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20 - 27 of August 2016

Porto Karras - Myrina - Ag. Eftratios - Mythimna - Mytilene

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Race Programme

Aegean Regatta's finish will be in Mytilene of beautiful and unique Lesvos

The Aegean Regatta will take place from 19 to 27 August in the area of North and Northeast Aegean and will be organized by the General Secretariat of Aegean and Island Policy with the Offshore Commission of the Hellenic Sailing Federation.

The starting port is the marina of Porto Carras in Halkidiki and the finish will be in Mytilene of beautiful and unique Lesvos, the third largest island of Greece and the eleven million olive trees worldwide fame.

Lesvos is land that invites you to discover it. If you surrender yourself to its charm you will be richly rewarded, as surprises will come one after the other. Picturesque seaside hamlets and mountain destinations that make you forget you are on an island. A rich interchange of scenery, from the lush green of olive trees, pines, walnut trees, and oak trees, to the lunar landscape of the western side. Imposing mansions with neoclassic, baroque, neo-gothic, belle epoque, and renaissance features, as well as traditional stone-built homes and farmhouses.

Lesvos is not a land for visitors in a rush, searching for the myth of wild night life and a hurried tour for some quick snaps on their camera. Lesvos - the beginning and end for cultures that lasted three thousand years – has a rich natural environment, unique local products, a close connection to the arts, letters and folklore. Asimakis Panselinos, a man of letters born and raised on Lesvos, wrote in his own, elegant way: “Here springs the hidden fountain that nourishes the spirit of mother Greece”. Any traveller who stops to drink from this spring will realize that Lesvos is not just great in size. It is great in everything.

This is where the arts and letters have flourished since early antiquity. The two most important lyric poets of Lesvos were Alcaeus and Sappho. Alcaeus, possibly the first political poet, was better known for his pieces on love. But if he was an artist – activist, Sappho was something more. Defying all conventions of the times, which wanted women docile and humble, she, too, got involved in politics, was temporarily exiled to Sicily and returned to found a school of dance and music on Mytilene.

With such deep roots in intellectual tradition and independent thought, it comes as no great surprise that this very same island birthed men of the arts and letters such as Elytis, Myrivilis, Venezis, Panselinos, Iakovidis, Eleftheriadis, Theophilos.

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Limnos: Τhe first stop of Aegean Regatta 2016

Limnos is the first stop of Aegean Regatta 2016, the international sailing race organized by the General Secretariat of Aegean and Island Policy together with the Offshore Commission of the Greek Sailing Federation.

The Aegean Regatta will take place from 19 to 27 August in the sea area of the North and Northeast Aegean Islands and the starting port is the marina of Porto Carras in Halkidiki and the boats will head to Myrina of Lemnos,

Limnos, has is all! Myth and history. Beaches for the most demanding of visitors. Forthright people who consider hospitality their personal business. A chance to relax or party wildly. Scenery different to anything you have ever experienced.

LIMNOS MOUDROS TH PANOS

This is Limnos. Volcanic in its geologic origins; even metaphorically it is an invisible volcano ready to erupt. Under its seemingly quiet surface it holds treasures to be discovered only by those tired of the obvious cosmopolitan scene on other islands of the Aegean, those in the mood to explore.

With a connection by aeroplane to Athens and Thessaloniki, and easily accessible by ship from Kavala in a few hours, this is the island on which Hephaestus found refuge, after Zeus' row with jealous Hera. Mysterious, the shadow of the Cabeiroi still cast upon it, prehistoric, with Poliochne, the most ancient city in Europe, dating back to the fifth millennium BC, devout, with the renowned sanctum to Hephaestia, the great goddess of Limnos,. Fortified, with some of the best known and well preserved castles in the Mediterranean, such as the castle of Myrina (the largest in the Aegean), Moudros and Kotsinos fortress.

More than 100 sandy beaches await you on Limnos, shady or surrendered to the merciless summer sun, with strong winds or absolute calmness. It is impossible, no matter how picky one might be, not to find your personal ideal beach among them. If you want comfort and cocktails at the beach bars, your choices are Myrina, Romeikos Gyalos and Richa Nera, Avlona beach and Nevgatis. The volcanic scenery and green waters offered by Platy, the waterfalls of Ai Giannis in Kaspakas, the sand dunes of Gomati. Keros beach is popular with holiday makers because of its sandy beach and warm sea, while summer northeast winds make it perfect for kite surfing and wind surfing lovers. If you have your own vessel or would like to rent a boat, you can tour the island or reach a more remote beach and have an unforgettable experience. And these are just your initial choices, because apart from the sea, Limnos' fierce charm lies inland.

Limnos has no forests. Its geological conditions, extensive animal raising and strong winds hardly allowed for the growth of forested areas on any part of the island after the volcanic eruption millions of years ago. However, there are habitats of a very unique character that attract travellers from the whole world. In the island's north, at Gomati beach, the renowned sand dunes or ‘thick sands’ roll out, creating truly rare scenery. The minimal vegetation that composes the flora of the sand dunes consists mainly of beach lilies, vitex, thyme and oleander.

Amongst the island's hidden beauties are the hanging waters of Katsaitis Gorge in the Kaspakas area. An imposing waterfall and small pools at its base offer a haven to aquatic organisms, adapted to a Lilliputian self-sustaining habitat.

Alyki, Chortarolimni and Asprolimni are singularly beautiful wetlands that have been incorporated in the Natura 2000 network. They are home to more than 250 species of rare birds, many of which are endangered and attract the interest of bird watching fanatics, an activity that is gaining ground as it combines exploring nature and the joy of discovery.

LIMNOS PLATY I GALIOURIS

Limnos has been well known for its renowned wines since Homer's time. Its volcanic ground is ideal for vitculture and the grape varieties of Muscat of Alexandria and Kalambaki (Lemnio) produce excellent white and red wines, respectively. However, Limnos fertile also produces cereals, vegetables and pulses. The pure flower honey, the sweet delight and distinct cheeses, such as kaskavali, kalathaki and traditional melichloro or melipasto, complete the feast of aromas and flavours.

As people are now rediscovering traditional desserts, Limnos halva has once again taken its place of honour. Healthy and light, made only with tahini and honey, flavoured with vanilla or cocoa, with or without nuts. You must also try the siropiasta (pastries in syrup, like baklava and samsades), preserves, macaroons and the famous “venizelika”.

At the local tavernas try flomaria (a type of square, home-made pasta), fresh fish and seafood in Moudros and free-range cockerel and rabbit at Sardes.

Limnos is one of the less advertised islands of the North Aegean, which used to be considered a disadvantage. In truth, however, it has allowed the land to retain its identity, culture and virginal beauty, along with some surprises that visitors arriving at its harbour for the first time cannot possibly imagine. However, when you walk around Myrina castle at twilight on a summer evening and you notice one of the free roaming red deer watching you, quietly and peacefully, you will then appreciate the gentle tourist character of this fragrant and soulful island.

 

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Αegean Regatta is visiting Ag. Efstratios Island for the first time

The preparation for Aegean Regatta 2016, the international sailing race organized by the General Secretariat of Aegean and Island Policy together with the Offshore Commission of the Greek Sailing Federation.

The Aegean Regatta will take place from 19 to 27 August in the sea area of ​​the North and Northeast Aegean Islands. The starting port is the marina of Porto Carras in Halkidiki and the boats will head to Myrina of Lemnos, then to Agios Efstratios and to Molyvos in Lesvos and the finish will be in Mytilene.

This year's innovation of Aegean Regatta is the island ofAgios Efstratios, which will be destination for a sailing race, first time in the maritime history.

Agios Efstratios, is a small island on the edge of the Aegean, marked by Greece's modern political history, as it was a place of exile, Agios Efstratios – Ai Stratis to the locals – is blessed with the beauty of its landscape and, mainly, the fortitude of its people.

AGIOS EFSTRATIOS1 I GALIOURIS

The only hamlet on the island lies in the valley formed by two dried river beds. Until the devastating earthquake of 1968 this is where the locals’ vegetable and fruit gardens used to be. The old hamlet was perched at the top of the hill, above the harbour, with stone built, two- or three-storey traditional houses, but after '68 the few residents were forced by the military government (junta) to move to uniform homes, abandoning their old “Chora”. Thankfully, some of the stone homes were saved from complete destruction; these were restored with reverence by the locals of Agios Efstratios. One of them, the Marasleios School of 1909 presently houses the Museum of Democracy.

Ai Stratis, with its 250 permanent residents, has intrigued many researchers, as it moves along at its own pace, cut off from the rest of the world by coincidence or temperament. A French director, Jean-Marie Tomasi, recorded the daily lives and stories of these islanders a few years ago, because – as she herself said – they remind her of her own island, Corsica, with its rebellious, independent spirit.

For us Greeks, however, Ai Stratis is hardly a strange place. All it takes is a few days to discover the thirst for communication, the kindness and the courtesy of the locals. Unreserved and with no shyness, ulterior motives or personal gain in mind, they will open their hearts to you just as easily as they will show you the map of their island. They will speak to you of the volcanic grey beach with its warm waters just a short distance from their homes. From the beautiful harbour, next to the caiques and fishing boats, you can set off in their own vessels on a tour of the island and beaches not accessible by land, such as Agios Dimitrios Trygari, Trypiti, Ftelio, Gournias, Lydario.

They will take you to Alonitsi, the retreat-beach with its islets a stone’s throw away. “We used to get to the other side in one long dive”, the more daring ones among them might tell you...

AGIOS EFSTRATIOS7 I GALIOURIS

A retreat and a refuge, equally for people tired by daily life in the urban beehive and for our rare fauna, it is here, in the sea caves of Ai Stratis, that the Mediterranean seal, Monachus Monachus, finds an ideal haven. The steep cliffs are home to predatory birds and seabirds. The sea meadows of the Mediterranean seas (the locals call them phykiades) sprawl out on the sea bed and offer a valuable habitat for a vast number of sea creatures as well as a wall of protection against erosion to the island.

Just when you think you have found yourselves on the island in the stories of the exiled, you are in for one last surprise: in the southeast part of Ai Stratis, vegetation is dominated by a one of a kind of oak forest that gives you priceless opportunities for walks and reveries. Besides, on such a small island, a road network of 50 kilometres of patent dirt roads reveals the intention of locals to utilize every inch of their land.

You must definitely see the ruins of the ancient city on the hill of Agios Minas, the churches of Christos, Agios Nikolaos and Agios Vasileios (built in 1727) and give in to the luxury of a fresh lobster on your table. The lobsters of Ai Stratis are not just tasty. They are also extremely light on your wallet: they do not cost their weight in gold, which is the case in the rest of the cosmopolitan Aegean.

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Aegean Regatta 2016 Programme

Date Day Description
20-08-2016 Saturday Skippers Meeting - Opening Ceremony
21-08-2016 Sunday 1st Race - Porto Karras - Myrina
22-08-2016 Monday Day Off
23-08-2016 Tuesday 2nd Race - Myrina - Ag. Efstratios
24-08-2016 Wednesday 3rd Race - Ag. Efstratios - Mythimna
25-08-2016 Thursday Day Off
26-08-2016 Friday 4th Race - Mythimna - Mytilene
27-08-2016 Saturday Inshore Races -  Closing Ceremony
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