Ελλάς, Hellas is a country in Southern Europe, on the southernmost tip of the Balkan peninsula, with extensive coastlines and islands in the Aegean, Ionian, and Mediterranean Seas, with a population of approximately 11 million as of 2016. One of the world’s most popular tourist destinations, ranking in the world’s top 20 countries. According to the greek Ministry of Tourism, the nation received about 17 million visitors from January to mid August 2007, a large number for a small country of 11 million.
Most of the country, including all coastal areas, enjoys a so-called Mediterranean climate. Summers are hot and dry with a 7-month period of near-constant sunshine generally from April until November. The remainder of the year is characterized by a relatively cold, rainy period which generally starts sometime in November and lasts until late March or early April. The most pleasant weather occurs in May-June and September-October.
Greece’s official currency is the Euro (€)
Greece boasts a very long history, with the Greek language being present in the country for nearly 4,000 years.
It is located 35 km west of Livadeia. Aráchova is a mountainous village nestling picturesquely at the foot of Mt. Parnassós in Viotia, Southern Greece.It is the most cosmopolitan winter destination in Greece, a great favourite for passionate ski lovers and celebrities, or just first-time visitors who wish to relax in a dreamy mountainous setting with modern tourism facilities. Its modern ski resort, its close proximity to Athens, and its breathtaking mountainous landscape are the strongest reason why. Apart from the mountain activities, Aráchova is also famous for its bustling nightlife and as the favorite mountain resort of Athenians. Stay up all night and enjoy the village’s bustling nightlife. There are a plethora of barsand clubs up and down the streets of Aráhova.
MUST VISIT: The Byzantine churches of the village with their well preserved frescos. Discover the traditional character of the village by taking leisurely walks through its narrow cobblestone streets. Enjoy hot and sweet or soft and fruity drinks in cafés, or traditional kafeneia (coffee shops).
(Greek: Δελφοί) is both an archaeological site and a modern town in Greece on the south-western spur of Mount Parnassus in the valley of Phocis. The Pythia (Greek: Πυθία]), commonly known as the Oracle of Delphi, was the name of any priestess throughout the history of Temple of Apollo at Delphi, located on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, beneath the Castalian Spring (the new priestess was selected after the death of the current priestess). The Pythia was widely credited for her prophecies inspired by Apollo. Apollo’s sacred precinct in Delphi was a panhellenic sanctuary, where every four years, starting in 586 BC athletes from all over the Greek world competed in the Pythian Games, one of the four panhellenic (or stephanitic) games, precursors of the Modern Olympics.
Most of the ruins that survive today date from the most intense period of activity at the site in the 6th century BC : Temple of Apollo, Amphictyonic Council, Treasuries, Altar of the Chians, Stoa of the Athenians, Sibyl rock, Theatre, Tholos, Gymnasium, Stadium, Hippodrome, Polygonal wall, Castalian spring and Athletic statues.
The Meteora (Greek: Μετέωρα) is a rock formation in central Greece hosting one of the largest and most precipitously built complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries, second in importance only to Mount Athos. The six monasteries are built on immense natural pillars and hill-like rounded boulders that dominate the local area. It is located near the town of Kalambaka at the northwestern edge of the Plain of Thessaly near the Pineios river and Pindus Mountains. Meteora is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List under criteria I, II, IV, V and VII.
Or Peloponnesus (Greek: Πελοπόννησος, Pelopónnēsos) is a peninsula and geographic region in southern Greece. While technically it may be considered an island since the construction of the Corinth Canal in 1893, like other peninsulas that have been separated from their mainland by man-made bodies of waters, it is rarely, if ever, referred to as an “island”. It has two land connections with the rest of Greece, a natural one at the Isthmus of Corinth, and an artificial one by the Rio–Antirrio bridge (completed 2004). The peninsula is divided among three administrative regions: most belongs to the Peloponnese region, with smaller parts belonging to the West Greece and Attica regions.
In 2016, Lonely Planet voted the Peloponnese the top spot of their Best in Europe list.
Olympia (Greek: Ὀλυμπία), a sanctuary of ancient Greece in Elis on the Peloponnese peninsula, is known for having been the birthplace of the Olympic Games in classical times. The Olympic Games were held every four years throughout Classical antiquity, from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD.
The sanctuary, known as the Altis, consists of an unordered arrangement of various buildings. Enclosed within the temenos (sacred enclosure) are the Temple of Hera (or Heraion/Heraeum), the Temple of Zeus, the Pelopion, and the area of the altar, where the sacrifices were made.
The Temple of Zeus was built in the middle of the 5th century BC. Its size, scale and ornamentation was beyond anything previously constructed on the site. Further sporting facilities, including the final iteration of the stadium, and the hippodrome (for chariot-racing) were constructed. The Prytaneion was built at the northwest side of the site in 470 BC.
The Olympic flame of the modern-day Olympic Games is lit by reflection of sunlight in a parabolic mirror in front of the Temple of Hera and then transported by a torch to the place where the games are held. When the modern Olympics came to Athens in 2004, the men’s and women’s shot put competition was held at the restored Olympia stadium.
The town and municipality is located in the mountainous east-central part of the regional unit of Achaea, Greece. Notable mountains in the municipality are Mount Erymanthos in the west and Aroania or Chelmos in the southeast. Kalavryta is the southern terminus of the Diakopto-Kalavryta Railway, built by Italian engineers between 1885 and 1895.
Kalavryta ski resort boasts 12 ski runs (2 difficult, 2 intermediate, 6 easy & 2 very easy) of 20km in length, 2 chair lifts and 5 ski lifts, special grounds for snowboarding and extreme games, and other winter attractions, such as a special moguls ski run, and a snowboard park. Visitors at Helmós mountain can also find coffee shops, snack bars, restaurants, ski rental facilities and sporting goods, organized ski school and First Aid Station.
The first Malevis Monastery was built on a high place called Malevou which is now called Kanala in the isolated and trackless forests of Malevou. The chronical book of the monks states that the first monastery was founded in 717 AD, but a year later all of the Monks died, and the final monk, seeing his inevitable end, left a hidden message of what transpired. From that time other monks decided to leave this monastery at “the Channels” and re-build the monastery at another, lower location. The Monastery of Malevi is one of the oldest monasteries in the region of Parnonos Mountain. Because the honor and veneration of the Theotokos was especially important for the monastics, many of the monasteries were founded in memory of the Birth of the Theotokos, her Dormition, or others to her honor. Since the original monastery was built on the site previously called Kanaloni approaching the top of Malevou, the Monastery became known as the Panagia of Malevou was slowly Panagia Malevi or simply Malevi. The refounding of the monastery of Malevis as of today is noted in a historical epigraph on the Katholikon [the central church] of the Monastery, which was founded placed by the Hieromonk Joseph Karatzas.
The miraculous Icon is traditionally known as one of the seventy images painted by the Evangelist St. Luke. The icon was brought by residents of Mount Athos to the first monastery in the Canal. Following the tragic end of the monks who died due to the extreme cold and the roaring winds, it was left alone and came to the place it is today. It repeatedly was found in some local bushes, and was constantely found illumined by a divine light. Three attempts were made to move the Icon to no avail, so a church was built at that location in 1116, and in the year 1362 the silver covering was added to the Icon.
Monemvasia is an impressive castle town in south eastern Peloponnese. This town was constructed invisible from the mainland to avoid enemy attacks. It can be seen only from the sea and only a narrow pathway connects it to the mainland. A walk around the paved streets of the castle town is like a trip back in time. Τhe elegant stone mansions and the Byzantine churches, such as the church of Agia Sofia and of Christ Elkomenos are distinguished in the Castle.
Mystras is situated on the slopes of Taygetos Mountain. The archaeological site stands above the modern village of Mystras and the city of Sparta. The greenery surrounding the area is composed mainly by pine trees and cypresses. Some small rivers and lakes are found in the region.
It is a fortified town and a former municipality in Laconia, Peloponnese, Greece. Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality Sparti, of which it is a municipal unit. Situated on Mt. Taygetos, near ancient Sparta, it served as the capital of the Byzantine Despotate of the Morea in the 14th and 15th centuries, experiencing a period of prosperity and cultural flowering. The site remained inhabited throughout the Ottoman period, when it was mistaken by Western travellers for ancient Sparta.
The last Byzantine emperor, Constantine XI Palaiologos, was despot at Mystras before he came to the throne.
In 1989 the ruins, including the fortress, palace, churches, and monasteries, were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Diros Cave is considered to be the first of the three most beautiful and impressive lake caves in the world because of its multicolored and wonderful decoration. It is situated in the south of Areopoli, in Lakonia. The bay of Diros with its white pebbles and the crystal waters lies below the entrance of the cave. It is consisted by three separate caves: Vlyhada which is the only accessible one, Alepotrypa and Katafygi. The third unit of Diros Cave, the Vlychada Cave, 3,5 km long, is the longest known in Greece.
There were residences here during the Neolithic period, according to its findings. Human skeletons and craniums, animal skeletons, tools, marble figurines, pottery and a stone axe were found. All findings are exhibited in the Neolithic Museum of Diros.
The cave began to be formed millions hundreds years ago. The stalactites and the stalagmites lying under the water surface were formed when the sea surface was much lower than today. Brilliant white, pink or red stalactites and stalagmites, sometimes being fuzzy, grey or white columns, formed through the natural rule drop by drop of carbonate calcium, compose the stunning decoration of the cave.
Wander around its mysterious galleries and multicolour chambers, and admire impressive stalactite and stalagmite formations. What makes this cave quite unique is an unusual formation of cascading lakes that form three different levels within its mouth.The cave’s explored length is 1,980 meters. Enter the cave through an artificial tunnel that leads you directly to the second floor, whose sight is truly awe-inspiring. Human fossils as well as fossils of a variety of animals (among which a hippopotamus) were found at the cave’s lower floor.
During winter time, when the snow melts, the cave is transformed into a subterranean river with natural waterfalls. In the summer, part of the cave dries up revealing stone basins and dams up to 4m in height.
The 13 lakes inside the cave retain the rest of the water. Try to cross the small suspension bridges that will take you from lake to lake.
The region encompasses the city of Athens, thecapital of present-day Greece. The historical region is centered on the Attic peninsula, which projects into the Aegean Sea. The modern administrative region of Attica is more extensive than the historical region and includes the Saronic Islands, Cythera, and the municipality of Troizinia on the Peloponnesian mainland.
The Acropolis of Athens (Ancient Greek: Ἀκρόπολις, tr.Akrópolis; Modern Greek: Ακρόπολη Αθηνών, tr.Akrópoli Athenón [aˈkropoli aθiˈnon]) is an ancient citadel located on an extremely rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and contains the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Parthenon. The word acropolis comes from the Greek words ἄκρον (akron, “highest point, extremity”) and πόλις (polis, “city”). Although there are many other acropoleis in Greece, the significance of the Acropolis of Athens is such that it is commonly known as “The Acropolis” without qualification.
The Acropolis Museum (Greek: Μουσείο Ακρόπολης, Mouseio Akropolis) is an archaeological museum focused on the findings of the archaeological site of the Acropolis of Athens. The museum was built to house every artifact found on the rock and on the surrounding slopes, from the Greek Bronze Age to Roman and Byzantine Greece. It also lies over the ruins of a part of Roman and early Byzantine Athens. The museum was founded in 2003, while the Organization of the Museum was established in 2008. It opened to the public on 20 June 2009. Nearly 4,000 objects are exhibited over an area of 14,000 square metres.
The Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center is a complex in the bay of Phaliron in Athens which includes new facilities for the National Library of Greece (NLG) and the National Opera (GNO), as well as the 210,000 m² Stavros Niarchos Park where several activities take place all the time of the year, for all the family. The Center was designed by the famous Italian architect Renzo Piano, it was built (completed in 2016) by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and was donated to the Greek state in 2017. From its roof you can see Piraeus Port, Phaliron bay, Acropolis and Lecabetus Hill.
Discover with a breathtaking drive along the scenic coastal road Athens riviera and the temple of Poseidon. During this relaxing ride you can enjoy splendid views of the Saronic Gulf while passing through some of Athens’ most beautiful suburbs, including Glyfada, Vouliagmeni, and Varkiza.
Cape Sounion is a historic and beautiful area of Greece. The steep cliffs offer breathtaking, panoramic views. On a clear day you can see at least 7 of the Greek islands. In addition to the views, visit the famous 5th-Century BC Doric Temple of Poseidon, dedicated to the God of the Sea. Walk back in time and feel the beat of Ancient Greece as you stare across magical views of crystal clear waters.
A trip to Marathonas and a visit to its archeological site and museum is something you must do when you will visit Athens. As you will discover when you get there Marathonas is one of the most beautiful places in Attica. The road passes by gardens, vineyards, olive groves and wild vegetation as well as by the artificial Marathonas Lake with the impressive marble dam. In the surrounding area you can find many beautiful beaches for swimming and sunbathing. The most famous one is Schinias (it is located in an area of unique beauty which has been announced as National Park) where the pine tree forest almost reaches the sandy beach. You can also visit the archeological site of Ramounta (12 km away from Marathonas).
MUST VISIT: Marathonas Monument (Tomb) // Archaeological Museum of Marathonas // Ramnous (Kato Souli)
The region is situated around the city of Corinth, in the north-eastern part of the Peloponnese peninsula. The eastern coastlands of Corinthia are made up of pastures and farmlands where olives, grapes, tomatoes and vegetables are cultivated. The rest of Corinthia is mountainous. Its tallest mountain is Kyllini in its west and the largest lake is Lake Stymphalos situated in the southwest. Notable attractions include Ancient Corinth with its acropolis, Acrocorinth, the Corinth Canal, the thermal springs of Loutraki, the archaeological sites of Nemea, Sicyon and the Heraion of Perachora.
Acrocorinth (Greek: Ακροκόρινθος), “Upper Corinth”, the acropolis of ancient Corinth, is a monolithic rock overseeing the ancient city of Corinth, Greece. “It is the most impressive of the acropoleis of mainland Greece,” in the estimation of George Forrest. Acrocorinth was continuously occupied from archaic times to the early 19th century.
The ancient town of Corinth was built at the meeting point of southern and northern Greece. In Greek mythology it was where Jason and Medea lived, and it was the city where St. Paul lived and preached for two years.
Diolkos was a paved trackway near Corinth in Ancient Greece which enabled boats to be moved overland across the Isthmus of Corinth. The shortcut allowed ancient vessels to avoid the long and dangerous circumnavigation of the Peloponnese peninsula. The phrase “as fast as a Corinthian”, penned by the comic playwright Aristophanes, indicates that the trackway was common knowledge and had acquired a reputation for swiftness. The main function of the Diolkos was the transfer of goods, although in times of war it also became a preferred means of speeding up naval campaigns. The 6 km (3.7 mi) to 8.5 km (5.3 mi) long roadway was a rudimentary form of railway and operated from c. 600 BCE until the middle of the 1st century. The scale on which the Diolkos combined the two principles of the railway and the overland transport of ships remained unique inantiquity.
The Corinth Canal (Greek: Διώρυγα της Κορίνθου, Dhioryga tis Korinthou) is a canal that connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. It cuts through the narrow Isthmus of Corinth and separates the Peloponnese from the Greek mainland, arguably making the peninsula an island. The builders dug the canal through the Isthmus at sea level; no locks are employed. It is 6.4 kilometres (4 mi) in length and only 21.4 metres (70 ft) wide at its base, making it impassable for most modern ships. It now has little economic importance.
The Heraion of Perachora (Greek: Ηραίο Περαχώρας) was a sanctuary of the goddess Hera situated in a small cove of the Corinthian gulf at the end of the Perachora peninsula. In addition to a temple of Hera of unusual construction and antiquity, the remains of a number of other structures have also been found, including a L-shaped stoa, a large cistern, dining rooms, and a second potential temple.
Vouliagmeni Lake is a 20 minutes drive away from Loutraki and it has been declared as a region of rare natural beauty! The peaceful lagoon of Vouliagmeni lies 16-km. northwest of Loutraki and was caused by the subsidence of the ground to a kind of trench. The lagoon is 2 km. long and up to 1 km. wide, as its depth is estimated at 40 m. Α channel of 6-m. width provides an outlet to the sea. There are some greek taverns beside the lake, great point for lunch time. Across the cape of Olmion, we can see the Alkyonides Islands, also known as Kalanisa, which are composed of four islands: Zoodochos Pigi, Daskaleio, Glaronisi and Prasonisi.
Nemea was famous in Greek myth as the home of the Nemean Lion, which was killed by the hero Heracles, and as the place where the infant Opheltes, lying on a bed of parsley, was killed by a serpent while his nurse fetched water for the Seven on their way from Argos to Thebes. The Seven founded the Nemean Games in his memory, according to its aition, or founding myth, accounting for the crown of victory being made of parsley or the wild form of celery and for the black robes of the judges, interpreted as a sign of mourning. The Nemean Games were documented from 573 BC, or earlier, at the sanctuary of Zeus at Nemea. At the temenos, the grave of Opheltes was surrounded by open-air altars and enclosed within a stone wall.The sanctuary’s necessary spring was named Adrasteia: Pausanias wondered whether it had the name because an “Adrastus” had “discovered” it, but Adrasteia, the “inescapable one”, was a nurse of the infant Zeus in Crete.
Saint Patapios of Thebes (fl. 4th century AD) is the patron saint of dropsy. Saint Patapios’ memory is celebrated on 8 December (main celebration) and also at the Tuesday 2 days after the Sunday of Easter (in memory of the day that his relic was discovered). His relic is kept at the female monastery of Saint Patapios at Loutraki.
St. Patapios was born in the 4th century A.D. in Thebes, Egypt to wealthy Christian parents. Patapios, at a young age, lived the life of a hermit in the desert. Many visited him to take his advice and to listen to his preaching. Later in his life, Patapios left Thebes and the desert for Constantinople. There he met two other ascetics, Varas and Ravoulas which both became saints. Saint Ravoulas was hermit at the gate of Romanos. Saint Varas built the monastery of St John the Baptist at Petrion.
Saint Patapios is well known for the miracles that he did in the past and still does nowadays, which are recorded with full details in the historical archives of the monastery which mai. In the monastery of St. Patapios live 40 nuns. It is located in Greece, mountain Gerania at an altitude of 650 meters (2132 feet) and is close to Loutraki contains a large library. The monastery overlooks the sea and Loutraki. Entering the monastery of St. Patapios we encounter the church Virgin Mary.
The region is situated in the eastern part of the Peloponnese peninsula and part of the tripoint area of Argolis, Arcadia and Corinthia. Much of the territory of this region is situated in the Argolid Peninsula.
Epidaurus Ancient theatre
The most famous theatre in the world!! The theatre is marveled for its exceptional acoustics, which permit almost perfect intelligibility of unamplified spoken word from the stage to all 15,000 spectators, regardless of their seating. The rows of limestone seats filter out low-frequency sounds, such as the murmur of the crowd, and amplify high-frequency sounds from the stage. Nowadays great performances take place there every summer, in July and August.
The archaeological site of Mycenae is the imposing ruins of one of the greatest cities of the Mycenaean civilization, which dominated the eastern Mediterranean world from the 15th to the 12th century B.C. and played a vital role in the development of classical Greek culture. Mycenae is indissolubly linked to the Homeric epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey, which have influenced European art and literature for more than three millennia. From the hill on which the palace was located one can see across the Argolid to the Saronic Gulf.
The findings from Mycenae can be viewed in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. Mycenae is an UNESCO World Site.
Nafplio is a seaport town in the Peloponnese that has expanded up the hillsides near the north end of the Argolic Gulf. The town was an important seaport held under a succession of royal houses in the Middle Ages as part of the lordship of Argos and Nauplia, held initially by the de la Roche following the Fourth Crusade before coming under the Republic of Venice and, lastly, the Ottoman Empire. The town was the capital of the First Hellenic Republic and of the Kingdom of Greece, from the start of the Greek Revolution in 1821 until 1834. Nafplio is now the capital of the regional unit of Argolis.
The castle of Bourtzi is located in the middle of the harbour of Nafplio. The Venetians completed its fortification in 1473 to protect the city from pirates and invaders from the sea. The Greeks regained it from the Turks on June 18, 1822, from where they assisted in the siege of Nafplio. Until 1865 it served as a fortress. It was then transformed into residence of the executioners of convicts from the castle of Palamidi. From 1930 to 1970, it served as a hotel. Since then, it is mainly a tourist attraction hosting occasionally parts of the Summer Music Festival.