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Category: Things to do in Halkidiki

The solutions to the AI threat for travel agencies

Traditional travel agencies are at a critical juncture, as the violent penetration of AI in tourism has escalated the pressures they are under from the major platforms and large overseas travel agencies, creating a stressful situation. As the onslaught of AI is inevitable, the solution for smaller market players is to exploit the technologies and immerse themselves in local communities…

By Polytimi Markogiannakis | MScs in Tourism/Political scientist | Founder in Aristotle’s Paths travel agency,

The travel and tourism industry has seen a surge of AI applications in every aspect. Whether it’s air or sea travel, there are potential ways in which passengers and travel companies can leverage AI to make travel more efficient while maintaining customer satisfaction at a higher level.

Within this context, AI can be used for direct online booking of airline tickets and hospitality while predicting the best price, as a translator of different languages and promoting the travel attractions of a region and even as a tour guide. It is already being used in the form of voice assistants to inform visitors on board ships and at airports.

At the same time, with special programming, it is possible for the AI, through social media and our posts, having knowledge of the emotions we gain during the trip, to draw important information.

New areas… new possibilities
Within a broader context, it can still be used towards the tourist promotion of unknown regions, and even towards the tourist development of entire countries.

The use of such technologies as robotics, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) clearly benefits the quality of the services offered, operating within a framework of eco-logical solutions, while reducing the costs of business.

The question that arises is whether all this technology threatens traditional professions such as that of travel agent and how much more so the operation of small local offices.

On a larger scale, according to Insete’s Greek tourism/ action plans 20230 survey, businesses and organisations in the tourism sector are expected to accelerate investment in integrated digital solutions, artificial intelligence and automation technologies.

The next day’s equation
AI is emerging as a key factor in the growth and evolution of agencies. The opportunities it offers, and the challenges that accompany its integration, are defining the future of the industry.

The use of AI enables the automation of many processes, freeing up valuable staff time. Tasks such as document management, data analysis and answering frequently asked questions can be performed faster and more accurately through AI. This not only improves efficiency, but also reduces operational costs.

Improving customer service is also important. AI, through the use of chatbots and virtual assistants, enables direct and continuous communication with customers, providing quick and accurate responses. This boosts customer satisfaction and improves the reputation of agencies.

Big data Analytics
Another advantage is the ability to analyse large volumes of data. AI can identify patterns and trends that are difficult for humans to perceive, helping agencies predict future trends and adjust their strategies. In addition, it can provide personalized recommendations to customers, boosting loyalty and sales.

The challenge for small businesses is the cost of installing AI systems, which can be high, posing a barrier for smaller agencies. As the initial investment and maintenance of these systems require significant resources.

The combination of platforms and AI is strangling agencies
While in a global environment, local travel agencies are facing increasing pressure from AI, which facilitates online booking and personalisation of travel. Platforms such as digital travel agents and AI-powered booking apps offer consumers instant access to information and reservations, reducing the need for intermediaries. This may lead to a reduction in demand for traditional agencies.

But the challenge contains elements of opportunity. Local tourist agencies have important advantages that AI cannot fully replicate. Personal service, human contact and the ability to deal with unforeseen problems in real time are invaluable to many travellers. Local agents have extensive knowledge of local culture, customs and hidden attractions, offering a richer and more authentic travel experience. It is also a gamble to cultivate long-term relationships with clients.

The solutions in… niche markets
To survive and thrive, local agencies can focus on niche markets such as family travel, luxury holidays or thematic travel (e.g. gastronomy, history). Developing partnerships with local service providers and leveraging social media to promote their unique offerings can also enhance their competitiveness. Focusing on these unique aspects can allow them to remain competitive in the AI era.

While at the same time they can use AI in terms of producing content for social media (ChatGPT), producing video and enriching the information they give to customers. At the same time they can use to their advantage, all the new social media technology with the simplest example being the comments and posts of their customers as to the quality of the services provided.

In short, local agencies can survive and thrive in the age of AI by focusing on specialisation, integration and use of technologies, investing in ‘local’ knowledge, as local knowledge and cultural understanding is an invaluable asset. Local agencies can offer deeper knowledge of the local market, customer needs and preferences, something that large, remote platforms struggle to achieve.

Finally, networking and cooperation with other local businesses can strengthen their position in the market. The creation of strategic partnerships can lead to mutually beneficial agreements and enhance competitiveness by qualifying the quality of the services offered.





Writer: Markogiannaki Politimi

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Aristotles Paths

waterfall st barbara rock

In a lush green landscape, rich in vegetation, the two impressive waterfalls of Varvara, located in the municipality of Aristotle, Halkidiki, dominate. The larger one is about 40 meters high, while the smaller one is about 25 meters high. Once standing in front of them, the visitor feels the beneficial energy and power of the water.

“In an area of wild natural beauty, the presence of running water is imposing while the visitor can take a bath in the waterfalls.The water is always frozen but worth a dip”, says the owner of a local tourist agency, Polytimi Markogiannaki.

Aristotle’s Paths travel agency has integrated the waterfalls path into the water element of Aristotle’s Philosophy. The area is visited by many Greeks, but also by foreigners, mainly English, Germans, Americans and Australians.

An interactive walk in the forest

In an area classified as Natura, a large number of aromatic plants such as wild oregano grow, while in the fauna of the area we find crabs, turtles and frogs. Such a route is suitable for the development of experiential tourism that can be integrated into luxury tourism.

“On our walk we have time to smell the aromatic plants. We observe the fauna found in the waterfalls, while we inform our clients regarding local myths involving fairies and use elements from the mythological tradition around Artemis. Through a game of traditions and narratives we find common traits of fairies, nymphs, deities that permeate religions with the main reference to the exaltation of nature.What could be more refreshing for the body, after a walk in the green forest, a dip in the crystal clear and cold water of the waterfalls. What more refreshing for the spirit is the music of running water, birds and the narratives of myths and traditions that bring different nationalities and religions to a common denominator”, explains Ms. Markogiannaki.

The route on the Kipouristra trail will surely compensate you.

The forest is native, biodiversity everywhere, with various species of shrubs, flowers, trees, such as linden, ash, beech, chestnut and wild hazelnut trees.

The waterfalls of Varvara are located at a distance of about 90 km from Thessaloniki. Visitors can reach the starting point by car with great care, otherwise they can park higher and have to walk about 2 km. From the starting point, the visitor needs to walk a 20-minute route to reach the smaller waterfall, while in 10 minutes he will reach the larger one.


Writer: N. Avoukatos

waterfall st barbara landscape waterfall st barbara close view waterfall st. barbara

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Aristotles Paths

Of wine celars, philosophers and surfer boys. What not to miss on the three peninsulas of Chalkidiki in northern Greece

On the way on the Traces of Aristotle Politimi Markogiannaki from “Aristotle’s Paths” ( loves, philosphy about Aristotle and to show the places where he left  traces. One example? “On one of our tours at Aristotle’s Paths, we combine the  birthplace of Aristotle in ancient Stagira with a visit to the Zygos Monastery, the only ancient monastery accessible
to women on the border of Mount Athos, with a dive in the only only underwater wine cellar and a swim in the waterfalls of Varvara. A very personal tour, because all these places are also my favorite places in Halkidiki.”


Author: Julitta Ammerschläger

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Aristotles Paths

Wonderful Diving Tourism in Halkidiki

The diving activity in the wider marine area of Stratoni in the Municipality of Aristotle, brought to the surface the unique phenomenon of the rare colony of seahorses in Halkidiki and the establishment in 2018 of the “Hippocampus Eel Institute” for the purpose of research, Finally, in the Municipality of Aristotle, in Stratoniki, a travel company, “Aristotle’s Paths Travel Agency P. Makrogiannaki”, which offers visitors an experiential program alongside other alternative activities – paths, called “”Wine Games” – Domaine Agrovision, Diving and Wine Tasting”. This program promotes diving tourism in combination with wine tourism, as it includes diving in the unique underwater cellars of Domaine Agrovision in Halkidiki at a depth of 3-17 meters, one of which is located in a secret cave, and wine tasting of 7 labels of quality local wine in Ierissos, accompanied by local delicacies. At the same time, in collaboration with the Accessibility Support Academy, the first accessible route for people with visual disabilities was carved in collaboration with a certified diving center in the region.


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Aristotles Paths

The path  with the dry stones.

From hikes to the fields of Kythera and the olive groves

and the olive groves of Pelion to descents to the forts of Rupel, the

tourism is not only about ancient monuments.


“What hikers are looking for is to chat with people in cafes and

with the people in the cafés and shops, with the farmers in their fields, to see the colours, the flowers, the nature.


Article: Spyros Zonakis

Reportage – Tourism


It is in the late 18th and early 19th century that antiquarianism and Greco-romanticism reach their peak. A trip to Greece conferred prestige and radiance, and no one could deservedly bear the title of traveller unless he had swum in the Euphrates, tasted the olives of Attica and carved the name on the columns of the Parthenon, the Sounion or Delphi.

Nowadays, touring and hiking tourism in our country has been linked rather exclusively to ancient and Byzantine monuments, a disconnection that the people of the ,  KOINOSEP “Paths of Greece”, founded in 2010.

“We highlight the old paths in a place, we clean them up, we mark them and we promote them. We will make websites with hiking maps, we will make an app where potential hikers can navigate virtually. We plan the trails so that the routes are circular and if possible daily, and so that hikers can get in touch with everything from the Byzantine church and the archaeological site, which is a UNESCO monument, to the most neglected hamlet, the most barren dry rock on a cliff. And also to pass through the heart of every settlement. What hikers are looking for is to talk to people in cafes and shops, to talk to farmers in their fields, to see the colours, the flowers, the nature,” says environmental manager Phoebus Tsaravopoulos, co-founder of the KINSEP. The beginning was with Kythera, where through traversing the paths he discovered incredible treasures, “abandoned villages, stone bridges, waterfalls, forests, which I never imagined existed on this island. 60,000 euros were spent on the creation and operation of the network and this brought the island 1.5 million euros over five years. At the moment we are marking the cycle routes, which cover the whole island, and organising kayaking routes and climbing fields. On the other hand, in Sifnos, we have created routes divided into themes, one with more water, another with ecclesiastical culture, another with antiquities, another with nature, another with crops, and we have implemented a system of certification of hiker-friendly accommodation. In Tinos, we redesigned the entire network of paths, so that to connect all the settlements of the island, we found routes that had been forgotten. And there we made them by theme, e.g. the marble villages, the water and castle road, to the quarries, the geodesic route, the mills’ strata.”


Mr Tsaravopoulos is also proud of the Peace Trails in Florina, which are now extended to Kastoria and Kozani. “It is a long, multi-day route. They were so named because they were funded by the Greek-German Future Fund in an area where villages had been burned by the Germans. So we make peace with the past, and with the contrasts of nature, as from the chimneys of Kozani and Ptolemaida, we pass through the wolf and bear sanctuary of Arktouros and wonderful villages such as Nymphaeum, Sklithro, Lehovo and Vlastis, with their robust forests and alpine landscapes.

In recent years, inspiring guides have been planning and offering interactive guided tours on a wide range of themes, from literary, mythological and gastronomic walks ‘to walks on the history of crime in the town’. Undoubtedly, ‘experience tourism’ is here to stay. But it goes hand in hand with ‘slow tourism’. It is difficult to understand a place when you spend less than 12 hours in it,” says Giota Pantou, PhD in archaeology, tour guide and founder of Pelion Culture, which specialises in alternative and thematic tours in Volos and Pelion. Visitors learn about the history of the place through the fruits, trees and mythology. “I start with the olives and olive oil of Pelion. Pelion has three vegetation zones, in the coastal zone we have wonderful olive groves 400 years old and many olive mills scattered in the villages.

Therefore, when we do the guided tour, we visit an olive press in an olive grove, where we talk about the history of olive cultivation, which in our place goes back to the Neolithic times. At the Olympic Games, the prize of the games were panathenaic amphorae full of olive oil, two of which are preserved in the Volos Museum, which we see. They will find out how the olive comes, how it is weighed, how it is washed and then we proceed to a tasting of three or four different kinds of oil. They’ll pick the olives, they will understand how this little flower will become a green olive tree”, stresses Ms Pantou, while the tour continues in the second vegetation zone, “where you can find any kind of fruit tree you want, from apples and quinces to pears, plums, apricots and walnuts. We’re going to visit an agritourism cooperative. Like the one in Vizitsa, where the women in front of us make spoon sweets and jams. We’ll see how they clean them, boil them, skim them, talk to them. At a local farm, they will pick their own fruit and give cooking lessons.


We’ll go even higher, to the third vegetation zone, where we have the herbs. We connect the existence of herbs in Pelion with Centaurus Chiron, who was the first doctor of antiquity and the one who taught all the properties of herbs to Asclepius. We want to introduce our visitors mainly to the mountain tea. Wherever we are, they will taste mountain tea, we will read studies that have been done on this type of tea, which show that it has more antioxidants than green tea, we will talk about how it is made, they will see it in all its forms, in bunches, cut, whole,” he adds.

Aristotle’s Paths is a vision to combine Aristotle’s philosophy of the four elements (water, air, earth, fire) with special cultural and hiking trails in Eastern Halkidiki. “We want to create an experiential experience, so that people can get closer to our heritage, local gastronomy, nature, aromas and give an added value to the tourist product of the region”, explains to “Raftia” the founder of Aristotle’s Paths Polytimi Markogiannaki. “Through a walk in ancient Acanthus, we will see wine, Acanthus wine, as an economic and social link that connects us throughout the centuries. It was the basic export product of the region and this is depicted on a 6th century BC coin, showing a bull and a lion fighting over a vine leaf.



We then walk to the Museum of Necropolis, which is the ancient cemetery in Ierissos, and end up for a wine tasting in a winery, where we will smell the must and learn about the whole wine production process. We will also taste five beer labels at a local brewery, the only one in Halkidiki, where we will also have an interactive seminar on how beer is made and smell the hops in different versions and colors.

In Arnea, we will visit two museums of weaving and the folklore museum. There was a long tradition of weaving in the region. They will learn about the craft unit that exported textiles to the Balkans and while we walk to the Byzantine castle of Paleochori, I will tell them the legend about the castle’s royal queen, who produced gold weavings on a gold loom. Our central idea is to work with local producers and companies that have a positive ecological or social impact in our region,” she says, while, in Arnea, the tourers will end up at an ecological business, “where there is a small museum of beekeeping art and they are informed about how it was done how honey was produced at the beginning of the 20th century and at the same time they taste the muntovina. And in Tripiti, we will dive into the only underwater cellar in Halkidiki, which is combined with wine tasting. While we will also go hiking to the waterfalls of Varvara, where we will then visit the local women’s agricultural cooperative, Driades. We will taste spoon sweets and liqueurs and, when the ladies make trachana, we will also participate in an experiential game of spreading it.”

Verdun is designated as a “Monument City”, making it a world reference point for historical and commemorative tourism. The city is thriving, making the most of the ‘legacy’ left behind by the First World War (one of the most decisive battles of the war was fought there between the French and Germans). “In Verdun, the municipality and the region are implementing plans to develop historical tourism. With one ticket, you can visit everything from forts, battlefields, mausoleums, cemeteries and museums on organised routes, even renting a bicycle. Living in a region with such a rich historical load, we thought we should follow this successful example,” explains journalist Panagiotis Savvidis, vice president of the Agistro Action SOCIOP, which was created in 2016 with headquarters in Agistro Serres and is the first alternative tourism office in Serres.

It is the first alternative tourism in Greece that carries out activities in WWII battlefields and abandoned fortifications.




“These include tours of the battlefields, the underground forts and the surface works of the Metaxa Line forts. The activities take place at the Rupel Strait, in the northern part of the Serres prefecture, and can be combined with either hiking or cycling. People want to experience something different and not go to a war museum where they will just see two dolls and three guns. We enter the underground forts with period lanterns and the visitor feels like they are experiencing the events, the German invasion. We have both sound and lighting effects so that, depending on the area of the fort where we are, the visitor hears the corresponding narrative and, at the same time, understands what the structure of a complex is like.

Imagine a huge underground camp, including gunner’s corridors, galleys, ammunition stores, staircases leading to the outer machine guns, anti-aircraft observation posts. We are talking about the largest technical project in Greece in the 20th century, 21 complexes from Beles to Rodopi, completed in four years. There is a tremendous increase in the number of visitors to the region,” said Savvidis, during which the organization of a network next to the border with Bulgaria, which would include battlefields of World War II, fortifications of the “Metaxas Line”, local museums, would significantly help the development of small villages, “which today are slowly fading, forgotten, at the same time that most of the forts stand looted and abandoned. They could, in the context of realistic planning, form the basis for the creation of small historical theme parks, organised and signposted trails, which would create new jobs. But we can’t go to that stage, because the Department of Defense is claiming that these areas are still military, which they are indeed under metaxic laws, but it’s kind of an oxymoron to consider them as such, when there is no military in the area at all. A memorandum of understanding on historical, military tourism has been signed three years ago between the Ministries of National Defence, Culture and Tourism, but it has not come into force because the relevant EIA has not been signed,” he informs us.

How would you like fishing tours in the Saronic Gulf, where tourists eat on board the fish they have just caught together with the professional fisherman? And yet, such such excursions are implemented by the fisherman Tasos Ladas in Poros (Poros Fishing Trips).



“Fishing trips were made possible in 2015, when the relevant bill was passed. Any coastal fisherman who has a boat from two to 15 meters can engage in fishing tourism, which means he can take tourists and give them a tour, fishing, eating the catch of the day on board. With a maximum of 12 passengers, so there is no competition with the tourist boats. We will start in the morning around nine o’clock, we will raise the nets so they can experience the experience of hauling the nets.

During the fishing trip, we pass by the island of Bourji, I stop to let them see it, to take their pictures. I tell them the history of the island, what is this castle, who built it, what was its use, then we will see some rare species of birds, I explain what kind of birds they are. On a small island, Modi, there is an ancient city and an ancient shipwreck, I will tell them about its history, where the excavations are located, what moves have been made by the archaeological service. After fishing, We will camp in a creek, where we will clean the fish we have collected and prepare our meal. The products we consume are always local, we will not take packaged branded products. Within a few hours, we become friends, as if we had known each other for years, because we also discuss personal things during the trip. They are interested in hearing about your life, learning what the life of a fisherman is like, and they open up about their own lives,” says Mr Ladas, who is satisfied that he is making a small contribution to the protection of the fish stock. “In the months that I am involved in fishing tourism, the quantities of fish I catch are small. If half of the fishermen in Poros were engaged in fishing tourism, the region would take a breather in terms of protecting the local fish stocks. On the other hand, it was also a lifeline economically. Because of overfishing and recreational fishing, which has taken a very large share of the market through the illegal sale of fish, it is very difficult for fishermen to survive on fishing alone,” he concludes.


Source: Shedia

waterfall st barbara close view driades cooks traditional products local products in arnea Wine barrel table and chairs


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Aristotles Paths

Information to the “Association of Professionals of Ammouliani island, regarding the Aristotle’s Paths program.



A great day for Aristotle’s Paths! We accepted the invitation of the “Association of Professionals of Ammouliani island”, regarding the Aristotle’s Paths program . We presented our program to professionals in the field of tourism . We are setting the basis for a beautiful and creative collaboration.



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Aristotles Paths

Honorary distinction for members of SEGE at the ” New Business” awards”

The “Y’ New Entrepreneurship” award ceremony for young entrepreneurship for the year 2023, an institution that highlights young entrepreneurs, was concluded with honours for the members of SEGE. The ceremony, organized by Thessaloniki Events, took place on Wednesday 22 March, at the Cisco International Center for Digital Transformation and Digital Skills.

The Young Entrepreneurship Awards are an institution that rewards young entrepreneurship, honoring businesses that are growing in the midst of difficult economic conditions, seeking growth opportunities and serving as role models for thousands of other young people.


For yet another year, the Hellenic Businesswomen’s Association supported the awards process and was invited to contribute to the promotion of the most important young entrepreneurs of Northern Greece.

Among the speakers of the evening, was the financial supervisor of SEGE, Ms Christina Vraca, who presented the awards in the category “Women’s Entrepreneurship”. During the evening, four members of the association, Mrs. Eleni Christodoulaki, Mrs. Polytimi Markogiannaki, Mrs. Maria Stefanou and Mrs. Magda Hadjinaki, were awarded for their career and contribution to entrepreneurship.

In the category “Women Entrepreneurship” were awarded:

Mrs. Eleni Christodoulaki.
Ms. Eleni Christodoulos Christodoulos, Ms. Polytimi Markogiannaki.
Mrs. Polytiti Polygonikonia Constantinou, Mrs. Maria Stefanou.

Mrs. Eleni Christodoulaki is the president of the company “Panelectrica SA”. Through her career, she has managed to establish the company as the indisputably indispensable partner in the field of Electrical and Mechanical Material. Panelectrica SA is an important and stable factor of support for the local community, making Mrs. Christodoulaki one of the few women who have distinguished themselves in this male-dominated sector.

Mrs. Polytimi Markogiannaki is the creator of Aristotle’s Paths travel agency P. Markogiannaki, a company that combines Aristotle’s philosophy of the four elements (water, air, earth, fire) with special cultural and hiking paths in Eastern Halkidiki. Ms Markogiannaki has succeeded in pioneering and creating value in the local market of Halkidiki and Northern Greece.

Maria Stefanou is a theatrical and artistic producer, author of self-awareness books, musical performer, teacher of elocution and musical theatre. In 2017 she started her own theatrical and artistic production company, “Maria Stefanou Productions”, bringing Thessaloniki to the forefront of the private entertainment industry.

In the category “Young Entrepreneurship” was awarded to Mrs Magda Hadjinaki, who inspired, together with her partners Access Simple, a business in the field of accessible tourism. Access Simple aims to promote inclusion in tourism and provide authentic experiences in Greece, accessible to all. Hatzinaki has succeeded in innovating, creating a value-added product that reaches a tourism share that was not accessible in the Thessaloniki market.




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Aristotles Paths

A woman from Chalkidiki among the winners of the “Young Entrepreneurship” Awards 2023


The ” New Entrepreneurship” award ceremony for young entrepreneurship for the year 2023, an institution for the promotion of young entrepreneurs, was concluded with honorary distinctions for the members of the Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Greece.

The ceremony took place on Wednesday, March 22, 2023, at the Cisco International Center for Digital Transformation and Digital Skills.

Among the awardees was the Halkidiki-based Markogiannaki Polytimi, owner of Aristotle’s Paths travel Agency , P. Markogiannaki.


The awards are presented by SEGE in cooperation with the Municipality of Thessaloniki and thessdromena.
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Aristotles Paths

New “package” of humanity in Halkidiki: Tourism for people with visual disabilities
“Sensory Experience” is the theme of the new tourist product that is being built in the region of Eastern Halkidiki and in which people with visual disabilities can participate. “We are creating tourism products based on alternative forms of tourism for people with visual disabilities, who, apart from their vision, have developed their other senses” Polytimi Markogiannaki, the organiser of the tourism package, tells GRTimes.Gr.

 Ντέπυ Χιωτοπούλου (

With the motto accessibility everywhere and with basic values of independence, equality and above all safety, Polytimi Markogiannaki, owner of Aristotle’s Paths and Thanasis Sideris of Accessibility Support Academy join forces and create a new product, a tourist product, accessible to people with visual disabilities who suffer from total or partial loss of vision.

“The aim is for everyone to have access to tourism, and for people with disabilities to be able to go on holiday, because it is very difficult to go and not be able to do anything,” Polytimi Markogiannaki, who has studied Political Science, specialising in alternative forms of tourism, tells At the same time, she is the owner of Aristotle’s Paths based in Stratoniki, East Halkidiki, attempting her new start only in December 2021.

As she tells in collaboration with Thanasis Sideris of the consulting company Accessibility Support Academy specializing in creating accessibility “we are creating a package based on alternative forms of tourism and aimed at people with visual disabilities” noting that these people, apart from vision, have developed their other senses, smell, taste, touch, hearing.

In fact, as he stresses, it is the first time that something like this is being organized in Northern Greece, saying that in Volos there are some similar actions aimed at visually impaired people.

Diving and visit to a farm

The routes created by Polytimi Markogiannaki in the region of Eastern Halkidiki are of cultural, naturalistic and gastronomic character and combine Aristotle’s philosophy of the four elements (water, air, earth, fire). The aim is to create an experiential experience for the visitor, whether Greek or foreigner.

This is where the experiential experience for visually impaired people is added. The how, he explains right away: “We have prepared an experiential experience called ‘Sensory Experience’ that includes diving and a visit to a small horse farm,” says Ms. Markogiannaki, explaining how they will be able to participate in this experiential experience.

“In the diving, people with visual disabilities will breathe, listen to their respirator, their heartbeat, have the sensation of swinging, touch the sand, and in the horse farm they will get in touch with the animals, ride horses” she says, noting “apart from safety, which is the most important thing, we want them to be able to feel independence, that they can do things”.

The experiential experience for people with visual disabilities is scheduled for Saturday, September 3, and as Ms. Markogiannaki informs, the response has been very positive, both from associations of people with disabilities and people from the School for the Blind and from parents with children who have the disability. “We offer security, independence, access to tourism”, Polytimi Markogiannaki stresses.

Security, Equity, Independence

Thanasis Sideris, a trainer for people with visual disabilities, is part of the above tourist program of experiential experience for people with visual disabilities. He suffers from total vision loss, yet all he does is not give up.

He is the man who designed the innovative project at the first visually impaired-friendly supermarket store in Thessaloniki, which opened in early July 2022.

“We are coming to connect our knowledge on accessibility and the tourism product,” Thanasis Sideris, the project coordinator for this tourism project that Ms. Markogiannaki is ‘building’, tells

As he explains “our goal is to create accessibility in tourism to people with visual disabilities, to be able to enjoy a good, equally, independently and safely” adding that as far as the accessibility part is concerned “there is nothing fixed, it depends on the case, at least when we talk about the human factor”.

Supervising the Experiential Tourism Package

As far as this particular experiential tourism package “Experience of the senses” is concerned, as Mr. Sideris, “as coordinators, we supervise so that there is absolute safety” with the diving to include staff trained to handle people with visual disabilities, and the visit to a farm and, by extension, horseback riding, “we have evaluated and supervised the course that will be done with the horse, to ensure the safety of people with visual disabilities.”

It is noted that Mr. Sideris, in addition to the innovative project he designed in the first supermarket store, friendly to people with visual disabilities, is, among other things, a trainer in serving people with visual disabilities, scientific advisor to the company Tandem, which together with the National Center for Research and Technological Development (NCRTD) were instrumental in achieving the project in the supermarket, a large chain in Thessaloniki and nationwide, and together with Lia Avraam and Fotini Baxevanou, the only mobility trainers for people with visual disabilities in Northern Greece, have created the company Accessibility Support Academy, from April 2022.

“I want my fellow human being to be safe,” 34-year-old Thanasis Sideris, who suffers from total vision loss, tells


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Aristotles Paths

A company in Halkidiki was awarded for its excellent work and its Aristotelian philosophy!

An excellent tourist agency that stands out from the rest is Aristotle’s Paths. It is distinguished by its Aristotelian philosophy, its actions and its way of thinking.

Aristotle’s Paths, based in Stratoniki, Aristotle’s Paths, was awarded by the Region of Central Macedonia, in the framework of the international tourism exhibition Philoxenia 2022, with the gold award “Excellence”, in the field of tourism services.

Aristotle’s Paths is a vision of the owner of the office, Polytimi Markogiannaki, who from the beginning wanted to combine the philosophy of Aristotle with the four elements (water, air, earth, fire) and with special cultural and hiking routes in eastern Halkidiki.
And he succeeded. Ms. Markogiannaki made a dream come true!
Each route is considered in every detail to offer a unique experience through the senses. According to her, the central idea of the team is to work with local companies that have a positive ecological or social impact on the region.
“I am working on Aristotle’s philosophy of the four elements (earth, air, water, fire) and have created some specific routes. For example, in Varvara waterfalls our main element is water, in Arnea another cultural route has to do with earth, in ancient Stagira our element is air”, explains Ms. Markogiannaki speaking to XalkidikiPolitiki.
Another activity of Aristotle’s Paths is the one called wine games, which is unique in Halkidiki: “It is an underwater wine cellar that can be experienced by diving. The underwater conditions organize a completely different taste, as the lack of oxygen underwater does not allow the wine to make the fermentations that would have taken place in air conditions, thus creating a special and unique taste!” she continues to say.

Ms.Markogiannaki says that through an experiential experience she aims to be able to combine local gastronomy (oil, honey, wine), images, nature, smells, so as to give an added value to the tourist product of the region.
At the same time, thinking about the basic values of life and especially the sense of freedom, the owner of Aristotle’s Paths wanted to join forces with the Accessibility Support Academy for a single common goal: equal accessibility everywhere. So they proceeded to develop alternative forms of tourism – with the main theme of sensory experience – for people with visual disabilities.

“It is very important that all people today have access to tourism and can do interesting things during their holidays”, underlines Polithimi Markogiannaki, who has studied Political Science with specialization in alternative forms of tourism, stressing that “these people, apart from vision, have developed the rest of their senses: smell, taste, touch, hearing”.
If you are visiting Halkidiki and are looking for a different experience that you probably haven’t had before, it’s worth the effort to visit Aristotle’s Paths in Stratoniki that will definitely steal your thunder.


beer tasting, Experiential Tourism, Fishing Trip, Gastronomy, Halkidiki experiences, Halkidiki tours, honey tasting, Scuba diving, Scuba diving Halkidiki, Storytelling, Sustainable Tourism, Things to do in Halkidiki, Tourism, Travel, underwater wine cellar, Wine tasting

Aristotles Paths

The “fairies” of Halkidiki guide us to 6 secret treasures

The Aristotelian paths of Eastern Halkidiki are inaugurated with four separate routes.
When people in a place have an appetite, let alone when that place is Halkidiki (after all, it is well known that “like Halkidiki” does not), read more

beer tasting, Experiential Tourism, Fishing Trip, Gastronomy, Halkidiki experiences, Halkidiki tours, honey tasting, Luxurious travel Halkidiki, Scuba diving, Scuba diving Halkidiki, Storytelling, Sustainable Tourism, Things to do in Halkidiki, Tourism, Travel, underwater wine cellar, Waterfalls Halkidiki, Wine tasting

Aristotles Paths

When you start a trip, you do not just plan a route, you get involved in the five senses of the place you are visiting. Perfumes, images, local gastronomy, customs and traditions. In the end you change because you experienced something different. Let's start a journey together P. Markogiannaki Founder at Aristotle’s Paths


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