Revitilization in just three days

Greece is a wonderful country with ideal weather conditions and unique light! It is a place where sea and mountains mingle with harmony creating landscapes of exceptional beauty, capable of satisfying even the most demanding travelers.
Last week I had the chance to make a short yet revitalizing trip. In the heart of winter but with the sun following every step, heating hearts and mood, I have visited within only three days an enchanting island, a group of mountainous, scenic villages and a city full of night life. Greece...such a small country, yet so concise!

Wednesday: Lefkada, Kathisma beach. Temperature is 12oC. The sea is calm, inviting me to fall into her arms. Some, bolder than me, are already swimming. I prefer to walk, breathe in the fresh air and let every trace of iodine reach the alveoli of my lungs. 

I fill up with energy and feel that I have earned at least five more years of life. I promise myself to be better equipped next time I visit this beach. Yoga, meditation, walking, running, swimming or whatever you like doing, on one of the most famous beaches in Greece. If someone believes that islands are not suitable destinations for winter vacations, maybe he/she should review that opinion...

Thursday: Tzoumerka (Kalarites, Sirako). Altitude is 1200 meters, temperature 4oC. The temperature is low but the weather is mild, ideal for long walks through the narrow, stone cobbled roads of the villages. 

The view is breathtaking. 

Wooded ravines, small waterfalls, steep slopes and imposing mountains are composing a landscape that emits exceptional energy. The fresh air is revitalizing and the herbs growing at the area are miraculous: mountain tea, linden, oregano, nettle, chamomile, wild dittany, St. John's wort.

Friday: Ioannina. There are not enough words to describe the capital of Epirus. A city that literally embraces Pamvotida lake, with long history, many worth seeing attractions, vivid night life, exceptional food and friendly inhabitants.

Three invigorating days, full of traveling and resting. Three days full of positive energy and interaction with nature. The best way to start a new year.

My suggestions:

Permanent resident of Greece, the Briton writer Jim Potts manages with his new book The Ionian Islands and Epirus: A Cultural History (Landscapes of the Imagination) to present in an original way two regions of Greece that have made a huge contribution to the culture of the country. He is focusing on beautiful landscapes, legends, traditions and historical events that surround the Ionian islands and Epirus, as reported and recorded by writers, residents, artists and travelers, revealing an extraordinary cultural legacy.

The historical poem Kyra Frossini translated in English. Written by Aristotelis Valaoritis, it is based on the real story of the illegal love affair that took place in 1801 in the city of Ioannina between an astonishingly beautiful Greek woman and the Ottoman son of Ali Pasha. A lyrical story of love, passion, betrayal and tragedy worth reading!

For those who love hiking and wandering in nature, the mountains of Epirus are the perfect place. The detailed, bilingual hiking map about the mountain of Pindus Pindus: Peristeri - Kakardhitsa - Tzoumerka (Greece) 1:50,000 Hiking Map ANAVASI contains information about footpaths, huts, rest areas, spot heights, springs, landscape variations, archaeological sites, monasteries, churches and much more. A must have for every explorer!

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