Visit the Island of Ikaria

Ikaria is one of those islands that makes you feel as if you’ve truly escaped the stresses of modern life. Located in the Aegean Sea, the island is known for its traditional way of life, gorgeous beaches and scenery, and for its unique diet. This is the perfect place to visit if you want to get a feel for what traditional Greek life is really like. Here are some things you should absolutely do while here:

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Get to Know the Greek Dark Ages

When we think of the heroes of Ancient Greece, chances are pretty good that most of those stories originated during the Mycenaean Age, which is considered to be a high time during Ancient Greek History. However, we do know that the civilization didn’t last and when it collapsed, what followed was a period in history known as the Greek Dark Ages. Here’s more information about this time period:

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Common Culinary Greek Herbs and Spices

It’s true that food is one of the biggest parts of Greek culture. Part of what makes Greek cuisine so special is its use of herbs and spices. Simple meals can be transformed by adding a pinch of this or a dash of that, in pursuit of the perfect blend of seasoning.What’s even better, herbs can be grown right at home in a garden or even in pots on a balcony or patio. Manyof these herbs can also be grown indoors. Here’s more information about the most common herbs and spicesfound in Greek cuisine:

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Learn About the Greek Evil Eye (Mati)

The Greek evil eye, or mati, is a curse given by one person to another by way of a spiteful or bitter look. This usually happens when the person receiving it is unaware of what’s happening. It is a negative energy, such as jealousy, anger, or hostility that creates the evil eye. Here’s what you should know about the Greek evil eye.

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Visit Zagori on Mainland Greece

Parts of mainland Greece are known for their gorgeous mountain scenery. One of those places, Zagori, should definitely be visited if you’ll be spending time on the mainland. It has become a popular fall and winter destination that has provided many activities over the years, including hiking, horseback riding, and trekking. Here are some places to put on your list to visit while in Zagori and the surrounding area:

Vikos Gorge

Vikos Gorge is located in Epirus, which is northwest of Greece. It has one of the second deepest gorges in the world after the Grand Canyon in the U.S. The walls are as high as 1,040 meters at several points, providing breathtaking views that you won’t want to miss. In addition, the Voidomatis River crosses this region and provides even more spectacular views of the surrounding scenery.

It’s become a popular tourist attraction, especially for sports lovers. Aside from rock climbing and mountain biking, the most popular activity is hiking. Hiking groups frequent this area to walk the excursions along the paved trails of Zagori.

During these excursions, you can check out the Byzantine monasteries, the famous stone bridges, and the quaint villages. While the hiking excursions are nice, it’s very easy to get lost and much less dangerous when hiking in small groups. You and your group should always hike with a tour guide in Vikos George.

Papigo Village

This village is located on the highest points of Mount Tymfi, also known as Gamila. It’s one of the most beautiful villages in all of Zagori. This area can be easily accessed by walking over the Voidomatis River Bridge. Then it’s important to travel the road to Papigo Village since you’ll come across two districts: Megalo and Mikro. The road that leads to Papigo brings you the wonder of old Greece.

Once you walk along Papigo Village, you’ll wonder if it’s too late to travel back to your original accommodations. It’s likely that you can stay the night in one of the original houses in the village. If you don’t have a vehicle, you can take a bus to Papigo Village from Ioannina, which is available three times a week. Keep in mind that the bus leaves every morning and returns in the early afternoon.

Rizarios Centre for Exhibitions in Zagoria

This center is located in Monodendri Zagoria and was founded in 2001 as a tribute to Georgios and Manthos Rizaris, who was born and raised in Monodendri. They found success with their businesses in Russia and provided aid to the Greek War of Independence. They also used their wealth to start a non-profit organization.

The Rizarios Centre is found inside the Pantazis Mansion, which has been renovated by the Rizarios Foundation. The Centre is used to maintain the photogenic heritage of Greece. It also includes an outdoor theatre that has regular plays and musical performances.

Voidomatis River

The Voidomatis River flows through the villages in Epirus and Zagoria. It’s considered one of the most beautiful outdoor attractions in Greece. This river attracts tourists from all over the globe during the holidays. It’s famous for is clean water and traditional stone bridges. It has clean, crystal-clear water that’s safe enough to drink and splash in.

Popular water activities include canoeing, canyoning, rafting, river trekking, and more. Sever excursions and sports organizations have been founded along Voidomatis River. This river also crosses the Vikos-Aoos Natural Reserve, which is considered to be one of the most beautiful reserves in Greece. You’ll find plenty of villages and Byzantine monasteries, such as the Monastery of Panagia Spileotissa, which was dedicated to the Virgin Mary.

Monodendri Village

This village is located in Central Zagoria and sits at an altitude of 1,060 meters. You can access this village by traveling from Vikos Gorge and walking the cobbled paths that lead to the Misiou Bridge. This village consists of churches, manors, and schools, along with special attractions such as the monastery of Prophet Elias.

The most famous attraction in this village is Vikos Gorge, which was previously mentioned. This steep canyon makes Monodendri a popular spot to visit. Most of the architecture and construction from the 17th and 18th centuries are still preserved to this day. Also, the abandoned monastery of Agia Paraskevi, provides an amazing view of the entire village.

While visiting mainland Greece, you should consider heading to Zagori and the surrounding area. This area has a lot of natural beauty for you to enjoy and there are also some worthwhile attractions to visit.

Theater Was Invented in Ancient Greece

Most of us don’t think twice about the theater. It’s a large part of our culture and people have been attending plays and musicals for enjoyment for years. Some of us even make a living in the theater world by working as actors, writers, or in technical roles such as set and lighting design.

Did you know that if it wasn’t for the Ancient Greeks, theater may not even exist? Ancient Athens was the center of performance, and actors appeared as characters from the works of renowned playwrights like Sophocles and Aristophanes. Ancient Greek theater provided a foundation for many of today’s theatrical genres and traditions. Here’s more information on how the Ancient Greeks invented theater:

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All About Greek Meze

There is a culinary tradition in Greece and other Mediterranean countries referred to as meze. This is a concept that closely resembles our concept of “appetizers”, but in Greece, it’s much more than that. These small plates are meant to be shared and enjoyed amongst friends and family over a long period of time. Here’s a look at what traditional mezeare in Greece:

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Getting to Know the Tebtunis Papyri Project

The Tebtunis Papyri is the largest collection of papyrus texts in the Americas. The collection is so large it has not been counted or inventoried in full, but is thought to exceed 30,000 pieces. The National Hellenic Society has been involved with learning about these papyri and also protecting them. Here’s what you need to know about the Tebtunis Papyri Project:

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Top Beaches on Mykonos Island

Mykonos is one of those Greek islands that people flock to each year. They are attracted to the gorgeous scenery, relaxing way of life, and the gorgeous beaches. Although Mykonos is known as a party island, it is also great for families, too. The island has so many beaches, though, soit can be hard to choose which one is perfect for you. Here’s a look at our favorite Mykonos beaches to visit:

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Greek New Year’s Tradition of Vasilopita

On New Year’s Day and throughout the month of January, Greeks all over the world serve a special bread-like cake called “Vasilopita,” and there are many traditions associated with it. The cake is served on New Year’s Day, often at the stroke of midnight. Here’s more information about this tradition:

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