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Greece

This month

In this issue: • • • • • •

PM Alexis Tsipras in China Parthenon Marbles Conference Greek Embassy’s Summer Party Mosaic Odysseys Exhibition Summer Festivals in Greece Destinations in Greece with archeaolgical interests • Holidays in the mainland Greece • Best Thermal Springs destinations in Greece

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras Official Visit to China On July 5, the Greek Prime Minister, Mr. Alexis Tsipras visited Beijing, where he met Chinese President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and the heads of several local firms, marking the third such trip by a Greek PM in the last 10 years. During his official 6-day visit, the two countries agreed to extend and deepen their Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. The ceremony commemorated the 10-year anniversary of the political partnership, which was first launched in 2006. An important feature of the visit was the enhancement of the bilateral trade ties between Athens and Beijing. The Cosco deal for Piraeus port has been a notable example of this cooperation, as, according to Financial Times, the deal will see the Chinese company invest at least €350m over the next 1

10 years. Economists expect that in the long term, Cosco’s investment in Piraeus could lead to additional annual revenues of some 5 billion euros and the creation of 125,000 jobs. The agreement is also part of China’s larger ‘one belt, one road’ initiative, which seeks to invest in key infrastructure projects across Asia and Europe. As the Prime Minister noted: “This is a mutually beneficial deal, which paves the way for the Chinese companies and brings positive benefits to the Greek economy”. The Prime Minister also travelled to Shanghai where he met leading Chinese business leaders, in a bid to boost Greek exports to what is now the world’s second largest economy. He also signed nine new major business deals in a variety of sectors, such as technology and tourism.


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Asked by AMNA to comment Tsipras’ visit, Ambassador Zhu Xiaoli replied that ‘’Mr. Tsipras visit was a huge success. I say this because I really mean it. This is a landmark in the history of our relations, because it coincides with the 10th anniversary of our strategic partnership, but also marks a new beginning for the next decade of our relations ... I think the meetings were important and the agreements signed are important, but I think the most important outcome of this visit is the signal that we send to each other, that we trust you and we’ll invite you as a strategic partner.’’ The Greek Prime Minister was also invited to a tour of Beijing’s historic Forbidden City, rounding off a fruitful visit that builds on the already growing relationship between Greece and China.

Special Event Parthenon Marbles Conference (Senate House,7 June 2016)

‘’Commemorative Event for the marking of the 200 years since the purchase of the Marbles from the British Parliament’’ As Tom Flynn rightly communicated some 6 years ago: “there is no evidence that museums would be denuded if each request for repatriation were treated on its own merits. For European and North American museums to suggest that they

would be denuded is tantamount to admitting that the majority of their collections were dubiously acquired, which is not the case. The great encyclopaedic or ‘universal’ museums in London, Paris, Berlin, New York and elsewhere are all subject to the laws laid down within internationally agreed legal instruments such as the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the safeguarding of cultural property. Refusing to return the Marbles sends the wrong message at a time when a more ethical approach is required over disputed cultural property’’. This is

one of the key conclusions of a special and symbolic conference organized by the British Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles (BCRPM) and hosted at the Senate House, marking the 200 years from the date in 1816 when the British Parliament voted to purchase from lord Elgin his collection of sculpted marbles collected from the Parthenon and elsewhere on the Athenian Acropolis. It is worth mentioning that two weeks after the event, the Acropolis museum celebrated its 7th anniversary. Distinguished personalities such as George Bizos (the advocate advisor of Nelson Mandela and Founder of the South African 2


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Few Words about BCRPM

Committee), Prof. Paul Cartledge (Deputy Chairman of the BCRPM) , Mr William St. Clair (Senior Research Fellow, Institute of English Studies, University of London), Tristram Besterman (Freelance writer and adviser about museums and culture), Artemis Papathanasiou (Chairperson of the Committee of the 2nd Protocol to the Hague Convention of 1954, member of the Hellenic Committee for the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles) and Dr. Victoria Solomonides (representative of the Hellenic Foundation for Culture in the UΚ and Melina Mercouri’s Foundation and former Cultural Counsellor of the Greek Embassy in the UΚ) joined the panel as keynote speakers, focusing on the latest developments on the issue of the Reunification of the Parthenon Marbles, from the perspective of modern day museology to UNESCO’s call for mediation. Last but not least, it is worth mentioning that the Conference was a tribute to the Committee’s Chairman, Eddie O’ Hara, who passed away one week before the launching of the event.

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The inspiration came from Melina Mercouri’s passionate appeal to help return the Parthenon Marbles to their rightful home in Athens, at the International Conference of Ministers of Culture in Mexico, August 1982. The idea to set up a British Committee for the Restitution of the Parthenon Marbles came from James Cubitt, a distinguished British architect. He firmly believed that the Parthenon Marbles, as integral architectural members of a unique and internationally valuable monument, should be assembled together in a museum as close to the Acropolis as possible. This would restore the beauty and meaning of the Parthenon, as well as its physical and scholarly integrity. The aims of the Committee, as originally defined, are as follows: “To secure the reunification of the Parthenon Marbles to Greece in accordance with the resolution of the UNESCO Conference of Ministers of Culture held in Mexico on 4 August 1982. To this end - we intend to present the case as fully as possible to the British public and to bring the most effective pressure on the Trustees of the British Museum and the British Government”.

DPAAL- Young Diplomats in London Summer Drinks Party (Greek Embassy in London, 21.7.2016) Οn the 21st July 2016 , the London Press and Communication Office organized and hosted at the garden of the Embassy, the annual


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drinks party event of the Diplomatic Press Attaches’ Association in London (DPAAL) and of the Young Diplomats in London Association (YDL). The event was very successful, as it was attended by 130 foreign diplomats for press affairs and British journalists, giving the opportunity to all the young diplomats based in London to meet and share ideas with each other over the current international developments, while the agenda was focused on Brexit, as expected. We would like also to thank our sponsors of the night, Carpo London and Mamas food for the lovely Greek finger food they created and offered us, as well as IDS for the drinks.

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‘Mosaic Odysseys’, Hellenic Centre : an Anglo-Hellenic exhibition of contemporary mosaics in London, Athens and Mykonos The idea for the Mosaic Odysseys Exhibition came while the British mosaicist and curator Aliyahgator was attending a talk in London about the Byzantine mosaics of Thessaloniki. The talk was so inspiring and the mosaics were s vibrant and colourful that she wanted to find out more. Aliyahgator began to acquire some knowledge about the contemporary mosaic scene in Greece and developed rapidly strong bonds with Greek artists. “I was amazed by the variety and versatility of work I was seeing, and thought that it would make an extraordinary exhibition in London.” The idea of bringing the mosaics to London developed progressively into the exchange project which is now Mosaic Odysseys: a summer long festival of Anglo-Hellenic mosaics, with venues in London, Athens and Mykonos. Eleven talented and internationally renowned artists exhibit their 4


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Summer festivals all around Greece

work: Dugald MacInnes, Nathalie Vin, Ioannis Touliatos, Kate Rattray, Alexandros Bassadis, Lydia Papadopoulou, Arianna Puntin, Artemis Klitsi, Vasso Spanou, Eftychia Finou, and Aliyahgator. The theme of the exhibition is ‘Mosaic Odysseys’, and interpretations vary from political to abstract, to classical and personal. Materials used in the mosaics are wide ranging and include marble, gold, slate, lenticular technology, plastic, glass, found materials and hand-made clay pieces. The exhibition is currently hosted by the Hellenic Centre in London from 19th July to 23rd July and then it will move to the Michael Cacoyannis Foundation in Athens on September 9th to 18th, with its last destination to be to the Municipal Art Gallery in Mykonos on September 23rd to October 3rd. For further details visit: http://mosaic-odysseys.weebly.com/

Greece is brimming

with festivals every summer. Fascinating celebrations, some of which date way back in time, never fail to fire up the imagination of art-loving audiences. Distinguished artists from Greece and all over the world dazzle us with their creativity and inspiration! You will be amazed by the sheer number and variety of the events, artists and different kinds of music and other art forms on offer under the blue Greek skies this summer. Classical Greek drama acting in the idyllic Epidaurus, rock parties in the Rockwave festival, diverse and different music styles in the European Music Day and a unique photography festival in Antiparos prove that the summer Greek stage has it all! Take a careful look at the events on offer and pick your favourite way to make sum and pick your favourite way to make summer in Greece even more unforgettable.

Photography festival in Antiparos

Antiparos is a small Greek island in the Aegean sea which has been hosting the smallest photography festival since 2013. 5


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Antiparos is the smallest island in the Cyclades, and every year since 2013 it has AAtiparos is a small Greek island in the Aegean sea which has been hosting the smallest photography festival since 2013. Antiparos is the smallest island in the Cyclades, and every year since 2013 it has hosted what is arguably the smallest international photography festival in the world. Discovered by the artistic community in the 1960s, Antiparos now has a thriving tourist industry, which has essentially re mained artistic and respectful for the island.

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open air and the Kastro makes that very unusual and riveting. But most of all, it’s down to love, the love that the creators of the festival share for the island and the love for art. The fourth Antiparos International Photography will take place this summer from 2nd till 11th July and will consist of Greek as well as contributions from Austria, Switzerland, Great Britain and the USA. For more information about The Antiparos International Photo Festival you may visit: http://antiparosphotofestival.com/

Rockwave Festival

The Antiparos International Photo Festival corresponds to the scale of the island and reinforces its cultural identity. The festival was the brainchild of three people: Mary Chatzaki, who runs the local ‘Anti’ art gallery; Yannis Bagourdas, an engineer and amateur photographer; and David Frazer Wray, a summer visitor. The Festival started on a small scale with one exhibition space and an empty apartment. However, the surprisingly positive response from tourists as well as the inhabitants of the island led to the upscale of the festival. In 2014, the photographs were displayed in the Kastro - the 15th century Venetian castle in the center of Antiparos – and, for the first time, the works, have been exhibited outdoors, on the ancient walls. The Antiparos International Photo Festival is unique – a result of the island and its inhabitants. Intriguingly, it is the only international photo festival to exhibit in the 6

Rockwave Festival is one of the most famous rock festivals in Greece. Held in Malakasa, a few miles outside of Athens, the festival’s history begins in 1996, but its popularity has spread since 2004. Rockwave Festival is part of YOUROPE (Official European Union of the biggest festivals, with the strictest inclusion criteria, approved by Brussels) and of ETEP (European program for the showcase, promotion and exchange of emerging artists within the EU member states). Undeniably, Rockwave Festival is among the biggest festivals worldwide as it welcomes each year the greatest bands and


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most popular artists of the music industry. Over 200 international and Greek artists have been part of Rockwave’s Festival history. Rockwave’s energetic presentation attracts masses of young Greeks and visitors who descend on the festival in search of great music, great atmosphere and a stupendous experience. This year, the Rockwave Festival is on for two days, starting on June 5th and finishing on July 19th . Some of the artists performing this year comprise Lana Del Rey, The Last Shadow Puppets, Suede, The Subways, Dropkick Murphys, and many more. Once again, The Rockwave Festival is at Terra Vibe, an event area with a capacity of 15,000, located near the 37th kilometer of the Athens-Lamia national road by the Malakasa interchange. For more information as well as online ticket purchasing visit the following web-

site: http://www.rockwavefestival.gr/

Athens Festival

The Athens Festival is a great celebration that has lasted 56 summers, and has hosted some of the leading lights of theatre, music and dance. Once a year, from start June to the start of August, several culture events take place in the Athens Festival which is known as one of the leading

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classic cultural events in the world, magnetising people that admire the prominence of Greek ancient culture. Over the last 50 years, the Festival has hosted some of the leading lights of music - such as Mitropoulos, Callas, Rostropovich, Pavarotti, Leonidas Kavakos and Dimitris Sgouros, of theatre - Rondiris, Koun, Streller, Peter Hall, Noh theatre, Bunraku puppet theatre, the Peking Opera and of dance - Balanchine, Pina Bausch, Nureyev, Fonteyn, Martha Graham and Alicia Alonso. Above all, however, it is a venture with an eventful past often clouded by events in Greece’s recent history; a venture that has taken on a youthful vitality, and openness. The Festival’s program involves open-air theatre, opera, classical music and dance at various locations in Athens such as the Athens Concert Hall, Technopolis and the Benaki Museum. However the festival’s top venue is the 2nd century BC Odeon of Herodes Atticus, formed out of the rocky southern slope of Acropolis Hill. Watch an ancient Greek tragedy, opera or ballet against the magic backdrop of the Acropolis. Enjoy a performance as the ancient Greeks would do in this outstanding architectural monument known for its unique acoustics. Performances are in Greek but in the program you will find summaries in other languages too and English surtitles for the Festival’s productions. The first play will take place on 10th June with the Greek National Opera: Aida and they will continue until the 20th August. Don’t miss this marvelous opportunity! For more information about The Athens Festival you may visit: http://greekfestival.gr/en/home.

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European Music Day

For the 17th consecutive year, hundreds of organizers, thousands of artists and volunteers are getting ready to fill every corner of the country with rhythms, sounds, cohcities, colours and cheerful notes, stepping on the most harmonic event of Greece, the European Music Day. Determined to change the rhythms of the cities, 3.000 musicians, 425 bands, DJs, Choirs and Orchestras will be present in 239 events in 178 locations, nationwide! In fact, European Music Day Greek network is expected to take place in almost every region of the country including hundreds of live events, conce rts and productions in squares, parks as well as walkways across the country with free entrance for everyone. The European Music Day events wereinitially held in Athens in June 1999. Since then, European Music Day has become a national event that takes place simultaneously in 30 cities per year, presenting over 2.100 artists and bands in 230 events locations throughout Greece. European Music Day Network events are by far the most important music events of Greece. The concerts, activities and events aim to send a strong message of optimism, unity and cooperation. From Didymoticho, Ioannina, Orestiada, Loutraki, Xanthi, Volos to Ag. Nikolaos, Heraklion and Chania, this year’s events were held from the 18th to the 23rd of June. For more information please visit the website: www.europeanmusicday.gr

Destinations in Greece with archaeological interest

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ies, and landmarks have travelled us to another era, while many other ancient sites, await to be ‘discovered’. For those who plan to explore Greece for the first time this year, what is worth seeing? And which of these ancient sites should we recommend to them? Here are some of the most important and some unknown, to many foreign visitors, archaeological sites that will make your trip memorable!

The Minoan Palace of Knossos

Knossos is the most important ancient site and best preserved palace of the Minoan Civilization, that flourished in Greece from 2,700 to 1,450 BC. Knossos was the seat of the legendary King Minos and it is also a place connected to many legends, such as the Labyrinth with the Minotaur and the story of Daedalus and Icarus. The Minoans developed for the first time a trade network with the rest of the Aegean and even established colonies, like Akrotiri in Santorini. Whichever way you look at it, the Palace of Knossos represents an incredible site of incalculable value. The most important monuments of the site are

the palace of Knossos, the little palace, the Royal Villa and the house of the frescoes. Five thousand years of history have ob- Info: Knossos is located near the modern viously marked the Greek landscape. town of Heraklion in the island of Crete. Many ancient Greek monuments, cit8


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Ancient Olympia

Ancient Olympia is an archaeological site which is considered as one of the most important sanctuaries of the antiquity and it was dedicated to the father of all gods, Zeus. In fact, two great temples of Zeus and Hera were constructed there in the ancient times. Olympia was also the place where the ancient Olympic Games were first held. The Games were organised to honour Zeus and, according to the myth, they were founded either by Pelops, king of Peloponnese, or by Hercules. The site was excavated by French archaeologists and some of the findings were transferred to the Louvre Museum in Paris. The most important monuments of the site are: the temples of Zeus and Hera, the Stadium, the workshop of sculptor Phedias, the Palaestra and the Gymnasium. Next to the site, there is an impres-

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seems like a village hoisted into the sky by some of the most unbelievable geological formations. Many people come here and claim that being in Meteora is like being on another planet entirely. Access to the monasteries was originally difficult, but now thousands of tourists visit them each year. This is a very popular hiking spot for those who want to see the monasteries while also getting exercise. Meteora is a massive historical site and is also included in the UNESCO list. The summer months can be brutally hot, while winter months are very cold. Visit here in the early summer, spring

or late summer as temperatures drop. Info: Meteora is located 4km from Kalambaka in northwestern Thessaly.

The Acropolis of Rhodes

sive museum with findings from the area. Positioned on the western edge of the Info: Olympia is located at the west end of city, on the top of the hill of Ayios Stefanos, the Acropolis of Rhodes and its the Peloponnese imposing Temple of Apollo, dominated the western and highest part of the city. Meteora Meteora is a unique destination and not The first excavations on the site were carjust because it is one of the largest and ried out by the Italian Archaeological most important complexes of Greek Or- School during the years of the Italian octhodox monasteries in Greece. The thing cupation of the island. The Acropolis of that really fascinates its visitors is that it Rhodes is one of the most interesting 9


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and enjoyable archaeological sites one can visit. It is surrounded by a pristine nature with fabulous views, is the favourite jogging and walking place for modern Rhodians. The lower part that includes the large Stadium, is safe for small children. Info: The Acropolis of Rhodes is located on the beautiful island of Rhodes in the Dodecanese

The Amphipolis Tomb

The island of Delos

Delos, a small Cycladic island in the middle of the Aegean Sea, is an important historical and archaeological site. According to Greek mythology, this is the birthplace of God Apollo and his twin sister Artemis. In an era when religious festivals were economic engines, attracting thousands of pilgrims and generating healthy economic growth, Delos stood strong at the center of the wealthiest commercial centres and benefited greatly. There is also the Terrace of the Lions, with five of the marble lions that guarded the Sacred Palm that Leto, Apollo’s mother, held onto when she gave birth to the god of light. You are at the heart of the ancient world. In 1990, Delos became a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Info: Delos is located a few nautical miles away from the cosmopolitan coasts of Mykonos. 10

The tomb at Amphipolis, some 60 kilometres (37 miles) from the northern city of Serres, is the largest ever discovered in the country and it is said that it belongs to Hephaestion, the close companion of Alexander the Great. It was dug up in 2012 and opened last summer amid speculation that it was built for someone close to Alexander like his mother Olympias or wife Roxana.

Ancient Thyra, Santorini

Ancient Thera is an antique city on a ridge of the steep, 360 m high Messavouno mountain on the Greek island of Santorini. It was named after the mythical ruler of the island, Theras, and was inhabited from the 9th century BC until 726 AC. Starting in 1895 the city was systematically investigated by Friedrich Hiller von Gaertringen, who excavated there until 1904. Later excavations by N. Zapheiropoulos between 1961 and 1982 under


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the auspices of the Archaeological Society of Athens unearthed the city’s necropolis in Sellada. Findings from these excavations are on exhibit at the archaeological museum in Fira. Excavation work was again taken up between 1990 and 1994 under the leadership of Wolfram Hoepfner of the Free University of Berlin and resulted in a more precise understanding of the history of the southern Aegean.

Holidays in the mainland Greece

Greek summer is not only about sandy beaches, blue and green waters and seaside destinations! The country has a lot to offer, in terms of natural beauty, which is not only recommended for winter getaways, but for the summer holidays as well, for those interested in wild nature and do not want only to relax sunbathing in the Aegean or the Ionian sea. Impressive monuments, road trips and journeys that you’ll never forget and mountains that plunge into the sea – a combination that gives you a never-ending array of choices for your beach holiday in mainland Greece. The Greek mountains are characterized by their diversity, rare scenery and unique forests, some of which rank among the oldest

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natural wooded lands in Europe. Due to the unsurpassable rich flora and fauna, many are protected as National Parks, while at the same time the infrastructure that was developed over the last few decades has created ideal destinations for those daring tourists who want to enjoy winter and mountain activities.Those are some of the places we suggest you to visit:

Vikos Gorge

Vikos Gorge is one of the very best places in Europe to hike. This part of Greece hasn`t changed in hundreds of years, in fact the modern world seems to have passed it by. It is an amazing place for wildlife and hiking. The gorge lies in an area known as Zagoria. Which is in the region of Epirus, close to the border with Albania, in the north-west corner of Greece. The capital town of Epirus is Ioannina which is a pretty lakeside town with a really interesting, old fashioned baazar. The gorge is part of the Vikos-Aoos National Park, one of only ten national parks found on the Greek mainland. The park, created in 1973, covers an area of about 31,000 acres and is made up of Vikos Gorge, Aoos Gorge and part of the Pindus Mountains including Mount Tymfi. Aoos Gorge in the north, is separated from Vikos Gorge by Mount Tymfi and it is on the southern slopes of this mountain that Vikos Gorge originates.The Zagoria area has over forty small villages which collectively are called The Zagorohoria. They act like one extended community rather than individual towns. The villages of the Vikos Gorge, and the Zagoria area, have a very distinctive feel to them and all are generally built in the same style. The village of Papingo ranks as the most popular as it is located near spectacular hiking destinations so you won’t be bored. If you enjoy a walk or 11


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two in wooded areas. From Papingo you can easily undertake the challenging hike through Timfi Mt. all the way to “Drakolimini” (dragon lake) - a two-day challenging hike. Papingo is also very close to Vikos gorge, a popular day-long hiking gorge on the banks of Vikos river. Surprisingly, if you enjoy swimming, there is a very picturesque set of river pools within walking distance called “Kolymvithres” or “Ovires” where you can enjoy swimming in successive river water pools. For even more quiet holidays, you may choose to stay at the nearby village of “Mikro Papingo” for even more spectacular views close to real solitude. Mikro Papingo is the best place to set base camp so you can start your hike early in the morning.

Arta

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its bridge which carries its history for more than 4 centuries. Zoumerka mountains look very impressive and wild from afar but if you get closer they embrace you with their unspoiled beauty and dense vegetation. There are 47 villages scattered on its slopes, most of them traditional and charming. Some of them belong to Ioannina and others to Arta. The most beautiful villages in Arta Prefecture are Voulgareli, Agnanta, Katarraktis, Theodoriana , Athamanio. You can go towards the beautiful Tzoumerka and the picturesque mountain villages, and the magnificent Souda waterfalls, the lovely village Katarraktis with its beautiful twin waterfalls. The journey goes through lakes and forest scenery. As the road was going higher, the scenery looked more and more beautiful and the views are stunning. You can see the artificial lake of Arahthos, with its light blue water and its verdant shores, created by a dam, you can make you stop and take a short walk on its shore. These mountains are unforgettable as they are standing proudly and green up to their top.

Arta is the second most populated city of Epirus after Ioannina. It is a lively city, with museums, ruins from classic and byzantine periods, byzantine churches, a lot of orange plantation and wide streets. It is built on the spot where ancient Ambracia once existed. Arahthos and Louros rivers are flow- Samaria Gorge, Flora and Fauna ing through it. Arahthos is about 143km Samaria is one of the main sights of Crete. long and forms wonderful valleys, lakes Every tourist who visits Crete will have and waterfalls. The most known feature is heard of this beautiful gorge. The locals call it the “Farangas” or “Great Gorge”, 12


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The Samaria Gorge is in west Crete, in the White Mountains. It is the longest gorge in Europe, with a length of 18 kilometres. The gorge starts at Xyloskalo (1227 m. above sea level) on the Omalos Plateau and runs down to the seaside village of Agia Roumeli on the south coast of Crete. The Samaria National Park is exceptionally rich in plant and animal life

and there are 450 plant with not a single flower may be removed from Samaria, as it protected by international laws. In Samaria you can admire the forests of huge pine and cypress trees, a picture from Crete’s past, when the island was covered by forests famous for their timber, ideal for building strong ships. Inside the gorge you may even meet its famous inhabitants, the wild goats of Crete, which the locals call “kri-kri”. The Samaria village is an old village whose inhabitants were relocated in 1962 when the gorge was declared a national park. The old houses still exist and they serve as houses for the guards. The village is a good opportunity to see the traditional architecture and rest for a while.For those who enjoy a good hike there is the Samaria footpath and is very well signposted all along its length and is thought to be the mostwalked footpath in the whole of Greece (the second is the Mount Olympus path).

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Taygetos mountains - Mani Peloponnese

The name of the Taygetos mountain range is one of the oldest in Europe. It’s already mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey. These mountains were formed when the Eurasian plate collided with the African plates, at the same time the Alps were formed. The highest mountain in the range, the Profitis Elias, at 2,407 metres is a so-called ‘ultra prominent peak’. This means that the mountain is over 1,500 metres high and a very visible element in the landscape. The bedrock of this 100 kilometre long mountain range consists of limestone with many creeks washing down from the mountain slopes. It is believed that the area has been inhabited since about 1500 B.C. There are many ancient settlements in these mountains, including the citadel and monastery of Mystras and the mountains tower over the cities of Sparta and Kalamata. The Taygetos mountains are a popular walking holiday destination. The slopes of the mountains are heavily forested, mainly

The Pelion mountains

The Pelion mountains are a hook-shaped peninsula in central Greece near the west coast of the Aegean Sea. These are lush green mountains, with abundant water features such as springs and streams. 13


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The woodlands consist of a mix of oak, maple, beech and chestnut, with planes abundant near water. The area is known for its thriving orchards, and there are many villages with traditional architecture in the area. The Pelion mountains are very popular for walking holidays, there are many paths and trails leading to coves and beaches, lush forest and spring, and picturesque villages. From the mountain tops there are wide views across central Greece and over the Sporades islands. The Pelion is generally cooler in summer than other regions in Greece, especially the higher mountain villages, which is ideal for walking. The area receives a decent amount of snow and skiing is possible in winter.

tasty food. What is not widely known is that Greece is the perfect place to relax and improve your immune system thanks to its numerous therapeutic thermal springs. Here is a list of some of the best thermal springs in Greece:

Best Thermal Springs destinations in Greece

Edipsos, Evia

The benefits of thermal springs were known since ancient times. Hippocrates was the first one to study and record which diseases benefit from the use of thermal spas. The waters from the springs combine natural minerals that can have a positive effect to humans in a number of ways. Greece is a country known for its archaeological sites, breathtaking beaches, beautiful islands and 14

Kaiafas, Peloponnese

Kaiafas is located n the western coast of Peloponnese. At a short distance from Pyrgos, the hot springs of Kaiafas are long known for their therapeutic effects. According to the ancient Greeks, the centaur Nesos washed the wound inflicted by the arrow of the mythical hero Hercules in these hot springs. These springs can help with skin and arthritic ailments,gallstones, gastric and intestinal disorders.

The hot springs of Edipsos are known since ancient times. Visitors have the opportunity to see unique baths remains dating from the Hellenistic and Roman period. Also, in Edipsos one can find a large modern complex of hydrotherapy, including steam baths and Jacuzzi. There is an outdoor Olympic-size pool whose waters come from both the hot springs and the sea, as well as two indoor pools with thermal water. The hydrotherapy centre does not have a hotel, so visitors must book their hotel room in the


nearby area. Edipsos waters are said to treat acute and chronic rheumatism, arthritis deformities, espondiloartritis, neuritis, sciatica, and lumbago.

Thermopylae, Fthiotida

The thermal springs of Thermopylae, also known since ancient times, are located 15 km south of Lamia, in central Greece. A large flow of water is received by three springs, creating the rare phenomenon of a thermal waterfall. These springs are indicated for rheumatic conditions such as arthritis, neurological and gynaecological disorders, diseases of the respiratory system such as asthma, bronchitis and pulmonary emphysema.

known for healing hypertension, phlebitis, tachycardia, arrhythmia, eczema, atopic dermatitis, paralysis, muscular atrophy and various forms of arthritis.

Kamena Vourla

Kamena Vourla, a seaside town 150 km away from Athens, is famous for its thermal springs. What makes these springs different is their radioactive elements that are beneficial to the musculoskeletal and integumentary system. The water temperature varies from 30â °C to 42â °C. The area of Kamena Vourla is a place where hotels and restaurants abound. Not far one can find many places of interest, such as the archaeological site of Delphi, Thermopylae and the Parnassos mountain and ski resort.

Ypati, Fthiotida

Ypati is a tranquil spa surrounded by lots of vegetation and located 18 km west of Lamia with very good and accesible roads. It is 15


Limni Vouliagmenis

Located at the outskirts of Athens, lake Vouliagmeni is a natural thermal spa recommended for people suffering from musculoskeletal, gynaecological and dermatological diseases. The water is also ideal for people suffering from post-traumatic injuries. The temperature of the water is between 22 to 29⁰C throughout the year making it an ideal place for swimmers. Around the lake you may find lots of sun beds and umbrellas. A restaurant, a cafeteria and a playground are also available on site. The area attracts numerous visitors due to its unique natural environment.

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