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The mediterranean landscape

The mediterranean landscape, especially the landscape of the Aegean, exerts a strange fascination on people. It is not lovely, soft or cosy, as is so often the case in the northern parts of Europe. On the contrary, at first glance it often appears rugged and barren, sometimes even forbidding and hostile during the summer drought. All impressions are intense and strong. The clear light and sharp contours create a completely different sensation in the observer than the mist-covered gentle plains and the soft slanting light of the north. Romanticism and melancholy were more or less unknown in Ancient Greece. Corresponding to the abundance of light and the transparency of the atmosphere, everything in the spiritual world of the Greeks was clear and intense. The strength of the Greek mind lay in clear thinking, logic and the construction of manageable worlds of thought – as manageable as the limited horizon of their mountain valleys, their islands and their small plains.

looking from Mount Kóronos southward

view from Mount Zeus towards the “Small Cyclades”

Anyone who approaches the Mediterranean landscape by hiking will find surprising beauty in the seemingly barren, sparsely vegetated mountain slopes. There is something to discover everywhere: flowers hidden in the cracks in the rocks, strange rock formations covered in the peculiar patterns of lichen, small springs surrounded with ferns or impressive, stunted trees. All the senses are awakened: there is the tireless shrill of the cicadas in the midday heat, the varied concert of the grasshoppers, the clouds of scent given off by the thyme, the delicate fragrance of the lichens or the mastic bush, the warm wind blowing in your face.

This landscape offers clear symbols that are deeply rooted in the human soul: The silver-grey olive trees in the midday glow of the sun, a symbol of immortality and peace, the well-tended vineyard with its lush greenery in steep terraces, laboriously wrested from the barren mountain slope. In the hidden ravines with their lively gurgling springs, shaded by mighty plane trees, you can still sense the presence of the nymphs, probably the oldest deities of mankind.

chapel near Potamiá

olive tree and Cape Stavrós

olive grove and terraces near Lioíri

river in Skepóni

near Apóllonas


And everywhere the blue-green sea between white and grey marble rocks, the Aegean Sea, not a threatening, vast emptiness stretching into infinity, but a canvas studded which neighbouring islands and coasts visible in the distance, greeting and calling you, the sea that not only separates, but also connects.

the bay of Pánormos

old stone house near Ágios Dimítris

flowering wild pear tree

view towards Cape Stavrós, in the background Donoússa and the islands of Mákares

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