It is travel season and we sometimes think of exotic places to visit. I did not make the journey physically to this Greek isle, but traveling via painting is one of my favorite ways to travel. (Much less expensive means of travel, too! When you think of how much money you are saving by traveling via painting, the splurge of a new paintbrush is not a big deal!) The painting above is of a clifftop village of Oia with cobblestone walkways, on the northern tip of the Greek island of Santorini.
Notice the sharp contrast of the black hillside rock and the whitewashed builings. The black rock of the island is due to a unique landscape from volcanic eruptions. A volcano, still active, stands at the center of the ring of islands with Santorini being the longest island in this group. The colorful bright blue doors bring out the beautiful blue of the sea and sky.
Ancient Corinth owed it’s importance to its location. The town controlled the four mile wide isthmus, the only land route into the Peloponnese. The Temple of Apollo was built about 540 B.C. Only seven columns have survived the local earthquakes.
Septse is one of the Saronic Islands, a group that is close to Athens. Away from the busy harbor are fine beaches and cool pine forests. This small island is ideal for taking pleasant walks through the narrow streets.
This volcanic island in Cyclades has a unique geography. Small homes are built on the steep edge of the rocks face. Some have rooms carved out of pumice stone rock left by the volcano. Small family churches are dotted amongst the white homes.
The Monastery of Our Lady of Pandanassa (The Queen of all) has a church of mixed architecture featuring exterior porticos and a bell tower. The monastery is in the Mystras region close to Sparta.
Aegina is one of the closest islands to Athens and is a popular weekend destination. Relaxing at the harbor Zaxaroplasteon (dessert shop) is a favorite pastime. The harbor church is Panayitsa or Mother Mary.
Hydra is one of the Saronic Islands. It’s proximity make it a popular destination for day tours from Athens. All around the bay picturesque white houses are interspersed with great stone mansions, but the 18th century clock tower from the Monastery of Panagia dominates the view.
These great oaks are in Karyes on the Peloponnese. They are held in high regard because of their age and size. One of the oaks which has become hollow over the years was used to house a tiny kafenion from which coffee was served during church events.
The island of Naxos in the Cyclades group is home to these colorful fishing boats. They are owned by fishermen from the small village of Apollo.
Greece is full of beautiful coastlines and harbors. The colorful fishing boats in this picture are from the small town of Andikira located in Central Greece. It’s sheltered harbor opens to the Gulf of Corinth.
The Holy Monastery of Saint Rousanou was founded around 1560 in Meteora, Central Greece. Until recent times access to the buildings was by a rope basket. The monks lowered and raised people and supplies using a pulley system.
Galaxithi is a beautiful little old port town in central Greece, situated in the gulf of Korinth. The 18th and 19th centuries saw great prosperity for ship owners in this town and during that time many fine mansions were built.
The island of Paros in the Cylcades is the location of Naousa; a bustling fishing village nestled in a natural harbor. Seafood restaurants with outdoor seating line the small quay and the busy commotion of the sunny day gives way to a tranquil ambience as the quay transforms into a poplular restaurant destination.
Patmos is a beautiful island that has maintained its religious traditions and has many monasteries and churches. The Book of Revelations was written on the island by John the Evangelist. An important monastery on the island honors his name.
This picturesque courtyard is in the old market place on the island of Naxos. The shop name pays tribute to Ariathni, daughter of King Minos of Crete. She helped Theseus, later King of Athens, kill the dreaded Minator of Knossos. Theseus abandoned her on a stop to get provisions and she become known as Ariathni of Naxos.
This church nestled into the steep rock houses the miraculous icon “Panagia Proussiotissa” which is much revered by locals for its powers. The church which dates from 1754 A.D. is part of a monastery in the Evritania region of West Central Greece.
Descendents of ancient Spartans lived in the Mani area and in the Middle Ages were joined by refugees from the Byzantium nobility. The aristocracy formed competing clans with rights to erect combat towers. Poor resouces spurred banditry and blood feuds which lasted for years. Petros Mavromihalis united the clans while instigating the Greeek uprising of 1821.
The Parthenon, built on the Acropolis rock in 450 b.c. is a sepctacular site and is visible from almost any location in Athens. Dedicated to the Goddess Athena (the Virgin), it has survived many wars and a 400-year Turkish occupation.
Thessalonika is named after the sister of Alexander the Great. It is Greece’s second largest city and capital of the Macedonian region. Many ancient and historic buildings still exist. The White Tower is the most prominent harbor feature.
Mystras has a long history. Byzantine architecture from the 13th and 14th centuries is abundant and records show that in 1448 A.D. the last emperor of Byzantium, Constantine XI Paleologos was crowned there. In 1834 A.D. after liberation from the Ottoman Empire, the modern city of Sparta was founded nearby.
Mount Athos in Northern Greece is a peninsula which is home to many monasteries including St. Gregory. The monastery was founded in the 14th century and rebuilt after a fire in 1761 A.D. It is an active monastery restricted to males only
artist Pantelis Zografos.