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VIOTIA

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GENERAL INFORMATION

A land of high mountains and fertile plains with beaches to the East and to the South, Viotia (Boeotia) is the quintessence of diversity. Its Eastern coast forms the narrowest straits of the Gulf of Evia, while its Southern shores are wet by the waters of the Corinthian Gulf. Its central regions form the plain of Kopaida, among the most fertile farmlands in Greece, while its Northwestern parts are dominated by the impressive mountains Parnassus and Elikon. The population of 135.000 is quite well balanced across the prefecture, with its two major cities, the capital city of Levadia and the historical city of Thebes, accounting for less than a third of these people. Viotia is a developed region, with tourist resorts by the sea as well as on its mountain tops attracting travelers interest throughout the year.        

 

HISTORY-CULTURE

Viotia is a deeply ancient land. Inhabited since 12.000 BC, it has seen the passing of many significant prehistoric Greek tribes, including the Ektenes, the Yandes, the Aones, the Cademeans-Phoenikes (incorrectly mistaken by many for Semite Phoenicians), the Minyans, the Pelasgians and the Boeotians. The latter formed the Boeotian league, a great power of the bronze age, which often quarreled with its Peloponnesean rivals in Mycenae. They must had worked out a peaceful solution by the time of the Trojan war, as Boeotia was a significant contributor in this great military campaign, led by the legendary Agamemnon, king of Mycenae. The city of Thebes was the greatest of the region throughout most of these ancient times, but the cities of Levadia, Orhomenos, Chaeronia, Plataies, Lefktra, Thespies, and Tanagra were also of considerable significance. The land of Viotia has seen many historical battles, the outcome of which shaped the future of Greece, and perhaps the western world. In the battle of Plataies, the allied Greek forces, led by the Spartans, won the decisive battle against the invading Persians, terminating this threat of Eastern absolutism to the peoples of Europe. The victorious outcome of the battle of Chaeronia solidified the hold of Alexander the Great on the Greek lands, allowing him to command the allegiance of all his native Greeks to follow him in what turned to be the most spectacular conquest the world has ever known. The prefecture fell into decline during the Roman years, and it suffered greatly by the attacks of the Normans in the 11th century, the Franks in the 13th century, and the Turks in the 15th century. As Levadia gradually emerged as a center of commerce and agriculture, Viotia regained much of the significance it enjoyed in antiquity, and it became a major contributor to the Greek War of Independence that broke out in 1821, as many leading figures of the struggle emerged from here.

 

SIGHTS

The medieval castle, the oracle of Zeus and the waterfalls of Krya in the capital of Levadia deserve a visit. The waters come from the nearby ancient springs of Lethe (Oblivion) and Mnemosyne (Memory). The great tomb of ancient king Minyas in Orhomenos rivals the ones of legendary Kings Atreus in Mycenae and Nestor in Pylos. The fortification of Glas, overlooking the plain of Kopaida and its little-known, massive irrigation network, is the largest of the bronze age. The remains of the numerous ancient cities, with walls and towers which once protected these city-states of the bronze and iron age, offer passage to a past long gone but not forgotten. The Byzantine monastery of the Evangelist Luke near Distomo is one of the greatest monuments of Byzantine art and architecture surviving to this day. Picturesque Arahova offers proximity to the skiing centers of mt. Parnassus and to the beaches of Antikyra and Paralia Distomou. Just 10km from here there is the cave of Korykion Andron, a sanctuary of the ancient god Pan and the Nymphs, adorned with stalactites and stalagmites, and a refuge for the local populace at troubled times. The lion of Chaeronia stands proud, honoring the brave men which fell in this famous battle.    

 

ENTERTAINMENT-SPORTS-SHOPPING

Viotia, renowned for its seaside and winter resorts, cannot disappoint the visitor regardless of which time of the year he chooses arrive. The services offered are high in quality, as this region has long experience in accommodating large numbers of tourists. Arahova is among the most prominent tourist destinations in Greece, attracting countless Greeks along with the visitors from other nations, especially during the winter. They come here to revel in the facilities of the most organized skiing centers in the country, or to enjoy a view to the sea from an altitude of just below 1000 meters. Traditional products can be found here, including fabulous textiles, formaela cheese, red wine, and the spicy local version of feta cheese. Taverns are nearly innumerable, specializing in delicious grilled meat dishes. No other place celebrates Easter upholding the tradition of preparing the meat dishes as this is done in Viotia; on Easter Sunday, the entire prefecture seems like an endless cookout, where families and neighbours make large fires to cook the traditional whole lamb along with other dishes, drinking wine for the long hours this meal requires for its preparation. The city of Levadia offers food, drink, music and dancing for free on this Day. Finally, the mountains of Viotia are crisscrossed by trekking routes winding through dense forests, while water sports facilities are available on the beaches.            

 

ACCESS

The extensive road network renders Viotia accessible from any place on the Greek mainland. Daily train routes to Levadia arrive from Athens and Thessaloniki. Bus routes from Athens are frequent, with many departures each day. 

 

CONNECTIONS

Buses connect Viotia with the entire country. Thebes and Levadia are linked to most major cities, from where other routes lead to even the smallest remote village. 

 

MUSEUMS

There are significant archaeological collections in Thebes, Chaeronia, Plataies, Thespies, and Tanagra. Levadia hosts a museum of historical and ethnological interest.

 

ALTERNATIVE TOURISM

Agrotourism, ecotourism, archaeology, congress, cultural-historical, spiritual, gastronomy, caving, sporting (jeep safari, ski, snowboard, trekking, mountain bike, mountain climbing, parapente, windsurfing, scuba diving, water ski).

 

USEFUL TELEPHONE NUMBERS:

VIOTIA AREA CODE:  22610-

POLICE STATION: 22610-88835

MUNICIPALITY: 22610-25330

TRAFFIC POLICE:22610-88845

POST OFFICE: 22610-28677

TELECOMMUNICATIONS ORG.: 22610-85272

TAXI STATION: 22610-22100

BUS STATION: 22610-28336

HOSPITAL: 22610-20051

PHARMACIES: 22610-28781, 28835, 23588

 

 

 

 

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STEREA HELLAS & EVIA VIOTIASTEREA HELLAS & EVIA VIOTIASTEREA HELLAS & EVIA VIOTIASTEREA HELLAS & EVIA VIOTIA
STEREA HELLAS & EVIA VIOTIASTEREA HELLAS & EVIA VIOTIA
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