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CENTRAL GREECE

INTRODUCTION

From the spectacle of Ancient Delphi to the winter wonderland of Arahova and Karpenisi and on to the island charms of Evia and Skyros, Central Greece is a region full of diversity and wonder

Whether you love culture, walking, swimming or any other kind of outdoor activity, in Central Greece you’ll discover the heartbeat of Greece. The Oracle of Delphi and other historical landmarks and monuments, stone-built settlements, exciting hiking trails and national parks, beaches with turquoise waters, ski resorts and traditional customs and flavours … all tell the story of one of the most beautiful regions in Greece.

HISTORY

This land has been inhabited since the depths of history. It has been the scenery to great civilizations, legends, heroes, myths, battles, giving birth to ideas and arts that have affected and shaped what we now call western civilization. Athens and Thives are the main city states which grow in power and economy. The oracle of Delphi on Parnassus Mount was considered to be the centre of the world and was a very significant economic and political centre as many of the crucial decisions on war matters were taken on oracles. Central Greece knew instability being occupied by Romans, Byzantines, crusaders and Ottomans. In 1821, the War of Independence against Turks started and Central Greece or Roumeli as it was called was the first part of Greece to enjoy liberty after nearly four hundred years of Turkish occupancy.

CLIMATE

Average daytime & nighttime temperatures:

climate of central greece

The climate of Central Greece varies according to the altitude. On the coastline is generally Mediterranean with hot summers and mild winters and in the interior, to a higher altitude, is Continental, with snow during winter. In western lowland the winters are milder with more rainfall, while in summer there are very high temperatures, often exceeding the 40 ° C and high humidity. In eastern part of Central Greece, because of the mountains, winter is cooler and summer is cooler and drier in comparison to the west.

HIGHLIGHTS

GASTRONOMY

delphi

DELPHI

the most famous oracle of ancient Greece. • In the historic settlement of Delphi, you will find the home-cum-museum of Angelos Sikelianos (the Greek poet that revived the Delphic Festival in 1927 and 1930), as well as the European Cultural Centre of Delphi. • Archaeological Museum of Delphi - the centre of the world • Museum of Delphic Festivals • Cultural Centre of Delphi

chalkida

CHALKIDA

the energetic capital of Evia. • Ideal for a weekend getaway. Chalkida’s trademarks are the Euripus Strait and the old bridge, as well as a wonderful esplanade with fish tavernas and cafes. • Ancient Eretria and Theatre • Museum of Eretria • Karababa Castle

edipsos

EDIPSOS

a rejuvenating experience. • In Edipsos, you’ll discover a Belle Epoque atmosphere in one of the most timeless spas in Greece. • Drimona Waterfall • Chiliadou Beach • Drakospita (Dragon Houses) • Kalamos Beach • Dimosari Gorge • Thapsa Beach • Saint John the Russian Church • Monastery of St David • Euripus Strait and High Bridge • Lighthouse of Kakokefali

arachova

ARACHOVA

a favourite winter hangout. • Cosmopolitan Arahova, below the ski resort of Parnassos, is popular for winter holidays – before or apres ski.

mount parnassos

MT PARNASSOS

the mountain of winter adventure. • Polidrosos, Ancient Lilea, Tithorea, Amphiklia and Gravia (with the famous “Hani of Gravia”) are just a few of the attractions hidden on the other side of Mt Parnassos, a mountain made for winter sports. • Hiking on Mt. Parnassos (Arachova–Mana Springs – Baindánis / Tithorea–Cave of Odysseus Androutsos ) • Parnassos ski resort ( Downhill ski runs at Kellaria – Fterolakka) • Visit Aráchova “Mykonos of winter” by night

galaxidi

GLAXIDI

a historical gem in Central Greece. • The tiny port of Galaxidi has a special charm thanks to its many attractive sea-captain’s houses and wonderful maritime museum. • Itea town

volos

VOLOS

Beauty, Myth and History are all here. • The pedestrianised Argonauts Way • The beautiful Papastratos building • Palia quarter (Take a tour of the Roman Baths, the ruins of the castle (mid-6th c. A.D.), the Ottoman powder magazine (1600), the Agion Theodoron square, and the former Tsalapata factory (1925) which now houses the Rooftile and Brickworks Museum. • The tree-shaded Rigas Feraios square • The extensive Agios Konstantinos park named after the church situated in it, and Anavros park where you can visit the open-air exhibition of sculptures. • Achilleion theatre (1925) • The green Goritsa hill • Alikes Beach • Hill of Goritsa • Castle of Volos • Theofilos Museum of Anakasia • Tsipouradika • Damouhari Port • Athanasakeion Archaeological Museum of Volos

pelion

PELION

An escape to the Centaurs’ homeland. • Cosmopolitan Portaria oit’s the first village one gets to from Volos. Its popularity as a travel destination and its accompanying cosmopolitanism spring from its vicinity both to a skiing resort and also to the sea. Luxurious hotels, traditional hostels, rooms to let, restaurants and tavernas, coffee shops, bars, and shops selling souvenirs and traditional folk-art items meet all visitors’ tastes and needs. • Cultural Zagora oZagora is situated on the eastern slopes of Mount Pelion, with a great view to the Aegean. A densely-populated village, Zagora consists of four districts, all meeting around the central square of Ag. Georgios, having taken its name after the adjacent small church, famous for its excellent altarpiece. This very square also hosts, since the end of 18th century, the famous Public Library, which nowadays operates as a lending library with many and great, rare books, while there is also a reading room within its premises. • Elegant Tsagkarada oTsagkarada lies 500m above sea level on the eastern side of Mt. Pelion, along a densely wooded area, looking out to the Aegean. Here, nature is dominant with chestnut and plane trees, being twisted around every single old and new construction of the sparsely-populated village. Treat yourself a cup of coffee at the central square of Agia Paraskevi, where the great Plane Tree counts a life of at least ten centuries. One of the things a visitor should see exiting the village is the arch bridge constructed by builders from Epirus. Some historic sites of special interest are also the Achillopouleios Commercial School and the Nanopouleios School. • Makrinitsa, the balcony of Mt. Pelion. oMakrinitsa known for offering one of the best panoramic views to Volos and the Pagasetic Gulf has retained the traditional Pelian architecture and construction. So one can admire its renovated lordly mansions, its romantic stone paved alleys, its elaborate fountains, its super centenarian plane trees and its lovely flowers, which all make Makrinitsa one of the most breathtaking destinations of Pelion. There are also interesting art cafes and galleries revealing the artistic interests of its local people. • Vyzitsa oFamous Vyzitsa, a village of Pelion enjoying major tourist development since the 80s, is typical of its Pelian scenery, its stone-paved alleys, its renovated lordly mansions (archontika), its lush greenery and its stone fountains. Climb up its central cobblestones alley heading for the central square. Walk around the picturesque neighbourhood of Argyraiika and if weather permits go hiking to Milies or to the coastal village of Kala Nera. The scenery is breathtaking… Visit also Esperides, the Women’s Agrotourism Cooperative of Vyzitsa, very popular within and without Vyzitsa’s borders for its catering services, and taste its traditional products ranging from marmalades to home-made pastas. • Milies, the starting point of the legendary steam train oMilies is the starting point of the legendary steam train of Pelion, the so-called "Moutzouris” (i.e. smudgy) extending up to Ano Lechonia. Its rail track runs along a route of natural beauty connecting the centre of Volos to the fertile district of Western Pelion. In Winter , when the train stops operating, walk along its rail track and take pictures of the iron bridge constructed by Evaristo de Chirico, the chief engineer and mastermind of the Pelian steam train and father of the surrealist painter Giorgio de Chirico. Take the path heading towards Vyzitsa and enjoy the panoramic view of the Pagasetic Gulf. It is also worth paying a visit to the Church of "Pamegiston Taxiarchon", typical of the Pelian architecture with post-Byzantine icons of artistic and historical significance.

EUBOEA

EUBOEA, the largest island in Greece after Crete, is considered to be a mini-paradise for connoisseurs of food. Thanks to its rich fisheries, livestock farming and agricultural production, your dinner plate can be graced with the freshest of local dishes. The prefecture of Euboea is a blessed land that enjoys a variety of unique goods, a strong cultural identity and age-old culinary traditions. The cuisine of Euboea is rich, but also famed for its simplicity, diversity, strong flavors and fresh ingredients. Among the regional dishes are meats deliciously combined with vegetables and with recipes, handed down through the generations, made from: • Meat: Lamb in country-style dishes, kontosouvli, exochiko, or with local sausages, gardoumba, kokoretsi, bekri meze, lamb with pasta, kokoras krasatos • Seafood: astakomakaronada, psaromeze, fried shrimp, octopus in wine sauce, seafood spaghetti • Pasta: Kourkoubines or goglies, trahana • Spicy appetizers, pita with wild greens, tiropitaria, local cheeses • The regional sweets are delightful “soutzouki” and traditional, Kimi-style baklava, local pasteli, handmade spoon sweet, fresh and dried figs smoked in aromatic steam, almonds and more. • Local wine

VIOTIA

is famous for its products and recipes. Visitors come, from all Greece, and enjoy their excursion in the area by visiting the beautiful taverns that offer local dishes. The quality of the local meat, as well as, many meat recipes, are very well-known. • Meat: in the grill or in the spit, kokoretsi, gardoubakia, sausages, kontosouvli and cutlets (paidakia), are only some from the dishes that, those who know the Viotia cooking, prefer. In a lot of restaurants, cooked dishes are also offered such as lamp “frikase”', rabbit “stifado”, “kokotakia”, “coq au vin”, goat boiled and lamp "kleftiko». • Gourmets prefer also the local pies. The women of Viotia prepare the pastry and make herb pies, cheese pies, fried pies (tiganopsoma), frumenty pies. • Many areas of Viotia are famous for the cheeses such as the cheese “formaela” from Arahova that is produced exclusively there and it is a product of quality. The cheeses “sahanotiri” and “opsimotiri” are local cheeses produced in all areas of the Prefecture. The cheese “opsimotiri” is prepared by sheep's yoghurt (yoghurt of three days), which is mixed with salt and is left to ferment for three days. • Moreover, In Viotia you will find, the exceptional olive oil (if you are lucky, you will also find the green olive oil), • The local wine: The wines from the vineyards of Askri are also exceptional. • The “raki” (in Distomo you will find the most famous “raki”). • The evenings in the winter, you will enjoy eating bean soups, soups of vegetables, frumenty and noodles, • While in the summertime you have to taste the fresh fishes from the Corinthian gulf. The ingredients used to the recipes of Viotia, are produced from local cottages or biological cultivations. • Viotia produces olive oil, horticultural products and cereals. • and tomatoes dominate in the plain of Thespies. • The honey is exceptional because of the particular technique of apiarists of Viotia.

FOKIDA

is famous for its • Cheese, as there are many cheese factories in the area which, in addition to feta, also make other dairy products such as milk, other types of cheese, psomotiri which is strained yogurt with flower milk and feta, yogurt. Cheese factories can be found in Vounihora, Pendeoria, Amfissa, as well as in the mountains of the prefecture of Fokida.

PELION

Here is a list of some appetizers, main dishes and desserts of the Mountain of Centaurs: • Tsitsiravla are the young sprouts of wild pistachio trees collected in April and pickled with vinegar and a touch of garlic. One of the best meze dishes for tsipouro that you will certainly want to take back home. Thankfully, deli stores in Volos sell home prepared tsitsiravla. Warning! They never taste as good as they do in Pelion! • A deep orange cheese spread known as “kopanisti Volou” will brighten up your table and your dining experience. Served best at Mezen the innovative tsipouro restaurant in the city of Volos. • Kolitsianoi is a sea flower (sea anemone) that is battered, deep fried, and served as meze only in the hard core authentic tsipouro restaurants. • Boubari is a locally made spiral looking sausage baked in the oven and served with potatoes. The sausage is filled with rice and beef meat including the heart and lungs. Enjoy it at the village of Agios Georgios! • Spetzofai’s flavor lies in the sweetness of the home-grown tomatoes simmered in extra virgin Pelion olive oil, the spiciness of the local sausage, and the aroma of the Volos’ green peppers. At Climax in Xinovrisi they serve it just right and the view to the Aegean Sea is unforgettable. • “Spoon sweets”! Try the Pelion small apple called “firiki” and pair it with a cup of Greek coffee at the plateia of Makrinitsa overlooking the city of Volos. • The queen of desserts, tall, elegant, and celebratory, blonde baklava is a wedding sweet. If you’re lucky, tavern owners sometimes serve it as a treat at the end of the meal. With almonds instead of walnuts and dozens of super thin homemade phyllos, these small diamond-shaped “skyscrapers” crowned with cloves. • Go to the festival (Cherry Festival in Stagiates (July) - Pear Festival in Milies (Aug) - Apple Festival in Zagora (Sept)- Chestnut Festival in Xourichti (Oct)

WHY?

  • Countless sights

  • Historic wealth

  • Important archaeological monuments

  • Impressive churches ad monasteries

  • Valuable cultural heritage

  • Unspoiled nature and the diversity of landscape

  • A variety of wonderful beaches with natural beauty and crystal-clear waters

  • A 4-season destination

  • Cross imposing gorges and foamy rivers

  • Follow enchanting routes through dense forests and narrow valleys

  • Indulge in the unique charm of the mountainous landscape.

MAP OF CENTRAL GREECE

map of central greexe
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