Ammoudia – Epirus, Greece

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Ammoudia is a quiet tourist town by a small bay South of Parga in Epirus, Greece. There is almost no night life, and only a small selection of restaurants, but if you want to chill out on a sandy Beach or go on excursions Ammoudia is a good choice.

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The river mouth of the Acheron River is the heart of Ammoudia. That is where you find the majority of the restaurants. All restaurants serve fresh seafood. My personal favorite Ammoudia dish is grilled calamari.

Acheron means “no joy”. According to myths, Charon, the ferryman of Hades, carried the souls of the deceased to Acheron, which was perceived as the gateway to Hades, the underworld.21247659_10155819590244880_702643915_o

Another myth goes like this: Hades was in love with Persephone. One day, when her mother had left her by herself, he kidnapped her and took her to the Underworld. Persephone’s mother is Demeter, the goddess of agriculture. When she couldn’t find her daughter, Demeter spent her time searching for her daughter rather than taking care of the plants. As time passed all plants died and people began to starve. Zeus had to take action, so he sent Hermes to Hades. Hades freed Persephone, but as she was about to leave, he offered her a pomegranate. She ate half of it. All food from the underworld is cursed, therefore, Persephone had to return to Hades for 6 months every half a year. This is why we have seasons.

See the story as a small movie

 

Nekromanteion

If you walk about 5 km along the road towards South you will reach the archeological sites of Nekromanteion (8 Euro) and Ephyra. Archeological findings reveal that human beings have been present in the area in the late Bronze Ages (16th-11th BC), the Hellenistic Period, Post-byzantine Peiod and the Ottoman Period. Both places have been fortified.

Nekromanteion “the Oracle of the Dead” was a temple devoted to Hades and Persephone, and it was believed to be the entrance to Hades. People came there to talk with their deceased loved ones. Communication with the dead happened in Group ceremonies. Today you can enter a underground room which is quite impressive architectonically and which has an almost magical atmosphere.

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Ephyra

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Oracle of the Dead

 

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Figs from the roadside trees

 

From the river mouth you can buy boat trips to Parga (15 Euro) and to Paxos and Antipaxos (25 Euro for a day trip).

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Paxos

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Day trips

Meteora: Greek Orthodox monasteries suspended in air

Wow what a landscape!!!, and wow!!! … How is that possible?

This area truely earn to be on UNECO‘s list

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Butrint, Albania

Yet a UNESCO site

Occupation dating from 50 000 BC

According to mythology, the place is founded by exiles from Troy. It has been a fortress, a Greek polis with a Theater, a Roman spa town, an Episcopal residence; it has been under Greek, Roman; Venetian, Ottoman and Albanian rule.

Here you find the remains of ancient civilizations combined with beautiful nature.

 

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Costa Blanca – Calpe

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map.png The public bus from Torrevieja to Alicante cost 4,5 Euro and from Alicante to Calpe 7,25 Euro. Do not expect the drivers to speak English:)

Calpe is a very beautiful small town surrounded by water.

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You can swim in the Mediterranean, watch flamencos in the salt lake or hike up Penyal d’lfach.

 

The hike

I recommend that you leave town no later than 8 am to avoid the strongest heat. It takes about 1½ hour to reach the top, and you should not do it if you are scared of hights or if you have bad balance.

As you leave town watch how the sunrise reflects in the salt lake.

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You will pass the remains of Medieaval Calpe

Penyal d'lfach medieval

Though I saw children on the top, this hike is not for all

Penyal d'lfach hikePenyal d'lfach tunnelPenyal d'lfach viewPenyal d'lfach people approaching the topAs you might notice, the road is quit invisible (if you look well you see hikers on the photo)

Penyal d'lfach view from topPenyal d'lfach seagul

 

 

 

 

 

Costa Blanca – Torrevieja

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A public bus from Alicante airport to Torrevieja costs about 7 euro.

I was surprised by the silence of Torrevieja. Besides from the coastline North of the marina to Playa de los Locos, it was easy to find uncrowed spots.

The first place I visited, was Laguna de Torrevieja. The salt lake becomes red when the sun is shining, and fascinating pictures of that was what had lead me to Torrevieja. Unfortunately, it was a bit cloudy when I was there, but the lake was still beautiful. A lot of people were floating in the lake – it you want to do that, you have to bring water to rinse the salt of your body.

 

At night, as a woman walking alone, I found it safest to stay on the tourist strip from the marina to Playa del Cura. when I entered side roads, strange guys called out !hola! and !guapa!.

I spent my first day walking from the center of Torrevieja towards south. After three hours, I reached Punta Prima, a nice and quiet beach with good views. I took my time and enjoyed the views – it took only 1½ hour to walk back

I spent my second day walking towards North. North of Playa de los Locos the coastline is very beautiful. This is not the place to go, if you are looking for white sand beaches; but if you are into panoramic vistas and rocks, it’s your spot.

After two hours I reached, what became my favorite place: the clefts in-between Cala de la Higuera and Cala de la Zorra. I arrived at noon, and enjoyed a fresh breeze and an amazing view from the top of the cleft. Then I continued to Torre del moro just around the corner.

Walking back, I stoped once again at Cala de la Zorra, where I walked down the walkways and stairs that lead down the cleft towards a small beach.

Finally I enjoyed a sangria at Playa de los Locos

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I can strongly recommend melaconones amarillos (yellow peaches)!!!!

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