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A Few Words About Our Community
The region of Chimara or Himara, named after the county town of Chimara on the shores of Ionian Sea, historically commences at the village of Nivitsa to the south and ends at the Logaras mountain ridge to the north. On the one hand lies the deep blue of the Ionian Sea and a continuous series of peninsulas, capes and bays, some of which, like Panormos, are closed and sheltered from the wind, while others provide long and beautiful beaches; and on the other side lies the mass of the Acroceravnian mountain range with high peaks that include Tsika, Avgo and Messimeri. This strip of land between the mountain peaks and the sea is the beautiful and historic land of Chimara, with its villages and their old, stonebuilt houses, the Byzantine churches and monasteries, the castles and other natural monuments, as well as the people of Chimara, hospitable and proud, who have remained unbowed throughout the history.
Himara, is the county town of Chimara, which includes the individual settlements of Kastro (Castle); Old or Upper Chimara (Palaia Chimara) with its ancient monuments and its unique architecture; Spilea (Cave) on the beach which is the modern economic and tourist hub; Potami (the river) with its wonderful beach and its hotel rooms; even Livadi (Meadow) with its wonderful sea; Zamari; Michaili; Stefaneli etc. Here one can see many ancient buildings and ancient churches, including All Saints, where Saint Kosmas first served and preached. There are several stately buildings in Chimara that show her noble origin. Among them we can mention the famous Tower of Spyromilios (Pirgos) from where the view over the plains and the Ionian Sea is panoramic and majestic, as well as the grand residence of Kyritsis family surrounded by perennial poplars, the mansion of General Hlias Zotos, and many others.
At short distance from Spilea one meets a famous sandy coastal strip, the Lamani, which in antiquity was a small Asclepieion, where sufferers of rheumatic diseases travelled from the entire region. This Asclipieio healed thousands of patients and kept until the Medieval years. Once you pass the Lere's neck in travelers' eyes displays a magnificent view. Two peninsulas immersed in the turquoise-blue sea, the large ormos Panormos, and a smaller one, Palermo. The small, quiet, natural bays which are enclosed between the two peninsulas provide shelter to ships and travelers since ancient times. During the works for the construction of Palermo's port and the last underwater expeditions were found plethora of ceramics and amphoraes which revealed the ancient Greek history of the site.
The name Panormos (Πάνορμος) itself provides all the content of the word, which in Greek the name means natural harbor, a bay where the ships anchor and find a safe shelter. From the opposite mountain, the everlasting verdure of aloe fill the air with scent which in spring mixes with the sea breeze and make us believe that such aroma would have had the ambrosia, the divine drink that the gods drank on Olympus. Nowadays, marinas have been constructed in Porto Palermo and Armyrida. At Armyrida there is a bit of coastline where brine water gushes and from which the name of the bay derived (Greek: άρμυ «brine» + ύδωρ «water»).
The two peninsulas in the past geological times appear that have undergone a tectonic collapse and were partially submerged into the sea. Access from the sea is impossible on the west side and the steep canyons stretching to a height 115 meters above the Sea. This physical structure has favored the construction of well-protected, from pirates (and other) attacks, castles. According to antiquity historical sources, Panormos cited as one of the biggest ports of Chaonia (Chimara's broader area).
A little further, at the torrent of Daphne, is a fig tree. St. Kosmas prophesied that at that spot, a good man would lose his life. The Polymer's fig tree, as was named later, is still there to remind of the story. Next to it is a small natural harbor where we find the river delta of Daphne. This is one of the most popular tourist sites.
In this region where the legends play with history, nature lovers will find their own paradise, biologists their lab, the adventurous can hike on rocky paths beside the sea, the romantics will enjoy the playful waves, will dream beneath the starry sky and will surrender to the embrace of the spotless sand.
Tourist Guide of Himara