Tag: Grikos

An aerial peek at Patmos

This video by Vassilis Kostoulas includes the song Celestial Liturgy— verses of Revelation set to music by Constantine Gousis

 

Pondering Patmos: Today I learned that friends are considering a trip to Patmos this spring, as part of an island hopping holiday in the Dodecanese. By coincidence, I also stumbled upon a video of Patmos that was posted to YouTube only five days ago. I’m sharing it here on the blog not just to show my friends some of the island’s main features, but also to assist any readers who might be pondering a visit to Patmos themselves.

Entitled Η γη σαν ζωγραφιά, which roughly translates as “The earth like a painting,” the video runs for nearly 5 and a half minutes and offers an aerial tour over much of Patmos. It starts and ends with views of the picturesque mountaintop village of Chora and the island’s most famous attraction, the Monastery of St. John the Theologian.  The film also shows several of the island’s beautiful bays, including my personal favourite, Grikos, along with the port town of Skala and some of the scenic beaches and coastlines.

 

If you want to see more of the island after watching this video, click over to my post Perspectives of Patmos, from March 2016.  It includes two more enticing aerial videos that were produced by the Municipality of Patmos to promote tourism to the island.

For on-the-ground views of various places around Patmos, flip through my Patmos photo collection on Flickr, which contains more than 600 pictures from our visit in May 2010. Some of those photos accompany my mini trip report Greece holiday 2010: Patmos.

And in my post Greece holiday 2010: Grikos Bay on Patmos,  you can watch several of my own videos of Grikos, which has been named one of the most beautiful bays in the world by the international World Bays organization.

Monastery of St John the Theologian on Patmos

The imposing Monastery of St John the Theologian towers above the elegant whitewashed mansions of Chora village on Patmos

 

For further information about Patmos, give the following travel website articles a read:

♦  Apocalypse Now, on Patmos, posted January 17 to the excellent travel, culture and gastronomy website Greece Is;

The Top10 things to do and see in Patmos, published January 5 by The Culture Trip; and 

Patmos, the spiritual Greek island, a profile from the September 2016 issue of Conde Nast Traveller magazine

Also be sure to check out the official website for the Municipality of Patmos.

 

Petra beach near Grikos Bay on Patmos

Back to back beaches: Petra beach, in the foreground, is just a quick stroll from Grikos beach (behind the road of trees) at lovely Grikos Bay (top)

 

All walled in: A hillside estate on Patmos

a house on Patmos

Stone walls enclose a private villa on a hillside above Grikos Bay on Patmos

 

Island driving distractions: Sheep gridlock at Grikos and 4-legged highway hazards on Amorgos

sheep near Grikos Bay on Patmos

A flock of sheep approaches the main highway from a side road leading to the Grikos Bay resort area on Patmos island

 

Mass transit: One of the things we appreciate most about our Greek Island vacations is our temporary escape from the commuter chaos that clogs the city streets during the morning and afternoon rush hours back home.

That doesn’t mean we escape traffic problems altogether when we’re in Greece. It’s just that the ones we encounter are generally a lot more interesting and usually quite entertaining to see.

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Good eats at Grikos

Grikos Bay Patmos

We stayed at gorgeous Grikos Bay on Patmos in May 2010 …

 

Stamatis taverna Grikos Bay Patmos

… and enjoyed meals at Stamatis taverna in the harbour area …

 

Flisvos restaurant Grikos Bay Patmos

… at Flisvos restaurant on the hillside overlooking the bay …

 

Ktima Petra taverna Grikos Bay Patmos

… and at Ktima Petra on the road to nearby Petra beach

 

Fantastic food: There are two things we remember most about our first-ever trip to Patmos in 2010: the beautiful scenery at Grikos Bay, and the equally impressive meals we had at three restaurants in the Grikos area. In fact, while we were on Samos after our visit to Patmos, we kept commenting about how much we missed the food at Grikos. And to this day, we still talk about one of the delicious dishes we enjoyed during two different dinners:  the roasted chickpeas at Flisvos restaurant. My attempts to recreate the recipe at home have failed miserably, so I’m hoping that some day soon we can return to Grikos and order them again!

Here’s a brief recap of our four memorable meals at Grikos Bay:

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Greece holiday pic of the day

Kalikatsou Rock between Grikos and Petra Bay on Patmos

Kalikatsou Rock stands sentry at the tip of a narrow spit of land separating Grikos Bay (foreground) from Petra Bay on Patmos. The Grikos side of the spit features a curved sandy beach, but the Petra beachfront is covered with stones and rocks. Below is a brief videoclip showing views from Kalikatsou Rock.

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Things I love about Greece: Waking up to gorgeous views at hotels in the Greek Islands (Part 5)

Andromeda hotel Samos balcony view

The view from our balcony at the Andromeda hotel in Kalami, Samos

 

One big miss, two great hits: In my earlier posts about Greek Island views, I recounted how we were “on a roll” in terms of picking places to stay where we could see impressive scenery without leaving the hotel premises. Whether it was from our room’s windows or balcony,  or the hotel’s dining area or pool terrace, we always seemed to luck out with amazing views of sea and island scenery and sometimes glorious sunsets, too. Well, that run of good views came to a screeching halt at our very first hotel destination in 2010.

Kos was our first island stop in May 2010, and we stayed at Saint Constantin Hotel in Kos Town. When I booked our room, I knew it wouldn’t have a sea view, but I kept hoping there would be something interesting to see from our balcony or somewhere on the hotel grounds. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out that way, and we wound up with our worst island views ever. Thankfully, good scenery was less than a 10-minute walk away. (The hotel itself was all right, by the way.)

Patmos was our second island, and the Hotel Golden Sun at Grikos Bay more than made up for the lousy views at Kos Town. I was already impressed by the hotel’s views while still sitting in the taxi that drove us to there from the ferry port, and when I walked onto our balcony I was totally blown away by the awesome scenery. We overlooked the full Grikos valley and bay area, and could even see the coast of Turkey. Mountains obscured sunset views, but Tragonissi Island and the mountains surrounding the bay took on a gorgeous golden glow in the late afternoon/early evening sun, and we got to see rainbows above nearby Petra Bay as a storm system moved over the region.

Samos was our final island-hopping destination, and good views continued at both our hotels there. We spent our first night in the island’s largest town, Vathi (a.k.a. Samos Town), staying at the Samos Hotel (which now also calls itself Samos City Hotel). It was situated on Vathi’s main street — a wide waterfront road that curls around the foot of Vathi Bay. Our second floor room overlooked the bay, with great views of the Vathi ferry port and main street, while the hotel’s huge rooftop pool and bar terrace had tremendous views of the entire town and bay.  The next day we moved to the Andromeda Hotel in Kalami — a resort region in the scenic “suburbs” of Vathi, a 20-minute walk away. The breathtaking balcony views of Vathi Bay rivalled the Grikos Bay scenery we had enjoyed on Patmos, but came with an added bonus: direct sunset views.

Though Kos was a complete write-off for views, Patmos and Samos clearly ranked among the best we have experienced. So we can’t complain about Kos; as the saying goes, “two out of three ain’t bad.” Below are photos of our views (and lack thereof) from the Saint Constantin Hotel on Kos, the Hotel Golden Sun on Patmos, the Samos Hotel in Vathi, and the Andromeda Hotel in Kalami, Samos. (Unfortunately, the Andromeda doesn’t yet have a website.) To view some short videos of the views from the Hotel Golden Sun, see my May 12 2011 post. There’s a clip of the view from the Andromeda Hotel at the bottom of this post.

Saint Constantin Hotel in Kos Town

Our balcony at the Saint Constantin Hotel in Kos Town looked directly onto the balcony for a room at the hotel next door. Thankfully, our balcony doors had dark-tinted glass to provide a bit of privacy

Saint Constantin Hotel in Kos Town

If we peered over the balcony and looked to the right, we could see the street

St Constantin Hotel in Kos Town

This was our view, looking to the left

St Constantin Hotel in Kos Town

The hotel’s breakfast area had a view of the street …

St Constantin Hotel in Kos Town

… as well as the ground-level swimming pool and bar terrace

a street in Kos Town

This is what the street outside the hotel looked like

Hotel Golden Sun Patmos balcony view

At the Hotel Golden Sun on Patmos, our balcony had this fabulous view of Grikos Bay,  Tragonissi Island (right) and the coast of Turkey

Hotel Golden Sun Patmos balcony view

Our balcony, on the Hotel Golden Sun’s upper level, gave us a panoramic view of the entire Grikos valley and bay area

Hotel Golden Sun Patmos balcony view

To the left our balcony overlooked the small harbour on Grikos Bay

Hotel Golden Sun Patmos balcony view

To the right, our balcony overlooked Tragonissi Island and Kalikatsou Rock

Hotel Golden Sun Patmos breakfast terrace

The outdoor breakfast terrace had terrific views of Grikos Bay …

Hotel Golden Sun Patmos breakfast terrace

… as well as the surrounding hillsides of the valley above the bay …

Hotel Golden Sun Patmos breakfast terrace view

… where construction of new luxury hotels and villas is underway (happily, we weren’t disturbed by any noise from the work activity there, or from lower in the valley where workers were finishing  the new 5-star Patmos Aktis Suites & Spa.)

rooftop terrace at the Samos Hotel in Vathi

In the main town of Vathi on Samos, the rooftop terrace at the Samos Hotel offers tremendous views of the city, the port, and Vathi Bay

Samos Hotel balcony view

Our balcony overlooked the Vathi ferry pier (plus other balconies on our floor)

Samos Hotel balcony view

Here’s a daytime view of the ferry port from our balcony …

Samos Hotel balcony night view

… and a night view of houses on the hillsides above Vathi Bay

 

 

Samos Hotel balcony view

To our left, we could look down the main waterfront street in Vathi

Andromeda Hotel in Kalami Samos

At the Andromeda Hotel in the Kalami area of Samos, our room had a narrow, small balcony with a really, really big view

Andromeda Hotel Samos balcony view

To the immediate left of our balcony were some luxury rental villas on the hillside

Andromeda Hotel Samos balcony view

Also to the left were views of Vathi Bay

Andromeda Hotel Samos balcony view

This is the first view we saw each morning when we walked onto the balcony

Andromeda Hotel Samos view of Vathi Bay

We rode bikes to the scenic seaside village of Kokkari on the far side of the bay

Andromeda Hotel Samos balcony view

To the right we had views of houses on the Kalami hillside above Vathi Bay …

Andromeda Hotel Samos seaview balconies

…  as well as other bay-view balconies on our floor. (I know it doesn’t look very private, but hotel guests tended to watch the scenery and sunsets, rather than their neighbours, whenever they sat on their balconies.)

Andromeda Hotel Samos

There was a long, narrow terrace overlooking the bay next to the Andromeda’s breakfast room; if we got up early enough, we could eat outside (those tables were popular, and almost always occupied).

Andromeda Hotel Samos view

During breakfast, we watched tour boats travelling to and from Kusadasi, Turkey

Andromeda Hotel Samos seaview swimming pool

The Andromeda had a huge swimming pool with great views of Vathi Bay

Andromeda Hotel Samos seaside sunbathing area

At the bottom of the hill, the hotel had a private seaside sunbathing area …

Andromeda Hotel Samos seaside sunbathing area

… with great views of Vathi Bay and the surrounding hillsides

Andromeda Hotel Samos sunset views

Each evening, almost everyone at the Andromeda Hotel relaxed on their balcony with a bottle of wine while watching the gorgeous sunsets

Andromeda Hotel Samos sunset view

This was one of the sunset views we enjoyed watching from our balcony …

Andromeda Hotel Samos sunset view

… and this was another  — we saw a beautiful sunset every night

Above is a video of the various views from our balcony at the Andromeda Hotel

 

Greece holiday 2010: Patmos

a horse on a hillside near Chora on Patmos

A horse on a hillside near Chora on Patmos

 

Island gem: Patmos was the second destination on our 2010 island-hopping holiday in Greece, and one of our favourite Greek islands so far. What a gem! It offered the things we enjoy best about Greek islands: spectacular scenery, great hiking and walking routes, beautiful beaches, friendly locals and wonderful food. Our only regret was that we didn’t schedule more time to spend on this island, since there were a lot of places and things we didn’t have a chance to see. But that give us a great reason to go back!

What we liked most about Patmos:

The food. We dined at tavernas in the Grikos Bay area, where we stayed, and enjoyed every meal. The food was excellent, especially the home-cooked meals at Flisvos Taverna. Their roasted chick peas were incredible.

The scenery. Patmos is a very pretty island, with gorgeous views of the sea, the coastlines, beaches, bays, and hillsides.

The hiking. We never took a bus on Patmos because we walked everywhere we went. Literally. We hiked up the mountain to Chora several times, and hiked into the port village of Skala several times, too. And we hiked up to the village of Kampos. Next time we visit Patmos, we’ll rent mountain bikes so we can see even more.

The views from our hotel. We stayed at Hotel Golden Sun, which sits on a hillside overlooking scenic Grikos Bay. We had incredible views from our room’s seaview balcony, and each morning got to enjoy fantastic views from the hotel’s outdoor breakfast terrace.

The people. Personable and friendly, but very laid back.

The animals. We met a friendly horse and donkey, and saw more cats, goats and sheep than we did people.

At some future date I hope to post a more detailed report on our visit to Patmos. For more information about the island in the meantime, check out the PatmosWeb online guide.

 

the Holy Monastery and Chora on Patmos

A view of Chora and the Holy Monastery from a ferry approaching Patmos

 

Sapsila Bay on Patmos

Sapsila Bay on Patmos, between Skala and Grikos

 

Sapsila Bay on Patmos

The crystal-clear waters of Sapsila Bay

 

Grikos Bay on Patmos

Approaching Grikos Bay on the road from the port in Skala

 

Hotel Golden Sun at Grikos Bay on Patmos

The Hotel Golden Sun on the mountainside high above Grikos Bay on Patmos

 

Hotel Golden Sun balcony view of Grikos Bay on Patmos

On the balcony at our room at the Hotel Golden Sun…

 

Grikos Bay on Patmos

where we had an amazing panoramic view of Grikos Bay

 

 

Breakfast terrace at the Hotel Golden Sun at Grikos Bay

The Hotel Golden Sun’s breakfast terrace view of gorgeous Grikos Bay

 

Hotel Golden Sun view of Grikos Bay on Patmos

I never got bored of looking at peaceful Grikos Bay and Traonisi Island. Occasionally, we could hear some of the goats that live on the island

 

Stormclouds above Grikos Bay on Patmos

Stormclouds move past Patmos the morning after a violent overnight thunderstorm thrashed the island with heavy rain and non-stop lightning strikes.

 

Grikos beach and bay

The curved sandy beach along Grikos Bay

 

Flisvos taverna at Grikos Bay on Patmos

We had the best meals of our holiday at Flisvos taverna at Grikos Bay…

 

roasted chickpeas at Flisvos Taverna

…where the home-cooked specialty, oven-roasted chickpeas, was delicious

 

Petra beach and bay on Patmos

Petra beach and bay are just a short walk past Grikos Bay

 

Petra beach and bay on Patmos

The water is gorgeous but there’s no sand at Petra beach — just stones. Ouch!

 

Stayrou beach and bay on Patmos

Stayrou bay and its beach are just a short walk from Petra beach

 

a donkey carries bales of hay

A donkey carries bales of hay on a farm near Stayrou Bay


a goat on a hillside below Chora

We saw this goat while climbing up the mountain from Grikos to Chora

 

a goat on Patmos

Another local resident we encountered while hiking up the mountainside from Grikos to Chora

 

mountains around Petra Bay

A peek at Petra Bay beyond a terraced mountain slope below Chora

 

Aspri and Meloi bays on Patmos

The view toward Aspri bay and Meloi bay from the hillside below Chora

 

The Holy Monastery and Chora on Patmos

Approaching Chora and the Holy Monastery of Patmos (the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian), which was constructed starting in 1088

 

Skala port and village on Patmos

A mountaintop view toward Skala, the port and main town on Patmos

 

a mule on Patmos

A mule on a hillside overlooking the town of Skala on Patmos

 

churches in Chora on Patmos

Churches along a street in Chora on Patmos

 

Skala the port and main town on Patmos

A view of Skala, the port and main town on Patmos

 

a goat on Patmos

A goat and a tree high above the sea on Patmos

 

Skala harbour on Patmos

Skala harbour on a cloudy afternoon following a rainshower

 

a cruise ship in Skala port on Patmos

A cruise ship dominates views of the port in Skala

 

Agriolivadi Bay on Patmos

Overlooking Agriolivadi Bay from the highway between Skala and Kampos

 

Agriolivadi Bay on Patmos

There were only two people on Agriolivadi beach when we passed by … perhaps from the sailboat anchored in the bay

 

Agriolivadi Bay on Patmos

Looking out to sea from a hillside above Agriolivadi Bay and beach

 

Kampos Bay on Patmos

Yet another scenic bay and beach area on Patmos, Kampos Bay

 

a flock of sheep at Grikos on Patmos

A late afternoon traffic jam on the road near Grikos