Archive for the ‘Hiking Holidays’ Category

Thessaloniki – co-Capital in the North


Thessaloniki
(Greek: Θεσσαλονίκη, [θesaloˈniki]), Thessalonica, or Salonica is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of the Greek region of Macedonia. Its honorific title is Συμπρωτεύουσα (Symprotévousa), literally “co-capital”, a reference to its historical status as the Συμβασιλεύουσα (Symvasilévousa) or “co-reigning” city of the Byzantine Empire, alongside Constantinople. According to the 2001 census, the municipality of Thessaloniki had a population of 363,987. The entire Thessaloniki Urban Area had a population of 763,468.

Thessaloniki is Greece’s second major economic, industrial, commercial and political centre, and a major transportation hub for the rest of southeastern Europe; its commercial port is also of great importance for Greece and its southeast European hinterland. The city hosts an annual International Trade Fair, the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, and the largest bi-annual meeting of the Greek diaspora.

Thessaloniki is home to numerous notable Byzantine monuments, including the Paleochristian and Byzantine monuments of Thessalonika, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as several Ottoman and Sephardic Jewish structures.

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Dion – Pieria


Dion (Greek, Modern: Δίο Dio, Ancient/Katharevousa Δίον Dion) is a municipality and village in the Prefecture of Pieria, Macedonia, Greece, best known for its archaeological site and archaeological museum. Zeus was honored at the ancient city of Dion located at the foot of Mount Olympus. It is located 15 km. SW of Katerini, 425 km to the north of Athens and 65 km to the north of Larissa.

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Alonnisos


Alonissos
, Alonisos or Alonnisos (Greek: Αλόννησος) is a Greek island in the Aegean Sea. After Skiathos and Skopelos it is the third member of the Northern Sporades. It is 3 km (2 nm) E of the island of Skopelos. Alonissos is also the name of a village on the island, as well as the municipality that encompasses the island and the village.

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Platamonas

Platamon (Greek: Πλαταμώνας), also spelled as Platamonas, is a town and sea-side resort in south Pieria prefecture, Central Macedonia, Greece. Platamon has a population of about 1,500 permanent inhabitants.

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Mount Athos


Mount Athos
(Greek: Όρος Άθως, Oros Athos) is a mountain on the peninsula of the same name in Macedonia, of northern Greece, called in Greek Agion Oros (Άγιον Όρος, transliterated often as Hagion Oros), or in English, “Holy Mountain”. In Classical times, the peninsula was called Aktí (Ακτή) (sometimes Acte or Akte). Politically it is known in Greece as the Autonomous Monastic State of the Holy Mountain. This World Heritage Site is home to 20 Eastern Orthodox monasteries and forms a self-governed monastic state within the sovereignty of the Hellenic Republic. Spiritually, Mount Athos comes under the direct jurisdiction of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.

The peninsula, the easternmost “leg” of the larger Halkidiki peninsula, protrudes into the Aegean Sea for some 60 kilometres (37 mi) at a width between 7 to 12 km and covers an area of 335.637 square kilometres (129.59 sq mi), with the actual Mount Athos and its steep, densely forested slopes reaching up to 2,033 metres (6,670 ft). The seas around the end of the peninsula can be dangerous.

Though land-linked, it is accessible only by boat. The number of visitors is restricted and all are required to get a special entrance permit before entering Mount Athos. Only males are allowed entrance into Mount Athos, which is called “Garden of the Virgin” by monks, and Orthodox Christians take precedence in the permit issuance procedure. Only males over the age of 18 who are members of the Eastern Orthodox Church are allowed to live on Athos. There are religious guards, who are not monks, that assist the monks, and any other people not monks are required to live in the peninsula’s capital, Karyes. The 2001 Greek national census counted a population of 2,262 inhabitants.

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Pindos Mountain


The Pindus (also Pindos or Pindhos) (Greek: Πίνδος) mountain range is located in northern Greece and southern Albania. It is roughly 160 km long, with a maximum elevation of 2637 m (Mount Smolikas). Because it runs along the border of Thessaly and Epirus, the Pindus range is often called the “spine of Greece”. The mountain range stretches from near the Greek-Albanian borders in Northern Epirus, entering the Epirus periphery and Macedonia region in northern Greece down to the north of the Peloponnese.

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Meteora Monasteries

The Metéora (Greek: Μετέωρα, “suspended rocks”, “suspended in the air” or “in the heavens above”) is one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece, second only to Mount Athos. The six monasteries are built on natural sandstone rock pillars, at the northwestern edge of the Plain of Thessaly near the Pinios river and Pindus Mountains, in central Greece. The nearest town is Kalambaka. The Metéora is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

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The Tembi Valley

The Valley of Tembi (modern Greek: Témpi), celebrated by Greek poets as a favorite haunt of Apollo and the Muses, is the ancient name of a gorge in northern Thessaly, Greece, located between Olympus to the north and Ossa to the south. The valley is 10 kilometers long and as narrow as 25 meters in places, with cliffs nearly 500 meters high, and through it flows the Pineios River on its way to the Aegean Sea.

On the right bank of the Pineios sat a temple to Apollo, near which the laurels used to crown the victorious in the Pythian Games were gathered. The Valley of Tembi also was home for a time to Aristaeus, son of Apollo and Cyrene, and it was here that he chased Eurydice, wife of Orpheus, who, in her flight, was bitten by a serpent and died. In the thirteenth century AD a church dedicated to Aghia (Saint) Paraskevi was erected in the valley.

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The Vikos Gorge

The Vikos Gorge is a gorge in the Pindus Mountains of northern Greece. It is some 20 km long, and is listed as the deepest gorge in the world by the Guinness Book of Records among others. This follows a somewhat arbitrary definition of a gorge that excludes deeper features such as Colca Canyon because of their greater width:depth ratio. Nevertheless, with walls of up to 1 km in height, the gorge is spectacular.

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Mount Olympus

Mount Olympus (Greek: Όλυμπος ; also transliterated as Ólympos, and on Greek maps, Óros Ólimbos) is the

highest mountain in Greece at 2,919 metres high (9,577 feet). Since its base is located at sea level, it is one of the highest mountains in Europe in terms of topographic prominence, the relative altitude from base to top. It is located in the borders of Thessaly and Macedonia, about 100 km away from Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city.

Mount Olympus is noted for its very rich flora with several endemic species. The highest peak on Mount Olympus is Mitikas at 2,919 metres high (9,577 feet), which in Greek means “nose” (an alternative transliterated spelling of this name is “Mytikas”). Mitikas is the highest peak in Greece, the second highest being Skolio (2912 m).

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