Greece the ideal destination


Arta the Ideal Destination

Untamed Beauty

Arta

Considered by many to be one of the most beautiful regions of Greece, Arta is bordered by the Tzoumerka mountains and the Amvrakikos Gulf. The magnificent ancient and Byzantine monuments, the breathtaking highlands and the spectacular natural beauty of the Amvrakikos Gulf are just some of the unique attractions waiting to be explored. Arta has something for everyone, from outdoor enthusiasts and ecologists to scientists and regular tourists. The main town of the prefecture,Arta,has a long and chequered history. Built amphitheatrically on the site of ancient Ambrakia on the banks of the Arachthos River, it has approximately 40,000 inhabitants and lies 365 kilometres from Athens. The town extends up the slopes of Peranthis hill, on the top of which stands a Byzantine fortress. The town's most famous landmark is undoubtedly the Bridge of Arta. The bridge is known not only for its extraordinary architecture but also the popular legend surrounding the master builder, who is said to have buried his wife in the foundations. Arta has three very interesting museums: the Museum of Classical Antiquities (housed in the Parigoritissa Church), the Skoufas Society Folk Art Museum and the Skoufas Society Historical Museum. Among the ancient monuments still standing are the 3rd century BC Theatre, the foundations of a Doric temple (5th century BC), parts of the town walls and the base of a 6th century BC monument. One of Arta's most outstanding features is its large number of notable Byzantine monuments. The 13th century fortress was probably built by Despot Michael II. A Byzantine structure survives inside the fort. The largest church is dedicated to the Mother of God of Consolation (Panagia Parigoritissa). Built in the late 13th century, the church is of enormous architectural interest and famous for its 13th century mosaics, sculptural decoration and wall paintings. Throughout the prefecture there are many Byzantine churches and monasteries. One of the most renowned is the Panaghia of Vlacherna, ateries. One of the most renowned is the Panaghia of Vlacherna, a 13th century three-aisled basilica in the village (Vlacherna) just 9 km. from Arta. Founded in 1697, the Seltsou Convent was the scene of a great tragedy in 1804. After being besieged for four months by the Turks, a group of women and children from Souli finally threw themselves off a nearby cliff rather than be captured. The natural beauty of Arta, with its orange and olive groves, Ionian coast and the magnificent Tzoumerka and Radovyzia mountains, makes it an ideal destination for nature lovers and outdoors enthusiasts. The mountain slopes are dotted with picturesque villages inhabited by hospitable people keen to preserve the traditional ways. People who know how to smile, to sing, to dance... who appreciate the beauty of nature and know how to take pleasure in the simple things of life. Villages such as Vourgareli, Theodoriana, Katarraktis, Melissourgoi, Piges, Astrochori, Rodavgi and Skoulikaria, where visitors can still hear the rhythmic beat of the loom, taste fresh butter and smell the wood burning as housewives prepare local specialities. The lagoons in the Amvrakikos Gulf are among Greece's most important wetlands and are protected by the RAMSAR international convention. The wetlands are home to a large number of rare flora and fauna (including a small colony of the rare silver pelican, herons, dolphins and sea turtles) and provide an ideal setting for ecological, educational, scientific and regular tourism.

Arta

Arta

Arta

Arta

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