All About Alexander the Great

According to the historian Plutarch, there were many favorable omens surrounding the birth of the man who would become known as Alexander the Great. Of course, the most fortuitous sign was that his father was the king of Macedon.

As a young boy, Alexander showed great promise, applying himself successfully to many pursuits. When he became a teenager, the great philosopher Aristotle was hired to tutor him and his potential reached even greater heights.

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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.

History of Greek Independence

March 25th is a day of celebration in Greece as the people celebrate their Independence from the Ottoman Empire. This date is a symbolic one, chosen to represent the beginning of the movement that led to the Greek War for Independence. The successful conclusion of that war gave the Greek people their freedom. Here’s more information about the history of this holiday:

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Take a Day Trip to Cape Sounion

Cape Sounion is located at the southernmost tip of the Attic peninsula (or Attica) in Greece. This is a historical region that encompasses Athens. The history of Attica is closely tied to that of Athens, especially the Golden Age during the classical period. Here’s what you should do when taking a day trip to Cape Sounion.

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About the NHS Collaboration with the Hellenic Museum

The National Hellenic Society (NHS) has collaborated with the National Hellenic Museum (in Chicago) to create a couple of projects that will preserve Hellenic heritage in America. These projects are just two more ways the NHS is involved in making sure generations to come have access to their history. Here’s what you should know about this important collaboration.

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Do Greeks Cook with Wine?

Wine plays an important part in the Greek culture. Even during ancient times, wine was an important staple. The Ancient Greeks would trade wine as a commercial product across regions. It is still an important addition to the dinner table and it even makes its way into certain dishes in Greek cuisine. Here’s what you should know about Greeks cooking with wine:

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Get to Know the Most Popular Greek Dances

It’s true that the Greek people love to dance, and this is evidenced in the thousands of traditional dances that can be found throughout the country. Many of these dances have been around in some form since ancient times. These dances are present at holidays, weddings, festivals, birthdays, and are even dances for the fun of it any time of the year. The dances listed here are considered to be some of the most popular and recognizable:

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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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Catch a Glimpse of History on Thessaloniki

With a population of over one million people, Thessaloniki is the second largest city in Greece and the capital of Greek Macedonia. It is considered to be a top destination in Greece for visitors, and it also has a rich history. While visiting, consider checking out some of these historical sites:

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An Overview of Greek Liqueurs

There is a great selection of delicious and aromatic Greek liqueurs available. They come from different regions and are made from various ingredients. In 1995, the Greek Federation of Spirits Producers (or S.E.A.O.P.) was founded. Here’s what you should know about Greek Liqueurs.

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