National Tokens by country...

Check out all the souvenir coins in the country of your choice.

Below you can find an overview of the general coin specifications that apply to the collection in this country. Scroll down to discover the coins piece by piece, or use the ‘select a coin’ box to jump directly to any specific coin that you are looking for.

Greece

Greece
General coin specifications

Color Diameter Thickness Edge No. coins No. variations
brass
champagne
gold
silver
31.00 mm
2.25 mm
script
serrated, coarse
serrated, fine
serrated, fine with script
80 227

ATHENS

ATHENS - Academy

The Academy of Athens forms part of the so-called "Neoclassical Trilogy" of the City of Athens: Academy - University - Library. It consists of aesthetically distinct parts that form a harmonic ensemble of built mass. It is flanked by two wings decorated with friezes and a pair of tall columns adorned by statues of Apollo and Athena. The predominant material on the facets is marble. Overall, the building is a characteristic example of mature Neoclassicism.
It was built in two phases, in 1859 - 1863 and 1868 - 1885, based on studies of the Danish architect Theophile Hansen and it is believed to be his most exquisite work in Greece. Hansen himself was also supervising the construction up to 1861 when E. Ziller took over. The statues are the work of the sculptor L. Drosis and the painted decorations were again done by Karl Rahl. The Academy is considered the finest example of the Greek order in architecture. The main donator to finance the construction was the family of the Baron Simon Sinas, Ambassador of Greece in Vienna, Berlin and Munich.

ATHENS

ATHENS

ATHENS - Acropolis of Athens

The Acropolis hill, so called the "Sacred Rock" of Athens, is the most important site of the city. During Perikles' Golden Age, ancient Greek civilization was represented in an ideal way on the hill and some of the architectural masterpieces of the period were erected on its ground. The first habitation remains on the Acropolis date from the Neolithic period. Over the centuries, the rocky hill was continuously used either as a cult place or as a residential area or both. The inscriptions on the numerous and precious offerings to the sanctuary of Athena (marble korai, bronze and clay statuettes and vases) indicate that the cult of the city's patron goddess was established as early as the Archaic period (650-480 B.C.). During the Classical period (450-330 B.C.) three important temples were erected on the ruins of earlier ones: the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, and the Temple of Nike, dedicated to Athena Parthenos, Athena Polias, and Athena-Apteros Nike, respectively. The Propylaea, the monumental entrance to the sacred area was also constructed in the same period.

ATHENS

ATHENS

ATHENS - Hadrian's Arch

This triumphal arch lies on an ancient street that led from the old city of Athens to the new, Roman section, built by Hadrian. It was constructed by the Athenians in A.D. 131, in honor of their benefactor emperor. Two inscriptions are carved on the architrave, one on each side: the first, on the side towards the Acropolis reads "This is Athens, the ancient city of Theseus"; the second, on the other side, facing the new city reads "This is the city of Hadrian and not of Theseus".
The central arched opening of the monument is supported by pilasters crowned with Corinthian capitals. Similar, but taller pilasters flank the outer corners. The arch is crowned by a series of Corinthian columns and pilasters, with an Ionic architrave at the ends, and an entablature with a triangular pediment in the middle. The whole monument is made of Pentelic marble.

ATHENS

ATHENS

ATHENS - Karyatids

Caryatids (or Karyatids) are female figures used as architectural supports in place of columns -- a feature associated with Ionic architecture. The Roman architect Vitruvius wrote that Caryatids were supposed to represent the women of the southern Greek town of Caryae which supported the invading Persian force in 480 BC. After the Persian Wars, the other Greek states forced them to carry objects.
One of the Caryatids of the Erechtheion was removed by Lord Elgin in order to decorate his Scottish mansion, and was later sold to the British Museum. Athenian legend had it that at night the remaining five Caryatids could be heard wailing for their lost sister. Nowadays the five original Caryatids are displayed in helium-filled glass cases in the Acropolis Museum and are replaced in situ by exact replicas.

ATHENS

ATHENS

ATHENS - Parthenon

The Parthenon is the most famous surviving building of Ancient Greece and one of the most famous buildings in the world. The building has stood atop the Acropolis of Athens for nearly 2.500 years and was built to give thanks to Athena, the city's patron goddess, for the salvation of Athens and Greece in the Persian Wars. The building was officially called the Temple of Athena the Virgin, and its popular name derives from the ancient word parthenos, a young woman.
The Parthenon replaced an older temple which had been destroyed by the Persians. As well as being a temple, the Parthenon was used as a treasury, and was the location of the treasury of the Delian League, which later became the Athenian Empire.

ATHENS

ATHENS

ATHENS - Temple of Zeus Olympios

The Temple of Olympian Zeus (Olympeion) was an enormous structure, the largest temple in Greece, exceeding even the Parthenon in size. Work began on this vast edifice in 515 BCE during the reign of the tyrant Peisistratos, who initiated the building work to gain public favor.
Although there were several attempts over many years to finish the temple, it was not completed until 132 CE by the Emperor Hadrian. The 104 columns, each 17 meters high, of the temple were made of Pentelic marble. Only 15 of the Corinthian columns remain standing to give a sense of the enormous size of the temple which would have been approximately 96 x 40 meters in size.

ATHENS

ATHENS

ATHENS - Thiseion

Despite its name, it was not a temple dedicated to Theseus but to the god Hephaistos and the goddess Athena. Situated at the western edge of the agora, it is today the best preserved temple of ancient times. Built in 449 B.C. it housed the statues of Hephaistos and Athena sculpted by Alkamenes.It is about 32 meters long and 14 meters wide, with 6 columns at the ends and 13 at the sides. Its plans appears conventional Doric, but its cellar resembles the larger one in the Parthenon.

ATHENS

CORFU

CORFU - Corfu

Corfu (Greek: Kérkyra) is a Greek island in the Ionian Sea. The island is connected to the history of Greece from the beginning of Greek mythology.
The island's history is also laden with battles and conquests, indicative of Corfu's turbulent position in a historical vortex lasting until the modern period. The legacy of these struggles is visible in the form of castles punctuating strategic locations across the island. Corfu's capital has been officially declared a Kastropolis (Castle city) by the Greek Government, and the old town was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2007.
Corfu is one of the most popular destinations of Greece. The island offers a lot of verdant vegetation, amazing beaches, superb venetian architecture, picturesque villages, lively nightlife and a great cosmopolitan way of life.

CORFU

CRETE

Cretan labyrinth

In Greek mythology, the Labyrinth was an elaborate structure designed and built by the legendary artificer Daedalus for King Minos of Crete at Knossos. Its function was to hold the Minotaur, a creature that was half man and half bull and was eventually killed by the Athenian hero Theseus.

Wrapped in legend, but clearly manifested in the archaeological record, is the huge Bronze Age labyrinth at Knossos. That the Cretan labyrinth had been a dancing-ground and was made for Ariadne rather than for Minos was remembered by Homer in Iliad , where, in the pattern that Hephaestus inscribed on Achilles' shield, one incident pictured was a dancing-ground "like the one that Daedalus designed in the spacious town of Knossos for Ariadne of the lovely locks." Even the labyrinth dance was depicted on the shield, where "youths and marriageable maidens were dancing on it with their hands on one another's wrists... circling as smoothly on their accomplished feet as the wheel of a potter...and there they ran in lines to meet each other."

CRETE

CRETE

Cretaquarium

The Cretaquarium building is part of the Thalassocosmos complex, the largest research, technology and entertainment centre in the Mediterranean. Thalassocosmos extends over 6 hectares in the northwest shoreward section of the former American Base at Gournes, Heraklion Prefecture. 

This is where your experience exploring the Mediterranean sea world begins, coming face to face with hundreds of species and thousands of living organisms. Visitors will be fascinated by their behaviour as they reveal the wide variety of shapes, colors, habits and needs of their own world: the Cretan Parrotfish, the multicolored Ornate Wrasse, the mighty shark, the silent mollusks and the ever-swaying marine plants all differ in their behavior. The life of the motionless coral is entirely different from that of the ever-moving tuna fish, the pulsating anemone, the supple sea fan, the flying skate or the drifting jellyfish.

The Hellenic Center for Marine Research (HCMR) is the major national institution engaged in development and research activities in all fields of the aquatic environment. The center is constituted of five relevant Institutes, amongst which the renowned Institute of Oceanography that produces information regarding all aspects of the marine environment. The basis for a multidisciplinary approach to the study of the marine environment has been developed to deal with the interactions among physical, chemical, biological and geological processes, which form the key issues in today's marine research.

CRETE

CRETE

CRETE -The Minoan Ship

It was an early, of exceptional perfection (oared- sailed), sea-going ship of mixed use, which distinguished Minoan Crete until 1500 BC as master of the seas. It had 42 wide oars and approximately 55 crewmen and reached 30 metres in length. The impressive captain's cabin, the kiosk of the oarsmen and the careful decorations on the prow and stern were its main characteristics that are emphasised particularly in the eminent mural of ships at the prehistoric settlement of Akrotiri in Santorini.
The Minoans of Crete are an example of an early Western civilization that used celestial navigation. Their palaces and mountaintop sanctuaries exhibit architectural features that align with the rising sun on the equinoxes, as well as the rising and setting of particular stars. The Minoans made sea voyages to the island of Thera and to Egypt. Both of these trips would have taken more than a day’s sail for the Minoans and would have left them traveling by night across open water.

CRETE

CRETE

CRETE - Chania

Chania is the second city of Crete and the capital of the Chania Prefecture. It lies along the North coast of Crete, about 70 kilometers west of Rethymno and 145 kilometers west of Heraklion.
Despite being heavily bombed in World War II, Chania's old city is considered Crete's most beautiful town, especially the crumbling Venetian harbour with its 15th century lighthouse and the Mosque of the Janissaries. Many of the old buildings have been restored as hotels, shops and bars, although the Splantzia quarter behind the inner harbour and Venetian Arsenals is still largely untouched and very atmospheric. The 1860 Greek Orthodox Cathedral is located in a square facing the entrance to the 1879 Roman Catholic cathedral across Halidhon street. The Synagogue - Etz Hayyim in the Topanas District, has been restored in recent years after falling into disrepair when the Jewish community of Chania was transported off the island by the Nazi occupiers in 1944. Tragically a British torpedo sank the ship Tanais carrying most of the Jewish prisoners, killing the island's pre-war community.

CRETE

CRETE

CRETE - HERACLION - Phaistos Disk

The Phaistos Disc (also spelled Phaistos Disk, Phaestos Disc) is a disk of fired clay from the Minoan palace of Phaistos on the Greek island of Crete, possibly dating to the middle or late Minoan Bronze Age (2nd millennium BC). It is about 15 cm (5.9 in) in diameter and covered on both sides with a spiral of stamped symbols. Its purpose and meaning, and even its original geographical place of manufacture, remain disputed, making it one of the most famous mysteries of archaeology. This unique object is now on display at the archaeological museum of Heraklion.
The disc was discovered in 1908 by the Italian archaeologist Luigi Pernier in the Minoan palace-site of Phaistos, and features 241 tokens, comprising 45 unique signs, which were apparently made by pressing hieroglyphic "seals" into a disc of soft clay, in a clockwise sequence spiraling toward the disc's center.

CRETE

CRETE

CRETE - HERAKLION - Knossos Dolphin fresco

The dolphin fresco dates back to the period known as Late Minoan I (c.15th and 16th centuries BC) and is an example of “marine style” Minoan art. Octopi, dolphins, fish, crabs, rocks, and seaweed are common motifs seen on pottery and in frescos dating to this period and some archaeologists believe that this may have been in response to a natural disaster, such as an earthquake or tsunami. This theory is corroborated by the fact that a number of temples and palaces, including the palace at Knossos, had to be rebuilt following an earthquake in 1570 BC.
It’s hard to deny it’s one of the most stunning works of Minoan art found at Knossos. Visitors to Knossos will find a replica of the fresco displayed over a doorway in the east wing of the palace. The original fresco, which is now housed in the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, is actually a reconstruction.

CRETE

CRETE

CRETE - HERAKLION - Knossos Palace

 The Palace at Knossos is the largest (it covers an area of 20.000 square meters) and most spectacular of all the Minoan palatial centres. It has all the typical features of the architectural type established in ca. 1700 B.C.: four wings arranged around a rectangular, central court, oriented N-S, which is actually the nucleus of the whole complex.
On the east side of the Central Court are the Royal Apartments, accessible by the Grand Staircase, one of the masterpieces of Minoan architecture. The gypsum stairs descend to a colonnaded courtyard, providing light to the lower storeys. Such light wells were a typical characteristic of Knossos.

CRETE

GREECE

CRETE - Seahorse

Seahorse is the title given to 54 species of marine fish in the genus Hippocampus. "Hippocampus" comes from the Ancient Greek hippos meaning "horse" and kampos meaning "sea monster".
Seahorses are mainly found in shallow tropical and temperate waters throughout the world, and prefer to live in sheltered areas such as seagrass beds, estuaries, coral reefs, or mangroves.
Three species live in the Mediterranean Sea: H. guttulatus - the long-snouted seahorse, H. hippocampus - the short-snouted seahorse and H. fuscus - the sea pony.

GREECE

GREECE

CRETE - Seahorse

Seahorse is the title given to 54 species of marine fish in the genus Hippocampus. "Hippocampus" comes from the Ancient Greek hippos meaning "horse" and kampos meaning "sea monster".
Seahorses are mainly found in shallow tropical and temperate waters throughout the world, and prefer to live in sheltered areas such as seagrass beds, estuaries, coral reefs, or mangroves.
Three species live in the Mediterranean Sea: H. guttulatus - the long-snouted seahorse, H. hippocampus - the short-snouted seahorse and H. fuscus - the sea pony.

GREECE

CORFU

Dying Achilles statue

In Greek mythology, Achilles was a hero of the Trojan War, and the central character and greatest warrior of Homer's Iliad. The death of Achilles was however not mentioned in Homer's Iliad, but appeared in later Greek and Roman poetry and drama concerning events after the Iliad, later in the Trojan War.

In the myths surrounding the Trojan war, Achilles died from a heel wound as the result of a poisoned arrow fired by Paris. According to a myth arising later, his mother, Thetis, had dipped the infant Achilles in the river Styx, holding onto him by his heel, and he became invulnerable where the waters touched him - that is, everywhere but the areas covered by her thumb and forefinger - implying that only a heel wound could have been his downfall.

Achilles is also famous for being the most 'handsome' of the heroes assembled at Troy, as well as the fleetest. Central to his myth is his relationship with Patroclus, characterized in different sources as deep friendship or love.

The Dying Achilles sculpture was created in Berlin in 1884 by Ernst Herter, a famous German sculptoras specialised in in creating statues of mythological figures. The statue was acquired by Empress Elizabeth (Sissy) and became the centrepiece at the gardens of her palace Achilleion in Corfu, Greece.

CORFU

PELOPONISSOS

Epidaurus

Epidaurus was a small city in ancient Greece at the Saronic Gulf. Epidaurus was independent of Argos and not included in Argolis until the time of the Romans. With its supporting territory it formed the small territory called Epidauria. Reputed to be the birthplace of Apollo's son, Asklepios the healer, Epidaurus was known for his sanctuary situated about five miles from the town, as well as its theater, which is once again in use today.

The asklepieion at Epidaurus was the most celebrated healing center of the Classical world, the place where ill people went in the hope of being cured. The prosperity brought by the Asklepieion enabled Epidauros to construct civic monuments too: the huge theater that delighted Pausanias for its symmetry and beauty, which is used once again for dramatic performances, the ceremonial Hestiatoreion, baths and a palestra. The theater was designed by Polykleitos the Younger in the 4th century BC. The original 34 rows were extended in Roman times by another 21 rows. As is usual for Greek theaters, the view on a lush landscape behind the skene is an integral part of the theater itself and is not to be obscured.

PELOPONISSOS

SANTORINI

Fisherman fresco

At the end of the 17th century B.C., the volcano Thera erupted in what seems to be the one of the biggest eruption in the history of our planet.

The city of Akrotiri, the ancient city of Santorini, was buried for around 3,500 years under 200 feet of volcanic ash. The site was first discovered in 1866 after a small new volcanic eruption, and has since then been gradually excavated. Streets, squares and buildings have been found, together with very well preserved artifacts and pottery.

The volcanic eruption had been at the same time a catastrophe and a preserverbecause astonishingly well preserved wall paintings can be seen in nearly every house.
The painting reveal a typical Minoan trait, which is the absence of 3 dimensions. There is a wide variety of subjects painted: geometrical symbols, lifeless objects, buildings, vegetation, animals and even humans. The Minoans had an impressionable naval fleet, which is also depicted in many murals.

The young fisherman fresco is one of the best preserved frescoes found so far on the island of Thera. The absence of clothes and jewelry of any kind indicates that this young man had probably been net fishing or possibly even spear fishing under water. The naturalism of this subject is typical of Minoan art.

SANTORINI

NAFPLION

Fortress of Palamidi

Palamidi is a military fortress to the east of the Acronauplia in the town of Nafplion in the Peloponnese region of southern Greece. Nestled on the crest of a 216-metre high hill, the fortress was built by the Venetians during their second occupation of the area (1686-1715).

The fortress was a very large and ambitious project, but was finished within a relatively short period from 1711 until 1714. It is a typical baroque fortress based on the plans of the engineers Giaxich and Lasalle. In 1715 it was captured by the Turks and remained under their control until 1822, when it was captured by the Greeks.

The fortress commands an impressive view over the Argolic Gulf, the city of Náfplio and the surrounding country. There are 857 steps in the winding stair from the town to the fortress. However, to reach the top of the fortress there are over one thousand.

NAFPLION

GREECE

GREECE - Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great (356 BC – 323 BC), was an ancient Greek king of Macedon. He was one of the most successful military commanders in history, and was undefeated in battle. By the time of his death, he had conquered most of the world known to the ancient Greeks.

His legacy and conquests ushered in centuries of Greek settlement and cultural influence over distant areas. This period is known as the Hellenistic Age, and featured a combination of Greek, Middle Eastern and Indian culture. Alexander himself was featured prominently in the history and myth of both Greek and non-Greek cultures. His exploits inspired a literary tradition in which he appeared as a legendary hero in the tradition of Achilles.

He is quoted as saying, "I would rather live a short life of glory than a long one of obscurity." That's exactly what he got. 2,300 years later we remember him as a legendary, mythic figure.

GREECE

CRETE

HCMR

The Hellenic Centre for Marine Research is the national laboratory of Greece on oceanography and marine research. Our work covers the entire spectrum from basicscience to technological research. We do large scale experiments in the ocean, measure environmental parameters, explore the seafloor, find ancient wrecks and submerged cities, help the State with tsunami hazard mitigation, protect our beaches, study the evolution of fish populations, develop feed for fish, train graduate students and disseminate information to the public. We invite scientific collaborations from anywhere in the world, and we charter our oceanographic ships for specialized studies.

  • Location information
  • http://www.hcmr.gr

CRETE

GREECE

Hippocrates

Hippocrates of Kos (ca. 460 BC – ca. 370 BC) was an ancient Greek physician of the Age of Pericles, and was considered one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine.

He is referred to as the "father of medicine"in recognition of his lasting contributions to the field as the founder of the Hippocratic School of medicine. This intellectual school revolutionized medicine in ancient Greece, establishing it as a discipline distinct from other fields that it had traditionally been associated with (notably theurgy and philosophy), thus making medicine a profession.

However, the achievements of the writers of the Corpus, the practitioners of Hippocratic medicine, and the actions of Hippocrates himself are often commingled; thus very little is known about what Hippocrates actually thought, wrote, and did. Nevertheless, Hippocrates is commonly portrayed as the paragon of the ancient physician.

In particular, he is credited with greatly advancing the systematic study of clinical medicine, summing up the medical knowledge of previous schools, and prescribing practices for physicians through the Hippocratic Oath and other works.

GREECE

HYDRA

HYDRA - Andreas Miaoulis

Andreas Miaoulis was born in Hydra in 1769. His real name was Andreas Vokos. Since he was a young boy, he was interested in ships and in the age of sixteen, he became captain of the family's commercial vessel.
During the 1821 Greek revolution, he was appointed commander of the Hydra marine force together with lakovos Tobazis and next year became fleet admiral. At 1822, he acted bravely in Patra and blocked all attempts of supply of the besieged Turks in Nafplio. In the same year he managed to break the Turkish embargo and reinforced with soldiers and supplies the town of Mesologgi which was then under siege.
In 1823 he defeated the Turks in Artemisio and in 1824 at the battle of Gulf of Gerontas. In 1825 he blocked Ibrahim's attempt for reinforcements in the Peloponnese and defeated the Egyptian naval force at Methoni.
Andreas Miaoulis, one of the most important personalities of the Greek Revolution, died in Athens in 1835.

HYDRA

HYDRA

HYDRA - Hydra Flag

Hydra is one of the Saronic Islands of Greece in the Aegean Sea between the Saronic Gulf and the Argolic Gulf. The flag of Hydra island, used as an ensign for ships from Hydra during the Greek War of Independence, now a municipal flag.The motto on the flag, written in Dorian, the Greek dialect spoken by ancient Spartans), means "With it or on it". According to a legend, when a mother in ancient Sparta farewelled her young son who was leaving for war, she gave him his shield and told him the above sentence, which means "Come back bringing it back, or come back on it [dead]". It was a terrible disgrace for an ancient Greek warrior and its relatives to leave his shield on the battlefield, while warriors killed at battle were carried back to their relatives on their shields. Today this sentence is used on several flags of Greek military units.

HYDRA

PELOPONISSOS

Kalavryta

In the middle of the Peloponnesian Peninsula, there is a deep river gorge where crystal-clear waters cascade from white-capped mountains to the Corinthian Gulf. Great plane trees shade the gorge, forged by the Vouraikos River, and rounded white limestone boulders create waterfalls in its path, which sometimes narrows to only 12 feet in width.

In the late 1800s, a railway was built along this narrow gorge, from the mountain town of Kalavryta to Diakofto at the coast. This marvel of engineering remains the narrowest railway in Europe, and is still in daily use. The small cars rumble over bridges with sheer drops on each side and pass along mountainsides bursting with wildflowers blooming in symphonies of color. The train makes its 90-minute, 14-mile run between Diakofto and Kalavryta four times a day, every day of the year.

PELOPONISSOS

RHODES

Kalithea Springs # 1

The Kalithea Springs are located in the city of Kalithea and are only 9 km away from the city of Rhodes. They opened their doors on 1 July 2007 after many years of efforts made by the City of Kalithea and welcome you into the charming rooms of the restored Monument next to the sea. The unique combination of nature, architecture and history travels to a unique creative scene.

 

The unrivalled monumental architecture and pomp and circumstance of the space, with its unique mosaics, the Chamber of Rotunda, where once the healing waters were welled out, the Aethrio (Patio) and every corner of the Kalithea Springs are nostalgically bring us to an other era.

 

RHODES

RHODES

Kalithea Springs # 2

The Kalithea Springs are located in the city of Kalithea and are only 9 km away from the city of Rhodes. They opened their doors on 1 July 2007 after many years of efforts made by the City of Kalithea and welcome you into the charming rooms of the restored Monument next to the sea. The unique combination of nature, architecture and history travels to a unique creative scene.

 

The unrivalled monumental architecture and pomp and circumstance of the space, with its unique mosaics, the Chamber of Rotunda, where once the healing waters were welled out, the Aethrio (Patio) and every corner of the Kalithea Springs are nostalgically bring us to an other era.

 

RHODES

KASTRIA

KASTRIA - Cave of the Lakes

In the village Kastria of Achaia, 60km from Tripoli (tunnel at Artemision) and 9 Km from Kleitoria, lies the famous “Cave of the Lakes” is located in the village Kastria.
Apart from its labyrinth of corridors, its mysterious galleries and its strange stalactite formations, the “Cave of the Lakes” has something exclusively unique that does not exist in other well known caves: inside the cave there is a string of cascading lakes forming three different levels that establish its uniqueness in the world.
The cave is an old subterranean river whose explored length is 1980 meters. In winter when the snow melts, the cave is transformed into a subterranean river with natural waterfalls. In the summer months, part of the cave dries up revealing a lace-work of stone-basins and dams of up to 4 m. in height. The rest of the cave retains water permanently throughout the year in 13 picturesque lakes.

KASTRIA

KOS

KOS - Asklepieion

Situated 4 km west of Kos, Asklepeio is the most significant archaeological site on the island. Asklepeio was built in a green area full of cypress trees. During the ancient years, it served as a sanatorium and it was dedicated to Aesculapius, son of Apollo, protector of health and medicine. Many significant people taught and worked here, one of them being the father of Medicine, Hippokrates.
Due to the steep ground, Asklepeio consist of four connecting levels, called "andira". The first is characterized by ruins of Roman constructions of the 1st century AD. The second, where the medical school is said to have been housed, is known for its arches and statues. The spas were here and they were watered from the spring of King Halkon and the spring of Vournika on Mount Dikeo. The third level is where the Temple of Aesculapius of Kiparissios Apollo (4th century BC) used to be. Excavations in the surrounding area brought to light an invaluable treasury for visitor's offerings, a semi-circular platform and a small Roman temple dedicated to Neron. The fourth level was constructed in the 2nd century BC and included a large temple of Doric style along with the chambers of the patients.

KOS

RHODES

Lindos

Lindos is a town and an archaeological site on the east coast of the island of Rhodes, in the Dodecanese in south-eastern Greece. Dramatically situated on a promotory high over the sea, Lindos is probably the most photographed village on the island, due to its traditional whitewashed houses wrapped around the fortified acropolis. The whole town is classified as an archaeological site, unique in Greece.

The Acropolis of Lindos offers spectacular views of the surrounding harbours and coastline. It is one of the best known sites in Greece and can be reached by foot or by ‘Lindos taxi’ (donkeys).

RHODES

LINDOS

LINDOS - Acropolis of Lindos

Above the modern town Lindos rises the acropolis of Lindos, a natural citadel which was fortified successively by the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Knights of St John and the Ottomans. This makes the site difficult to excavate and interpret archaeologically.

In classical times the acropolis of Lindos was dominated by the massive temple of Athena Lindia, which attained its final form in around 300 BC. In Hellenistic and Roman times the temple precinct grew as more buildings were added. In early mediaeval times these buildings fell into disuse, and in the 14th century they were partly overlaid by a massive fortress built on the acropolis by the Knights of St John to defend the island against the Ottomans.

LINDOS

LINDOS

Lindos taxi

One of the first thingS you see as you enter the narrow walkways of Lindos is the donkey station. For many years donkeys have provided one way to ascend the steep path to the Acropolis.

For those who don't relish the idea of climbing the stepped path out of the town donkeys provide a unique way to make the trip. As you can imagine the pack animals make the journey several times a day so need some encouragement from their handler on the way up. Not so coming down, as the donkeys know that food and water await at the bottom. The helter-skelter journey down the hill gets even more hair-raising as you reach the narrow streets given the donkeys can start to smell the waiting food.

LINDOS

MYCENAE

Mask of Agamemnon

The Mask of Agamemnon is an artifact discovered at Mycenae in 1876 by Heinrich Schliemann. The mask is a gold funeral mask, and was found over the face of a body located in a burial shaft.

Schliemann believed that he had discovered the body of the legendary Greek leader Agamemnon, and from this the mask gets its name. However, modern archaeological research suggests that the mask is from 1550-1500 B.C.E, which is earlier than the traditional life of Agamemnon. In spite of this, the name remains. The mask is currently displayed in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens.

The mask is one of five discovered in the shaft graves at Mycenae. The graves are certainly royal. The faces of the men are not all covered with masks. That they are men, and warriors, is indicated by the weapons in their graves. The quantities of gold and carefully worked artifacts surely denote honor, wealth and status.

MYCENAE

THESSALIA

Meteora

The Meteora are monasteries in north-east Greece on the edge of the Pindus Mountains, built on spectacular natural rock pillars. They were started in the 15th century as places of refuge in troubled times and access to them was extremely difficult, requiring either long ladders lashed together or a windlass and rope pulling up a net, for goods and humans.

In about the 1920s there was an improvement in the arrangements. Steps were cut in the rock that could be reached by rather flimsy bridges from the nearest solid rock. It is difficult to imagine how the monasteries were built on their pinnacles in the first place. Only a few of them are left now, tended by a few monks and nuns and visited by many tourists, hence the monasteries now serve as museums.

The monasteries are included in the UNESCO "World Heritage sites" list.

THESSALIA

MACEDONIA

Mount Olympus

Mount Olympus is the highest mountain in Greece. Since its base is located at sea level, it is also one of the highest mountains in Europe in terms of topographic prominence, the relative altitude from base to top. It is located in Macedonia, about 100 km away from Thessaloniki, Greece's second largest city.

In Greek mythology the mountain was regarded as the "home of the gods", specifically of the Twelve Olympians, the twelve principal gods of the ancient Hellenistic world. Any climb to Mount Olympus starts from the town of Litochoro, which took the name City of Gods because of its location on the roots of the mountain.

Mount Olympus is noted for its very rich flora with several endemic species. The highest peak on Mount Olympus - at 2,919 metres high - is Mitikas, which in Greek means "nose".

MACEDONIA

MYCENAE

MYCENAE - Lion Gate

The Lion Gate was built c. 1250 BC, it was approached by a ramp that ran below steep walls on its north-eastern side and led to an Outer Court designed to reduce the numbers of any assaulting force. The situation was made even more lethal for the attackers by the presence of a huge projecting bastion on the south-western side.
The gate itself was built out of massive megalithic blocks. The blocks frame an opening 3,1 meters high and 2,95 meters wide at the threshold which was closed by wooden double-doors decorated by bronze ornaments. Pivot holes were preserved in the lintel and threshold. Rectangular sockets in the doorjambs held a crossbar, while other recesses received the handles of the open doors. Above the lintel, the superstructure of the wall was corbelled to leave a 'relieving triangle' which was covered by a slab whose weight rested only on the lower corners. The slab was carved with a relief depicting a pair of lions flanking a column with their forepaws rested on a pair of altars which supported the column. The heads (now missing) were of a different material and fastened to the bodies by dowels. They faced outwards towards anyone approaching the gate.

MYCENAE

MYKONOS

Mykonos

Mykonos is one of the Cyclades, a group of islands of the Aegean Sea, lying between Tinos, Siros, Paros and Naxos. It has an area of 86 km² and an elevation of 364 meters. It is made mostly of granite and has little water. There are approximately 6.200 inhabitants. Unlike most island ports, the main town is built not on a hillside but spread out over a flat plain. The harbour area is split between the fishing quay, with its small boats beached on the sand, and the main port where the ferries pull in and tarmac and concrete make up the view.

The bare rocky island of Mykonos was once one of the most important trading centres in the western Aegean. Its arid and only moderately fertile soil permits only a modest development of agriculture, but its beautiful beaches have made it one of the most popular holiday islands in the Aegean.

MYKONOS

PELOPONISSOS

Mystra

Mystra was a fortified town in the Peloponnesus, on Mount Taygetos, near ancient Sparta. It lies approximately eight kilometres west of the modern town of Sparti. The last Byzantine emperor, Constantine XI, was despot at Mystras before he came to the throne.

Mystra is both a city and a fortification dated back to the Middle age. The fortress is located at the top of the hill where the city itself is situated. The fortress is built in the period between 1249 and 1262. Today you can still see the magnificent wall paintings that covers most of the inside of most of the churches. It’s supposingly because of these wall paintings the churches are so well preserved.

In 1989 the ruins, including the fortress, palace, churches, and monasteries, were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

PELOPONISSOS

ATHENS

Odeon of Herod Atticus

Herodes Atticus, a philanthropist, was also a famous Greek orator, and very rich and liberal. He donated the theater to the city in memory of his wife Appia Annia Regilla who was Roman and a cult priestess.

The Odeon of Herodes Atticus is still in use today but only holds 5.000 spectators, only the lower tier of seats remain. Like most Greek Odeon's it has superb acoustics. Odeon's are a separate type of construct than theaters in that most had a wooden roof for acoustic purposes. This very roofs susceptibility to fire is what makes them scarce today.

ATHENS

CORFU

Old fortress

Corfu is unique amongst Greek islands. Its rich history is reflected in the range of cultural influences that exist on the island, and it is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful islands in the Mediterranean.

The fortress was built by the Venetians upon the remains of a Byzantine castle and was completed in two stages. During the first period (1400-1500) the Venetians strengthened the Byzantine walls and dug the Contra Fossa moat, turning the promontory into an artificial island accessed by a movable bridge. The second period (16th- 18th centuries) began with the completion of this work and ended with the additions and alterations made by the British.

Today two impressive bastions remain, as well as later British buildings and accretions such as the church of St. George, built in 1840 as a basilica with Doric columns. Most of the churches and other buildings have however been destroyed, most important amongst them the Palace of the Venetian Proveditore.

CORFU

RHODES

Old Town

The island of Rhodes is at a crossroads between Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. This has given the city and the island many different identities, cultures, architectures, and languages over it long history. Its position in major sea routes has given Rhodes a very rich history.

The Old City of Rhodes is surrounded by medieval walls with seven gates, and to enter any of these gates is to enter another world. This is the place where a handful of Knights were the last Christian holdouts in a part of the world that had become completely dominated by Muslims. When the city finally did fall after a seige that exhausted both defenders and beseigers, 2000 Christians had died in the defense of the city. The Turks had lost 50,000 trying to take it.

The citadel of Rhodes is one of the best preserved medieval towns in Europe, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.

RHODES

OLYMPIA

OLYMPIA - The Temple of Hera

The Temple of Hera (also known as Heraion) is an ancient Doric Greek temple at Olympia, Greece. The Temple of Hera was destroyed by an earthquake in the early 4th century AD and never rebuilt. In modern times, the temple is the location where the torch of the Olympic flame is lit, by focusing the rays of the sun.
The temple was dedicated to Hera, the wife of Zeus and one of the most important female deities in Greek religion.
The Heraeum, or Temple of Hera at Olympia, is thought to be the oldest known example of Doric architecture. The temple was originally built entirely of wood on a limestone foundation, around 600 BC. Gradually, the wooden columns were replaced with stone ones.

OLYMPIA

OLYMPIA

OLYMPIA - Stadium Krypt

The current remains of the stadium date from 330-320 B.C., with the tribune and seats for the judges. The track in the stadium is 212,54 meters long, and 28,50 wide. The 45.000 spectators that the stadium could hold sat on the ground. During the Hellenistic period, the north-west corner was connected to the sanctuary by the Krypt.
The Krypt was the entrance to the stadium of Olympia and was used mainly by the athletes and the Hellanodikaes (the judges). The arched passageway was built during Hellenistic times. It had a stone arched roof with a Corinthian order propylon to the side of the temple.

OLYMPIA

MYKONOS

Paraportiani Church

It is an inspired architectural complex of five churches. Four of them are on the ground and one on the roof, elevated, that being Paraportiani itself. The ground floor of the complex consists of Ayios Efstathios, to the east, touching on two of the three churches built in a line: Ayioi Anargyroi, the oldest, in the middle, and Ayios Sozontas to the west. To the south the chapel of Ayia Anastasia touches on Ayioi Anargyroi.

The church of Paraportiani itself is built above Ayios Efstathios and is reached by an exterior stone staircase on the east side. It is thus named because it is located near the small gate, the "side door" ("paraportiani") of the wall of the medieval castle of Mykonos. It is conjectured that the complex was built gradually during the 16th and the 17th century, but most likely even earlier. Its interior ornamentation is not of real importance but it is of major architectural importance.

MYKONOS

ATHENS

Parliament Guard

Every Sunday at 11 am, tourists gather in front of the Parliament building on Syntagma Square (Plateia Syntagmatos) to watch the ceremonial changing of the guard in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The guards (Evzone's) wear their traditional white kilts, red and black caps and red clogs with pompoms only that day or on special occasions. On every other day, the Evzone's wear regular khaki uniforms with skirts and the changing of the guard takes place every hour on the hour, 24 hours a day. The guards are tall and well trained soldiers. They belong to the 'Proedriki Froura' the guards of the President of Democracy. It is a high honor for every Greek soldier to be chosen as an Evzone.

With a history spanning over more than a century, the Greek Presidential Guard was officially founded in 1868 as a regiment of the Greek army. Today, the duties of the Evzone's are of a purely ceremonial nature.

ATHENS

PELOPONISSOS

PELOPONISSOS - Corinthos Canal

The Corinth Canal links the Gulf of Corinth in the northwest with the Saronic Gulf in the southeast. The canal is 6,3 kilometers long and has a water depth of 8 meter. Its width varies from a minimum of 21 meter at the bottom to 82 25 meter maximum at the water's surface.
In the modern era, the first who thought seriously to carry out the project was Capodistrias, first governor of Greece after the liberation from the Ottoman Turks. But the budget, estimated at 40 million French francs, was too much for the Greek state. Finally, in 1869, the Parliament authorized the Government to grant a private company the privilege to construct the Canal of Corinth. Work began on Mar 29, 1882, but Tyrr's capital of 30 million francs proved to be insufficient. The work was restarted in 1890, by a new Greek company, with a capital of 5 million francs. The job was finally completed and regular use of the Canal started on Oct 28, 1893.

PELOPONISSOS

PELOPONISSOS

PELOPONISSOS - OLYMPIA TO ATHENS - Running

Running contests included:

the stade race, which was the pre-eminent test of speed, covering the Olympia track from one end to the other (200m foot race),
the diaulos (two stades - 400m foot race),
dolichos (ranging between 7 and 24 stades).

PELOPONISSOS

PELOPONISSOS

PELOPONISSOS - OLYMPIA TO ATHENS - Weight Lifting

An ancient sport as old as mankind, embodying the most direct manifestation of human strength, weightlifting has not only flourished, but also developed into a modern sporting discipline for the 21st century.
The apparent simplicity of lifting the barbell from the ground and over the head in one or two movements is deceiving. Weightlifting requires a combination of power, speed, technique, concentration and timing. Super heavyweight lifters normally claim the title of World’s Strongest Man or Woman. However, kilo per kilo, the lightest weightlifter is often the strongest. Men’s weightlifting was on the program of the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896. Women participated for the first time at the Olympic Games in Sydney in 2000.

PELOPONISSOS

PELOPONISSOS

PELOPONISSOS -OLYMPIA TO ATHENS - Discus Throwing

According to historical records, the first ancient Olympic Games can be traced back to 776 BC. They were dedicated to the Olympian gods and were staged on the ancient plains of Olympia. They continued for nearly 12 centuries, until Emperor Theodosius decreed in 393 A.D. that all such “pagan cults” be banned. It took 1503 years for the Olympics to return. The first modern Olympics were held in Athens, Greece, in 1896. The man responsible for its rebirth was a Frenchman named Baron Pierre de Coubertin, who presented the idea in 1894.
The discus throw is an athletics (track and field) throwing event. The discus was originally made of stone and later of iron, lead or bronze. The technique was very similar to today's freestyle discus throw.

PELOPONISSOS

PELOPONISSOS

PELOPONNISSOS - Nafplion

Náfplio is situated on the Argolic Gulf in the northeast Peloponnese. A rocky hill, 85 meters high, constitutes the southern section of this peninsula, which on the one hand slopes rather gently towards the inhabited section of the city, and on the other, rises precipitous from the sea.
The town was the capital of Greece from 1829 to 1834 and is the place where Capodistria, the first president of the modern Greek republic was assassinated. Nafplio is also the capital of the prefecture of Argolis and the province of Náfplio. The population of the city is ranked second in the prefecture.
Today's city, with its cobbled streets, traditional old houses and dozens of grand historical buildings and churches, wields a unique charm on visitors that come this far.

PELOPONISSOS

CORFU

Pontikonissi

At the tip of Corfu's Kanoni peninsula a footpath descends to the Vlacherna Monastery, a tiny island linked to the shore by a causeway. The causeway is the mooring point for a number of small boats which will take you to Mouse Island (Pontikonissi) where you can visit the Byzantine Church of Pantokrator.

Pontikonisi (Greek meaning "mouse island"),although small, is very green with many trees and the highest natural point (not counting the trees or man made structures such as the monastery) is about 2 m. It is the white stone staircase of the Monastery that when viewed from a distance gives the impression of a mouse tail that gave the island its name: Mouse island.

The combined picture of Kanoni, Vlacherna and Pontikonissi has become the trademark of the whole island, and has been photographed, perhaps, by just about every camera in the world.

CORFU

NAXOS

Portara

The impressive Portara, a massive marble doorway that leads nowhere, is the most famous landmark of Naxos island.

The Portara stands on the islet of Palatia, which was once a hill (the Mediterranean has risen quite a bit since antiquity). It was built during the 6th century B.C. as part of a marble temple which was never completed.

The temple was probably dedicated to Apollo, because the Portara exactly faces West to Delos, the island of Apollo. The gate is around 6m high and about 3,5m wide and was built with 4 separate, of which only 3 columns remain.

NAXOS

RHODES

RHODES - Colossus of Rhodes

The Colossus of Rhodes was a 30 meter tall bronze statue of the Greek sun god Helios, erected about 280 BC to guard the entrance to the harbor of the Mediterranean island of Rhodes. The project was commissioned by the Rhodian sculptor Chares of Lindos.The construction of the Colossus took 12 years and was finished in 282 BC.
For years, the statue stood at the harbor entrance, until a strong earthquake hit Rhodes about 226 BC. The city was badly damaged, and the Colossus was broken at its weakest point -- the knee. The Rhodians received an immediate offer from Ptolemy III Eurgetes of Egypt to cover all restoration costs for the toppled monument. However, an oracle was consulted and forbade the re-erection. Ptolemy's offer was declined. For almost a millennium, the statue laid broken in ruins. In AD 654, the Arabs invaded Rhodes. They disassembled the remains of the broken Colossus and sold them to a Jew from Syria.

RHODES

RHODES

RHODES - Crab, Coleusia signata HCMR/HSR

The Aquarium of Rhodes is a research centre, aquarium and museum in Rhodes, Greece. It was built in the 1930s, when the island was under the Italian rule.

The building an Art deco design by the Italian architect Armando Bernabiti, was constructed between 1934 and 1935. It was first named the Reale Istituto di Ricerce Biologiche di Rodi (Royal Biological Research Institute of Rhodes). In 1945, when Italian rule ended, it was renamed the "Hellenic Hydrobiological Institute". Now it is known as the Hydrobiological Station of Rhodes.The Station carries out research on the oceanography of the Dodecanese. It is administered by the National Centre of Marine Research.

Today, the Hydro biological Station of Rhodes operates as a Museum and Aquarium and is also used a a  research centre.  The Aquarium belongs to the National Centre of Marine Research. The aim of the Hydro biological Station of Rhodes is the preservation and display of embalmed and living creatures of the Mediterranean sea.

In the aquarium the visitors can admire specimens of entozoan, molluscs (gastropods and cephalopods), species of the crab family, echinoderms, many fish families, as well as sea turtles. In the Museum are also displayed exhibits such as various kinds of sharks and other fish, sea turtles, toothed whales, (Odontoceti) and Mediterranean monk seals.

RHODES

RHODES

RHODES - KOS - Mandraki Harbour

Across the street from the New Market is the harbour called Mandraki distinguished from the outer harbour by the 3 windmills and the fortifications at the end of the dock. Mandraki harbour was the military port of ancient Rhodes for almost 2.500 years, its mouth could be shut off by chains. Now the mouth is adorned by statues of a male and female deer ( Elafos and Elafina) symbols of the island - which stand on columns. These statues were built by the Italians and symbolize the actual deer they brought to Rhodes to get the island rid of snakes.
Mandraki is used by boats which leave there every day for short cruises to nearby islands and to bathing places on Rhodes. On the long breakwater front at Mandraki stand the three medieval windmills which ground the grain unloaded from merchant vessels in the harbor. The three windmills are actually all that remain of a line of 14 medieval windmills.
The 15th century Tower of Saint Nicholas at the end of the pier in the Mandraki harbor was the key to the defense of the city and in both the first unsuccessful siege of 1480 and the second and final siege of 1522-23 was pounded into rubble in some of the most ferocious battles in the defense of the city.

RHODES

RHODES

RHODES - Octopus vulgaris HCMR/HSR

The Aquarium of Rhodes is a research centre, aquarium and museum in Rhodes, Greece. It was built in the 1930s, when the island was under the Italian rule.

The building an Art deco design by the Italian architect Armando Bernabiti, was constructed between 1934 and 1935. It was first named the Reale Istituto di Ricerce Biologiche di Rodi (Royal Biological Research Institute of Rhodes). In 1945, when Italian rule ended, it was renamed the "Hellenic Hydrobiological Institute". Now it is known as the Hydrobiological Station of Rhodes.The Station carries out research on the oceanography of the Dodecanese. It is administered by the National Centre of Marine Research.

Today, the Hydro biological Station of Rhodes operates as a Museum and Aquarium and is also used a a  research centre.  The Aquarium belongs to the National Centre of Marine Research. The aim of the Hydro biological Station of Rhodes is the preservation and display of embalmed and living creatures of the Mediterranean sea.

In the aquarium the visitors can admire specimens of entozoan, molluscs (gastropods and cephalopods), species of the crab family, echinoderms, many fish families, as well as sea turtles. In the Museum are also displayed exhibits such as various kinds of sharks and other fish, sea turtles, toothed whales, (Odontoceti) and Mediterranean monk seals.

RHODES

RHODES

RHODES - Rhodes harbour

The first major commercial port on the island of Rhodes, Mandraki Harbour has been in continual use since 408 BC.
Now it is mainly used as a boating marina for pleasure craft and excursion boats where they can dock, protected by long breakwaters.
Adorning Mandraki Harbour are three disused windmills, built by the Knights of St John which ground the grain unloaded from merchant vessels in the harbour.
Flanking the harbour entrance are stone columns topped by figures of a stag and hind, the town's heraldic animals.
Mandraki is used by boats which leave there every day for short cruises to nearby islands and to bathing places on Rhodes.

RHODES

ATHENS

Roman Agora

The Roman Agora (Market of Caesar and Augustus) is located on the north side of the Acropolis, and a short distance to the east of the Greek Agora, with which it was connected by a paved street. An inscription (IG II2 3174) on the architrave of the monumental Gate of Athena Archegetis ("Athena the Leader") tells us that Julius Caesar and Augustus provided the funds for its construction in the 1st century B.C.

The Roman Agora consists of a large, open-air courtyard surrounded by colonnades on all four sides. On the eastern side, there were also a series of shops. On the southern side was a fountain. The main entrance was on the west (Gate of Athena Archegetis), and there was a second entrance (or propylon) on the east, leading up to a public latrine and the "Tower of the Winds." The Roman Agora apparently became the main market of the city, taking over many of the commercial functions of the Greek Agora, which had become something of a museum (or archaeological park) by that time.

ATHENS

SANTORINI

Santorini

Santorini is a small, circular archipelago of volcanic islands located in the southern Aegean Sea. Its spectacular physical beauty have made the island one of Europe's tourist hotspots.

The island is the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions the planet has ever seen: the Minoan eruption , which occurred some 3,600 years ago at the height of the Minoan civilization. The eruption left a large caldera surrounded by volcanic ash deposits hundreds of feet deep and may have led indirectly to the collapse of the Minoan civilization on the island of Crete, 110 km to the south, through the creation of a gigantic tsunami. Another popular theory holds that this eruption is the source of the legend of Atlantis.

Nowadays, a giant central lagoon, measuring about 12 km by 7 km, is surrounded by 300 m high steep cliffs on three sides. The island's capital, Fira, clings to the top of the cliff looking down on the lagoon

SANTORINI

SANTORINI

SANTORINI - Santorini

The island of Santorini is the southern most island of the Cycladic group in the Aegean Sea, and is located 63 nautical miles north of Crete. Its surface area is 73 square kilometers and its population, distributed among thirteen villages, just exceeds 13.600 souls. It is the most active volcanic centre in the Aegean Arc, though what remains today is largely a caldera. The name Santorini was given to it by the Venetians in the 13th century and is a reference to Saint Irene. Before then it was called Kallisti, Strongili or Thera.
Santorini was annexed to Greece in 1912.Major settlements in Santorini include Fira (Phira), Oia, Emporio, Kamari, Imerovigli, Pyrgos and Therasia. Akrotiri is a major archaeological site with ruins from the Minoan era. The island has no rivers and water is scarce. The primary industry of Santorini is tourism. The pumice quarries have been closed since 1986 in order to preserve the caldera of Santorini.

SANTORINI

SANTORINI

Santorini donkey

Donkeys and mules in Santorini are part of the native charm of the island. During the summer the main business of the day is carting the tourists up and down the endless steep steps which connect the town of Fira on top of the caldera to the small port of Ormos at the bottom. The animals are extremely adept at negotiating the steps, but be aware that they do have a tendency to go faster than one might expect, taking bends in real racing style.

Thanks to the unceasing devotion of animal welfare pressure groups, the condition of the mules and donkeys has improved considerably over the years. The donkeys in Santorini are well cared for, registered with the local government and they are not forced to work under harsh labour conditions.

In Fira, for instance, the donkeys are divided into groups in order to work in equally divided shifts. Each group takes passengers up the hill, then rests while another group goes down without carrying anything on their back. A third group then goes up with passengers, after which the first group goes down by themselves and then rests again. The schedule goes on that way so there is only one group working while two groups rest.

SANTORINI

GREECE

Satyr

In Greek mythology, satyrs are a troop of male companions of Pan and Dionysus that roamed the woods and mountains. In mythology they are often associated with sex drive and vase-painters often portrayed them with uncontrollable erections.

The satyrs' chief was called Silenus, a minor deity associated with fertility. These characters can be found in the only remaining satyr play Cyclops by Euripedes and the fragments of Sophocles' The Tracking Satyrs. The satyr play was a lighthearted follow-up attached to the end of each trilogy of tragedies in Athenian festivals honoring Dionysus. These plays would take a lighthearted approach to the heavier subject matter of the tragedies in the series, featuring heroes speaking in tragic iambic verse and taking their situation seriously as to the flippant, irreverent and obscene remarks and antics of the satyrs. The groundbreaking tragic playwright Aeschylus is said to have been especially loved for his satyr plays, but none of them has survived.

Satyrs acquired their goat-like aspect through later Roman conflation with Faunus, a carefree Italic nature spirit of similar temperament. Hence satyrs are most commonly described in Latin literature as having the upper half of a man and the lower half of a goat, with a goat's tail in place of the Greek tradition of horse-tailed satyrs.

GREECE

CORFU

Sissy's Achillion Palace

The Achillion Palace is ideally located in the picturesque village of Gastouri. This magnificent Palace was built exclusively for Elizabeth (Sissy), the Empress of Austria (King Otto of Greece was her uncle), in 1890. The palace used to serve as her summer retreat.

With the classic Greek statues that surround it, the palace is a monument to platonic romanticism as well as escapism and was, naturally, named after Achilles: Achilleion. The place abounds with paintings and statues of Achilles, depicting the heroic and tragic scenes of the Trojan war. The architectural style is Pompeian.

The impeccably landscaped palace garden is absolutely top class and makes for a picture perfect setting. Empress Sissi was captivated and awestruck by ancient Greek legends and mythology. Her favorite was Achilles on whose honor she dedicated the palace. The Palace garden is replete with rather artistically sculpted statues of the pantheon of Greek Gods and Goddesses that makes for a truly mythical setting.

The popularity of the Achillion Palace can be gauged from the fact that the much hyped James Bond movie – “For Your Eyes Only” was shot at this magnificent palace and immortalized.

CORFU

NAXOS

Sphinx

The Sphinx, a mythical creature with the head of a woman, the breast of a bird and the body of a lion, was a popular theme in the Archaic era.

The Naxos Sphinx was dedicated to the sanctuary of the oracle of Delphi by the inhabitants of Naxos, around 560 BC. The impressive marble statue stood on a tall Ionic column for a thousand years, until earthquakes and landslides finally toppled and buried it along with the rest of Delphi.

In 1861 several pieces of the Sphinx were found, but her head was missing. It was later discovered in a wall of the village that had grown up over the ruins and that was moved away by French archeologists who began to excavate the site in 1892.

The reconstructed Sphinx can now be seen in the Delphi Museum.

NAXOS

RHODES

Star Beach waterpark

Greece is not only famous for its archeological heritage. It is also a great destination for family holidays, with contemporary infrastructure built to offer a great time to those who also just want to relax, sunbathe and swim sometime during their stay in Greece.

Star Beach in Crete is one of those places that will offer a full day of fun for the entire family. The site offers a family area with a huge childrens' water park, water slides, a party area, a variety of water sports, bungee jumping, a spa center, bars and restaurants. There's something for everyone: families with kids stay near the kiddie pools and playgrounds, teens and young people tend to gather around the bar and on the grassy areas, while it's a more quiet atmosphere at the beaches. In the afternoon they turn up the music and there's a party atmosphere by the pool and bar.

RHODES

AEGINA

Temple of Aphaea

On the Greek island of Aegina in the Saronic Gulf, about 50 km from Athens, there is a ruin of the Temple of Aphaea. It is situated on the top of a hill covered with pines, in the north-eastern part of the island, and is distinguished by very good preservation.

The sanctuary was initially dedicated to the cult of Aphaea, a local goddess later assimilated by Athena. Finds dating from the prehistoric period - including figurines of breeding women - point to the conclusion that the cult was established very early, possibly in the beginning of the 2nd millenium B.C.

The imposing temple was built in ca. 500 B.C. An earlier building existed on the same position, built in the 6th century B.C. but it was burnt down in around 510 B.C.

AEGINA

DELPHI

Temple of Athena

Archaeologically there's little known about the early beginnings of Delphi. Excavations have revealed the site was a Mycenaean village from 1500 to 1100 BCE, during which time the primary religious emphasis was on an oracular cult of the Earth Goddess.

Located roughly one-half mile from the main concentration of buildings at Delphi, Athena Pronaia was the gateway to Delphi. The site, having been occupied since the Neolithic Period (5000-3000 BCE) and later by the Mycenaeans, may actually predate Delphi as a sacred place. Originally dedicated to the worship of an Earth Goddess, the shrine was eventually occupied by Olympian deities, Athena in particular. Athena's shrine stood near the entrance to Apollo's; hence the epithet 'of the fore-shrine', which is confirmed by inscriptions. Athena Pronaia, 'Athena before the Temple', was also called, by a sort of pun, Athena Pronoia, 'Athena of forethought.'

DELPHI

SOUNION

Temple of Poseidon

Ruins of the temple of Poseidon, constructed in the 5th century BC over the ruins of a temple constructed in the Archaic Period, are perched above the sea at a height of almost 60 meters. The columns of the temple are 6,10 meters high, with a diameter of 1 meter at the base and 79 centimeters at the top. Their grooves, fewer than usual (16 instead of 20), were intended to resist the weathering action of the sea air. The stone was quarried at nearby Agrileza.

The sculptural decoration of the temple, made of Parian marble, is preserved in a poor condition. The frieze of the east side depicted Centauromachy, and the east pediment (of which only a seated female figure is preserved) probably depicted the fight between Poseidon and Athena for the domination of Attica. Several of the columns of the east part of the temple are still preserved today, while the west is completely destroyed.

SOUNION

TINOS

The Church of the Evangelismos Theotokou

A local legend say that during the 19th century, a nun had a dream where the Virgin Mary told here to search in a specific place to find Here icon and built a church in Her name. The nun Pelagia told her dream to the priest of her village who convinced the inhabitants of Tinos to start excavation in order to find the sacred icon.

Finally, the icon of the Virgin Mary was found on the 30th January of 1833 and the inhabitants built the impressive church of the Annunciation on the site where they found the miraculous icon, dating from the Early Christian times. The miraculous icon of the Virgin Mary is on the left of the main entrance, on an iconostasis covered with the gifts and dedications of the faithful, as is the entire church. The interior is richly decorated with gold and various valuable icons.

TINOS

DELOS

The lions of Delos

The island of Delos, the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis in Olympian Greek mythology, is one of the most important mythological, historical and archaeological sites in Greece. The excavations on this island are among the most extensive in the Mediterranean.

The Terrace of the Lion was dedicated to Apollo by the people of Naxos shortly before 600 BC. It is estimated that between 9 and 16 lions were positioned along the Sacred Way, creating a monumental avenue comparable to Egyptian avenues of sphinxes. With their mouths open in a silent roar, they were set to inspire a divine fear to the worshipers.

The lions were found between 1886 and 1906, but only in 1999 they were moved to the Archaeological Museum of Delos, after the wind and sea water damaged the surface of the sculptures for almost 100 years after their excavation. Only 5 lions survived and from 3 other lions only fragments exist, while another lion was transported to Venice.

Delos is included in the World's Cultural Heritage list of Cultural Landscapes and Archaeological Remains under the protection of UNESCO.

DELOS

RHODES

Valley of the butterflies

The Valley of the Butterflies lies in the western part of Rhodes. This is a lush green valley with a small river running through it. The site is beautifully arranged, with little wooden bridges and stone steps. The characteristic scent of the pine resin, which attracts the butterflies, and the coolness from the flowing water make this a small paradise even during hot summer days.

Thousands of butterflies of the genus Panaxia overwhelm the valley in order to reproduce in the month of August. Unfortunatly, the population of the Panaxia has been constantly in decline over the last few years due to several factors, one of the most important being the disturbance by visitors. The butterflies have no stomach and during mating season survive mainly from the energy stored from their previous lives as caterpillars. The disturbance of visitors is however forcing the butterflies to fly all day, consuming valuable energy.

Visitors should therefore be very considerate not to disturb these beautiful creatures in any way (hand clapping, whistling etc).

RHODES

RHODES

Valley of the butterflies

The Valley of the Butterflies lies in the western part of Rhodes. This is a lush green valley with a small river running through it. The site is beautifully arranged, with little wooden bridges and stone steps. The characteristic scent of the pine resin, which attracts the butterflies, and the coolness from the flowing water make this a small paradise even during hot summer days.

Thousands of butterflies of the genus Panaxia overwhelm the valley in order to reproduce in the month of August. Unfortunatly, the population of the Panaxia has been constantly in decline over the last few years due to several factors, one of the most important being the disturbance by visitors. The butterflies have no stomach and during mating season survive mainly from the energy stored from their previous lives as caterpillars. The disturbance of visitors is however forcing the butterflies to fly all day, consuming valuable energy.

Visitors should therefore be very considerate not to disturb these beautiful creatures in any way (hand clapping, whistling etc).

RHODES

VERGINA

Vergina Sun (Macedonian Star)

The Vergina Sun or Star of Vergina is a symbol of a stylised star with sixteen rays. It was found in archaeological excavations in Vergina, in northern Greece, where it was discovered on a golden larnax found by Professor Manolis Andronikos in 1977 in the tombs of the kings of the ancient kingdom of Macedon. The larnax is on display at the archaeological museum in Vergina, very close to where it was found. Another version of the Vergina Sun, with 12 rays, was found on the larnax of Olympias.

Following the discovery of the larnax, many Greeks adopted the Vergina Sun as a symbol of continuity between ancient Macedonian culture and modern Greece. The symbol is now widely used within Greece; the Vergina Sun on a blue background is commonly used as a state emblem of the three peripheries, the prefectures and the municipalities of the region of Macedonia. Flags displaying the Vergina Sun in this fashion have been used since the 1980s.

VERGINA

THESSALONIKI

White Tower

The White Tower on the waterfront of the city of Thessaloniki houses the Byzantine museum and has been adopted as the symbol of the city. It is one of the leading tourist attractions.

The most widely accepted view is that the tower was built immediately after the city fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1430. The monument has changed many names in the course of time and has been used for various purposes before it acquired its present name and function. In the eighteenth century it was called the "Kalamaria Fortress", and in the nineteenth century, when it was a jail for long-term prisoners, it became the "Janissaries' Tower" and the "Bloody Tower".

In 1890 a prisoner named whitewashed it in exchange for his freedom, after which it became known as the "White Tower".

THESSALONIKI

ZAKYNTHOS

ZAKYNTHOS - Caretta Caretta

Caretta caretta is commonly called the "Loggerhead" sea turtle due to their overly large heads which is comprised of a horny beak and is significantly thicker than other sea turtles. This species is the largest hard-shelled turtle in the world. Color patterns are reddish-brown with darker streaks and their front flippers possess two claws. Subadults have carapaces 45 to 90 centimeters in length and adults weigh between 77 to 227 kg and have a carapace 0,9 to 1,2 meters in length.
The loggerhead sea turtle has become an endangered species that can only be found in the Mediterranean Sea.

ZAKYNTHOS

GREECE - ZAKYNTHOS

ZAKYNTHOS -Caretta Caretta

The loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta), or loggerhead, is an oceanic turtle distributed throughout the world. It is a marine reptile, belonging to the family Cheloniidae. The average loggerhead measures around 90 cm (35 in) long when fully grown, although larger specimens of up to 280 cm (110 in) have been discovered. The adult loggerhead sea turtle weighs approximately 135 kg (300 lb), with the largest specimens weighing in at more than 450 kg (1,000 lb). The skin ranges from yellow to brown in color, and the shell is typically reddish-brown. No external differences in gender are seen until the turtle becomes an adult, the most obvious difference being the adult males have thicker tails and shorter plastrons than the females.

Bay of Laganas is the site of the first National Marine Park on Zakynthos and the prime nesting area for loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) in the Mediterranean. In the early 1980s, the Bay of Laganas was seriously threatened as a nesting habitat, but thanks to the efforts of MEDASSET founder and president Lily Venizelos it could be preserved. Caretta caretta is an endangered species – especially by the deck chairs laid out on their breeding grounds and the inevitable pollution. Every year at the beginning of June, the female turtles come to the southern beaches in order to bury their eggs in the sand.[13] The incubation period for the nest is approximately fifty-five days, after which time hatchlings emerge from the nest and make their way to the sea. The survival rate for hatchlings is very small, and it is estimated that only one in one thousand hatchlings that enter the sea lives to adulthood. Each nest contains around one hundred to one hundred and twenty eggs, each of which are around the size and shape of a ping-pong ball. Female turtles begin to lay nests at around twenty to thirty years of age.

  • Location information
  • http://www.zakynthos.net.gr

GREECE - ZAKYNTHOS

CRETE

Zeus and Europa

Europa was a Phoenician woman of high lineage in Greek mythology, from whom the name of the continent Europe has ultimately been taken. The story of her abduction by Zeus in the form of a white bull was a Cretan story.

The myth tells that Zeus was enamored of Europa and decided to seduce or ravish her, the two being near-equivalent in Greek myth. He transformed himself into a tame white bull and mixed in with her father's herds. While Europa and her female attendants were gathering flowers, she saw the bull, caressed his flanks, and eventually got onto his back. Zeus took that opportunity and ran to the sea and swam, with her on his back, to the island of Crete. He then revealed his true identity, and Europa became the first queen of Crete.

Zeus gave her a necklace and three additional gifts: Talos, Laelaps and a javelin that never missed. Zeus later re-created the shape of the white bull in the stars, which is now known as the constellation Taurus.

CRETE

OLYMPIA

Zeus Statue

In Greek mythology Zeus is the king of the gods, the ruler of Mount Olympus, and god of the sky and thunder. His symbols are the thunderbolt, eagle, bull and the oak. Zeus is frequently envisaged by Greek artists in one of two poses: standing, striding forward, a thunderbolt leveled in his raised right hand, or seated in majesty.

The Statue of Zeus at Olympia was one of the classical Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It was carved by the famed Classical sculptor Phidias around 432 BC in Olympia, Greece. The seated statue occupied the whole width of the aisle of the temple that was built to house it, and was 12 meters tall. It was a chryselephantine sculpture, made of ivory and accented with gold plating. In the sculpture, he was seated on a magnificent throne of cedarwood, inlaid with ivory, gold, ebony, and precious stones. In Zeus' right hand there was a small statue of Nike, the goddess of victory, and in his left hand, a shining sceptre on which an eagle perched.

OLYMPIA