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, list of Books of the Year see more...


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…

The following is shown by "chance".

Skyros - Skyros Chora and environs - The Museums

The Museums
On returning to Plateia Brooke, the Archaeological Museum is below the square, down the steps to the east. (Open 8.30–3; closed Mon.) This is a small well-displayed collection whose principal importance lies in the rare artefacts it houses from the Geometric period (11th–8th centuries bc), which give life and substance to the few, unadorned archaeological sites that exist from this period.

There are a number of very early objects, going back to the 3rd and 2nd millennia bc, from both Palamari and the Kastro area. A couple of these pieces show, through a common pattern of design, trading connections with Troy during this early period: the double-chalice (no. 893), which is a type of object known much later to Homer; and the grey, pointed vase (no. 754) in Case 1. There is a fine, late Bronze Age vase decorated with a shallow, high-prowed ship (no. 77) in Case 2, which gives a fascinating glimpse of the craft that may have populated the seas in Mycenaean times. From the Geometric period are jewellery, stone artefacts, a number of very fine vases and a variety of other household items (braziers, etc.) in pottery. Especially worthy of note is the circular * ritual object (also of the Geometric period), found in a grave in the Magazia area, which comprises eight ducks in a circle, with two snakeswinding over them and devouring a dove. In combining symbols of the air (birds) and of the darkest earth (serpents) into an integrated arrangement of striking design, the piece shows the imaginative richness of this early world. Many designs from this period imitate woven, basket-work (no. 172, case 7). On other objects the perfect geometric forms are accomplished with the aid of a compass-pair, or by pin-and string drawing: some of the pots (e.g. no. 214, case 4) still bear the pin-hole made at the centre of the concentric de signs. The beautiful jewellery contained in the last cases is mostly of the late Geometric and early Archaic periods— the 8th and 7th centuries bc: there is a very fine round gold ornament (no. 1025, case 9), which has four swastika de signs (sun symbols) embossed in it—three face clockwise, one anti-clockwise; and a rare 8th century * diadem in electrum, beautifully embossed with designs of warriors and shields, found in an aristocratic grave at Chorapha, to the north of the Kastro hill. The small sculpture display from Classical times includes a sensitively carved fragment of a 5th century bc grave stele: unusually, it has been re carved in Roman times with a funeral banquet scene on its reverse side.
   The corner room of the museum is dedicated to a reconstruction of the interior of a Skyriot town house (see pp. 105–107). Here the small seating-furniture is intricately carved, and the boulmes screen has motifs with cockerels and the double-headed eagle of Byzantium. Some exquisite embroideries and textiles are also exhibited. Below Plateia Brooke, 30m beyond and to the north, the street ends in a terrace above the impressive semicircular remains of the ‘Palaiopyrgos’, or northern bastion of the late Classical enceinte of the acropolis. Between the two, to the east, is the Manos Faltaits Museum (open daily March–Nov 9–2, 6–8) whose rich variety of displays should not be missed.

This is a private collection dedicated both to Skyrian traditions and artefacts, and to the life, family and paintings of Manos Faltai―ts. The family was one of the island’s wealthiest, and the unusual name is a ‘Russian-isation’, adopted by the painter’s great-grandfather who worked and traded at the time in Odessa, of the family’s Greek name. The lower store-rooms of this spacious house are an exhibition area for many of the artist’s paintings. Manos Faltai―ts had a number of whimsical stylistic qualities in common with Marc Cha gall, but there are strong Byzantine overtones in his work; he mainly uses a Fauvist colour-range. The upper part of the house exhibits furniture, textiles (some exquisite nuptial embroideries, composed of designs with ancient symbolism), costumes, implements and wood-work, which are well presented and explained: they illustrate how the particularity of Skyrian workmanship arises from a very particular synthesis of Ottoman, Venetian and Byzantine influences. There are examples of decorated Skyrian pottery—amongst them the jugs which were left unglazed to allow water inside to remain cooler, and which were placed in baskets of thyme so as to impart a fresh odour to the water. The most memo rable exhibit is perhaps the extraordinary goat-costume, used in the pre-Lenten festivities and dances on Skyros: this example weighs nearly 60kg.


How ancient the Goat Dance may be and how much it has changed in form with time is difficult to establish, but it is a striking example of how ancient pagan practices have survived intact in isolated corners of the Greek world such as Skyros. In Antiquity the is land was famed for its goats which are mentioned by Pindar (early 5th century bc), by Strabo (1st century bc) and by the philosopher-gourmand, Athenaeus of Naucratis (2nd century ad). The Goat Dance celebrates the importance that both goat and goatherd have always had on the island: a goatherd with large flocks possessed considerable wealth and a very particular status in society. During the carnival period the young men of the island dress in an all-covering costume of goat-skin hung with bells, and with a goat-head mask, and participate in a noisy dance along with other allegorical figures, such as young men who are dressed—as Achilles had been, in the court of Lycomedes—in women’s clothing. The goat figure is called the ‘geros’, from the Greek word for strong and sturdy—an attribute the young men need to posses, given that the costume can weigh as much as 60kg. On the last day of the festivities they remove the costume and dance once again, freed of its terrible weight: the symbolic significance of this gesture is appropriate to the last day of carnival, when the encumbrance of earthly needs should be set aside for the period of Lenten penitence.

Skyros Island is part of the Sporades Island Group, Greece.

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



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

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