Andros – The green land of the Cyclades

Andros is a Greek island in the northernmost of the Cyclades islands. It is located approximately 10km southeast of the island of Euboea and about 3 km north of the island of Tinos. Andros is almost 40 km long and has the greatest width of 16 km. Its terrain are green mountainous and is famous fertile valleys, springs and sandy/rocky beaches. Its architecture is unusual even for the Cyclades group – the houses with tile roofs and prevail over those with white flat roofs.

The main town on the island is also named Andros and is situated on the east coast. In 1900 the island’s population is about 18 000 inhabitants, but data from the census in 1991 recorded only 8781. The larger settlements on the island are: Andros, Gabriel, Bazzi and Ormos Kortiu. Bazzi is the most popular resort among them, because it’s surrounded by numerous beaches and bays which is located near the main port.

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The beaches of Andros are stunning with breathtaking views. It has a beach for any preference. Beaches dominated by sand bars, lounges and umbrellas. The most famous beach Grias Pidima is located on the east coast near Ormos Kortiu. The meaning of his name is “Leap old woman” due to its southern end where a narrow vertical rock emerging from the sea, as if going to jump. Among the long and deserted beaches are Pesa, Kalamitsi, Vlychada and Zorkos.

As in most places and Andros is famous for its local culinary dishes. Among the most famous is the “Fruittila”, resembling an omelet with meat and potatoes. Typical for this area are local pastry with almonds, homemade jams, pastries filled and more.

Besides its amazing beaches and delicious food, the island of Andros is attractive for lovers of nature walks. The Archaeological Museum is located in the central square in Cairy city. One of the most famous artifacts in the museum is a statue of Hermes by the 2nd century BC – a copy of the original bronze statue of the 4th century. In the building can be seen more and artifacts from the 10th century BC, the statue hostess of Herculaneum, also and large collection of ceramics. The Museum of Modern Art is highly visited because of its magnificent paintings from the 20th century as painters by Picasso, Marriage, Michalis Tompros and others. Another historic building of the island’s is the Sea Museum, where you can see photographs and collections of nautical instruments and ship models. Near the city center lies the church of Panagia Teoskepasti built in 1555 in honor of the Virgin Mary. The name means “shelter of God.”

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More interesting places and attractions in the area are: Venetian fortress in the town of Andros; the LighthouseTurlitis; the Church of Agia Talasini; the Tower of Agios Petros from 3-4 century; Panahrantos old monastery with its impressive sea views; the ancient capital of Andros – Paleopolis, today you can see only remnants of it and sunken pier into the sea; Fortress Faneromeni (upper fortress) near Corti; The Temple Agios Ioannis Kremidis that hides nice and secluded beach.

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The magnificent story of the island of Ios

Ios is a Greek island in the Cyclades group in Aegean Sea. The island is hilly with cliffs down to the sea, located halfway between Naxos and Santorini. It has a length of about 18 km and 10 km wide with an area of 109,024 square kilometers. In 2011 population numbered 2,024 people (3,500 in the 19th century). The island was in several movies such as “Ginger and Cinnamon”, also and scenes of movie “Big Blue” on the beach Manganari.

Port of Ios is located northwest at the head of the port Ormos. From there you can catch a bus or 15 minutes walking along to the village, known as Chora. The houses of Cycladic village are very picturesque and have white paints. It’s full of stairs and narrow paths that make it inaccessible for cars and transport. The main road of the village bustling with tourism, where they huddled establishments such as restaurants, boutiques, bars and discos.

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In Ios also has a few small settlements, a group of scattered houses near the beaches Theodoti, Kalamos, Manganari. Since 1990 the mayor of the island Passos worked on the development of Ios to attract tourists. There was build some roads, all of them paved, with the help of European Community funds. There was created and picturesque amphitheater by German architect Peter Houpt, located at the top of the hill to the village. Unfortunately rarely have a cultural events there.

In the excavation of the hill Skarkos was discovered prehistoric settlement proving that Ios has been inhabited since the beginning of the Cyclades period. Skarkos architecture is preserved in places to a height of almost three meters, most of the buildings there are obviously two cobblestone floors and sanitation. There was found numerous well-preserved pottery, tools and utensils made of metal, stones and bones. Unfortunately, many of these things are still unseen.

According to the legends and ancient tradition people believe that the mother of the great poet Homer was from the island of Ios, who was buried there. Local residents, captivated by this story, show visitors ancient city of Plakotos which is located in the northernmost part of the island – the rock entrance of the tomb of the poet. But there is no hard evidence to associate this case with Homer. The historical origin connects the island with signs of Mycenaean settlements. At the north end of Ios you can see ruined Venetian castle from the 15th century. It is believed that the island has 365 churches and chapels, as are the days of the year.

In 2008 Ios was among six European locations (out of 109 applicants) to cultural heritage because of his outstanding efforts to protect the archaeological object of Skarkos.

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The charming beaches of Vassiliki and Porto Katsiki

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  • Vasiliki

Vasiliki is one of the most famous fishing villages of the Ionian Islands. It situated in the southern part of the island of Lefkada, in a deep bay. The beach is pebbly with a length of about 1.5 km. and the water is crystal clear and pleasant for swimming.

During the summer time Vasiliki is a favorite place for lovers of windsurfing because of the warm south wind, known among surfers as “Eric”. Often there are over a hundred surfers in the bay at any time. In recent years the town has also become a favorite resort because of extreme water sports that continue to promote today.

Small coves in the area give additional charm of the fishing village. Near Vasiliki worth it to see the beautiful long beach Egremni – one of the three most famous beaches of Lefkada, along with the famous beach Kathisma and Porto Katsiki.

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  • Porto Katsiki

Porto Katsiki is located about 40 kilometers southwest of the city of Lefkada. The beach is one of the most visited by tourists and is a narrow strip of sand located below high white cliffs with crystal blue water. It is surrounded by steep cliffs and can be reached after descending 80 steps carved into them. Vassiliki resort is located 30 km. and can be reached by car. Because the road is narrow during the summer months often form long columns of cars traveling to the paradise beach. If you do not drive you can reach by sea with yacht or boat.

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Nafplio – the legendary capital of Greece

Nafplio is located in Argolic Gulf of Peloponnese. The city was the first capital of modern Greece during “Greek War of Independence.” According to an ancient Greek legend, the village was founded by Theseus – legendary ruler of Athens. Nafplio is one of the oldest cities and continues to attract tourists today with its charm and romantic atmosphere. The city existed already in ancient times and was inhabited by Phoenicians, Carians, ancient Egyptians and others. Nowadays it combines unique architecture and culture of the Venetians, Ottomans and Greeks. Over time they have left various architectural traces and the Venetians called it even Naples of the Orient. Over the city was erected and the Venetian fortress Palamidi – a masterpiece of fortification throughout the eastern Mediterranean. In the 16th and 17th centuries Nafplio becomes commercial center of the Peloponnese and something as temporary capital of Greece to the proclamation of the modern Greek capital Athens in 1834. An interesting fact is that it is in Nafplio was crowned first Modern Greek King Otto I, son of Ludwig of Bavaria. For his ascension to the throne contribute great powers at that time – Russia, France and Britain.

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Nowadays walk around the Nafplio is a real treat for lovers of cultural and historical attractions. The city is a mix of different cultures and this gives it a cosmopolitan character. At the heart of the old town is the historic Syntagma Square, which is nestled peacefully landmark buildings such as the former Turkish mosque, the building of the first Greek Parliament, Neoclassical building of the National Bank and the three-storey building of the Archaeological Museum. The town is surrounded by the majesty of the three strongholds – Palamidi, Burtzi and Akronafplia. Ramparts form a huge stone complex sealed all great history of the area. The stone streets are so narrow that in some places are hard to walk two people.

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The historic town of Monemvasia

Monemvasia is a small medieval town in Greece, located 97 km. southeast of Sparta. Situated on a small peninsula off the coast of the Peloponnese. Its name derives from the Greek “moni emvasis” which means “one entrance”. The first evidence of village arise in the 6th century when the inhabitants of ancient Laconia sought refuge from the Slavic invaders, who were conquering much of Greece. To this day the city has to scale, which in year 375 was separated from the mainland during the powerful earthquake. In 1971, the mainland and the rock are connected by a bridge. Today you can reach Monemvasia walking down the sidewalk with a small length of about 200 meters.

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During the Byzantine Empire the city became one of the biggest shopping centers of Byzantium with a population of 40,000 people. Like Gibraltar, Monemvasia once controlled seashores between medieval Western Europe and the Levant. Inside the fortified town houses and distinctly Byzantine churches are still habitable and are associated with a long, narrow paved road to the city Gerifa. Wealthy Greeks have restored once rupture ruins and turned them into holiday homes. During the 18th century it underwent known maturity, but a century and a half later is reborn thanks to tourists.

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Out of season Monemvasia is almost deserted and the network of narrow side streets remained lonely. All season there is ferry or boats from Athens. Today many medieval buildings have been restored to their visitors. Some of the more flamboyant facade buildings are converted even in hotels. In ancient and romantic streets were huddled spots for relax and seafood restaurants. They  are a magnet for visitors to the historic town of Monemvasia.

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Magnetic beauty of the islands Meganisi and Fiscardo

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  • Meganisi

Meganisi is a small green paradise in the Greek islands, situated 6.5 km. from the island of Lefkada in the Ionian Sea. Its hilly terrain, rocky beaches and picturesque villages, the island is likened to Ithaca. Meganisi is known as “the island of seafarers” and was inhabited only by residents of three villages. The southern part of the island is not inhabited and is elongated drought-shaped tail. All beaches have crystal clear water, surrounded by uncontaminated green vegetation. Moreover, they are rarely crowded and you will have the opportunity to experience an unforgettable vacation in the sunny paradise. Some of the beaches are accessible only by sea, and to be visited should be taken by boat “Vati”. The other beaches are easily accessible and tourists waiting for their weekends. Nearby is also the largest sea cave Papanikolis that is a magnet for tourists. Meganisi can be reached only by water. Architectural excavations revealed that there was still life in the Neolithic era. Then the village was called with the name Taphos – son of Poseidon and ruler of the region.

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  • Fiscardo

Fiscardo is a peaceful port resort village located in the northern part of the island of Kefalonia in the Ionian Sea. The area is protected by the Greek government because of indescribable natural beauty. Fiscardo is the only island which over the years has acquired Venetian style. The houses around the picturesque harbor are in pastel colors. Because of the influx of tourists has many restaurants, schools scuba diving and other entertainment for every taste. You will be wrong to visit because the village itself is a landmark, ideal for family vacation and relaxation. The beaches in this part of Kefalonia are covered with different sized pebbles. Bays are calm and ideal for swimming and the water is crystal, refreshing and clean. By nightfall Fiscardo has a different picture. Lights, old buildings, cafes, bars and restaurants, all combined together provide a magical Mediterranean atmosphere.

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Scorpios – The Island of aristocrats

Skorpios island is located in the Ionian Sea near the town of Nydri and east of the island of Lefkada. It situated in the west coast of Greece and occupies an area of 2965 acres. It is one of the few private islands, which can be seen helipad, pier for yachts, luxury houses, a chapel, a small pier and breakwater. It can be reached only by water and two of its beaches are public.

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The small island has become widely known as the “island of Onassis” – Greek billionaire in the middle of the 20th century. In 1953, Aristotle Onassis paid $ 1 million for a controlling stake in Societe Des Bains de Mer, which owns the casino in Monte Carlo, hotels, theaters and others. It manage and Greek national airline Olympic Airways. In 1962, Onassis bought the island of Skorpios for 3.5 million Drams as maintenance takes about 1.5 million euros per year. In 1968, billionaire makes wedding on the island with Jacqueline Kennedy, widow of US President John F. Kennedy. After the death in 1975 of Aristotle Onassis, his body was buried on his private island. There are buried and his children – his daughter Christina and his tragically deceased son Alexander.

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In April 2013 in the interest of Ekaterina Rybolovlev – daughter of Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev multi, signed a contract for 99 years for renting a group of islands off the west coast of Greece, the largest of which is Skorpios. Billionaire Rybolovlev paid the sum of 126 million dollars for the exotic island of Athena Onassis – the granddaughter of Aristotle. In May, the Greek authorities have started investigation about the legitimacy and rights of Rybolovlev for the island of Skorpios – he had to follow the will of Onassis as saying that if his descendants will not be able to spend about 100 thousand dollars a year for maintenance of the island, they have to give the State or the airline Olympic Airways.

Rybolovlev has made a number of charitable contributions for infrastructure on the Greek island of Lefkada. Along with the islands billionaire family has purchased a property with an area of 2 acres in the center of Nydri and a property with an area of 6 acres in Palero. From there they took soil for plantation of Skorpios, where a system of four water probes supplied with water island.

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No matter of the fact the island is private, you can catch a yacht charter and take a look of magnificent beauty and enjoy its charm. It worth!

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