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Guest //Ιωσήφ96//

Local/Diaspora Perspectives of Greek cities/towns/islands

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Guest //Ιωσήφ96//

Hi everyone!

 

Hope all's well : )  For quite a while now this is a subject I am really curious about. I have been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to visit Greece once before, and not only was it an amazing experience all together, each area of the country I have travelled to was well worth seeing =)  Being a part of the Greek diaspora, although I have my own perspective I am not really familiar with what the local Greeks, Greek diaspora, or the country's general public opinion in general, has towards Greece's cities/towns and islands. 

 

So! Simply put, I am excited to discover what you all have to say. For instance, which areas, generally speaking, are:

-great to live in

-great to have fun/party in

-great for sports,

-has a good reputation

-etc!

 

Whether you are a member of the dispora, a local, or an individual who is a part of this website's community in general, regardless of nationality/ethnicity, all comments and input are welcomed! Thanks in advance for your responses! 

 

P.S 

 

One side of my family originally came from Sparti, in Laconia. I'm well aware of its ancient history and the like, although I do not know to a great extent much else about it's current state. So if anyone can tell of its reputation, or what it's like nowadays, it would be nice to know in addition to all other input you may want to say :)

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 Hi Ιωσηφ, welcome to Hellenism.Net

 

There are many great places to visit in Greece. All islands are great to visit during the summer. Lots of action, lots of tourists and lots of fun.

During the winter most of these places become less busy, so if you're travelling as a visitor/tourist it's best to stick with bigger cities like Athens, Thessaloniki, Piraeus, Patra etc. There's lots going on in these cities during the winter months when all the locals are around. There are many interesting "party" places to visit like the "Gazi" area in Athens, or "Ladadika" in Thessaloniki.

 

In terms of sports, again Athens, Piraeus and Thessaloniki would be the places to go to as all major Greek soccer and basketball teams have their home fields there.

 

Even though things have changed a lot over the past few years anywhere you go in Greece (even in big cities like Athens) it should be pretty safe to go around even late at night. There are some pockets in some big cities which you should avoid. Just check with the locals in any place you visit and they'll let you know where not to go.

 

Sparti is a rather boring small town in Peloponnese, but Laconia has lots to offer outside Sparti. There's the picturesque Monemvasia, the  amazing caves of Diros and the unspoilt beaches of Elafonisos. There's also the rocky Mani peninsula, home of the infamous Maniates. That's an interesting place to visit as well.

 

Hope this helps! (man I should become a travel agent!  :) )

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Guest eyoismos

my advice is ...stay the hell away from the big cities, for as long as reasonably possible ...sure ... museums and historic sites and all the rest of the trapping of the past

 

but ....

 

rather visit all the non-tourist traps and discover what greece and its people are REALLY all about

you dont have to visit the mykonos's and gazi's of greece to party ...you can do that anywhere and everywhere in the world

 

those are simple afterthoughts of what greece is

 

the REAL greece is everywhere else

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my advice is ...stay the hell away from the big cities, for as long as reasonably possible ...sure ... museums and historic sites and all the rest of the trapping of the past

 

but ....

 

rather visit all the non-tourist traps and discover what greece and its people are REALLY all about

you dont have to visit the mykonos's and gazi's of greece to party ...you can do that anywhere and everywhere in the world

 

those are simple afterthoughts of what greece is

 

the REAL greece is everywhere else

 

Plus the food is better in the smaller towns, try to eat where the locals do. In Sparti I would guess you would get better food than in Athens.

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Not completely true.

 

Even though there's the odd taverna in small towns which does offer locally sourced fresh food, in most cases in small towns you'll get stale and sometimes badly prepared food as firstly there's not enough traffic so you may be eating meat, fish or vegetables which are 2-3 days old or more, and also in many cases the cleanliness of the place can be questionable.

 

In bigger cities there are many places where not only the food is great, but it's also prepared nicely by professional cooks (and follows all the regular and expected standards of cleanliness...).

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Guest eyoismos

oh my lord !!!

 

what hellholes have you been visiting to come up with that crock?

 

in case you havent noticed, for example in summer , greece's population trebles and nobody has enough time to keep up with the demand, let alone thinking about 2-3 day storage of cooked food - and lets not forget, in winter time  ... IF the said taverna happens to stay open, it would be reliant on the indigenous and by most part geriatric population of the village. do you honestly think the "cooked food distributors" would survive the lynching of the locals if the food was not up to scratch?

 

if fact, if anything, its questionable what goes into the menus of some "graze joints" in the cities ,,, where ripping off is the name of the game by certain individuals - thank god a "major" minority - who can forget ...10 euros for a bottle of water, under the acropolis

 

no admin ..... sorry but  must disagree on the basis of the law of numbers . not about the quality of the culinary delights of high octane cordon bleu worthy of the best of snotty "holier than thoughs" - you might be right there, ..but what comes out of the local taverna in some small village  always, or at least way most of the times,  leaves one lets just say very satisfied and content

 

give me the "non over-commercialized" world of greece any day of  the year

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Guest //Ιωσήφ96//

 Υειά σας, Admin, Dino, & Εyoismos! 

 

Thanks a lot for the welcome, = )  Glad to have found this site.

 

Haha, maybe you should become a travel agent on the side :P Greece this year is supposedly expecting some 25 million + tourists in 2015 based on some estimates; you could get in on the action lol! Athens I've been to for almost 4 days, mostly seeing all the 'tourist' destinations, so to speak.

Ex:  Parthenon/Acropolis (of course), Acropolis Museum, Greek Parliament/Sunday Military Parade @ Syntagma Square, Plaka, Mt. Lycabettus, Ancient agora, Temply of Zeus, Temple of Hephaestion, Stoa of Attalos, Panathenaic Stadium, need I go on.  Next time I have the opportunity I'd like to see the Greek National Garden, National Archeological Museum, and the new Greek National library currently in construction (Stavros Niarchos Cultural Centre). Ohh, and maybe take a look @ Athens University (I'm currently an undergraduate so why not right?)

 

I actually haven't been to Thessaloniki, though I hear they have amazing city squares and plazas, let alone the Alexander the Great memorial I want to see  = D  In regards to Patra, I have some family currently living in both Athena & Sparti, and they've mentioned the annual carnival/festival there. From what I've researched it looks pretty fun to go to.  Haha, maybe I'll end up as the carnival king.

 

Thanks a lot for the heads up for the sports info. I actually follow the Superleague every so often since I am an Olympiakos fan (sorry if your a PAOK / Panathenaikos fan haha), but believe it or not my favourite teams so far are Tripolis & Volos. IMO I think it would be great if perhaps the more competitive teams weren't as centralized, but I guess it's only because other teams farther out couldn't really make the cut to stardom yet. I asked about sports in particular also b/c I've heard alot about the fan violence and game suspensions recently...let alone Greece's poor performance in the EURO qualifying so far. Wonder what's going on there.  / sigh

 

haha, when mentioning Sparti I figured as much. Unfortunately I haven't been, as my time in Greece was limited, but I feel it's always important to take an interest in the area one's family originates from. Actually, if I were to be more specific, I should mention that before moving to Sparti my ancestors lived in Vachos, Mani (about 10 minutes away from Areopoli by car I belive). So it's ironic you would mention the Maniotes. When I am more literate in Greek I plan on watching the show Vendetta, apparently it was really popular in Greece a while back :P  How was it?

 

Eyoismos you make a great point to be honest. haha there are many, many tourist traps, so to speak. Yet, since I was technically a tourist/visitor I wanted to make sure I saw as many notable landmarks and historic sites I could go to  (I'm a huge ancient history buff).

 

Probably the most non tourist-oriented city I had seen was Nafplio. I wouldn't say it is a very commercialized town.  Arguably though, in my opinion it was the nicest looking town I've seen yet. Perhaps ever! :P If only I had the chance to go up to its acropolis and spend the entire day up there looking at the view, chilling out, and just enjoying my time. Haha, there is a local  italian gelato shop  there too run by an italian family from Rome, believe it or not, and their gelato was just the best. As far as Greek cultural dishes goes, the best dishes I found were to be in Athens. But I guess that's a huge personal bias due to my lack of having been to practically any of the resteraunts in any region, realistically.

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Guest eyoismos

When was the last time you visited Greece? Maybe you're still dreaming of the Greece you saw in the 70s and 80s.  :)

you might have a certain small element of truth in hat you might think, but common logic and the laws of numbers, as stated above, dictates that 70's and 80's views suggest you probably are not on the money

 

besides ... very few greek dishes allow for "fridge storage" ..... one of them is pastitsio ... which somehow ,often enough, tastes even better , but different, the following day and out of the fridge

 

:)

 

me thinks you have been visiting far too many greek restaurants in the diaspora, influenced by "western efficiency" and all the rest

 

even my wife, that by all accounts is way more fussy than most, sometimes to barely intolerable levels, and who i have sent regularly back home, ...and especially when i sent her about 5 years ago, as a 21st birthday present to my son, now living there, still raves about how awesome the village food is back home, and the shit we have to tolerate in the "high society" restaurants and food joints of the "civilized" areas of this world. in fact , in her last trip, she described when a relo, took her to some way out of the way "can we even call it a restaurant?" in a village high in the mountains, in the middle of nowhere, just to get fried eggs, chips and mprizoles .... and of course the traditional mezedes .....her words? ..... to die for ...and the best part ... it was a slow night, so the owner and his wife sat at their table and chatted the night away, while occasionally "kerasing" the occasional ouzaki and to each others health

 

business is business, but the genuine greek heart and filoxenia is everything short of the straosphere, above the rest - its all in the attitude one shows to the locals ...and them reciprocating in spades

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Ιωσηφ, Nafplio is a beautiful town. It's pretty touristy visited by non-Greek and Greeks alike (mainly from Athens/Piraeus as it's a relatively short drive from there). There are some really nice restaurants and tavernas in Nafplio and believe it or not 2 or 3 great gelaterias.

 

Another beautiful place you should add to your list is the island of Hydra. No cars allowed there so this little island has retained some of the charm of good old times. It's loaded with tourists year round but this doesn't take away from its charm.

 

Since you're an Olympiakos fan (like myself  :) ) you have to visit Piraeus and watch an Olympiakos game at the Karaiskaki stadium (I was born and raised in the area...). Piraeus is a very nice seaside town. You should visit the areas of Pasalimani, Mikrolimano, Freatida and Castella and then make your way further south to Palaio Faliro in an area called "Marina Flisvou" full of bars, restaurants, coffee places and of course people. Great place for people watching and great views of Mikrolimano and Castella.

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