Category: Greece in magazines

Discover more of Greece on my blog’s Facebook page

MyGreeceTravelBlog Facebook page

I regularly share photos & videos, as well as links to Greece travel news and information, on the MyGreeceTravelBlog page on Facebook. You don’t have to be a Facebook member to see what I post there.

 

What’s there: I love blogging about Greece, but since this website is a personal hobby that I work on during my limited spare time  (it’s not a commercial travel site, as some people think), it’s just not possible for me to post new articles every day. But it’s a whole different story with the MyGreeceTravelBlog page on Facebook, where I can easily share news, information, pictures and videos with just a few quick clicks on my mouse or smartphone. And that’s exactly what I do almost every day when I check my Facebook news feed to see what’s happening in Greece.

 

 

You don’t have to be a registered Facebook user to see what I post on my page — although you will encounter one of those annoying popup windows that asks you to either login or sign up for an account to see more of the MyGreeceTravelBlog page. (You don’t have to do that — just click the “Not Now” button and the box will drop to the bottom of the page, letting you scroll through the various items I have posted.)

If you do have a Facebook account, simply “like” or “follow” my blog page (if you haven’t done so already) so you can see my posts in your daily news feed.

Check out my page regularly, and you’ll discover more of Greece to complement the articles I publish here on the blog.

Click on the link below to turn to page 2 where you’ll see examples of the types of posts you’ll find on my Facebook page.

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Acropolis & Parthenon shine in print & social media spotlights

Trudeau family at the Acropolis

Pierre Elliot Trudeau was Prime Minister of Canada when he visited Athens with his three sons in 1983. His oldest son Justin (standing behind younger brothers Michel and Alexandre at the Parthenon) became Prime Minister after winning Canada’s federal election on October 19. This photo made the rounds on Greek social media following Justin Trudeau’s big election win.

 

Media marvels: I’ve been seeing a lot of the  Acropolis and the Parthenon in Athens this month — unfortunately not in person, but in print and social media.

Photos of the top two Athens attractions appear frequently on my Facebook and Twitter news feeds, but in the last several weeks there has been a noticeable spike in the number of picture, video and article links that have been posted about both monuments.

Most social media posts have been travel pictures that tourists shot during their autumn visits to the world-famous monuments, but some of the stand-out photos and articles have been published by international print and online publications.

Screenshot of a Boston Globe article about AthensOne widely shared link was for the travel article Glories, history live in the heart of Athens, published October 3 by The Boston Globe.  The story said the Acropolis is “the absolute must see” for visitors to Athens, and it featured a large picture of the Parthenon as its lead photo.

Another popular share on Facebook was the photo I posted above showing then Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and his three young sons during a visit to the Acropolis on August 30, 1983.

The picture, credited to Peter Bregg of the Canadian Press news organization,  was republished by The Pappas Post website as its Photo of the Day on October 22 — three days after the eldest Trudeau boy, Justin, was elected as the new Prime Minister of Canada. Now 43, Justin was just 11 years old when the family photograph was taken at the Parthenon.

Meanwhile, a trip to my local magazine retailer brought me face-to-face with pictures of the Parthenon and the caryatids at the Erechtheion monument on the Acropolis. 

Prominently displayed on an eye-level shelf was the October/November issue of National Geographic History magazine, which has an attention-grabbing cover photo of the Parthenon basking in a golden sunset glow. 

National Geographic History magazine cover October November 2015Inside is an informative and well-illustrated 12-page feature article describing noteworthy events during the Parthenon’s long history.

“It was built to celebrate the triumph of Athens over adversity,” the article begins, “but survival would be hard for this extraordinary building. Over 2,500 years it has been abused, plundered, neglected, and all but obliterated. Its remains now stand as a proud symbol of the endurance of Greek civilization.”

The feature includes “The day they blew up the Parthenon,” a two-page account of the September 21, 1687 artillery attack on the monument by Venetian forces.

On another shelf, the November/December issue of Archaeology magazine caught my eye. Its cover image is a photo showing three of the caryatid figures on the Erechtheion, one of the historic buildings on the Acropolis. An 8-page feature article about the Acropolis describes “the decades-long project to restore the site to its iconic past.” 

Archaeology magazine cover for November December 2015“After four decades of intensive work by hundreds of experts in archaeology, architecture, marble working, masonry, restoration, conservation and mechanical, chemical and structural engineering, much has been accomplished. Already the restoration of two of the major buildings, the Erechtheion and the Temple of Athena Nike, has been completed, as has much of the work on the Propylaia and on large sections of the Parthenon,” the article notes. 

In outlining “7 keys to restoring an icon,” the article illustrates and discusses several specific monuments and elements at the Acropolis, including the Circuit Walls, the Propylaia, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion, the Arrephorion, “scattered architectural members,” and of course the Parthenon.

Both magazine features are fascinating reads, whether you’ve been to the Acropolis before or not. If you’re planning a trip to Athens for later this year or sometime during 2016, see if you can find copies of the publications at your neighbourhood news outlets. You will enjoy a more informed and educated visit to the Acropolis if you get to read the articles before your trip. 

And just today (October 31), I have seen the Parthenon and Acropolis getting even more attention in a news video being shared widely on Facebook.

Originally posted on the Facebook page for the Greek Gateway entertainment website, the clip shows the Greek Presidential Guard participating in a flag raising ceremony to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Oxi Day this past Wednesday. A national holiday, Oxi Day celebrates events on October 28, 1940, when Mussolini’s forces demanded they be allowed to enter and occupy Greece. In response, Greek leader Iannis Metaxas bluntly said “oxi” (“no”) and refused the Italian ultimatum. 

 

Oxi Day ceremony at the Acropolis

  A screenshot from the special Oxi Day video that Greek Gateway shared on its Facebook page. Click here to view the clip.

 

 My last visit to the Acropolis was in May 2014, but after seeing all these photos and stories about it in recent weeks, I wish I could get back soon for another look around.

2board summer issue features food guide, hotel profiles + tour ideas for Athens & Chania

2board Magazine Gastro Guide

The July–September issue of 2board magazine features a gastronomy guide, suggested tours for Athens and Chania, and profiles of top boutique hotels

 

 Tons of great tips: If you’re passing through Athens International Airport anytime this month, be sure to grab a copy of the July–September issue of 2board magazine while you’re in the terminal.

The 212-page glossy publication is packed full of useful travel tips about hotels, restaurants, and attractions at a variety of destinations — information that could come in handy during your current travels in Greece, or for planning a future holiday.

2board is the official magazine of the Athens airport. Copies are available free of charge from magazine racks situated at various locations in the terminal building.

I always find a wealth of interesting information, travel ideas and helpful research material in 2board, and this summer’s edition is no exception. In fact, it’s one of the better issues, content-wise, that I’ve seen. (And, as always, it’s packed with photos of luxurious resorts, villas and restaurants I can only dream about visiting someday … but it’s still great fun to imagine what it would be like seeing these places and photographing them with my own camera.)

 

Gastro Guide to 10 top restaurants

Foodies will want to flip directly to page 21 for 2board‘s “Gastro Guide to Greece,” which profiles “Ten restaurants that do not simply dish up Greek high gastronomy, they consistently take it one step further.”

The guide highlights two acclaimed restaurants on Mykonos, three on Santorini, one each on the islands of Corfu, Crete and Rhodes, and two on the Greek mainland — one at Preveza and another in Halkidiki:

Etrusco at Kato Korakiana on Corfu;

♦ Old Mill at the Elounda Mare Hotel at Elounda on Crete;

♦ The Squirrel, one of the restaurants at Danai Beach Resort & Villas in Halkidiki;

♦ the dining room at Bill & Coo Suites & Lounge above Megali Ammos beach on Mykonos;

♦ the brand new White Star at Lakka Square in Mykonos Town;

♦ the restaurant at SESA Boutique Hotel at Kanali beach in Preveza;

♦ The Greek, a new dining room at the Sheraton Rhodes Resort on Rhodes;

♦ Selene in Pyrgos village on Santorini;

♦ Sea Side by Notos at Santorini’s Perivolos beach; and

♦ the dining room at the Grace Santorini hotel in Imerovigli.

The Gastro Guide includes full-page photos of the respective restaurants’ chefs and some of their tantalizing creations, along with suggestions of signature dishes to try if you get the opportunity to dine at one of these fine establishments. A word of warning: don’t read this article on an empty stomach, because the stunning food photos and descriptions of the unique dishes will instantly make you feel hungry!

 

Facebook page photo of the dining terrace at The Squirrel restaurant

The seaside dining terrace at The Squirrel restaurant in the Danai Beach Resort & Villas in Halkidiki. The photo is from the Danai Beach Resort Facebook page.

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Greek Islands featured on covers of major travel magazines

GEO magazine June 2014 cover

GEO magazine profiled Greece in its June 2014 issue with a cover photo of Mandrakia village on Milos and an “Escape” feature on the “Secret islands and archipelagos of Greece.” They’re obviously not secret anymore!

 

Summer reads: When I’m not in Greece I enjoy reading about it — in books, magazines, online travel forums and websites. Thanks to feature cover stories about Greece published by three major European travel magazines recently, I’ve got plenty to read while relaxing on my balcony this summer.

Here’s a look at what the three magazine cover stories say about Greece:

  GEO magazine June 2014

I discovered GEO magazine from France purely by chance — I was looking for another magazine at a newsstand when a photo on GEO’s bold green cover caught my eye. It was the picturesque harbour at Mandrakia, a fishing hamlet on Milos, under the headline: “Secret islands and archipelagos of Greece.” I couldn’t resist and bought the magazine after taking only a cursory glance at the contents.

It turns out there are 28 full pages of text and beautiful photos about several Greek islands including Kythera, Kalymnos, Milos, Santorini, Chios, Aegina, Tinos, Skyros, Folegandros and Rhodes. The stories aren’t travel guides — they don’t recommend hotels to stay in, for instance, or suggest the hottest restaurants and coolest beaches to visit. Some of the pieces provide brief descriptions and overviews of the destinations, while others take an insightful look into how the Greek Islands have been affected by the country’s devastating economic crisis. The sale of island real estate to foreign billionaires is considered in part of one report, for example, while another piece profiles people who have started new business ventures selling local agricultural products.

 Island village photo foul-up

 GEO magazine photo of Astipalea

Mon Dieu! GEO magazine mistakenly published this eye-catching photo of Chora village on Astipalea to illustrate a short piece about Chora on Kythera — another island in a completely different area of Greece.

 

One of the GEO feature’s excellent photos — spread across pages 36 and 37  — really piqued my curiosity. It shows a white-domed church rising from the middle of a huge stone castle perched on a hilltop. The slopes below the castle are stacked with white cube houses that descend to a row of derelict windmills. I instantly recognized the location — Chora village on Astipalea, a butterfly-shaped island in the Dodecanese archipelago. I had shot photos from almost the identical vantage point when we visited Astipalea in 2009. However, the picture accompanied an article about Kythera, which is part of the Ionian island group, and the text said the town in the photo is that island’s capital, also called Chora. (Most main towns on Greek islands are called Chora).

I haven’t been to Kythera yet, but I was absolutely certain the photo was from Astipalea. So I poured through my photos to confirm I was right (there’s more than 300 pictures in my Astipalea collection on Flickr). Sure enough, details in my pictures of Astipalea’s Chora matched the same features visible in the GEO image, which was credited to Velissario Voutsas /IML – Hemis.fr, a French photo agency. Obviously someone on the magazine staff had made a big boo-boo by purchasing the wrong stock image to illustrate the article!

(You can learn more about Kythera, and see photos showing what its Chora looks like, on the comprehensive Visit Kythera website.)

Photo flop aside, the GEO stories are compelling reads, and are bound to encourage people in France to consider island hopping in Greece on an upcoming vacation. Moreover, photos and information about Leros, Kalymnos, Chios, Skyros and Tinos will encourage travellers to visit charming islands that often get overlooked because they aren’t instantly-recognizable mainstream tourist destinations like Santorini, Paros, Naxos and Mykonos.

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Aegean in-flight magazine lauds the marvels of Milos

Aegean Airlines Blue magazine cover image

Fashion model Vasilianna strikes a pose on one of the seaside rock formations at spectacular Sarakiniko beach on Milos island in the Cyclades. The photo, by Olympia Krasagaki, graces the cover of the summer 2014 edition of Blue, the in-flight magazine of Aegean Airlines.

 

Cover story: One of my favourite islands will be getting a lot of international attention over the next three months thanks to Aegean Airlines.

Milos is pictured not only on the cover of the airline’s in-flight magazine Blue this summer, but also in a Nature focus article as well as in a fashion photo spread featuring some of the island’s breathtaking beaches and magnificent coastal scenery.

The articles laud Milos for its “extraordinary beauty,” “spectacular coastline” and gorgeous beaches, and points out that the volcanic island also “has plenty of pretty, traditional villages, ancient monuments, excellent local cuisine and an overall air of elegance.”

Milos is, of course, one of the splendid island destinations that can easily be reached from Athens on daily flights by Olympic Air, which merged with Aegean several years ago.

The release of the summer 2014 edition of Blue was announced today on the Aegean Airlines International Facebook page.

The 340-page glossy magazine will be available to passengers flying Aegean during the next three months, and also can be viewed online in an e-book format available on the airline’s website. Click here to peruse the online edition.

The magazine cover photo shows a fashion model posing on the seaside at Sarakiniko, which is one of the most fascinating and impressive coastal landscapes I’ve seen out of all the Greek islands I’ve been fortunate to visit so far.

More pictures of Sarakiniko are included in a women’s fashion feature that starts on page 212. The fashion spread includes photos shot at other spectacular locations on Milos, including the colourful fishing village at Klima, the picturesque mountain town of Plaka, the scenic seaside at Fyriplaka beach, and the Glaronissia islets off the north coast of the island near Pollonia.

 Aegean Airlines Blue magazine

The coastline at Fyriplaka beach provides a breathtakingly beautiful backdrop for this fashion photo by Olympia Krasagaki. Click here to open the online edition of Blue magazine and view full-size photos of the superlative Milos scenery.

 

Places to see, eat and drink on Milos

The Nature focus Milos: natural wonder begins at page 116 and includes amazing photos of the majestic coastal rock formations at Kleftiko and the incomparable Papafragas, a sliver of sandy beach wedged between tall stone walls. The article describes popular tourist and natural attractions on Milos, including some of the island’s 75 remarkable beaches, and suggests places to eat and drink.

Restaurant recommendations include our personal favourite O Chamos at Papakinou beach in the port town of Adamas, as well as Archontoula and Fatses in Plaka, Ergina in Tripiti, Enalion in Pollonia, and a few others.

For nice spots to enjoy a drink, the magazine’s picks include Akri and Mikro in Adamas, along with Gatis, Bakaliko and Utopia Café in Plaka (see my April 4 2012 post Utopian sunsets on Milos for photos of the sensational sunset views from the terrace at Utopia Café’s outdoor terrace).

 

Profiles for other island & mainland destinations

Although Milos claimed bragging rights to the cover photo and two feature articles, it isn’t the only must-see Greek destination profiled in Blue magazine. The summer issue is packed with beguiling photos and interesting travel information about 17 other intriguing islands as well as several cities and regions on the mainland.

For foodies, there are appetizing descriptions of new restaurants that have opened recently on the islands of Rhodes and Mykonos, as well as in Halkidiki.

For fans of arts and culture, there are articles about the 2014 Sani Festival in Halkidi, plus the impressive Viannos Art Gallery in Keratokambos, a small town situated at the southernmost point on Crete.

And for travellers who’d like to plan some island hopping, there are informative reports on things to see and do on Syros, Kasos, Paros, Corfu, Kos, Leros, Naxos, Lemnos, Ikaria, Kastellorizo, Kefalonia, Santorini, Rhodes and Astipalia — all accompanied by captivating full-colour photos.

If you’re lucky to be flying Aegean while the summer edition of Blue is available, be sure to collect a free copy from the seat pocket — it will be an excellent research resource for future Greek holiday planning. (And please get a copy for me!)

 Thalassitra Church Milos

If you haven’t been to Milos and want to see why it was an outstanding choice for Blue magazine’s cover, check out my Milos photo collection on Flickr. It includes images of Milos landmarks like Thalassitra Church at Plaka village (above).

 

5 reasons to take another look at Lesvos

Aegean Airlines Blue magazine

The spring edition of Aegean Airlines’ Blue magazine features a cover photo of the town of Molyvos and its Byzantine-era hilltop castle on Lesvos island

 

On our list: Friends who haven’t yet been to Greece keep wondering why I find it so difficult to decide where we should go on our Greek holidays. They think that if you’ve seen one Greek island, you’ve seen ’em all, so they simply can’t comprehend why I spend so much time checking flights and ferry schedules to see if we could visit places in an island group we haven’t been to before, or perhaps explore the Peloponnese, Pelion or other parts of mainland Greece instead.

“Why not just stick to Mykonos or Santorini? The islands can’t be that different from one another,” one friend has remarked several times. It’s a reaction I find hard to fathom, particularly since she — and most of our other friends, family and acquaintances who have made similar comments — return to the exact same vacation resorts in Florida, California, Hawaii and Mexico year after year.

 

Friends have urged us to visit Lesvos

Although we do have favourite islands we’re always happy to revisit, we try to expand our horizons by going to new places whenever we can work them into our travel dates. We have a list of nearly a dozen islands that we’re eager to see in the next three to five years, but some aren’t easy to reach in May (our typical travel period) because of extremely limited or awkward ferry connections at that time of year.

However, one place we’re confident we will see sooner, rather than later, is Lesvos — an island we’ve been urged to visit by numerous friends who are well-travelled in Greece, and who understand how each destination there is special and unique.

Although we won’t get to see Lesvos when we return to Greece next month, I continue to read up on it from time to time — and so far I have been liking everything I have seen (I haven’t read a single negative comment yet). And when Aegean Airlines published a profile of Lesvos in the recently-released spring edition of its in-flight magazine, Blue, I honestly felt a strong tinge of regret for leaving Lesvos for a future vacation.

 

‘The island that has it all’

With an appealing photo of beautiful Molyvos village on its cover, Blue magazine invites readers to “Explore Majestic Lesvos,” and offers five key reasons explaining why “the island that has it all” deserves attention:

 

◊ The traditional cuisine

Article author Fotis Vallatos recommends several tavernas and ouzeris that serve scrumptious meals, including mezedes, fresh fish and other “delights from the sea.” They include Ermis and Kalderimi in the port town of Mytilene, Papeli’s at Agiasos, Baluchanas in Perama, Stratis Maganas’s ouzeri in Skala Neon Kydonion, Petri Taverna in Petri village, Mrs Maria’s canteen on Chrousos beach, and Ouzadiko tou Baboukou at the Molyvos harbourfront.

 

◊ Charming villages

“Many of the island’s hamlets remain untouched by development and tourism,” Vallatos notes, and certain driving routes — like the road from Mytilene to Plomari — pass through “enchanting landscapes and villages.”

“Agia Paraskevi is a wonderful traditional settlement. Mantamados is famous for its ceramics and dairy products, mainly cheese.  Molyvos is home to a magnificent fortress. the beautiful Sykaminia seems to have stepped out of an old movie, while Skala Sykaminias is where you will find the impressive Panagia Gorgona (Mermaid Madonna) Church, which is built on a rocky outcrop in the harbour,” he writes.

 

◊  Beautiful beaches

Vallatos points out that Lesvos can proudly lay claim to one of the country’s “most stunning” beaches, at Chrousos, and boasts many other “standout” strands, including the four adjoining beaches at Agioi Anargiroi, just past the Eftalou thermal baths.

 

◊  Unique bays

“Wonderful, off-the-beaten track fishing villages” are scattered along Gera Bay, while the Rodotihos, an Archaic stone wall measuring 50 meters long by 6 meters high, is a top attraction at Apothika.

 

◊  The petrified forest

Rounding out Vallatos’ convincing set of reasons for revisiting Lesvos is what he feels could well be “the country’s most amazing natural heritage site” — the petrified forest near Sigri village.

 

Baluchanas Taverna in Perama on Lesvos

The Baluchanas taverna in Perama. This photo, by Perikles Merakos, appears in Blue magazine’s feature article about Lesvos.

 

 

 

Superb food, scenery and local hospitality

But as anyone who has already been to Lesvos is bound to tell you, there are countless more reasons why the island is a must-see destination. One that I hear repeated most often is the welcoming, friendly nature of the local residents. The people, the food, the scenery and the history all combine to create an outstanding vacation experience that keeps drawing people back for more.

As one of my friends insists, “You will fall in love with Lesvos and keep coming back.”

That seems to be a sentiment commonly expressed online by repeat Lesvos visitors — as well as by people who loved visiting the island so much they moved there.

As TripAdvisor.com members RobandCarol posted in TA’s Lesvos travel forum in January, “BEWARE. Lesvos will capture your heart. Be it Molyvos, Petra, Anaxos or anywhere else on Lesvos. This island has a magical quality, even Aristotle was seduced.”

Other forum participants have agreed, saying Lesvos stole their hearts, too — and now they can’t wait to make their annual holiday trips to the island. Several have said they would love to move their, too, as RobandCarol did five years ago.

Click here to read the online version of the Blue magazine feature and see more Lesvos photos by Perikles Merakos.

For additional information about Lesvos, check out the websites Lesvos: The unspoiled beauty and Travel to Lesvos.

 

Winter edition of Aegean’s in-flight magazine shines spotlight on Athens’ top cultural attractions

Aegean Airlines Blue magazine

Greek actress Maria Nafpliotou descends the Renaissance-styled staircase at the National Library of Greece in Athens in the cover photo for the Winter 2013-2014 edition of Blue, the in-flight magazine of Aegean Airlines.

 

No flight required: If you haven’t been to Athens before, or haven’t spent much time there, the current issue of the Aegean Airlines in-flight magazine presents plenty of good reasons why you should book a first-time or a longer repeat visit to explore “the eternal capital of culture.”

With its “Rediscover Athens” cover feature, the Winter 2013-2014 edition of Blue magazine explains “why we love Athens” and shines the spotlight on the city’s top cultural attractions — Athens’ history, museums, architectural landmarks and monuments; its city squares, hills, mountains and landmark streets; its wealth of cultural activities and its exciting culinary landscape; and its extensive, vibrant seafront.

 

Photos of world-famous Athens attractions

The feature includes a fashion photo shoot in which acclaimed Greek actress Maria Nafpliotou poses at some of the city’s outstanding landmarks, including the fabulous Acropolis Museum, the Panathenaic Stadium where the first modern Olympic Games were held in 1896, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Stoa of Attalos, the Byzantine and Christian Museum, and the Monastery of Kaisariani.

Maria also poses at the enormous construction site for the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre, a spectacular new complex which will ultimately be home to several new Athens cultural attractions — the National Library of Greece, the Greek National Opera, and the Stavros Niarchos Park. The immense size of the building site, as well as the cluster of at least eight tall construction cranes towering above it, grabbed my attention when we passed by last October. Considering the severe financial crisis that has firmly gripped Greece for the past five years, I had not been expecting to see such a vast construction area with so many cranes in one place. But it’s a promising, bright sign that Athens remains one of Europe’s top cultural centres despite Greece’s economic woes.

Blue magazine’s “Rediscover Athens” profile also includes an “Insider’s Athens” report in which Maria describes her favourite city hangouts.

Don’t fret if you’re not taking an Aegean Airlines flight in the near future — the seatback pockets on Aegean’s aircraft aren’t the only places to find a copy of Blue magazine. The full 228-page winter edition is available online in e-book format, so you can read the feature story and peruse the ads and other articles wherever you may be. Click here to view the issue.