Category: Saronic islands

Where we could have cooled off during this week’s heat wave

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Tolo beach IMG_3496

The beautiful golden sand seafront at Tolo stretches for approximately one kilometer from Psili Ammos beach (seen here) to a harbour barely visible in the center-top area of this photo

 

Extreme temps: We’re never happy after we return home from one of our Greek holidays, as we did three days ago — we always wish we were still in Greece. But this time we’re actually a bit relieved that we’re not there — we simply could not have handled the heat wave currently sweeping across the country.

Sunshine and temperatures hitting the low 30s (Celsius) hindered some of our walking and sightseeing in Nafplio, Monemvasia, Tolo and Hydra on several days of our vacation from May 30 to June 16, but since we left Greece on Thursday temperatures have soared even higher, approaching and even exceeding an absolutely sweltering 40 degrees in many places, particularly on the mainland.

 

 

On Saturday, for instance, the temperature reached 43.4 at Sparta, which we had found hot when it was in the low 30s during the day we spent there. As I write this post today, it’s 37 in Nafplio, where a few 30-degree days forced us to limit our activities during the first week of June. And temperatures are forecast to remain scorching hot for several more days. If we were still in Greece, we would either be hiding inside our air-conditioned hotel rooms, or swimming as much as possible.

Fortunately there were plenty of excellent places to take a dip in the sea at most of the destinations we visited. Click on the link below to turn to page 2 and see photos of the great swimming spots we discovered near Epidaurus, Hydra, Monemvasia, Nafplio and Tolo.

 

Hydronetta swimming spot on Hydra

Bathers cool off in the gorgeous turquoise waters at Hydronetta, a popular coastal swimming spot on Hydra island

 

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Photo highlights from our trip to the Peloponnese and Hydra

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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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An aerial tour of Aegina

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Take an exhilarating aerial tour of Aegina island in this 3-minute video from the AeginaGreece.com travel & information website

 

Want to see a Greek Island while visiting Athens, but don’t have time for an overnight trip? Consider hopping over to Aegina for a day.

Situated in the Saronic archipelago, Aegina is one of several islands that can easily be visited on a daytrip from the city. It’s just 20 kilometers from the Athens port of Piraeus, and can be reached in a mere 40 minutes on a Flying Dolphin ferry. (If you’re not keen on riding a hydrofoil, you can get to Aegina in around 75 minutes or so on a conventional ferry ship.)

But since there’s so much to see and do on Aegina, it’s a great spot to spend several days or longer, if you’ve got the time.

 

Explore the island in tours, on foot or by bicycle

The island is famous for its pistachio nut production, but it also boasts beautiful beaches, charming villages, and numerous historic sites and museums.  Organized sailing and on-land tours are available, but many of the island’s attractions can be visited on foot or by bicycle.

You’ll see many of those places in the video posted above, which was produced by the AeginaGreece.com travel website in the summer of 2014.

Directed, filmed and edited by Alexander Berg, the video shows the harbour at Vagia, the top of Mount Oros, the famous Aphaia temple, a small church in Vathi, the ancient site of Kolona, the areas around Portes, Agia Marina, Souvala and Agii, as well as “the waters south from Agia Marina, the view from top of Moni island towards Marathonas and Vrochia, Perdika, the cathedral and monastery of Agios Nektarios, the hill side of Palaiachora, the area around Mesagros, fields around Vagia, view from top of Moni island towards Perdika and area around and view towards the port of Aegina town.”

Consult AeginaGreece.com for comprehensive information on how to get to Aegina, where to stay, and what to see and do there.

 Aegina island

Aegina Town, the port and commercial center of Aegina island. The photo is from the website for Gritzas Cruises, one of numerous companies offering daytrips from Athens to Aegina and other Saronic islands.