GREECE: THE COUNTRY OF MYTHS AND THE SUN
Greece is a country of legends, olives and sun. The light and friendly nature of the Greek people creates an atmosphere in which you want to relax, travel and gain new bright emotions. When I chose a place for my vacation, my choice fell on the Peloponnese, the area of Corinth and Loutraki. The friendly staff of the AvesTrevel agency kindly prepared for us a map of the places that you should definitely see and which became very useful during our trip.
If you want to see live, natural and real Greece, then you are at the Peloponnese.
From Kiev, the flight is carried out in Athens. It is about 100 km from Corinth. But, rent a car at the airport, the journey takes about an hour.
From the area of Corinth, namely Istmia (Istmia) is very convenient to travel by car. We lived in this particular region at the King Saron hotel, so we will describe the routes from this place. I write the names of cities in English for the convenience of searching in the navigator.
The first place you should definitely visit is the Corinth Canal or the Corinth Canal (Corinth Canal). This is an impressive channel that can be seen traveling from Atticus to Peloponnese. In 1893, the construction of the canal was completed, 6 meters long and 23 meters wide, connecting the Corinthian and Saronic gulfs. Walking along the channel that crosses the bridge, you feel a slight thrill looking at the vertical slopes. But this feeling is quickly changing to the delight of the color of water and the colors of the slopes, due to the different composition of the rocks of which they are composed. This channel captures, amazes and surprises at the same time. It needs to be felt.
An interesting fact is that the construction of the canal all the ships to get from Piraeus to the Adriatic Sea bypassed the Peloponnese, and this is 185 miles. Therefore, even in the VII-VI centuries BC. The road was built on the site of the current Corinth Canal from stone slabs “diolk”, along which ships were dragged by carriages from one side of the bay to the other.
Just outside Istmia, there is the small town of Loutraki. This place is interesting for its location on the coast and the crystal clear water of the Ionian Sea, and besides this there is a thermal resort. The thermal waters of this place have a healing effect. In addition, the thermal pool complex can be visited in winter. Traveling this town is to make a beautiful photo at the waterfall, which is located right on the road, at the end of the embankment.
Leaving Loutraki behind the next place to be seen is the salty lake Orion, also called Vouliagmeni (Vouliagmeni Lagoon). The lake was formed as a result of tectonic processes. This is a very beautiful lake in the mountains, which is connected to the sea by a narrow strait. There are beaches with white sand where you can swim and taverns that offer tourists a large selection of fresh seafood. The road from the lake ends with a cape with the ruins of Ancient Heraion – the sanctuary of Hera. Here you can see the foundation and the remains of the temple of Hera, and again you can swim and sunbathe on an incredibly beautiful beach.
Then you can go on the passes of the Gerani Mountains and go to the city of Agia Sotira, which is located on the Ionian Sea, where again we have a view of the incredibly beautiful crystal clear waters and numerous beaches. You can drive on mountain roads, drive into the monastery. For example, the St. Patapia Convent is located at an altitude of 700 m above sea level and it must be remembered that the mountains are high, the roads are narrow, therefore this route is recommended for experienced drivers. True, the mountain landscapes are worth it.
The next day you can travel around the Peloponnese. I recommend to visit the Caves of the Lakes, which are located near the town of Kastria. From the region of Isthmia you can get there through mountain passes with impressive views. To go there about 1.5 hours, and the beauty of nature around will make the trip unforgettable.
Now talk a little about the most fabulous caves. This is a rare natural phenomenon unique in its kind in that in addition to the labyrinths, amazing stalactites and stalagmites in these caves there are three-level lakes. The channel of the underground river is investigated up to 1980 m (only 500 meters are open for tourists). In winter, when snow is thrown, the underground river fills up and creates many waterfalls, in summer the water of the lakes of the first level evaporates and the original lace of stone baths and partitions up to 4 meters high opens for inspection. Water is stored only in 13 lakes and is so transparent that you can see the bottom (although in some places the depth is 6 meters). Sculptural compositions of stalactites on the walls are impressive. Despite such a miracle, you admire his naturalness, which was created by nature.And of course a separate day of travel deserve Athens. The Acropolis, the Ancient Agora, the Tower of the Winds, the Theater of Dionysus, the Arch of Hadrian, the Temple of Zeus, the National Library of Greece, the Byzantine Museum and many more interesting things worth seeing. And all this requires a separate story.
I am sure that small cities, cozy streets, azure coves, many beaches, Greek hospitality and unrealistically delicious cuisine will surely leave a good impression about traveling to the country of myths.