According to legend, Agia Eleni encountered a storm off the coast of Paros on her pilgrimage to the Holy Land to find the Holy Cross. She disembarked on the island at a small church. There, she made a vow to Panagia to build a large church in her name if she remained unharmed though the act of God and found the Holy Cross.
The Folklore Museum of Marpissa was founded by the Marpissa Women's Association and takes visitors on journey through time. The Museum is located in a restored stone building in the town center, on Agios Nikolaos square - a faithful representation of a typical Parian house and all its rooms.
Nea Chryssi Akti is a long, sandy, organized and crowded beach, and one of the beaches of Paros preferred by surfers from all over the world. The World Windsurfing Championship was held there in the 90s. Sports enthusiasts will find everything they need at Nea Chryssi Akti to enjoy air and watersports.
Korfos Beach is located about 3 km from Mykonos town just before the settlement of Ornos. It is a quiet long beach, with sand and shallow waters. It has a northern orientation and because of its location, when northerly winds blow, big waves are created favoring water sports such as kite surfing, wave riding, wind surfing and more
Although the windmills do make for some beautiful photo opportunities, there was a time that they had a practical purpose. The windmills themselves have their origins in the 1500’s, but most of the ones that are still standing today were built much later. They were originally built by the Venetians, who occupied the island in the 16th Century A.D. Right now, there are a total of 16 windmills that are still standing today. Back then, the primary purpose for these windmills was to mill wheat that grew on the island. The wind power turned the mechanism that enabled them to work. Today, the windmills really aren’t in use, but they sure are pretty.
While on Mykonos, you won’t want to miss the chance to visit with some of the windmills and to also snap a few memorable photographs of them.
The Municipal Library of Mykonos is housed in a magnificent old mansion that belonged to the Mavrogenis family. Dated to 1735, this beautiful building has seen its own share of history. Located in Agia Kyriaki Square, it houses nearly 6,000 volumes of literature, history and many more categories, though most of the books are in Greek. You can travel through the library looking at numerous photographs as well as Cycladic coins and old seals.
The books were donated by a Mykonian historian, Ioannis Meletopoulos, from his own personal library. Other books were also donated by many more people from their own libraries, while some other donated other things as well, such as black and white sketches of landmarks on the island.
As of now, with the advent of modernity, the municipal library is no longer operational. But they continue to be a symbol of Mykonos rich virile past. Being hundreds of years old, most of the municipal library has been thoroughly renovated and some have even been converted into museums, the most famous being the Bonis Windmill. Providing interesting insights into the life of Mykonos, all the works displayed in the library are unique and extremely interesting. A visit to this wonderful library is worth your time and effort.
The Gyzi Castle of Mykonos Cyclades: The castle of Gyzi lies on a hill above the village of Ano Mera, in the center of Mykonos island. It dates from the 13th century and only some ruins of it remain today. It was built during the rule of the Gyzi family, a noble Venetian family that was ruling the Cyclades in the Medieval times, to protect the island from pirates and enemy attacks.
This area also hosts the ruins of the ancient city of Mykonos and you will find remains of a prehistoric market, an ancient cemetery and some ruins of an even older wall fortification. Near Gizi Castle, you will find the church of the Holy Saviour, dating from the 18th century. This hill gives an awesome view to the northern side of the island.
Next to the main road towards Pollonia and just before you get there you will find one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece, the ancient settlement of Phylakopi.
This settlement was destroyed and rebuilt at least three times. It flourished thanks to the processing and trade in obsidian, a hard black volcanic rock that manufactured knives, arrows and tools. The excavations yielded traces of inhabitation from around 3.000 BC (early Bronze Age) to 1.250 BC (late Bronze Age). After 1.200 BC things in the Aegean sea were constantly changing; New trade routes opened as the Minoan and Mycenaean civilization slowly begun to decline. Phylakopi was severely affected by this. This is how the decline started and the once commercial centre of Milos was moved to the ancient city of Klima.
Visitors have the opportunity to see a great part of the cyclopean wall of the settlement which is preserved, as well as the Temple and the Palace (of Mycenaean style). During your visit to the Archaeological Museum, you can see samples of pottery from the city of Phylakopi such as stone, clay and bronze figurines, a linear A tablet, various useful items as well as the famous "Lady of Phylakopi", a ceramic female figurine.
The island of Milos often reminds visitors of its mining history. It does so by the sulphur mines located on the east side of the island.
It is worth visiting these mines and find yourself travelling back in time. Facing the sulphur mines, where up to 50 years ago sulphur was being mined, it feels like they have never stopped working. The ruins of the facilities along with all sorts of tools and objects, the railroad wagons carrying the sulphur in ships, make it easy on every visitor to imagine how the workers were working in this mines.
The sulphur mines operated from 1890 to 1960 with some interruptions. Because of the big production of cheap sulfur, mainly in America, the mines finally stopped operating.
Meanwhile, the sea and at this point of Milos is unique; Swim in the crystal clear waters and lie down on the colourful (shades of yellow due to sulfur) pebbles of the coast.
The Milos Mining Museum (MMM) is located in Adamas, the island’s main port.
The Museum’s aim is to promote the rich geological and mining history of Milos and to pay homage to all those who have worked hard in order to develop the island’s mineral wealth that contributed greatly to its financial and cultural affluence during its long and uninterrupted history.
With an aim to inform and to educate the public, the MMM organizes periodic exhibitions, scientific conferences, as well as special guided visits to industrial facilities, mines and areas with geological interest, while it also publishes books on subjects related to mineral resources and mining.
Firopotamos Beach Milos: One of the many beaches on the Greek island of Milos is Firopatomos beach. Trees surround this beach. The canteen at this beach is a place where many young people hang out.
The water is not polluted is a beautiful blue color that you might see only in postcards. The waters have also been said to look a giant swimming pool. The beach is inside a small bay where many fishermen live and fish. You will not feel any wind when it goes in a southerly direction.
Nea Kameni and Therassia are two volcanic islands located next to Santorini. This can be a perfect day trip getting from one island to another with unforgettable views once you reach the top of the island.
The Catacombs of Milos, in Milos Island, dating from the 1st - 5th century, are among the three most important of the 74 discovered worldwide, together with the catacombs of Rome and the Holy Land. It is possible that the Catacombs of Milos are older than the ones of Rome.
Perhaps only a small part of a sizable necropolis at the foothills of the village of Trypiti, the Catacombs of Milos were used by the early christians first as a burial site and later also as a place of worship and a refuge after persecution by the Romans became widespread. The Catacombs of Milos are considered to be the most important early Christian monument of worship in all of Greece.
Still visible to the visitors of the Catacombs of Milos are inscriptions on the walls including the Monogram of Christ and the ecumenical Christian symbol "ΙΧΘΥΣ", hollows used for lamps and votive gifts to the departed, and a couple of graves of infants.
The Theater of Milos is one of the most important archaeological findings of the island of Milos.
It is located in the area of Tripiti and its construction dates back to the Hellenistic Age (3rd century BC). As archaeological investigations are completed, its Roman phase apparent phase of the Roman theatre.
The excavations have unearthed 7 rows of marble seats as well as the stage. Today it holds around 700 spectators, while in antiquity it is estimated that it was 7.000.
It is worth visiting the ancient theatre of Milos or any of the representations or breakfast before your bath.
Klima is one of the striking fishing villages on the Greek island of Milos, with its little white houses built along the water. In the middle of the 19th century, these houses were owned by fishermen who used them as second homes and as boathouses. The fishermen usually lived in Plaka and left their boats here along the water. On the lower floor was storage for the boat, while on the top floor was living space and a place for the fisherman to sleep. During the 20th century, however, the function of the fishermen's cottages changed and became the second homes for the families of the fishermen. Today, these houses are rented to vacationers.
Klima is accessible through Plaka and Trypiti. Unfortunately, parking can be difficult to find. You may have to park your car along the road, a hundred meters from the village, and walk by foot to the village. There are no beach bars or taverns. The only public place is the Hotel Panorama, which is slightly higher and a small distance away.
The museum is in Fira. Its collections include sculptures and inscriptions ranging from the Archaic to the Roman period, as well as pottery artifacts and clay figurines from the Geometric up to the Hellenistic period. The most important exhibits are the Theraic jar with the geometric patterns dated from the early 7th century BC; the large volcanic rock (trachyte) weighing 480 kilos; and many findings from the excavations at the cemetery of ancient Thera, such as jars and pottery, as well as kouros statues.
Standing at the centre of Fira, the Archaeological museum reveals the island's long history. The current building near the cable car terminal, was constructed in 1960 to replace the one that had collapsed during the earthquake of 1956.
Ancient Thera stands on Mesa Vouno, at an altitude of 396 m. It is an ancient city named after mythical ruler of the island. It was founded in the 9th century BC by Dorian settlers, led by Theras; habitation continued until the early Byzantine era. The position is naturally fortified because the steep slopes of the mountain made the city inaccessible from land or sea and also a great observatory to the SE Aegean Sea. Public and private buildings are built along the main axis of the city in direction from the NE to the SE corner of the rock. Smaller cobbled streets adapted to the terrain, intersected the main road.
Building remnants belong to the Hellenistic era, which is the last period of the city's prosperity. The residential development is amphitheatrical due to the inclination of the terrain and to the building in such way so there was a view of the sea.
Few private houses have been excavated organized in neighborhoods, mainly in the eastern part of town. The habitation sites were built around a closed courtyard and beneath it was a tank collecting rainwater. Homes had more or less spaces, or were developed vertically with a second floor depending on the social and financial status of the residents.
The most prominent archaeological site in Santorini is Akrotiri and the findings of the excavations that began in 1967. Akrotiri (Promontory) is located at the southwestern tip of the island, 15 km from Fira. It is a real promontory, with sheer cliff shores stretching three miles west of the southernmost part of Santorini.
First signs of habitation in Akrotiri date back to the Late Neolithic Period (at least from the 4th millennium BC). By the Early Bronze Age (3rd millennium BC), there was a settlement in Akrotiri that was expanded in the Middle and Late Bronze Age (20th-17th centuries BC) becoming one of the main urban centres of the Aegean.
Covering about 50 acres, the settlement had a very well-planed infrastructure and an elaborate sewage system. Imported products found inside the buildings prove that Akrotiri was well developed, held strong ties with Minoan Crete and conducted business with the Greek mainland, the Dodecanese, Cyprus, Syria, and Egypt. The growth of the town ended abruptly at the end of the 17th century BC, when its inhabitants left due to powerful seismic foreshocks. Then, the volcano erupted, and volcanic material covered the town and the rest of the island, preserving the buildings and their contents to this day.
This unique site gives visitors the opportunity to admire and walk through the sheltered settlement!
Built in the same time as Parthenon, the Doric Temple of Poseidon is situated on the edge of the magnificent Cape Sounio, 70km south from Athens. 16 remaining slender columns of Doric order reveal that Greeks, indeed, knew where to "place" their temples. On the coast of Attica, Cape Sounio is a jewel overlooking the Aegean Sea. Once upon a time, the Temple of Poseidon used to serve as a sacrifice point, since the sailors tried to appease God of the Sea, Poseidon, before entering the Aegean Sea.
The distinctive cape crowned with the imposing Temple of Poseidon offers impressive views of the Saronic Gulf and the Aegean Sea with the Greek islands.
The Kovadareios library is not just a collection of dusty pages, it is a compilation of the history, symbols and values of a brand new and simultaneously ancient nation. Among the valuable codices and rare volumes, you’ll see one of the two surviving copies of the ‘Carta’ (Charter) of Rigas Feraios, one of the founding fathers of modern Greece.
Panathenaic Stadium, also known as "The Callimarmaron", a classical Greek monument, a venue designed and used for noble competition and fair play of mind and body, lies between the neighborhoods of Mets and Pangrati.
Originally a natural hollow part of the ground between the hills of Agra and Ardettos, over Ilissos River, the place has been turned into a stadium by orator Lykourgos, during the 4th century, for the competitions of the Great Panathinaea festivities, games with nude athletes. The Panathinaea games honored, once more, the protector of the city, goddess Athena.
National Garden is a marvelous park, open to the public from sunrise to sunset, located in the heart of Athens, just behind the Greek Parliament. What were once, the Old Palace and the Royal Garden, the getaway of Queen Amalia and King Otto, is now a delightful, shady refuge for Athenians and visitors during the hot summer months.
In the heart of modern Athens, its streets pulsating with traffic, stands an enormous open space bordered by trees and shrubs – the Olympieion – a tranquil archaeological park where earth and sky seem to meet, linked by massive marble columns stretching upward, marking the temple of Olympian Zeus. Once inside the entrance of this age-old sanctuary, visitors are treated to a taste of nature, an extraordinary ancient ruin on a super-human scale and one of the area’s most inspiring views of the temple-topped Acropolis.
Like the Acropolis, the temple of Olympian Zeus has been a distinctive Athenian landmark since time immemorial. Begun about 520 BC by the tyrant Peisistratus and his sons, it was left unfinished at the end of their rule until the 2nd century BC, when further construction was briefly undertaken (174 – 164 BC) by one of Athens’ Hellenistic benefactors, the Seleucid king Antiochus IV Epiphanes. Abandoned once again following Antiochus’ death, it was ultimately finished by the Roman emperor Hadrian and dedicated in AD 132. Hadrian, an ardent Hellenophile much respected by the people of the Greek East, gave Athens not only the completed Olympieion, but also other temples in the area; a new public forum on the north side of the Acropolis that contained a library and lecture halls; and an urban water system fed by an aqueduct from Mount Penteli that continued to supply the city until the 1930s.
Standing 277 meters above sea level, Lycabettus Hill is the highest point of Athens. Although a beautiful walk up via a circular path, it will be a test of endurance and a challenge in summer. A funicular or cliff railway can take you to the top of the hill, which proves to be a novelty for younger kids. The downside is it’s a closed tunnel, so there is no view on the way up or down.
The view from Lycabettus Hill is best enjoyed at sunset whilst waiting for the lights of the Acropolis, Temple of Olympian Zeus, Panathenaic Stadium and Ancient Agora to come on. You will also be reminded that Athens is surrounded by sea with spectacular views across the Aegean.
At the top of the hill you will find the Greek whitewashed church of Agios Georgios (St. George) and all are welcome to enter. The viewing platform in front of the church provides sprawling views of Athens, stretching out to the city’s coastline. A cafe is open for breakfast and lunch. Dinner reservations can be made at the very upscale Orizontes restaurant, that also has spectacular views across Athens.
Listed in the world’s top 20, the new Acropolis Museum is home to unique masterpieces, mainly from the Archaic and Classical periods. All exhibits are directly connected to the Acropolis and offer panoramic views of the monument from the museum’s halls.
Sailing down the Athens Riviera, swimming in the most beautiful waters, lunching on-board whilst parked in a tranquil bay off the Athenian shoreline and viewing an hour-long spectacular sunset.
Two of the greatest pleasures this city has to offer is that it is a coastal town and you can get out onto the water as early as April and anytime through to early October. The ‘Athens Riviera’ is a term recently coined by the Greeks that refers to almost 60 kilometres of coastline that starts about 20 minutes south of the city centre. Leoforos Posidonos Road snakes down through the upmarket suburbs of Glyfada and Vouliagmeni, all the way down to Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon.
The benefits of boarding a catamaran is a much more relaxed and smooth ride compared to sailing on a yacht. Don’t leave Athens until you have sailed along her beautiful coastline.
Syntagma Square is the most famous in Athens if not all of Greece. No matter where you have to go in Athens, if you can find Syntagma Square you can find your way there.
Syntagma Square is back and better than ever. Well maybe not better than ever. It was probably at it's best in the early 1900's when there were not cars and buses whizzing around it and it was shaded by large trees. But with the re-routing of the traffic, the opening of the new metro and the removal of the wooden billboard covered walls that for at least an entire year, hid the construction site that was once Athens most popular platia, Syntagma looks better than it has in many years. At the top of the square are two stairways and an elevator leading to the Syntagma Metro Station, one of the most beautiful metro stations in the world, with its own museum of artifacts found at the construction site.
The “core” of the historic centre is the Plaka neighborhood (at the eastern side of the Acropolis), which has been inhabited without interruption since antiquity. When you walk through the narrow labyrinthine streets lined with houses and mansions from the time of the Turkish occupation and the Neoclassical period (19th c.), you will have the impression of travelling with a “time machine”
One of the legendary sites that sits beneath the slopes of the Acropolis on the southwest side, is the stunning open-air theatre, Odeon of Herodes Atticus. In ancient times, Odeons were built for musical contests and this ancient stone theatre has gone on to host some of the world’s best musical performances during the last 60 years since its modern day re-opening, including Nana Mouskouri, Luciano Pavarotti and Frank Sinatra to name a few.
Widely known by locals as simply “Herodeon”, it was built between 160AD – 174AD by the wealthy benefactor of Athens, Herodes Atticus as an ode to his late wife Rigilla. It was the third Odeon to be built in Athens and was distinctively Roman in contrast to the nearby Theatre of Dionysos. With its Roman arches and three story stage building, it was originally partly covered with a wood and tiled roof. The circular orchestra has now become a semi-circle, paved with black and white marble. With 35 rows, the marble auditorium extends slightly beyond a semi-circle with a diameter of 80 metres and today seats 4680 people.
Monastiraki is one of the most renowned neighborhoods in central Athens partly because it belongs to the oldest part of the town and due to its traditional flea market. A vivid neighborhood with the aromas and arts of a bygone era still prominent!
One of the most important archaeological museums in the world, the Archaeological Museum of Athens houses the finest antiquities all over Greece. Well-curated exhibitions guide you through magnificent findings, exceptional sculptures, detailed pottery, Avant-garde jewelry, frescoes and artifacts dating back to antiquity and the classic times.
According to Greek mythology, the goddess Hera was born in Samos. There are still remaining ruins of her temple – only one pillar is standing, about half of its original height – close to the south coast of the island. Heraion had been established since the Geometrical period as a sacred place and remained such until the Roman era. It is a dipteral Ionic temple with 115 colossal columns.
It is located in Pythagoreio, Samos.It includes the following collections.Collection of archaic columns
Collection of Roman emperors’ portraits
Collection of “nekrodeipna” (reliefs depicting funeral banquets)
Pottery (9th century BC – 2nd century BC)
In the verdant valley of Vlamari at approximately 2 km. from the town of Samos stands the monastery of Agia Zoni (Cincture of Virgin Mary), built in 1695. Inside the monastery one will find frescoes preserved from the 17th century and a remarkable library with patriarchal documents and precious objects.
Find peace and connect with the Nature in Zia Natural Park. Walk on the stone paths between the trees and breath the fresh air. Have a close look at the local animals and plants in their natural environment.