Aggeliki, AGIOS NILOLAOS, CRETE
Christos, ATHENS
Chryssanthi, PATRAS
Dimitris, ATHENS
Tetty, ATHENS
Martina, ATHENS
Nata, THESSALONIKI
Amalia, VOULA, ATHENS
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Chania, Crete

What Wikipedia says

Chania is the second largest city of Crete and the capital of the Chania regional unit. It lies along the north coast of the island, about 70 km (43 mi) west of Rethymno and 145 km (90 mi) west of Heraklion.

 

During the 1970s Crete became a major tourist destination for Greek and international tourists. Since the decade of 1990 the city of Chania entered a new era, because many constructions have been made, like a new airport, port, educational facilities and it is considered a prominent tourist resort in the Mediterranean Sea.

 

The city of Chania can be divided in two parts: the old town and the modern city which is the larger one. The old town is situated next to the old harbour and is the matrix around which the whole urban area was developed. It used to be surrounded by the old Venetian fortifications that started to be built in 1538; of them the eastern and western parts have survived. From the south, the old town is continuous with the new, and from the north the physical border is the sea.

 

The centre of the modern city is the area extending next to the old town and especially towards the south. Other historical buildings in the area include Eleftherios Venizelos’s, the old French school, the Church of Agia Magdalini, The “Palace” and The Church of Evangelistria.

 

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Agios Nikolaos, Crete

What Wikipedia says

Agios Nikolaos or Aghios Nikolaos is a coastal town on the Greek island of Crete, lying east of the island's capital Heraklion, north of the town of Ierapetra and west of the town of Sitia. In the year 2011, the Municipality of Agios Nikolaos, which takes in part of the surrounding villages, claimed 27,074 inhabitants. The town is a municipality of Crete region, and sits partially upon the ruins of the ancient city of Lato pros Kamara.

 

Near the town there's an archaeological site of ancient Priniatikos Pyrgos. It appears to have been first settled in the Final Neolithic, circa 3000 BC. Activity on the site continued throughout the Minoan Bronze Age and the Classical Greek and Roman periods, spanning a total of up to 4,000 years. Since 2007, Priniatikos Pyrgos has been undergoing excavation by an international team under the auspices of the Irish Institute of Hellenic Studies at Athens.

 

Agios Nikolaos is probably best known as a tourist town that serves as a hub to the twenty or so small villages and farms that make up that part of Lassithi. Tourist attractions include the small lagoon Lake Voulismeni, small beaches in the town, the tiny island Agioi Pantes, the archaeological museum, the local flora exhibition “Iris” and numerous fairs.

 

Just a short ferry ride away from Agios Nikolaos is the island of Spinalonga, an old Venetian fortress turned ex-leper colony in the beginning of the 20th century.

 

Tourism is mainly West European with Greek tourism concentrated in mid August, though there are a considerable amount of Russian vacationers in East Crete. The lagoon features a small park with a trail, traditional fishing boats, ducks, pigeons, an amphitheatre and many cafès.

 

The modern city of Agios Nikolaos became internationally well-known during the 60's, when it was "discovered" by famous cinema directors (Jules Dassin, Walt Disney etc.), BBC producers and many others. It was then that the rapid tourist development of the area started. Daphne du Maurier's short story Not After Midnight was set in and around the town.

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Kalymnos

What Wikipedia says

Kalymnos is a Greek island and municipality in the southeastern Aegean Sea. It belongs to the Dodecanese and is located between the islands of Kos and Leros. In 2011 the island had a population of 16,001, making it the third most populous island of the Dodecanese, after Kos and Rhodes. It is known in Greece for the affluence of much of its population.

 

Being mostly barren (only 18% of the land can be cultivated), agriculture has always played a minor role in the economy of the island, except for the valley of Vathi. The island is famous for its citrus fruits grown in this area. Another industrial activity typical of Kalymnos was the production of painted head scarfs, which were the most original component of the female dress.

 

In recent times, tourism has become important for the island, particularly for rock climbing. In 2006, the island also acquired an airport, the Kalymnos Island National Airport near Pothia, to better link the island with the mainland.

 

Kalymnos is known and billed as the "Sponge-divers' island." Sponge diving has long been a common occupation on Kalymnos and sponges were the main source of income of Kalymnians, bringing wealth to the island and making it famous throughout the Mediterranean. Sponges are still fished individually, by hand.

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Heraklion, Crete

What Wikipedia says

Heraklion is the largest city and the administrative capital of the island of Crete, Greece. It is one of the largest cities in Greece. According to the results of the 2011 census, the population of the city was 173,993 inhabitants while the Heraklion urban area has a population of 225,574.

 

Heraklion is close to the ruins of the palace of Knossos, which in Minoan times was the largest centre of population on Crete. Though there is no archaeological evidence of it, Knossos may well have had a port at the site of Heraklion as early as 2000 BC.

 

Heraklion is an important shipping port and ferry dock. Travellers can take ferries and boats from Heraklion to destinations including Santorini, Ios Island, Paros, Mykonos, and Rhodes. There are also several daily ferries to Piraeus, the port of Athens in mainland Greece.

 

The port of the city is dominated by the Venetian constructions, such as the Koules Fortress (Rocca al Mare), the ramparts and the arsenal. Around the city can be found several sculptures, statues and busts commemorating significant events and figures of the city's and island's history, like El Greco, Vitsentzos Kornaros, Nikos Kazantzakis and Eleftherios Venizelos. Also, many fountains of the Venetian-era are preserved, such as the Bembo fountain, the Priuli fountain, Palmeti fountain, Sagredo fountain and Morosini fountain (in Lions Square).

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Rethymno, Crete

What Wikipedia says

Rethymno is a city of approximately 40,000 people in Greece, the capital of Rethymno regional unit on the island of Crete. It was built in antiquity (ancient Rhithymna and Arsinoe), but was never a competitive Minoan centre. It was, however, strong enough to mint its own coins and maintain urban growth. One of these coins is today depicted as the crest of the town with two dolphins in a circle.

 

Today's old town (palia poli) is almost entirely built by the Venetians. It is one of the best preserved old towns in Crete. The town still maintains its old aristocratic appearance, with its buildings dating from the 16th century, arched doorways, stone staircases, Byzantine and Hellenic-Roman remains, the small Venetian harbour and narrow streets. The Venetian Loggia houses the information office of the Ministry of Culture. A Wine Festival is held there annually at the beginning of July. Another festival, in memory of the destruction of the Arkadi Monastery, is held on 7–8 November.

 

The city's Venetian-era citadel, the Fortezza, is one of the best-preserved castles in Crete. Other monuments include the Neratze mosque (the Municipal Odeon arts centre), the Great Gate, the Piazza Rimondi (Rimondi square) and the Venetian Loggia.

 

Today the city's main income is from tourism, many new facilities having been built in the past 20 years. Agriculture is also notable, especially for olive oil and other Mediterranean products.

 

Rethymno is home to the following museums:

  • Archaeological Museum of Rethymno, Historical and Folklore Museum of Rethymno, Municipal Gallery "L. Kanakakis", The Frantzeskaki Collection, Museum of Sea Life at Rethymno

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Athens

What Wikipedia says

Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning around 3,400 years, and the earliest human presence around the 11th–7th centuries BC. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state that emerged in conjunction with the seagoing development of the port of Piraeus. A centre for the arts, learning and philosophy, home of Plato's Academy and Aristotle's Lyceum, it is widely referred to as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy, largely because of its cultural and political impact on the European continent and in particular the Romans. In modern times, Athens is a large cosmopolitan metropolis and central to economic, financial, industrial, maritime, political and cultural life in Greece. In 2015, Athens was ranked the world's 29th richest city by purchasing power and the 67th most expensive in a UBS study.

 

Athens is recognised as a global city because of its geo-strategic location and its importance in shipping, finance, commerce, media, entertainment, arts, international trade, culture, education and tourism. It is one of the biggest economic centres in southeastern Europe, with a large financial sector, and its port Piraeus is the largest passenger port in Europe, and the second largest in the world. The municipality (City) of Athens had a population of 664,046 (in 2011, 796,442 in 2004) within its administrative limits, and a land area of 39 km2 (15 sq mi). The urban area of Athens (Greater Athens and Greater Piraeus) extends beyond its administrative municipal city limits, with a population of 3,090,508 (in 2011) over an area of 412 km2 (159 sq mi). According to Eurostat in 2004, the Athens Larger Urban Zone (LUZ) was the 7th most populous LUZ in the European Union (the 5th most populous capital city of the EU), with a population of 4,013,368. Athens is also the southernmost capital on the European mainland.

 

The heritage of the classical era is still evident in the city, represented by ancient monuments and works of art, the most famous of all being the Parthenon, considered a key landmark of early Western civilization. The city also retains Roman and Byzantine monuments, as well as a smaller number of Ottoman monuments. Athens is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Acropolis of Athens and the medieval Daphni Monastery. Landmarks of the modern era, dating back to the establishment of Athens as the capital of the independent Greek state in 1834, include the Hellenic Parliament (19th century) and the Athens Trilogy, consisting of the National Library of Greece, the Athens University and the Academy of Athens.

 

Athens was the host city of the first modern-day Olympic Games in 1896, and 108 years later it welcomed home the 2004 Summer Olympics. Athens is home to the National Archeological Museum, featuring the world's largest collection of ancient Greek antiquities, as well as the new Acropolis Museum.

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Thessaloniki

What Wikipedia says

Thessaloniki is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of the administrative region of Central Macedonia. The Thessaloniki Metropolitan Area population in 2011 reached a total of 1,104,460 inhabitants.

 

The city of Thessaloniki was founded in 315 BC by Cassander of Macedon. An important metropolis by the Roman period, Thessaloniki was the second largest and wealthiest city of the Byzantine Empire. It is a popular tourist destination in Greece: in 2014 Financial Times FDI magazine declared Thessaloniki as the best mid-sized European city of the future for human capital and lifestyle.

 

Today, the city center of Thessaloniki includes the features designed as part of the plan and forms the point in the city where most of the public buildings, historical sites, entertainment venues and stores are located. The center is characterized by its many historical buildings, arcades, laneways and distinct architectural styles such as Art Nouveau and Art Deco, which can be seen on many of its buildings.

 

Also called the historic centre, it is divided into several districts, like Ladadika (where many entertainment venues and tavernas are located), Kapani (were the city's central city market is located), Diagonios, Navarinou, Rotonta, Agia Sofia and Ippodromio, which are all located around Thessaloniki's most central point, Aristotelous Square.

 

Thessaloniki is regarded as the cultural capital of the country. It is renowned for its major shopping streets and lively laneways. The city has long been known in Greece for its vibrant city culture, including having the most cafes and bars per capita of any city in Europe; and as having some of the best nightlife and entertainment in the country. Because of the city's rich and diverse history, Thessaloniki houses many museums dealing with many different eras in history. Two of the city's most famous museums include the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki and the Museum of Byzantine Culture. Thessaloniki is also home of a number of festivals and events. The Thessaloniki International Trade Fair is the most important event to be hosted in the city annually.

 

Thessaloniki is home to a number of prominent archaeological sites. Apart from its recognized UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Thessaloniki features a large two-terraced Roman forum featuring two-storey stoas dug up by accident in the 1960s. The forum complex also boasts two Roman baths, one of which has been excavated while the other is buried underneath the city. The forum also features a small theater, which was also used for gladiatorial games.

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