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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  

 

~ updated on Saturday February 2 ~ 

 

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 

 

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SantAnna reopens at Paraga beach on Friday May 17

 

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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Magical moments in the rugged & remote Mesa Mani region of the Peloponnese

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Beautiful coast and village scenery abounds in Mani, The Luxury of Remoteness — a 4.5-minute video by TAK Films & Frames

 

Rugged beauty: Thanks to amazing experiences in the Peloponnese during three visits in the past three years, the region has become one of our favourite holiday destinations in Greece. Though we have covered considerable ground, there’s one significant part of the Peloponnese remaining on our bucket list — the Mani. 

A rugged and remote peninsula, the Mani appeals to us not only because it’s off the busy tourist routes, but also since its scenic highlights include marvellous coastal landscapes, picturesque fishing ports, charming Byzantine churches and historic ancient sites, and fascinating fortified villages like Vathia, which boasts a striking skyline of imposing stone tower houses.

We’re even more keen to visit the Mani after viewing the video above, which was produced by TAK Film & Frames and posted to its Facebook page just two days ago.

Should watching the 4-and-a-half-minute film pique your own interest or curiosity in the Mani, here are a few articles and online resources you can peruse for further information, inspiration and advice:

♦  Inside the Mani — an online guide to  travel in the southern Peloponnese;

♦  Europe’s hidden coasts: The Deep Mani, Greece —  an article published by the travel section of The Guardian newspaper;

♦ The Mani Region page of the Feel Greece travel website, along with the related blog post 10 things you must do in Deep Mani

♦ The Discover Greece web page Mani: Land of tower houses and castles, wild and untamed, plus the associated article Mani: An interplay of stone and light

♦ The Mani page on the Hip Greece website for independent travellers; 

♦ The article Spring Destination: Wild yet gentle Outer Mani, from the Greece Is travel, gastronomy and culture website; and

♦ The post Exploring Mani in the depth of the Peloponnese, from the travel blog Two Travelling Greeks.

 

Mani location on Google map

The Mani peninsula is pinpointed by the red marker on this Google map of the Peloponnese region of Greece

 

 

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