Category: Greece holiday May 2012 (page 1 of 4)

Thanks for more than 3 million views of our Greece photos!

Screenshot of the mygreecetravelblog page on Flickr

This is a screenshot of the MyGreeceTravelBlog photostream on Flickr, which contains more than 23,000 of our photos of Greece

 

Thanks in large measure to readers of this blog, the MyGreeceTravelBlog photo collection on Flickr reached a major milestone this week, surpassing the 3,000,000-view mark.

I have posted 23,000 images on Flickr to date and still have at least 10,000 more pictures from Greece to upload, if I can ever find the time. (I’m certain that number will rise substantially after our next visit to Greece later this spring.)

A few surprises were in store when I checked Flickr’s viewing statistics for the photos this week.

The individual photo with the all-time most views was a picture of Agios Prokopios beach on Naxos. But I doubt it was popular because the beach is so beautiful — I suspect some nudists wading in the water were of more interest than the golden sand and turquoise water! (If you want to view the image and won’t be offended seeing several middle-aged and older tourists displaying some skin, click here.)

 

Syros photos were the most popular

I also was amazed that our set of 18 albums from last year’s trip to Syros was the most popular individual collection on our Flickr page. I had been expecting that our Mykonos collection would be the most viewed, but people seemed to prefer looking at pics of Syros. (You can access the Syros photos by clicking here.) Mykonos did claim the #2 spot, though.

So far, there are album collections for 13 islands — Amorgos, Astipalea, Crete, Folegandros, Ios, Milos, Mykonos, Naxos, Paros, Patmos, Samos, Santorini, and Syros — plus one set with photos of many (but not all) of the hotels we have stayed at during our Greek holidays. More collections, including one for Athens, are in the works.  Click here to access the main Flickr page showing cover pages for all of the album collections.

Thanks very much for viewing the photos, and please feel free to comment on any of them at any time.

 Kini beach on Syros

Our photo sets of Syros had the most views of any collection on our Flickr page. They included shots of Kini (above), our favourite beach resort on Syros.

Greek islands take spring weather woes in stride

Stormclouds at Mykonos

Dark stormclouds hover overhead as rain falls on Mykonos and nearby islands. I shot this photo from the swimming pool deck at Hotel Tagoo on the morning of May 18 2012. Many Greek islands and parts of mainland Greece have been experiencing similar stormy weather conditions this week.

 

Be prepared: If you’re planning to travel to Greece in May or early June next year, be sure to pack an umbrella or waterproof windbreaker in your suitcase — there’s a good chance you might need to use them for a day or two.

Occasional bad weather used to be something you could expect to encounter in early spring — especially while travelling during April or the first two weeks of May in the Cyclades, Dodecanese, East Aegean and Sporades island groups. But once the middle of May had passed, rainstorms and completely overcast skies would be rare — visitors typically could expect one day after another of warm, dry and mainly sunny weather until the fall.

Climate patterns seem to have changed in recent years, however, and travellers have been encountering sporadic stormy conditions later in May and into early June too, as bad weather across much of Greece this week has shown.

 We didn’t need rainwear or umbrellas until 2010

On our trips to Athens and various Greek islands between 2004 and 2009, we didn’t encounter any major rainstorms or other inclement weather bad enough to put a damper on a day of sightseeing, hiking or beach activities. We would pack travel umbrellas in our suitcases, but never have to take them out. In fact, we recall only three instances of rain — all in early May 2006, the time of month when unsettled weather still could be expected.

That year, there was some overnight rain on May 11 and 12 while we were visiting Mykonos, but the clouds cleared by the time we got up for breakfast. One week later (on May 18) we were at Maragas beach on Naxos when a late afternoon thunderstorm suddenly blew in from the west. Rain began to sprinkle so we hurried over to the Gorgona Taverna at Agia Anna beach, where we had an early dinner while waiting for the precipitation to stop. Within 90 minutes the sun came back out and gave us a beautiful sunset that evening.

 Stormclouds over Naxos

After the storm: Thunderclouds begin to break up over Paros island  (top) and Naxos following a late afternoon downpour on May 18 2006. We shot this photo from Agia Anna beach on Naxos.

 

Of course, the weather wasn’t perfect the rest of the time during our first five Greek holidays. We did encounter a few days when it was extremely cloudy, like on June 8 2005, when we arrived at Santorini to find the island shrouded in thick, low-hanging clouds that obscured sunset views and lingered into the next morning before dissipating. We also experienced several exceptionally windy days, as well as some very chilly mornings and nights that forced us to wear sweaters and jackets to keep warm. But there wasn’t any horribly bad weather, and the adverse conditions didn’t stop us from fully enjoying the islands.

 Santorini caldera clouds

When we arrived at Santorini on June 8 2005, the island was surrounded by thick clouds that obscured caldera and sunset views that evening. There was no rain, but the clouds hung around until morning. We shot this photo from our terrace at the Phenix Hotel in Imerovigli during a brief break in the clouds.

  Please click the number 2 in the link below to continue reading this report.

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2012 Greek holiday report: Final day on Paros

Fishing boats docked near the Venetian fortress at Naoussa harbour

A view of fishing boats docked near the Venetian fortress at Naoussa harbour just as some sunshine begins breaking through thick morning stormclouds

 

 

[This is the third and final instalment of my report on my May 2012 visit to Paros. The first part included photos from my arrival day on the island, while the second segment featured extensive photos and information about a day I spent exploring the town of Naoussa, where I was staying.]

 

Thursday May 24 2012

 

Sudden storms: Much to my chagrin, the weird weather pattern I had experienced on Mykonos — no more than two consecutive days of sunshine — continued on Paros. After two beautiful bright clear days, clouds had rolled in and completely filled the sky.

I should not have been surprised to see the grey sky and dull light when I opened the curtains in my room. After all, stormclouds had moved in during the previous evening, and it looked like Paros was going to get a downpour at some point. But the stone floor of my terrace was dry, suggesting there had not been any overnight rain (I doubt I would have heard rain in any event; I had been so tired from all my walking on Wednesday that I slept like a log, and probably would have snored through a hurricane).

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2012 Greek holiday report: Exploring Naoussa

Naoussa windmill

This old windmill in Naoussa might be a cute studio residence, but I didn’t notice any sign indicating if it’s available as rental accommodations

 

 

[This is the second instalment of a multi-part report on my May 2012 visit to Naoussa village on Paros island. The first part of my report described my arrival at Paros and the first evening I spent in the town of Naoussa following an 8-day visit to Mykonos.]

 

Wednesday May 23 2012

 

First full day:  My room at Hotel Manos was so dark and quiet, I got a good night’s sleep and woke feeling refreshed and eager to get to know Naoussa better.

I got a bit of a surprise when I went into the bathroom to shave — no hot water came out of the sink faucet, even after I let it run a considerable time. No chance for a smooth shave today! Fortunately, there was plenty of hot water — very hot water, in fact — in the shower. Then, before I went downstairs for breakfast, I booted up my laptop so I could check my email. Although the receptionist had assured me that there was wi-fi access throughout the hotel, I could not obtain a signal in my room. I did get a weak connection from the terrace, and managed to briefly get online, but  the signal repeatedly cut out and eventually I had no luck getting back on. I took the laptop with me when I went to breakfast, hoping I would have better luck in the main hotel building.

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2012 holiday report: Hopping over to Paros

A late afternoon view of Piperi beach and Naoussa Bay on Paros

I got this great late afternoon view of Naoussa bay and Piperi beach just by walking a very short distance down the road from Hotel Manos after my arrival on Paros

 

 

[This is the latest segment of a report about my 2012 holiday in Greece. Previous reports described my 8-day vacation on Mykonos. You can access those reports by clicking here.]

 

Tuesday, May 22 2012

 

Second chance:  After eight fun days on Mykonos, I “hopped” over to Paros, the second island destination of my 2012 Greek holiday. Paros actually was supposed to be my third island, after visiting Ios for a few days, but Anna and some of the guests at Hotel Tagoo had persuaded me to drop Ios from my itinerary and spend more time on Mykonos instead. (I’d been having such a good time on Mykonos, they didn’t have any trouble twisting my arm. In fact, I would have stayed on Mykonos the entire time had it not been for the fact I already had bought a non-refundable flight from Paros to Athens.)

I travelled to Paros on the 14:55 Flyingcat 4, which was almost completely booked for the second year in a row. In 2011, we had waited until we arrived on Mykonos to buy tickets for our ferry trip to Ios (the next stop on the route, after Paros) and, to our chagrin, discovered that economy class was sold out with only two seats remaining in business class (which of course we booked on the spot). This time I made certain I booked my Paros ticket online well in advance. I was glad I did because, once again, economy was sold out and only a handful of seats remained in business class. The SeaJet2, which departed the Mykonos Old Port 10 minutes before us, was nearly full, too. The Flyingcat4 left Mykonos a few minutes behind schedule, but gave us a smooth ride to Paros and arrived at Parikia port nearly on time around 16:00.

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2012 Greek holiday: Mykonos visit winds down

Mykonos Town panoramic view

The view from the hill: A panoramic view of Mykonos Town and its harbourfront and Old Port areas on May 21 2012. Click on the photo to view the image in a larger format.

 

 

Monday May 21 2012

 

Familiar patterns: Things weren’t looking very promising for my final full day on Mykonos. The weird up-and-down weather hit another “down” cycle, bringing overcast skies in the wake of a gorgeous sunny Sunday. Good thing I had not been planning another beach day, because I would have felt pretty bummed out by all the clouds and the threat of light rain. But I didn’t need more beach time and was content just to start walking and see where I would wind up.

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Overlooking Agios Ioannis on Mykonos

Below is a brief video I shot from the main road leading into the Agios Ioannis beach resort area of Mykonos. Agios Ioannis is often called “the Shirley Valentine beach” because it is where many of the scenes from the 1989 movie were filmed. Agios Ioannis has great views of Delos and Rinia islands nearby. Descriptions and photos of the beach and area are included in Part 5 of my Mykonos 2012 trip report two posts below this one.

 

Videos of Agios Ioannis and Kapari beaches

Below are four videoclips I shot showing views of Kapari and Agios Ioannis beaches and their surrounding areas on Mykonos. Descriptions and photos of both beaches are provided in my Mykonos 2012 trip report directly below this post.

 

Views of Kapari bay and beach, as seen from the beach access road

 

 

 Views of Kapari beach and bay from the middle of the beach

 

 

 Views from the section of Agios Ioannis beach below the Saint John Mykonos Resort

 

 

2012 Greek holiday trip report: Mykonos Part 5

Windstar Wind Spirit cruise ship

Mighty masts: A view of the Windstar cruise yacht Wind Spirit anchored near the Mykonos Old Port on a clear, sunny morning May 20 2012. It was perfect weather for a day at the beach.

 

 

Sunday May 20 2012

 

Beach weather: May 20 brought us a beautiful bright and sunny morning and the promise of perfect weather for the beach. Since I had only two full days left on Mykonos, I decided to take advantage of the sunshine and spend my Sunday beach hopping. My destinations would be Kapari beach, which I had never been to before, followed by Agios Ioannis and Ornos beaches, which I had previously seen.

I walked from Hotel Tagoo to the Fabrica bus depot where I was one of only five people waiting to board the Ornos/Agios Ioannis bus. By comparison, there were at least two dozen people lined up for the bus to Paradise, and even more standing beside the one going to Platis Gialos. I took the lack of a similar lineup for my bus to indicate that the beaches I was about to visit might be exceptionally quiet. Maybe the limited bus service explained why more people weren’t going to the same places as me. At this time of May, there were only 8 return bus trips per day to Ornos/Agios Ioannis, with the last bus returning to Mykonos Town at 18:45. Although the last bus back to Town from Paradise was scheduled for 19:00, service from Platis Gialos continued until 21:00.

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2012 Greek holiday trip report: Mykonos Part 4

stormclouds above Mykonos

A promising patch of blue sky appears above Rinia island on the morning of Friday May 18 2012, while thick grey and jet-black stormclouds gather ominously above Mykonos in this view from the Hotel Tagoo swimming pool deck. 

 

 

Little Venice Mykonos

After two hours of torrential morning downpours completely soaked the island, the rain stopped, letting tourists and passengers from the Celebrity Equinox (left) enjoy their sightseeing at the Little Venice area of Mykonos Town (above)

 

 

rainbow above Mykonos

A brief — but very light — afternoon rainshower gave way to a glorious evening rainbow that arced high in the sky above the island’s Tagoo district …

 

 

Mykonos sunset

… and soon after was followed by a colourful and dramatic sunset

 

 

Friday, May 18

 

Rain, rain, go away: Even a morning of heavy downpours didn’t dampen my spirits on Day 5 of my Mykonos holiday.

When I left my hotel room to go for breakfast, I was shocked by the drastic change in weather from the day before. Strong gusts of very chilly winds were blowing jet-black stormclouds above the Agean, and though there were sunny spots in the sky above Syros, Rinia and other nearby islands, the steadily thickening cloudcover suggested Mother Nature was getting ready to unleash her fury on Mykonos.

In the breakfast room, one of the other guests asked a question I’ve never had to answer before: “What do you recommend doing on a rainy day in Mykonos?” “Read, sleep, go shopping, visit the archaeological museum or just go sit in a coffee shop or taverna and wait for the rain to stop,” I said. I actually wasn’t quite sure what I would do myself.

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2012 Greek holiday trip report: Mykonos Part 3

Remezzo area of Mykonos Town

All quiet on the northern front: Even though it was a gorgeous morning, very few people were out and about when I walked past the Remezzo area of Mykonos Town at 10 a.m.

 

 

[Editor’s Note: This is the latest instalment in a series of reports on my 2012 vacation. Those of you who have already read Part 1 and Part 2 may want to go back and take another look through those posts — I have added several videoclips to each part.]

 

 

Thursday May 17

 

Sounds of silence: My fourth day on Mykonos started off with brilliant sunshine and plenty of peace and quiet.

The breakfast room at Hotel Tagoo was almost empty, with just a handful of guests showing up during the time I was there. It seemed like most people were sleeping in to recover from either a late night on the town or too much fun at the beaches the day before.  Two guests who did make it down for breakfast told me that a friend of theirs from Mykonos would be taking them on an early afternoon driving tour around part of the island. They had room for a fourth person, and invited me to tag along. They planned to visit some beaches I had not seen in a few years, plus at least one I had never been to before, so I jumped at the opportunity to join them.

Since I had a few hours to fill before the island drive about, but didn’t feel like laying in the sun by the pool, I took a walk into town. The streets were surprisingly quiet and empty with practically no vehicular traffic and pedestrians. It was incredibly serene — and almost surreal  — hearing only birdsong and sound of my shoes on the pavement. I didn’t expect that, at 10 a.m., I would have most of the Tagoo area and much of Mykonos Town all to myself. A cruise ship was docked at Tourlos, so I fully expected to run into groups of tourists wandering around, but the parking area next to the Old Port (where the cruise ship shuttle buses drop passengers off) was eerily quiet. I passed fewer than a dozen people during my 10-minute walk between the port and Taxi Square.

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Greece holiday pic of the day

ancient amphitheatre at Thorikos

The oval-shaped amphitheatre at Thorikos, northeast of Lavrio on the Attica peninsula, dates to the 6th Century B.C. It’s the oldest theatre in Greece.

 

 

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