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Lefkes Village
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Lefkes, Paros Island

The mountainous traditional scenic village of Lefkes is situated in the inland, almost at the center of the island, at a distance of 11 kilometers southeastern to the town of Paros (Paroikia), within a valley of breathtaking beauty. Built on hillsides, at an altitude of 250 meters, the village counts more than 600 permanent residents, who contribute very much to the local culture and continue a long cultural tradition. The most characteristic feature of the village is the luxuriant vegetation: flowers, trees and various plants almost hide the buildings of the village.

If you wish to stay here, accommodation facilities are available in the village and the traditional taverns and restaurants will offer you gorgeous dishes of the famous local kitchen. You will choose Lefkes for your holidays only if you wish to have good time in a mild and quiet environment surrounded by nice people, to lead a different way of life, to see interesting things.
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The history of the settlement goes back in time, in the early 15th century. It is in this period of time that the residents of the coastal villages came to settle here, in order to protect themselves from the pirates’ attacks. Thus, they chose this beautiful area to establish an equally beautiful village. In the same period of time the village was also populated by refugees who came from Crete and the Peloponnese to escape from the persecutions they suffered by the Ottomans in their home villages, continuously in revolt. The architectural style of the village is typically Cycladic, but the visitor will also see a few mansions with neoclassic features, an evidence of the period when Lefkes was a really rich village, as it was the center of the commerce of the whole island. You will be impressed by the central square of the village, with the huge perennial trees, shadowing the place and protecting the locals and visitors from the sun, while these latter enjoy their coffee or ouzo in the traditional café of the village. The stone paved pedestrian precinct leading to the square is another interesting feature of the village. Made of marble this street is divided to a network of narrow streets of the village, with whitewashed benches at their sides. But what is most impressive here is that tradition is still alive and the character of the village is left intact, despite the invasion of tourism.

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At Lefkes you may visit the church of Aghia Triada (Holy Trinity), constructed in 1830 after the liberation of the island from the Ottomans. The church is made of nice local marble; it has a monumental entrance gate and the bell towers, constructed in 1895 are quite original and of a particular architectural style. Within the church you may see several important old icons, some of them brought here from other churches in order to be protected. You will also see more recent icons made by well known local hagiographers and artisans. Apart from the church of Aghia Triada, several small churches scattered in the village and hidden in the narrow streets are worth seeing for their simple beauty and their history. Some of them are: the church of Aghia Varvara (Saint Barbara) on the main street of the settlement, constructed on the older medieval church of Anastasis (Resurrection of Jesus Christ), the church of Aghia Ekaterini (St. Catherine) at Epano Chorio, the church of Aghia Theodosia, with nice icons and frescoes dated in the 17th century and the church of Aghia Paraskevi which, according to the local tradition, was the first church that was constructed when the village was established.

It is worth seeing the Wars’ Memorial of the village and the nice buildings of the Elementary School, the Community Hall, which now houses the Municipal Department, and the building of the Nursery School. Don’t miss to visit the traditional weaving and pottery workshops and the small Folk Museum and the Museum of Folk Culture, where you will see interesting collections of objects of every day life of Paros and of Cyclades and the Aegean Sea in general. Close to the settlement, a bit higher, you will see the old windmills reminding to the visitors how the people of the past took advantage of the air to produce energy.
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If you feel like wandering around, you may go to the site of Apati you will be impressed from the perennial huge olive trees, a real monument of nature. According to the locals these trees were planted in antiquity. At a distance of some 2,5 kilometers southwestern to Lefkes you may visit the Holy Monastery of Aghios Ioannis Kaparos, built in the 17th century. The local tradition pretends that the Monastery was constructed much earlier, in the 10th century and it was renovated in 1646. The monastery is found within an area with luxuriant green, full of trees and vineyards. If you go to the opposite direction, at a distance of 2,5 kilometers to the Southeast, you will find the Monastery of Aghia Kyriaki, a dependency of the Holy Monastery of Aghios Georgios of Langada. The church has an interesting icon screen and a pulpit made of local marble. A bit further, at a distance of 3,5 kilometers northeastern to the village it is situated the Holy Monastery of Aghios Ioannis Theologos, dated in the 17th century. Finally, if you get on the top of Aghioi Pantes (“All Saints”), you will see the homonymous church, you will enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of the entire island and you will have the chance to take unforgettable photos.

If you are not totally captured by the beauty of the village and the hospitality of the locals, or if you feel like wishing to enjoy the sea, all the beaches of the island are available for you; Lefkes are at the center of the village and almost all the beaches are at equally short distance from the village.

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The locals celebrate the religious feast of Aghios Ioannis Klidonas on the 23rd of June, in a really traditional way. A local religious feast also takes place on the 29th of August in honor of Aghios Ioannis (St. John) Several high level interesting cultural events are organized by the local Cultural Association “Yria”, the peak of them being the Music, Theater and Dance Festival. It should be mentioned here that the Cultural Association bears the name the village had in the 15th century when it was constructed.

In case of health problems a local Medical Center is available at the village; you may also address to the corresponding services of Paroikia, at a distance of 11 kilometers northwestern to the village.

Access to the village is easy by rented or private car and motorbike; you will follow a route of impressive natural beauty and when you arrive at the village you will leave your vehicle at the municipal parking in the entrance of the settlement, and continue on foot until arriving to the center of the village.
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