Archive for the ‘Greece Background’ Category

Flavors Of The Peloponnese.

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

Travelers’ accounts of life in the Peloponnese from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries overlook food almost entirely. Most European gentlemen visiting Greece in those times thought little of the local fare-they considered it poor, and even unhygienic. Despite the dearth of details regarding actual meals, however, historical descriptions of the region often mention ingredients that form the basis of Peloponnesian cuisine to this day.

Olive trees frame everything on the peninsula-sea views, hillsides, architecture, vegetation. In the Peloponnese as on Crete, therefore (to a lesser degree throughout Greece), agriculture and gastronomy revolve around the olive and its unctuous gold.

No meal in the Peloponnese is complete without a bowl full of olives, and there are dozens of ways to cure, them. Kalamata, in Messinia, is home to the tight, mahogany-black, almond shaped olives that are perhaps the world’s most famous. Those from Nafplio, in Argolida, are cracked, slim and green. Peloponnesians know their olive oil the way the French do their cheese, and they use it liberally in everything from salads to sweets.

The raw green-gold soil is dribbled on to toasted bread, emulsified with lemon as a dressing or served fried in all manner of dishes. In the southern region of Mani, even plain bread is crisp-fried in olive oil as a local meze (one of a selection of appetizers usually accompanied by ouzo).

Anevata koulourakia (floating biscuits) are made with one tumbler full of oil per kilo of flour. The wood burning baker’s oven at Areopolis -praised by people all over the Peloponnese uses the olive’s thick green juice to make crisp paximadia (rusks). Olive oil is a vital ingredient in the peninsula’s kourambiedes (shortbread-style biscuits), and it helps make the compulsory wedding ‘dessert of joy’, called diples. Curled, finger-thick dough fritters known as lalanghia are kneaded with, then fried in, olive oil and served either hot with grated sfela cheese or cold like a pretzel. They are traditionally made at Christmas but can now be had all year round.

Whether in tavernas, butchers’shops or homes throughout the Peloponnese -especially in the sparse, almost lunar, setting of the Mani -the wealth of cured pork dazzles. Pasta and singlino, two local names for salted pork, are made with slight variations all over the peninsula.

On the mountain plateau of Arcadia, only thigh meat is used. The pieces are big. Salted, boiled in wine, browned in olive oil or lard and seasoned with allspice, cinnamon and pepper, they are preserved in rendered lard or olive oil. In the Mani, preserved pork is salted, then smoked over sage or cypress wood. Many butchers sell it at that stage but, to be considered edible, the pasta must be boiled with oregano and orange peel. Almost every kafeneio in the area serves pasta with a few green olives and strong local firewater. Peloponnesian sausages are made exclusively with pork.

They are often seasoned with orange, pepper and allspice. Garlic, nutmeg and wine (as well as the ever-present orange peel) are added in Mani. For about 20 days each year, between the end of May and the middle of June, the monks of the Taxiarhon Monastery at Aighio, in the northern Peloponnese, prepare their famous rodhozahari, or rose-petal jam.

This exotic, rare spoon sweet is made from the macerated petals of plump, pink, highly-aromatic roses grown on some 80 acres around the monastery. The factory is a makeshift shed a few hundred metres from the monks’ cells, and the jam is sold in plain, stout, yellow tins.

The monastery has made rose-petal jam for at least a hundred years, but no one seems to know how or when the tradition began. According to one Brother, the most likely story is that the roses and the secret recipe for rose sugar were brought to the monastery by a Bulgarian monk during the Turkish occupation. It is the custom in the Rodhopi Mountains (along the border between Bulgaria and Greece) to grow roses and distill rosewater and rose oil.The monks’ recipe is unique, but the sweet is not exclusive to the Peloponnese.

Holiday Guide To Koroni.

Friday, November 9th, 2012

Corinth Canal

Messinia
Messinia lays on the southern part of mainland Greece, now divided from the mainland by the Corinth Canal. The peninsula hosts some of the most important and very impressive ancient sites in Greece. It has a warm winter, it’s not too hot in summer and boasts some of the best and cleanest beaches in the whole of Greece.

Even in the height of the summer holiday season there are no more than a handful of people to be seen on them.The mountain landscape of the Messinian Mani is simple stunning and is dominated by Taygetos, one of the largest mountain ranges in the Peloponnese.

Where as the Messinian peninsular has rolling hills and fertile valleys considered to be the market garden and wine centre of Greece.It is an ideal place to relax and go for walks. Wander off the beaten track into the old hill towns and discover the true beauty of the region.

A world apart from the islands, the beautiful and sparsely populated the Peloponnese is a bastion of disappearing Greek village life. The rural villages in this region are beautifully authentic, traditional and spread out. The local villagers are friendly and welcoming, often plying new tourists with gifts of wine and oranges.The city of Kalamata with all its facilities nestles at the head of the Messini Bay in between the two peninsulas, thus making it an ideal location for a dream holiday.

Koroni
The road coils like a gigantic serpent slowly amidst lush green fields to arrive at Koroni. Its medieval atmosphere is embossed in its old mansions, its churches and its fortress. Its surrounded by still, sheer water, sandy beaches and opposite the little island of Venetiko with its delightful beach. From its hilltop site the Venetian citadel crowns the town. A proper eagle’s nest, with thick walls and colossal gates, it cuts a powerful and glorious figure. Below the fortress in a small palm grove is a little building housing Koroni’s collection of historical and archaeological artefacts.

The outstanding beauty of the area is unimpeded and uninterrupted, therefore, provides continuous surprises.Fortress of KoroniThe fortress occupies the headland to the east of the modern town and is built on the ruins of the ancient Messenian town of Asine. It was constructed in the 6th or 7th century A.D., and was used all through the Byzantine period. Koroni was captured by the Venetians in 1206 and was used as a supplying centre.

In 1500 the fortress was occupied by the Turk Bayazit Pasha and remained under Turkish control until 1686 when it was recaptured by the Venetians. In 1715, when the Venetians left the Peloponnese, the fortress was again dominated by the Turks who kept it until 1828, when it was liberated by the French general Maison.

For many years, the Archaeological Service has been carrying out preservation work on many of the fortresses buildings.The most important monuments of the site are:

The Byzantine Castle.
In the 13th century it was renforced by the Venetians who were responsible for the construction of towers and machicolations.- Byzantine church of Aghia Sophia (Holy Wisdom).Three aisled basilica with colonnades. A second church was built over the prothesis, also dedicated to Aghia Sophia and was reconstructed at the beginning of the century.

Church of St. Charalambos.
A spacious, single-aisled, wooden-roofed church built at the beginning of the second Venetian occupation. It was originally dedicated to St. Rocco.

Church of Panaghia Eleistria.
A spacious, single-aisled, wooden-roofed church, dating back to the end of the 19th or the beginning of the 20th century.

Petalidi
Petalidi protrudes out from the head of a little bay. The sandy or pebbly beaches around the town are shallow and sheltered from the wind and are lined with banana trees. The beautiful main square is surrounded by souvenir shops, cafe, tarvernas, and restaurants.

Modern Town Of Messini In Messinia Greece.

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

The modern town of Messini is to be found 10km south west of Kalamata. It is the second largest town in Messinia and has a population of 7000. Messini it positioned close to the Pamisos River which is on the Messinian plane in an area called Makaria or in Greek ‘happy land’.

The History of Messini The town of Messini was referred to as far back as 150AD by Pausanias under the name of Limnai where the sanctuary of Artemis Limnatida was located. In 440 AD the town was settled by the inhabitants of Ancient Messini and became the seat of Diocese of Messini until 1300 when the seat was transferred to Androusa. In 900 AD the Melissinans constructed the Melipyrgos fort at a location today call Paniyirstra.

The bountiful waters of the Pamisos and the Riaka stream gave the fortified site of Melipyrgos the feeling of an island, from which the town was given its nickname of Nisi (island). This name was first encountered in texts from the Frankish occupation and still survives today. In the French Chronicle of Morea, Messini (Nisi) was mentioned as being the favorite place of the Frankish Queen Isabele Villehardouin who was better known as Princess Isabeau.

On 25th May 1770 the last page of the Orloff Uprising was written in the ruins of Melipyrgos which is also where the last remaining fighters under Yannis Mavronichallis fell. Among those who met a heroic death was Yorgis Felessas, the grandfather of Papaflessas and Yannis Kolokotronis, the grandfather of the old man of Morea who was captured and tortured to death.

Along with Kalamata, Messini was one of the first towns to participate in the 1821 Revolution. It endured the colossal financial burden of training and organisation of the army. Consequently, in 1825 it was destroyed by Ibrahim Pasha.

The Diocese of Messini was set up once more in 1825 and in 1867 the name Messinas was officially reinstated.In the years between the two World Wars, Messini was the muse of an exceptional literary figure Sotiris Patatzis, who among other works wrote novels called Methismeni Politia (Drunken Country) and I Neraida tou Vithou (The Water Nymph of the Deep).

Many other famous Greek people can also trace their origins back to Messini including Frida Liappa (film director), Ellie Fotis (actress) and Nikos Doulamis (singer) to name but a few.

The Town Of Messini Today The economy of the present day town is based on agriculture, as well as a growing service industry comprising of hotels, restaurants, bars and various shops. It also has several banks, pharmacies, general practitioners, dentists and a health center. Sports facilities include a national football field and The town centers round a large square with fountains at one end.

Beside the square is a lovely shady park which has a restaurant next to an amphitheater where bands play music and plays are performed during the summer. There are many activities throughout the year and in September an open-air market is held and is renowned throughout Greece.

Messini’s main beach is Bouka which is 3km from the center of town. Bouka beach has been awarded the Blue Flag of Europe for its 20km of sandy shoreline.There are air and land transport connections with the rest of Greece. Kalamata International Airport is located 1.3km from the center of Messini and has charter services during the summer season as well as daily flights to Athens. The bus station is situated in the central square and the train station is on the edge of Messini town.

Ten Places You Have To Visit.

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

Greece has long been a favorite tourist destination of visitors from all over the world. Not only are they amazed by the many historical buildings that Greece has, but the visitors are also mesmerized by its history. This is, as we all know, the land where the gods and goddesses once walked on earth.

1.) Acropolis
If you are going to Greece, then surely the Acropolis is in your top ten list because this is a very great historical site in the country. Here, you can see the Temple of Athena called the Panthenon. The perfect hour to visit the Acropolis is in the late afternoon, or you can even visit it early in the morning when it is not as crowded.

2.) Athens’ National Archeological Museum
In this museum, you will surely have a wonderful time looking at artifacts from the ancient periods of Greece. You will surely marvel at the beauty of those kouroi statues. If you want to see some Egyptian artifacts, there is also some on exhibit here.

3.) The Temple of Poseidon
Once you reach the cliff top where this temple is located, prepare yourself for the magnificence of this ancient structure. From this vantage point, you will also see the blue waters of the Aegean Sea. There is also a restaurant here where you can have a quick snack.

4.) The Island of Santorini
Almost every one of us has been captivated by the story of the Lost Atlantis. Well, it is said that the Island of Santorini is the Atlantis. Enjoy its history as you walk along the site where the city of Akrotiri was once buried and imagine yourself during that time.

5.) Mykonos Island
If you are tired of old buildings and in need of some modern relaxation, then head on to Mykonos Island. It is a popular tourist destination with lots of popular restaurants as well as trendy bars and discos. There are also nude beaches in the island, perfect for those who want a perfect tan.

6.) Epidaurus Theatre
You can see this ancient theatre in the Peloponnese Peninsula.The best time of the year to visit this during the Epidaurus Festival in the summertime.You will surely love the plays and orchestras here.

7.) Mycenae Fortress
A vast quantity of the golds and silvers that are being displayed in the National Archeological Museum came from this site. Here, you will see stunly beautiful carved stone walls, like the gate were two lions are carved, as well as majestic tomb shafts. You can also have a quick snack in this site’s snack bar.

8.) Crete Island
You should definitely visit this place. Here, drop by Matala if you want fantastic beaches as well as energetic nightlife. Visit also Gortyn and the Phaistos Palace, or better yet, visit the Heraklion Archeological Museum for more fascinating history about this island.

9.) Knossos Palace
This is an ancient Minoan Palace that attracts a lot of visitors yearly. Here, you will surely feel how the ancient Greeks lived before. Be in awe also of the many rooms this palace contains as well as be amazed with the beautiful statues that are still in the palace.

10.) Corfu
In this area, you can visit the Spianada where you can take a leisurely walk as you stroll along the cafes. You can also visit the fortresses that had kept this island safe from invaders those many years ago, and you can also visit the Saint Spyridon Church. One more place that you have to see in Corfu is the grotto that can be found in the island’s cliffs, and anybody who ever sees it will marvel at the beauty of the place.

Walk With The Ancients In Greece.

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Exploring a destination on foot is a great way to gain insight into its culture, history and traditions and Greece is no exception. Whether you’re keen to explore the islands or the mainland, a walking holiday in Greece offers you a great opportunity to examine the country’s ancient history firsthand.

There are numerous different itineraries to choose from, so regardless of your interest or ability, you’re sure to find the perfect break on foot for you.You may find that a seven day walk through western Crete is a great way to experience this part of the world from one central location. You’ll be provided with several itineraries for day walks, which will take you through historic villages, past ancient monuments and Byzantine chapels.

You’ll also have the opportunity to spend time in the fascinating island community of Chania. Alternatively, a 12-day walking tour of the Peloponnese allows you to travel between five different centres for the maximum chance to explore this unique region. During your travels, you’ll pass through varied landscapes as you make your way to the ancient sites of Olympia, including the temples of Zeus and Hera.

Ancient Greek monuments can also be found at Epidavros, while evidence of the country’s rich medieval history can be seen in the numerous castles and fortified villages of Monemvasia and Mystras. Walking is not only a brilliant way to experience Greece’s rich history, but also allows you to gain valuable insight into the country’s modern culture from a personal perspective.

Strolling through the local countryside is a brilliant way to enjoy an active and peaceful holiday you’ll discover hidden treasures such as secluded waterfalls, quiet groves and valleys and spectacular panoramic views. Towns and cities are also perfect places to explore you’ll be able to visit the bustling local markets and enjoy a drink in the friendly tavernas. You may even find yourself making a local friend or two. Sampling the local food and wine, discovering quirky shops and stopping to take a closer look at picturesque churches are also all part of the adventure.

You have plenty of options when it comes to planning your walking tour in Greece. You may prefer to explore each day from one central base or choose an itinerary that allows you to walk from hotel to hotel whilst your bags are transported ahead of your arrival each night.

There are numerous itineraries to choose from each day, so you can always find a walk to suit your mood, ability or interests. Wherever you choose to travel in Greece, you’re sure to have a brilliant time.You may decide to extend your stay in Greece, by adding a few days to your itinerary and taking a city break in Athens.

You’ll have the chance to explore one of the world’s oldest cities and take in a number of world famous historic sites.The Acropolis of Athens and the medieval Daphni Monestary are well worth exploring both are Unesco World Heritage Sites and provide you with an authentic look at Greek history.

Types Of Greek Food And Wine.

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

One of the main beauties of the world is how different we are to one another. We each have our own language ,nationality, culture, foods music, heritage and customs which are instantly recognizable.

Within Greece, food and wine is a much loved part of life which derives from the ancient times and family customs. However, in the beginnings, food was not just simply enjoyed to survive and satisfy ourselves. During Ancient Greece, food was often made as sacrifices to the Gods before consumed and on other occasions, some foods were even shunned if it was believed that the Gods did not like them.

Now a days, many of us are made known the different traditional foods which are enjoyed by the Greeks due to tourism and trends in eclectic foods. However, if you are interested in learning more about the types of wine and wine enjoyed by the Greeks, below is a list of some of the delights you can hope to find.

A vast majority of Greek foods use vital ingredients such as olive oil, meats such as lamb, and vegetables. However, Greek cuisine is renowned for being flavorful and fresh, incorporating a wide range of spices, meats and vegetables. Similar to some other cultures, the Greeks believed that food can help some common ailments, such as Avgolemono which is a soup made from chicken broth, lemon juice eggs and rice. This is a common food used within Greece in when recovering from common colds or when trying to stave off illness.

Desserts are a popular course with many in Greece and Loukoumades is a main ingredient within many sweets dishes. Loukoumades is a type of Greek pastry which is made from a mixture of yeast, sugar, eggs, flour and nutmeg and is often garnished with honey, sugar and cinnamon. Filo pastry is also popular using the infamous Baklava dessert which is native to Greece.

One of Greece’s most popular and well known dishes is Moussaka. Moussaka is similar to a casserole and combines red wine , potatoes, eggplant and onions although it is not uncommon for some form of meat to be used within the recipe also. Meat is brought into many main Greek meals and dishes such as Souvlaki, which is similar to a skewered kebab, are favored by many Greek tourists.

Vegetables are also thoroughly loved by the Greeks and so plenty of fresh, seasonal vegetables are incorporated into meals as often as possible either as a side dish or as part of the main meal. Greek salads, or Horiatiki, are also popular as a side dish with most main meals.

Typically, we associate salads to include some form of lettuce with a variety of salad vegetables and dressing. Greek salad is different in that it is primarily made up of vegetables such as tomato, cucumber, onions, feta cheese and olive oil and seasoning. Traditionally, lettuce is rarely used within Greek salads. In additional to salads, pita bread is a common side dish with main meals with an array of dips available such as yoghurt, garlic and cucumber. Along with food, wine is thoroughly enjoyed by the Greeks and has been since Ancient Greece where it was recognized as the drink of the Gods.

Within Greece there are over 300 different blends of Greek wine from red, white and blanc de gris varieties which are loved by locals and tourists alike. One of the most popular wines within Greece is the Retsina which is a white or rose wine. Although favored by many Greeks, it is less popular with tourists due to the resin mixed in which gives it a distinct taste. Red is a popular wine in Greece, in particular Brusco, or dry red house wine and Xinomavro, or acid black wine, which is a deep red wine produced in the northern part of Greece. This is a popular wine as it ages well and provides a rich, woody flavor and aroma.

One of the most popular red wines within the island is Agiorghitiko which is named after St. George. The Agiorghitiko grape grows in the Peloponnese area and possesses a cherry flavor with a slight hint of spice.There is no denying that when it comes to being passionate about food and wine, the Greeks are some of the best. Boasting a flavorsome, delicious buffet of cuisine which is rich in culture and history, a trip to Greece is guaranteed to not only have you in awe of the history and culture you can experience in terms of its architecture, etc but also in terms of the exquisite food you will be introduced to.

Discover Greece And The History.

Saturday, November 3rd, 2012

Greece is one of the best places to travel because it is the one of the oldest countries. You will find that over 15 million tourists journey to Greece every year. The culture today has so much and it is a great place for you to kick back and enjoy a vacation or you may find that it is a way for you to educate your children about all the history that Greece has.

You will find that there are lot of things that you will want to see in the Greece countryside.The first place that you will want to visit in Greece is the Acropolis, which is the most recognized symbol of the culture. You will find that there are a lot of articles that online written about the Acropolis where you can pay your respects to the guardian while exploring the countryside.

You will also want to take the time to visit ancient Agora. The agora is where you will find the philosophers like Socrates and Plato took their time to expand on their ideas and thoughts. You will find this wonderful place for you to go. You will want to make sure that you don’t leave the country without seeing this site. Also, do not forget about going to Athens. Athens is just one of the places in Greece that you will want to take your time to see. You will want to make sure that you see Athens because it is like Rome to Greece. It has all the history of Greece.

You will definitely want to take your time to see Athens just because this city has fought long and hard, there are tons of things that you will want to experience in Greece, but always start with Athens.There are many other things that you will want to see like a Hellenic National League and the Athens marathon.

You will also want to take your time to volunteer for a cause.You will find that there are various skills and many organizations that would like to have help. Volunteer vacations are great because you are able to get away from your daily life, but also you will be doing good for the general public.

There are also many museums that you can go and see and they are many beaches that you can sit on when you go to Greece. It does border the Mediterranean Sea and it makes a lovely day at the beach when you go to the many in Greece.

In addition, you will want to think about researching your time and taking part of the many summer events. You will want to check out when the local events are so that you can make a huge difference in the way that you approach relaxing on your vacation in Greece.

Corinth Uniting Peloponnese To Greece Mainland.

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

The city of Corinth is geographically located in a narrow land area, known as the Isthmus of Corinth, which connects the region of Peloponnese to the mainland of Greece. The Isthmus of Greece, which was formerly used for the transportation of ships, is now a days cut by a canal which is used for the purposes by which the isthmus was used before.

Corinth is the capital of Corinthia, a prefecture which belongs to the Greek region of the Peloponnese. Towards the western area of the city and the isthmus there is the gulf of Corinth, towards the east there is the Sacronic Gulf, and towards the south west, at about 50 miles, there is Athens. Besides this, there are several small islands or islets surrounding Corinth: Kechries, Lechaio, Isthmia, Ancient Corinth, and Examilia. The city of Corinth has gone through several different époques as well as it has had a variety of denominations. One of the first denominations it had was Korinthos, but this name would change depending on different invaders and on who was in control of the town at different given periods.

The origins of Corinth date from as long ago as the 6th century BC, in the Neolithic Age. According to some discoveries, during the year 2000 BC, the city was almost entirely destroyed. Next in the town’s history, another important event happened during the Mycenean period, when the Dorians tried to invade and take the control over the town. The Dorians failed the first time, but succeeded after trying again, and settled in Corinth for a while.

Nowadays, an important part of the old city of Corinth can not be visited anymore due to the fact that it was partially destroyed by an earthquake towards the last years of the decade of 1850. Despite of this, there still are many interesting historical spots that visitors can meet in the city and its surroundings, as well as a variety of entertaining things to do.

Corinth, as well as the entire prefecture of Corinthia, is a very attractive Greek destination which combines an amazing historical past with modern life in a unique way.

Buying Property In Greece Frequently Asked Questions.

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Buying property in any foreign country can be a nightmare and there are many frequently asked questions about buying property in Greece. This list of questions and answers has been compiled to give you a starting pointing and aims to help you with the necessary research that is involved when buying a property in Greece, What types of properties are available to buy in Greece? There are many different types of properties available to buy in Greece: Cottages, villas, village houses, town houses and apartments. There are old properties to renovate or you can buy a plot of land and design and build a new home. There is usually something for everyone’s tastes and budget.

Can I buy a property in the Peloponnese?
Yes, there are no any restrictions for foreigners wishing to buy property in the Peloponnese.

Are foreigners welcome in Greece?
Yes, The Greek people are among the friendliest in Europe. There is now a large number of citizens from all nationalities living in Greece.

Do I have to have my finance in place before my inspection visit?
It’s advisable to have your finance in place before your inspection visit. If you see your dream home you will be able to purchase it without any delays. This way you will not miss out.

I’ve found the house I wish to purchase in Greece now what happens?
Choose an English-speaking lawyer. The British Consul’s provide lists of recommended lawyers. Tel: 0030 210 369 2333.You can sign a proxy in order that your lawyer can represent you; obtain your tax number (AFM). You need this to complete your purchase; check title deeds and ensure there are no problems; and to sign the contract on your behalf. In this way the property can be signed over to you and it’s not necessary for you to make extra visits. Your lawyer will also deal with the Public Notary on your behalf. The Public Notary is responsible for drawing up your contracts, witnessing the signatures / payments and registering the new ownership of your property. When this process is complete the lawyer will provide you with a copy of the deeds. The original is placed with the land registry department.All transactions are in Euros. You will need to set up a Greek bank account to pay for your legal advice, transfer money and pay bills. There are foreign exchange brokers that can transfer large amounts to Greece according to the business rate. Payment of utility bills can be set up very easily by direct debit via the bank, and money can be transferred online. The Leki Bank is connected to the HSBC and accounts may be open in the UK.The ‘PINK SLIP’ for wire transfers of money from abroad. If the buyer cannot justify the amount of money they have spent, the Greek tax authorities will assign it as unreported income and the buyer will be assessed for income tax.

Do I have to pay a deposit?
Yes, it is normal to pay a deposit of 10 / 20 % of the agreed purchase price. This seals the contact between the seller and buyer.If the seller pulls out (which is unlikely) he must return the money plus the same amount again. If the buyer pulls out the deposit is forfeit. However, if previously known problems are revealed the deposit will automatically be return.How long does the purchase process take? Property purchase is generally completed in a short period. It can take as little as 48 hour to 2 weeks. However, if the seller has not collected all the necessary documents for the transaction, it can take up to 3 months.

Will I have to pay tax on the property that I purchase?
Yes. The custom in Greece is to keep down the declared value of the property to reduce legal fees and property taxes. The one time purchase tax (which is the Greek equivalent of our stamp duty) is calculated at between 9% and 11% of the assessed property value for plots of land. For apartments and houses the charge is between 11% and 13%. The Inland Revenue will base their assessment on special tables issued by the Greek Ministry of Finance. The tables help determine the value of the property according to its merits, i.e. location, nature, quality of construction etc. The assessed value will usually amount to around two thirds of the true purchase price.

What other costs can I expect?
Other costs include the following:
Union fees: 1% of the taxable price of the property up to EUR44,000 and then 0.5% on the remaining taxable property price.
Lawyer’s fees: Lawyers charge between 1% and 2% of the assessed value as recorded on the contract of sale.
Public Notary fees and registration charge: The Notary Public fee is between 1% and 2% of the assessed property valueTo the above cost of purchasing your property you should make an allowance for either buying furniture or appliances in Greece or transporting your furniture and household effects from the UK.

Do I have to pay a fee for finding a property?
Yes, commission is usually paid by the seller and the buyer in Greece. Fees and are normally 2% – 5%. After sales services are often available and will also incur an additional charge. Fees are generally fixed in accordance to the services that you require.

If something happens to me will the property automatically go to my next of kin?
Yes it will go to next of kin. Death duties are payable on property up to £100,000. This can be avoided if the property is made a “Parental Gift” to children. If there are no children a will should be made. Now, enjoy your new home in Greece, you deserve it!

Please Note
This information is provided in good faith and believed to be correct at the time of writing.

Ancient Messini Messinia Peloponnese.

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

The ruins of ancient Messini lie scattered in a sheltered valley beneath the picturesque village of Mavromati, 32km northwest of Kalamata in Messinia. Mavromati is a small village built like an amphitheatre up the foothills of the sacred mountain of Ithomi.

Today it’s called Voulkano and is where the sanctuary of Zeus Ithomatos was located. One of the legends upheld is that Zeus was born not in Crete or on Olympus, but here at Ithomi, where he was brought up by two nymphs, Ithomi and Neda.Water flows from the heart of the mountain to splash out of a black hole in the rock face in the centre of the village. This is where Mavromati gets its name from.Mavro mati means black eye in Greek. The Archaeological Site of Ancient Messini Asklepion complex; is a large complex of shrines and meeting rooms that formed the centre of the city. The Temple of Asklepios and Hygeia was a peripteros, Doric temple. The temple was destroyed and then rebuilt of a local stone. A small theatre-odeion belongs to the Asklepion complex. An inscription was found here which informs us that the building was found and called “Decterion”. It was a room for rhetorical displays and assemblies.

Bouleuterion: A rectangular almost square room which also belongs to the Asklepieion complex. It was used for meetings of the Messinian council, attended by representatives form all towns in the territory. Its dimensions are: 19×18.30m. There are two entrances on the west side of the building.

Temple of Artemis: A small temple of the Ionic style which dates back to the middle of the 3rd century B.C. Sanctuary of Zeus Ithomatas: The statue of Zeus, designed by the Argive Sculptor named Ageladas, was here. This type of statue, which represented Zeus as a child, is unusual.

Theatre-Stadium: The stadium was used to hold athletics contests in the honour of Zeus and remains largely intact. The lower seats of the stadium on the eastern side was where the judges and priests sat to preside over the games. The stadium is surrounded by the remains of the gymnasium The Massive wall fortification which dates back to the 3rd century B.C. is one of the most important achievements of the ancient military architecture.

The Arcadian Gate that is on the north side of the wall is still very impressive. It was the main gate of ancient Messini and the main route to Megalopolis. The Museum: A small museum on the main road 200m northwest of the village houses some of the finds from the site.Mount Ithomi The main route to the summit of Mount Ithomi (799m) starts approximately 1.5km east of Mavromati along the road to the Laconian Gate.

A signpost marks the beginning of a rough track the zigzags up the mountainside. The summit of Ithomi is occupied by the 13th century monastery of Voulkanou which is now abandoned. The new monastery is situated on the eastern side of the mountain beyond the Laconion Gates.Ancient Messini is one of the largest archaeological sites in Greece and is significant in terms of its size, form and state of its preservation. Excavation of the site began only 25 years ago and artifacts are still continuing to be found and it’s quickly become a significant site. Ancient Messini is one of Messinia’s hidden gems and well worth a visit.