Astakos: Homeland of CyclopsAstakos, Greece
All praise the humble acorn. The fruit of a tree that can grow in the most arid and rocky terrain gave birth to a community able to thrive despite all difficulties (much like an oak tree). Astakos is a lovely coastal town nested in a breathtaking landscape of craggy mountains inhabited by Cyclops and an azure sea dotted with petrified nymphs.
1. The invisiblesThis windmill is just a windmill. Nothing too special about it. But turn your head towards the low rocky hill with the flat top rising in the distance (with your back towards the sea). The Cyclops is there.
2. Islands in the streamThe bay of Astakos has always offered a welcoming embrace to those seeking safety, thanks to the protection provided by a string of islands with their own tragic story.
3. The center of the worldCome here in the winter and you may be excused to think of Astakos as a sleepy little town nested in a far corner of the world. But not too long ago here was a thriving port worth fighting for.
The invisiblesPolyphemus (“He who abounds in song and legends”) was an one-eyed man-eating giant. Odysseus, on his way back home, entered his cave in search of supplies. When the Cyclops returned home with his flocks, he started eating Odysseus’ men (two per seating). He had consumed six of them when the crafty king of Ithaca offered him some undiluted wine. The giant got really drunk and fell asleep, at which point Odysseus blinded him with a wooden stake hardened in the fire. In the morning, as the giant let his flock out of the cave, Odysseus and his men escaped having tied themselves to the undersides of the animals. Local legend claims that the cave is located under the castle of Dragamestos.
The importance of inviting everybody
Islands in the streamOnce upon a time there were five nymphs who lived on the shores of the river Achelous. They were party girls and decided to host a great feast. No expense was spared; they sacrificed ten bulls and invited all the rural gods to their festal dance. But they made one huge crucial mistake! They forgot to invite Achelous himself, their mighty neighbour. He was furious. He swelled up with rage and sent his horrible flood waters sweeping all over the land. Woods and fields were swept away, along with the nymphs and the remains of their banquet. Everything was carried out to sea where it formed the Echinades. Only when they became islands did the nymphs remember mighty Achelous, but it was too late.
The tyrant of Astakos
The center of the worldThe Peloponnesian War (431–404 BC) was a conflict between Athens and Sparta for control of the Greek world. Athens was a prominent naval power, while Sparta was considered invincible on land. Pericles, the great Athenian statesman, urged his compatriots to avoid open battle with the famous Spartan soldiers and use their fleet instead to attack their enemies. During the first summer of war the Athenians sent 100 triremes to western Greece, where they took Astakos and expelled the tyrant Euarchus (a friend of Sparta). He persuaded the Corinthians to assist him in taking back the town, something he managed to do the following winter when the Athenians had left for home.
Nea Odos has undertaken the study, planning, construction, operation, administration and maintenance of the “Ionian Road” project. A breathtaking project covering a total length of 380klm.
Why take a self-guided tour?
This is a self-guided tour based on the award-winning storytelling concept developed by Clio Muse and the fascinating narratives prepared by our handpicked destination experts.
You can enjoy each multilingual tour by using your smartphone or tablet at your own pace even if you are offline. The interactive map on your screen will guide you step-by-step as you explore all points of interest along your route. Each stop comes with a selection of our signature stories allowing you to tailor the tour experience to your personal interests and schedule.
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