The National Herald had the pleasure of speaking with the Governor of the Prefecture of Evia, Evrytania, Viotia, Fokida, and Fthiotida about the various regions of Central Greece and their incredible year-round tourism.
Before diving into our interview, the Governor wanted to share a few words with our readers:
It is a great privilege for me to introduce to you the Region of Central Greece: a land of great history and culture, a land of impressive mountains, delightful beaches and healing waters.
Central Greece is a year-round destination, where you can experience the hospitality of our islands, dive off our coastlines into the crystal waters, hike along mountain trails, explore winter mountain adventures, and perceive its important history.
All you’ve ever imagined about Greece, you can experience it in Evrytania, Evia, Viotia, Fthiotida, and Fokida. The people of Central Greece are here to offer unique experiences and high quality services to you and your loved ones.
We invite you to discover one of the best tourist destinations in Greece throughout the year.
Discover it with all your senses...it is our country as well as yours…it is the heart of Greece!
Governor. Prefectures of Evia, Evrytania, Viotia, Fokida, and Fthiotida
Region of Central Greece.
The National Herald: How does summer and winter tourism compare for the region?
Governor Fanis Spanos: The tourist product of the Region of Central Greece is a land of intense contradictions, excitements, and experiences, which you can visit at all year round.
Central Greece has a number of tourist and cultural attractions, such as national parks, World Heritage Sites, archaeological sites and museums, two of the country's largest ski resorts, thermal springs, stunning beaches, long coastlines, as well as two unique islands.
Generally, the climate of the area is quite mild, so tourists can visit our snow destinations during the winter months, but also combine that with other mountain or sea activities (and vice versa). Imagine: there are periods of time in March or April where you can mountain ski in Parnassos or Velouchi and then drive for an hour and dive into one of our blue beaches.
TNH: What are some of the most popular sites and destinations in the area?
GFS: That is a particularly difficult question to answer – there are so many!
I would have to start with the archaeological sanctuary of Delphi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known since antiquity as the “navel of the world.” It is located in the prefecture of Fokida. ‘Harsh and Doric,’ but still warm and hospitable, Fokida features a distinguished, endless beauty of an ever-changing scenery. Tourists can explore the ancient paths of history, wander among breathtaking monuments, and admire the greatness of the land of Fokida.
A breath away from Athens lies the prosperous land of Viotia which offers rich natural beauty, Ancient monuments, treasures from the Byzantine period, snow-covered mountain slopes, and secluded coasts. The magnificent setting of Viotia is known as the legendary crossroad of gods, heroes and oracles.
Evia encompasses the entirety of Greece in one island. Evia is its own unique world, full of natural surroundings, rich vegetation, clear blue waters, therapeutic springs, and cultural heritage. From North to South, from Aidipsos to Karystos, Evia offers outstanding experiences. The picturesque island of Skyros (which belongs to Evia), is famous for its local ponies.
Wild and proud, friendly and genuine, Evrytania has remained a trademark of Greece through the centuries. Its exquisite natural environment is the source of life and inspiration. Historic monuments, monasteries, and churches untouched by time, impressive mountains, dense forests, and picturesque villages compose its fairytale scenery.
A natural link between the South and North, Fthiotida is the hub of Central Greece. It is where the impressive coastline reaches mount Oiti and its long Greek history stands proud and unchanged. Generously gifted by nature with therapeutic springs and great mountains rich in flora and fauna, Fthiotida is an ideal destination.
TNH: Is Central Greece working towards sustainable tourism? (i.e., committed to making a low impact on the environment and local culture, while helping to generate future employment for local people)
GFS: The Region of Central Greece is investing in a strategic tourism marketing plan that will enhance competitiveness within a framework of respect for the environment and the local culture.
Our goals include improving the quality of our services, highlighting our comparative advantages, expanding the tourist season, as well as empowering the existing markets while also opening new ones.
In this crucial sector of the regional economy, we are investing, in collaboration with tourism entrepreneurs, in a series of actions and promotions, in order to emphasize the tourist products 'Tourism-Culture-Gastronomy' and 'Experience Tourism'.
We believe that the combination of local products and services, thematic tourism, along with our traditions, will make a significant contribution to stimulate the local economy's surplus value and create new jobs.
TNH: What is missing from Greece's tourism strategy now?
GFS: We need to focus on more anthropocentric developments. The goals are quality, accessibility and sustainability. Today, the public and private sectors are looking to move to the next stage, from that of co-operative development. We are taking note of the international trends and offering experiences depending on the visitors’ interests, while preserving our environment, culture and history.
TNH: What is the reaction of the citizens of your region to potentially more tourists?
GFS: When there is an increasing number of incoming tourists, it is especially important that there is a proper distribution of place and time. This can only be achieved by developing alternative forms of tourism.
As citizens of the Region of Central Greece, we all want tourism all year round, as well as the improvement of all structures (existing and forthcoming) and we all work together for this purpose.
Our aim is the development of a healthy tourism industry that meets tourism demands but also balances the local community and its broader environment.