Video views of Poros Island

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This 6-minute film from the Videos from Greece channel on YouTube made me feel like I was back on Poros, since it features many familiar sights and scenes that we experienced during our own time on the island

 

Saronic gem: My previous post, Saronic island sojourn, contained a collection of photos that we shot during a very enjoyable week-long stay on Poros in the spring of 2018.

If you haven’t been to Poros before, I hope the photos may have stirred you to consider visiting the lovely Saronic Gulf island on one of your future trips to Greece.

But if you weren’t  completely convinced that Poros might be a good place for you to spend some of your holiday time, perhaps you’ll feel more inspired by the three videos I have included in this post.

The top film in particular might do the trick, since it accurately shows exactly how things appear when you stroll and look around Poros Town.  (The other two videos feature exhilarating aerial photography of the island so, unless you have wings, Poros won’t quite look the same when you’re there. But they’re fun to watch all the same.)

If you wish to take things a step further and start researching accommodations, attractions, activities and transportation options, bookmark the Poros.com tourism guide as well as the Poros Portal site. Both contain extensive information about the island, along with lots of photos and travel planning links.  Also worth a peek is the Visit Poros Island Greece page on Facebook. 

 

Take a short sightseeing flight over pretty Poros Town in this 1-minute film from the Drone Solutions Hellas channel on YouTube

 

Enjoy sights and sounds from all over the island in this 2-minute video from the Visit Poros Island Greece page on Facebook

 

Saronic island sojourn: Photos from our holiday week on Poros

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One of our first views of Poros Town, seen during our short ferry ride to Poros island from the town of Galatas on the eastern Peloponnese coast

 

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And here’s how Galatas looked from a vantage point beside the white clock tower shown in the previous photo of Poros Town

 

Postcard pretty:  If we had to pick a theme to describe our 2018 spring holiday in Greece, “something old and something new” would suit perfectly.  The “something old” was a repeat visit to the historic town of Nafplio, one of our most favourite places in Greece, followed one week later by “something new” — our first-ever trip to Poros, one of the Saronic Gulf islands off the coast of the eastern Peloponnese. 

 

Nafplio and Poros proved to be an ideal pairing, not just because we enjoyed both destinations tremendously, but because it was so easy to use local transportation to move from the Peloponnese to the island (as usual, we did not rent a car for our holiday).

 

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The red marker pinpoints Poros island’s location in the Saronic Gulf archipelago between Athens and the eastern Peloponnese. We reached Poros by taking a bus from Nafplio (shown at the center-left side of the map) to Galatas, followed by a quick ferry ride from there to the island.

 

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A 250-meter-wide strait separates Galatas, bottom left, from Poros Town and the Sferia peninsula of Poros island. The area at the top of this image is Kalavria, the largest part of the island. Sferia and Kalavria were distinct, individual isles in ancient times, and now are divided by a short, narrow canal.

 

The regional bus system KTEL Argolida operates two daily bus trips  (except Sundays) from Nafplio to Galatas, a coastal town separated from Poros by a narrow strait.  The 5:30 a.m. departure was far too early for our liking, so we bought tickets for the 2:30 p.m. bus instead (at a cost of just €9 per person).

 

The bus left Nafplio on time, stopping en route at the entrance to the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus as well as at several villages before arriving at a crossroads where we transferred onto another bus for the remainder of the drive to Galatas. This part of the route was the most interesting and enjoyable, particularly as the road climbed through mountains and then emerged hundreds of meters above the scenic coast. As the bus descended the hillside highway, our seats on the left side of the vehicle gave us terrific views of the Methana peninsula, the Strait of Poros, and eventually Poros island itself.

 

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One of the coastal views from our bus trip from Nafplio to Galatas.  I shot this photo when our bus was about 10 minutes from Galatas.

 

The bus reached the Galatas harbourfront shortly past 4:30 p.m. , and let us out near the pier from which we could take a ferry to Poros Town, a mere 5-minute or so trip across the narrow Strait of Poros. We had time to purchase our ferry tickets (€1 per person one way), admire the excellent views of Poros Town, plus take a peek at some of the tavernas along the Galatas seafront before catching the next boat. The traditional Greek food being served to customers on the patio at Babis Taverna looked so delicious, we were tempted to stay for an early dinner and catch a later ferry to Poros instead (the boats ran every half hour, and water taxis also were available), but we decided to leave dining in Galatas for another time.

 

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Hotels and restaurant buildings along the waterfront strip at Galatas 

 

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One of the ferries that shuttles vehicles and passengers between Galatas and Poros each half hour throughout the day

 

The ferry crossing was as quick as expected, with superb views of Poros Town and its extensive seaside strip lined with shops, restaurants and hotels. When we disembarked at the Poros Town port,  we instantly spotted our accommodations, Dimitra Hotel, on the hillside overlooking the town’s waterfront street. It was just a short walk away, so within minutes we were settling into our room and checking out the great views. 

From a window and our balcony, we had good views of Poros Town, the edge of the island’s Kalavria region,  and the long string of mountains along the Peloponnese coast at the far end of the bay. The extensive panoramic views from the hotel’s large rooftop terrace two floors above us were even more striking, especially at sunset.  We could have sat and watched the scenery for awhile, but we were eager to get out and about to explore Poros Town. Since we would be staying at the Dimitra for three nights, we would have loads of time to enjoy the views. 

 

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Dimitra Hotel in Poros Town, where we stayed in a sea- and sunset-view room during our first three nights on the island

 

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Evening view of Poros Town from the rooftop terrace at Dimitra Hotel

 

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Sunset view from the terrace at Dimitra Hotel  

 

Please click the link below to continue reading and to see a random selection of photos from our week-long stay on Poros.

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Winter views of Nymfaio, the pretty ‘fairy tale’ village in northern Greece

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This film by Studios Trasias captures breathtaking views of snow-covered Nymfaio, a traditional mountain settlement in the Florina region of northern Greece. It’s regarded as one of the most beautiful villages in Europe.

 

Alpine gem: When winter storms brought freezing temperatures and snowfalls to many parts of Greece this week, my social media newsfeeds quickly filled with photos and videos of snowy scenes from places as diverse as Ancient Messenia, Kalavrita, Meteora, Arachova and Thessaloniki, and such islands as Kefalonia, Evia, Skopelos, Skyros, Lesvos and Crete.

The winter wonderland scenery in many of the images looked impressive, but far more striking are the scenes in this film of Nymfaio, which I stumbled upon today while researching for another blog post I’m writing.

Situated at an altitude of 1,350 meters on a ridge of Mount Vitsi in the northern Greece region of Florina, Nymfaio has been inhabited since 1385. It is often described as looking like something out of a fairy tale, and it has been named to lists of the most beautiful and most picturesque villages both in Greece and in all of Europe. From the opening seconds of the video, it’s easy to see why — Nymfaio looks simply picture postcard perfect under a crisp blanket of fresh snow. 

Though it’s a year-round travel destination, Nymfaio isn’t a place you can easily visit for a quick look-see — roughly a 7-hour drive north of Athens, it’s well off the main tourist routes in the southern half of Greece. (It’s much closer to and easier to reach from the cities of Ioannina and Thessaloniki, which are less than 2 hours’ driving distance.) But this alpine gem certainly appears to be well worth the trek, particularly for visitors who have already seen or who want to avoid the busy tourist magnets like Athens or the islands.

If you’ve become intrigued by Nymfaio and want to learn more about it, here are links to websites and blogs offering photos and detailed information about the village:

♦ the Nymfaio page on Greece Virtual will take you on a virtual tour of the village with its more than 20 panoramic / 360-degree photos;

♦ In April 2018, the Greek travel agency Fly Me to the Moon published a destination spotlight on Nymfaio on its blog;

♦ In May 2016, the U.K.’s Telegraph newspaper highlighted Nymfaio in a feature list of the best places to visit in northern Greece;

♦ In a 2014 post, the travel blog Moco Choco profiled Nymfaio as one of the 10 most beautiful mountain villages in Europe;

♦ The Discover Greece article Nimfaio, The Mountain Nymph of Stone and Snow includes photographs and information about accommodations in and near the village, which the Greek tourism website describes as “one of the best winter holiday destinations in Greece”;

♦ the Visit Greece article A Fairytale Escape to Nimfaio in Florina includes photos and brief descriptions of the history, traditions and activities of what it hails as “a year-round charming destination.” 

 

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The red marker pinpoints Nymfaio’s location in northern Greece on this map from Google

 

Mykonos bar & beach club openings, DJ appearances and party events in 2019

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Parties will resume in April at Guapaloca bar at Paradise beach, and at Maracuja, its sunset-view sister club on the Mykonos Town seafront  

 

What’s happening: Summer is still several months off, but readers already have started asking me for information about Mykonos bar and club opening dates, party and DJ schedules, and other events.

The island’s 2019  party season will unfold in much the same way as previous years: bars and clubs in Mykonos Town, and at some beaches, will gradually begin to open towards the end of April.  Greek Easter is Sunday April 28 this year, so the period from April 26 to 29 will be the busiest time on Mykonos for that particular month. Many places will aim to open in time for the long holiday weekend, so the bars will buzzing with a lively Easter party vibe.

Most town bars and beach clubs will open during May, and almost everything will be up and running by early June (though each year there are a few new clubs that get a late start and don’t open until early to mid-July). 

May and June are low season, so the party scene then is fairly low-key — especially in May. The partying revs up each week as more and more tourists arrive on the island, however, and by late June the crowds will be bigger and the bars and clubs will be absolutely bustling.

 

Peak party season is July and August, with August being the wildest and busiest time by far. If you’re looking for frenzied, wall-to-wall crowds, appearances by the world’s top DJs, and non-stop partying from afternoon until dawn the next day, be sure to book your Mykonos holiday for either of those two months. 

Partying continues through September, but the pace of activity slows each week as the summer crowds gradually dissipate and the island’s bigger clubs start winding down and shutting their doors. September is nonetheless  a great time to visit Mykonos for a more relaxed, chill atmosphere, fewer crowds and congestion, and some sizzling season closing parties. Last year, Void held its closing bash on September 7,  with Guzel and Toy Room Club following suit on September 8. Club 4711, Sueno Pool Bar and The Garden Seaview Lounge all held their closing parties on September 15, while Cavo Paradiso threw its final event on September 25. Babylon, @54, Queen of Mykonos,and Astra celebrated the end of their season on September 29, while JackieO’ Beach, Scorpios and Moni clubs closed their doors on September 30.

 

 

A good variety of smaller bars and clubs will remain open into October,  but most beach clubs and town bars will be shuttered by the middle of the month.  During the first 10 days of October last year, closing parties took place at Nammos, Semeli Bar, JackieO’ Town Bar, Alemagou, Kaula, Scarpa, Skandinavian Bar, Lohan Beach House and Bao’s Cocktail Bar. Super Paradise beach club and 180° Sunset Bar closed on October 20, while the final parties at Paradise beach took place on October 21. Partying after October was limited to a handful of small bars that stay open year-round for the local residents.

If you’re travelling to Mykonos on a budget this year, plan to make your hotel or room reservations very soon — Mykonos is one of the most expensive places to visit in Greece, and the majority of cheap and mid-priced accommodations will be fully booked by spring. The only hostel in Mykonos Town, MyCocoon, is already accepting reservations for May 1 and onwards, while one of the top beach accommodations for budget travellers, Paraga Beach Hostel & Camping, will begin taking bookings through its website on January 15. 

I will be updating this post whenever bars and clubs have announced their opening dates and events, so check back from time to time during the winter to see what’s new.

In the meantime, if you want to get an idea of what the party scene was like during specific months last year, have a look at my Mykonos party posts for 2018:

♦ for information about bar openings and early spring parties in 2018, click here.

♦ for a list of events that took place in May and June of 2018, click here.

click here to see what happened during July 2018, and

click here for a schedule of events that were held during August and right through the autumn.

 

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Tropicana bar at Paradise beach plans to start its season on Sunday April 21 

 

The Nammos restaurant and beach bar complex will kick off its summer dining and party season on Thursday April 25

 

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The Pinky Beach/Aqua Restaurant venue at Agia Anna Paraga beach expects to launch its season on Saturday April 27

 

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The Scorpios restaurant and beach bar complex at Paraga beach has scheduled its season opening for Sunday May 12 

 

One of the island’s most popular annual events is the Made in Mykonos party headlined by DJ Vassili TsiliChristos at the world-famous Nammos beach club. This year’s party takes place on Saturday July 27.

 

XLSIOR Mykonos, the island’s internationally-renowned gay festival, will celebrate its 10th anniversary in 2019. This year’s festival will take place August 21 through 28 with daytime and night events  being held each day at various beach venues and at clubs in Mykonos Town.  XLSIOR is the biggest annual party event on Mykonos, drawing tens of thousands of participants each summer, and is often referred to as “Mykonos Pride Week” as a result.

 

 

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