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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 23 March 2019
16 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 23 MARCH 2019 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW Greece like you’ve never seen it before One of Greece’s stunning beaches. Peter Maneas wants you to see what Greece really feels and tastes like in My Greek Odyssey, not your usual travel series Maneas has had a boat docked in Greece for eight years, although he's been travelling there since he was a boy. He still remembers that first time his mother - who worked several jobs to offer to her three children what they needed to succeed in life - spent all her savings to take them to Greece. "I would spend six months The show’s host, Peter Maneas, a self-proclaimed “water-animal”. NELLY SKOUFATOGLOU P eter Maneas, the larger-than-life host of the much anticipated show My Greek Odyssey has always wanted to show the real face of Greece to the world. In his 13-part TV series set to air tomorrow Sunday at 1:30pm on Channel 7, the Sydney-born businessman invites viewers to several different destinations around his Mediterranean motherland, where he travels on his super-yacht Mia Zoi (One life). The first episode is an ode to Athens and Greek Easter, showing the capital's true colours painted with thousands of years of history, to audiences from 42 countries that have acquired licensing to the show. True to his life motto Mia Zoi Tin Ehoume (we only get one life), Peter takes it upon himself to explore islands that are not as popular, and present their rich cultural and historical heritage, as well as their delicious cuisine to the world. in Greece, since when I was 10 years old, and each year, I would spend more time researching where I'd want to go," he tells Neos Kosmos. "In those last eight years I have seen things that people don't normally see. And this show was just about sharing it with other people and showing them what the Greek islands are about. "But," he interrupts, "I wanted to take people to some of the places they don't know about and it's never been done this way before!" Maneas says that Mykonos, Santorini, Corfu, Crete and Rhodes end up getting 40 per cent of the 30 million tourists that go to Greece per year, something he finds unfair for Greece's remaining 222 inhabited islands, but also those very popular islands that are almost sinking with visitors. "Those islands can't take any more people! Plus, everyone goes high season, at the peak of summer when they could be going in May or September," he stresses explaining that congestion takes away from the overall experience. "I've heard many people go 'Oh, my God! Is that what Greek islands are like? I don't want to come - it's a pretty good service for a nation of only 11 million people. The travel infrastructure is excellent!" ISLANDS YOU DIDN'T EVEN KNOW EXISTED Maneas takes pride in the fact that no one has shown as many places as he will show over the next five years. In the first season alone, 20 stunning islands will You could be sunbathing on a beach that was invaded 2000 years ago by one culture and 500 years ago by another. There are 6000 Greek islands - 227 of those inhabited. All mesmerising. Peter Maneas again!', whereas, if you show them that there are more islands, and so much diversity, people could divide their time between different destinations," he says. "The transportation, the ferries, the planes, everything be featured, while Season 2, is already in editing. Currently, the bubbly Greek Australian is in the process of shooting the third season, where My Greek Odyssey delves into the beauties of the Northern Aegean and Mount Athos and onto Samothraki and Thasos. In the same season Mia Zoi stops at breathtaking locations through the country's north and all the way down to Syros island and Western Cyclades, stopping at Kimolos, Kythnos, Milos, Sifnos, Serifos, "and some other islands that no one can get to, like Polyaigos", he notes, adding that “even many Greeks ignore the existence of such islands". For Maneas, the least popular islands are the most enticing, more thrifty and economical to visit, offering a more real and genuine experience of the Greek way of life. Perhaps they don't have five star hotels, but as he very passionately proclaims, those tiny gems have other things that are wonderful, like untamed scenery and quiet getaway spots, not to mention the most authentic and warm people. "It's a five year adventure for me," Maneas enthuses, "and I've got to tell you that since I've been doing it, I'm even more excited!" he says confessing that his passion is to step foot on every single inhabited island in Greece.
16 March 2019
30 March 2019