Veria’s Peach Blossom! | Guest Bloggers


Every year there is a unique phenomenon that appears in the Greek countryside, which resembles the one of Japan and its blossomed cherry trees.

In mid-March, the fertile plain of Imathia is transformed in a vast pink coloured bed of blossoming peach trees. The Peach tree, in eastern traditions, is considered to be “the Tree of Life of the Earthly Paradise” providing people with life and joy. Peach blossoms symbolise spring, rebirth and as a result fertility. It also has inspired great painters such as Vincent Van Gogh.

Veria’s Tourism Club is an active network of volunteers that organises a series of activities every year, such as bicycle rides, photography competitions and more that promise to help you experience the phenomenon in the most delightful way.





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Greece wins “Best Destination” award at the prestigious Wave Awards 2019 | Buzz

Open to cruise lines, travel agents, tourist boards, ports and anyone involved in the UK cruise industry, The Wave Awards celebrate the very best of the UK’s cruise industry by recognising and rewarding excellence and innovation in a business that is continuously evolving to deliver an exceptional experience, both on board and ashore.

On Thursday 7th of March, finalists attended a black-tie event and gala dinner at London’s De Vere Grand Connaught Rooms where Greece won the prestigious “Best Destination” award. The award was presented to the Director of the GNTO UK & Ireland office, Ms Emy Anagnostopoulou.

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The judging panel was made up of industry leaders, travel experts and representatives from the media that selected Greece for the Best Destination award among numerous nominations.

Besides the great honour of receiving such a prestigious award, Greek presence at the awards was widely noticed as the GNTO office was sponsoring the photo booth where all the attendees were encouraged to take their photo with a breath-taking image of Santorini as a backdrop.

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Enjoy your stay in Greece with an athens escort!

Natural Marvels in Greece | Buzz


Discover the singular works of Mother Nature

Nature, this all-powerful sculptor and architect has -over the millennia- shaped astounding landscapes, and moulded intricate and peculiar creations across the country on solid ground and underwater. And what better way to discover them, than to go there on a springtime trip!?

The Northern Pindos National Park in Epirus, NW Greece, offers breathtaking views and memorable experiences to hikers and climbers. Visit Vikos Gorge, about an hour’s drive from Ioannina town, and discover the deepest canyon in the world according to the Guinness Book of Records, right in the heart of the Vikos-Aoos UNESCO Global Geopark. The neighbouring Pindos (Valia Calda) Forest Reserve is an amazing pristine landscape with high peaks and wooded slopes, adorned with lakes which are also known as the Flega area dragon lakes (drakolimnes). The lake area is a subalpine zone of great beauty and the only way to reach and explore it is on foot and by following the signposted hiking trails.

Further south in Thessaly, Meteora (a UNESCO world heritage site) is a region of towering sheer sandstone rocks on the peaks of which byzantine orthodox monasteries (11th c. onwards) dominate the entire area. Once on top, the panoramic view is unique.

 

Meteora 720X465 Natural Marvels in Greece

 

In the SW region of Achaia, Peloponnese you can visit the Cave of the Lakes (near Kastria village). The cave interior is decorated with stalactites which hang from the 30m. high ceiling, and they come in amazing formations and sizes. This is an ancient subterranean river and depending on the season you will be able to explore the cave’s unique string of 13 lakes and cascading waters arranged in three levels. Not to be missed!

The northern Aegean Sea island of Lesvos holds a special natural marvel. Visit the Petrified Forest of Lesvos, near Sigri village, with hundreds of fossilized trunks and the highest standing fossilized tree in the world, reaching a height of 7.20 metres. The forest was petrified some 20,000,000 years ago following a volcanic eruption. It covers a 15,000 hectare area attracting tourists and scientists alike.

In the southern part of the Aegean Sea, you will find active volcanoes on Nisyros, Milos and Santorini Islands, the one on Nisyros being the youngest of the three. The island’s caldera reaches 4km and it holds many craters with fumaroles. The largest one has a diameter of 300m.!

Picture-perfect Kastellorizo is the easternmost Greek island, a part of the Dodecanese group. Head for the SE part and you will discover Galazio Spilaio (Blue Cave), the biggest and most spectacular of all sea caves in Greece. Mother Nature has decorated it with a rich array of stalactites and as you enter you will catch your breath as the reflections of sunrays on the water light the stalactites creating a kaleidoscope of colours.

In Crete, the biggest of all Greek islands, make a point of touring Samaria gorge – a UNESCO biosphere reserve on Lefka Ori (White Mountains), which offers a 16km hiking route.  You must also take a trip to one of ancient Greece’s holiest places, the Diktean Cave, located on Mt Dikti. This large cave was Zeus’ shelter as a baby. The king of gods grew up in its spacious main chamber, where lovely stalactites and stalagmites are to be found; the biggest one is the “Cloak of Zeus” hanging over the centre of the lake.

Angela Christopoulou





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Sample a World of Flavours | Buzz


Greek traditional drinks to suit all tastes

An alcoholic beverage or a soft drink? Chilled or at room temperature? The choice is not an easy one when there are so many options!

A tasting experience in Greece usually includes a glass of wine. Here are some tips for you: try the famous white Retsina – a resinated wine produced mostly in Attica, Evia and Voiotia; Moschato Limnou – a PDO varietal white produced on Limnos Island; PDO Robola from Kefalonia (Ionian Islands); PDO Zitsa wine (dry or sparkling) made from debina, a white grape variety cultivated in Zitsa (Ioannina, Epirus); Vilana, an indigenous Cretan grape variety which is used to make fine white wines such as PDO Peza and PDO Siteia; PDO Mantineia, a white produced in Arcadia, Peloponnese. If you’re a fan of red and rosé wines, try the ones produced in Nemea from agiorgitiko, a local variety cultivated in Argolida and Korinthia, NE Peloponnese, the largest Greek PDO wine zone; in NW Peloponnese, savour Mavrodaphne of Patras (a sweet vin de liqueur). In Macedonia, taste reds from Epanomi, Thessaloniki (mavrotragano, limnio, mavroudi local varieties), PDO Goumenissa from Kilkis, PDO Amyntaio, Florina, PDO Naoussa, Imathia and PDO Rapsani (xinomavro, negoska, stavroto varieties).

 

Wine i477217778 720x465 Sample a World of Flavours

 

If you’re into stronger spirits, enjoy a glass of chilled ouzo (from Plomari, Lesvos Island and from Tyrnavos, Thessaly). On Crete Island, taste tsikoudia (also called raki), the standard treat offered either with food or after the meal. An equally strong alternative is tsipouro, anise-flavoured or not and a great place to taste it is Volos town, Thessaly.

Thrill your palate with traditional flavourful liqueurs, made with local fruits & spices, such as mastic liqueur (Chios Island), citron liqueur (Naxos Island), kumquat liqueur (Corfu Island), rozoli (an orange and cinnamon liqueur made on Lefkada island, tentoura (containing fruits & spices) prepared in Patras, W. Peloponnese and cornelian cherry liqueur, well loved in Macedonia.

If you’re a beer fan, here’s a list of special flavours for you to try: Volkan is a lava rock filtered beer brewed on Santorini Island; Septem is produced in a microbrewery on Evia Island; Vergina is a craft beer produced in Komotini town, Rodopi, Thrace; and Solo beer is a Cretan craft brew produced in Kallithea, Heraklion.

Last but not least, make a point of tasting the following refreshing beverages, fizzy or still, especially if you’re an alcohol-free person: soumada (a drink made with sweet and bitter almonds, water, and sugar) prepared on Lefkada and Crete Islands; tzitzibira, an effervescent beverage made on Corfu Island with ginger root, lemon juice, water and sugar; kanelada, a fragrant cinnamon and clove spiced drink, much preferred on Crete and Kos Islands, and across the country vyssinada, a sour cherry refreshment, mandarin soda, lemonade and orangeade.

Angela Christopoulou





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Greece: A Top 10 Honeymoon Destination in Zankyou’s | Guest Bloggers


For decades Greece has enjoyed its position as a top holiday destination for the masses, but when it comes to a honeymoon, couples will look for something extra special and exclusive for their romantic trip. Well, based on an international survey conducted by Zankyou, the leading wedding portal across Europe and Latin America, it has been confirmed that couples are indeed finding that “extra special something” for their honeymoon trip in Greece!

The portal launched the Zankyou International Wedding Observations (ZIWO) survey, with over 6000 participants, in November 2018 for recently married and soon-to-be-married couples across 16 countries. The findings highlighted Greece within the top ten most popular honeymoon destinations for couples from Portugal, Mexico, Italy, the UK, Colombia, Chile, Peru, Poland, Russia, Netherlands and the USA.
The study found that two out of three couples still opt to enjoy their honeymoon mostly on a beach or in a relaxing setting. So, with miles of beaches offering tranquil settings and idyllic backdrops in Greece and islands such as Mykonos, Kefalonia and Santorini, couples are spoilt for choice. In addition to the beaches, couples can choose between thousands of luxury and boutique hotels and spas, which also fulfil their relaxation honeymoon criteria.

 

greece beach Greece: A Top 10 Honeymoon Destination in Zankyou’s

 

The study also revealed that a third of couples seek to participate in adventurous activities during their honeymoon. Well, thanks to the watersports offered in locations such as Paros, Lemnos and Milos, millennial couples searching for that adrenaline rush can quench their thirst for adventure by participating in the wide range of activities available; from sailing, to windsurf, to diving; and have a new and exciting experience together as newly-weds. Furthermore, another 36% of couples enjoyed participating in cultural activities, highlighting the interest from honeymooners to spend part of their trip exploring the history, gastronomy and art in destinations such as Athens and Crete.

 

couple on greek island Greece: A Top 10 Honeymoon Destination in Zankyou’s

 

More and more millennial couples are also visiting multiple destinations during their trip, so with 8000 islands to choose from, Greece once again presents itself as the perfect stop for a romantic get-away after the wedding. So it’s confirmed, Greece and all its islands are a honeymoon offering not to be missed.

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International artists at the ancient theatre of Epidaurus | Guest Bloggers


Some of the world’s greatest theatre artists will grace the Epidaurus Festival 2019 with their presence. Major directors presenting their work for the first time ever at the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, acclaimed theatre groups and famous actors will invite audiences to extraordinary evenings under the summer sky.

The Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus is 125 km away from Athens, located in the mountains of Argolis. It was built in the 4th century BC as part of the Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus. In 1881, the Archaeological Society began excavations at the site, but it was not until 1955 that the Epidaurus Festival was founded. Since then, every summer, people from all over the world visit the ancient theatre to admire its beauty, its perfect acoustics, and some of their favourite artists as well: Maria Callas, Pina Bausch, Kevin Spacey, Ethan Hawke, Helen Mirren, Piccolo Teatro, Schaubühne Berlin, are only some of the well-known artists and groups that have performed at the Epidaurus Festival to date, along with the crème de la crème of Greek theatre.
English subtitles in all performances.

 

Robert Wilson
Oedipus – Based on the text by Sophocles
21-22 June

Robert Wilson PROFILE photo Hsu Ping International artists at the ancient theatre of Epidaurus
This year, the Festival kicks off with Oedipus by the American director Robert Wilson, one of the most iconic theatre artists in the world in his debut appearance at the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, on 21 and 22 June. Based on Sophocles’ most famous tragedy, Wilson’s breathtaking artistic universe comes alive through lights, sets and images. Greece’s leading actress, Lydia Koniordou, will hold the role of the narrator in this atmospheric performance, where new technologies meet with the ancient landscape.

More information and ticket click here. 

 

Comédie-Française – Ivo van Hove
Electra / Orestes by Euripides
26-27 July

Ivo van Hove © Jan Versweyveld 5 International artists at the ancient theatre of Epidaurus
The internationally acclaimed director Ivo van Hove joins forces with Comédie-Française, the oldest active theatre company in the world, to work on the myth of the House Atreides. This performance marks the first time that Comédie-Française will perform at the Ancient Theatre, but also Van Hove’s Epidaurus debut.
“In our performance of Electra / Orestes, we want to enact a world of great cruelty, a naturalistic world even, on stage. The Greeks pose a crucial question: what is that element which unites us instead of dividing us? This is the central question in Electra / Orestes.”, says Van Hove. One of the most important artistic events of this summer that is not to be missed.

More information and tickets click here.

 

Municipal and Regional Theatre of Patras – Stavros Tsakiris
Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus
9-10 August

Often described as a “virtuoso physical performer”, the award-winning actress Kathryn Hunter will portray Prometheus in Aeschylus’ famous tragedy. With her outstanding physical presence, Hunter has earned roles typically reserved for male actors, such as King Lear or Cyrano de Bergerac. Prometheus Bound will be a watershed in Hunter’s career, marking a meeting with her Greek origins through the words of Aeschylus. Hunter will perform in Greek for the very first time in her life. A special performance, which will bring this year’s Epidaurus Festival to a close.

More information and tickets click here.





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Thessaloniki’s Hidden Beauty | Guest Bloggers


Everyone knows Thessaloniki is one of the most beautiful cities in Eastern Europe.  It has been a cultural and religious capital for thousands of years. This is one of the cities where a multitude of ethnic influences coexist with harmony and overlap each other as if Mozart himself wrote it as a symphony.

I’m not going to talk about the White Tower, the famous port, the beautiful churches and monasteries and temples,  the Roman ruins or its architectural marvels. I’m going to tell you about my experience with following around the regular citizens of this city. If you are going to enjoy the hidden gems, go where the locals go after all.  First, I find myself in a stoa called Modiano Market.  All the stores were closed but a few butcher shops, an ironsmith and a small tavern. It was dark and very few people walking, but you can see the old glory of such graphic place. I figured, the tavern was established more than 150 years ago,  so the food must be good.  I saw the sign had Patsas soup prepared so I had to try it. All the characters there were so authentic.  I asked the proprietor what was that he was preparing out of the oven,  he said Eggplant Papoutsaki. I told him I then knew why I had entered that dark stoa that day. Eggplant Papoutsaki is my favourite food in the whole world.  Well, needless to say, it was amazing.

After lunch, I walked across the street to the Kapani Market. It is Thessaloniki’s largest fresh fish market.  All the merchants screaming about their products,  all the locals negotiating about price, delivery guys all over the place, it was an “organized” chaos. I walked through the bazaar, full of smells of fish, fresh roasted coffee and peanuts,  and I find myself at the Ladadika district, food central of the city. So many good choices, so little time. Keep in mind, I had my dream food just a couple of hours before. So I strolled through the narrow streets, filled with tables and screaming waiters calling you to seat in their restaurants. There were many merchandise stores in between all of it all as well. I had to come back that night, and trust me, the experience was worth it.  So, go to Thessaloniki,  get off the beaten path, explore where the locals go and you will fall in love as I did. In fact, I’m taking the whole family there this summer for a few days.

Nick Stavropoulos





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8 Of The Best Locations To Get Married In Greece | Guest Bloggers


Whether you want to say your vows bare foot on a beautiful beach, spend your day basking in glorious sunshine or pose for your wedding photos surrounded by scenic views, there are so many reasons why Greece is the perfect wedding destination!

But between mainland Greece and its many surrounding islands, it can be tough to settle on the right location for you. But don’t stress, we’re here to help! Below is a guide to eight of the best locations to get married in Greece, so you can find the venue of your dreams and get on with planning the rest of your big day.

1. Santorini

Santorini is perhaps one of the first destinations you think of when you imagine a fairytale Greek wedding. This beautiful island oozes romance, with stunning views, crystal clear seas and a sunset you’ll never forget. What more do you need for the perfect wedding day.

2. Lake Doxa (Corinthia)

Found in Corinthia, Lake Doxa offers the wedding venue of your dreams. The breathtaking glassy lake has it’s very own chapel, which is great if privacy is important to you. Plus, the calm setting will bring peace and tranquillity to your big day. So if you’re planning a smaller more intimate wedding, this could be the place for you.

3. Rhodes

If you’re planning a very traditional wedding, choosing a venue in Rhodes could be the perfect choice. Whether you want to get married on the beach or in the traditional old town, there’s something to suit every taste. Not to mention the natural splendour of this island provide stunning backdrops for your wedding photos and adds effortless elegance to your day.

4. Zakynthos

AGIOS SOSTIS ZAKYNTHOS 8 Of The Best Locations To Get Married In Greece

You might associate Zakynthos with being a popular holiday destination for tourists and party goers, but there are so many hidden gems on this wonderful island, that you don’t want to rule it out completely. If it’s a beach wedding you’re after, Zante could be the perfect place. Explore the hidden sandy bays and tuck yourself away for ultimate privacy as you say ‘I do’. Not only this, but you can almost guarantee beautiful weather – a huge selling point for many couples.

5. Kefalonia

Kefalonia is also a popular destination, meaning that there are plenty of suppliers on the island for you to choose from. This gives you more freedom to create your dream wedding day bursting with charm and your own unique style. The exotic coastline is home to a number of exciting venues, including historic buildings and chapels, so you can have a ceremony that’s out of the ordinary.

6. South Peloponnese

Stepping away from some of the countries more popular holiday destinations, with its medieval charm and cobbled streets, South Peloponnese is not what you typically think of when you picture a Greek wedding. But this lesser-known destination has many hidden treasures that will offer you a truly unique wedding day. You’ll be surrounded by stunning coastlines, olive groves and the natural splendour of Greece in all its glory.

7. Corfu

If it’s elegance you want, Corfu has so many beautiful venues for you to choose from. For bigger parties, the island has many luxury hotels. Alternatively, if you’re organising a smaller and more intimate wedding day, choose from some of Corfu’s private villas. The beautiful beaches also make this a popular destination, giving you lots of suppliers to choose from to help you create your perfect day.

8. Athens

shutterstock 130714757 Acropolis hill 8 Of The Best Locations To Get Married In Greece

The list wouldn’t be complete without the cultural capital of Greece now would it! Its heritage and history makes Athens an unforgettable destination for a wedding, but also offers your guests an exciting breakaway. Choose a fancy venue in the stylish city or check out some of the luxury five-star resorts on the Athenian Riviera. With so much choice, this coastline offers everything you need for the your dream wedding day.

Are you ready to start planning your perfect Greek wedding?

Organising a wedding can be difficult enough, without the added stress of pouring over venue after venue (especially when you can’t just pop by for a visit!). Whether you want peace and privacy, or sun, sea and Santorini, consider the list above when selecting your perfect wedding destination.
Stuart Cooke
Inscripture

 





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A Big Fat Greek Easter | Guest Bloggers


Come and celebrate Easter in Greece, one of the biggest and most sacred celebrations for all Greeks. You can visit Patmos where the Holy Flame from Jerusalem is brought or go to Corfu and experience throwing a jar onto the street from a balcony.

You could also go to Santorini to see thousands of tin lanterns are lit up on the castle at Pyrgos or go to Chios to enjoy fireworks. No matter the location, every part of Greece celebrates this holiday with a bang and you can experience all that and much more if you visit Greece during the spring. Spring is said to be a time of celebration is Greece and Easter is at the centre of it all! Some local things to experience include the Ionian marching bands and going to the Holy Friday processions. Friday is also when the Epitaphio (a Christian religious icon bearing an image of the dead body of Christ) is decorated and led out of the church in a procession lit by candles. 

Another must is to participate in the Ascension ceremony on Easter Eve where the holy flame is passed from person to person holding candles until the entire area is filled with beautiful, flickering lights. There is something unique and mesmerising about this ceremony and is something that you should definitely take part in if you are in Greece during Easter! At the very least, the reason you should take part in Easter celebrations in Greece during your visit is because of the food. From dyed red eggs that represent life to the mageiritsa soup to tsoureki, Easter in Greece is a filling affair! The highlight, however, is the roasted whole lamb served with appetizers like tzatziki and olives and accompanied by patates fournou (potatoes roasted with citrus and oregano) and spanakotyropita( spinach and cheese pie). People usually drink ouzo or other Greek wines with their meal and the meal is such a lengthy affair that it could last up to 4 hours! So it is safe to say that Easter for the Greek people is a very special time and will be one for you too if you decide to come for a vacation during this time. Just be careful though cause you just might fall in love with the atmosphere and the food!

 

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