Expert Leader Thanos, is on the cusp of celebrating 20 years with Exodus Travels. Sharing his unique insight, passion and local knowledge, Thanos has been guiding our customers around the Mountains and Villages of Evia for nearly two decades.
To celebrate this momentous milestone in style, we’ve created a special birthday departure on 1st November 2020 in Thanos’ honour. Altering the itinerary to include; an evening of traditional music and Greek dancing; an intimate wine tasting and visit to the island’s capital Halkis, you can get a true feel for the region through the eyes of a local.
The second largest island in Greece after Crete, you can’t help but be left enchanted by Evia’s rippling vineyards, archaeological relics and uncrowded beaches. Remaining largely off the tourist trail, the island stays true to its local roots, offering visitors a truly quaint and authentic Greek experience. A trekkers paradise, it’s not uncommon to come across Roman quarries, aqueducts and Byzantine churches on your travels through its glorious mountain roads. But aside from the attractions, the other major plus of visiting Evia, is being led by the man himself, our veteran traveller – Thanos.
A chance encounter with one of our tour operators at the World Travel Market in 1998, led to Thanos joining Exodus to create not just one but four trips across different locations in Greece – adding a completely new destination to Exodus’ bucket list in 2000. A long-standing favourite nearly 20 years on, the somewhat magical partnership of Thanos and the island of Evia remains unmatched.
When asked what place he’d recommend to first time travellers in Evia, Thanos immediately commented, “The descent of Demosaris Gorge. Greece’s equivalent to the Lake District, this lush green gorge boasts a stunning landscape of chestnut trees and over 200 different bird species. On my special birthday departure, we enjoy an afternoon swimming in the turquoise lakes and have a picnic. It’s a must see if you’re in Evia.”
Before Thanos takes his customers to the beautiful ravine of Plantanistos, you will get the chance to visit the remains of the foundations of Poseidon’s temple. Afterwards, you’ll discover some relatively unknown beaches in the Aegean and return to Karystos, where we try one of Thanos’ favourite dishes – the Fourtalia Omelette, prepared by a family in a tiny seaside taverna on the beach of Potami.
A traditional local dish from the Cycladic Islands, (in particular on Evia and Andos Island), this signature frittata is made with crushed mint, country style pork sausages and delicious creamy potatoes, that’s bound to go down a treat.
With a mild climate all year round, Thanos recommends that the best times to visit Evia are around springtime where you’ll find thousands of wildflowers along the trails and blanketed across the peaks of Ochi as well as Autumn which offers a prime time to see the mountains covered with the purple saffron crocus and allows you to sample, “the gold of the island” (olive oil) during the Olive harvest.
Spending one night in Athens at the end of your trip during this departure, Thanos suggests heading to Adrianou street, Athens most ancient commercial street, to soak up the bohemian atmosphere where old-school souvlaki hideouts meet modern bars and restaurants. The best part he says is, “eating under the stars, gazing out towards the stunning floodlit Acropolis Hill with the Parthenon as it’s crown. It’s a great way to soak up the sights of this historic and cosmopolitan city – that was once the cradle of civilisation.”
His favourite memory on his lifetime of adventure with Exodus, happened when his group was grounded for an extra six days during the Icelandic volcanic eruption back in 2010. Thinking on his feet, Thanos led his team to new parts of the island, some even he’d never seen before, as well as attending a traditional Greek wedding, where they celebrated, smashed plates and danced into the early morning hours.
Bringing the best parts of Greek culture and social spirit to the forefront, Thanos’ enthusiastic tours means you’ll always be in the centre of the action, whether that’s trying a shot of ouzo, joining in on a lively chorus of bouzouki-led music in the streets or immersing yourself in a local celebration.