Greek Travel Guide: Greek Islands & other wonders. Welcome to Hellas! is a cultural & travel guide to Greece and the Greek Islands based on Nigel McGilchrist's awarded books * enriched for the web with additional content.
* "...delightful, well-observed, literary accompaniments to the Greek islands, by a British scholar." The Economist "Books of the year"


Discover Greece

Sights not to miss
Archaeological museums

Archaeological Museums in Greece

Vathi of Samos
Goulandris, Museum of Cycladic Art
National Museum of Athens
Acropolis Museum, Athens

UNESCO World Heritage List

UNESCO's World Heritage List for Greece

Archaeological Site of Aigai
Archaeological Site of Olympia
Archaeological Site of Mystras
Acropolis, Athens
Old Town of Corfu
Paleochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessalonika
Pythagoreion and Heraion of Samos
Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus
Monasteries of Daphni, Hosios Loukas and Nea Moni of Chios
The Historic Centre with the Monastery of Saint-John the Theologian & the Cave of the Apocalypse on the Island of Patmos
Medieval City of Rhodes
Mount Athos
Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae
Archaeological Sites of Mycenae and Tiryns
Archaeological Site of Delphi

Travel ideas
Temple of Haphaestus, Athens Greece

The 7 - Day Jewels of the Cyclades

TRAVEL IDEAS * The 7-Day Jewels of the Cyclades * The best of the Aegean Islands 8 day cruises from Athens. Experience a harmonious balance between conventional cruising and private yachting, along with an exciting voyage of discovery, unraveling the wonders of the Greek Islands. Each day you will discover a new port of call, a hidden cove with…

Jeep Safari Adventure Trips

TRAVEL IDEAS * Jeep Safari Adventure Trips * Join the team on a Jeep Safari Adventure who promote the Mountains of Crete, the Cretan Culture, the History, values and traditions. Vist plast that are far from mass tourism to enjoy beautiful panoramic views where only a four wheel drive Land Rover Defender can reach.We are pleased to offer all year…

Wine experience

TRAVEL IDEAS * Wine experience * Greece is one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world thus a great destination for this kind of special interest tours. The earliest evidence of Greek wine has been dated to 6,500 years. In ancient times, as trade in wine became extensive, it was transported from end to end of the Mediterranean; Greek…

Yoga Cruises

TRAVEL IDEAS * Yoga Cruises * Over the last couple of years, Star Clippers has offered guests free daily yoga and meditation on selected Yoga-themed sailings.With spectacular settings as a background, yoga classes take place in the open air, on Star Clippers’ ships’ sun-warmed teak decks, under thousands of square feet of billowing sails – the…

Mykonos, a week in the most fabulous Cycladic island

TRAVEL IDEAS * MYKONOS, a week in jet-set's top destination island * You need to relax and at the same time be near where there’s constantly a party going on and you're thinking about the Greek Islands? You love a sandy beach but can’t say no to the swimming pool? The half of you worships the night sky full of shining stars and the other half is…

Manna Gea, seaside Eco houses

TRAVEL IDEAS * Manna Gea residential complex* in Paliambela Vonitsas, Aitoloakarnania region Welcome to the residential complex Manna Gea, that in Greek means "Mother Earth." The complex is located at "Manna" in Paliambela Vonitsas next to Amvrakikos gulf, a few kilometers away from Lefkada Island. It consists of 3 houses and 2 studios facing the…

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Shortly before reaching Chora after the climb from Yialos, the base of the ancient city’s fortification walls of the 6th century bc is visible in long runs of schist blocks beside the main road, to the left of where the kalderimi crosses its course. These walls originally encircled the whole hill above, suggesting that Archaic Ios was already a community of some size. It had an enviable location with a panoramic, natural acropolis, overlooking its harbour entrance, a protected civic centre in the saddle below, and an agriculturally productive hinterland a little way to its north. Today’s Chora climbs attractively up to the rocky peak of the old acropolis, covering the site of the ancient habitation. The broad saddle to the south of the hill (which now lies between the main road and the foot of the hill) has several wells which remain from the ancient settlement. It is likely that the agora and the principal public buildings of Ancient Ios were located in this well protected area, close to the sources of water. An exedra and other vestiges of Hellenistic and Roman buildings are visible just beside the Demarcheion or Town Hall to the south of the main road. The neoclassical building which houses the Town Hall, includes a small Archaeological Museum in its ground floor, consisting of two rooms of well-displayed material from the prehistoric period and two from the historic period (open daily 8.30–3, except Mon).

The centre-piece of the collection is the rich and varied material coming from the prehistoric site of Skarkos (see above). Many of the smaller items—schematic figurines, cups, seals and metal tools—are exhibited here, as well as several large pithoi—some for storage, some for burial: sufficient fragments were found to permit their complete restoration. They constitute some of the best examples of such objects from the 3rd millennium bc. Of particular interest also are the querns and grinders with visible vestiges of red pigment; and a series of oblong stamps bearing clear seal-impressions for clay. There are some fine Archaic carved stelai, probably of Parian workmanship—one of a young warrior who raises his hand to the front of his helmet as if to remove it. A curious, later stele found at Aghia Theodoti, is decorated with two snakes or vipers (one partly coiled) and an inscription between them which gives the date of a sacrifice from which it appears that the calendar of Ios included a month called the Homerea—named in honour of Homer, who was believed to be buried on the island.

Another pleasing Neoclassical building with porch and pediment, currently abandoned, looks onto the ‘˜agora’ area from the eastern end.

The most important churches of Chora are at the bot tom of the acropolis hill. Almost opposite the Town Hall across a stand of trees is Aghia Ekaterini, a compact 17th century church, which incorporates several column fragments in its cupola-drum and a piece of Ionic capital in the south wall. The church is believed to stand on the site of the temple of Pythian Apollo, the largest and most important of the island’s temples. Immediately to its north sits the long, low structure of the much earlier (possibly 14th century) church of Aghios Ioannis Prodromos, with a raised crossed barrel-vault. Abutting it to the north is the island’s cathedral of the Evangelismos, built in 1930 to replace an older church on the same spot dedicated to Aghios Nikolaos. 75m to the east of Aghia Ekaterini, is the domed structure of an abandoned and dilapidated church, known locally as the ‘˜Frangokklisi­a’, or ‘˜Latin Church’. In similar fashion to Aghia Ekaterini it has blind niches in the octagonal drum below the cupola and in general has the appearance of a typical Byzantine church of the 14th or 15th century, although it is hard to date more exactly in its present condition. Its name im plies that it was used principally for the Latin rite by the island’s small Catholic community; after this it appears that the church was left unadopted and abandoned.
   Above the cathedral church of the Evangelismos the heart of the old chora is bisected east/west by the main ‘˜calle’ which links Kato and Epano Piatsa, two apologies for squares, between which the main commercial activity of the old town is found. Beside the upper square— ‘˜Epano Piatsa’—is the double church of Aghios Andreas and Aghia Kyriaki­ which incorporates ancient spolia in its interior. At the top of the habitation, just below the rocky crown of the hill is the church of the Panaghia Kremniotissa, with a shaded panoramic terrace opening out in front of its west door. From here a path leads up through the rocks towards the summit; the penultimate church, Aghios Giorgios, just below the top, has part of a marble tablet, densely engraved with early 4th century bc decrees, immured into the south corner of its façade. The summit, now occupied by the chapel of Aghios Nikolaos, was the principal look-out of the ancient acropolis. At the end of the 14th century the Venetian, Marco Crispo built a fortified enclosure here, using ancient foundations where possible; little of it now remains to be seen beyond short breaks of wall.

Is it your next destination !? :-)
Greek Islands Travel Guide : Month's Island
AEGINA ISLAND, Argosaronikos Islands.
    The memorable profile of the island with its conical peak at Mount Oros to the south, becomes familiar long before you ever visit Aegina: it is visible from the Acropolis of Athens, from Piraeus, from the road to Corinth, and from virtually any side by land, air or sea, as you leave or arrive in Athens. That was Aegina’s problem: it was too near to Athens. And its early commercial strength, marine power and economic wealth—in some respects, greater than that of Athens in the 6th century bc—had to be eliminated if Athens were to grow as she wished to do. The island was, in Pericles’s memorable phrase, ‘the eyesore of the Piraeus’. Already by the middle of the 5th century bc Aegina had been reduced by Athens to a clerurchy with no independence and only the faint memory of its past pre eminence. In modernity—as if by an irony of destiny— Aegina once again preceded Athens as the capital city of a partially liberated Greece in 1826, minting the first coins of modern Greece, just as it may have been the first to mint silver coins in Ancient Greece in the 6th century bc.
   That a place as lovely as Aegina should be so close to Athens (a little over 20km as the crow flies) comes as a surprise. And there is much on the island to detain the visitor. Its archaeological remains—the well-preserved Temple of Aphaia and the ancient site of Kolona—are amongst the most interesting and important in the Aegean; there are also impressive later remains of a sanctuary of Zeus below Mount Oros. Deliberately hidden from the unwanted attentions of piracy in the centre of the island is the deserted site of Palaiochora, which was the capital of the island during the Byzantine period; its many scattered churches with painted interiors constitute a treasure house of Byzantine painting.
   Equally hidden— this time in the outskirts of the main town—is the tiny painted church of the Aghii Theodori. Even the town centre of Aegina itself is lively and interesting, and has some elegant streets with neoclassical houses.
   The cultivated landscape of the island is also quite particular—characterised by the many groves of pistachio trees for which the island is famous: in the valley of Kondos where they combine with olive trees and with dense pines above, the effect is of great beauty. A more rugged beauty is offered by the climb to the summit of Mount Oros (531 m) which provides the best all-round panorama anywhere of the Saronic Gulf and the mountainous coasts of Attica and of the Peloponnese. Aegina may be small, but it is full of variety. Communications are quick and easy between the island and Piraeus and Athens: the contrast with them could not be greater...more @ Greek Travel Guide


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On their way: Athens, Thessaloniki, Delphi, Mycenae, Olympia, Epidaurus, Monemvasia, Meteora, Korinth, Bassai, Knossos.

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