Impressions of West and Central Greece
It's stretching geography a bit to bring together into one single story the entire central area of Greece, from the Ionian Sea to the Aegean. But it allows us to present you with an unequalled cross-section of what this country stands for and what it has to offer, from the ancient sites of Delphi and the less known ones in the West, in Aitolo-Akarnania to the absolute highlight of Byzantine creation, the monasteries of Meteora, all the way to the beauty of nature and the simple and robust villages of the Pilion peninsula in the East. And along with that we also pick up some windfall insights: were all well aware that the oldest known neolithic settlements in Europe are to be found near Volos? And did we know why St Christopher is sometimes depicted on frescos with a dog's head? Did we ever consider that ancient Greek athletes had a far more busy schedule than just the Olympic Games every four years? Would we have known that some icons can fly if we had not visited the Monastery of the Theotokos Myrtias near Lake Trichonida? The answers are here. Have fun.
Before visiting the place of your choice:
Over a length of 10 kilometres the Pineios River struggles itself a way through the narrow and sinuous passage between the Olympos and Ossa Mountains, before it throws itself into the Aegean Sea near the beach resort of Platamon. At certain places the massive wall of rock rises up to 500 metres vertically above the valley floor and the Pineios river bed. A suspension bridge over the wild water flow leads to the Northern river bank, where a small church for Aghia Paraskevi and a narrow cave chapel raise the curiosity of travellers passing by. They invariably light a candle in the church yard, praying for the health of their loved ones and themselves, then enter the cave chapel nextdoors, and come out again after a while, their backs all but broken by the very, very low ceilings and the narrowness of the hewn passage.