The most "strange" villages in Greece

Architecture, geography, customs and traditions that make them unique

000 shutterstock 1434586649 1312x819 Heraklion, Karpathos, Naxos, Chania, Chios, villages

Greece, if nothing else, is full of wonderful destinations with picturesque and beautiful apart, which every year are favorite choices for refreshing excursions and excursions from the closed city.

Most of them are distinguished for the picturesque images they offer to their visitors, full of cobbled cobbled streets, traditional buildings, stone fountains and squares under age-old plane trees.

There are, however, villages that are destined for their uniqueness. The architecture, geography, customs and traditions that characterize them make them very special and special, raising the curiosity of travelers who want to experience a different and unique life experience.

Olympus - Here women have the upper hand

shutterstock 680890168 Heraklion, Karpathos, Naxos, Chania, Chios, villages

In the mountain village of Olympos, in its northern part Karpathos, where the folk tradition remains alive to this day, with the older women still walking around in the traditional costumes of the island and the locals still speaking the local dialect, time seems to have stopped.

Nestled between two mountain peaks at an altitude of 310 meters, the village is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful settlements on the island - and probably the whole of Greece - which architecturally follows the standards of medieval settlements, an image that remains almost unchanged over the years until today.

The village and its inhabitants were cut off from the rest of the island until the 80s, as the road leading to it was quite inaccessible and did not particularly benefit from travel. Until then, in fact, any communication that its inhabitants could have with Karpathos, was carried out by sea, from the port of Diafani.

It is a matriarchal village, an article by CNN Travel spoke of "the place that characterizes itself as patriarchal", in which it was even mentioned that here women are dominant in the kitchen, both in homes and restaurants, while creating and wearing traditional costumes for various religious ceremonies, with men dressed mainly in khaki clothes and shirts and living completely away from the modern comforts with which we have combined in our minds modern society. The women of Olympus, however, have a voice and an opinion, and most importantly, their role is active, distinct and of great value.

Apeiranthos - The Cycladic island that speaks Cretan

shutterstock 1095281213 Heraklion, Karpathos, Naxos, Chania, Chios, villages

Cobbled streets of typical Cycladic architecture with vaulted arches, beautiful old two-storey houses and squares with traditional cafes, impressive Venetian towers and interesting museums compose the image of its most popular mountain village Naxos.

Built at an altitude of 650 m., "T 'Aperathou" - as the people of Naxos call the village - is located at a distance of 32 km from Chora of the island and maintains its local color and idiosyncratic architectural character since the time of Venetian rule.

Apeiranthos, therefore, is famous for its livestock products, wine and cuisine, while the linguistic idiom of its inhabitants, which refers to the Cretan dialect, is of particular interest. This, after all, is the main feature of the village that makes it included in our list.

shutterstock 1194085021 Heraklion, Karpathos, Naxos, Chania, Chios, villages

A walk in Apeiranthos alone, without anyone talking to a local, trying one of the traditional dishes, watching closely some of the customs and traditions of the village, does not in any way testify to the peculiar relationship of the village with the Crete, and more specifically Sfakia (they have been twinned at the municipal level since 2003) and Anogia.

Stories and myths say that the first inhabitants of the village were Sfakian warriors who were looking for Ariadne to return her to her home, who "fell in love" with the village and stayed here forever, creating his first seven families. References are also made to many Cretan painters who arrived here during the Byzantine period, and it is historically recorded that many fighters of failed revolutions during the Frankish and Turkish occupations resorted to either persecution or expulsion to Naxos and Apeiranthos.

Today, however, the fact that the villagers keep intact over time several customs similar to those of Crete: their traditional costumes have several similarities, they create their own mantinades - they call them "kotsakia" - while In all their festivities, the lute and the Cretan lyre are present.

Dark - The unwritten law on smoking that no one violates

shutterstock 729060772 Heraklion, Karpathos, Naxos, Chania, Chios, villages

About 20 years ago, the residents of the village of Skotino, in the municipality of Hersonissos in Heraklion of Crete, they started a very healthy habit, which is maintained to this day: they stopped smoking.

Without clear evidence and stories about how they made this anti-smoking decision, its observance by all the villagers is now a tradition and a type of unwritten law, unique one would say admittedly for the Greek data.

As a result, no one finds cigarettes in the village, not even to buy, while in the case of their visitors, out of respect for the villagers and their uniqueness, they avoid smoking themselves.

This particular special tradition is passed down from generation to generation and is a model and positive example for everyone.

Bath - The secluded earthly paradise of Chania accessible only by sea

shutterstock 436817194 Heraklion, Karpathos, Naxos, Chania, Chios, villages

The seaside village in the southern part of the prefecture, 71 km from the center Chania, is a famous holiday resort, especially during the summer. It may have a road all the way, "sown" with taverns, cafes and rooms to let, but once you see it, you won't look for anything more.

Its pale white houses (reminiscent of a very Cycladic landscape) "embrace" the small port, creating a picturesque image that will be etched in your memory. Its attractions are the building where the government was housed during the Revolution of 1821, the ruins of ancient Aradena with the church of the Archangel Michael, as well as those of Anopolis.

If you are based in Loutro, you can explore the gorge of Samaria and Aradena or climb Anopolis and enjoy the magnificent view of the Libyan Sea. From here, boats will also depart that will take you to the southernmost point of Europe, the small island of Gavdos. You will reach Loutro, only by sea, after 20 minutes by boats departing from Sfakia.

Pyrgi - The painted village of Chios

shutterstock 1434586649 Heraklion, Karpathos, Naxos, Chania, Chios, villages

One of its most famous Mastic villages Chios, Pyrgi, also known as the "painted village", looks like a time machine that travels through time.

Declared a protected monument, it is known for its geometric decoration of the exterior walls of its houses, a feature that makes it unique in its kind throughout Greece. These are the famous "scratches", which create special geometric shapes, in white and black, giving Pyrgi its special character.

The impressive technique, which is kept alive to this day, includes black sand that is bleached and then scraped. The carvings are made by hand and thus the famous black patterns are created on a white background, simple or complex.

The houses of the village, as well as the rest of the Mastichochoria of Chios, are glued to each other and connected to the opposite with impressive arches, while the feeling that the village was created with a defensive character in order to offer its inhabitants security and protection is everywhere. diffuse. This is also confirmed by the defensive tower in the center of the village, which served as a shelter in the event of an attack.