George (Yiorgos) Hadjidakis was born in Athens in 1961. His family comes from Vamos. He studied Mathematics at Athens University and since 1988 has lived and worked in Vamos. He taught Mathematics for many years to high school pupils. In 1995 along with some friends who all also come from Vamos, he founded the Vamos S.A. Company, to pioneer alternative tourism, setting at the same time a very good example of how the old part of the village could and should be renovated, by keeping the local architecture and providing opportunities for sustainable development. He started to focus more and more on that particular project, managing the tourist office of the company, which today belongs to him. He is working without compromise in the field of alternative tourism, organizing walking tours in Apokoronas in to show off the natural as well as the historical features of the area, cooking lessons which focus on local cuisine and nutrition, visits to wineries, local cheese makers, olive mills etc, presenting the many opportunities that the visitor to Crete has today. From time to time he is invited as lecturer to several congresses about alternative tourism and sustainable development because of his long experience in these subjects. He is also the President of the Cultural Society of Vamos, which is highly active and important to the village. He has three children. He speaks and writes Greek, English and German.
When I was 20 I moved to Athens, a place full of images and contrasts. A place where I easily was carried away by “Big” , “Fast”, ”Impersonal”.
After a while, I realized that what I like and make me feel like myself is the “small”, the “personal”, the “cozy”.
And I found all these in Vamos, where I can say “kalimera/good morning” to the villagers, guests and tourists, on my way to the office.
However, I am really nostalgic about the time of “romantic tourism” ,tourism before the Internet. The time when the tourist or traveler passed by and asked for a place to stay and feel welcomed. And we all had time to take care, to have a good talk, to tell stories to each other.
The internet is a necessary tool. But still I want to make the time to welcome our guests with the same enthusiasm and joy. “Slow tourism” is my highest thought: small, simple, local, traditional, rural. Help me to keep putting it in practice and not only in my dreams.
The very first time I stepped foot in Vamos I was so moved by its special atmosphere, the mountain view, the beautiful old village area.. I said to myself, one day I will live here. And here I am! Life gives us the chances we need and the job at the tourist office in Vamos was one of those for me. I left North Greece to come to the very South, living behind the city life, to come to an unknown village and start from scratch creating a life full of activities and interests that I couldn't develop until then. Village life, a small yard, simplicity, saying good morning to smiling people is fulfilling my wishes. Being part of the Vamos village tourist office team gives me the chance to communicate with happy people from all over the world, sharing the idea for an alternative kind of tourism away from the “all inclusive” bracelet, talking with free hikers who love the mountains and the beautiful surrounding nature or with lovely repeated guests who charge their batteries by resting, extraordinary food and the cicadas song.
I was born and raised in a small village next to Vamos. I studied history and archaeology, but luck has led me to the tourism industry, which I had the fortune to explore in Vamos Traditional Village. I was amazed to discover that part of tourism in our area, away from massive big hotels, a sustainable idea that promotes the area of Apokoronas, agritourism and ecotourism. Being a part of the Vamos office team led me to reinforce my love for the area where I grew up, discovering places I didn’t know through our activities, and meeting interesting people I hadn’t met before. I am very happy to make a small contribution to the promotion of my area, and advise our visitors on how to discover the beauty of nature in Crete and the authentic way of life. It is exciting to meet so many visitors every year and to share with them favourite places, and the hidden beauties of the island.
Glad to share with you the pleasure of living in Crete and Vamos!
I first visited Vamos in my first year on this earth as a baby since I have a family history in Vamos. The smells, the feeling of safety and freedom and the sense of a community protecting its habitats and its surroundings was always making me feel at home and never want to leave!
Growing up in a Metropolis was always a challenge for me. Diving into the rhythms of life in Athens was never really my choice.
So in my 30’s I realized and decided that what I miss in my life a large city could never provide or fill the gap. And I moved to Vamos! Which was my first choice! A place where it felt like home, with mother nature as a friend and as a healer. I get to enjoy the smells, the sounds, the tastes and the sense of appreciation every day!
I started to work in Vamos village tourist office in 2019 and this gave me the opportunity to share my love for this beautiful place with the thousands of guests that visit our area every year and appreciate, love, and respect their surroundings. An opportunity I am very glad I haven't missed.
Orpheas 'Our Zen master'
Beba 'Our great dictator'