Category: Greek Island villages and towns (page 1 of 43)

Amorgos island: Where time is always well spent


In Amorgos, There is Time is a 2.5-minute video from BKC Film 


Timely island: An engaging short film I discovered this week has rekindled some sweet memories from our our only and only visit (so far) to Amorgos nearly 10 years ago.

In Amorgos, There is Time was published on Vimeo just two days ago (March 1 2018), and I found a link to it in the newsfeed for my blog page on Facebook. 

The two and a half-minute film features aerial and ground-level photography that spotlights an impressive panoply of sights and scenery from the ruggedly beautiful island in the eastern Cyclades. 

The video begins with a distant, aerial view of the magnificent Chozoviotissa Monastery, which is built into the face of a sheer cliff that soars hundreds of meters above the sea on the eastern coast of Amorgos — a stunning sight I think is a must-see attraction for anyone visiting the island.

The film then presents a sequence of alluring images of island attractions and sights, including stone-paved streets, traditional tavernas and whitewashed buildings in seaside and mountain villages; windmills; sheep and donkeys; a tortoise, a seal and other sea life; a shipwreck; and views of splendid sunsets, beaches, mountains and coastlines. These are interspersed with scenes of island residents going about their daily lives and participating in local culture and activities.  (There also are numerous views of the Aegialis Hotel & Spa, the only 5-star hotel on Amorgos.)

We spent four full days and nights on Amorgos back in May 2009, and wished we had been able to stay a week or longer. We have been meaning to get back, but its off-the-beaten-path location has kept us from fitting it into our more recent island-hopping itineraries.  Looks like it’s time to find a way to pay Amorgos a return visit.

Even in severe winter weather, Greece’s scenic beauty shines through


Little Venice Mykonos during January storm

Surf sprays two storeys high as roaring waves crash ashore at the Little Venice area of Mykonos Town, flooding the entire seaside strip of cocktail bar terraces. This photo was posted on the Mykonos LIVE TV Facebook page on January 18, the day gale-force winds raged across much of Greece.


Storm scenes: When wild winter weather swept across Europe this week, Greece wound up in the path of powerful winds that pounded some places, including Syros island, with gusts reaching as high as 122 kmh — the equivalent to force 12 on the Beaufort wind scale.

The fierce winds raged relentlessly on Thursday January 18, toppling trees on several islands, damaging one of the iconic windmills on Mykonos, and preventing planes from landing at Syros airport. The storm disrupted ferry travel and shipping, too, as rough seas forced the cancellation of many sailings as well as the closure of the ports at Lavrio and Rafina. At Piraeus port, the passenger ferry Panagia Agiasou broke away from its moorings during the tempest, while waterfront areas at Mykonos Town, and Kini Beach on Syros, sustained damage from massive waves that walloped the shore.



Although most residents stayed indoors to avoid the incessant blasts of wind, which made walking perilous and even driving difficult, some did venture out to observe nature’s fury and photograph the stormy conditions. I found numerous pictures and videos on social media showing skies filled with massive dark clouds, and huge waves crashing onto seafronts and beaches in Mykonos, Paros, Naxos, Syros, Rhodes, Lesvos, Samos, Skyros, Skopelos, Ithaca, Paxos, Kefalonia, Nafplio, Athens and elsewhere. Many of the images showed that, even in ferocious weather, the scenic beauty of Greece’s coastal areas still stands out.


Nafplio photo by Nafplio Kalimera

Takis Vassiliou shot this view of the Nafplio waterfront and Bourtzi sea castle, and shared the image on his Nafplio Kalimera page on Facebook


Paros photo by Waves on the seafront at Parikia on Paros photo shared on Facebook by ΠΑΡΟΣ like Facebook page

Maria Alipranti captured sunlight illuminating stormclouds and waves at the Parikia waterfront on Paros. Her photo, and more than 20 others she shot, were shared on the ΠΑΡΟΣ like page on Facebook.


Stormy sky on Lesvos photo by Eleonaora Pouwels

Eleonora Pouwels photographed this scene of waves, stormclouds and sunset at Psiriara beach on Lesvos 


Please click on the link below to turn to page 2, where I have posted more photos and several videos that were shared on social media.


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Santorini sights and attractions– just as a tourist sees them


 Pierre Marteau compiled this overview video of places and attractions he visited during a trip to Santorini in 2017


Eye level views:  I discovered a brand-new Santorini travel video on Vimeo today, and wanted to share it immediately so any of my readers planning a first-time visit to the island can see how it really looks in person.

Santorini 2017 is a 9-minute film that Pierre Marteau published on January 14. What I particularly like about the clip is that it wasn’t filmed with a drone, as so many Santorini videos tend to be nowadays. Although drones capture amazing aerial views of the island’s spectacular landscape scenery, no visitor is ever going to see it from the same perspective. On the other hand, Pierre’s eye-level video shows exactly how sights and attractions will appear as you look around while exploring the island.

Places shown in the video include:

♦  Santorini’s main town, Fira

♦  the traditional village of Pyrgos

♦  the black sand beach at Kamari

♦  the romantic and extremely picturesque clifftop village of Oia, which is perhaps the most famous place for sunset viewing in all the Greek islands.

The video also shows what you’ll see riding the cable car to the cruise ship and excursion boat docks in the Old Port below Fira, and while taking one of the popular boat tours to the hot springs and the nearby volcano island of Nea Kameni.  Of course, the video also captures views of some of the beautiful bougainvillea and flowers, colourful houses, iconic blue-domed chapels, and marvellous sunsets that together make Santorini one of the most-photographed places in Greece.

And you’ll see some of the island’s controversial donkeys and mules, which I hope none of my readers will ride while visiting Santorini. If you don’t know why you shouldn’t climb atop any of these animals for a ride up or down the caldera cliff paths, please read my post Don’t ride the donkeys! Why tourists should avoid taking the mule ‘taxis’ on Santorini

Note that Santorini 2017 is a compilation video that Pierre put together from several other clips he shot on Santorini. You can view all of those films — which show other top Santorini attractions, such as Akrotiri and Ancient Thera, on Pierre’s VIMEO page.


Mykonos parties and special events during winter 2018



La Rosticceria restaurant Mykonos

Saxophonist Giuseppe Fabris will be performing live jazz, chill, blues and other music styles during five evening appearances at La Rosticceria in March 


~ Updated on Friday March 23 ~


Off-season entertainment: Judging from questions posted to online travel sites, as well as messages I’ve been receiving in recent weeks, there is increasing interest in wintertime travel to Mykonos. 

Although most travellers accept that the weather won’t be favourable for beach activities and swimming, and realize that very few tourist-related shops, bars, restaurants and hotels will be open in winter, they seem more concerned about whether there will be any kind of nightlife to keep them occupied after a day of exploring Mykonos Town or taking hikes or drives around the island.



Contrary to what many people believe, there are parties on Mykonos in winter — after all, people who live on the island year-round do like to get out for a good time on occasion, too.  Unlike in summer, however, the winter nightlife is quite low-key, with parties taking place at only a few restaurants, cafes and bars that feature evenings with live Greek singers and bands or music provided by local DJs (many of whom also play at the island’s most popular clubs during the main “party months”of July and August). Events generally take place on weekends, typically between Thursday evening and Sunday night.

If you might be dropping by Mykonos this winter, check the party listing on page 2 of this post to see if anything special is happening during your travel dates.


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Tips & talk about Naxos: my interview with Hype Magazine


Donny on Naxos

Enjoying the scenery on Naxos, one of my favourite Greek Islands


I love talking about Greece — that’s one of the main reasons why I write this blog, after all! — so I was delighted when Hype Magazine, the blog published by the U.K.-based Holiday Hypermarket, invited me to participate in a Q & A interview about one of my favourite islands.

I suggested talking about Naxos, since it’s not as well known as blockbuster destinations like Mykonos and Santorini, which receive the lion’s share of attention in the travel media.

Below is interview excerpt in which I describe  what I believe are three of the top places to see on Naxos. 

You can read the complete interview on the Hype Magazine site, where I answer questions and provide some personal “insider tips” about restaurants, cultural events, historic sites, beaches, island scenery, getting around Naxos, and more.



Hype Magazine: If a holidaymaker only has a few days on the island, what would you say is one thing he or she absolutely shouldn’t miss the chance to see and do in Naxos?

Me: Since it’s so big, Naxos can easily keep visitors entertained for a week or fortnight or even longer. But if you don’t have that much time available, aim to spend at least three full days and nights on Naxos. This is sufficient to comfortably explore what I think are the island’s top three ‘must see/must do’ features.

First is the port town, Chora, better known as Naxos Town. It has a bustling harbour-front promenade lined with dozens of stores, cafes and restaurants. Not to mention an Old Market district with cozy bars, coffee shops, stores and galleries nestled in a warren of narrow lanes. You can also expect an imposing castle which towers above the town. And St George’s beach, a long strand boasting soft brown sand and shallow clean waters – ideal for families with small children.

A short stroll from Chora’s harbour front is the Temple of Apollo monument. Also known as the Portara, this giant marble door frame is all that remains of a temple which was only partially constructed centuries ago. Since it’s on a hilltop overlooking the sea, it’s one of the best places on Naxos to watch a sunset, and to enjoy terrific views of Naxos Town.

The second must-see is one or more of the beautiful sandy beaches that extend, like a long chain, down the island’s western coast. Some, like Agios Prokopios and Agia Anna, have organized sections with rental sunbeds and umbrellas, as well as tavernas and bars close by.  At others, like Plaka, you’ll find some spots with sunbeds and restaurants nearby, but also incredibly long stretches of wide-open space and big dunes topped with tall grasses. All that space, and sand stretching for miles, are what draw many beachgoers to Naxos. St George’s and Mikri Vigla beaches also offer sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, kitesurfing and other watersports.

The third ‘must do’ is to visit one of the charming inland villages, including Chalki, and the picturesque mountain villages of Filoti, Apeiranthos and Koronos – no visit to the island would be complete without spending some time in at least one of them.


Plaka beach on Naxos

One of the things I love most about Naxos is being able to walk for miles along spacious, uncrowded beaches like Plaka (above), which extend one after the other down the isle’s western coast.


Want to read more about Naxos? Take a look at my popular article, Our Top 15 reasons to visit Naxos, as well as other top Naxos posts from my blog. 

To see more of the island, check out my Naxos photo collection on Flickr.

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