Category: Greek Island villages and towns (page 2 of 33)

Where to go in Greece: 9 Dodecanese island gems

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Kyra Panagia church on Karpathos

Kyra Panagia church is an island icon and one of the most popular tourist attractions on Karpathos. This photo is one of many posted in galleries in the Visitor section of the  Municipality of Karpathos website.

 

Dodecanese delights: Will you be travelling to one or more of the Dodecanese islands this year? Or are you just wondering whether this part of Greece might be the right place for you and your family or friends to visit on vacation? If so, keep scrolling through this post so you can bookmark links we have compiled for a variety of Dodecanese island travel articles that have appeared in magazines, newspapers and websites in recent months.

The Dodecanese, a group of more than 15 islands in the southeast Aegean Sea, have long been a popular holiday destination. Rhodes and Kos have always been the best-known and busiest islands of the bunch, but less-familiar isles in the chain have been gaining increased attention as pandemic-weary travellers seek holiday locations that offer authentic and traditional island experiences with fewer crowds and tourist trappings.

Articles in major international news publications, and reviews and reports posted on influential travel and lifestyle websites, have also been bringing lesser-known Dodecanese islands to the forefront.

Take Karpathos, Kasos, Kastellorizo, Halki and Symi as examples. They aren’t exactly household names that most people planning a first-time trip to Greece would instantly recognize, but more people around the world are aware of them now, thanks to a photo-packed travel profile that USA Today published just before Christmas 2021. The article, featuring 46 photos of scenery, attractions and residents from all five of those islands, almost got overlooked during the distractions of the holiday season. But since the beginning of this year, we have seen it being reposted and shared widely on social media pages, reaching ever-larger audiences — undoubtedly including people trying to decide where they should go for their holiday in Greece this summer.

You’ll find a link to the USA Today travel piece below, along with other interesting and informative articles we have collected and bookmarked for personal reading and vacation research. We think they’ll be useful for other travellers who are either planning trips to the Dodecanese, or are simply curious to read more about the region, since they cover diverse topics including: island descriptions; highlight attractions and activities; recommended places to eat and drink; cool places to stay; personal trip reports; and more. For convenience, we have grouped the articles based on the particular island destinations discussed in each piece.

 

— Karpathos, Kasos, Halki, Kastellorizo & Symi —

 

USA Today article on lesser known Greek islands

 

The December 21 2021 article Beyond Santorini and Mykonos: Explore the lesser-known Greek islands is the aforementioned USA Today pictorial report that is circulating on social media pages this month.  It’s essentially a gallery of 46 photos, each accompanied by an easy-to-read, one-paragraph caption that provides some insight into the specific island on which each image was shot. All but two of the photos were shot by travel writer/photographer Nick Kontis, who wrote the article text. 

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— Karpathos —

 

Karpathos island travel article in Aegean Blue magazine issue 86

 

Whenever we come across profiles of Karpathos, like this one from Aegean Airlines’ Blue magazine, we can’t help but shake our heads and ask why we still haven’t been there yet.  If you haven’t been to Karpathos, either, you might find yourself wondering the same thing once you read through this terrific 18-page guide and view the dozens of splendid photographs by Dionysis Kouris.

“This Dodecanese diamond is a folklore paradise with picturesque villages, locals who reverently uphold customs, world-class beaches and exciting changes of scenery,” says the subheading for the article Karpathos, Captivatingly Traditional

Written by Fotis Vallatos, the guide takes readers on a tour around the island, starting at the capital and main port, Pigadia, then moving on to visit charming villages, picturesque beaches and scenic fishing harbours, with stops at noteworthy sights and places — like ruins, churches or scenic lookouts — along the way. The article mentions the main attractions at each village, recommends tavernas and cafes to stop for a bite to eat (and sample local specialty dishes), and spotlights artisanal workshops, crafts and local products shops, museums and much more. For beaches, Vallatos describes the sand conditions and sea colours and clarity, taking note of areas that are sheltered from strong winds, or that offer shade from the afternoon sun. He also points out nearby amenities, such as beach tavernas or bars, and places of interest, such as chapels and archaeological or historic sites. The article also provides location and contact names for visitors interested in such outdoor activities as kite and wind surfing, diving, rock climbing, walking and hiking, trekking and fishing tours, and others.

Karpathos, Captivatingly Tradition appears at pages 256-273 in the August – October 2021 edition (Issue 86) of Blue Magazine. You can read it either online or by downloading a PDF version of the entire magazine. 

 

Karpathos article in the blog Wremer Travels

 

“A small piece of heaven” is how two travel bloggers from Norway, Tanja and Ørjan, describe Karpathos in an article published on their website, Wremer Travels, late last fall.

Their blog post Need a new favourite Greek island? Go to Karpathos! is a fun and informative read, explaining how the pair originally decided to visit Karpathos, and describing the beaches, food, villages and other features that have kept them coming back for more, including their favourite place to stay and their personal go-to spots for meals.  The post includes a YouTube video of kitesurfing and windsurfing on Karpathos.

We enjoyed the article for its tips and helpful advice for first-time visitors — they offer some welcome words of wisdom for driving around — and especially for its wonderful photos of enticing beaches, coastlines, mountains, and Olympos, the most traditional village on the island.  

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— Leros —

 

Travel.gr article on Lakki town on Leros island

 

Architecture and design enthusiasts might feel inclined to pay Leros a visit once they see the photos and read the historic details in this fascinating article published on the Travel.gr website last November 2.

In Lakki, Leros: The strange beauty of Greece’s weirdest town, writer Panagiotis Savvidis examines how the seaside town of Lakki wound up with a curious collection of public buildings designed in minimalist achitectural styles, including Art Deco, Bauhaus, Venetian and Renaissance elements.

“According to studies, Lakki seems to be the place with the most Art Deco buildings in one place, after Miami,” he notes.

The structures, many of which are presenting in varying states of serious disrepair, are what Savvidis calls the island’s “inheritance” from the years during which the Italians ruled the Dodecanese. Since Lakki is blessed with the largest natural harbour in the eastern Mediterranean, it was a key component of Mussolini’s master plan to control the region. To that end, he ordered the construction of a new town, called Portolago, to house a massive base for the Italian navy.  Besides military infrastructure, public buildings were required for administrative, medical and education services for the 30,000 military officers and families expected to live there. Prominent Italian architects were enlisted to design the settlement, and the result was the unique architecture, large squares and wide streets.

The article also notes how Thessaloniki-based film director Ioanna Asmeniadou-Fokka produced a recent documentary about Lakki’s history and architecture, and has been lobbying government to “to rescue, restore, and showcase the buildings.”

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— Kastellorizo —

Walking on Karpathos travel article by Aegean Blue magazine

Walking on Kastellorizo is a 4-page article written for Aegean Airlines’ Blue magazine by architect, hotel owner and local resident Marie Rivalant, who “extols the attractions of this lovely Dodecanese island.”

Marie describes how the island’s charming sights — such as the buildings around the harbour and the homes designed in neoclassical style — made her fall in love with and decide to permanently live on Kastellorizo. Even after several decades, she notes that this same scenery continues to fascinate her, as do the island’s historic sites.

“Kastellorizo has an abundance of monuments that can guide visitors through the centuries,” she says, listing monasteries, museums, a castle and other not-to-be-missed attractions. Marie also mentions a few of her favourite walking routes, and explains why “one of the best ways to discover Kastellorizo, without doubt, is by boat.” She also recommends the island restaurants, bars and coffee shops that she enjoys the most.

Marie’s article can be found at page 254 of Blue magazine Issue 86.

 

Greece Is special edition magazine on Kastellorizo island

 

“An island with more personality than square meters awaits visitors at the edge of the map,” says one of the pieces in Kastellorizo, a wonderful special edition magazine published in 2020 by Greece Is.

The issue is a definite must-read for anyone going to Kastellorizo, or even just thinking about paying it a visit sometime, since the 148 pages of  this insightful publication are packed with fascinating feature articles and hundreds of gorgeous photos that describe and display virtually everything there is to know about the island. It’s inspiring, informative and educational — an absolute gem of an island guide (but that’s always the case with all of the Greece Is magazines, in our opinion).

Even if a trip to Kastellorizo isn’t on the horizon for you at this time,  we think you’d probably find the magazine a delight to flip through simply to admire the beautiful colour images of island sights and scenery, as well as the intriguing black and white historic photos that accompany articles recounting significant moments in the island’s past.

If we had a copy of the print edition, we probably would leave it on our coffee table so we could peruse it more frequently, but we do look through the online version from time to time.

The web edition  — Greece Is Kastellorizo 2020 — is available on issuu.com, and can be downloaded as a PDF. Print issues are available to order from the Greece Is e-shop.

 

The Mediterranean Lifestyle magazine article on Kastellorizo island

 

It’s “a small place with a big history,” it has two names, and it was “made for hikers and history buffs.” Located at the easternmost corner of Greece, it’s a little island called Kastellorizo by some, Megisti by others. By either name, it sounds absolutely delightful in the article freelancer writer Jackie Humphries Smith penned for The Mediterranean Lifestyle magazine last summer. And it has looks to match, as you’ll see in the beautiful photos, shot by Jackie, that accompany the story.

Jackie and her partner, Joel Smith, are American ex-pats who live in the Mani region of the Peloponnese, where Jackie writes the blog TravelnWrite.

[Editor’s Note: When we were preparing this blog post, Jackie’s feature piece on Kastellorizo / Megisti had been available to read for free on the issuu.com online magazine platform; Jackie’s own website included a link to her article there. But back issues of The Mediterranean Lifestyle appear to have been removed from that site, and are not shown as being available to order in either print or digital versions from the magazine website. You might be able to find the magazine at your local library; check to see if they have Issue 13  in their collection.]

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— Kalymnos —

 

Kalymnos island profile in National Geographic

 

We found this July 28 2021 article from the UK edition of National Geographic an engaging and educational read, even though sport climbing on a Greek island mountainside isn’t something we could ever see ourselves doing on one of our holidays. Or maybe we could.  According to writer Maria Atmatzidou, there are “easily accessible” climbing routes on Kalymnos that are suitable for beginners and even families,  so there’s no reason novices like us couldn’t give the sport a try. 

Maria’s article,  How sport climbing is helping to revitalise a Greek island describes how Kalymnos has been capturing increased attention — and attracting holiday visits — from adventure seekers and outdoor enthusiasts around the world.

Maria explains how the island was left reeling by the decline and near-destruction of its traditional sponge fishing industry, but in recent years has extended its tourist season and become a top international draw not just for climbers, but also for “non-climbers who fish, dive or swim.” 

Though not climbers ourselves, we became interested in Kalymnos after seeing the island’s amazing mountain and coastal scenery in videos we shared in our previous blog posts Kalymnos keeps calling in 2017, and Kalymos island rocks! in 2016.  We still haven’t made it to the island yet, but we do hope to visit.

 

Red Bull Bulletin article on sport climbing on Kalymnos

 

Red Bull Bulletin writer Matt Ray visited Kalymnos — the “magical corner of the Dodecanese” — to challenge his abilities on the cliffs and do some chalk-dusted first-hand research for his article, A beginner’s guide to sport climbing in Greece

“Having gained a deserved reputation among elite climbers and enthusiasts, Kalymnos has a buzzing climbing scene. It’s chiefly centred around Masouri and its beach, but stretches across the whole island and beyond, taking in post-climb swims at ‘Pirate Beach’ (Kalamies) and extending to the crags of Telendos, an islet that sits off the west coast,” he notes.

Besides detailing the adrenalin rush of the climbs he undertook to improve his personal skills and techniques, Matt describes the “astounding” array of routes available on Kalymnos — 3,400 — and notes the island is ideal for solo climbers, since they’ll easily be able to find climbing partners on the island. 

He also points out the added bonus to climbing on Kalymnos: the island’s amazing sea views and scenery are “all the sweeter” from the top.

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— Kos —

Kos travel article in Aegean Blue magazine Issue 86

 

If you’re heading to Kos this year, we recommend you keep  Kos: Ancient history and exotic beaches handy during your holiday. It’s an excellent 14-page island guide that appeared in the August – October 2021 edition (Issue 86) of Blue magazine, the in-flight publication of Aegean Airlines. Compiled and written by Fotis Vallatos, it contains a wealth of tips and suggestions for things to see and do, as well as places to shop, dine and drink. It’s also richly illustrated with three dozen enticing photos, by Dionysis Kouris, that show people, places, food and scenery from all over the island. 

The guide includes a section on Kos Town, describing “majestic monuments of bygone times” — must-see archaeological sites, ancient ruins and the Castle of Neratzia — along with a list of nearly a dozen recommended “culinary stops,” plus cafes, cocktail bars and shops.  For beach enthusiasts, the guide highlights top strands along the northern and southeastern coasts,  as well as “the magical beaches” in the Kefalos area of southwestern Kos.

Another section suggests must-visit mountain villages, and tavernas where visitors can taste delicious local dishes. There also is a 1-page profile of local agricultural products, including cheese, wine, honey and organic aloe.

You’ll find the article on pages 238 – 251 at the link provided above. The full magazine is downloadable.

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 — Rhodes & Kos —

 

4 famous Greek Islands article in The Guardian

Rhodes and Kos are among the busiest and most popular destinations in Greece, but on both “there is tranquillity beyond the hotspots,” John Malathronas notes in Peace, antiquity and beaches: a guide to five famous Greek islands.

In his article, published September 14 2021 by The Guardian, John points out why Rhodes and Kos are tourist favourites, listing the top attractions and historic sites that draw hordes of visitors each season (for good reason). He then suggests quieter alternatives for visitors seeking places that are either off the beaten path, or that draw sparser crowds, while still offering unique experiences, great views and beautiful scenery. 

John’s report also includes recommendations for places to stay, eat and drink on each island.

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— Rhodes —

Rhodes has long been one of the top Greek island destinations for international tourists, so we weren’t surprised when it made news headlines in late January for two separate but equally noteworthy achievements in the travel industry.

First, the island earned two accolades in the Trip Advisor Travelers’ Choice Awards for 2022, ranking at #3 in Trending Destinations — World — a category dedicated specifically to “places that are on the up and up,” and placing at # 11 in the Top Destinations for Sun Seekers — World group.

Rhodes was back in the news a second time in as many days when Greece’s South Aegean Region, in collaboration with TUI Group and the TUI Care Foundation, announced an ambitious initiative to transform the island into the world’s first sustainable tourism destination within the next five years. “The Rhodes Co-Lab” project aims to make Rhodes the global center for the study and development of sustainable models of tourism. Project details are outlined in the January 20 2022 Greek Travel Pages news report Rhodes begins 5-year journey to become first sustainable destination in the world.

Below are several mainstream magazine articles that explore Rhodes from the perspective of walking and cycling activities, luxury holidays and accommodations, and a “micro-living” vacation house.

 

BIKE magazine article on cycling on Rhodes

 

We know from first-hand experience that Kos is one of the most bicycle-friendly islands in Greece — we rented bikes for a day during our visit to that island in 2010. But we couldn’t recall seeing any cyclists on Rhodes the one and only time we were there, way back in 2004. And we don’t remember hearing anything about cycling on Rhodes in the years since. So we were intrigued when we saw the November 2 2021 BIKE Magazine article Rhodes: Your next cycling destination

The article was written by a journalist whose name, by pure coincidence, is Charlie Rhodes; he had been sent to the island for five days to report on the first-ever Rhodes Cycling Festival, and to observe a race held in conjunction with that event. He winds up being treated to “an unforgettable, authentically Greek week-long experience full of warm sun and breath-taking cycling spots,” and being pleasantly surprised by “just how utterly complete the island is as a cycling destination.”  Calling Rhodes “a cycling haven,” he says “I simply cannot recommend the island enough – and this goes for those looking for leisure, as well as those who are in search of a true physical challenge.”

The article is a good read even for people not interested in biking, since the writer talks about villages and attractions he visited, and great places he discovered to eat and drink — including The Old Monolithos Taverna. His report includes photos as well as a brief videoclip of scenic Lindos village. A brief companion article on the Rhodes Bike Festival provides additional information about cycling on Rhodes, and includes a short video with aerial views of beautiful Rhodes Town. 

 

Aegean Blue article Walking on Rhodes

“Rhodes boasts a plethora of paths that are perfect for hiking, mountain running and even mountain biking,” nature tour guide Giorgos Thyris says in Walking on Rhodes, an “Insider” article published in the June-August 2021 issue of Blue, the in-flight magazine of Aegean Airlines. “There are gems here, hidden beauties and unexploited Edens that only locals know, although they’re gradually being discovered by visitors, too.”

In his 4-page piece, which is illustrated with lovely scenic photos, Thyris provides vivid descriptions of several spectacular walking trails and hiking routes, and mentions some locations where rock climbing fans can challenge their skills. He also discusses such attractions as the Kournelo Cave and the Ancient Kymissala archaeology site, and explains why Rhodes is a popular destination for orchid enthusiasts from around the world.

You can read Thyris’s article by clicking on the link provided above; it will take you to the online version of Blue Issue 85, where you can download the full magazine to read at your leisure. Walking on Rhodes starts at page 220.

 

Rhodes profile in Luxury Lifestyle Magazine

 

In a trip report published in January by Luxury Lifestyle Magazine, Rebecca Underwood recounts her experiences during a visit to Rhodes prior to the Covid pandemic.  Though the article does spotlight a luxury hotel, it’s nonetheless a worthwhile read even for budget travellers since the writer describes visiting fascinating medieval sites and monuments, and the joy of simply wandering the ancient cobbled lanes of Rhodes Town, “Europe’s oldest inhabited medieval town” and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988. 

Besides the major attractions she visited, including the Palace of the Grand Master, Archaeological Museum, Acropolis of Rhodes and Temple of Pythian Apollo,  Underwood describes her accommodations at the Kokkini Porta Rossa boutique hotel and a meal at the family-owned bistro, Tamam, on Georgiou Leontos Street.

Her report, The island of knights: A luxury travel guide to Rhodes,  also includes additional restaurant recommendations as well as suggestions for interesting things to see and do outside of Rhodes Town.

 

MoneyWeek magazine travel article on Rhodes

 

If your personal travel lifestyle and accommodation preferences lean toward 5-star luxury resorts, you’ll want to read this article when you research places to stay for an upcoming trip to Rhodes.

Rhodes: Where the sun god reigns supreme is primarily a report on the 5-star Amada Colossos Resort, which MoneyWeek’s wealth editor, Chris Carter, stayed in last October. His write-up was published on February 4.

The article caught our attention because the Amada Colossos is located in Kallithea on the eastern coast of Rhodes, just a short walk down the beach from the hotel we stayed in during our one-and-only trip to the island 18 years ago — the Rodos Palladium. It, too, is a 5-star hotel, so we were curious to read how the Amada Colossos compares.

Chris was booked into a luxurious executive suite, which boasted a living room and separate bedroom, along with a spacious modern bathroom that featured a sea-view window. He describes the suite’s features, of course, as well as the resort’s impressive selection of bars and restaurants, which include a main buffet dining room, and separate Greek, Italian and Chinese restaurants.  The resort also has a spa, as well as luxury villas with private pools and access to personal gazebos on the beach.

As Chris points out, the hotel reopened in 2018 after undergoing a major renovation and systems overhaul, highlighted by the addition of environmentally sustainable heating and cooling features, and a re-orientation of the suites to offer better views of the sea.

Besides the hotel, Chris talks about some of the noteworthy attractions in the immediate area and in nearby Rhodes Town, and recommends a “wonderful” taverna situated a 20-minute drive from away.

 

Lindos Grand Resort & Spa article in Forbes

 

Yet another Rhodes luxury hotel, the Lindos Grand Resort & Spa, has been profiled in travel media recently — by publications aimed at two completely different readership markets.

First up was business, marketing and investment publisher Forbes, whose lifestyle writer Duncan Madden describes the resort’s many impressive features in his November 2 2021 report, Lindos Grand: New adults-only resort and spa brings modern glamor to Rhodes’ ancient attractions.

Madden notes that the Covid pandemic led the 189-room resort to delay its opening until July of last year, although some of its amenities — including a la carte restaurants — won’t open until this season.

Though large in size, the resort was thoughtfully designed to match the look and feel of buildings in nearby Lindos village, Madden says. “Structures seemingly tumble down the hillside towards the sea, scattered carefully in close-knit clusters around the star of the show – a vast open air infinity pool, one of the largest in Rhodes, that beckons guests in with lingering views over the beach at Vlycha and Aegean Sea beyond stretching far to the horizon.”

He goes on to detail the interior design features and amenities of the suites, many of which boast L-shaped private pools, and describes the resort restaurants and its Evridiki Spa. He also recommends noteworthy historic sites that guests should be sure to visit both in Lindos and in Rhodes Town.

 

Lindos Grand Resort & Spa article in Hello Fashion magazine

 

The U.K. edition of Hello! Fashion followed with its own profile of the Lindos Grand.

In An Island Idyll, published in the December / January issue, the magazine says “The incredibly picturesque hillside village of Lindos and its nearby bays make Rhodes the perfect Greek getaway from spring to autumn.”

The article, written by Jill Wanless, recommends staying at the Lindos Grand, which she describes as “a stylish haven of relaxation” and “contemporary, eco-friendly hotel.”  She goes on to describe highlight features of the accommodations, and the restaurants and spa, noting the resort is “the perfect retreat for two or a girls’ getaway.”

For things to do beyond the resort, Jill suggests things to see and do in Lindos, as well as activities and sights — including vineyards — elsewhere on the island.

We read the article on Apple News, but have seen that the Hello! Fashion issue is available through Zinio and other online magazine services

 

Monocabin holiday home on Rhodes

If sprawling luxury resorts and big hotels aren’t your style, perhaps a hip little hideaway might be perfect for your visit to Rhodes.

The Monocabin is a miniature holiday home only 26 square meters in size. It’s an innovative, modular housing prototype which Mandalaki Design Studios developed in pursuit of a vision to create  an “affordable dream eco-house” that could be built almost anywhere in the world.

We learned about the cute and cozy Microcabin when we came across the article Holiday home of the week: a Monocabin for micro-living in Greece while scrolling through The Spaces magazine online. 

“Constructed using modular concrete panels that manage to look both modern while blending with the traditional architecture of the island, the Monocabin sleeps two people in close but cosy quarters. Inside there is the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom, while the outside terrace doubles as both sitting and dining room – Rhodes’ sunny climate makes eating outside the easy choice – as well as offering a work out area around the side,” notes writer Tish Wrigley.

The Monocabin is located in the town of Ialysos just 200 meters from the beach, and is available for holiday rentals, with a minimum 3 nights’ stay required. Full details about the concept house project, and contact information for booking inquiries, can be found on the Monocabin website.

 

Where to go in Greece: A video guide to 25 beautiful places

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25 most beautiful towns to visit in Greece is a 27-minute film from Lifestyle Hal

 

So many pretty places:  A new video from a popular travel blogger might prove inspiring and helpful to people who are hoping to visit Greece for the first time, but don’t yet have a clue where they would like to go.

25 most beautiful towns to visit in Greece was released January 22 by U.K.-based photographer/videographer Hal, whose Lifestyle Hal travel channel on YouTube has nearly 32,000 subscribers.

We think the film is worth checking out by would-be Greece travel newbies since it provides a good introduction to some of the country’s leading island and mainland tourist destinations.

The video clocks in at just over 27 minutes, profiling each place in its own distinct and succinct segment of approximately one minute apiece. Beautiful aerial and ground-level video footage is accompanied by a voice-over narration in which Hal describes key features and attractions which distinguish each destination.

We feel the video’s title is a bit of a misnomer, though, since the film focusses primarily on islands, rather than towns, with a pair of major archaeological sites — Delphi and Delos — included in the list, along with the magnificent monastery-topped rock formations at Meteora, and Sarakiniko beach on Milos island.  

The film doesn’t reveal any off-the-beaten-path hidden gems or secret hideaways — all of the places that Hal highlights are long-established, well-known tourist draws reachable on regular ferry or flight schedules or, in the case of a handful of spots on mainland Greece, along major roadway routes.  But all are beautiful and well worth visiting as we can personally attest, having been to 16 of the spots on Hal’s top 25 so far.

And even though we’re familiar with all of the destinations, we still enjoyed watching Hal’s video of gorgeous sights and scenery, and hearing his personal perspective on each place’s attractions and attributes.

 

Where to go in Greece: Paxos island for scenic coasts, quiet coves and secluded luxury

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Travel + Leisure December 27 2021 article on Paxos island in Greece

 

The headline touting a quiet island with no crowds is what initially piqued our curiosity when we noticed the Travel + Leisure magazine article For a Greek vacation without the crowds, head to the quiet island of Paxos, published December 22 2021.

What stoked our interest in Paxos even more were vivid descriptions of the island in writer Rachel Howard’s trip report, illustrated with blissful scenes captured by photographer Loulou d’Aki. The two had travelled to the little “green speck” in the Ionian Sea during last year’s travel season.

Rachel certainly paints a pretty portrait of Paxos as she cites its ample attractions: Verdant landscapes lush with pine forests and olive tree groves; craggy coastlines carved with cliffs, sea caves, secluded coves and quiet beaches; charming villages and scenic harbours; quaint tavernas serving delicious Greek cuisine and seafood. And, best of all, “no ritzy boutiques or champagne bars, no fancy resorts, and scarcely any hotels.”

It sounded like a Greek island paradise we would love — until Rachel noted that the same features so alluring to us also happen to be highly coveted by “the European aristocrats and upper-crust Brits who are stealthily building palatial pads camouflaged by the hills, hovering on the edges of plunging cliffs, or poised on pristine coves with private moorings and speedboats for exploring the turquoise coastline.”

And the two luxury properties she stayed at — the Aperghis Estate villas to begin with, followed by “the most sensational estate on the island,” the ultra-exclusive Paxos PTR rental villa owned by architect Patrizia Peracchio of Milan — aren’t the types of accommodations we would feel comfortable booking for just the two of us.

But if we were travelling with family or friends and needed a holiday hideaway offering style, space and privacy for a large group, either of those luxe lodgings would probably be perfect — and the rental rates of up to $27,000 (U.S.) per week much more affordable.

While a big group holiday isn’t likely in the cards for us in the near term, it was still fun and interesting to read Rachel’s report and daydream of a trip to Paxos sometime. 

Could Paxos perhaps be the perfect place for you?

As an aside: The Paxos PTR estate that Rachel wrote about was mentioned in another travel article last year, The Greek islands holidays to book for summer. In that piece, published in April by The Times of London, Susan D’Arcy said “Paxos is villa heaven but even so, Paxos PST is the one that stands out, an architect-designed one-off with Instagrammable green marble pool and lovely gardens.” 

For specific details and rental rates, you’ll have to request details from Five Star Greece, which manages the property.  In the meantime, you can see aerial views of the estate’s spectacular clifftop location in the video below:

 

Drone views of the stunning clifftop perch for the Paxos PST and PTR villa properties are shown in this short clip by Greece Villa Videos. The camera doesn’t begin changing position until around the 30-second mark, so we suggest fast-forwarding to that point to begin watching the film.

 

After the Elpis snowstorm: Amazing Mykonos landscape photos by Leanne Vorrias

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Leanne Vorrias photo of Mykonos island after a snowfall

Local resident and photographer Leanne Vorrias captured this striking image of Mykonos on January 22 after a storm system named Elpis blasted Greece’s Aegean islands with cold temperatures and snowfalls.  

 

Ornos Bay and Agios Ioannis beach Mykonos after a snowfall

Leanne photographed this hilltop view of snow-dusted slopes near Agios Ioannis beach (right) and Ornos bay (upper left) as a wide curtain of grey stormclouds hung over Mykonos.

 

Snow dusted hillsides near Ornos Bay on Mykonos

Emerald-green fields that were left largely untouched by the storm offer a colourful contrast to the surrounding snow-powdered hills that Leanne photographed near Ornos. 

 

Mykonos winter marvels:  After a cold weather system named Elpis dumped snow on many areas of Greece’s Aegean islands on January 23, we happily spent a few hours scrolling through hundreds of snow scene photos and videos that island residents had shared on Instagram and Facebook. It was both amusing and amazing to see how different, and sometimes completely unrecognizable, so many familiar places looked under an uncharacteristic blanket of white. 

This was certainly the case with images showing some of the famous Mykonos beaches covered in layers of crisp white snow. We have seen Ornos, Psarou, Agios Stefanos and other top Mykonos beaches often, their golden sands radiant under clear blue skies and brilliant sunshine. Not this time! With the seasides and surrounding hills covered in snow from the Elpis storm, and thick grey stormclouds lurking overhead,  some of the beach areas were almost impossible to identify.

Much more surprising and remarkable were a series of breathtaking landscape photos that photographer Leanne Vorrias, a Mykonos resident, had posted on Facebook.

Shot from hilltop and coast locations in the Kanalia, Ornos and Agios Ioannis areas of Mykonos after the storm had let up, the photos capture marvellous winter vistas and scenery we’ve never seen ourselves, or even imagined. With snow cover changing the island’s appearance so drastically, some of the panoramic images left us wondering just what parts of Mykonos we were looking at.

(In the photo at the top of this post, for instance, it took us a few minutes to figure out that we were seeing a stretch of the island’s western coast, extending from the Tourlos and New Port areas all the way over to the Little Venice seaside and Kato Mili windmills in Mykonos Town. The source of confusion? The hills and mountains that rise behind the port.  We are used to seeing rocky brown terrain dotted with whitewashed houses and villas — not completely white peaks and slopes!)

Leanne also captured spectacular views of  nearby islands, including Delos, Rhenia, Syros and Tinos.

We’ve posted several more photos below, with the photographer’s kind permission, but recommend visiting Leanne’s Facebook page using a computer, so you can click on the individual images to view their impressive full-size detail on a bigger screen.

You can see more of Leanne’s work, including galleries of portrait and performing artist photography, on her website: Leanne Vorrias PhotoRevelation Mykonos.

 

Snow on Mykonos photo by Leanne Vorrias

View toward Ornos Bay from a hilltop road high above Agios Ioannis

 

Leanne Vorrias photo of snow on Mykonos island

Snow-dusted hills near Ornos Bay (upper left)

 

Leanne Vorrias photo of Agios Ioannis Bay Mykonos and Delos island

A sweeping view of the Aleomandra peninsula, Agios Ioannis bay and beach, and Delos island

 

Leanne Vorrias photo of Delos island and Rhenia island near Mykonos

A view of Delos and Rhenia islands under heavy stormclouds

 

Leanne Vorrias photo of Tinos island viewed from Mykonos

Tinos island under a shroud of grey clouds

 

Leanne Vorrias photo of snow capped mountains on Syros island

Dramatic clouds pass above snow-capped mountains on Syros. In the foreground is part of Rhenia island.

 

Leanne Vorrias photo of snow on Tinos island

Ominous stormclouds loom over Tinos

 

Leanne Vorrias photo of snow on Tinos island

Another view of snow-blanketed mountains on Tinos 

 

Leanne Vorrias photo of Baos island Tinos island and Mykonos

From the left: little Baos island, snowy Tinos, and the northwestern coast of Mykonos

 

The powdery white Mykonos beaches few tourists ever see

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Snow on the Mykonos Town beach

The snow on Agia Agia beach at the Mykonos Town harbour had at least one of the island’s resident geese in a flap. This photo by Argiris Chatzis has gone viral on social media.

 

Snow on Psarou beach on Mykonos

People who have danced on the sand at the world-famous Nammos beach club would probably never have imagined that Psarou beach could look like this in winter. The photo was shared on social media by Mykonos Live TV.

 

Snow on Kalafatis beach on Mykonos

Snow covers Kalafatis beach while ominous stormclouds lurk above the two hills at Divounia that Mykonos locals have nicknamed “Aphrodite’s Breasts.”  Ηλίας Παναγάκος shared this image to the Meteo GR weather group page on Facebook.

 

Snowy strands: Mykonos is renowned for its dozens of beautiful beaches, but few tourists have ever seen them transform overnight from gorgeous golden sands to fluffy white powder.  That’s what happened this week when a winter weather system that meteorologists named Elpis swept across Greece’s Aegean islands, leaving a layer of crisp white snow in its wake.

On Sunday January 23, Mykonos residents awoke to find their homes, yards and vehicles under a blanket of snow — the heaviest snowfall the island has received in nearly 40 years.

While parts of the island got just a light dusting of the white stuff, some areas attracted deeper accumulations — and some no snow at all. That resulted in the striking sight of patches of vibrant green winter vegetation — another feature most Mykonos tourists never get to see during the dry, barren months of summer — surrounded by wide expanses of snow-topped fields and hills.

On the other side of the Atlantic, we awoke to snowfalls, too (a normal January sight here in Canada), but were taken aback to find our social media pages filled with stunning pictures and videos showing Mykonos with snow-covered landscapes and moody winter stormclouds looming overhead — just like here!

The famous Mykonos beaches looked amazing, though rather than showing off their usual tones of golden brown, they appeared just as white as the island’s iconic sugar-cube buildings.

Below, we have re-posted some of the social media photos, to show you how striking the beaches looked in their white winter coats.

We’re sure the images will astound people who have spent summer holidays partying , sunbathing and swimming at these beaches, but never imagined how drastically different they might appear in winter. The photos might even come as a complete shock to many people around the world who mistakenly believe Mykonos weather is similar to the Caribbean’s, since they’ve only seen pictures and videos showing the island in summer, with beaches, palm trees and swimsuit-clad tourists basking in the sunshine.

— Ornos beach —

 

Ornos beach area of Mykonos after a snowfall

The Ornos beach area is seen in a photo that was widely shared on social media formats and credited to Dimitris Paterakis

 

@katerina_brb Instagram photo of snow on Ornos beach on Mykonos

Ornos beach and hillside view from an Instagram photo by @katerina_brb

 

Snow on Ornos beach on Mykonos

Snow on Ornos beach on Mykonos

Above, two ground-level views from the southern end of Ornos beach as snow continued to fall. The images were both shared on Facebook by Kostantis restaurant, one of the beach tavernas at Ornos.

 

Snow at Ornos beach on Mykonos

Another  photo by Kostantis restaurant, this time showing  Ornos from the northern end of the beach

 

— Super Paradise beach —

 

Snowfall at JackieO Beach Club and Super Paradise beach on Mykonos

Views of snowy Super Paradise beach and the JackieO Beach Club, seen in images shared in the club’s Instagram stories

 

— Kalo Livadi beach —

 

snow on Kalo Livadi beach Mykonos

With this layer of snow giving it a different look, Kalo Livadi beach might be unrecognizable to people who have been to Solymar Beach Restaurant or Lohan Beach House in summer months. The photo was shared on Instagram by Island Mykonos Suites.

 

— Agios Stefanos beach —

 

Snow on Agios Stefanos beach on Mykonos

Agios Stefanos beach next to the Mykonos New Port is seen in an image, credited to O. Kyrantoni, shared on the Delos Tours Instagram page

 

Snow on Agios Stefanos beach on Mykonos

A ground-level view of Agios Stefanos beach from the opposite direction to the image posted above. This picture was shared on Facebook by Olga Pavlidi.

 

Snowy Mykonos beach photo shared on Instagram by o_lofos

The view toward Delos and Rhenia islands from Agios Stefanos beach, as seen in an image shared on Facebook by  O Lofos Luxury Boutique Suites

 

— Psarou beach —

 

@kostis_krg Instagram photo of snow at Psarou beach on Mykonos

The snowy slopes surrounding Psarou beach seen in an image shared by @kostis_krg

 

Aerial view of snow at Psarou beach on Mykonos

Another aerial view of the snow-covered hills and beach at Psarou. This image was shared on Instagram by Betty Chanozidou.

 

Snow on Psarou beach Mykonos

Mykonos Live TV captured this image of sunshine sparkling on the turquoise waters at snowy Psarou beach

 

Snow on Psarou beach on Mykonos

 Another Mykonos Live TV view of Psarou

 

Ioannis Revithis photo of Psarou beach on Mykonos

Ioannis Revithis shared this photo of Psarou beach on Facebook

 

snow on Psarou beach Mykonos

Snowy Psarou beach and the surrounding hillsides are shown in an image Mykonos Animal Welfare shared on its Instagram account, along with a message urging island residents to open their hearts and doors for strays and farm animals that might need food, water and shelter during the cold snap that will last several days.

 

— Agrari beach —

 

 snow on Agrari beach on Mykonos

A Mykonos Live TV social media image of snow-laden Agrari

 

snow on Agrari beach on Mykonos

The golden sand of Agrari beach is completely covered by snow in this image shared on social media pages for Mykonos Live TV and Agrari Beach

 

— Paraga beach —

 

Snow on Paraga beach on Mykonos

Snow on Paraga beach on Mykonos

Snow-dusted Paraga beach is seen in two screen captures from a video that Paraga Cafe shared in its Instagram stories

 

— Kalafatis beach —

 

Snow on Kalafatis beach

Skandinavian Bar shared this photo showing a view toward Divounia from the snow-powdered sands of Kalafatis beach

 

snow at Kalafatis beach on Mykonos

A view of Kalafatis from the southern end of the beach. The photo was widely shared on social media and credited to Stacey Papaiannou.

 

— Elia beach —

 

@yioris_gk Instagram photo of snow on Elia beach Mykonos

Sunshine breaks through clouds above Elia beach in an image shared on Instagram by yioris_gk

 

— Agia Anna beach at the Mykonos Town harbour — 

 

Snow on Agia Anna beach at Mykonos Town

This photo of Agia Anna beach in Mykonos Town was shared on social media by Delos Tours and credited to photographer V Delarosa

 

Snowy Agia Anna beach in Mykonos Town

An Agia Anna beach photo shared on the Facebook page for Mykonos Promo

 

Geese pigeons and snow on Agia Anna beach at Mykonos Town

The wing-flapping goose and its companions are joined by a flock of pigeons for this shot, which was shared on social media by Mykonos Animal Welfare. 

After the storm: snowy streets and landscapes on Samothraki island

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Snow on Samothraki island

This photo, shared on Facebook by Nenia Vav, shows tall snowdrifts in a street near the old town hall in Chora on Samothraki island. A weather system named Diomedes dumped heavy snow on the island on January 12 2022.

 

Snow covered mountains on Samothraki island

Local landscape photographer Ξανθή Πεπέ  (aka Tommy) captured this splendid view of snow-dusted Samothraki mountains when the sun came out after the Diomedes storm

 

Winter whiteout: Our previous post, Snow scenes from Thassos island, featured photos that had been shared on social media after a major weather system called Diomedes struck Greece with strong winds, rain, snow and cold temperatures on January 12. However, Thassos wasn’t the only Greek island whose residents awoke to find themselves in a crisp white winter wonderland — the storm dumped even deeper snow on Samothraki. 

In fact, Samothraki got  blasted with blizzard-like conditions for nearly 12 hours as gale-force winds swept across the northeast Aegean island. When the storm finally let up, islanders discovered that streets were blocked with snowdrifts that had buried their cars and trucks up to their windows.

 

Google map showing location of Samothraki island

This Google map shows the location of Samothraki island in the Northeast Aegean Sea

 

We’re willing to bet the locals didn’t relish the task of digging out their vehicles and clearing away the deep snow that had fallen in front of their doors, but the photos several residents posted on social media certainly do look amazing, and show an off-season side of Greece that few tourists get to experience. We’ve shared some of the Facebook posts below, so you can see how Samothraki looked after Diomedes unleashed its fury.

We’re feeling a little red-faced in the realization that this, our first-ever post about Samothraki, is a collection of social media photos showing the island covered in snow during a season most tourists wouldn’t even dream of travelling there. (Samothraki has been mentioned in a few of our previous posts about travel publications that recommended the island, but this is our first time directly posting about it.) 

To see more of Samothraki in its full summer and travel season glory, and to learn more about the island, we recommend taking a look at the excellent local travel website mySamothraki and its official social media pages —  @mysamothrakicom on Facebook,  and @my_samothraki on Instagram. The website offers a wealth of helpful holiday planning information, while the social media pages contain hundreds of beautiful pictures showing the island at all times of the year.

Here is a collection of storm photos that have been shared on Facebook:

Winter harbour scene on Samothraki island

An after-the-snowfall harbour scene photo posted by ΠΑΝΑΓΙΩΤΗΣ ΜΑΚΡΗΣ

 

Snowy landscape on Samothraki island

A snow-covered landscape image shared by Ergostasio Samothrakis

 

Snow at Chora village on Samothraki island

A photo of Chora shared by Thanasis Tsoukalelis.

 

Snow covered houses on Samothraki island

More snow-covered houses seen in a photo by Παναγιωτης Χαρανας

 

A snowstorm on Samothraki island

Landscape photographer Ξανθή Πεπέ  (aka Tommy) captured this scene from the port town of Kamariotissa during blizzard conditions on January 12. She shared this photo on the My Samothraki page on Facebook.

 

Snow on Samothraki island

A snow-filled street seen in an image shared by Δημήτρης Ευγενίδης

 

Ice and snow covered houses on Samothraki island

Γιάννης Αντωνίου posted this photo of houses covered with icicles and snow

 

Snow in Chora village on Samothraki island

A snowy street in Chora, seen in a photo shared by Olga Pavlidou

 

Snow outside a taverna on Samothraki island

A Stefanos Maniotis photo of deep snow outside a taverna

 

Snow on Samothraki island

Snow surrounds a palm tree near the port, in this photo by ΠΑΝΑΓΙΩΤΗΣ ΜΑΚΡΗΣ

 

snowdrift in Chora village on Samothraki

This photo, shared by Thanasis Tsoukalelis, shows snowdrifts on a lane in Chora

 

Snow on Samothraki island

 Another snowy street photo shared by Thanasis Tsoukalelis

 

Snow covered trees on Samothraki island

A lovely winter landscape scene captured by Levent Osman

 

Snow covered house on Samothraki island

Stelios Siropoulos shared this image of a house surrounded by snow

 

Man shovelling snow on Samothraki island

Sakis Vasiloudias posted this image of a man shovelling a path through deep snow

 

snow on Samothraki island

An after-the-storm-stopped image of a plowed road and snowy hillside. The image was shared on the @my_samothraki page on Instagram.

 

snow covered mountains on Samothraki island

A photo of snowy mountains shot by Tommy and shared on the @my_samothraki page on Instagram

 

snow on Samothraki island

A snowy seaside scene captured by photographer Tommy for the @my_samothraki page on Instagram

 

 

Snow scenes from Thassos island

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Snowfall on Thassos island

Snowfall on Thassos island

Panagia and Potamia villages on Thassos island look lovely sporting their new winter coats of freshly fallen snow on January 12 2022.  Both pictures were posted on the Facebook page for the travel website Thassos View under a caption reading: “For those who don’t believe Thassos can be too cold in winter. Today we woke up and the island was covered by snow…” Keep scrolling to see an aerial video of the two villages after the snowfall.

 

Winter scenery: Our blog posts about Greek islands usually feature photos from the spring, summer and fall tourist seasons, but sometimes we can’t resist sharing images of snowy isles  to show that Greece gets winter, too — a fact that surprises many people who aren’t familiar with the country’s climate.

 This is one of those times, courtesy of a harsh weather system named Diomedes that swept across Greece today (January 12 2022), dumping snow in some places (like Thassos) while dousing many regions of the country with heavy downpours that flooded streets and roads and caused spillways and culverts to overflow. As if snow and rain weren’t enough, Diomedes also battered much of Greece with severe winds and bitterly cold temperatures. 

Our social media news feeds were filled with photos and videos of rainstorms and their aftermath in Naxos, Mykonos and other Cyclades islands, so the pictures we shared above, showing two Thassos villages under a light layer of snow, really stood out from the rest. We subsequently found a few more Thassos snow photos on Instagram, and have shared them below.

 

Snow covered trees on Thassos island

Snow-laden trees line a stretch of highway on Thassos island on January 12 2022.  The image was shared on Instagram by @san_giorgio_thassos, the social media page for the San Giorgio Apartments at Skala Potamia.

 

Snow covered trees on Thassos island

Another winter highway scene from Thassos that San Giorgio Apartments at Skala Potamia shared on social media

 

Snow on Thassos island

Snowy Potamia village is pictured in an image shared on Instagram by @vasilistoptsis

 

Aerial views of Panagia and Potamia villages under snow, in a 2:20-minute film by Thassos View

 

If you’d like to see more of Diomedes’ impact, including snowfall and rainstorm photos and videos from various places in Greece, here are links to two online news reports:

♦ From the Keep Talking Greece website: ‘Diomedes’ strikes Greece with dense snowfalls, disrupts sea traffic; and  

♦ From Greek Reporter: ‘Diomedes’ weather system brings snow, heavy rain to Greece

 

A springtime stroll at Skala Sykaminias village on Lesvos

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uses at Skala Sykamineas village

Skala Sykaminias village

Trees on the seaside at Skala Sykaminias on Lesvos

Mouria Tou Mirivili taverna

fishing boats and Panagia Gorgona church at Skala Sykaminias on Lesvos

Scenes from our visit to Skala Sykaminias village on Lesvos. From the top: Verdant mountainsides rise behind the village; a man relaxes on a bench near the fishing boats; spring wildflowers blanket the ground beneath a row of trees along the coast; harbourside tables at I Mouria Tou Mirivili taverna; fishing boats moored below the landmark church of Panagia Gorgona (the Mermaid Madonna).

 

“Skala Sykaminias is easily the most picturesque fishing port on Lesvos.” — The Rough Guide to the Dodecanese and East Aegean Islands (2005).

 

Seaside walkabout:  We have rather hazy memories of the several hours we spent exploring scenic Skala Sykaminias village on Lesvos island during our last trip to Greece.

Just to be clear: by “hazy,” we aren’t suggesting we over-indulged in ouzo at one of the village’s portside cafes (we actually didn’t have anything to drink) — we’re referring to the lackluster sky and sunlight conditions that prevailed on that particular afternoon.

Either by sheer bad luck or complete coincidence, we had arrived in Greece four days earlier just as winds from the Sahara desert swept across the Mediterranean Sea and clouded the skies above Greece with minute particles of sand and dust. 

At Cape Sounion, where we spent the first two nights of our holiday, the dusty atmosphere dulled the day-time light, muted the normally vibrant colours of the sea, sky and landscapes, and obscured the breathtaking views from the historic Temple of Poseidon.  We had been hoping to experience one of the glorious Sounion sunsets we have seen pictured on Greece travel guides and postcards, but we couldn’t catch either a fleeting glimpse of the sun or its golden light; thanks to the dust, it was completely invisible.

Skala Sykaminias village on Lesvos

A glimpse of Skala Sykaminias village, from a lookout point along the highway from Molyvos to Mantamados 

 

From Sounion we travelled to the town of Molyvos in northern Lesvos, hoping for clear skies and bright sunshine there. No such luck — the sky looked just as leaden, and the sun remained as elusive, as both had been back on the mainland. Our pleas for better weather were either not received or blatantly ignored by Zeus, the Greek god of the sky, because the haze persisted almost the entire week, including the day we drove to Skala Sykaminias to take a look at what’s considered to be the prettiest fishing harbour on the island, and one of the most charming in the entire country.

The village still looked lovely, of course, but we couldn’t help but feel a little let down that we weren’t experiencing its full visual beauty — with brilliant and clear blue skies,  the vibrant turquoise hues of the Aegean Sea, and the vivid colours of fishing boats, flowers and foliage.  

There were occasional moments when the sky suddenly seemed brighter and more clear, but those were merely a tease — the sunny periods were short-lived. But those brief breaks of brightness did give us a good impression of just how stunning Skala Sykaminias would look on a completely clear day. Admittedly, we do feel a bit of jealousy when we see crisp, clear and richly colourful photos of the village on Instagram and other social media. But those also make us look forward to a paying a return visit some day, hopefully under more auspicious weather conditions.

So, what was there to see at Skala Sykaminias on that hazy April afternoon?

The village was pleasantly quiet and peaceful, with probably no more than three dozen people out and about — including local residents and a small clutch of daytrippers, like us. We weren’t expecting crowds, though, since the summer tourist season hadn’t yet begun, and Greek Easter celebrations were still a few days away.

The village cafes and tavernas

Several cafes were open for business, including two that had placed chairs and painted tables right at the harbour’s edge. At Traverso Cafe, a young couple relaxed with coffees while their daughter eagerly tucked into a luscious chocolate crepe. At Kavos Cafe, staff were busy performing maintenance chores and setting up the seaside bar patio while the cafe’s mascot, a multilingual scarlet macaw named Dias, supervised their work.

Kavos Cafe at Skala Sykaminias on Lesvos

The harbour-facing side of Kavos Cafe

 

Kavos Cafe at Skala Sykaminias on Lesvos

macaw at Kavos Cafe in Skala Sykaminias on Lesvos

Above: a table on the back patio of Kavos Cafe, and Dias, the restaurant’s resident macaw 

 

cafe tables on the harbourside at Skala Sykaminias on Lesvos

Cafe tables line the harbour’s edge in front of Kavos Cafe and Traverso Cafe

 

Traverso Cafe at Skala Sykaminias on Lesvos

The hand-painted sign at Traverso Cafe depicts a sailboat arriving at Skala Sykaminias

 

Traverso cafe  at Skala Sykaminias on Lesvos

Tables on the patio at the front of Traverso Cafe

 

cafe table at Skala Sykaminias on Lesvos

cafe table at Skala Sykaminias on Lesvos

Above: two of the beautifully painted tables at the Kavos and Traverso cafes.  Images of mermaids adorned several tabletops at both cafes, artistically acknowledging the Panagia Gorgona (Mermaid Madonna) church and local lore about the village’s encounters with the mythical sirens of the sea.

 

At the nearby taverna I Mouria Tis Mirivili,  we saw two long rows of tables readied for dinner time customers, along with some of the seafood delicacies awaiting them — octopus tentacles dangling from a line, and crustaceans crawling inside a large glass tank.  The taverna is probably the most well-known eatery on the island, since it’s reputedly where noted Greek novelist Stratis Myrivilis would sit and write, under the shade of what is now a 130-year-old mulberry tree, while enjoying views of the village landmark, the Panagia Gorgona church.  (The restaurant name translates as “Mirivili’s Mulberry.” You can read more about both the writer and the legendary church in our post The Mermaid Madonna church at Skala Sykaminias on Lesvos.) 

Next door, Anemoussa Restaurant wasn’t yet open, but several octopus were hung from a line strung above the shoreside where the taverna sets up tables and chairs when it’s operating.

Also open for shopping and browsing were a mini market, Art Shop Niki at the village square, and a craft and jewellery shop beside Kavos cafe.

taverna tables at Skala Sykaminias on Lesvos

Mouria Tou Mirivile taverna at Skala Sykaminias

Octopus hanging at Mouria Tou Mirivili taverna at Skala Sykaminias

Above: I Mouria Tou Myrivili taverna, where customers can watch the fishing boats and admire Panagia Gorgona church while dining on fresh fish, seafood and traditional Greek cuisine. 

 

octopus drying on a line at Skala Sykaminias on Lesvos

Skala Sykaminias village on Lesvos

Above: Octopus hang on a line near Anemoussa restaurant, while tourists browse the jewellery and craft displays at Art Shop Niki. Below: photos of the central square and some of the village houses and buildings.

 

Skala Sykaminias village on Lesvos

buildings in Skala Sykaminias village on Lesvos island

a building in Skala Sykaminias village on Lesvos

Skala Sykaminias village on Lesvos

Skala Sykaminias village on Lesvos

Skala Sykaminias village on Lesvos

Skala Sykaminias village on Lesvos

buildings at Skala Sykaminias on Lesvos

 

The iconic harbour

Next up was a stroll around the Skala Sykaminias harbour, which travel guidebooks and tourist brochures say is the prettiest on the island.  With an array of fishing and motor boats moored in the U-shaped port, and the gleaming white Panagia Gorgona church standing sentry on a large rock next to the mole, the harbour certainly appears as charming and picturesque as the travel guides claim.

On this afternoon, it was as serene as the rest of the village. The water was calm and there wasn’t any  maritime traffic — no boats coming into or leaving the port, at least not while we were there. We saw four fishermen chatting as they mended nets and worked on their adjacent vessels,  a few tourists strolling along the pier, and a local man sitting on one of the harbourside benches, but that was as crowded as it got. Even the Panagia Gorgona was relatively undisturbed, with just a handful of people climbing its stairs to look at the church and enjoy its port, sea and village vistas.

Skala Sykaminias on Lesvos

Skala Sykaminias village on Lesvos

harbour at Skala Sykaminias on Lesvos

fishing boats in the harbour at Skala Sykaminias on Lesvos

fishing boats at Panagia Gorgona church at Skala Sykaminias on Lesvos

Skala Sykaminias harbour on Lesvos

outside Panagia Gorgona church at Skala Sykaminias on Lesvos

Above: Various views of the harbour, fishing boats and Panagia Gorgona church

 

Along the coast road 

After a meandering stroll around the village and harbour, we took a long walk down a road that winds along the coast to Eftalou, the location of a popular thermal spring near Molyvos. Just outside the village, a long line of trees separates the road from the rocky shoreline. Benches provide shaded spots to relax and gaze at the sea and the distant coast of Turkey; underfoot, the ground was covered with white and pink wildflowers. We walked about 45 minutes before retracing our steps to the village. We had the road all to ourselves most of the time, seeing only three other people — one man walking, two others driving vehicles — during our trek.

Had we continued a couple kilometers farther, we could have seen a natural hot spring which we later learned about while reading the Skala Sykaminias page on the molyvos.eu website.  Based on a map the website provided to pinpoint the spring’s location, we figure we had walked more than halfway there before turning around.

Below are some of the photos we took along the way.

along the coast at Skala Sykaminias on Lesvos

wildflowers on the coast at Skala Sykaminias on Lesvos

near Skala Sykaminias on Lesvos

a property at Skala Sykaminias on Lesvos

near Skala Sykaminias village on Lesvos

a road at Skala Sykaminias on Lesvos

coast road from Skala Sykaminias to Eftalou on Lesvos

along the coast near Skala Sykaminias on Lesvos island

along the coast road at Skala Sykaminias on Lesvos

along the coast road at Skala Sykaminias

along the coast road at Skala Sykaminias on Lesvos

view along the coast road at Skala Sykaminias on Lesvos

coast near Skala Sykaminias on Lesvos

along the coast road near Skala Sykaminias

 

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