Search Results for: Travel with Pen and Palate

The harvest of Naxos and the Small Cyclades

Naxos is well known for its agricultural abundance. The 166 square mile island, largest in the Cyclades, has a fertile interior created by the surrounding mountains. Lush valleys provide produce such as the famous Naxos potato and citron as well as the products associated with dairy and grazing. According to legend, the young Zeus was raised on Naxos Island in a cave on Mt. Zas. The 3,300 foot Mt Zas (aka Mt. Zeus) is the Cyclades tallest mountain. It’s a hikers paradise. Zas Cave, was inhabited during the Neolithic era, which ended in 2,000 BC. Archaeological excavations have found...

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BY AURELIA    And therefore I have sailed the seas and come to the holy city of Byzantium. W.B. Yeats Sailing to Byzantium I don’t remember the exact date when I learned that my itinerary for my first journey to Northern Greece had been finalized, but I remember the season.  Looking through the open, upstairs window, I saw a courtyard with lush green bonnets still covering the trees and the carpet of jade velvet on the ground; the air was warm and dry.  August’s humid days were waning. I knew that when I returned in two months my view...

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Defining tradition on Lipsi Island, Greece

Island stories conjure images of remote destinations – Ascension or the Faroe Islands.  At just 16 square kilometers (10 square miles) with a permanent population of less than 800 and a nine-hour ferry from Athens to the far southeastern Aegean near the Turkish coast, Lipsi is an island lover’s dream and a journey to tradition.  Located in the Dodecanese group of 15 larger islands, many inhabited for over 4,000 years, Lipsi was absorbed into a succession of empires and rulers from the Romans and Ottomans to the Italian empire of Mussolini (1912-1943). All left their imprint on Lipsi. Expect Italian,...

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Essentials of Aigio: antiquities, wine and cuisine

Aigio, and its surrounding provincial region of Aigialeia, have been prominent in Greek recorded history since the 3rd millennium BC. Its wines were publicly praised as early as the 2nd century AD. Its cuisine, well, I’m writing about Greece – no further praise is necessary. Traveling throughout Greece for six years makes it difficult to state that any region is more important than another. Yet this is the legendary Peloponnese. Mythology holds that the gods were born in the surrounding mountains before relocating north to Mount Olympus. From the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD Olympia, less...

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Legendary Central Macedonia’s Serres and Kilkis

When cities can trace their heritage for 4,000 years, and they’re located in fabled Macedonia – land of Alexander the Great, Aristotle and Mount Olympus – “legendary” is not an inflated superlative. Twenty-first century Macedonia has rapidly become an international tourist destination. From the beaches of Halkidiki, the thriving city of Thessaloniki, the ancient ruins of Philippi to the unique Autonomous State of Mount Athos, Macedonia offers everything Greek in its northern location. Macedonia is the largest geographical region in Northern Greece. The scenic region is blessed with natural beauty. Mountains cover the largest part, and it has many...

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