Category Archives: Greece

Greece: Kinetta, Loutraki and Corinth

During our vacation in Megara, Greece, we decided to drive to Corinth. We took the E94 highway and headed west.

Athens to Corinth map.jpg

Kinetta is a small town known for its beautiful beach and sea view. Kinetta is quite close to Athens, just 55 kilometers away.

Kinetta ranta 2.jpg

From Kineta it was only 25 kilometeres to Corinth, our destination. If you do not like to rent a car and drive, you can take the train.

The Corinth Canal separates the Peloponnese from mainland Greece. The canal was built 1883–1893 and the inauguration was a huge happening. Konstantinos Volanakis painted the inauguration.

Corinth canal inauguration by Konstantinos Volanakis.jpg
Corinth canal inauguration by Konstantinos Volanakis

Loutraki is a famous town by the Gulf of Corinth, very close to the Corinth Canal. It is known for the beautiful beach, the blue water of the Corinthian Gulf and the casino of Club Hotel Loutraki. The casino was though forced to close its doors in 2015 after failing to pay about two million euros in taxes. I found a great video of Loutraki  – it is taken from the air!

When we arrived in Corinth, we noticed right away it is not as big a city as one would think. It was very easy to find the way into the center of the town, as well as to one of the many guarded parking areas.

We walked down to the harbour. It is a beautiful harbour, with many small and old fishing boats and shiny new sailing boats.

Korintin satama.jpg

As many do, also we wanted to photograph the statue of Pegasus. It looks quite amazing against the mountains on the other side of the gulf, the Gulf of Corinth.

Pegasus patsas Korintti.jpg

It was quite peaceful to walk along the promenade. And the view was fabulous. The blue sea and the gorgeous mountains are amazing.

Korintti_Ile rantakadulla.jpg

Greece: Kato Alepochori and Psatha

There are 2 roads to choose from, when you want to drive from Megara to beautiful Kato Alepochori (population less than 1 000), situated at the shore of Gulf of Corinth. We took the shorter route (23 kilometers).

The other road takes you through the high mountains, is a 4 kilometers longer route, but offers you a lot more to see. This road ends at Egirousa, also on the shores of the Gulf of Corinth. From Egirousa you drive in a few minutes to Kato Alepochori. We took the mountain route when we drove back to Megara.

Megara to Kato Alepochori map

As we were going to spend 5 days in Kato Alepochori, after 9 days in Megara, we decided to drive to the shores of Gulf of Corinth, to see in advance what the area looked like.

Ajelulla schinoksen kukkuloilla_2

When we got closer to the Gulf of Corinth, the road took us higher and higher. There are some fabulous and beautiful mountains between inland and the beach towns. The views are breathtaking. 

ps. to enlarge the photos, click on them 🙂

view from the hill

Kato Alepochori is only a few kilometers long. It is a quiet town during the week. It is a popular place for the Greek to come and relax in the sun during the weekends. Then the town is crowded.

Alepochori

We rented a maisonette in Kato Alepochori.

Alepochori talo 2
The maisonette had 3 floors, but only 1 room on each floor. Bathrooms and toilets were found on all floors. This was a very new style for us, but we liked it. We slept at the top floor. The middle floor was the kitchen (with a small living room like space) and the bottom floor had a huge bedroom for 4 people and a big bathroom.

Alepochori talo

The exterior was so beautiful. White walls, blue doors and red flowers.

One day, during our stay in Kato Alepochori, we drove east.

Alepochori to Psatha map
The road takes you to Psatha, a wonderful small town, which is surrounded by high mountains, and has a fantastic bay. I think the Greek come here on weekends. It is a secret pearl.

Psathan kaupunki
The view from the road above Psatha is breathtaking. 

Psathan kaupunki 2
The life in PSatha was so silent and relaxing, I could not believe we were in Greece.

Psathan ranta_2

We found many restaurants. Most of them were built next to the nice beah and bay. We sat down, had a small lunch and enjoyed the view. The beach was just 2 meters away.

As the day was quite warm, we decided it was time for a swim in the Gulf of Corinth. So we drive back tou our maisonette in Kato Alepochori, put on our bathing suits and walked down to the beach. It was a nice and quiet beach. Only a few other people were there.

Uimassa Alepochorin rannalla

Many airplanes flew above the bay. My husband likes to take pictures of airplanes. Here is one. I think it is an CL-215.

Lentokone Alepochori_CL-215

The water was nice most of the days. Some days there was a lot of trash in the sea. The waves brought them from other towns. I wish people did not throw trash in the sea.

This was the first time I saw Sea Urchins. We were surprised to see them in Greece.

merisiili

The Sea Urchin’s body, closed in a compact shell, is covered with spines which are mobile. The spines can be up to 30 cm long. So watch out where you step.

This vacation was great and full of new experiences and scenery. I can warmly recommend the sunny Greece and the secret pearls like Kato Alepochori, Psatha, Pachi etc. Book a flight, rent a car and go exploring. You won’t regret it.

Kreikan maaseutuja JH

Greece: Megara, Nea Peramos and Pachi

Some years ago we decided to check for vacation houses in Greece. There were so many to choose from. We wanted to spend our time among the Greek and outside the tourist areas. We chose finally Megara, a town some 70 kilometers west from Athens. We had never heard of Megara, which added excitement to our new journey.

MEGARA

With our small budget we managed to find a very nice house with a pool, an olive tree yard and a great view from the top of a hill. I was surprised. We had luck finding such a house. It was a bit above our budget, but after seeing pictures of the place, we just had to book it. The hills outside Megara (population 23 000) are mostly occupied by sheep and goats, so to find a vacation house there, was quite a surprise.

Megara talon kyltti
The house was though only available for 9 days. We wanted to stay 14 days in Greece. The owner of the Megara house was very kind and arranged another house for us for the remaining 5 days. It was not actually a house, it was a terraced house, but that did not matter. This second place situated in Kato Alepochori, some 20 kilometers north from Megara. It was actually nice, to get to see two different places. Kato Alepochori is a small, nice town by the Gulf of Corinth.

Alepochori talo 2
After landing at the International Airport of Athens, we rented a car and drove towards west. The highway took us almost all the way to Megara. During the drive we saw Athens and the historical sites up on the hills. The sites are lit at night so you can enjoy them also when it is dark. The highway took us via Elefsina and Mandra to Nea Peramos and finally to Megara, which is located very close to the sea. Megara is part of the Attica region, which starts near Athens. After Megara, towards west, the next region starts. It is called Peloponnese and is a peninsula and a geographic region at the same time.

Nea Peramos

Nea Peramos, which we saw on our way to the house, locates at the bay of Eleftherai (Gulf of Kavala). The blue sea, the beautiful beaches and the fantastic white houses with red roofs are certainly views to enjoy. The area is also well-liked by archaeologists, as many ancient discoveries have been made here. During high-season Nea Peramos attracts many tourists. Otherwise it is a nice, peaceful town.

 A DELIGHTFUL SURPRISE

We arrived at our vacation house late in the evening. It was very dark. We had taken the evening flight from Helsinki to Athens. In the darkness we did not see how the house really look liked or how big the yard was.

The next morning we decided to swim before breakfast. What a fabulous surprise it was to see that the house was big, white and beautiful. The design of it was awesome. A big terrace at the top floor and another one next to the swimming area. The pool was large and fabulous, just like the view down the hill.

Megara house pool_1

The yard had about 100 olive trees and many fruit trees and rosebushes. The view was amazing.

Oliivipuutarha

The pool area had a nice terrace and patio, with a big dining table, chairs, a huge white sofa with cushions and some nice well chosen decoration. Outside there was a big barbeque.

Almost everything was white and beige. And as the sun was shining brightly, the colours shimmered even more.

Megara house_1
We also noticed that the heat from last night had not settled. It was 39°C outside. That is hot for a Finn!

After breakfast we walked in the yard and enjoyed the great views from the terrace and the pool area. The countryside in Greece is awesome, with all the green hills, olive trees, the tractors, the sheep and the sheep dogs.

RENOWNED PACHI

After visiting a few restaurants in Megara, we decided to drive to the nearby beach village Pachi. It is a small town by the sea. It is renowned for the beautiful sea view and the many great fish restaurants. Local people drive to Pachi often. And many drive an hour to visit this awesome village.

Only 3 000 people live here. It took us just 10 minutes to drive from the house down to Pachi. This is one of the most beautiful places I have seen in the evening and enjoyed dinner at.

Pachi by day

You drive into Pachi along its only main road. Best to park the car some hundred meters from the first fish taverns, as the small center of the village fills up with cars of the locals quite quickly after eight in the evening. And you might not reach your car, if you do not know who has parked behind it, beside it and in front of it.

The fish taverns and restaurants are fabulous. We tried the one our house owner had recommended. (I think it was a friend who owned the place). No one else was at this restaurant but we decided to try it anyway. The owner did not speak English, so he took us to the kitchen where we could pick our own fish and sea food. This is excellent service – not experienced back home in Finland.

The dinner was quite good but the price was too high compared to the food and the prices in some nearby restaurants. Next time we ate at another place and the food was excellent. The prices were not very high. We had some tasty grilled fish, big grilled prawns and some squid and cuttlefish with tasty Greek salad (Horiatiki in Greek).

It was quite a thrill to sit at the terrace by the sea, watching small fish swim and dance in the sea, enjoying the magnificent sunset and the different colours in the sky and sun rays glitter on the sea.

Pachi by night

It was hot, above 35°C, though it was past nine in the evening. The cool breeze from the sea was welcome.

 THE GREEK LANGUAGE

The Greek language is an Indo-European language. I have not studied it. I tried to learn a little before our vacation, but compared to Finnish, Swedish, English, Italian and French, I found the Greek language to bit a bit hard to learn in one month. I learned a little though. Perhaps you might find this helpful on your next visit to Greece:

Kalimera (Good day), Kalispera (Good evening), Poso kani afto (How much does this cost), Kalo (Good), Efharisto (Thank you), Ena trapezi ja dhio (A table for two), Bira (Beer), Horjatiki salata (Greek salad), Metaliko nero (Mineral water) and Aspro krasi (White wine).

Also these you might find helpful: vodhino (beef), hirino (pork), arni (sheep), arnaki ghalaktos (lamb), psari (fish), kavuri (crab), midhia (clam), gharides (shrimp), annguri (cucumber), kremidhia (onion), domata (tomato), portokali (orange), fraula (strawberry) and psomi (bread). Tha ithela na pliroso brings you the bill.

One day I decided to go shopping in Megara. I had seen a Miu Miu store and was sure to find something nice in there. As the store had a summer sale, I knew I might afford a few dresses or shirts. My husband took pictures of the city. One photo was just awesome. It shows you what Greece is. A scooter, an SUV and an old tractor in the same picture, in the city.

Megara city traktori