#07a. Central Greece
Evia, Skyros, Viotia, Fokida, Fthiotida, Evritania
Also known as Roumeli, with diverse beautiful landscapes from wild green mountains to hidden azure coves, remote laid back villages, and iconic ancient ruins.
- Explore the forgotten remnants of ancient Thebes and the playground of the Muses
- Discover beautiful hidden coves at the northwestern shores of Corinthian Gulf
- Find cryptic answers to your own personal prophecy at the Oracle of Delphi
- Pay homage to the defiant ancient and modern heroes of Thermopylae
- Learn how local community initiative can transform a place in the playful Pavliani park
- Discover haunting memories of National Resistance and the Greek Civil War
- Enjoy breathtaking mountain scenery at Evritania, the “Switzerland of Greece”
- Hunt for mysterious dragon houses and whistled languages at the remote south Evia
- Search for pockets of serene green hope at the wildfire scorched northern Evia
- Meet the social Skyros pony breed and relax in tranquil white washed villages
Ideal season: Spring / Summer
Ultimate souvenir: a personal prophecy from the Oracle of Delphi
Viotia & Fokida
The south part of Central Greece lies at the end of the long Pindos mountain range, bordering the northern shores of the Corinthian Gulf. It is a destination mostly known for its mountain activities, centred in Arachova and Parnassos mountain ski centre, the largest and most organised in Greece, although there are also many picturesque undiscovered coves and beaches. Elikonas is another beautiful mountain in the area, playground of nymphs and Muses.
The region is especially rich in history, as Thebes was the 3rd most important town in ancient Greece, featuring prominently in legends ever since Mycenaean times. Of course the UNESCO listed Oracle of Delphi is the main archaeological focus, but there are several other locations to discover. In recent history, Central Greece featured prominently in the Greek War of Independence, known then as Roumeli (“land of the Romans”, meaning “Christian Orthodox” under the Ottoman administration).
Fthiotida and Lamia is one of the least visited parts of Greece, and probably for a good reason, as at first glance there are no places of particular cultural interest, or nice beaches to swim, and the local infrastructure is severely outdated and of low quality, such as Kamena Vourla. However, the wild mountains around Pavliani are full with beautiful green nature and scenic hiking trails, and the (former) narrows of Thermopylae beckons travellers to pay homage to numerous acts of resistance, in combination with several thermal springs in its vicinity. So even if Fthiotida does not shine as a destination on its own, it makes a perfect en route addition to a trip to Viotia or Evrytania, or as a short weekend mountain getaway.
Evritania is one of the least visited and most magical destinations of Greece, filled with wild mountains, sleepy villages, and so incredible natural beauty, that it may well bring a traveller to tears. Expect hidden valleys, azure lakes, medieval monasteries, and warm hospitality. Aptly nicknamed “the Switzerland of Greece”, Evritania has a lot of hiking trails for the summer (and a small ski centre for the winter), although most are of rather higher difficulty, reaching high peaks of 2000+m. The gorge of Panta Vrechei is considered one of the most beautiful in Greece, although impossible to reach without a group tour (or a good 4×4 vehicle).
Evritania was also prominent during the Nazi occupation in WWII, as a base for local partisan groups, and it was here that the “Partisan Mountain Government” was formed and established in early 1944, and leftist partisan heroes are still venerated in the secluded valleys. Essentially, this created a practically free Greek state, that the occupiers could not control. It should be noted that the name “Agrafa” means the “unwritten ones”, as according to the legend the valleys were so difficult to reach, that the Ottomans never bothered to set foot and establish their rule. In most ways, the valleys still remain wild and free (hence the unpaved roads), although recent plans to build extensive wind turbine parks threaten the serenity of the mountains and local wildlife.
- How the mighty has fallen. From glorious ancient city to forgotten provincial town.
How close do we feel to our “glorious past”? Should we feel obliged to honour it?
- Kopaida: the flood memory of a ghost lake.
Do we take into consideration the powerful will of Nature, when we conduct our short sighted human plans?
- The three resistance acts of Thermopylae. From Leonidas to Diakos to Gorgopotamos bridge.
What can we achieve by collaboration? What do we lose through strife?
- The community success story of Pavliani park. How local initiative can put a place on the map.
What projects would you start in your community, and how would you motivate people to follow?
- The secluded villages of Agrafa valley, so far removed from modern civilisation.
What values do people who choose to live in such places have? Which things/ideas do they hold dear?
- The resilient haunting memories of National Resistance and the Greek Civil War.
How easy (or even possible) is the reconciliation, and what would be the path which will lead there?
Exploring with minds wide open
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*indicative cost, based on past experience