Authentic Marathon Swim - Sports Tourism Is Back

  • by XpatAthens
  • Sunday, 27 June 2021
Authentic Marathon Swim - Sports Tourism Is Back
The most historic swimming event in Greece, the Authentic Marathon Swim, which opened the road for the organization of safe sports tourism events last year, returns this year with all the necessary health & safety measures and will be held with utmost safety, on July 2-4, 2021, at Pefki Evia of the Municipality of Istiea- Edipsos.

The Authentic Marathon Swim will gather great names of marathon swimming for another year. More specifically, the races will be held with the presence of the silver Olympic medalist, world champion and member of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, Spyros Gianniotis. The Hungarian Oceans Seven holder and member of the International Marathon Swimming Hall of Fame, Attila Manyoki, the American world ice swimming champion who has swum in the Arctic Circle, who is also the fastest swimmer in the world in his category, Quinn Fitzgerald, and the European champion George Arniakos will participate in the event for the first time. The list of Greek participants is enriched by members of the Greek national swimming team such as Dimitris Negris, Stellina Aplanti and Ilektra Lebl.

The Authentic 14km Route “Skyllias & Hydna”
The historic moment has arrived. In the morning of Friday, July 2, 4 top athletes from Greece and abroad will try to revive the feat of Skyllias and Hydna, the very first “marathon swimmers”, according to The Father of History, Herodotus, who helped the Greek forces in the historic naval battle of Artemision against the Persian fleet in 480 B.C. The swimmers who will try to cover the authentic marathon 14 km route are Attila Manyoki, the open water masters’ world champion, Vicky Kouveli, the three-time Greek champion and two-time English Channel marathon swimmer, Sofia Psilolignou and the English Channel marathon swimmer, Giannis Kotsiopoulos.

The Schedule of The Authentic Marathon Swim
On Saturday, July 3 at 11:30 in the morning, the action will start with the new 5km open water swimming race, at 14:00 the 1.5km will follow, and the schedule of the day will end at 15:30 with the 3km race. The swimmers will swim within the square and triangular routes that have been designed with a starting and finishing point at Pefki beach. On Sunday, July 4, the event will climax with the 10km marathon swimming route. Swimmers along with their escorts will board at Pefki beach pier, at 06:30 in the morning and their boats will sail towards the race’s starting point at 07:00. The race will start at 2 08:00 with a finish point at Pefki beach. At 09:00 in the morning, the 800m children's race will be held. The warm-up of the athletes will be held by the physical education instructor, Mandy Persaki.

You may find the full schedule of the event here!

The Historic Routes
All routes of the Authentic Marathon Swim have been designed by the Federal Technical Director of the Greek National Swimming Team and race’s technical director, with Olympic & world distinctions in open water swimming, Mr. Nikos Gemelos.

You may find the historic routes here

Symbolic Activities Honor The History of Marathon Swimming
On Friday, July 2, in the afternoon the Authentic Marathon Swim, honoring the history of the place, will hold a symbolic event at the ancient settlement of Artemision where Mavroelia from Artemision, which is also know as Olive Mavromandila can be found. It is a monument of nature and local history, one of the oldest olive trees in the world, dating back over 2,500 years. Winners of the routes will be symbolically awarded with a branch of Mavroelia.

Moreover, activities will include for the first time the presence of a Music Convention with the participation of the Hellenic Navy Music Band, connecting the historic naval battle of Artemision with the present and honoring the naval feat. On Saturday, July 3, at 21:30 in the evening, the Hellenic Navy’s Music Department will hold a music concert in honor of the Artemision naval battle and the Authentic Marathon Swim.

We Inspire the New Generations to Protect the Environment
With respect to the environment and aiming at informing and raising people’s awareness in the effort to achieve a zero environmental footprint, the Authentic Marathon Swim will have the nonprofit organization π 3 (pi3) as a Sustainability Partner this year. The event’s environmental activities will begin on Friday, July 2, in the morning, with the cleaning of Pefki beach. During the three days, additional actions will follow, aiming towards informing and educating the public for the adoption of an environmentally friendly attitude by everyone.

Strict Implementation of a Health Protocol
The Authentic Marathon Swim, that was recently honored with a Silver Award at the 2021 Tourism Awards for its “Guest - Staff Protection” strategy during the Covid-19 pandemic, will be held again this year in accordance with FINA regulations and the health protocol approved by the Greek General Secretariat of Sports’ Health Scientific Committee and established by the experienced team of ActiveMedia Group, in order to ensure the health of athletes and attendees.

Every Participant Should Bring the Following on the Day of the Event
All participants will have to do a self-test or a rapid test within the last 24 hours, or alternatively a PCR test within the last 48 hours prior to their race, in order to enter the event’s venue. They will have to show the certification of the negative diagnostic test for Covid-19. Self-test declaration is held here!  .

If there are consecutive race days for a participant, it is recommended to do 1 test before the first race. In addition, everyone must provide a health certificate from a cardiologist issued within the last 2 months before the event. This applies for everyone except for participants representing the Hellenic Swimming Federation who must provide their respective health certificate. You may find the general terms and conditions that all participants should know here: 

Register now & Acquire the Richest Participation Kits Participants will swim with safety in the impressive 10km route (over the shipwrecks of the Naval Battle of Artemision that took place in 480 B.C.), the 3km, the 1.5km as well as the new and unique 5km route. Respectively, the younger fans of the sea will have the opportunity to test their swimming skills in the 800m children’s race. Registration for the 800m children’s race is free. The event also offers a special discount on group registrations of more than 10 people. All citizens of Istiea-Edipsos will have the opportunity to take part in the 5km, 3km and 1.5km routes as well as the 800m. children’s race, completely free of charge.

Register TODAY!

Special offer: Book 2 nights & Get the 3rd Night for Free!
Accommodation packages at the Municipality of Istiea-Edipsos The Authentic Marathon Swim already collaborates with more than 35 hotels in the region, offering the 3 rd night of their stay for free, with the aim of revitalizing the sports tourism industry of Northern Evia and strengthening the Greek tourism product. Up to this point, this year’s event is enormously supported by the following hospitality sponsors: Maria Louiza Apartments, Altamar Hotel, Villa Anastasia, Ellaeon Throesma, Kochili Apartments, Pefki Seascape Rooms, Hydna Studios, Aktaion Hotel, Arethousa Hotel, Galini Hotel Edipsos, Island, Ilios Studios, Irene Studios, Meliti Studios, Mirtia Hotel, Prigkipessa Studios, Aenaon Studios, Aidipsos Hotel, Alex Spa Hotel, Anesis, Apolonio, Artemis Rooms Pefki, Artemision Hotel, Asimina Rooms, Avli, Evia Dream, Galini Hotel Pefki, Kerasiotis Apartments, Konstantinos Hotel, Lito Hotel, Maria Studios, Melikari Studios, Oversea Rooms & Villas, Posidonio Studios, Rodon Hotel, Sunset Pefki, Thalassa Hotel, Vasiliki Studios, Viki Studios.

Check the special accommodation packages here!

Participants and visitors can take advantage of the special offers, providing reduced accommodation prices and late check out while discovering beautiful hotels in the areas of Pefki, Loutra Edipsos, Artemision, Istiea, Kanatadika, Neos Pyrgos, Orei and Agiokampos.

Offers by the top Greek car rental company Avance
The top Greek car rental company Avance, as the event’s Official Car Rental Partner provides participants of the Authentic Marathon Swim with an opportunity to make their reservation, with a 15% discount on the official price list, for any vehicle of their choice regarding their travel to North Evia during the period of the event. In terms of bookings, participants need to send an email to reserve(at)

NP Insurance and Philosofish are the event’s
Official Sponsors. Natural Mineral Water Vikos is the Official Water. Luanvi is the event’s Official Clothing Partner.
Avance is the Official Car Rental Partner.
Target Security is the Security Partner. Schoretsanitis Cheese Factory, Nivea Sun, Syconia, E. & D. Kontos S.A., Almanda and The Norman Farm are the event’s Partners.
Leandros,, LA Elite Fitness, APS TRIAS and Kallithea Open Water Team are the Authentic Marathon Swim’s Athletic Partners.
Liquid Media is the Premium Media Partner. π 3 (pi3) is the Sustainability Partner.
The event is assisted by Hellenic Red Cross with Chalkida’s Regional Department, Super Market Andreou and Melirriton. 

The Authentic Marathon Swim will be held with the permission of the General Directorate of Tourism Policy of the Regional Tourism Service of Central Greece, under the auspices of the Greek National Tourism Organization and the International Olympic Academy.

The event is co-organized by the Municipality of Istiea-Edipsos, the Region of Central Greece, the Organization of Cultural Development for Central Greece (O.P.A.S.T.E.), the Central Union of Municipalities in Greece (KEDE) and the Regional Union of Municipalities of Central Greece. ActiveMedia Group is responsible for its sports production. 

Photo Credit: Elias Lefas