Vocational Development Center
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Trekking in western Crete

Theoretical background: The seminar will start with an overview of the tourism development on the island of Crete as well as in the rest of Greece during the last 15 years. This will show, that the mass tourism, after it's boom time 10 years ago, has been in a constant decline, and Greece has lost the interest of tourists who move in big numbers toward the cheapest holiday areas.

On the other hand, tourism statistics show a rise of tourism at alternative tourism areas. Crete is certainly a place that has a lot to offer to alternative tourism and this fact was acknowledged by small local agencies and village co-operatives quite a while ago. The last 4 years, however, big tourism agencies have also turned their interest to the promotion of alternative tourism.

The seminar will show us what this alternative tourism is and how it presents itself to the tourists through examples in the area Apokoronas and Sfakia (Province of Hania). A visit to the mountain shepherds in the Sfakian mountains will demonstrate the important relationship between quality tourism with an interest in culture and environment and the ecological preservation of the island.

The seminar participants will live in the small picturesque villages of Douliana and Vamos, both villages with tradition in the ecological and social development of their areas. Walks in the breathtaking mountains and coastlines, visits to old villages and monasteries, as well as meeting and talking with the locals, will give you a unique idea of what Crete really is. While enjoying a great holiday, you will have the chance to explore and understand a place of amazing beauty and history.

Accommodation in Douliana/Vamos - Apokoronas

1st day: The village of Douliana; the example METAPODIA, its development, its cooperations, its future.
  • the village and its inhabitants, how the village keeps its youths
  • the architecture; the rebuilding since 1990
  • traditional cretan meal in the TAVERNA "Douliana"; small walk into the forest and to the chapel of "Agios Ioannis"
2nd day: Excursion by bus to the high plains of "Omalos"; mounting to the saddle of the "Gingilos" mountain (4 hours walk there and back); meal in the Hotel of the Koutroulis - family; discussion about the significance of mountain - tourism for the mountain - villagers.

3rd day: The village of Vamos with its old neighbourhoods; discussion with the founders of the Vamos - Company about their - project; the culture - programs of Vamos (music, literature, painting - artists in Vamos) The monastery of Karidi (1.30 hours walk there and back). Meal in the traditional taverna of Vamos.

4th day: Excursion; the Byzantine churches of Apokoronas:
  • Agii Pandes
  • Kiriakoseli - Agios Nikolaos - Samena
  • Panagia Alikampos
  • Meal at the winery of Andreas Dourakis ("Logari")
5th day: Chania - a venetian town.
  • the old port, the middle - classes quarters, the worker's quarters, the Jewish synagogue and its history
  • the minoan museum of Chania
  • meal at the port
6th day: Excursion: the mighty gorge of Samaria
  • 6 hours of walk; meal and swim at the wonderful beach of Agia Roumeli
  • discussion about mass - tourism, "canalisation" of mass - tourism; history of a greek "natural park". Way back to Douliana by boat and bus
7th day: The monasteries of Akrotiri (2 hours walk):
  • Agia Triada
  • Governetos
  • Katholiko
  • Discussion about the importance of the orthodox church in Greece, its meaning for culture and tourism
  • Pick - nick in the beautiful gorge of Katholiko monastery
8th day: Excursion: 5 hours walk from Georgioupolis to Douliana; the non - tourist villages of Cape Drapanon:
  • Likotinera
  • Selia
  • Kefalas
  • Meal in Kefalas
  • going on to the village of Gavalochori village - museum
  • discussion with members of the women's association of Gavalochori about the meaning of village - tourism.
9th day: Excursion: the mountain - villages of Anopolis and Agios Ioannis
  • discussion with the villagers about "the possibilities of finding work and income in the mountain areas"
  • Walk through the wild gorge of Aradena (4 hours); meal and bath in the sea at the "Likos" restaurant. Way back to Douliana by boat and bus
10th day: Balance" in Douliana; Cretan music with the lyra - player Georgiow Galanis, lamb on the spit in the METAPODIA garden, wine and home made hors d' oeuvres

Period 114 October 2002 until 25 October 2002
Price 990 €
Minimum number of participants 6
Seminar material Free
  1. Welcome dinner
  2. Farewell dinner
  3. Local transports in the frame of the project
  4. The participants will sleep in rooms for rent and restored traditional houses
Not Included Meals

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