Category: Tourist attractions (page 1 of 21)

Admiring the Arcadian Gate and walking atop the 2,300-year-old wall at Ancient Messini

Circuit wall at Ancient Messini Greece

A segment of the 9.5-kilometer-long stone wall that was built in 369 BC to protect the ancient city of Messini. We walked sections of the circuit wall between three of its lookout towers. 

 

Arcadian Gate at Ancient Messini

The circuit wall was built with two gates — one on the east side of Ancient Messini and one on the west. This toppled stone lintel is a striking sight at the western portal known as the Arcadian Gate.

 

Arcadian Gate at Ancient Messini

The Arcadian Gate has two entrances, each at opposite ends of a large circular courtyard. This is a view of one of the curved walls inside the courtyard.

 

Ancient Messini archaeological site

Part of the extensive archaeological grounds at Ancient Messini, which is described as “one of the most important cities of antiquity” in a listing on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites webpage.

 

buildings at Mavromati village

Mavromati is a small village that overlooks Ancient Messini from the lower slopes of Mount Ithomi. We stayed here for one night during our brief visit to the area in May.

 

Wall walking:  Suffering from jet lag and lack of sleep after a 9.5-hour overnight flight to Athens, we didn’t expect to see or do much during the first day of our vacation in the western Peloponnese region of Greece in late May.  We definitely didn’t anticipate walking around a village and historic sites for a few hours in hot temperatures and blazing sunshine. But since we had less than 24 hours to see Ancient Messini, we resisted the urge to take a nap in our hotel room, choosing instead to explore as much of the area as we could while our energy and enthusiasm lasted.

Our early afternoon arrival gave us an opportunity to wander the quiet streets of Mavromati village, admire the unique design of the Arcadian Gate, walk along sections of a two thousand year old fortification wall, view parts of the Ancient Messini archaeological site, see an historic monastery, and enjoy the fresh air and countryside before tucking into a delicious Greek dinner at a taverna near our hotel. We didn’t have enough time or stamina to visit all of the area’s fascinating attractions, but we enjoyed everything that we did get to see — and loved every minute of being back in Greece. 

Please continue reading on page 2, where you’ll see more photos of the impressive Arcadian Gate, circuit wall, and Ancient Messini.

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Visiting Delos in 2017

This short video includes aerial views of Delos island, film of the excursion boats that ferry visitors between Mykonos and Delos and, at the 1:39 mark of the clip,  a schedule of boat trips and prices for tickets and guided tours in 2017

 

Time changes: If you’re visiting Mykonos this summer and hope to take a daytrip to explore the historic ruins and museum at nearby Delos island, take note there has been a slight change to the time excursion boats will return from Delos in the evening during 2017. The last boat back to Mykonos will now depart Delos at 7:30 p.m., a half hour earlier than last year.  

That’s the only significant change (so far, at least) to the information provided in my Visiting Delos in 2016 blog post. Prices for the boat rides remain at €20 per adult and €10 for children aged 6 to 12. Kids under 6 can still ride for free. 

Guided half-day tours still cost €50 per adult and €25 per child between 6 and 12 years of age. There is no charge for kids under 6 to join the  guided tours, which are available from May 2 until the end of October.

 

 

The ferry ticket and tour prices do not include the government-imposed fee for admission to the Delos archaeological site, which is €12 per person again this year, and which is payable at the entrance gate on the island.

For full details about Delos excursions from Mykonos, consult the website for Delos Tours — the company that operates the boat service between the islands.

For photos and information about what you can see and do on Delos, check out my previous articles about daytrips to the island

In the meantime, take a look below at the three videos I have posted to inform and inspire you prior to your Delos visit.

 

This 2.5-minute clip, flimed by www.sky-net.co.uk, shows drone views of the Delos archaeological site

 

This 6-minute film, by sitesandphotosvideo, offers an overview of some of the most significant sites on Delos

 

Learn more about Delos and its fascinating history in this beautifully-filmed 23-minute video by Andonis Kioukas

 

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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Temptation island: Why Mykonos is Greece’s hottest holiday destination

A tour of the heavenly island of Mykonos!!

A tour of the heavenly island of Mykonos!! With an exclusive and amazing video that highlights the unparalleled beauty of the island, the journalist and owner of Mykonos Live Tv Peter Nazos invites us to escape to Mykonos! Among the picturesque narrow streets, next to the churches and the monasteries, behind the freshly painted shutters, through the living tradition, the vitality of the night, the rocky hills and the heavenly beaches, the island of the wings can not hide its incomparable charm. Walk in the idyllic cobbled roads, dive into the deep blue and experience the unique atmosphere of the "queen" of the Cyclades. This is Mykonos, a top vacation choice!

Posted by Mykonos LIVE TV. on Wednesday, April 6, 2016

This video by Mykonos LIVE TV shows some of the popular beaches and tourist attractions that draw huge crowds to Mykonos every year

 

Intriguing island: It seems everybody loves Mykonos,  Countless people love its atmospheric beaches, restaurants, shopping, and nightlife, and happily spread the word about how fantastic everything is. And there are likely just as many who love to criticize and complain, warning anyone who will listen not to go to Mykonos because it’s overpriced, overcrowded and overly commercialized. With so much talk, whether by exuberant fans or equally enthusiastic detractors, it’s no wonder Mykonos is the most famous of all the Greek islands. Remember the expression “There is no such thing as bad publicity?” Well, Mykonos gets plenty, yet its popularity continues to soar.  

I think there’s a very simple reason: Mykonos has tremendous visual appeal. Watch the two videos I’ve published in this post, and it’s easy to see why millions of people want to go there. Professional photography helps, no doubt, but similarly enticing images of the island’s breathtaking sights and scenery have appeared for many years in news and social media, travel publications, lifestyle websites, fashion and design magazines, and hit movies all around the world. Heck,  I’ve been to Mykonos more than any other place in Greece, yet these videos make me feel like rushing right back.

The film at the top of this post, produced by Mykonos LIVE TV, does a great job of selling the island’s good looks. It presents fabulous views of the iconic landmarks and attractions that have made Mykonos a household name over the past five decades: beaches, bougainvillea, brilliant white buildings, charming churches and chapels, the Little Venice seafront, the photogenic pelican, the impressive Alefkandra windmills, the incredible blue skies and turquoise seas, the sensational sunsets, and much more.

 

 

However, there is another popular expression that applies to Mykonos: “Beauty is only skin deep.” Although the narrator of the Tripment travel website film, below, makes a point of mentioning the island’s biggest blemishes, warts and flaws, the video views of bustling beaches, streets and bars do a convincing job of selling Mykonos as an incredibly attractive, exciting, and vibrant place to vacation.

Acknowledging that the island can be extremely expensive and overcrowded during peak season (July and August), the narrator describes Mykonos as “the ideal destination to boast one’s wealth and happiness.” Still, there’s that matchless beauty and alluring aura that make people dream of taking a trip to Mykonos..

“The all-white Cycladic architecture, in combination with the blue colour of the sea and sky, creates really beautiful scenery,” the narrator notes, adding that the 25 Mykonos beaches  — “quite a large number” considering the island’s small size — are all “beautiful, with golden sand and crystal-clear blue water.” They might be jam-packed with rental sunbeds and umbrellas, too, but they still look so damned inviting!

 

Despite its drawbacks, Mykonos “definitely offers a unique experience to its visitors,” the narrator says, and “whether you like it or not depends on your personal taste and style.”

Nevertheless, “the fact is that it is the liveliest destination in Greece as people here enjoy themselves 24 hours a day, non-stop.” Mykonos, he concludes, is “a destination that has made Greece famous all over the world.”

And that’s a really good thing, in my humble opinion.

Even if you can get there only briefly, whether on a cruise, a day tour or a short stopover en route to another island, Mykonos is absolutely worth seeing. There’s nowhere else like it, and that’s a good thing, too. 

 

This clip from the Tripment travel blog dates back to 2014, but little has changed in the interim, and the video still offers an excellent overview of what it calls “the most famous and expensive destination in Greece.”

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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