Kazaviti Agrotourism Programme
There is a considerable potential of village style accommodation in the old stone mansions. These grand Macedonian houses stayed without occupancy for decades, since the local people moved to Prinos near the coast. Over the years, the architectural monuments were affected by decay; they need urgent professional attention.
For the time being our guests will be personally introduced and guided to the cultural and natural assets of Kazaviti. Because except for the three tavernas, the village provides no other tourism facilities yet. There are only a few sign boards and marked walking trails, no brochures providing information about the history of Kazaviti and its natural surroundings.
Against this background of an exceptionally high and diverse potential of village based tourism on the one hand side, and the lack of an adequate infrastructure on the other side we have designed and initiated the Kazaviti Agrotourism Programme. Its prime target is to preserve the qualities of the village by opening it up to holiday makers with a genuine appreciation for village traditions and the natural environment. The programme is focused on the restoration of groups of traditional mansions, together with their court yards, gardens and stone walls, the narrow roads and other traditional features: ovens for baking bread, shady vine pergolas over the foot paths and old trees. The character of the traditional family mansions shall remain intact also inside, as much as possible. While converting them into holiday houses, we will refrain from any exploitation of the wide space in these houses by dividing them up into many bedrooms. We rather intend to retain largely the room composition and the original features. Of course we shall provide also adequate standard bathroom facilities, kitchens and country-style comfort.
Staying at Kazaviti and driving down the rather short distance to the coast for swimming and shopping is a privilege compared with booking into one of the rather noisy, concrete-built and packed accommodations near the beach. The climatic conditions in the old mansions with their massive walls of stone and clay are ideal: cool and ventilated with the aromatic fresh and clean mountain air also during the summer heat.
There is much common space in the larger houses for family gatherings and meeting friends. Lofty wooden balconies provide a panorama view over the village and the valley right down to the sea (in westerly direction, with ever changing sunset impressions). There are also quiet corners, in the gardens and in the shade of large trees nearby, for reading and for clearing the mind in absolute tranquility.
The programme is diverse and carefully adapted to the fragile village conditions. Besides restoring the old houses and converting them into holiday houses, we plan to revive traditional practices in agriculture, to take up re-cultivation of abandoned terraced fields, a museum for the antique history of wine making on Thassos and a farm park for endangered breeds of domestic animals. A network of foot paths and resting places in the wider surroundings (with map and brochure) is in progress.
We envisage an optional active participation of our guests in all kinds of activities, for example taking care of the domestic animals, the donkeys, cattle, sheep and goats, in harvesting fruit and grapes, taking part in wine making and the other traditional events in the village: festivities with music and dancing like in the old days.
There will be also ideal facilities for small scale symposia, workshops, creative activities of various kind and for the healing therapy based upon the teaching of Hippocrates ( who stayed three years on Thassos and wrote two books here about his therapies).
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Further Holiday Houses:
At present, there are plans for eight additional holiday houses. Their rooms will provide as much wide space as there was originally. Larger houses have their own traditional living rooms. All the holiday houses are fitted with balconies and outside seating areas. The architectural plans show the composition, installation of bathroom facilities and other details.
These first eight holiday houses are composed in three units: At the upper periphery of the village the group of houses named "Ta Simenítika", with the dominant former estate mansion of the Monastery of Esphigmenou of the Holy Mount Athos, dated 1807. From up there the panorama view reaches beyond the sea to the mainland of Macedonia. Access on the stone-paved road is by foot; we do not want car traffic. But cars can reach a point nearby (the square in Rodia Quarter) - walking distance from the central square is only 5 to 7 minutes anyway. Quite different in character, the mansions at the lowest point of the village (Kato Machalà) present the oldest quarter of Kazaviti, in the elevated lush garden land between the two gorges just before they join into one deep wooded valley. The old stone paved "main road" of Kazaviti provides car access, but there is almost no traffic passing through there. The modern tarmac road was constructed along the slope opposite in a fair distance. The third group of houses is situated in the heart of the village, near the church, with the dominant mansion of Zografou at its centre. Here the office for all the holiday houses of the Kazaviti Agrotourism Programme is already established. In the adjacent monastic building of Epaminonda, the reception and and an information centre will be located.
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