The ruins of ancient Dion, Pieria are sprawled at the foot of Mount Olympus. The ancient city which flourished in the 5th century B.C. was one of the most famous Macedonian cities. Excavations revealed the ancient city with all of its commodities along with statues, pottery, mosaics and inscriptions of immense historic and artistic value. During the era of Alexander the Great, Dion was an important city and it was the place from where the general marched off to battle in Asia. Besides rich history, the village offers its guests beautiful landscapes. The modern village -close to the ancient ruins- is well maintained, has an impressive archaeological museum and good tourist service infrastructure.

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A scenic town situated at an altitude of 970m on the slopes of Parnassos mountain. It’s not very far from Athens (180km) and is very close to the archaeological site of Delphi (12km) and the Parnassos Ski Resort (25km). It has excellent hotels, many of which seem to be hanging off the edge of the mountain. The scenery is magnificent and visitors seem to think they are on an airplane looking down. Cliffs and mountainous terrain all around and in the distance one can see the blue of the Corinthian gulf. An environment of absolute calm interrupted only by the distant sounds of sheep bells and axes chopping wood for fireplaces. At the local tavernas, visitors can taste local meat and cheeses as well as heavenly syrupy desserts, which they will never forget. The tourist infrastructures are plenty and of good quality and promise to satisfy the preferences of all visitors, regardless of age.

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Greece offers extremely beautiful scenery, tropical beaches on one hand and high, snowy mountains on the other. Thousands of Greeks are passionate about gliding on the snow and, every chance they get, they go up to the mountains in order to confront the elements of nature. Parnassos Ski Resort is always a surprise for those who visit it for the first time. Huge installations that reach the altitude of 2,260m and giant lifts, which lead to 23 slopes totaling 34km. While gliding on the snow, skiers see amazing landscapes unfolding in front of their eyes, as if they were on a plane.

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Families with babies in their prams and elderly Greeks, who moved with difficulty, participated in the protest. It was an “amateur” civilian mobilization, with no political ties. Most of the participants had never been to a similar protest. The Macedonian issue, however, moved them and feelings bubbled momentarily to the surface. Even though most of the participants were conservatives, they listened to celebrated “Zorba The Greek” composer Mikis Theodorakis’ address stunned in awe. They sang his songs. And this giant figure of the Left stirred up emotions for these pure conservatives and taught them about national reconciliation.

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The place where the Gunpowder Mills of the 1821 Revolution (against the Ottoman Turks) were hidden and the birthplace of Patriarch Gregory V, who was hanged by the Turks in Constantinople. The village’s library has thousands of rare books -and it would have had many more if Theodore Kolokotronis’ men had not shredded the paper, with tears in their eyes, in order to make bandoliers for their Carlo E. Figli riffles (known in Greece simply as Kariofili riffles). Dimitsana does not only stir up emotions of national pride for Greeks but also satisfies the senses. Wherever one stands, he or she can see wild mountains and running water. In the morning, visitors are awoken by sheep bells and the sound of axes splitting wood in half. In the tavernas, one can eat omelet with salted pork and coq au vin with a side of hylopites, a type of Greek noodles. It is an amazing winter resort!

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A multinational city with an oriental feel, which doesn’t contradict its western finesse. It does not have anything powerfully beautiful but nothing ugly as well. A vibrant society with high wages and government services that serve the people without submitting them to unnecessary bureaucracy. Even though there are many cars, oddly enough roads seem almost empty. The city’s centre has lost its traditional character to a significant extent but offers its visitors remarkable recreational and cultural outlets. It looks like the centre of Greek cities, but is less noisy and significantly less stressful. Organized and serene, it makes life easy for its residents and visitors.

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An imposing Castle Town from the Byzantine Times and an UNESCO World Heritage Site, situated close to Sparta. The Franks began building the town in the mid 13th century but it quickly passed into the Byzantine rule. During the next two centuries, it evolved into a powerful political, military and cultural centre. In 1443, Constantine Palaiologos, who in 1448 was appointed Emperor of the Byzantine Empire, became the ruler of Mystras. He was the last Emperor, the man who in 1453 decided to die like a common soldier on the wall of Constantinople. In 1460, Mystras was captured by the Turks and began its decline. In 1821 it revolved against the Turks and in 1825 it was plundered by Ibrahim’s army. From then on, it remains a ghost town. At Mystras, there is a very interesting museum.

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The Archaeological Museum of Tegea houses ancient Greek treasures of immense beauty, which are presented in a masterful way. Amongst the exhibits, the head of Asclepius, a marble relief of Pan, thrones of the Kings and carved marble plates with scenes depicting heroes and demigods. In Tegea stood a temple dedicated to Athena Alea, built by the sculptor and architect Scopas from the Island of Paros. Many of his important works are on display at the museum. Tegea had a population of 40,000, a parliament of 300 men and its own currency. The founder of Paphos, King Agapenor was born there, as was the mythical Pan. Next to the museum there is an imposing outdoor archaeological site. Photographs capture very little of the magical vibes this museum emits.

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Since 1974 and up until today, Nicosia has been divided in two by barbed wire and fortification works. It is the only European Union capital that has been forcibly divided by foreign occupying troops. The free part of Nicosia has changed and is evolving with leaps but the images in the Buffer (Dead) Zone haven’t changed in almost half a century. The young soldiers of the Cypriot National Guard keep watch in the narrow streets of the dividing zone defending the ideal of freedom. Their fathers did the same. But for the powerful of the world, pacts and maintaining the balance with the intruder seem to be more important than these ideals.

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Many Greeks of the diaspora who passionately love Greece visit www.greecewithin.com. One of them is Dimitris Rellos, who was born in Kleitoria, Kalavryta, and migrated to New York 43 years ago. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees in Computer Science and became a manager in large U.S. companies, as well as owner of his own software development consulting firm. Every year, he visits his home village and reunites with family and childhood friends. We recently communicated and learned that he is a master of expressive photography and maintains the notable website www.DimitriRellos.com. We asked him to send us a series of photos he shot during his travels in Greece and to accompany each photo with a caption that describes his emotional response to the visual stimulus of each subject captured. The results are striking and affecting.

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It was a city with a lot of mines where thousands of workers slaved under almost barbaric conditions. The total lack of environmental measures wounded it deeply and the “scars” can be seen up until today. After Lavrio was de-industrialized, the factories were left abandoned and ramshackled. However, this picture of destruction, created over time, is unexpectedly attractive. The area looks like an endless outdoor studio, where the color of rust prevails. Next to the piles of forgotten metals there are old buildings that have been renovated and have acquired significant visual value. The natural habitat is also amazing. And all of this, close to Athens. Photographers will definitely be impressed!

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The “Art Athina 2017” International Contemporary Art Fair took place at the Tae Kwon Do Hall at Faliro from the 25th to the 28th of May. This fair is an annual event in Athens and is highly anticipated by many. The artwork presented in this article is just a small sample of what was showcased and in random order. Photographs don’t do the artwork justice as the pictures were taken with non-specialized equipment, during a tour of the fair.

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The sunset at the Temple of Poseidon in Sounio is breathtaking. Build on a rock 73 meters over the sea, the Doric Temple attracts countless visitors for around the globe. According to Greek mythology, Theseus began his journey to Crete in order to kill the Minotaur from Sounio. His sails were black when he left but he promised his father that if he came home alive his ships would have white sails. Even though he returned to Athens victorious, he was caught up in the excitement and forgot to change the sails. His father, Aegeus, saw the black sails from Sounio and thought his son had been killed. He fell to his death from the cliffs. The sea then was named the Aegean in honor of the fallen king.

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Winter is harsh in the villages of Arcadian Mount Mainalon. The dense forests of firs sigh by the weight of the snow and the sceneries are alpic. These villages during almost all winter are covered by deep clouds. (In order of appearance: 1. Davies, 2. Piana, 3. Chrysovitsi, 4. Stemnitsa, 5. Dimitsana, 6. Alonistena, 7. Arkoudorema, 8. Kardaras, 9. Mainalon Mountain, 10. Arkoudorema)

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