On our way to …. Nafplio!

Nafplio-Greece Timelapse is a 3:45-minute film by Stefanos Kyriazis

 

Next stop Nafplio: It’s holiday time at long last, and my partner and I are now on our way back to Greece to explore part of a region we have never visited before — the eastern Peloponnese. 

Our first destination will be Nafplio, the former capital of Greece, which is often described as one of the most beautiful towns in the entire country.  We have heard so many good things about Nafplio, and the many impressive attractions nearby, that  we figured it was high time we checked it out for ourselves.

I’ll post photos from Nafplio if I’m in a blogging mood while we’re there. In the meantime, I’m sharing this Stefanos Kyriazis timelapse film of Nafplio so readers who aren’t familiar with the town can see what it looks like.

More on Nafplio to follow!

 

Enchanting views of Naxos

Naxos: The island that will enchant you is a mesmerizing 4-minute area film by Naxos Times

 

Here’s an intriguing video of Naxos that’s unlike any I’ve seen before. Released just this week by Naxos Times, the 4-minute film features breathtaking aerial views of Naxos Town as well as Cape Agios Prokopios in the Stelida district of the island’s northwest coast. 

What’s unusual is that the film captures Naxos in the golden light of daybreak and sunset, when the seas are smooth as glass and barely a soul is in sight anywhere in the town. There’s an eerie and almost haunting, mysterious atmosphere to the video, but that’s what makes it even more captivating and fascinating.

Mykonos bar and beach club parties in July 2016

Cavo Paradiso Mykonos

Cavo Paradiso‘s international DJ lineup for July and August

 

Made in Mykonos party at Nammos July 23 2016

DJ Vassili TsiliChristos returns to Nammos at Psarou beach again this summer with his Made in Mykonos afternoon beach party. The hugely popular event takes place on Saturday July 23. 

 

MadeOfSounds beach party at Alemagou Mykonos

Alemagou bar and restaurant at Ftelia will be hosting another MadeOfSounds beach party again this summer. The much-anticipated event starts at 5 p.m. on Friday July 29 2016.

 

Fab video scenes from a reader’s visit to Athens, Santorini and Mykonos in May 2016

Kristoffer Clark’s beautifully-filmed Hellenic Republic video spotlights top attractions and stunning scenery from Athens, Mykonos and Santorini

 

Trip highlights:  Readers of my blog occasionally write to say they found my website helpful or inspiring for planning their own trips to Greece.  My favourite feedback message of all arrived just yesterday — and included a link to the wonderful video I shared above.

In a comment posted on my blog, Kristoffer Clark said he, his wife and some friends recently returned from their May 7 – 15 trip to Athens, Santorini and Mykonos.

“We loved it, we used your site to help plan our itinerary. Your site was a big help,” he wrote. “I love to make travel videos of my trips so i wanted to share our Greece one with you.”

It’s such a fabulous film that I can’t resist sharing it here, since I think it superbly captures the essence and tremendous beauty of all three destinations.

And what I like best, besides the gorgeous scenery, are all the smiles, laughs and happy faces in evidence as Kristoffer, his wife and friends enjoy and experience the sights and scenery of three amazing destinations I visited on my  own first trip to Greece. 

If you’ve been to Athens, Mykonos and Santorini before, watching Hellenic Republic will undoubtedly trigger many happy memories for you as well. And if you haven’t been to Greece yet, I’m sure it will quickly convince you that it’s time to go.  What are you waiting for? Start planning!

 

Hellenica.fr — A Greece travel guide tout en français

çHellenica French language guide to Greece travel

A screen capture from the homepage for Hellenica, a French-language travel guide to Greece and the Greek Islands

 

Guide de voyage: Travellers who read and speak French can now research, plan and book their holidays to Greece and the Greek Islands through a comprehensive French-language travel website, Hellenica.

Created by the husband and wife team of Guillaume, who is French, and Eleanna, who is Greek, Hellenica.fr provides detailed and personally verified information, all in French, to help readers easily plan their own trips to Greece. The website includes descriptions of Crete and the six chains of Greek islands, and has search engines that website visitors can use to book ferry tickets, flights and accommodations.  There’s also a section of trip reports illustrated with dozens of beautiful photos.

 

 

 

Guillaume and Eleanna developed the website to share their tremendous passion for Greece, and specifically to pass along information about their personal discoveries and favourite places.

Guillaume told me he’s been in love with Greece since his youth, when his parents took him to Matala, Crete during the 1970s; he says he has been visiting the country every year since. When he and Eleanna realized a complete Greece travel guide wasn’t available in French, they decided to launch their own.

Though Hellenica is packed with helpful information, readers who can’t find answers to their specific Greece travel questions are invited to ask Guillaume and Eleanna for assistance, either by email or through Hellenica’s Twitter feed.  Responses are promised within 48 hours.

Click here to visit the Hellenica website.

 

Hellenica French language travel guide to Greece

This is a screen capture from one of the photo-illustrated trip reports on Hellenica.fr

Getting a taste of Greek wines before my upcoming trip

A Taste of Greece in Toronto

Sampling Kamara Winery‘s Malagouzia 2015 at Taste of Greece, a special event held in Toronto by Wine Align and  New Wines of Greece 

 

Vintage Greece: Sunday May 15 was a bizarre day here in Toronto, bringing us weather from all four seasons in less than 24 hours — snow flurries, sleet, rain, high winds and occasional breaks of sunshine. But it was nice and toasty inside a special events hall at the Royal Ontario Museum, where hundreds of people got to enjoy a taste of Greece for a few hours and forget they were actually in chilly Toronto.

The event was Taste of Greece: Brilliant Wines, Inspiring Food, Timeless Culture, and featured hundreds of product tastings offered by nearly 50 different wineries from all over Greece.

New Wines of Greece

Some of the 500 people who packed a special events hall in Toronto to taste hundreds of wines from nearly 50 different Greek wineries (Photo from the New Wines of Greece Facebook page.)

 

Taste of Greece took place at a perfect time for me personally — just two weeks before I fly to Greece for my next holiday — and gave me some inspiration for wines to look for while we are exploring the Peloponnese.

But besides giving me and 500 other people a unique opportunity to sample dozens of Greek wines under one roof, Taste of Greece was providing support for a good cause. 

 

 

Proceeds from the event, which was hosted by WineAlign and presented by New Wines of Greece,  will assist the Friends of Boroume charity, a non-profit organization committed to reducing food waste and distributing surplus food to the needy throughout Greece.

Similar Taste of Greece events also were held in Montreal on May 11 and New York City on May 18.

For those of you Down Under, you’ll get your own chance to experience a taste of Greece when New Wines of Greece returns to Australia for the second time in June with events in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. Click here to see details on the New Wines of Greece website.

 

A Taste of Greece Toronto

The Toronto wine tasting was one of 3 Taste of Greece events in North America this month —  the other two took place in Montreal and New York City. Similar events will be held in Australia in June.

Up-and-coming small wineries to watch and visit in the Cyclades

Manalis Winery Sikinos

Wines produced by Manalis Winery on Sikinos (pictured below) are displayed on the winery’s open-air restaurant and events terrace, which offers spectacular views of the sea and nearby islands. Both photos are from galleries in the Manalis Winery website.

 

Manalis Winery Sikinos Greece

 

Cycladic vintners: Winery tours and tastings will be on the agenda for thousands of tourists visiting Santorini this year, no doubt because of the island’s worldwide fame for its local Assyrtiko varietal. 

As I reported in a post on January 21 2014,  Wine Enthusiast magazine cited Santorini and two other Aegean islands in its listing of the world’s top 10 wine travel destinations for 2014. Not surprisingly, winery tours have long been ranked among the leading attractions on TripAdvisor’s chart of Things to do in Santorini. In fact, as of May 17, Santo Wines was the #5-rated attraction on the island, while the Venetsanos Winery and the Koutsoyannopoulos Wine Museum ranked in the top 20 out of almost 300 key attractions on Santorini.

But while the Santorini wineries are attracting the warmest glow of international attention for now, several small wineries on nine other Cyclades islands could be basking in the limelight soon.

Earlier this year, the excellent culture and gastronomy website Greece Is published an informative article entitled 11+1 Unknown, Small Wineries in the Cyclades. Written by Nikoleta Makryonitou, the article notes that the wineries she mentions are among the smallest in the world, so they aren’t top destinations for wine lovers just yet. “Still, there has been a rise in the production of bottled wines and a turn to quality, which are creating high expectations for the near future,” she observes.

 

 

Her article profiles the following wineries, most of which will arrange tours or visits if contacted in advance:

Moraitis Winery on Paros (the only one of the bunch that I have personally visited for wine tastings)

Moraitiko on Paros

Manalis Winery on Sikinos

♦ Korres Family Winery on Naxos

Konstantakis Cave Winery on Milos

Syros Winery on Syros

Mykonos Vioma Organic Farm & Vineyard on Mykonos

♦ Kipos Xydaki on Mykonos

♦ Tinian Vineyards on Tinos

Fonsos Winery on Tinos

♦ Votsari Wines on Sifnos, and

♦  Chrysoloras Vineyards on Serifos

Click here to read Nikoleta’s full article, and be sure to bookmark it for reference should you happen to be island-hopping in the Cyclades this summer. The article provides contact telephone numbers for the various wineries so you can call them directly to inquire about available tours or to arrange visits.

Also take a good look around the Manalis Winery website, where you can view dozens of photos showing the breathtaking, to-die-for views from the winery’s restaurant terrace and special events veranda.  People rave about the amazing views from Santo and other wineries on Santorini, but I think the images show that the views and scenery from Manalis are equally impressive.

Manalis Winery Sikinos

The hillside terrace at Manalis Winery on Sikinos has spectacular views of the Aegean Sea and other islands (Photo from the winery website.) 

Skiathos holiday inspiration videos … and a new photo book to take home from the island

This five and a half-minute Skyframe film features aerial views of Skiathos Town and some of the island’s stunning beaches and coastal scenery. 

 

YouTube contributor Navi says this 24-minute video, Skiathos 2016, offers “a taste of what to expect when visiting the island of Skiathos” 
this summer

 

In Skiathos 2015, Alexandre Ingels takes viewers on an 11-minute aerial tour of the island’s lush landscapes and beautiful beaches

 

Inspiration & souvenirs: Going to Skiathos this summer? If you haven’t been to the island before, take a look at the videos I posted above — they’re bound to make you feel even more eager and excited to get there for your upcoming holiday. 

If you’re one of the many lucky people who have already been to Skiathos, even for multiple return visits, the films are certain to evoke many fond memories of the time you spent on the island.

(The videos actually made me quite anxious to see Skiathos even though I’m not able to include it on the itinerary for my own upcoming trip to Greece.)

And while you’re on Skiathos, keep an eye out for the newly-published photo book, Kosmos Skiathos, by Dieter Seidel.  With 120 photos of the island and descriptive text in German, Greek and English, it’s an ideal souvenir that will let you continue enjoying Skiathos long after you return home from your holiday.

 

Kosmos Skiathos book by Dieter Seidel

Kosmos Skiathos – Κόσμος Σκιάθος – Cosmos Skiathos is a newly published 128-page photo book by Dr Dieter Seidel

 

“You can approach Skiathos in three ways: by plane, by boat – and with your heart,” says Seidel, who describes his book as a “confession of love” for the island.

“To me, Skiathos is the island of my dreams, my world. Nowhere have I felt as happy as I do here. I hope that my photographs of this wonderful island attest
to that feeling,” he says.

 

 

 

The 128-page hardcover edition is published by Griechenland Zeitung and can be purchased at various locations on Skiathos and elsewhere in Greece. Look for Kosmos Skiathos at shops that carry the German-language Griechenland Zeitung newspaper and magazine, as well as at newsstands that sell foreign press publications.

Click here to see the Kosmos Skiathos listing from the publisher’s online shop.

Below are images, provided by Griechenland Zeitung, that show the book’s front cover as well as some of its inside pages.

Kosmos Skiathos book

The table of contents page for Kosmos Skiathos

 

Cosmos Skiathos book

The book features 120 gorgeous photos of the island

 

Cosmos Skiathos book

Sample pages from the chapter on Skiathos shores and bays

 

If you’d like to see more videos of Skiathos, check out my February 25 blog post Revisiting summer on Skiathos, and my January 23 post Set your sights on Skiathos!

Quietly spectacular Skyros

Enjoy aerial views of some of the wonderful coastal, mountain, valley and village scenery on Skyros in this 5-minute film by TreeZone

 

Real deal: Want to visit an authentic Greek island that isn’t a mainstream tourist magnet like Mykonos, Rhodes, Santorini, or even its nearby neighbour, Skiathos? Then have a look at Skyros, the southernmost and largest island in the Sporades archipelago. Skyros has everything you would want and expect from a great Greek island holiday destination — impressive landscapes and coastal scenery, inviting beaches, picturesque villages, historic sites, good food, and age-old local traditions — without the massive crowds and commerciality of other islands that have become household names around the world.

Though it is becoming increasingly popular with visitors from around the world, and has an international airport that receives direct charter flights from several European cities during July and August, Skyros is a relatively low-profile destination that isn’t even on the radar for most tourists planning vacations in the Greek islands.

In fact, there were only 3 question-and-answer threads posted on TripAdvisor’s Skyros travel forum in all of 2015, and just 10 in total since 2010. The Skiathos forum, by comparison, had  more than 6,100 conversation threads as of mid-May 2016.

 

Booking.com

 

With so much going for the island, It’s rather surprising that Skyros doesn’t get more attention from travellers — especially considering that it gets good press whenever it’s mentioned in social and regular media.

For instance, Skyros was cited as the best destination for alternative travel and holistic holidays in The Telegraph’s January 2016 feature The 19 best Greek islands, and was included in a piece the Independent published about Holidays for single travellers. Also in January, The Irish Examiner published A letter from paradise on the Greek island of Skyros, a journalist’s account of her writing holiday. And in 2015, Thomas Cook Airlines named Skyros as best destination for “healthy lifestyle holidays” in its profile of Greece’s top 10 islands.

Perhaps it’s a good thing Skyros hasn’t become hugely popular — that means it will remain a unique and special place to charm and delight those travellers who do venture off the main tourist paths to pay it a visit. (And that’s one of the chief reasons why Skyros is on my bucket list of islands to see.)

Skyros photo from sail-la-vie.com

Built on the steep slopes of a craggy peak topped by a Byzantine fortress and a  monastery, Chora village is a striking sight on Skyros (Photo from the Municipality of Skyros travel guide)

 

Please continue reading on page 2, where you’ll find more pictures and videos along with links to more than a dozen different websites with Skyros travel information and photos.

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Mykonos bar and beach club parties in June 2016

Guapaloca Mykonos

You’ll find parties at Paradise beach every afternoon starting around 4 p.m., including the Twerk it! Bitch Party at Guapaloca Bar

 

What’s happening on Mykonos in June

This page shows promotional flyers for regularly-scheduled party and entertainment events which take place either every day of the week or on several specific days of each week.

Page 2 of this post shows flyers for individual June parties and special events that have been announced by bars and clubs on Mykonos.

To see party announcements for other months during 2016, check out my post Mykonos bar & club openings and party events in 2016.

 

Liasti beach resort Mykonos

This summer, Spanish DJ Jose Padilla will bring his legendary blend of chill-out and ambient music to Liasti Beach Resort at Lia beach 

 

Scorpios Mykonos

Mykonos may be known for its nightlife, but Scorpios has earned a reputation for a great daytime entertainment vibe as well. This is the weekday DJ lineup for  this summer at Scorpios.

 

 

Guapaloca bar Paradise beach Mykonos

Besides its daily beach parties, Guapaloca Bar at Paradise beach holds Body Paint parties every night at 10 p.m.

 

Elsyium Hotel Mykonos sunset cabaret

Also taking place every night, starting at 9 p.m., is the outdoor Sunset Cabaret at the gay & straight-friendly Elysium Hotel

 

Roxy Brooks nightly live drag shows at @54 club Mykonos

@54 Club presents drag entertainer extraordinaire Roxy Brooks every night at 1 and 2 a.m. until October. Dancer Matthew Mallia will appear on stage between Roxy’s sets.

 

Semeli Bar  Mykonos

Semeli Bar at Little Venice is once again offering its summer 2 for 1 drink special. Semeli’s Happy Hour takes place from 22:00 to 00:30 (10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.) each night

 

 

Click on the link below to see more events listed on page 2 of this post.

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The bewitching but dangerous beauty of Santorini’s Red Beach

Red Beach Santorini

Santorini’s Red Beach is seen in an image from EscapeGreece.com 

 

Rockfall risk: Since Santorini enjoys a worldwide reputation for superlative natural scenery, it’s not surprising that the island’s remarkable Red Beach regularly garners glowing accolades from international travel publications and leading lifestyle websites — along with ample attention on social media, where thousands of people have posted selfies that they shot on and near the colourful coastal attraction.

During my routine online work and research, I frequently find articles in which travel magazines and websites declare Red Beach to be one of the world’s “best,” “most beautiful,” “most unusual” or “most colourful” beaches, and recommend it as a “must-see” for anyone visiting Santorini.  Photos of the distinctive strand, which is also known as Red Sand Beach, appear even more often on websites and social media pages dedicated to travel in Greece, and in particular for hotels and tour companies operating on Santorini.

What the articles, posts and photo captions rarely mention, however, is that Red Beach is a veritably perilous place to sunbathe, swim or stroll. In recent years, there have been several significant rockfalls and landslides from the crimson-coloured bluffs that rise behind the narrow strip of scarlet-tinged pebbles and stones, and geological experts believe it’s possible that more cliff sections could collapse onto the beach at any time. (There are anecdotal claims that two beachgoers were killed by a landslide a few years ago, but I couldn’t find any news reports confirming the fatalities or date of the accident.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Red Beach Santorini photo by TripAdvisor member Chris B

Red Beach is seen on a sunny April afternoon in a photo by TripAdvisor review contributor Chris B

 

Red Beach Santorini

During peak season in past years, sunbeds have been available for rent, as seen in this photo from the Santorini Hotels Facebook page

 

Red Beach Santorini photo by Cecil Ramirez

In April, Facebook member Cecil Ramirez captured this photo of the imposing red stone cliffs that tower above Red Beach

 

Red Beach Santorini photo by Daena K Nicholas

Major rockfalls have occurred at Red Beach several times in the past decade. Two of the larger landslides are clearly visible in this photo shared on Facebook by Daena K Nicholas

 

Red Beach Santorini photo by Jc Male

Red Beach has been “closed” since August 2013 because of fears more landslides could occur, and since stones and boulders loosen and plunge from the cliffs on occasion. But warning signs like this one, shown in a Facebook photo by Jc Male, have not deterred thousands of people from going to the beach.

 

Red Beach Santorini photo by Daniel Dias da Silva Facebook photo of Red Beach Santorini

Sunbathers sit near the foot of one of the larger landslides, seen in a Facebook photo by Daniel Dias da Silva. Fences were installed to keep people from climbing the cliffs and landslip rubble because that could trigger further collapses of the rock face.

 

Red Beach Santorini photo by Nikky Dudek

The safest way to see Red Beach is from the sea or from a distance on a hilltop vantage point like this one captured in a Facebook photo by Nikky Dudek

 

Please click on the link below to continue reading about Red Beach on page 2 of this post, where you can view videos and dozens more photos of this singular Santorini beach.

 

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Athens nightlife: Where to party with the locals

Millenium GAZI club in Athens

Scenes from Millenium GAZI, one of dozens of clubs, bars, restaurants and cafes within walking distance of the Karameikos metro station in the buzzing Gazi entertainment district of Athens

 

After dark: Wondering where to find a great party scene while you’re visiting Athens? Check out the article Athens nightlife: where do locals go? published recently on the Odiporikon travel tips website.

Written by an Athens-born blogger, the article notes that Athens offers “a very rich variety” of places to enjoy a night on the town. “Avoid the tourist traps and try out places a little further from the usual path,” the article advises.

To that end, it describes the top Athens party districts and how to reach them using the local public transit system and taxis.

Areas listed in the blog post include:

♦ Thissio

♦ Ag. Eirini Square

♦ Kolokotroni Street

♦ Gazi

♦ Psirri

♦ Exarcheia

♦ Chalandri

♦ Glyfada, and

♦ Mikrolimano

Be sure to bookmark the guide to keep on hand for your trip to Athens.

OPUS Inner Pleasure Glyfada

OPUS Inner Pleasure is one of many hot hangouts in the Glyfada coastal suburb of Athens. It’s a restaurant-cafe by day and a party club at night.

 

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