Tag: tavernas (page 1 of 3)

Tips & talk about Naxos: my interview with Hype Magazine

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Donny on Naxos

Enjoying the scenery on Naxos, one of my favourite Greek Islands

 

I love talking about Greece — that’s one of the main reasons why I write this blog, after all! — so I was delighted when Hype Magazine, the blog published by the U.K.-based Holiday Hypermarket, invited me to participate in a Q & A interview about one of my favourite islands.

I suggested talking about Naxos, since it’s not as well known as blockbuster destinations like Mykonos and Santorini, which receive the lion’s share of attention in the travel media.

Below is interview excerpt in which I describe  what I believe are three of the top places to see on Naxos. 

You can read the complete interview on the Hype Magazine site, where I answer questions and provide some personal “insider tips” about restaurants, cultural events, historic sites, beaches, island scenery, getting around Naxos, and more.

 

 

Hype Magazine: If a holidaymaker only has a few days on the island, what would you say is one thing he or she absolutely shouldn’t miss the chance to see and do in Naxos?

Me: Since it’s so big, Naxos can easily keep visitors entertained for a week or fortnight or even longer. But if you don’t have that much time available, aim to spend at least three full days and nights on Naxos. This is sufficient to comfortably explore what I think are the island’s top three ‘must see/must do’ features.

First is the port town, Chora, better known as Naxos Town. It has a bustling harbour-front promenade lined with dozens of stores, cafes and restaurants. Not to mention an Old Market district with cozy bars, coffee shops, stores and galleries nestled in a warren of narrow lanes. You can also expect an imposing castle which towers above the town. And St George’s beach, a long strand boasting soft brown sand and shallow clean waters – ideal for families with small children.

A short stroll from Chora’s harbour front is the Temple of Apollo monument. Also known as the Portara, this giant marble door frame is all that remains of a temple which was only partially constructed centuries ago. Since it’s on a hilltop overlooking the sea, it’s one of the best places on Naxos to watch a sunset, and to enjoy terrific views of Naxos Town.

The second must-see is one or more of the beautiful sandy beaches that extend, like a long chain, down the island’s western coast. Some, like Agios Prokopios and Agia Anna, have organized sections with rental sunbeds and umbrellas, as well as tavernas and bars close by.  At others, like Plaka, you’ll find some spots with sunbeds and restaurants nearby, but also incredibly long stretches of wide-open space and big dunes topped with tall grasses. All that space, and sand stretching for miles, are what draw many beachgoers to Naxos. St George’s and Mikri Vigla beaches also offer sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, kitesurfing and other watersports.

The third ‘must do’ is to visit one of the charming inland villages, including Chalki, and the picturesque mountain villages of Filoti, Apeiranthos and Koronos – no visit to the island would be complete without spending some time in at least one of them.

 

Plaka beach on Naxos

One of the things I love most about Naxos is being able to walk for miles along spacious, uncrowded beaches like Plaka (above), which extend one after the other down the isle’s western coast.

 

Want to read more about Naxos? Take a look at my popular article, Our Top 15 reasons to visit Naxos, as well as other top Naxos posts from my blog. 

To see more of the island, check out my Naxos photo collection on Flickr.

Good eats on Andros

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Agia Marina Taverna Andros

 Mastrozannes Restaurant at Agia Marina beach — where we enjoyed fabulous views with the two best dinners of our Andros visit

 

Memorable meals: We ate exceptionally well during our first-ever trip to Andros last spring, feasting on delicious Greek cuisine at every restaurant where we dined. At almost all of the establishments, either the settings and ambience, or the views, were as impressive and memorable as the meals. As a lucky bonus, we were treated to excellent food as well as particularly remarkable locations, views and atmosphere at two of the restaurants.

This was the case with our favourite place to eat on Andros —  Mastrozannes Restaurant near Batsi — where we ate dinner two nights in a row on the taverna’s spacious open-air terrace beside Agia Marina beach. On both evenings (one of which was my birthday dinner celebration), our wonderful meals of tantalizing home-cooked Greek cuisine were topped off with complimentary side servings of superb sea and sunset views, shown in the photos below.

view from Agia Marina Taverna Andros

view from Agia Marina Taverna Andros

Above are just two of the splendid scenery and sunset views we enjoyed from our table at Mastrozannes Restaurant

 

 

Another standout eating spot was Drosia mezedopoleio in the leafy mountain village of Menites near Andros Town. There, we lunched on a variety of savory selections, including a local Andros specialty, frutalia, in a truly sublime and unforgettable setting — a sun-dappled terrace encircled by tall trees, lush vegetation and the sound of streams coursing through the gully below.

I Parea in the heart of Andros Town proved to be a good choice for lunch and dinner, while  Archipelagos and O Nonas (both in Chora) and Stamatis taverna in Batsi also served up tasty dinners.

Drosia restaurant terrace in Menites

Shade trees and thick vegetation surround the outdoor dining terrace at Drosia mezedopoleio in Menites village, seen  here in a photo that appears on the restaurant’s Facebook page

 

Please click on the link below to continue reading and see more restaurant photos on page 2 of this post .

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Kokkari’s waterfront restaurant row

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Kokkari village Samos

Taverna signs compete for customers’ attention along the waterfront pedestrian promenade in Kokkari village on Samos island.

 

 

Kokkari Samos

Another view of “restaurant row” from a position a bit farther along the strip

 

 

Kokkari village Samos

A view from across the bay of restaurants along part of the Kokkari waterfront

 

 

Kokkari village Samos

The tavernas have sheltered dining terraces either right next to the water or beside the narrow shore that extends along part of the harbourside

 

 

Kokkari village Samos

The tables offer scenic views of the harbour, in all directions …

 

 

Kokkari village Samos

… while some waterfront bars offer comfortable cushioned seats for customers to relax in while enjoying drinks and the Kokkari scenery

 

2012 Greek holiday report: Exploring Naoussa

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Naoussa windmill

This old windmill in Naoussa might be a cute studio residence, but I didn’t notice any sign indicating if it’s available as rental accommodations

 

 

[This is the second instalment of a multi-part report on my May 2012 visit to Naoussa village on Paros island. The first part of my report described my arrival at Paros and the first evening I spent in the town of Naoussa following an 8-day visit to Mykonos.]

 

Wednesday May 23 2012

 

First full day:  My room at Hotel Manos was so dark and quiet, I got a good night’s sleep and woke feeling refreshed and eager to get to know Naoussa better.

I got a bit of a surprise when I went into the bathroom to shave — no hot water came out of the sink faucet, even after I let it run a considerable time. No chance for a smooth shave today! Fortunately, there was plenty of hot water — very hot water, in fact — in the shower. Then, before I went downstairs for breakfast, I booted up my laptop so I could check my email. Although the receptionist had assured me that there was wi-fi access throughout the hotel, I could not obtain a signal in my room. I did get a weak connection from the terrace, and managed to briefly get online, but  the signal repeatedly cut out and eventually I had no luck getting back on. I took the laptop with me when I went to breakfast, hoping I would have better luck in the main hotel building.

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2012 Greek holiday trip report: Mykonos Part 3

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Remezzo area of Mykonos Town

All quiet on the northern front: Even though it was a gorgeous morning, very few people were out and about when I walked past the Remezzo area of Mykonos Town at 10 a.m.

 

 

[Editor’s Note: This is the latest instalment in a series of reports on my 2012 vacation. Those of you who have already read Part 1 and Part 2 may want to go back and take another look through those posts — I have added several videoclips to each part.]

 

 

Thursday May 17

 

Sounds of silence: My fourth day on Mykonos started off with brilliant sunshine and plenty of peace and quiet.

The breakfast room at Hotel Tagoo was almost empty, with just a handful of guests showing up during the time I was there. It seemed like most people were sleeping in to recover from either a late night on the town or too much fun at the beaches the day before.  Two guests who did make it down for breakfast told me that a friend of theirs from Mykonos would be taking them on an early afternoon driving tour around part of the island. They had room for a fourth person, and invited me to tag along. They planned to visit some beaches I had not seen in a few years, plus at least one I had never been to before, so I jumped at the opportunity to join them.

Since I had a few hours to fill before the island drive about, but didn’t feel like laying in the sun by the pool, I took a walk into town. The streets were surprisingly quiet and empty with practically no vehicular traffic and pedestrians. It was incredibly serene — and almost surreal  — hearing only birdsong and sound of my shoes on the pavement. I didn’t expect that, at 10 a.m., I would have most of the Tagoo area and much of Mykonos Town all to myself. A cruise ship was docked at Tourlos, so I fully expected to run into groups of tourists wandering around, but the parking area next to the Old Port (where the cruise ship shuttle buses drop passengers off) was eerily quiet. I passed fewer than a dozen people during my 10-minute walk between the port and Taxi Square.

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