several restaurants and cafes in close proximity.

    Day 6: Kythnos to Syros

    [caption id="attachment_19452" align="alignnone" width="1169"]photo of ano syros, Travel Experiences, travel & discover mysterious Greece Syros © Mysteriousgreece.com[/caption]

    Syros is another Greek island full of history dating back over 5,000 years. The island has seen a lot of change and has now become one of the most popular in the Cyclades. From the hills, you can see other Cyclade islands that make for an incredible view.

    When arriving in Syros, you can birth at one of its two main ports. These will both give you access to beautiful neighborhoods and shops. On your last day, we suggest taking in one last taste of the local delicacies and enjoy a last Greek sunset.

    Day 7: Syros to Mykonos

     
    [caption id="attachment_14943" align="aligncenter" width="994"]photo of mykonos, Greek Summer by Greece-is.com, travel & discover mysterious Greece Mykonos © Shutterstock[/caption]

    On your last day back to Mykonos, you will head back directly to the port where you departed. At this point, you’ll have the chance for one last swim before meeting with the base manager. Since you will have to check in during the early afternoon, why not take a taxi to the city to the old town and take in the last beautiful sights of Greece.

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February 2020

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    Ever dream of traveling and sipping a great wine? Why not plan wine travel? Nothing is more amazing than visiting a wine region in person. Winding through vineyards, meeting local winemakers, and sipping wine on the grounds where it was grown provides a genuine understanding of that area and its local grape varieties.

    Greece has various amazing wine destinations that every wine enthusiast should visit. It has been producing equally outstanding wine for centuries that can undoubtedly compare to the structure and finesse sensations of the red Sassicaia Wine 2012 from Tuscany in Italy or the full-body and earthy notes of Bordeaux Wine from France. 

    We rounded up a list of destinations in Greece that every wine lover should visit, including islands, wineries, and vineyards. Read on! 

    Crete

    Crete is Greece’s largest island. It has one of the oldest wine traditions in Europe. This island relatively benefits Greece’s economy through its tourist destinations. 

    You can visit some of the most well organized Greek wineries in Crete. One of them is the Lyrarakis Winery. It is a family-run winery located in the mountain village of Alagni, Crete. The winery attained a worldwide commendation for its revival of indigenous grape varieties. 

    Another must-visit winery in Crete is the Manousakis Winery that lies near Vatolakkos in the city of Platanias. The winery cultivates grapes like Rhone and the Vidiano varieties. The best part is that they produce their grapes through organic farming methods. 

    If you like to taste more unique grape varieties in Crete, stop by Heraklion. It is a port city and the capital of Crete. It’s known for being the main wine-growing area of the island. Many of the grapes cultivated on the island are unknown to any other part of the world. One reason can be because of its unique names like Kotsifali, Thrapsathiri, and Mantilari.

    Crete is also famous for its amazing and sumptuous cuisines, so try combining your wine tour with some cooking lessons to enjoy the best local experience! 

    Santorini

    Santorini is a beautiful small Cycladic island in the middle of the Aegean Sea. Aside from being famous for its iconic sunsets, breathtaking terrains, and historical architectural sites, the island is also known for its wines. 

    If you are looking for a place that offers local wines, visit Gaia Wines just beside the airport of Santorini. Gaia Wines was also one of the ten wineries around the world that use the under-sea aging technique.

    Another reason to visit Santorini is because of the Koutsoyannopoulos Wine Museum. It is one of the top five wine museums in the world. You can learn a lot of things about wine here from wine varieties to wine production. 

    If you’re visiting Santorini, never forget to drop by one on their fantastic beaches and sip your favorite wine while watching its spectacular sunset.

    Nemea

    Nemea is in the Peloponnese and just an hour away from Athens. It is Greece’s most significant and most crucial red-wine appellation, making it an ideal destination for real wine lovers. There are more than 40 wineries in the area, including the Domaine Spiropoulos that is known for its organic wines.

    Another is the Lafkioti Winery that makes delicious and flavorful wines from local grapes and is one of the first wineries in the region to use stainless steel tanks. You can also visit the Palivou Estate Winery that produces high-quality wines made from local and international varieties.

    You may also prefer to tour the island in September for the “Great Days of Nemea," the most prominent wine festivals in Greece. You can enjoy the newest wine releases, try local delicacies, visit wineries, tour vineyards, and witness cultural performances, concerts, exhibitions, and workshops. For wine lovers, this is an incredible chance to celebrate the new harvest with the wine producers.

    Naousa

    Naousa rests on the foothills of the Vermio Mountains, specifically in the Imathia regional unit of Macedonia. Also known as “The Heroic City of Naoussa,” this is where Dionysus, the God of Wine, was born. 

    There are several wineries that you can visit in Naoussa. The most popular in the region is the Boutari Winery. Other wineries that produce exceptional wines are the Kir-Yianni Winery and Vaeni, Domaine Foundi, and Elinos.

    You could also go to the Museum of Wine and Vine in Ioannis Boutsris’ neoclassical building. It is previously a wine factory that now houses some of the most valuable exhibits like barrels, traditional items used to produce wine, and corks. The museum also features tsipouro vases that highlight the importance of another delicious signature Greek spirit produced in the area.

    Naoussa is also the ideal place for both nature and wine lovers. The town’s mountain is perfect for walking, hiking, and biking. Also, try planning your trip based on the ‘Wine Roads’ and some bottles for your cellar. 

    Takeaway

    The world of wine is vast, and when we think of the best wine destinations, we often think of Italy, France, and Spain. Sadly, Greece rarely comes to the minds of traveling wine connoisseurs. But, this European country has a lot to offer when it comes to wine and travel! With its extraordinary native varieties and fabulous wineries, it should also be on your list of destinations to visit. Come and visit!

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December 2019

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    Greece is one of those destinations that can encompass a lot of variety and can leave you spiritually and culturally enriched, regardless of your age. This country has an astounding historical and cultural heritage, it has breathtaking seashores and numerous splendid islands, legendary mountains, and natural landscapes, it has countryside, thermal waters, exquisite cuisine, vibrant and friendly people to party with. The objectives are tightly packed geographically and are all within reach. Importantly, it is a European society with a European mentality and functional law, which should make Westerners feel comfortable regardless of how long they stay.  Considering all these, a Greece vacation is a very safe and entertaining option.

    Planning First!

    If you organize your own trip, don’t rush it. While we agree that overthinking can spoil the pleasure sometimes, failing to do some basic research can be much more disastrous. Thus, take your time to plan the trip and take your time to enjoy it – the latter might mean learning to not worry about all the assignments waiting for you at home. Just be aware that if you happen to be late with a task or two, it is possible to buy college research paper today, while you are on vacation, or even when you return. All you need to do is upload the detailed instructions and wait for the academic assistants to provide you with a completed paper or project. Next, you can simply log into your student platform and upload the task. So just free your mind and start planning your journey.

    Important Places to Visit for the Young and Restless

    1.Islands

    [caption id="attachment_1388" align="aligncenter" width="800"]photo of littlevenice, Mykonos, travel & discover mysterious Greece Mykonos @ Shutterstock[/caption]

    When hearing about Greece, many people think first about the islands and Athens, while the rest is somewhat overlooked. No doubt – the islands of Santorini, Corfu, Zakynthos, Mykonos, Rhodes, Skiathos are renown all around the world for their beautiful beaches, sunny weather, romantic views – this Telegraph article explores them in detail. But there are plenty of reasons to visit Greece apart from these islands.

    2.Beaches

    [caption id="attachment_2086" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Lalaria Beach, Skiathos © Shutterstock Lalaria Beach, Skiathos © Shutterstock[/caption]

    The continental part of the country has some marvelous beaches too, albeit less known. Take for instance the Damouchari marble beach near Agios Ioannis (in Pelion Magnesia). Such small locations are a harmonious mix of beautiful shores, hiking opportunities, and rural landscape and there are hundreds of such places, where one can step off the beaten path.

    3.Meteora

    [caption id="attachment_10890" align="aligncenter" width="800"] View to Meteora © mysteriousgreece.com[/caption]

    Speaking of natural landscapes, consider visiting Meteora, a monastic complex in central Greece that includes five monasteries built on top of steep rock pillars. This place is a UNESCO heritage site and is a fantastic opportunity to learn about these monasteries and to look down the cliffs from the inside as well as to admire the splendid view of the valley (including the sunsets). Yet other important objectives in central Greece are the Delphi Temple and the mythical Mount Olympus – it is basically a two-day climb to the top.

    4. Urban landscapes

    [caption id="attachment_4957" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Monastiraki Square © Shutterstock Monastiraki Square © Shutterstock[/caption]

    The two best-known cities in Greece are Athens and Thessaloniki. Athens is a real treasure for people that aim to familiarize with the history of Ancient Greece: here one finds the Acropolis with all its temples, the Odeon of Herodes, The Temple of Olympian Zeus, The New Acropolis Museum, The National Archaeological Museum, the National Garden, the Monastiraki neighborhood, Syntagma Square, the Lycabettus Hill. However, be aware that it might get excruciatingly hot during the summer and even in the first part of Autumn. Also, Athens is simply flooded with tourists, so you should be mentally prepared to literally swim through the crowd on the most touristic streets.

    The list of objectives described here could be somewhat personal and might not reflect your interests well. Hence, before traveling to Greece make sure to consult other sources and to consider both classic and alternative views. A good example could be this list of sightseeing objectives from the Culture Trip. Greece is one of the places that few regret visiting. Many tourists swear to revisit it whenever presented with such chance and part of the reason is the fact that it offers much to explore, the other part is that it simply feels like heaven being here. Fortunately, Greece is in Europe, so that many plans to visit other destinations could be easily altered to include Greece in the itinerary. 

    Author’s Bio

    Emma is a content writer on topics like technology, lifestyle, and education. She writes about the SEO industry and about the market represented by student assistance platforms. One key focus is on the current evolutions in these fields and how they are transforming or will transform the Internet, the marketing industry, education, etc.

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March 2019

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    Pelion: The Place for Eco-Tourists

    Author: Ali Wade

    [caption id="attachment_13251" align="aligncenter" width="1094"]Pelio © Mysteriousgreece.com Pelio © Mysteriousgreece.com[/caption]

    With 32 million visitors in a year, many fear the environmental impact that tourism is having on Greece. Some resorts are becoming overcrowded, ruining the natural beauty. There are, however, many spots the tourists have not yet discovered. One such place is Pelion. A secret mountain in mainland Greece, it is the perfect getaway for lovers of environmentalism and sustainable travel. Visitors to Pelion will have no problem finding a sustainable hotel and ensuring that their daily activities have minimal impact on the environment. So head to the mountain of the Centaurs for an unforgettable travel experience among unspoiled natural paradise.

    Unspoiled Beauty

    The Pelion region includes many small villages, surrounded by stunning mountains. Visitors here will feel a long way from the city and therefore can connect fully to nature. The tallest buildings are the ancient churches and everywhere you look will be greenery. It’s a little harder to get to, with the only airport 30 km away and only operating during the summer. Yet Pelion’s idyllic location makes it perfect year-round. You may have to travel in from afar, but it is worth it to escape the crowds.

    Since it is so cut off, you should bring some survival accessories if you are considering a true outdoor adventure. Camping either in a tent or campervan are easy ways to fall asleep and wake up in this untouched beauty. The beaches of Pelion are small, but quiet. Tourists report almost empty beaches. If you find one with a crowd, there is always another down the road. Meanwhile, you can head into the mountains and breathe in the crisp, clean air and take in the spectacular views.

    Green Hotels

    If you don’t wish to provide your own van or tent for accommodation, there are an abundance of environmentally friendly options in Pelion. The boutique hotels are small and locally run. The region is famous for its homemade, all natural soaps, so these will be found in all the local guesthouses. Eco-tours are usually offered. Local guides will take you to the waterfalls and 18th monasteries, giving you easy, yet low impact access to the surrounding areas.

    The people of Pelion are extremely proud of their history. The food is all locally sourced and you will have the chance to experience authentic Greek culture for the duration of your trip. It may be a stark contrast to the coastal resorts, but it is a dream come true for the environmentally conscious traveler.

    There is much that the Greek tourism industry needs to do to improve its sustainability. It is no wonder that this beautiful country has become so popular, but each traveler needs to consider their impact. By traveling to a place like Pelion, you will find that deep connection to nature that makes you fall in love with the country of Greece. Local eco-hotels are abundant and you will find sustainability among others who share your values.

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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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    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_21354" align="aligncenter" width="800"] 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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    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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     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 © Shutterstock[/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 © Shutterstock[/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 © Shutterstock[/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.

    [caption id="attachment_19098" align="aligncenter" width="800"] White Tower © Shutterstock[/caption]

    Thessaloniki 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 - check out this list with the best carry-on luggage. 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.

    [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="19898" img_size="600X600"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="20264" img_size="600X600"][/vc_column][vc_column width="1/3"][vc_single_image image="20261" img_size="600X600"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width="1/2"][vc_custom_heading text="WINE TOURISM" font_container="tag:h5|text_align:center|color:%231cbaa8" use_theme_fonts="yes"][vc_column_text]

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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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    All the images are copyrighted by Mysterious Greece.

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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".

    [caption id="attachment_12131" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Halkidiki Ιslands © Shutterstock[/caption]

    If 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.

    [button href="https://www.mysteriousgreece.com/monthly-article/mountainous-arcadia/travel-experiences/" style="flat" size="large" color="#1cbaa8" hovercolor="#d6d6d6" textcolor="#ffffff" texthovercolor="#1cbaa8" target="_blank"]Discover the region of Mountainous Arcadia! [/button]

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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. One way or another, you will always need a rain jacket in such places. l 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.

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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!

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

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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.

    [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]

    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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    [caption id="attachment_11473" align="aligncenter" width="625"]Top Winter Destinations in Greece Papingo village © Shutterstock[/caption]

    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 !

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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    Translated from Kathimerini.gr

    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 ".

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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