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.
Above: Views of the Kini area from five different vantage points
What’s there: My earlier post, Colourful Kini Bay on Syros island, was essentially a photo tour of the beautiful beach village area where we have stayed during two holidays on Syros. In this companion piece, I have compiled a mini-guide to Kini, highlighting accommodation and dining options as well as attractions and things to see and do in the immediate vicinity, based primarily upon personal experience.
I actually started preparing this article several years ago, following our second trip to Syros, but I never managed to finish the project. It languished in a folder of draft articles until this winter, when a Travel + Leisure magazine profile of Syros caught my attention and reminded me of the post I had never completed. Comments and inquiries about Syros from readers of my blog gave me further impetus to have another go at writing the guide. Besides, it presented an opportunity to see what, if anything, may have changed and keep us up to date on what’s happening in Kini, since we do plan to go back.
Kini is best known for beaches, food and scenery, but it’s also home to two attractions that tourists can visit: the Agia Varvara Monastery (above) and a small aquarium and boat museum
While checking to see if familiar tavernas and accommodations were still around, I was pleased to discover that two new restaurants and a hotel have opened during the past couple of years — Aphrodite Boutique Hotel, Thalassa Beach Bar, and Aeriko Mezedopoleio. Aphrodite and Thalassa have opened in centrally-located buildings that had been vacant and somewhat shabby-looking during both of our Kini holidays, so their reincarnations have spruced up the area and greatly improved the look of the village landscape. Aeriko opened two years ago in the premises previously occupied by Ammos Beach and Kitchen Bar. (There’s more information on all three new places later in this post.)
I also noticed several hotels and studio rental properties have undertaken significant upgrades in the past two years, while others have been renovating this winter in preparation for the 2019 season. The good news for travellers is more (and improved) choices for lodging, along with additional places to drink and dine. Happily, the changes have been for the better, and haven’t had a negative impact on Kini’s comfortable atmosphere and charm.
We have seen many remarkable sunsets from Kini (this one was from our holiday in 2015), with vivid sky colours that were more stunning than any we’ve seen on Santorini, the island that’s famous for sunset views.
The low-key, laid-back ambiance is what we personally enjoy about Kini, along with its scenic location, marvellous sunset views, sandy beaches, interesting walks and excellent restaurants. (Its close proximity to the island’s vibrant capital, Ermoupoli, is another appealing feature.) On both of our visits, Kini won our hearts as one of the most chill and relaxing places we’ve stayed anywhere in Greece. In fact, we often muse about going there for an extended period — a couple of months in spring or fall, for instance — since we find it particularly inspiring for our creative pursuits of writing, painting and photography.
I know others share our appreciation for Kini just as strongly; online, I have chatted with a number of people who have made repeat visits and are planning to return this year because they love Kini for the same reasons. And when we have spoken to other tourists while we have been in Kini, everyone has commented about how much they were enjoying the place. We never heard anything negative.
Kini might not be your cup of tea if your ideal island getaway is a crowded and glitzy tourist magnet, like Mykonos, where you can spend all your time and money shopping in designer boutiques, dining at gourmet international restaurants, and partying at exclusive nightclubs and trendy beach clubs. But if your goal is to rest and recharge in a peaceful, picturesque village with good Greek restaurants and nice sandy beaches, Kini could well be paradise. It’s my hope that the photographs, descriptions and personal anecdotes in this guide will give you a solid sense of what Kini has to offer, and will inspire you to consider including Kini in your future holiday plans if it does look like a place you would enjoy.
Kini is situated on the west coast of Syros, approximately 9 km from the island’s port town and capital, Ermoupoli
Please click on the links below below to continue reading and see dozens of Kini photos.
Page 2 highlights Kini sights, attractions and things to do, with descriptions of local beaches, boat trips to remote beach areas, and scenic walks.
Page 3 spotlights places to eat and drink in the village.
Page 4 profiles hotels and many of the room and studio accommodations available at Kini.
Evening view of the Kini Bay area, from a hill behind Lotos beach
Houses and holiday accommodations on the hills behind Kini Beach
Fishing boats moored in the small harbour at Kini Bay
Overlooking Kini beach, bay and harbour
A quiet morning at Kini Beach
Waves reflect the golden hues of sunset above Kini Bay
Photo tour: It seems I have stoked some interest in Syros.
After I posted that Travel + Leisure magazine had profiled Syros island in its February 2019 issue, a number of readers have been in touch to say they are now thinking about going there for part of their island hopping holidays this summer.
And since I had mentioned that Syros is one of our favourite islands, some asked if I could recommend a specific beach resort area for them to consider.
So far we have stayed twice at just one beach location — Kini Bay — and loved it, but we have been to a few other beach areas that are popular with tourists, including Galissas, Finikas and Poseidonia. We would probably choose to stay at one of those places on our next trip to Syros, simply for a change of scenery and the chance to to experience a different part of the island.
But I wouldn’t describe Kini or any of the others as “resorts” per se; rather, they are fairly small villages situated on or near sandy beaches and scenic coastlines, each offering a respectable selection of accommodations and restaurants. You won’t find strips of shops or nightclubs at any of these locations, but there are mini markets and grocery stores where visitors staying in studio apartments or villas can purchase food and sundry items they might need.
What we particularly enjoy about Kini Bay is its beautiful setting on a picturesque bay, where holidaymakers can relax on two sandy beaches — Kini and Lotos — or at nearby Delfini, which is reasonable walking distance from the village. Galissas beach can be reached either by car or on foot (a hiking path that winds up and down hills high above the rugged coast), while boat trips to two isolated beaches north of Kini are offered in season.
I’ll tell you more about the area in a separate post I’m currently working on, but in the meantime I have gathered dozens of our pictures to show you why we have been so keen on Kini.
Please click on the link below to take a photo tour of colourful sights and scenes at Kini Bay.
Mykonos is the prominent supporting star in the new music video Χωρις Εσενα, released July 23 by Greek singer Giorgos Tsalikis. During the summer, Giorgos and his band performed live at 4711 club for 65 nights.
The Dublin presents live music entertainment by Dimitris Drosinis on the evenings of November 29 and 30, and on the afternoon of Sunday December 1
Apostolis G. will DJ the Sunday Party at El Burro on December 1
Rustic Grill hosts its weekly Karaoke Party on Wednesday December 4 starting at 9 p.m.
Vegera gets into the Christmas spirit with parties on Friday December 6 and Saturday December 7. The parties start at 10 p.m. and DJ Jerry will be playing the music.
Central hosts a live Stand Up Comedy show on Saturday December 7, featuring comedians Giannis Roussos, Alexandros Paspardanis and Konstantinos Bouras Bai’makos. Entry fee is €15 per person, and includes a drink.
DJ Jerry will be on the decks for the Sunday Party at El Burro on December 8
Notorious holds its Quiz Night on Tuesday December 10
The weekly Karaoke Party takes place at Rustic Grill on Wednesday December 11
Taverna Kandavlos presents live music on Friday evening December 13, and on the afternoon of Sunday December 15
Rustic Grill hosts a Latin Christmas Party on Friday December 13
Wild Cafe Bar presents a live performance by Γιάννης Μπαρμπαρής (Giannis Barbaris) on Saturday December 14
Vegera is throwing its final party of 2019 on December 14
Every Sunday, DJ Nassia T. will play for the “artistic folk evenings” at Rustic Grill
The V Bros perform at Central on Saturday December 14
DJ Apostolis G. will play for the December 15 Sunday Party at El Burro