If you find yourself in Greece during winter, Arachova should definitely be on your list of places to visit.
It is a small town situated on Mount Parnassos, famous for preserving local traditions like rug-weaving and woodcraft, as well as its cuisine. An easy, 2,5-hour drive from Athens, it is often called “Winter Mykonos” due to the wave of well-heeled Athenians who pass their weekends here from November onwards.
Athens, as a whole, is a city culturally on the rise after having sustained years of recession. But which are the neighborhoods that carry this transformation on their shoulders? What are the new areas in the Greek capital that have become seed beds for this positive change?
Cycladic figurines are certainly the most enigmatic, abstract, and evocative objects from Greek prehistory, that also inspired the art pioneers of abstraction and cubism of the early 20th century.
Unlike the other Aegean islands, with their harsh, forbidding terrain, Aegina is much more hiking-friendly. The island’s small size and particular shape, combined with its relatively mild slopes – its tallest peak, Ellanion Oros, is only 532 meters high – and the many villages which are spread around, make the place ideal for hiking.
Well that’s a tough one. We will try to warn you about driving on Greek roads and at the same time not scare you away from the wheel (or handlebars).
Let’s make Dolmadakia.
What do we need?
Lots of patience, before everything else, especially if it’s your first time trying it.
There are many ways to see Athens. The city with the many faces also has many different, themed tours on offer. But this one is brand new and as stylish as they come. Riding a bicycle around the most colorful part of the center, graced by beautiful neo-classical buildings, is the main idea. It is a proposition with strong practical advantages, as you can cover a wider area and still enjoy the views and explore the various places at your own pace, while at the same time it is as cool as it gets. But, “cycling around the city is nothing new”, you might note and you could be right, if we were not talking about this specific tour.
There aren’t many places which showcase so perfectly the multi-layered mix of cultures which we call Greek civilization, like Monastiraki square. It is situated north of Plaka, the traditional neighborhood under the Acropolis, and right next to the busy junction of two central streets, Ermou and Athinas.
Of all the little islands in the Saronic gulf, this one is kept off the tourist map as an Athenian’s little secret; a small island just 35 kilometers from Piraeus, covered easily with a 40-minute Flying Dolphin (hydrofoil) ride or a 75-minute trip with a ferry. Such a short trip means it is “no big deal” for Athenians to get there, while the island itself is so beautiful that it had the Huffington Post declare it “the most beautiful Greek island that you haven’t heard of”. Being so near the Greek capital, it is ideal for a day-trip but, at the same time, it is an interesting place where you can easily spend a couple of weeks.
So, let’s make “gemista”!
- 8 medium-sized tomatoes – not too soft
- 4 big bell peppers
- 1½ teacup of olive oil
- 2 big onions, grinded
- 1 water-glass of rice
- 2 heaped soup spoons of pine seeds
- 2 heaped soup spoons of black raisins
- 1 small cup of mint leaves, minced
- 1 small cup of parsley, minced
- ½ a kilo of potatoes
- 1 cup of rusks or toasted bread, grinded
- Salt and pepper
One could say that their name itself betrays the attraction. “Meteora” means “things suspended in mid-air”. But nothing can prepare you for what you are about to experience after a four-hour drive north from Athens. Truth be told, it could be the set for a futuristic film or trippy video clip. But it is real and it has been there for millions of years, overlooking the, otherwise ordinary, town of Kalambaka. And there they are; not one or two, but twenty-four gigantic, pillar-like sandstone rocks standing next to one another, reaching up to 400 meters high. Unfortunately, no photographic effort has yet captured the full majesty of the place, the breathtaking 360°-scenery of a rare geological phenomenon.