The Mediterranean landscape, in particular the landscape of the Aegean Sea, exercises a peculiar fascination. It is not soft, cosy or inviting, as so often in northern Europe. On the contrary, at the first glance, it often appears harsh and desolate, during the summer drought sometimes even hostile. All impressions are intense and strong. The landscape lies open to the eyes, it is hardly ever shrouded by trees. The clear light and sharp contours give the viewer a very different feeling from the misty plains of the north. Accordingly there was hardly any romance and melancholy in ancient Greece. Owing to the abundance of light and the transparency of the atmosphere the spiritual world of the Greeks was clear and intense. Its strength lay in logic and the construction of a complete and entire world of thought – as the limited horizon of mountains and valleys, the islands and the small plains.
view from mount Kóronos to the south
view from mount Zeus to the “Small Cyclades”
Anyone who approaches the Mediterranean landscape by hiking discovers in the apparent bleakness of the hillsides a surprising beauty. Everywhere you find hidden crevices, colorful flowers, strange rock formations, which are covered by the peculiar patterns of lichens, springs with flourishing fern, or impressive, crippled giant trees. All the senses are awakened: There is the endless chirping of the cicadas in the midday heat, the varied concert of the grasshoppers, the warm wind that blows in the face, the waves of perfume of thyme and other spices, the delicate fragrance of lichens or mastic trees.
This landscape contains symbols that are deeply rooted in the human soul as the silvery olive trees in the midday sun, a symbol of immortality and peace. You are touched by the well-tended vineyards with their lush green on steep slopes structured by innumerable terraces. And in the hidden valley with the merrily bubbling creek you can still feel the presence of the nymphs under the shade of mighty plane trees.
Olive tree and Cape Stávros
Olive grove and terraces in Lioíri
river in Skepóni
And everywhere are glimpses of the blue-green sea in the background, between white and gray marble rocks: the Aegean Sea, which does not suggest threatening emptiness and infinity, but greets the spectator with neighboring islands and distant coasts; the sea, which not only separates, but also connects.
the bay of Pánormos
old stone house Ágios Dimítris
flowering wild pear tree, in the background Cape Stávros
Cape Stávros with the islands of Donoússa and Mákares