Join filmmaker/photographer Kostas Kostopoulos on an island-hopping ferry ride to four of the isles in the Small Cyclades
Ferry ride: If you haven’t visited the Small Cyclades yet, here’s a film that will show you exactly what it’s like to travel by ferry between four of the region’s isles.
Small Cyclades is a 20-minute video in which filmmaker Kostas Kostopoulos captures ferry deck views of passing coastal scenery, along with arrivals and departures from the picturesque ports at Irakilia, Schinoussa, Koufonissi and Donousa — the major tourist islands in the archipelago situated between Naxos and Amorgos (see map below).
Besides views of the quaint island harbours and their brilliant turquoise water, the video shows the ferry crew preparing to dock at each port, the speedy disembarkation and boarding of passengers and vehicles, and the ship’s smooth but quick departure from the pier.
My Sifnos by Nikos Panou is my favourite video of 2019; it makes me smile and feel good every time I watch it. Panou deftly captures the essence of an amazing Greek holiday experience — the pure joy, wonder and exhilaration of exploring a beautiful destination (in this case, Sifnos island) and discovering the delights of its people, food, culture and atmosphere.
You know that December is drawing to a close when you see just about every media outlet — TV and radio shows, newspapers, magazines and websites — presenting lists and rankings of “the best” and the “top moments/ memories/ things/ whatever” of the year. Seeing “best of 2019” features everywhere I looked inspired me to compile one myself this week while I was organizing the many hundreds of bookmarks I had accumulated on my web browser this year.
Rather than move links for my favourite videos into folders where I probably would forget all about them, I’m posting them here for my readers to enjoy (and to give me an easier way to find them for repeat viewing or future reference).
In Greece Story –The Best Places in Greece? Pawel Worsztynowicz captures striking aerial scenes from 28 beautiful places in Greece, including Athens, Sounion, Crete, Corfu, Meteora, Halkidiki, the Peloponnese, Skiathos, Skopelos, Symi, Santorini, Thirasia, Ios, Kos, Eubea, Rhodes and Zakynthos. (Notes accompanying the video on YouTube provide a chronological list of locations shown.) Pawel compiled the film following nearly a year of travels across Greece, so you can just imagine the stories he can tell about the places he visited.
Out of the countless clips I have seen in the past 12 months, I have selected just over two dozen to highlight in this post. I liked these best of all either because they show sights and scenes familiar to me from our own past vacations, or because they depict destinations on my travel bucket list. All were released or published sometime during 2019, and none run longer than 10 minutes.
I have organized the clips into alphabetic order starting with the videos of Amorgos island, below, and continuing on page 2. Included are films of:
♦ Vatheia in the Peloponnese
I love The Island‘s dramatic cinematography, which superbly captures the mountain, coast and village scenery on Amorgos. This film by Igor Popović also contains excellent views of the incredible Chozoviotissa Monastery, built against the face of a cliff high above the sea.
I thoroughly enjoyed Amazing Amorgos, Greece, a delightful and entertaining aerial film in which Joerg Daiber captures the island’s magnificent sights and scenery using time lapse and tilt shift photography techniques.
This film by I Viaggi Di Michele is narrated in Italian; however, you don’t need to speak or understand the language to enjoy the beautiful Andros scenery. Sights and locations shown in the 11.5-minute video include Chora, the Tis Grias castle, Tis Grias to Pidima and Achla beaches, the Tourlitis lighthouse, Korthi Bay, Batsi village, the Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi and the Panachrantos Monastery, and the Pithara waterfalls.
If there are any videos from 2019 that you enjoyed, but don’t see featured in this post, feel free to post their links in the comments section so other readers and I can check them out.
Beyond Mykonos: This roundup of top parties and special events on select islands in the Cyclades is a supplement to my popular Mykonos party scene 2017 post.
This listing includes major events taking place on Ios, Naxos, Santorini and other nearby islands which many Mykonos partygoers visit during summer holidays in Greece. I have added this party listing in response to numerous requests from readers who were wondering where they could find good parties, besides Mykonos, while they are touring the Cyclades.
Please turn to page 2 of this post to see lots more upcoming parties and special events in the Cyclades.
A Venetian castle towers above Chora village on Astipalea island. The quiet and unassuming Dodecanese island boasts beautiful scenery, some of which you can see in the video featured in my post Aspects of Astipalea.
Budget friendly: Are you considering a trip to Greece this summer, but wondering where you can go to avoid draining your bank account paying for food and accommodations at expensive destinations like Mykonos and Santorini? Although it’s possible to holiday on a tight budget on both those islands. as well as other high-profile destinations, there are numerous alternatives that offer great Greek holiday experiences at considerably cheaper prices. You’ll find some excellent suggestions in the article Best low budget summer destinations in Greece, published by the informative and insightful travel website HIP GREECE.
The article lists more than a dozen islands plus one mainland Greece resort area that won’t break the bank, and offers brief descriptions of highlight attractions at each place, with links to additional in-depth articles about some of the destinations.
The spotlighted destinations include:
♦ The Small Cyclades islands of Iraklia, Koufonissia (Pano and Kato Koufonissi), Donousa and Schinoussa
♦ Skopelos, and
♦ Parga, a picturesque coastal resort area near the town of Preveza in western Greece.
You can read the complete HIP GREECE article by clicking here.
We’ve been to three of the recommended islands — Astipalea, Ios and Tinos — and have had brief peeks at the Small Cyclades during port stops on a ride from Amorgos to Naxos on the Express Skopelitis ferry. We would agree that all are good choices for travellers visiting Greece on a budget. We haven’t yet been to the other destinations cited by HIP GREECE, but several friends have told us Kythira, Serifos and Ikaria are wallet-friendly, while others have said the same for the Small Cyclades. However, we were surprised that Naxos wasn’t mentioned — we have found it to be the most reasonably priced island of all we have been to so far and it remains one of our favourite places to visit in large part for that reason. (See my article Our Top 15 reasons to visit Naxos for further information about that wonderful island).
Keep in mind that the main tourist period in Greece runs from late April until early October, with July and August being peak travel season. July and especially August also happen to be the most expensive months to visit, so if you’re on a limited budget, try to schedule your vacation for April, May, June, late September or early October, when prices tend to be much lower. Hotel rates usually skyrocket for August, and hostel, camping and cheaper basic accommodations typically tend to book up early in the year. If you can only travel during peak season, make arrangements for your accommodations as soon as possible to secure the lowest prices.
Chora village on Ios is chock full of restaurants and bars, while the island is blessed with numerous gorgeous beaches including Mylopotas (which is walking distance from Chora) and Manganari.