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Tilos, Greece: the first island in the Med to run entirely on wind and solar power

Tiny Tilos, in the Dodecanese, is a pioneering nature reserve. Now, Greeces green island is set to be powered by renewable energy

Youre more likely to run into friendly partridges, rare orchids and endangered eagles than people as you trek around Tilos. The entire Dodecanese island is a nature reserve, with more than 150 species of resident and migratory birds, over 650 plant varieties, and a permanent population hovering around 500. Tilos owes its extraordinary biodiversity to a network of underground springs that feed five wetlands but also to the late mayor, Tassos Aliferis, a committed environmentalist who earned Tilos its reputation as Greeces green island.

Tilos map.

Aliferis banned hunting in 1993. (He also conducted the first same-sex marriages in Greece in 2008 long before they became legal in 2015.) The current mayor, Maria Kamma, continues to champion sustainable development, and human rights. She has extended an open invitation to refugee families to settle on Tilos, working with the NGO SolidarityNow and the UNHCR to establish sheltered accommodation, language classes and mentoring schemes to help asylum-seekers set up organic farming businesses in partnership with locals.

We want to revive traditions that were dying out due to a dwindling population, like making cheese and gathering medicinal herbs, says Kamma. By integrating refugees, we can boost the local economy and encourage eco-tourism.

Soon Tilos could become even greener: its set to be the first island in the Mediterranean powered by wind and solar energy. The island currently relies on oil-based electricity from neighbouring Kos, via a submarine cable that is vulnerable to faults. Power cuts are frequent. By installing a single wind turbine and small photovoltaic park, Tilos is creating a hybrid micro-grid that will generate and store energy. Installation is under way and an 18-month pilot begins in September, as part of a 15m project largely funded by the European commission. Eventually, Tilos could export excess power to Kos, and the goal is to roll out similar projects on other small islands in Europe.

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A recently installed solar radiation meter and panel on Tilos. Photograph: Tobias Blank

Financial support has also been provided for Tilos Park, a non-profit residents association set up to protect and promote the islands natural and cultural heritage, and upgrade the Information Centre, where visitors can pick up maps of nature trails, mountain bike routes, and the best spots for sighting rare birds, or sign up for canoe and kayak trips. Its hoped that knock-on effects will include increased visitor numbers which currently stand at 13,000 per year particularly among eco-minded travellers.

Tilos has many loyal fans whove come every year for 30 years, says Kamma. Now were getting a lot more interest from young people who have heard about Tilos because of the renewable energy project. They like what we are doing and want to support the island.

Tilos
The islands mayor hopes its eco policies will attract more visitors. Photograph: Constantine Alexander/tiloshorizon.eu

Kamma also hopes the positive publicity will help generate additional funding to install solar-powered street lighting, introduce electric bicycles and motorbikes for municipal staff, and charging stations for electric cars.

Usually its hard for a tiny island community to break with tradition, but on Tilos weve always welcomed alternatives, she says. If we can do it, anyone can.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/travel/2017/jun/15/tilos-greece-renewable-energy-wind-solar-power

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Greece: For Tourists – The Traveler’s Guide to Make the Most Out of Your Trip to Greece – Where to Go, Eat, Sleep & Party

Greece: For Tourists – The Traveler’s Guide to Make the Most Out of Your Trip to Greece – Where to Go, Eat, Sleep & Party

Greece: For Tourists - The Traveler's Guide to Make the Most Out of Your Trip to Greece - Where to Go, Eat, Sleep & Party

 

Are You Ready for An Adventure? Greece Is Waiting for You!

Welcome to the Ultimate Greece Travel Guide For Tourists! * * *FREE GIFT INSIDE – How to Learn Any Foreign Language 300% FASTER* * * Are you planning to travel to Greece soon, or would you like to someday? In that case, you’ve come to the right place! It’s such a good idea to prepare yourself before leaving. Aren’t you excited? Most likely than not, you are! Maybe you have already formed a vague idea of what the travel experience will imply, and maybe it feels a bit overwhelming. You see, when it comes to travelling we are ALL in the same game, and yet most people don’t realize it. Most people don’t even take the time to prepare themselves in advance, and just wish for the best once they have arrived! Most people aren’t aware of some of the most amazing places Greece can offer… And it’d be such a pity to miss them! That’s precisely why we desperately need the RIGHT travel guide first. There’s no point in going from here to there without a proper guide. I admit it: I used to travel like that a long time ago. It took me a lot of time to create the mindset of an experienced traveler. It took lots of time to incorporate the tips and hacks that ended up shaping the way I travel! And now, I’m willing to share those secrets with you! I wrote this book specifically thinking in you: the tourist, the traveller, the free spirit who dares to go beyond the limits of their own country. I wrote this book to show you how you can have an absolutely amazing experience while you are in Greece. I will tell you where you should go, eat, sleep, and of course, party! You see, I may not know you, but I know something about you: both you and me are alike. We like to prepare ourselves. We like to incorporate solid knowledge before we dive in. And I know you won’t just settle for average travel guides! I know you are looking for something better; something that will truly help you down the road: a book with real life tips, recommendations, useful travel hacks and data… everything you may need in your trip. You’ve just found what you were looking for! Hey, I’m not saying this will be an absolute walk in the park. You’ve got to trust me throughout the pages. With these tips, rest assured that you’ll have a blast in Greece! I’m a modern person. I’m aware of the world we live in, and I don’t want to waste your time. So, don’t worry! I’ve got you covered. We’ll go through almost EVERYTHING you need to know for your trip, and we will APPLY all this knowledge using down to earth guidelines. Because that’s what’s all about, isn’t it? It’s about living life like practical people. Going straight for the good part, never losing the focus on what’s really important and useful. My goal is simple. I will help you prepare your trip to Greece, transforming it into absolutely amazing experience. I will help you simplify your path, showing you exactly where the best places are. Sounds too difficult? It’s not. I will show you how. I will take you through a step by step guide where you simply can’t get lost! Together, we will go to the roots of Greece and you will end up LOVING every bit of it! So let’s go for it!

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Escape From Greece

Panoramic view of the ancient theatre of Epidaurus. The theatre continues to be used for staging performances, including ancient Greek plays. Photo by Hansueli Krapf.

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VICE News

As one of the gateways to mainland Europe, Greece may be home to thousands of immigrants — but at the moment, it’s not a particularly happy one. Many spend their days trying to escape the xenophobia and erratic immigration policies that characterise Greece at a time of deep financial crisis. More often than not, the migrants look to the West — to countries like the UK or Germany — where they feel they will be able to lead richer, happier lives.

However, even if certain sections of Greek society would rather rid their country of immigrants, EU law means that’s easier said than done. What do you do when you’re trapped in a country that doesn’t want you?

VICE discovered that, for some, the latest route to a better life was on foot — on an increasingly well-worn path from Greece into Macedonia, Serbia and on into Hungary.