Plakias is 35 kilometres south of Rethymno, on the southern coast of Crete on the Libyan Sea and is a popular tourist resort well-known for its award-winning Blue Flag sandy beach stretching for 1400 metres.
For intrepid early romantics on their Grand Tours to the18 million
travellers expected to visit this year, Greece has long been one of
Europe’s most alluring destinations. These posters, marking 100 years of
what is now the Greek National Tourism Organisation, highlight its
winning combination of culture, charm and sunshine!!
In 1922, Greece’s Bureau of Foreigners and Exhibitions is upgraded to a
‘Service’. In that year, under the heading Independent Travel without
Trouble, Thomas Cook’s Traveller’s Gazette begins: ‘Let us suppose one
is desirous of taking wife or family for a tour on the continent …’
In 1936, the Greek National Tourism Organisation is abolished by prime
minister Ioannis Metaxas. He orders all houses on the Cycladic islands
be whitewashed – for hygiene but also because he believed it made them
In 1941, tourism is
transferred to Greece’s ministry of national economy, where a
directorate of spa towns and tourism is created, despite the second
world war raging. At the end of the war, a secretariat general for
tourism is established.
This 1949 poster is from the time of the Marshall Plan, which provided
US aid to Europe after the second world war. A supreme council for
tourism is set up – but Greek finances are in disarray: ‘Since the
release of Greek territory from enemy occupation, the monetary system is
in a state of confusion,’ notes the Thomas Cook Continental Timetable.
By 1955, foreign tourist numbers to Greece have reached 200,000 – a
five-fold increase in five years. The average stay of the visitors is
In 1967, a Greek military junta – the ‘Regime of the Colonels’ – came to
power. For the first time, tourism numbers decline – by about 14% –
though they rebound the following year. In the UK, the government
imposes a £50 limit on the allowance for British citizens travelling
Greece is one of the first destinations to be chosen by Britannia
Airways for its new Boeing 737 jet, with charters from Luton to Athens.
In 1968, Jacqueline Kennedy marries the Greek shipping magnate Aristotle
Onassis on the Ionian island of Skorpios.
In 1980 there is evidence budget travel is flourishing, with the
publication of Europe: a Manual for Hitch-hikers. It says: ‘Greece is
one of the most beautiful countries on earth to get stranded for a few
hours.’Greece joins the EU in 1981, and the latest James Bond film, For Your Eyes Only, features the monasteries of Meteora.
In 1990 visitor numbers hit nine million for the first time, with some
tourists inspired by the movie Shirley Valentine, released the previous
year. Cephalonia features in Louis de Bernières’ 1994 novel Captain
Corelli’s Mandolin,about the Italian and German occupation of Greece in the second world war.
Greece win the 2004 UEFA European Championship, beating the hosts
Portugal in the opening group match and again in the final. The
following month, Athens hosts the Olympic Games. Visitor numbers to
Greece are now more than 13 million.
A skeleton has been found in the monument for the mortal who was probably worshipped by his society at the time
in northern Greece announced on Wednesday that they found a skeleton
belonging to a distinguished ancient celebrity from the time of
Alexander the Great in the ancient tomb at Amphipolis. Chief
archaeologist Katerina Peristeri speculated that “the tomb in all
probability belongs to a male and a general.”
The skeleton found is housed in a wooden coffin once held together by
iron and bronze nails and studded with bone and glass decorations.
Though the coffin has disintegrated over time, the skeletal remains are
intact and were found both inside and outside the floor of the tomb,
possibly as a result of the looting during ancient times.
Archaeologists estimate that the person whose remains were found was
1.8 meters tall, however there will need to be complex lab work and an
analysis of organic residue that could take months to complete before
having a clearer picture of the occupant of the tomb. The analysis will
allow archaeologists to restrict the number of potential candidates that
the tomb belongs to rather than point to a single person with
certainty, possibly Nearchos or Hephaistion, or even Alexander the
Great, event though finding the latter is unlikely if historical sources
are taken into account.
An analysis of the bone structure will give a clearer idea of the
occupant’s build, health and injuries they may have had during their
lives that could give scientists more clues when pinpointing the
identity of the occupant of the tomb.
The announcement of the discovery of the skeleton overshadowed any
other discussion on the monument and a number of serious questions
remain unanswered. For instance, the question as to why the monument was
sealed even though it had been looted. Furthermore, there is a strong
contrast between the pre-chambers and size of the monument compared to
the no-frills decor in the main burial chamber and the frugal space in
the underground cist grave where the skeleton was found.
The excitement of finding the skeleton dominated the discussion,
however noteworth is the fact that over 500 pieces of the surrounding
wall were found near the place where the Lion of Amphipolis sits. More
than 100 stones were discovered just a couple of days ago in Lake
Kerkini where the pieces were transferred in 1936 by the company Ulen
who were responsible for the construction of the Dam at Kerkini.
(Source:prototema, Greektoys, sketchfab)
The race brought people from 120 countries to run the ancient route!!
Kenyan long-distance runner Felix Kandie is the winner of the 32nd
Athens Classic Marathon with a record win after he covered the
42km-course in 2:10:36. With this result he broke the previous record
set by Italian Stephano Baldini at 2:10:55.
“This is my first time in Athens and I am happy,” he said. “I desired
to be in the top three and manage to do my best time. The people here
were very good and the atmosphere was welcoming. Running at the historic
Panathinaic stadium made me happy. I had heard about this stadium in
Kenya and I am very happy.”
Raymond Bett, also from Kenya, came second. This was his fourth time
at the Athens Marathon and he had reserved optimism despite being last
year’s winner and receiving first place in the Marathon twice and second
place twice in previous years. He was pleased with his time.
The best Greek winner was Christoforos Meroussis from the isle of Chios with 2 hours and 25 minutes.
A traditional recipe that brings out the flavor and the aroma of the fresh octopus.
Serves: 6 Preparation time: 30m Cooking time: 60m Ready in: 1h 30m
A traditional recipe that brings out the flavor and the aroma of the fresh octopus. Ingredients
An octopus weighing approximately 1½-2 kg, cleaned and washed
6 small striped eggplants cut in large cubes
6-8 small potatoes, halved or 4 medium potatoes, diced
1 large onion, finely chopped
5-6 ripe tomatoes, peeled and grated
1 bunch of parsley, finely chopped
2-3 bay leaves
2/3 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper Preparation method Step 1
Cut the octopus into large pieces and place them in a saucepan. Over
medium heat, let the octopus boil in its own juices until tender. Step 2
Sauté the eggplant cubes in half the oil until golden brown. Sauté
the potatoes for a few seconds and place them with the eggplant cubes. Step 3
Heat the remaining oil and sauté the onion until wilted. Add the
octopus and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Add the tomato, the parsley, the bay
leaves and the pepper. Do not add salt because the octopus itself is
salty. Simmer for 2 minutes. Step 4
Place over the octopus the eggplants and potatoes. Cover the saucepan
and let it the ingredients simmer until the octopus is tender and the
sauce thickens. If needed, add a little water occasionally. Taste for
salt at the end and season if necessary. Source: Olive magazine Chef: Georgia Kofina Photo: Vangelis Paterakis Food Styling: Antonia Kati
Αυξημένη κίνηση και έσοδα σχετικά περιορισμένα. Αυτά είναι
τα δύο βασικά χαρακτηριστικά που συνέθεσαν το καλοκαίρι την τουριστική
εικόνα στον Πλακιά Αγίου Βασιλείου, που είναι ένας από τους
δημοφιλέστερους προορισμούς της νότιας Κρήτης.
Παρόλα αυτά, οι επαγγελματίες του τουρισμού μιλούν για μία από
τις καλύτερες τουριστικές χρονιές των τελευταίων ετών, επισημαίνοντας
πως έχουν ήδη καταγραφεί οι πρώτες κρατήσεις και για την επόμενη
Μπορεί η τουριστική περίοδος που ρίχνει αυτές τις ημέρες την αυλαία της
να κύλησε με αρκετές δυσκολίες, εντούτοις χαρακτηρίζεται ως μία από τις
καλύτερες τουριστικές χρονιές των τελευταίων ετών για ξενοδόχους και
επαγγελματίες των νότιων περιοχών του Ρεθύμνου.
Καθ' όλη τη διάρκεια του καλοκαιριού η τουριστική περιοχή του Πλακιά
"πλημμύρισε" από χιλιάδες επισκέπτες που επέλεξαν αυτό τον προορισμό στα
νότια της Κρήτης για να απολαύσουν τις διακοπές τους και τις ομορφιές
Στη παρούσα χρονική στιγμή κάποια ξενοδοχειακά καταλύματα παραμένουν
ακόμα ανοικτά προκειμένου να παρέχουν του υψηλού επιπέδου τις υπηρεσίες
τους στους εναπομείναντες επισκέπτες της περιοχής.
Επαγγελματίες από το χώρο της εστίασης μιλούν για την παντελή έλλειψη
ελλήνων παραθεριστών στην περιοχή τους, ενώ δεν κρύβουν την ανησυχία
τους για τους μήνες του χειμώνα, οι οποίοι όπως μας λένε θα κυλήσουν
δύσκολα, αφού το «πικ» της τουριστικής σεζόν κυμάνθηκε μεταξύ Ιουλίου
Οι ίδιοι πάντως ατενίζουν με αισιοδοξία το μέλλον, καθώς είναι πλέον
πραγματικότητα οι πρώτες κρατήσεις για την επόμενη τουριστική σεζόν.
Και παρά το ότι ο Πλακιάς είναι ένας από τους δημοφιλέστερους
προορισμούς πολλών ευρωπαίων επισκεπτών, δυστυχώς, ακόμα "αιμορραγεί"
λόγω έλλειψης βασικών υποδομών. Το θέμα αυτό βρίσκεται ψηλά στην ατζέντα
της νέας δημοτικής αρχής, που δηλώνει αποφασισμένη να μην αφήσει καμία
χρηματοδοτική ευκαιρία να πάει χαμένη.
Arkadi Monastery is located near the
village Amnatos, 23km east of Rethymno. It is built at an altitude of
500m, on a fertile plateau with olive groves, vineyards, pine, cypress
and oak trees. Around the monastery there are several picturesque
chapels and from there starts the beautiful Arkadi gorge.
The exact date of the foundation of the
monastery is not known, but it is believed that it was actually founded
by Byzantine Emperor Arkadios in the 12th century. According to another
version, the name is taken after a monk called Arkadios, who first
founded the monastery. Moreover, the monastery was called Tsanli
Manastir by the Turks (i.e. beneficiary bell), as the Arkadi monastery
was the only Cretan monastery that had the right to ring its bells.
The initial church of the monastery was
dedicated to Saint Constantine and some ruins of it are preserved in the
northwestern part of the monastery enclosure. Arkadi is surrounded by
massif walls that made it impregnable from the enemies and its rich
fortification attracted the rebellious Cretans. Many Turkish and Greek
documents are referring to the life and the adventures of the monastery,
that provided educational, national, ethical and monetary support for
Arkadi is certainly the most historic
monastery of Crete and has become the most sacred symbol of the Struggle
of the Cretans for Freedom. It is the theater of the tragic battle of
1866, which opened the way for the liberation of the island in 1898.
Indeed, UNESCO has designated Arkadi as a European Freedom Monument.
The Battle of Arkadi
the Turkish occupation of Crete, the Cretans made many revolutionary
movements, such as the Revolution of Daskalogiannis in 1770, of the
Janissaries in 1821, against the Egyptians in 1822, of Gramvousa in
1828, of Chairetis in 1811. They all failed but strengthened Cretan
morale and hatred against the Turks. The Revolution that opened the way
for the Liberation of Crete was the Revolution of 1866, which, combined
with the revolutions of 1878 and 1895, put an end to the Turkish
Occupation in 1898.
The Cretan Revolution of 1866 brought a
blow against the Turkish Empire, caused significant economic damage and
stultified its military prestige. The Monastery of Arkadi from the first
moment of the Revolution was the center of the Cretan struggle. On May
1, 1866, 1500 Cretan rebels gathered under the leadership of Hadji
Michalis Giannaris and elected representatives of the various provinces
of Crete. As president of the Rethymno Commission, was elected the abbot
of Arkadi Monastery, Gabriel Marinakis.
When Ismail Pasha was informed of these
events he demanded that the abbot had to expel the Revolutionary
Committee from the monastery, otherwise he would destroy it. The abbot
refused and in July Ishmael Pasha sent his troops. However, the
Commission had abandoned Arkadi and the Turks only destroyed the icons
and sacred vessels of the temple. The committee returned in Arkadi and,
in September, Pasha reasked the abandonment of the monastery, otherwise
he would destroy it completely!
message of Ishmael was rejected and the rebels immediately started
organizing their defense. On September 24, Panos Koroneos arrived in
Bali and visited Arkadi with his soldiers, where he was announced as the
General Chief of Rethymnon. He organized the military defense and
pointed out that Arkadi is not suitable for defense. The abbot and monks
had the opposite opinion, so Koroneos set John Dimakopoulos as
commander and left Arkadi. The monastery was a refuge for many women and
children from the nearby villages. So, on November 7, in the monastery
there were 964 people. 325 of them were men of whom 259 were armed.
On the evening of November 7, an army
consisting of 6000 soldiers, 200 horsemen, 1200 Albanians and 30 cannons
departed from Rethymnon city. In the morning of November 8, 1866 all
that army, led by the groom of Mustafa Pasha, Suleiman Veis, was
standing in front of the monastery. The dawn of the same day found the
Cretans in the Divine Liturgy (in church). When the abbot Gabriel
learned that the Turks were established on the hills around the
monastery, he blessed all the rebels and everyone took up battle
Suleiman Veis asked from the Cretan warriors to surrender. The answer
was given by the shooting guns and the raised emblem - flag depicting
the Transfiguration of Christ (and now kept at the Museum of the
Monastery). The battle started.
Women helped by carrying ammunition and
water for the warriors, while the Turks were trying in vain to approach
and destroy the West Gate. The battle continued all day with many
casualties of the Turks. In the windmill outside of the gate (where the
ossuary is currently set) seven Cretans were hidden, who caused the
greatest damage to the Turks, but by the evening they were all killed.
At the night, the Turks brought two heavier cannons from Rethymnon. One was the famous bombard koutsahila,
famous throughout Crete for its devastating effectiveness. The
desperate besieged managed to send secretly the priest Kraniotis and
Adam Papadakis to ask for help from Koroneos and the other chieftains of
The two men managed to escape Arkadi and reach the other rebels, but
they could not help. It is worth mentioning that the heroic Adam
Papadakis decided to return the monastery, where he knew that he would
In the evening of November 8, the bell
rang for last time. Warriors, old men, women and children came to the
Holy Communion (Blessed Sacrament). Even children had understood that
they lived the last moments of their lives.
When November 9 dawned the battle began.
The new canons destroyed the western gate. The abbot ordered whoever
would manage to be alive when the Turks would enter the yard, to give
fire to the gunpowder storage room.
battle continued relentlessly. The Turks managed to enter the gate of
the monastery and the battle was bounded inside the monastery. Those
warriors that had run out of ammunition came to the courtyard and fought
with their swords. Many girls and women ran to the storey with the
powder kegs, as they preferred to surrender their bodies to the flames
rather than the atrocities of the Turks. When most of the Turks entered
the monastery, Dimakopoulos and other warriors, rushed with swords and
killed many Turks from those who were in the yard. After a while their
swords were broken and the Turks continued to come from everywhere after
the resistance had fallen from all sides.
It was now dark and most women had
gathered in the powder room. Kostas Giamboudakis then raised his pistol
and ordered anyone who wanted to leave the storey, as he would explode
the gunpowder. Hundreds of Turks were trying to break the door to
slaughter the Christians. Giamboudakis waited to attract as many Turks
as possible outside the door. Then he shot the powder kegs and a huge
explosion was heard. Stones, bodies, heads, ruins, soils were all mixed
and the souls of the Cretans passed into history forever.
After the explosion of gunpowder, John
Dimakopoulos and a few survivors continued to fight against the Turks
and the Albanians in the courtyard of the monastery. He decided to
surrender when he was guaranteed that the last alive defenders would be
left free. However, on the next day, they were all beheaded. Even today
you can see the marks of the swords on the dining tables. The result of
the holocaust of Arkadi, as this drama has prevailed in Greek History, was: 114 men and women prisoners, 864 dead Cretans and about 1500 dead Turks.
In the cypress of the monastery there
are still bullets of that battle. Pasha believed that his victory would
stop rebels in Crete. However, this battle was learned in Europe and
opened the closed doors of European diplomacy, changed the mindset and
tactics of the Great Powers towards Crete and led to its liberation in
Can’t get any more Greek than that… 3 main steps to a delicious pastitsio
Serves: a medium oven tray Preparation time: 40m Cooking time: 40m Ready in: 1h 25m Ingredients For pastitsio
500g. thick macaroni
3 tsp. tablespoons olive oil
3 egg yolks
1 tsp. tablespoons of butter
½ cup breadcrumbs
1 1/2 cup cheese, and / or Parmesan, grated
¼ tsp. fresh grated nutmeg
salt For the meat sauce
750g. minced beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 ½ cup tomato juice concentrate
1/3 cup red wine
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cinnamon stick
salt and pepper For the sauce
8 tsp. tablespoons butter
8 tsp. flour for all uses
1½ liter of milk, warm
3 egg yolks
½ cup grated cheese
Salt and white pepper Preparation method Prepare the meat step 1
Put the mince in medium pot over medium heat and with a wooden
spoon “crush” to let the fluids stand completely. Stir with the mince
the onion and garlic, and again stirl and add the olive oil. step 2
Saute until the mixture begins to stick to the bottom of the pan and
finish with the wine. Add the tomato juice, cinnamon, salt and pepper
and let the sauce simmer for 30-35 minutes until it thickens. Prepare spaghetti step 1
Boil in a saucepan 1 1/2 liter of water and add 1 tsp. teaspoon salt.
Put the pasta in the pot and cook for 6-7 minutes. Drain and toss with
olive oil until well smeared and dont stick together. Beat the egg
whites, add the pasta and stir in well. Prepare the sauce step 1
In a medium saucepan melt the butter and add the flour. Stir
constantly with a whisk until the flour gets a little color and remove
from fire. Keep 2-3 tablespoons of lukewarm milk, to mix with the egg
yolks and add the rest to the saucepan, stirring constantly with wire,
to prevent clotting. step 2
Put the pan back on low heat and let simmer, stirring constantly
until thickened. Turn off the heat and allow to cool. Mix the egg yolks
with 2-3 tablespoons of the milk that you keep cool and just a little
cream, add them. Season to taste and stir well to unite the egg cream.
Finally add the grated cheese and stir well. Prepare pastitsio step 1
Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Butter a medium oven tray and sprinkle
with breadcrumbs. Lay in the tray half of the pasta, sprinkle with 5-6
tsp. grated cheese and pure all the sauce over the meat. Sprinkle with
some cheese again and pure evenly over the remaining macaroni. step 2
Spread over the spaghetti sauce and sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake the pastitsio for 40-45 minutes, until it gets golden.
Two years ago Zahara from South Africa met the woman of his dreams,
Renata, from Hungary. Their love of diving brought them
closer so they decided to get married under the Cretan sea at Kalypso
Cretan village on the southwest of Crete, in the area of Plakias!!
The organizing committee of the “Athens Marathon. The Authentic”
has put out a call for volunteer music bands and individual musicians
to give rhythm and support to the runners of the 32nd marathon event. On 9 November 2014, all eyes will be on Athens
and the 32rd Athens Marathon, on the original course of 42,195m from
Marathonas to the Panathinaikon Stadium. The participating runners from
all over the world are asked to try their best, reaching in many cases
the ultimate of their human will and resources.
Bands and musicians are invited to offer their volunteer support and be
present somewhere along the Marathon course or in Athens center and
create a festive mood for participants and spectators of the event.
“Besides the purely sport aspect of the Athens Marathon event, this
is a city celebration in which everyone plays his part encouraging the
runners, applauding, cheering, dancing and singing,” the organizing
committee said. The call is open for amateur music bands, school music
groups, municipal philharmonic groups, individual musicians, dancing
groups and others.
Those interested can contact Dimitris Kondylis (Athens Marathon Music
Project Manger, +30 210 9657947, +30 6973 032425) to learn how and
where they may participate in the initiative.
GTP is the main tourism communication sponsor for the Athens Marathon. Τhe Authentic.
Greece’s significant tourism growth was discussed in a meeting in
London on Friday 31 October between Tourism Minister Olga Kefalogianni
and the chairman of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA), Noel Josephides.
General Secretary Panos Livadas, Greek Tourism Minister Olga
Kefalogianni and ABTA Chairman Noel Josephides. Photo source: Greek
Mrs. Kefalogianni is currently on an official visit to the United Kingdom to attend the World Travel Market (WTM) 2014 that will open on 3 November at ExCeL London.
During the meeting it was underlined that Greece has managed to become a priority destination for British tourism professionals.
Both sides agreed that attractive travel packages to Greece can be offered to British travelers, considering the variety of tourism forms the country has developed. Key factors also include the improvements made to Greece’s infrastructure and to the quality of offered services to tourists.
On his part, ABTA’s chairman informed Mrs. Kefalogianni that British
travel agents realized Greece’s tourism upgrade and for this reason
selected the country to host the ABTA 2015 Travel Convention. The fact that the convention will be held in Greece is considered a vote of confidence to Greece from the UK tourism market, an announcement by the Greek Tourism Ministry read.
The ABTA Travel Convention is considered a top tourism event and is
expected to attract over 600 British travel agents/ABTA members and
representatives of Internet companies Google, Yahoo, Tripadvisor and
travel writers of leading British publications. The convention will take
place at Costa Navarino, a luxury coastal resort complex in Messinia (Peloponnese), from 12-14 October.
According to Mr. Josephides, Greece has attracted the interest of the
British travel agents, something that is expected to show during next
year’s tourism season.