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Athens Downtown Goes Online

Downtown(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Within the framework of the Information Society Operational Programme, the Gazi district – the post-industrial hotspot of Athens- is equipped with free high-speed wireless internet.  Athens citizens and visitors to Technopolis and the surrounding area can access the internet with the use of the necessary equipment. The Gazi Project has been incorporated into the Information Society Digital Strategy Programme and was completed with the support of the City of Athens IT Company (DAEM).  A similar network has already been installed in Syntagma Square, Kotzia Square and Thissio.

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Jewels in the Crown of Greece: Sikinos

sikinosparathiro1(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Although unspoiled by mass tourism, Sikinos is anything but a tiny, forgotten island. On the contrary, it has opted for an alternative development.  It offers few, small beaches, while in the town of Hora, local architecture is exemplarily preserved. As a mode of transport, cars are not fit for Sikinos, so one must try riding donkeys, or just hiking.  Last but not least, residents of Sikinos contribute to the island’s magic: an active community, which has revived the old vineyards, has set up a beekeeping cooperative and even operates a recycling programme.  Kathimerini Daily: Sikinos opts for a different way to develop; TheGreektravel.com: Sikinos

Greece: 9 Geo-Wonders on Pindos Mountain

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The rocks of Deskati in north-western Greece’s prefecture of Grevena – a European Destination of Excellence –  have attracted the interest of geologists around the world as they tell the geological history of the earth and were the basis for the development of the tectonic plates theory.  Deskati and the greater region of Vounasa are among the nine geo-wonders in the Pindos Mountain Range that were the subject of a scientific conference held in the Prefecture of Grevena aimed at their promotion into tourist destinations. The rocks of Deskati were created 700 million years ago when the ancient super continent Pangaea (meaning “all earth” in Greek) broke up to form the European and African continents. Later they were submerged into the Tethys Ocean that existed between the continents and united the region of today’s Britain with China.  The nine geo-wonders of Pindos include the heavily deformed limestone rocks at Mt Tsourgiakas and their small waterfalls, the gorge of Portitsa, the Pierced Rock formed as a result of erosion, Vasilitsa and its multicoloured rocks, the villages of Dotsiko and Mesolouri with their 30-million-year old coral reef and the village of Monachiti with its 50-meter wide vertical rocks. Meanwhile, the Aliakmon River Gorge is currently being studied by scientists from the United States, the UK, Serbia, Italy and Greece in an intense effort to have its geological data recorded considering that by the end of the next decade it will be flooded as soon as the construction of the Public Power Corporation (DEI) “Ilarion” Dam is completed.  

New Athens “Tourist Ticket”

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The Athens urban transport organisation (OASA) on Monday unveiled a new three-day ticket costing €15 that will be valid for travel on all means of public transport in and around the city. The new tickets will be available from from July 1.

   

The “tourist ticket” has been designed as a travel card for those visiting Athens for short stays. It offers unlimited travel for three full days after it is first used, including journeys to and from the airport and the new Athens sight-seeing “Bus 400.”  LivinginGreece.gr: New 3-day ticket for unlimited tourist travel in Athens    

Corfu: An Ionian Jewel

Corfu(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Corfu town is Venice and Naples, a touch of France and more than a dash of England, apart of course from being Greek.”  Countess Flamburiari who used these words to describe Corfu island was not the only one to be enticed by the beauties of this famous and much visited island off the West coast of Greece.  In 19th century, Empress Elisabeth of Austria expressed the desire to immerse herself in the Greek culture and in 1890, she commissioned the construction of a summer palace which she called the Achilleion, after Homer’s hero Achilles. The palace, with the neoclassical Greek statues that surround it, is a monument to romanticism as well as escapism.  The various architectonic styles of its buildings, monuments and city planning are due to the island’s long history of conquerors. Venetians, British, French, Italians and Germans, all left their mark. The island’s city centre -the Old Town- is an historic complex of narrow streets dominated by the 16th century fortress. Close to the capital lies a small island, home to a monastery, the white staircase of which resembles a (mouse) tail, thus the name of the island Pontikonissi (mouse island). Corfu’s natural habitat is equally exquisite. The island has some of the Ionian Sea’s most beautiful beaches, favoured by thousands of visitors. UNESCO World Heritage: Old Town of Corfu is protected by UNESCO; You Tube: UNESCO Ceremony

Greek Tourism has a New Portal

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Hellenic tourism is responding to international challenges through the creation of a new portal for electronic services at “www.mygnto.gr” (Greek National Tourism Organisation), which intends to transform website visits into real arrivals in Greece. On May 22, Tourism Minister Costas Markopoulos presented the portal and announced that unified electronic strategic management in the tourist sector is becoming a reality. Visitors are encouraged to book their entire vacation package via this new portal.

Athens: A New Look for an Old City

Acropolis Museum

(photo: When it opens in June, the New Acropolis Museum will display treasures from the Parthenon /Cameron Hewitt) 
(www.minpress.gr / NBC, 28.04.09)  NBC’s Rick Steve reports on Athens’ dramatic change. The city of about 4 million has made a concerted effort to curb pollution, clean up and pedestrianize the streets, spiff up the museums, build a new airport, and invest in one of Europe’s better public-transit systems.  Athens still has its “big three” sights: the Acropolis, the Ancient Agora and the remarkable National Archaeological Museum. In June the fourth big sight of the city is opening – the New Acropolis Museum.
The new museum is a world-class space, custom-built to showcase the Parthenon sculptures, a state-of-the-art building worth a look itself.   Besides sightseeing, Athens is ideal for strolls and wanderings through the Plaka district, through the Monastiraki flea market and the Psyrri neighborhood. Read more…