Category: Greek Islands hotels (page 1 of 7)

New luxury hotels opening on Mykonos for summer 2017

 

Branco Mykonos Hotel

An artistic illustration of the luxurious loungers and sunbeds that the new 5-star Branco Mykonos Hotel will offer its guests on Platis Gialos beach

 

More luxury: Visitors will have more choices of upscale accommodations for their Mykonos holidays as several brand-new luxury properties prepare to open for the 2017 tourist season.

But the arrival of some of the high-end hotels means fewer options for budget travellers, since at least two of the properties previously were mid-range hotels that have been thoroughly renovated and converted into first-class accommodations.

Gone are the Golden Star Hotel in Mykonos Town, which has been replaced by Absolut Mykonos Suites & More, and the Hotel Lady Anna at Platis Gialos beach, which has been upgraded and  rebranded as the 5-star Branco Mykonos Hotel.

 

 

The Mykonos Bay Hotel at Megali Ammos beach also has rebranded and is now named Mykonos Bay Resort & Villas. Its social media pages recently referred to “art design” and “new premises,” and its online booking page mentions the hotel was renovated in December, but no further details of changes since last season are available yet.

Meanwhile, a noteworthy newcomer is Adel Private Suites, which will welcome guests to a quiet hilltop location with panoramic views of Mykonos Town, the New Port and beyond.

 

Absolut Mykonos Suites & More hotel

A promotional image showing the logo for Absolut Mykonos Suites & More

 

You can expect to see additional upscale hotels launching on Mykonos in the foreseeable future.

The Mitsis Hotels group, which operates the Sofitel Athens Airport Hotel, is planning a 100-bed complex of apartments and suites, for instance, while other premier chains like Four Seasons and W Hotels apparently have been eyeing and acquiring locations at some of the island’s major south coast beach resorts.

 

Adel Private Suites Mykonos

An Adel Private Suites promotional image showing the jacuzzi-equipped seaview terrace of one of its Cozy Suites

 

Please click on the link below to continue reading and see more of the new hotels making their debut this year.

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Photo highlights from our trip to the Peloponnese and Hydra

Monemvasia

The fascinating fortress town of Monemvasia, where we spent three days and nights in early June

 

Amazing experience: I only need one word to describe our first-ever visit to Greece’s Peloponnese region and  Hydra island this month: Wow!

We weren’t even halfway through our holiday when we noted that the trip was shaping up as one of our best vacation experiences ever in Greece. Now that we’re back home, recalling all the places and sights we encountered and sorting through our photos,  we’ve agreed that it was our favourite trip of all. 

The Argolida and Laconia districts of the Peloponnese far exceeded our high expectations, while a spur-of-the-moment trip to Hydra impressed us immensely as well. The sights and scenery everywhere we went were simply amazing.

 

 

 

We enjoyed exhilarating views of sparkling turquoise seas and mountains extending as far as the eye could see. We roamed around charming villages and towns, visited historic archaeological sites, and walked dozens of kilometers along scenic coastal paths. We saw vast groves of olive trees, thousands of citrus trees laden with fruit, and dozens of picturesque churches, chapels and monasteries. We explored ancient castles, even spending three nights in a fortress town and swimming in the sea below its formidable stone walls. And we drank good wine and dined on delicious traditional and contemporary Greek cuisine. 

I will tell you more about our trip in detailed posts to come, but will launch my 2016 trip report with a series of photos showing some highlight sights and scenes from our travels.

Please click on the link below to view the pictures on page 2.

 

the monastery of Elona

The Monastery of Elona, which clings to the face of a cliff on Mount Parnon, was a breathtaking sight during our drive from Nafplio to Monemvasia

 

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Mykonos: Amazing for all ages

Best of Mykonos ♥ – Greece 2016 is a short but sweet personal travel film that spotlights some of the gorgeous sights and scenery a couple and their young son enjoyed during a visit to Mykonos this spring

 

Age appropriate: Here’s a newly published video I’m sharing on the blog primarily for any parents out there who might be wondering: Should we take our kids to Mykonos?

Concerned by its well-established reputation as a “party island,” readers regularly ask me if Mykonos is suitable for families with toddlers, young kids and teens. These parents say they would love to visit the island, but they’re worried about exposing their kids to the drunken debauchery, street brawls and public sex they’ve heard about or seen on television shows like the What Happens in Kavos series on Britain’s Channel 4 several years ago.

Although Mykonos is justifiably famous for its adult-oriented attractions of restaurants, shopping and nightlife, the island does have attractions and activities suitable for people of all ages — and its popular party scene can easily be avoided.

 

 

True, Mykonos has a few beaches where celebrations can sometimes turn wild, crazy and salacious — Paradise, Super Paradise, Paraga and Psarou among them — but the parties usually don’t start until 4 p.m. That means mornings and early afternoons are ideal for families to enjoy the sun, sand, sea and sensational scenery at each of these picturesque beaches. Moreover, there’s plenty of “non-party” beaches that are perfect to take kids, including Platis Gialos, Ornos, Agios Stefanos, Kalo Livadi, Kalafatis, Agia Anna/Kalafatis and Agios Ioannis, some of which offer a variety of water sports activities in which children can participate.

And unless they take the kids on a midnight (or later) stroll through the labyrinthine streets of Mykonos Town, parents probably won’t even notice the night-time party scene at the dozens of bars and clubs scattered throughout the town center. (Families can avoid peak party season altogether — and peak crowds and prices — by travelling to Mykonos in late April, May, the first half of June or during September and early October.)

Getting back to the video, you’ll join the Pfeifer family — Vanessa and Ben, and their young boy, Vincent — as they experience picture postcard-perfect places like the Little Venice seafront and the charming lanes of Mykonos Town, as well as the impressive coastal scenery and stunning turquoise sea at Agios Ioannis (better known to many people around the world as “The Shirley Valentine beach”).

Ben is a professional photographer with Fotostudio Lichtecht in Annaberg-Buchholz, Germany, and his skills are on full display in the video as he captures beautiful scenes and images from around the island and at their accommodations, the luxurious Mykonos Grand Hotel at Agios Ioannis– one of the island’s top resorts.

The video is only three and a half minutes long, so it offers a rather quick glimpse of Mykonos. But besides highlighting some of its most popular attractions, I think it shows parents that Mykonos is a place their kids will be able to enjoy, too.

What’s new on Mykonos for summer 2016

~ updated on Monday September 5 2016 ~

 

Mykonos Town and harbourfront

Overlooking the Mykonos Town harbourfront from one of my favourite vantage points on a hill behind the Remezzo area of town

 

Boom town: Many of the tourists who visited Mykonos last summer must have been wondering why they didn’t see obvious signs of the economic crisis that has ravaged the country for more than five years.  

Seemingly unscathed by the financial problems that have plagued the rest of Greece, Mykonos was absolutely thriving in 2015, with more than 100 new travel-related businesses opening up on the island last summer alone. The unprecedented renovation and building boom saw the arrival of new hotels, restaurants, bars, shops, galleries and personal services, many of which were aimed at the island’s rapidly growing luxury travel market.

 

 

It would be hard to top 2015’s astounding array of brand-new businesses again this year, but recent announcements about more upcoming new openings suggest the resilient Mykonos economy is poised for even further prosperity and growth.

So far there have been announcements on social media to herald the imminent debut of several new restaurants, retail shops, beach clubs, hotels, bars and nightlife venues, while rumours abound that many more are in the works.

Please click on the link below to read about the new businesses that have opened or been announced so far. I will update this post regularly as I receive more information about the newcomers.

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A bevy of beaches & coves on the scenic west coast of Andros

Andros island west coast

 Looking along the west coast of Andros from a vantage point near Liopessi beach outside the town of Gavrio. More than a dozen places to sunbathe, swim and participate in water sports can be found along the 7 km stretch of seafront between Gavrio and Agia Marina.

 

a cove near Kipri beach on Andros

The coastline includes alluring small bays, inlets and quiet coves, like this one with warm golden sands near Kypri ….

 

Agios Petros beach Andros

… as well as several fully organized beaches, like Agios Petros, where sunbeds, bars, tavernas and water sports are available

 

Beach tour: Our final full day on Andros (Saturday May 30) was blessed with a mix of sun and clouds, warm temperatures and a slight breeze — perfect conditions for soaking up some sun and taking a dip at one of the island’s beautiful beaches.

But we were feeling too restless to simply laze away the day on a beach — our Andros visit was coming to an end, and we wanted to see more of the island before moving on to our next destination. So we spent the afternoon walking along the island’s west coast to have a look at all of the beaches situated between our hotel and the port town of Gavrio 7 kilometers to the north.

It took us about 3 hours to trek from Aneroussa Beach Hotel to the Gavrio harbourfront, following the two-lane highway that winds along the coast. It was a good way to enjoy the wonderful weather while seeing 10 main beaches — Agia Marina, Delavoyia, Stivari, Batsi, Kolona, Kyprianos, Kypri, Chrissi Ammos, Agios Petros, and Liopessi — plus the numerous coves and inlets that dot the scenic shoreline. It also gave us a chance to see more of Gavrio, which we had glimpsed only briefly when we arrived at the island five days earlier.

Our original plan was to walk all the way back from Gavrio, too, stopping for a drink at one of the beach bars along the way. But by the time we finished a late lunch in Gavrio, the sky was almost totally clear of clouds and the sun felt considerably hotter than it had during our hike to the port. Rather than risk sunburns, we took a taxi to Batsi, then walked from there to the Aneroussa hotel’s bar on Delavoyia beach, where we rested our tired feet and cooled off with some ice cold beer.

 

 

Though 10 beaches was a lot to visit in one day — far more than we typically see on our Greek island walkabouts — there were many others elsewhere on the island that we didn’t get to check out during our short time on Andros. They included Achla and Vitali, both of which often rank at the top of lists of the island’s “best” beaches, and Tis Grias to Pidima, which is pictured on scores of Andros postcards and travel guides. No worries — we’ll try to see  them on future trips to Andros. 

Please click on the link underneath the next two photos to continue reading  on page 2, where you can see pictures of all the beaches we visited on our coastal walk. I have also included links to websites with Andros beach information for those of you who might be planning to visit the island soon.

 

Liopessi beach on Andros

Besides beaches and coves, there is a lot of interesting scenery to view all along the Andros coast — like this curious rock formation at Liopessi beach …

 

hillside on the Andros coast near Batsi IMG_8416

 … along with steep hills dotted with houses and studio apartment buildings, as well as some impressive villas on sizable mountainside estates. The highway between Batsi and Gavrio also passes several tavernas, where the fragrant aromas of Greek cuisine will tempt your tastebuds as you walk by.

 

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More high-end clubs, shops, hotels & restaurants planning to open on Mykonos

Bill & Coo Coast Suites image from the hotel's Facebook page

The owners of the award-winning Bill & Coo Suites & Lounge will be opening another 5-star hotel on Mykonos in May — the Bill & Coo Coast Suites, seen in this image from its Facebook page

 

Boom times: It looks like the great Mykonos gold rush is going to continue again this year, with numerous top-flight international  nightclubs, restaurants, shops and hotels hoping to gain a toehold in the island’s booming market for luxury travel services.

2015 was a banner year for Mykonos, which witnessed the arrival of more than 100 new businesses, many of which were aimed at affluent travellers with insatiable tastes for 5-star accommodations, fine dining, upscale bars and nightclubs, and exclusive retail boutiques.

Their success has attracted the attention of more international luxury brands, which have been scouring the island for available real estate or partnership opportunities with established local entrepreneurs and landowners.

According to a February 21 2016 article by the Greek news and media website Ethnos, the operators of such elite nightclubs and restaurants as Bagatelle, Hyde Beach, Maddox, Bagatelle, Novikov, Okku and Vip Room have been scoping out space for possible new summer locations in Mykonos Town. They undoubtedly have been encouraged by the huge popularity of some of last year’s high-profile newcomers, which included Ling Ling by Hakkasan, Inyama Surf and Turf, Buddha Bar Beach, Toy Room Club, and Bonbonniere Mykonos.

 

Vassili Tsili Christos Made in Mykonos event at Maddox Club London

A promotional image for DJ Vassili TsiliChristosMade in Mykonos party taking place March 6 at Maddox Club in London.  

 

Maddox is an exclusive nightclub that is “strictly members only. Membership is only accepted on a referral basis,” says the club’s website. There’s no word on when it might be opening a Mykonos location — nor have any announcements been made about launch dates for any of the other swish clubs that are reportedly vying for space on the island. Coincidentally, Maddox Club is hosting a Made in Mykonos party on March 5. It’s a popular event that Greek DJ, music producer and social event organizer Vassili TsiliChristos hosts at the upscale Nammos restaurant and beach bar on Mykonos every summer. (He’ll be taking his show to Washington D.C. and New York City in March, and will be headlining at Nammos again on July 23).

 

Kalo Livadi beach Mykonos photo by MykonosGuide.co

The golden sand beach and turquoise waters at Kalo Livadi, seen in an image from Mykonos Guide.  The Four Seasons hotel and resort group reportedly plans to build a hotel in this area, while the W chain of hotels is looking to open a boutique property at nearby Agia Anna beach.

 

Meanwhile, the Four Seasons hotel group is reportedly seeking land for a large luxury resort at Kalo Livadi, and the W chain is exploring plans to build a 70-room specialty hotel at the Agia Anna beach near Kalafatis. 

Although those projects won’t be opening this season, a new 5-star luxury hotel at Agios Ioannis (the “Shirley Valentine beach”) will be launching this spring — a project by the owners of the 5-star Bill & Coo Suites & Lounge in Mykonos Town, which recently was fêted as Best Luxury Boutique Hotel at the World Tourism Awards 2016.

According to its website and Facebook page, the 15-room Bill & Coo Coast Suites will feature “barefoot luxury” design and ambience on a “10 acre oasis by the sea” at Agios Ioannis beach.

“The startling view to the sea and access to the beach ensure travellers a premium holiday experience beyond comparison in the alluring island of Mykonos,” says a February 23 2016 post on the Bill & Coo Coast Suites Facebook page

The hotel is scheduled to open in early May, but its online booking system shows that it’s already fully booked from May 9 to 15.  Rooms are available from May 16 onward, at nightly rates ranging from as low as €420 for a Sea View Coast Suite to  €1,390 for a Bill & Coo Coast Suite.

 

On the luxury retail shopping front, this year’s big news is that mining magnate Nikos Lascaris and his wife, Georgia, are investing millions of Euros to open a posh “super boutique” Tserkov store that will feature creations by many of the world’s top fashion designers.

According to a January 19 2016 article on the Cyclades24 news website, the boutique is being referred to as “paradise couture” because it will spotlight so many leading designers, and even couture lines.  According to the Facebook page for the first Tserkov store, which opened December 18 2015 in Zurich, the shop “is a destination for individualists looking for something rare and incomparable.”

Tserkov Store Mykonos

Tserkov, the fashion boutique for “individualists,” will open this spring on Mykonos. This image is from Tserkov website.

Sizing up Stivari

Stivari settlement on Andros

The Stivari settlement overlooks a scenic coast and bay on Andros

 

Stivari settlement on Andros

The road through Stivari is lined on one side with buildings of reasonably-priced rental studios for summer tourists  …

 

sea view from Stivari area of Andros

… while the other side of the road offers wide open views of the sea, sunset, some small nearby islands and the Andros coastline

 

Batsi village on Andros

The beach resort village of Batsi is less than a 10-minute walk away

  

Studio suburb: There’s a lot to like about Andros, as we discovered during our first trip to the island in late May 2015 — and as I have already described in a series of Andros posts I have published in recent months.

Something else we really liked was the Stivari area, which we passed through several times a day while walking between our hotel and the beach resort village of Batsi.

Stivari is a small hillside settlement that’s basically a coastal “suburb” of Batsi, which is a mere 5- to 10-minute walk up the road.  There are more than a dozen different accommodation options right at Stivari or within close walking distance, and most of the rooms have nice garden or sea views from their balconies or terraces. The area has a popular taverna and a small shingle beach (actually just a few steps apart from each other), and is within a scenic 15-minute coastal walk of two better beaches, one of which boasts a superb seaview restaurant.

 

Stivari is a convenient base for Andros vacationers, especially those who don’t want to rely on a rental vehicle to get around  — it’s so close to all the amenities that Batsi village has to offer, yet still just far enough away to offer a little more peace and quiet than you’ll find in and around the village’s popular tourist center and beach.  

What we particularly liked about Stivari is the area’s impressive scenery: the surrounding steep hills are dotted with houses, villas and the accommodation properties; crystal-clear turquoise seawater sparkles beneath the rocky cliffs that line the coast; and there are beautiful island, sea, and sunset views from the hillsides and from the pebbly sand on Stivari beach. Whether we passed by in morning, afternoon or at night, there was always a pleasant and calming atmosphere  — though our favourite time was evening, when Stivari was bathed in the golden glow of the setting sun.

Please click on the link below to continue reading on page 2, where I have posted some of our photos of Stivari, and on page 3, where I have provided a listing of accommodations in the area, complete with photos and hotel contact information.

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Focussing on Folegandros

Folegandros In Motion: Summer Timelapse & Dive! is a nearly 5-minute-long timelapse film showing beaches and many of the island’s top attractions, along with some undersea scenes from a scuba diving session

 

Photogenic island gem: I’m finding it hard to believe how quickly time has flown past since we spent a few days on Folegandros in 2007. It’s a charming little island we have always intended to revisit for a longer stay, but we just haven’t found a way to fit it into any of our island-hopping travel itineraries since — it’s off the main tourist ferry routes in the Cyclades, so it can be tricky to reach. And suddenly almost a decade has passed and a return trip isn’t on the immediate horizon for us. But I’m certain we will get to see it again. 

Fond memories of Folegandros came flooding back the other day when I found a fun short video that had recently been posted online. It’s about the passage of time, too, but in this instance it involves video timelapse photography of the island’s beaches and main attractions.

Produced by Indie Film Rebels filmmaking community, Folegandros In Motion: Summer Timelapse & Dive! opens with timelapse views of the Karavostasis ferry port, followed by four beaches — Agali, Galifos, Agios Nikolaos and Katergo — and the Chrysopigi monastery. The film then switches into real-time undersea footage from a scuba diving session with Folegandros Dive Center, then reverts to timelapse with views of Hora village, Church of Panagia, the seaside at Agios Georgios, Ampeli beach, a beautiful sunset, and a star-filled night sky observed from Livadi. There’s even a quick peek of the astounding views from the swimming pool at Provalma Studios.

 

Of course, as always happens whenever I find an interesting video about a Greek destination that fascinates me, I couldn’t just stop there — I had to hunt for more.

I found many, but the four I have posted below are the ones I enjoyed watching the most, since they took me right back to familiar sights and places that looked as if they haven’t changed since I saw them. If you’ve already been to the island, I’m sure you will recognize many if not most of the scenes in each clip. And if you haven’t been there yet, the films will give you a vivid visual feel for what it’s like to actually be on Folegandros. 

 

Folegandros 2015 is a 7.5-minute  video by YouTube contributor Xvijana.  It shows scenes from Hora, Pano Meria, the Panagia church, several beaches, the island’s bus, some hiking paths, and Ampelos Resort. If you like cats, you will love this clip — it features appearances by quite a few of the Folegandros felines.

 

This clip is an extended slide show of excellent Folegandros photographs shot in 2013  by ΠΑΝΑΓΙΩΤΟΥ ΧΡΗΣΤΟΣ

 

Folegandros 2015 features nearly four minutes of video vignettes filmed by Carlitos Iglesias

 

Although the narration for this film by Netherlands-based de Griekse Gids (Greek Guide) is in Dutch, you don’t have to understand the language to enjoy the 9-minute scenic tour in Eiland Folegandros

Experience Greece’s glorious off-season sights & scenery with winter walks and drives

Greece on foot walking tour photo 01

A light layer of snow on the ground didn’t deter participants in a Greece on Foot walking tour from enjoying the awe-inspiring mountain and valley scenery in the Arcadia region of the Peloponnese on January 24 …

 

Greece on foot walking tour photo 02

… nor did cold temperatures just two days later, when walkers got to trek through vibrant green olive groves like this one under brilliant sunny skies. (Photos provided courtesy of Greece on Foot tours.)

 

Winter wonders: Take a winter vacation in Greece? Sure! Why not?

The seething  crowds of summer tourists have long since disappeared, as have the scorching temperatures and the startling high prices of peak season. There’s no waiting in long queues for seats on buses or in restaurants, and no jostling with mobs of organized excursion groups or gaggles of selfie-snapping sightseers at monuments and museums. Hiking paths are almost deserted, and roads aren’t clogged with tour coaches. The magnificent historic and natural scenery remains glorious despite the drastic change in seasons, the legendary Greek hospitality continues unabated, and the food is superb as always.

Of course, winter is the wrong time to visit if your primary holiday preferences are swimming and water sports, lounging on beaches, or all-night-long dancing and carousing at bars, clubs and beaches on Mykonos, Ios or any of the other legendary Greek “party islands.” 

But you’ll still find dynamic nightlife in Athens and Thessaloniki, cities which abound in world-class dining, shopping, entertainment and cultural activities all year round. And if you’re a winter sports enthusiast, you can challenge your alpine mountaineering or snow kiting skills on Crete, or go snowboarding and downhill skiing at Kalavrita or one of several other major resorts on the Greek mainland.

Mountaineering in Crete

Two alpine mountaineers ascend the steep snow-covered peak of Mt Dikti on Crete, in this image shared on Facebook in late January by Festivalaki: Cretan festival of Arts & Culture. The organization’s Facebook post said mountaineering in Crete offers “a wonderful experience combining alpine terrain with breathless views of both the Libyan & Aegean sea.”

 

Vouliagmeni beach photo by John de Castelberg

A beach near the Vouliagmeni beach suburb of Athens is seen in this December 29 2015 photo by John de Castelberg.  Most tourists might find the sea too chilly for a winter dip, but the scenic beach- and café-lined coast of the Athenian Riviera is pleasant to visit throughout the off season.

 

 

Main tourist season is April to October

For people like me and my partner, who couldn’t bear either the blistering heat and sun or the heaving hordes of tourists in midsummer, winter could well be one of the best times to visit Greece. So why, then, have we travelled there only in spring or fall?

That’s a question we have been pondering a lot lately. We used to believe it was better to travel during the regular tourist season, which generally starts in late April and winds down by the end of October (particularly on the islands). In fact, most of our Greek holidays have been fairly early in the season, typically sometime between mid-May and early June. But we have gone twice in the autumn — we went island hopping in the Cyclades in late September 2007, and we explored Naxos and Athens during the first half of October 2013.

What we like about our spring trips in particular is the palpable local excitement and anticipation for the new travel season and approaching summer period, an atmosphere we find invigorating and refreshing after our long winter hibernation at home in Canada. Also, the weather is usually perfect for some of our favourite holiday activities — hiking and walking, and dining outdoors (especially near the sea). We weren’t keen to visit Greece during the off-season because we were worried we might not enjoy it as much with colder temperatures, inclement weather and few tourists around. 

Samos flamingo photo by Nikolaos Housas

Winter shouldn’t keep us away from Greece — it didn’t stop this pretty pink flamingo and a dozen of its feathered friends from visiting the Alyki wetland reserve on Samos island for several days at the end of January 2016.  Local photographer Nikolaos Housas captured this splendid image on January 27 and shared it on the Samos Island public group page on Facebook. 

 

Social media show the winter appeal of Greece

But recently we’ve really been warming up to the idea of a winter getaway to Greece.  What changed our minds? In two words: social media.

With their photos on Facebook, Flickr and Twitter (some of which I will share with you on page 2 of this post), friends, acquaintances and dozens of people we don’t even know have shown us that Greece can be just as delightful and charming in winter as it is during spring, summer or fall. In fact, they have demonstrated that it’s a terrific time to see the country’s wonderful sights and scenery either on foot or by driving around, and it can often even be comfortable to eat outdoors, or at least sit outside with a coffee to people watch and enjoy the scenery.  What’s more, colourful Carnival celebrations held each February and March in scores of villages and towns provide traditional festive fun and excitement we wouldn’t find in spring.

Haroula taverna at Marpissa on Paros

We thought we would miss eating outdoors if we took an off-season trip to Greece. But occasional mild weather means outdoor dining can be possible even in winter, as this photo posted by the Parosweb Facebook page attests. Taken on January 21 2016, the picture shows a table laden with delectable dishes of home-cooked Greek cuisine in the courtyard at Haroula’s Taverna in Marpissa village on Paros.

 

A place to escape our usual winter blahs

Of course there can be gloomy days with rain, cold temperatures, gale-force winds and even snowstorms, as I have reported in posts on December 31 2015, January 17 2016, and January 23 2016. But we get unpredictable and occasionally severe weather conditions at home, too. Yet we continue to drag ourselves through our  December and January doldrums, and the brutal February blahs, daydreaming about Greece and counting the days until we can go back.  Why not just battle the blahs by getting a winter fix of Greece instead?  With luck we might encounter pleasantly mild weather conditions, as you’ll see in many of the photos below. At worst, it will feel almost like winter back home — but at least we will be passing the time enjoying the off-season beauty in our favourite travel destination. We’re already looking into the possibility of doing exactly that next December or January.

Please click here or on the link below the following picture to turn to page 2 and see some of the photos that have convinced us we’re long overdue for an off-season trip to Greece. Fingers crossed that we’ll be posting our own winter pictures at this time next year. 

Athens winter night view photo by Wendy Gilops

Athens is a bustling year-round travel destination, as evidenced by the throngs of people strolling past historic monuments in the center of Athens, just below the illuminated Acropolis and Parthenon (upper right). Wendy Gilops captured this scene on December 27 2015. 

 

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The splendour of Santorini

Santorini was filmed during April 2013  by dimid, a timelapse photographer from Minsk, Belarus, and his colleague Zweizwei from Korea.

 

Bedazzling beauty: Now that it’s a brand-new year, people around the world are beginning to book their spring, summer and fall trips to Greece. Since many will be spending some time on Santorini, I’m posting some inspiring videos that may help them plan what to see — and perhaps even where to stay.

The film at the top of this post is a gripping 2.5-minute timelapse video that highlights some of the island’s superlative scenery, and shows why Santorini is not only one of the most popular destinations in Greece, but also one of its most well-known islands worldwide.

Expedia’s Santorini Vacation Travel Guide video features five minutes of magnificent island views and scenery

 

The video above was produced by Expedia several years ago to accompany its Santorini Vacation Travel Guide, but its images are timeless. Slightly more than 5 minutes long, the film features many of the island’s renowned sunset and caldera views, but also shows some of Santorini’s stunning beaches and coastal scenery.

The video below is over 15 minutes long and it, too, showcases the enticing views and mesmerizing scenery that enthrall the nearly two million people who visit the island each year. But it also spotlights many of the island’s most popular places to stay, dine and drink, and demonstrates how dozens of Santorini’s cliff-edge hotels, infinity swimming pools, bars and restaurants look as luscious as the surrounding natural landscapes and seascapes.  

And if you’re still trying to decide where to stay and dine during your trip, this video could help you narrow your options — signs for many of the resorts and restaurants can be seen in the film.

Enjoy the amazing views, and happy planning!

Santorini HD The best island in Greece was filmed by Sim-Xat HD (YouTube contributor Σιμος Χατζης)

Our stay at Aneroussa Beach Hotel on Andros

Aneroussa Beach Hotel

Thanks to the clifftop location of Aneroussa Beach Hotel 

 

Aneroussa Beach Hotel

we enjoyed exceptional beach, sea and sunset views … 

 

Aneroussa Beach Hotel

from our room and its very comfortable veranda

 

Didn’t want to leave: After three nights at Andros Town, we moved across the island to spend the next stage of our spring holiday at a hotel near Batsi, a popular beach resort area on the northwest coast of Andros.

This marked only the second time in all our travels to Greece that we have stayed at two different places on the same island (in October 2013, we similarly split our stay between a beach resort and town during our two-week vacation on Naxos.)

For accommodations, we chose Aneroussa Beach Hotel, which is located on the coast south of Batsi at the small but delightful Delavoyia beach.

We could not have picked a better place — it perfectly suited our personal travel tastes and accommodation preferences, and it quickly became one of our favourite hotels out of the more than three dozen we have stayed at in Greece so far. In fact, when it came time to move on after our scheduled 3-night stay, we didn’t want to leave, wishing we could have spent more time at the Aneroussa.

Please click here or on the link below to continue reading our review and to see a video and photos of Aneroussa Beach Hotel on page 2 of this post.

 

Aneroussa Beach Hotel photos on Flickr

My Aneroussa Beach Hotel album on Flickr contains 160 photos showing the hotel grounds, our room and terrace, the Aneroussa beachfront, and some of the hotel facilities. Click here to see the pictures.

 

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Soar with the bedazzling beauty of Mykonos

I love this fab drone aerial video of Mykonos, my first and still one of my all-time favourite Greek islands.  The 4-minute film features some of the island’s most picturesque places, including the Mykonos Town harbour, the rustic Little Venice seafront, Paraportiani church, the world-famous windmills, and gorgeous Psarou and Super Paradise beaches.  (The ultra-luxe hotel with the private plunge pools is the Grecotel Mykonos Blu resort at Psarou, in case you were wondering.) Click the arrow to admire the Mykonos beauty from above.

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