South (Peloponnese – Crete – Cyclades) – EXPLORING THE STORY OF HISTORY

Historical and mythical, picturesque and whitewashed with coloured windows and doors. The neighbourhoods of the South, surrounded by the sea, lush mountains and plains, nestled in the urban fabric, are a revelation for all our senses. Neighborhoods with a Venetian style in Crete, such as the Old Town of Chania and Rethymnon, the port of Heraklion and the Rethymno Fortezza. Neighborhoods with Byzantine and pre-revolutionary tower houses and medieval castles in the Peloponnese, such as Monemvasia, Mystras, the villages of Arcadia and Mani. Neighborhoods with Cycladic beauty, with white houses, blue orange windows and bougainvillea.

We choose folk songs of the Peloponnese that accompany Kalamatian and Tsakonian dances. We listen to unique Cretan mantinades, rizitika and Lassithian tunes that tell the story of the great island’s spiritedness. We dance to the sounds of the island ball and hashapiko.

With fragrances from the herbs and aromatic plants of Crete, Moria and the Cyclades, our heart is gladdened, our body is rejuvenated and our mind is relaxed. Dittany, flix and malotiras from the slopes of the Cretan mountains. Oregano, thyme, lavender, oranges and cedar from the Peloponnese. Rosemary from Gia, lily from Paros and capers from Syros.

What to choose from the richness of the Peloponnesian and Cretan land and the unique products of the Cyclades? Blessed olive oil, wine, renowned cheeses, fruits and vegetables, nuts, herbs and spices, fresh meat, seafood and whatever our stomach may desire. For the festive season, pork is the star of all dishes. We prepare Arkadian meat pie, roast pork, Cretan tziladia and we buy delicious smoked appakia. For island-style celebrations, we cook Naxian stuffed goat with various herbs and rice. We accompany it with the traditional Christ bread, which in Sparta is shaped in the shape of a cross, while on New Year’s Day we bake the Anafiotic “zaforito” bread with the special taste that the saffron gives it. We sweeten our palates with the “koufeto” of Anafi, a spoon sweet with almonds and pumpkin, with myconian gingerbread, traditional kourabies, melomakarona and Cretan xerotigana.

From the daily hustle and bustle we pass to the absolute peace and tranquility of nature, near rivers, lakes and gazing at the endless Aegean Sea. We follow the paths of Menalon, with Pan’s syringe ringing in our ears as he calls the nymphs of the green mountain with his music. Through paths with chestnut trees, century-old plane trees, dense vegetation and arched bridges we discover the beautiful villages of Arcadia, Messinia and Laconia. We discover the most beautiful village in Europe, Archanes Crete, with its colourful buildings and picturesque alleys. We wander in the fertile embrace of the Lassithi plateau, the largest in Crete, with traditional windmills and the mountains of Lasithi with their snowy peaks embracing it, creating an impressive scenery. We stop in Nafplio, climbing the 999 steps of the Palamidi and in Amorgos, climbing the 300 steps leading to the Monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa for a stunning view of the whole island and the blue Aegean Sea.

INFO The South is full of myths from ancient times. Zeus was born in the mountains of Crete, in the Peloponnese Hercules achieved many of his feats. Dionysus was born on Naxos, while the Cyclades, according to mythology, took their name from the homonymous Nymphs, daughters of the Ocean, whom Poseidon transformed into rocks.