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New Royal Senses Resort & Spa opens on Crete this summer

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Screenshot of main web page for The Royal Senses Resort & Spa Crete

An artistic rendering of one of the four communal swimming pools at The Royal Senses Resort & Spa, a brand-new Troulis Royal Collection luxury hotel near Rethymno on Crete. 

 

Hotel profile by mygreecetravelblog.com

 

Our flight to Greece this month was cancelled by Covid-19 travel restrictions, but that hasn’t stopped us from daydreaming about taking a trip later this summer to enjoy some desperately-needed holiday downtime. One spot we find particularly appealing is a new luxury resort on Crete, where we fantasize of pampering ourselves with elegant accommodations and amenities, superb food and scenic surroundings — the perfect tonic to relieve pent-up stress and worry from the extended period of pandemic lockdowns this spring.

That place is The Royal Senses Resort & Spa near Rethymno, where we see ourselves social distancing in style in one of the spacious double rooms or a  junior suite equipped with a private swimming pool. Or perhaps we would splurge on a chic elite suite or a roomy grand villa with a stunning private infinity pool.  For a change of scenery we would lounge by one of the four communal pools, explore the resort’s farm and gardens, recharge with a massage or an herbal spa treatment, and then savor a delicious meal at one of the three restaurants or some of the pop-up food bars in the hotel’s Market Place. And of course we would take day trips to explore the island’s amazing sites and attractions.  How sweet it would be to revel in such comfort and luxury — and discover spectacular Crete — while putting the world’s tumultuous troubles temporarily out of mind!

It’s unlikely we will personally be able to visit Crete in the near future, since spring was the only time we could go to Greece in 2020, but other travellers will get to experience that dreamy holiday bliss when The Royal Senses welcomes its first guests this summer.

The resort is situated on the northern coast of Crete close to Panormos,  a traditional seaside fishing village with charming cobblestone streets, a medieval church and picturesque coves with sandy beaches. Also in convenient close proximity are Crete’s three biggest cities — Rethymno, just 20 minutes away, and Chania and Heraklion, each about an hour’s drive. All boast fascinating historic sites and a tremendous variety of beautiful attractions for visitors to discover.

The Royal Senses occupies a hillside location overlooking the 100-acre seafront property of its older sister hotel, The Royal Blue, which recently underwent a major renovation. The two are showpieces of the Troulis Royal Collection, a locally-owned and operated brand of destination lifestyle resorts which aim to make guests “feel like they are part of the unique life force of Cretan culture.” 

“We share a vision for heartfelt hospitality. We are agents of the Cretan culture and community. We create places that give value to guests, employees and the island. We are fully committed to our responsibility to the island, its people and our cultural says,” says a mission statement on the Collection’s website.

Please click on the link below to continue reading and see more of The Royal Senses on page 2 of this post.

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20 tantalizing reasons to visit Santorini island

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If Santorini is already on your list of places to visit, you’ve probably got a few main reasons for your choice — including the island’s world-famous sunsets and its breathtaking caldera scenery. But there are many additional features and attractions that make Santorini an appealing holiday destination, and local photographer, filmmaker and graphic designer Nikos Korakakis reveals them in his newly-released video 20 reasons to visit Santorini in 2020! 

Produced in collaboration with the Santorini Archive Project, the 3-minute film spotlights the island’s fascinating historic sites, incomparable geological features and extensive range of activities for visitors.  If you haven’t been considering Santorini for your next trip to Greece, the impressive images in Korakakis’s video might well inspire you to give the island a closer look.

 

CNN examines Greece’s plans for 2020 tourism season in wake of Covid-19 pandemic

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CNN Travel report on Greece plans for summer travel season

CNN Travel has taken a look at what the summer tourism season might be like in Greece as the country re-opens after its Covid-19 lockdowns

 

Travel comeback?: Millions of people are on tenterhooks this month, wondering what will happen to their plans — and bookings — for summer and autumn vacations in Greece.

Many — including yours truly at mygreecetravelblog.com — have already had our spring holiday hopes dashed by the Covid-19 pandemic. We were supposed to fly to Greece a few days from now but, like hundreds of thousands of people who had booked trips to Greece for April, May and June,  Covid quarantines and travel bans put the kibosh on those plans.  

Millions more people who had scheduled trips for July, August and September are holding out hope that their holidays will still happen, now that Greece has announced a timetable to gradually re-open its economy, and to begin welcoming tourists back starting in July. But it’s still too soon for anyone outside Greece to know for certain if their vacations will in fact materialize, since Greece hasn’t yet determined who will be allowed into the country, or what sorts of tourism activities will be available.

Indeed, it appears extremely likely that some kind of medical testing will be required to gain entry into Greece (to show that travellers either have developed antibodies to Covid-19, or are not testing positive for the virus), and it also is likely that citizens from only a few select countries might be permitted to visit Greece initially. So while there is some promise that travel will resume in Greece this summer, it’s still a matter of wait-and-see for the all-important details.

What does seem clear, however, is that the Greek holiday experience could be drastically different from what regular visitors have experienced in the past — and what many first-time travellers might have been anticipating this summer, especially with regard to beaches and the legendary Greek nightlife. Because of social distancing requirements, for instance, crowded bars and party clubs could be out of the question for the foreseeable future, while organized beaches will have considerably fewer lounge chairs and umbrellas, with those available being spread 2 meters apart. (One beach bar on Santorini has already installed plexiglass screens between its sunbeds.) For their part, hotels and restaurants will have to adapt to stringent health and safety protocols as well as social distancing requirements.

To find out more, CNN Travel recently sent a team of reporters to Greece. They examined how Greece has handled the Covid-19 pandemic, and interviewed industry and government officials — including Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis — to see what the country’s post-pandemic travel season might look like.  Check out their May 7 2020 report, which consists of an article and a 4-minute video.

Hopefully more concrete information will come available within the next several weeks.

A ferry ride to four of Greece’s Small Cyclades islands

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Join filmmaker/photographer Kostas Kostopoulos on an island-hopping ferry ride to four of the isles in the Small Cyclades 

 

Ferry ride: If you haven’t visited the Small Cyclades yet, here’s a film that will show you exactly what it’s like to travel by ferry between four of the region’s isles.  

Small Cyclades is a 20-minute video in which filmmaker Kostas Kostopoulos captures ferry deck views of passing coastal scenery, along with arrivals and departures from the picturesque ports at Irakilia, Schinoussa, Koufonissi and Donousa — the major tourist islands in the archipelago situated between Naxos and Amorgos (see map below). 

Besides views of the quaint island harbours and their brilliant turquoise water, the video shows the ferry crew preparing to dock at each port, the speedy disembarkation and boarding of passengers and vehicles, and the ship’s smooth but quick departure from the pier.

Kostopoulos is a peripatetic photographer who has travelled to and extensively photographed more than 50 Greek islands. He shares his photos on social media, where you can view the images on either his @island_wanders_by_kostopoulos page on Instagram, or his Νησιωτικές Περιπλανήσεις_Island wanders by Kostopoulos Kostas page on Facebook.

Kostopoulos published Small Cyclades on his isalos channel on YouTube, which features dozens of videos of Greek island ferries at sail in the Aegean Sea.

 

Google map of the Small Cyclades islands in Greece

This Google map shows the location of the Small Cyclades islands between Naxos and Amorgos

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