Κυριακή 27 Μαΐου 2018

National Tourism Organization Invites 587 Bloggers to Promote the Beauty of Greece

For the third year, the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) is organizing a program of familiarization trips which intend to make a global touristic promotion of the country. The project intends to bring 587 foreign bloggers, journalists, and representatives of international travel agencies from 27 different countries in 167 familiarization trips scheduled until July to get to know and promote the 13 different regions of Greece, promoting Greek tourism abroad.
Athens, World Book Capital 2018
The guidelines of the program are included within the framework of the National and Regional Tourism Policy of the country presenting Greece as a year-round destination. A project that is being implemented with enormous success and that sees the participation of the different regions and municipalities as well as actors from the touristic private sector.
The first part of the Familiarization Travel Program, approved by the Greek National Tourism Organization aims to promote less known Greek destinations to the global travel community, but it also includes a targeted promotion of different thematic touristic proposals which intend to attract visitors throughout the year.
Portara, Naxos (Courtesy of Gabi Ancarola).
Portara, Naxos (Courtesy of Gabi Ancarola).
Some of the important news outlets participating in the project include journalists from Great Britain (Travel Chanel, BBC, The Daily Telegraph, Sunday Times, Walk Magazine and Evening Standard), France (France 2, France 5), the German publishing group Tagesspiegel, the Austrian newspapers Krone Zeitung & Die Presse, the Belgian magazine Exclusief, the Romanian National Geographic Traveler, Romania’s state TV channel TVR. Private channels such as Antenna 1, Antenna 2, Canal D, Prima TV have also been invited to attend the trips. Bloggers from England, Germany, and Denmark, as well as leading travel agencies from Frace, Japan, China, Poland, The Netherland, Israel, and Romania, will also be part of the planned visits.
Patmos travel guide (digital format)
Patmos (photo courtesy Gabi Ancarola).
Different Chinese travel agents, a Chinese travel magazine Travel Agent Magazine as well as a blogger with over 4 million followers on the social media will be taking part in the first Thematic Aegean cruise. Finally, CNN Travel will be hosted on the islands of Chios and Patmos so as to work on the promotion of both destinations as gastronomic and cultural places to visit in Greece.

Πέμπτη 24 Μαΐου 2018

Mykonos: More Than a Greek Party Island.

Port of Mykonos (Courtesy of The Tiny Book).
Centrally located in the Cycladic group of Greek islands, Mykonos is an extremely popular summer destination.
Known for its epic party atmosphere but also for sandy beaches, whitewashed Cycladic architecture and glamorous reputation, it regularly tops travel sites’ lists of Greek island destinations.

Plan your trip in Greece HERE 
However, there is more to the island than its fashionable side. Few people know that Mykonos has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Serene corners, culture and history are also part of the island of Mykonos and here are some of the best things to do on the island.
Windmills in the landscape of Mykonos

The Castle of Gyzi

Not many kilometers out of Mykonos Town, the ruins of Gyzi Castle represent an interesting point of history that the tells the legends of the island’s past. It dates back to the 13th century and was built on a hilltop to offer protection to Ano Mera, a rural village. The castle was abandoned during the years of the Ottoman domination and was used by pirates in the Aegean as a base. Views from the top of the hill allow visitors to discover the beautiful coastal landscape of Mykonos.

Little Venice

Little Venice
The district of Alefkandra, also popularly known as Little Venice offers – together with the Windmills – one of the best-known sights of Mykonos. The area took its name from the women who used to visit the area to wash their clothes (lefka).
The houses in Alefkandra are different from the ones in the town, being three-story buildings with a small door and colorful windows which face the sea. The resemblance this area has to Italy’s famous Venice earned the neighborhood its nickname. Long ago, the area was the place where captains and merchants used to live when not at sea.

Panagia Paraportiani

Panagia Paraportiani (Courtesy The Tiny Book).
While wandering the alleys of Little Venice, it is easy to reach the nearby iconic church of the Panagia Paraportiani, five churches built in a cross-shape design, with the most recent of them standing on top.
The white building stands proudly like a mountain of sugar close to the sea. This picture-postcard complex is the perfect place to take home amazing images of this Mykonos landmark.

Panagia Tourliani

Always close to the village of Ano Mera, Panagia Tourliani is a perfect example of ecclesiastical architecture. The monastery boasts a whitewashed facade and a colored dome while in its interior it is possible to admire a magnificent marble fountain.
The stunning wooden iconostasis in Baroque style was the work of skillful Italian artists. To visit the monastery it is necessary to call beforehand and agree an appointment.

The island of Delos

Delos and the Avenue of the Lions (Source Vijinn [GFDL from Wikimedia Commons)
According to Greek mythology, Delos is the place where Leto gave birth to Zeus’ twins, Apollo and Artemis. The island, which is one of the most important archaeological sites of the whole country, allows visitors to venture into ancient avenues lined up with temples, palazzi and impressive monuments.
The island also offers breathtaking views of the Aegean, especially during sunset. Ferry boats depart daily from the harbor of Mykonos and, for those interested in the history of the place, a guided visit to the island is one of the best investments they can do on their trip

Beaches of Mykonos

Paradise Beach
Mykonos’ beaches: they are many and all of them are well-known. From the glamorous port of Ornos to the crazy atmosphere of Paradise and Super Paradise, there are beaches for all tastes.
For those looking for a relaxed atmosphere, Cavo Psarou is among the most beautiful bays to visit. Azure waters and mountains as a backdrop offer the perfect frame for a relaxing time at the beach.
Families, on the contrary, rather visit the big Platys Gialos, home to different kinds of accommodation, local tavernas as well as a little port from where small parrots depart to visit more distant shores.
Among them, Elia is a long coastal strip of white sand, known for being the favorite gathering place of the LGTB community visiting Mykonos. However, families are also attracted by this corner of paradise since its large spaces and the private atmosphere make Elia a location where everyone is able to find a place of their own.


Coast of Mykonos (Courtesy of The Tiny Book).
Submarine activities and sports are less known but also form part of summer life on Mykonos. A colorful display of submarine life can be admired below the surface of the Aegean. Snorkeling and diving are a must in the area known as Paradise Reef. This reef hosts a huge variety of Mediterranean sea life among which are octopi, seahorses, sponges, starfish and barracuda. Locals say the best months to dive are late August and September when waters are warm after months of baking under the Greek sun.

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source : Greek Reporter

Τρίτη 22 Μαΐου 2018

Patmos, the Greek Island of Revelation, Features in New Film (video)

Patmos, the Greek Island of Revelation, Features in New Film (video)

A highly acclaimed documentary about the Greek island of Patmos and the world-famous monastery of St. John the Theologian will premiere in Greek cinemas later in May after successful screenings in Europe and the U.S.
Acceptance of Inheritance: Apocalypse Again by Christos Godas, will be presented to the Athenian public on May 29 at Mikrokosmos cinema.
A seasoned traveler, Godas experiences all the “the island of Revelation” has to offer, from the social scene at local haunts to the spirituality of the Monastery of St. John the Theologian and the Holy Cave.
The film which was recently screened at Stathakion, the hall of the Federation of Hellenic Societies of Greater New York, describes how the history of Patmos and of the Monastery, from the 1st century AD to the Roman era, Byzantium, Ottoman Empire and finally to modern Greece, shaped Western civilization.
It also highlights the fact that during Ottoman rule the Patmos monastery saved much of ancient Greek literature. Texts of Aristotle, Plutarch, of the three tragic poets and other great ancient classics are today found in the monastery’s library and museum.
source: Greek reporter.

Τετάρτη 16 Μαΐου 2018

Escape the City for a Swim in Greece’s Lake Vouliagmeni

Vouliagmeni Lake (Source: C messier – Own work, CC0)
One of the most beautiful places along the Athenian Riviera is, without any doubt, Lake Vouliagmeni. Perfect during any time of the year, both for a restoring winter swim as well as for a summer escape from the bustling capital.
Any weather is ideal for swimming in the lake and to enjoy its deep blue waters. The sheer cliffs boast amazing views as well as pine forests all around the lake.
Another view of the lake (Source: Dim Philos [CC BY-SA 4.0 from Wikimedia Commons)
Once in the lake, swimmers find that the water temperature ranges between 22C and 29C (72-84F) despite the season and the weather outside. Besides this, the lake is also known for its therapeutic properties.
Lake Vouliagmeni is hidden in a very romantic scenario, surrounded by dramatic views. The lake is fed by subterranean natural springs which flow through a system of tunnels and caverns, also the source of myths and legends that captivate locals and tourists alike.
The lake at night.
The water, slightly salty in its composition, communicates with the sea, which means it is constantly refreshed and clean. While the lake used to be known and visited mostly by an older public, there is a trend for younger visitors who, during the past years, have started choosing the lake over the sea as part of a healthier way of life.
Only 25 kilometers (15 miles) from Athens, Lake Vouliagmeni is easy to reach. Moreover, there is private transportation available to reach the area. More information can be found on the lake’s website.
source :greek reporter.

Τρίτη 8 Μαΐου 2018

Eurovision 2018: Greece, Cyprus Fight for Final Places (video)

Eurovision 2018: Greece, Cyprus Fight for Final Places (video)

Yianna Terzi and Eleni Foureira representing Greece and Cyprus
Greece and Cyprus are competing on Tuesday for a place in the final of the 63rd Eurovision Song Contest which is taking place in Portugal for the first time.
Nineteen countries are competing in the semi-final. Only 10 will qualify for Saturday’s Grand Final, which means nine acts will see their Eurovision dream come to an end on Tuesday.
Greece is represented by Yianna Terzi with the song Oniro Mou that she wrote and composed alongside Aris Kalimeris, Michalis Papathanasiou and Dimitris Stamatiou.
Yianna was born in a musical family in 1980 and began performing as a professional singer herself in 2005. After releasing several successful albums she relocated from Greece to the U.S. nine years ago and worked her way into the studio with Grammy Award-winning composers.
Cyprus, which is represented by Eleni Foureira with the song Fuego, is the new favorite to win the contest, according to bookmakers.
Foureira’s odds have been dropping from 70/1 before rehearsals to 5/2 after the semi-final jury show on Sunday night.
Israel’s Netta Barzilai had been the favorite to win since her entry Toy was released in early March, but odds have drifted after Sunday’s show.
She is now 3/1 for the win at Saturday night’s Eurovision Song Contest final.
Eleni’s incredible first rehearsal saw people start to believe that Cyprus could be about to win Eurovision for the first time. Eleni’s entry Fuego is hot, modern and as the title suggest, very fiery.

Κυριακή 6 Μαΐου 2018

La guerra dei nomi in Macedonia

Una manifestazione contro l’uso del nome Macedonia a Salonicco, in Grecia, il 21 gennaio 2018. 

La guerra dei nomi in Macedonia

“Cosa c’è in un nome? Ciò che chiamiamo rosa anche con un altro nome conserva sempre il suo profumo”, scriveva Shakespeare, ma in Macedonia il suo profumo non è altrettanto piacevole. Con una dimostrazione d’insicurezza nazionale che ha pochi eguali, la Grecia nega al suo vicino settentrionale l’uso del nome Macedonia da quando questo è diventato indipendente dalla Jugoslavia nel 1991.
Atene ha sempre sostenuto, con poche prove che lo dimostrassero, che chiamando il nuovo paese Repubblica di Macedonia (lo stesso nome che aveva all’interno dello stato federale jugoslavo), i macedoni stessero avanzando pretese sull’omonima regione della Grecia. Ma di recente c’erano stati alcuni segni di un ritorno al buon senso.
I macedoni erano pronti a negoziare la questione, perché la Grecia sta bloccando la sua richiesta di adesione alla Nato e all’Unione europea dal 2008, e le ha permesso di essere ammessa alle Nazioni Unite solo adottando il ridicolo nome di “Ex repubblica jugoslava della Macedonia” (Fyrom). Ma Atene e Skopje (la capitale della Fyrom) stavano cercando di raggiungere un compromesso da quasi un anno, ormai, e le cose sembravano promettere bene.
Un contenzioso nazionalista
Il ministro dell’interno greco, Panos Skourletis, una figura di spicco del partito Syriza che domina il governo di coalizione ad Atene, aveva dichiarato: “È un contenzioso senza senso che dev’essere risolto. I macedoni vogliono risolverlo, e io ritengo che sarà risolto nel 2018. Se non ora, quando?”.
Il contenzioso è complicato dal fatto che i macedoni – che abitano la regione dai tempi delle invasioni slave del sesto e settimo secolo – hanno rivendicato la figura di Alessandro III di Macedonia, più conosciuto come Alessandro Magno, come loro padre fondatore. La cosa è comprensibile, poiché non possono appellarsi ad altre figure storiche degne di nota, ma ha creato un immenso fastidio ai greci.
Alessandro conquistò metà del “mondo conosciuto” più di duemila anni fa, all’età di 32 anni, e anche i greci contemporanei lo considerano la loro più importante figura nella storia, soprattutto perché anche loro non hanno altri candidati più recenti. Omero, Socrate, Euripide e Platone sono tutti ottimi nomi, ma sono vissuti ancor più tempo fa e non hanno conquistato alcun territorio straniero.
Verso la fine del 2017, alcune persone ragionevoli avevano cominciato ad adoperarsi per un compromesso ragionevole
E quindi, oltre all’assurda idea che la Macedonia abbia delle mire sull’omonima provincia greca (la Fyrom ha solo due milioni di abitanti, dei quali un quarto di provenienza albanese, contro i dieci milioni di cittadini greci), i nazionalisti greci sono ulteriormente adirati dal fatto che i loro vicini stiano cercando di rubare il loro grande eroe nazionale. E in effetti qualche tentativo c’è stato.
Una storia condivisa
Sotto la guida del suo precedente primo ministro, l’ultranazionalista Nikola Gruevski, la Repubblica di Macedonia ha cominciato a ribattezzare aeroporti, autostrade e stadi con il nome di Alessandro, e a erigere grandi e goffissime statue in onore del grande conquistatore. Gruevski ha perso le elezioni macedoni nel giugno 2017, tuttavia, e il nuovo primo ministro Zoran Zaev ha adottato una linea molto diversa.
“Rinuncio alla pretesa che la Macedonia sia l’unica erede di Alessandro”, ha dichiarato Zaev in un’intervista televisiva a dicembre. “La storia non appartiene solo a noi ma anche alla Grecia e a molti altri paesi”. Ha poi denunciato la sbornia nazionalista del precedente governo e ha perfino suggerito che avrebbe smantellato le statue che offendono i greci.
La cosa è naturalmente ragionevole, dal momento che Alessandro era effettivamente greco, parlava greco (il suo tutore era Aristotele) ed era nato in quello che oggi è territorio greco.
D’altro canto, gli imperi che hanno dominato l’intera regione per oltre duemila anni fino al ventesimo secolo– romano, bizantino e ottomano – includevano solitamente nella loro provincia di Macedonia il territorio oggi occupato dalla Fyrom. Il nome può quindi essere rivendicato da chiunque avesse degli antenati che vivevano in tale area. Verso la fine del 2017, alcune persone ragionevoli avevano cominciato ad adoperarsi per un compromesso ragionevole.
Ancora qualche tempo di follia
Per il capodanno 2018 Yiannis Boutaris, il sindaco di Salonicco, la capitale della provincia greca di Macedonia, ha accolto il premier macedone Zoran Zaev nella sua città. “Per troppo tempo siamo stati oscurati da questa follia nazionalista e dalla propaganda populista”, ha dichiarato, e il problema sembrava sulla strada della soluzione.
La soluzione, secondo alcune fonti vicine ai negoziatori guidati dall’inviato dell’Onu Matthew Nimetz, sarebbe stata quella di chiamare la Fyrom con il nome Nuova Macedonia, il che esclude ogni rivendicazione sulla “vecchia” Macedonia greca. Ma poi Panos Kammenos, il fondatore del piccolo partito Grecia indipendente, alleato di Syriza nella coalizione di governo, ha chiesto un referendum immediato.
Il partito di Kammenos ha un indice di preferenze nei sondaggi così basso che, se si votasse oggi, non entrerebbe neppure nel prossimo parlamento, e aveva quindi bisogno di rafforzare la sua posizione agli occhi del suo elettorato di estrema destra. I sondaggisti hanno prontamente chiesto ai cittadini greci se potrebbero accettare un qualsiasi nuovo nome per la Fyrom che includesse la parola Macedonia, e gli intervistati hanno risposto di no, con oscillazioni tra il 68 per cento (il 15 gennaio) e il 77 per cento (il 20 gennaio)
Quindi è improbabile che Syriza, che nei sondaggi attuali ha uno svantaggio del 10 per cento rispetto al partito d’opposizione Nuova democrazia, porti avanti questa proposta (il 63 per cento dei suoi stessi elettori si è detto contrario). E quindi la follia continuerà a prevalere ancora per qualche tempo.
(Traduzione di Federico Ferrone)

Foreigners to participate in Classic Cars Rally in Chania, Crete

Foreigners to participate in Classic Cars Rally in Chania, Crete

The first rally was held in 1971 and after long interruption, the rally revived in 2009
A nostalgic trip to the past was held on Sunday in Chania, Crete, ANA reports.
Thirty one classic cars participated in the Classic Cars Rally organised by the owners of classic cars of Crete.
After the end of the race the organisers announced that next year there will be participants from foreign countries.
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons Copyright: Lapplaender License: CC-BY-S