Oh My Greece! Unlock the Feeling is a new promotional video by DiscoverGreece
Unlocked and loaded: I’ve got to wait more than two months before my next holiday trip to Greece, but a new promotional video released today (February 20) has made me feel like I’m already there.
Oh My Greece! Unlock the Feeling is a production of DiscoverGreece, the online information and promotion platform for Greece tourism.
It’s only 2 minutes long, but the clip does a terrific job of capturing what it feels like to be in Greece, with inviting looks at spectacular sea, beach, coast and mountain scenery, as well as glimpses of olive tree groves, vineyards, sights in Athens, the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion, Seitan Limani beach on Crete, and the marvellous rock formations at Meteora. Quick peeks at food, wine and ouzo will whet your travel appetite as well.
Give it a watch — it’s a great way to take your mind off winter and imagine that you’re relaxing somewhere in Greece in summer instead.
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 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.”
The red marker pinpoints Nymfaio’s location in northern Greece on this map from Google
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:
Located just one nautical mile from the town of Marathopoli in southwestern Messenia, Proti Island is a popular day trip destination for swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, rock climbing, cliff jumping and trekking. This aerial photo of Proti Island is from the website for the Artina hotels in Marathopoli.
Lagouvardos, shown in this aerial video by Giannis Mpantes, is a long golden sand beach less than 3 kilometers from Marathopoli. It’s considered one of the top surfing spots in Greece, and also attracts enthusiasts of windsurfing, SUP, canoeing and other watersports.
Surf’s up!: In a recent post I noted that the quiet, laid-back town of Marathopoli is an ideal base for travellers wishing to explore Methoni, Pylos, Navarino, Voidokilia and other popular places in the Messenian region of the southwestern Peloponnese.
Even closer to the town are two noteworthy destinations that draw active travellers seeking scenic spots for outdoor sports activities such as swimming, surfing, windsurfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, rock climbing, trekking and fishing.
Uninhabited Proti Island, which dominates sea views from the town, is approximately one nautical mile away and can be accessed in summer on boat trips from Marathopoli harbour. The tours take passengers to secluded coves, including Grammeno Bay, and stop at picturesque Vourlia beach for sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling or jumping into the sea from rocks and ledges along the rugged coast.
This aerial video of a boat trip to Vourlia beach on Proti island is from the website for Proti Cruises, which offers a variety of daily “mini cruise” excursions from Marathopoli
The Monastery of the Assumption of Gorgopigi is one of the sights that hikers might encounter while walking some of the trails on Proti Island. This photo appears on the websites for Lagouvardos Apartments and other Marathopoli-area businesses.
Trekkers can explore Proti Island on three designated hiking routes, while rock climbers can test their skills on the challenging cliffs and coastal rock formations. Fishing trips and sunset tours also are available.
For those curious to see what lies beneath the waves, Ionian Dive Center offers scuba diving excursions to such island sites as the Anouar shipwreck in Vourlia Bay, the Tiganakia wall and cavern, the Blue Hole cavern with stalactites, Callens Valley and the Beacon Cove.
This video by Ionian Dive Center will take you to the Blue Hole, one of the sights that scuba divers could explore during excursions to Proti Island
This photo from the official Marathopoli tourism website shows an aerial view of the long strip of golden sand at Lagouvardos beach
Lagouvardos Beach is only 3 kilometers from Marathopoli so it can easily be reached by car, bicycle or even walking. The Culture Trip website has included Lagouvardos on its list of The Best Surfing Spots in Greece, while travel publications and online guides regularly recommend the beach for windsurfing, stand up paddle boarding (SUP), swimming, canoeing and other watersports. Equipment rentals and lessons are available from the Beach Break surf club at Lagouvardos.
For beach lovers and watersports fans who don’t mind driving a little farther afield, some of Messenia’s most beautiful and world-famous beaches — including Vromoneri, Mati, Romanos, Golden Sands Divari, and the incomparable Voidokilia — are situated within a span of just 7 to 15 kilometers.
Just 7 kilometers from Marathopoli is Vromoneri beach, seen in an image from AllMessenia.com
Located about 9 km from Marathopoli is gorgeous Mati beach, seen in this aerial video by KOABeach Pool Bar
Additionally, the Marathopoli area is ideal for bicycling and mountain biking, while two globally renowned 18-hole courses at nearby Costa Navarino offer golfers the opportunity to tee off in spectacular settings.
Award-winning world-class links await golf enthusiasts at Costa Navarino, just 13 km from Marathopoli. The green pictured above is on The Dunes Course, while the one below is on The Bay Course. Both images are from the Costa Navarino Facebook page.
More stunning photos and extensive information about the two golf resorts can be found in the golf section of the Costa Navarino website.