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Greece – Daily Impressions

This website contains short daily impressions of my Greece trip with unedited photos.

Table of Contents

Day 1

Flight from Zurich to Athens

Athens

Church Theotokos Gorgoepikoos and Agios Eleytherios

Athens Cathedral

Day 2

Acropolis

Odeon of Herodes Atticus

Acropolis Museum

Zeus temple of Olympia

Spondi Restaurant – 2 Michelin stars

View of the Acropolis at night from Athens Gate Hotel

Day 3

View of the Acropolis from Athens Gate hotel by day

Anafiotika neighborhood

Roman Agora – The Tower of the Winds

Ancient Agora

The temple of Hephaisteion

Bust of Emperor Antonius Pius

A philosopher

Parliament – change of guards

Panathenaic Stadium

Central Market

Street art in Psiri district

Day 4

National Archaeological Museum

Museum of Cycladic Art

Benaki Museum

Sense Restaurant

View of the Acropolis

and on the Lycabettus hill

Greetings from the kitchen

Two types of bread, top right with goat cheese sprinkled with olive powder and bottom left with olive oil paste.

Lobster pasta with ouzo foam. The ouzo foam was the highlight of the evening for me.

Lamb with eggplant mousse

Four wonderful cheeses, including on the bottom left Greece’s first blue cheese, a goat cheese

View of the Acropolis from the restaurant

A great evening!

Day 5

Flight to Crete

Crete

Chania

Day 6

Morning buffet

Bay of Chania

Trimartiri Cathedral

In the city market hall

Restaurant Salis

The port of Chania

In the evening

Day 7

A last morning walk in Chania

Fishermen and lighthouse

Transfer to Rethymnon

Rethymnon

“Organized” beach of Icarus

Venetian fort

Neratze mosque

Rethymnon lighthouse

Venetian port

Day 8

Today I rented a car and drove into the hinterland.

Archaeological site of Phaistos

Landscapes, flowers and olive trees

Matala

A typical Greek salad

Cretan cemetery

Arkadi monastery

Margarites

Day 9

Drive to the island capital Heraklion.

Heraklion

Archaeological Museum of Heraklion

All exhibits are more than 2000 years old.

The Venetian port of Heraklion

Dinner at the excellent restaurant Peskesi

Day 10

The archaeological site of Knossos – Europe’s oldest city

Koules fortress

Historical Museum of Crete

Restaurant Kazoual – No. 1 on Tripadvisor

Sea bass with salt crust – wonderful

The Venetian port of Heraklion

Day 11

Actually, I would have taken the ship to Santorini today. But no ship leaves because of a nationwide strike. Thus, I stay one day longer in Heraklion.

Great ice cream from Da Vinci Gelato

Saint Titus Church

NTORE GASTRONOMY & SYMPOSIA Restaurant

Day 12

Since the strike lasted only one day, I was able to take the ferry from Heraklion to Santorini today.

We passed the Koules fortress in the port of Heraklion.

Santorini

View from my apartment

Visit to the excellent winery Artemis Karamolegos

A top wine was the Pyritis from over 120-year-old vines of the grape variety Assyrtiko.

This Vinsanto was also an excellent experience.

Fira

A walk along the crater rim of Fira

Sunset and dinner

Day 13

Good morning! View from my balcony!

Hike from Fira to Oia

Fira

On the left Skaros Rock, on the right Imerovigli village

Skaros Rock

Climbing Skaros Rock is an adventure and requires some serious climbing

View from Skaros Rock

While descending, I noticed that a woman was carrying a black cardboard box that is often used for ring storage. In fact, her boyfriend proposed to her on Skaros Rock after the dangerous climb and handed her the ring. She accepted it.

Continuing in the direction of Oia

On the left I can already see my destination Oia.

Oia

Ammoudi Bay

Fira

Sunset atmosphere in Fira

Day 14

Morning walk in Fira

The church of Imerovigli

Vine Restaurant

My last meal on Santorini.

In the evening I flew back to Athens.

Day 15

Today was the first time the sky was cloudy.

I picked up my rental car, with which I will discover the Greek peninsula Peloponnese in the next 12 days.

My first stop was the small town of Nafplion, which was the first capital of Greece after independence from the Turks and also the scene of both the coronation of the first Greek king and the assassination of his first prime minister.

Nafplion

Palamidi Castle

In 1388 the Venetians bought the city from French crusaders. Even today the Venetian lion adorns buildings of the city.

Bourtzi Castle

Bourtzi Castle is located on an island in front of the city.

Day 16

Drive to Mycenae.

Archaeological site of Mycenae

The Mycenaean civilization dominated the eastern Mediterranean between 1700 to 1100 BC.

Museum of Mycenae

Loukous Monastery

The monastery church, built in 1170, which is richly decorated inside. Unfortunately, taking pictures inside was forbidden.

Elonas Monastery

The town of Githio

The Marathonisi Peninsula

Restaurant Saga

I love sardines.

Evening atmosphere at the harbor

Day 17

Morning walk in Githio

The roof terrace of my hotel with pool

The shipwreck “Dimitrios” at Valtaki beach

The cozy town of Areopoli

Byzantine sculptures from churches in the area

The freedom fighter Petros Mavromichalis, who started the war of freedom against the Ottomans in Areopoli in 1821 with fellow fighters.

Vathia

Rivalries and blood feuds among families led to these fortified houses and the race for the tallest building. Throughout the Mani Peninsula there are many such villages, but Vathia is the most scenic.

Cape Tenaro – The southernmost part of mainland Greece

With the rental car I reached Mystras, where I stay overnight. Mystras is a Byzantine city of ruins, which I will explore tomorrow.

Day 18

By car I drove the few kilometers from the present village of Mystras to the entrance of the archaeological site.

Mystras

The Kastro Fort

The entrance to the fort

Church of St. Sophia

Built ca. 1350

Frescoes in the church of St. Nicolas

Built in the 17th century

Despot’s Palace

Pantanassas Monastery

Built in 1428

Perivleptou Monastery

Built in the middle of the 14th century

Church of St. Theodore

Metropolis

Archaeological Site of Tegea

Afterwards I drove to the mountain village of Dimitsana, from where I will hike the spectacular Lousios Gorge tomorrow.

Day 19

I took a cab to Stemnitsa so I could hike the 12 km back to Dimitsana.

Hike from Stemnitsa to Dimitsana

From Stemnitsa to the monastery Timiou Prodromou

The spectacularly located monastery Timiou Prodromou

On the way from Timiou Prodromou Monastery to Old Filosofou Monastery

The ruins of the Old Filosofou Monastery

The New Filosofou Monastery

The monastery even had a WIFI router without password, with which I could go on the Internet.

On the way from New Filosofou Monastery to Dimitsana

Back in Dimitsana

Day 20

With my car I drove to another mountain village.

Lagadia

The master builders and stonemasons of Lagadia were known throughout Greece for their artistry and were therefore often hired to build representative buildings, churches and schools.

Square of the heroes of the fight for independence

The Apollo Epicurius Temple of Bassae

This 5th century BC temple is very well preserved and was the first Greek structure to be recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986. To protect the temple from weathering, it is now wrapped. In addition, the temple was stabilized inside.

Afterwards I drove to Olympia, where I will visit the historic site and museums tomorrow.

Day 21

Olympia served as an important religious cult site for a long time. From 776 BC to 339 AD, that is for more than 1,160 years, the Olympic Games were held here every 4 years without interruption. It was not until the Christian Roman Emperor Theodosius I ended the games, as he would not tolerate this pagan event. An earthquake in 551 destroyed most of the site.

Ancient Olympia

The archaeological site

The site is extremely extensive and impressive.

The entrance to the stadium

The start line

and the finish line

The temple of Zeus

Museum of the History of the Ancient Olympic Games

The archaeological museum of Olympia

The statue of Nike, goddess of victory, which stood in front of the temple of Zeus.

Restaurant ‘Taverna The Garden’ at Hotel Europa

In the mountains of Greece and on the first evening in Olympia, I was not satisfied with the restaurants. However, ‘Taverna The Garden’ was a complete success: attentive service, excellent food and a wonderful place. And only a few euros more expensive than other places.

The food items are all amuse bouche, which are not charged.

Dorade and steamed vegetables

Sunset

At the end offered fruits

Tomorrow I travel on to Delphi, famous for its oracle.

Day 22

The big city of Patras was on my way to Delphi.

Patras

Achaia Clauss Winery

Founded in 1861 by an emigrant Bavarian, this winery is one of the best known in Greece.

Unfortunately, the visit was a disappointment. I could not reach the winery by phone before 10 am. When I arrived, I could only taste a heavy, port-like sweet wine, which I did not like. A tour did not take place.

Agios Andreas Cathedral

It is the largest Greek Orthodox church in Greece.

The skull relic of St. Andrew is kept in the silver vessel.

Archaeological Museum of Patras

Roman quarters and villas with impressive mosaics have been uncovered in the center of the city.

Gladiatore practicing

Afterwards I drove on to Delphi.

Day 23

Delphi was the most important oracle site of the ancient world.

Delphi

Athenians Treasury

The reconstructed Athenians Treasury, built to commemorate their victory in the Battle of Marathon.

View to the left to the temple of Apollo and to the right to the Athenian Treasury

Temple of Apollo

The Temple of Apollo built in the 4th century BC – It was the main temple where the oracle, a priestess, was active.

Theater

The theater was built in the 4th century BC and has a capacity of 5,000 people.

Stadium

It was built in the 5th century BC and had a capacity for 6,500 spectators. The Phytian Games were held here, the second most important in ancient Greece after the Games at Olympia.

Athena Proaina District

The Archaeological Museum of Delphi

For the friends of cat pictures: A cat in front of a marble sarcophagus found in a burial site at Delphi.

Overview of the area around the Temple of Apollo

Day 24

My day began with the PCR test required by the Swiss government for entry, which I took in the nearby town of Amfissa. It was my fifth PCR test.

Journey from Delphi to Corinth

I made a car stop in this small seaside town on the southern coast of mainland Greece.

The Rion-Antirion Bridge

This impressive bridge connects the Peleponnes with the Greek mainland. Before its construction, some technical complications had to be solved, because the deepest part of the strait is 65 meters deep and the subsoil is unstable. Moreover, earthquakes and strong winds are not uncommon and the two parts of land drift apart by 3 cm every year. It is therefore not surprising that the two-minute crossing costs € 13.50.

Ancient Corinth

View from the restaurant ‘Taverna Gemelos’ to the archaeological site

Octopus, vegetables and salad – but in Mexico the octopus was more tender

On a walk I was able to capture a few evening moods through the grille.

Day 25

Ancient Corinth

Apostle Paul dealt extensively with the issues of the Corinthians of that time in the Corinthian letters of the New Testament. He lived in the city for 18 months.

Museum

6th century BC

A marble sphinx on a tomb (6th century B.C.)

A sarcophagus (2nd century AD)

A mosaic from a Roman villa, in the center the god of wine Dionysus (2nd century AD).

Head of the goddess of love Aphrodite (5th century BC)

Archaeological site

The temple of Apollo was the center of the city

Apollo temple with a shopping arcade in the foreground

Spring and bath

The road to the port of Lechaion. In the background on the hill is the fortified settlement of Akrokorinthos, which I visited afterwards.

The Odeon

Akrokorinthos

Although I could drive up by car, I decided to take on the 1.5 hour climb. The walk was good training for the five-day hike through the Swiss Alps, some stages of the Via Alpina, which I will tackle next week.

The chapel

In the background the uppermost tower

View

On the hill, amazingly, there is a spring, the Upper Peirene Spring, which supplied the fortress with water.

Apollo temple with full moon rising

Day 26

On the last day of my trip I drove 13 km to the Corinth Canal.

Corinth Canal

The Corinth Canal, opened in 1893, considerably shortened the sea route from the Ionian to the Aegean Sea, as ships were spared the route around the Peloponnese.

In January 2021, the canal had to be closed due to landslides. The date of reopening is not yet known.

Flight back to Switzerland

Towards evening I flew back from Athens to Switzerland.

With this, a varied and instructive journey comes to an end.

 

This text is an automatic English translation from the German original by deepl.com