Sterea is a mountainous area in Greece that is divided in two with Mount Pindos between them. Aside from the forested mountains, Sterea is mainly made up of valleys and gentle slopes. There is also a lot of flora and fauna around Sterea. The longest river is the Acheloos. It stretches for 220 km. Evia is the largest island in Sterea. It is connected to the mainland via the Evripos Bridge. Sterea shares a border with Thessaly to the north, Attica to the south, the Ionian Sea to the west, and the Aegean Sea to the east.
Sterea, or Sterea Ellada, is also known as Roumeli. The name comes from the Turkish meaning for “the land of the rum.” The name Sterea Ellada was given to the area after the War of Independence in 1821.
Sterea’s history goes back to Neolithic Times, which has been proven with findings from excavations. During Classical Antiquity, the city-states of Sterea were at their prime and the center of Greek land thanks to the Sanctuary of Delphi. Both the Roman and Byzantine Empires would make their marks on Sterea, which is evident in the monuments.
The Frankish occupation would lead to the construction of castles and fortresses. Fights and military efforts that took place throughout the centuries in Sterea have become important points in Greek history.
Sterea is home to Delphi, an important part of Greek history and Greek mythology. Delphi was a religious sanctuary dedicated to the Greek god Apollo. It was developed in the 8th century and the home to the Oracle of Delphi and priestess Pythia. Delphi is situated between two towering rocks known as the Phaidriades (shining) Rocks or Mount Parnassus. The area of Sterea, along with the Peloponnese, was home to most of the most prominent regions in Ancient Greece.
Area of Sterea, Greece
24,818.3 km2 (9,582.4 sq mi)
Population of Sterea, Greece
Top Attractions in Sterea, Greece
Archaeological Museum – Located in Delphi. Here you find coins, marble statues, golden jewelry, and more displayed. A couple of the popular exhibits include the Sphinx and Charioteer.
Temple of Apollo – Located in Delphi at the ancient site. The temple is dedicated to Apollo the god of light and music. Inside the temple was the oracle where the high priestess would give her prophecies.
Parnassos National Park – Located close to Arachova and Delphi. This park was created in 1938 and is 36 million square meters (the second largest Greek national park). Pine forests, oregano, cedar, laurel, and more grow here.
Corycian Cave – 10 km from Arachova, this cave is also known as Sarantavli. This cave is rich with stalactites and stalagmites. It is thought this cave was used as a temple devoted to worshipping the god Pan and the nymphs.
Itea Beach – 26 km from Arachova. This beach is considered a bit of a party beach, but it is family friendly. There are a number of small coves that make the perfect spot to relax.
Monastiraki Beach – 12 km east of Nafpaktos. The water at this beach is cool, but invigorating. It is a family friendly beach with fish taverns nearby.
Garden of Heroes – Created in 1829 at the entrance of Mesolongi. It is dedicated to political and military figures, with a large part dedicated to fighters of the Greek War of independence. Tombs and statues of many who died in the Exodus are found here.
Monastery of Saint Simeon – 8 km from Mesolongi. This monastery was built during Ottoman rule in 1740. The Monastery of Saint Simeon is where residents of Mesolongi would meet after the Exodus in 1826, though only a few managed to get there.
Tourlida Beach – 2 km from Mesolongi. A well-rounded beach where you can swim, do water sports, relax, and even bird-watch. There are fish taverns and cafes along the coast.
Tower of Botsaris – Located near the central square of Nafpaktos, close to the Venetian Castle. It is actually two towers, one constructed in the 15th century by the Venetians and the other in the 16th century by the Turks. There is a permanent exhibition of the Battle of Leptano on the ground floor.