Category: Cyclades islands (page 2 of 130)

Lonely Planet profiles NE Aegean plus 4 ‘secret,’ timeless islands

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Lonely Planet magazine

Greece gets front-cover prominence on the cover of the Lonely Planet newsstand issue for May 2018

 

The secret’s out: I had a strong hunch I might find something interesting to read about Greece when I walked into the magazine department at my local bookstore yesterday.  When I turned into the travel section, my premonition instantly proved accurate — standing at eye level on the front shelf was the latest edition of Lonely Planet, its cover graced with a photo of a blue-roofed Greek Orthodox church illustrating its “Secret Greece” feature story. 

In another pleasant delight, I realized I had seen that very same church in person — on Astypalea, during our island hopping holiday in 2009.

Astypalea is one of seven islands featured in Lonely Planet’s May issue and, in another curious coincidence, the article about it recommends staying in the very accommodations where we spent several nights: Fildisi Boutique Hotel

The magazine highlights two other islands we have been to — Hydra and Sifnos — and, in yet another surprising stroke of serendipity, spotlights four more that I had been seriously considering for our upcoming vacation: Lesvos, Chios, Ikaria and Kythera. (We have already made plans to spend our time in and within sight of the Peloponnese, but Lonely Planet suddenly has me wondering if I may have made a mistake.)

 

 

The main focus of the magazine’s Great Escape cover feature is the Northeast Aegean group of Greek islands; specifically, Lesvos, Chios and Ikaria. Stepping ashore on these particular isles “introduces olive farmers and wild honey, hidden villages and untouched beaches, and perhaps the secret to long life,” the feature story introduction says.

Reading the Lesvos profile quickly made me crave Greek cuisine, though I should have expected that given the article’s headline: “Savour the many flavours of Greece on Lesvos, from olive oil to ouzo and orange wine.”

The second feature story invites readers to “discover a centuries-old tradition of mastic cultivation and the fortress-like villages that grew rich from it” in southern Chios.

The third main article introduces Ikaria, one of the world’s unique Blue Zone locations where residents “enjoy longer lives than anyone else in Europe.”

One-page mini profiles for Astypalea, Kythera, Sifnos and Hydra appear in the magazine’s “Secret Greece” feature as examples that, “even in the well-known Greek island groups,” visitors can find “the odd place that’s little changed over the decades.” Each profile includes short thumbnail descriptions for “Why am I going?”, “Where should I stay?”, “What am I eating?”, and “What am I drinking?”

The island articles are all good reads, and just might entice you to consider the Northeast Aegean for a future trip to Greece, especially if you haven’t considered that region of the country before. (They probably will make you feel peckish for Greek food and beverages, too.)

See if you can find a copy of the magazine at your local newsstand before it sells out.

 

April landslide prompts renewed warning of 5-year-old ban on visits to Santorini’s Red Beach

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Red Beach Santorini

With its breathtaking backdrop of soaring crimson cliffs, many tourists regard Santorini’s Red Beach as one of the top “must-see” attractions on the island. This image appeared on the Travel to Santorini page on Facebook.

 

Red Beach Santorini

Red Beach has officially been closed to the public since 2013 because of rockfall risks, but thousands of tourists ignore warning signs and visit regardless.  This photo, posted to Facebook by Hui Lin, shows a newlywed couple walking in the water at Red Beach on February 25 2018.

 

Red Beach Santorini

 Luckily, no-one was injured when a landslide struck Red Beach on April 13 2018. This photo by Costas Konstantinidis shows the huge pile of sand and rock debris that slid onto the southern end of the beach.  The photo appeared in Greek news stories reporting on the latest rockfall.

 

Beautiful but dangerous:  “Attention! Danger of landslides. No entry.”

That’s the warning on signs posted along the access path to Santorini’s world-famous Red Beach, but each year thousands of tourists have ventured down to the beach regardless, to sunbathe, swim and shoot those all-important “I was here” selfies.

Scores of people will probably visit Red Beach again this year, even though a landslide in mid-April confirmed there’s an ever-present danger that sections of the tall crimson cliffs that tower above the beach could collapse on them at any time.

Widely considered to be one of the most beautiful and unusual beaches in the world, Red Beach resulted from the natural erosion of the cone of a small volcano. Comprised of loose layers of slag (volcanic cinder), the cone’s steep southern slope developed large cracks and fissures during seismic and volcanic activity; eventually, sections of the slope crumbled and slid seaward, creating the dramatic cliffs that rise above the stone and pebble shore today.

The cliffs have been studied extensively by geologists and volcanologists from Greek universities and the Institute for the Study and Monitoring of the Santorini volcano, who concluded that further erosion cannot be stopped or prevented.  Since landslides are unpredictable and instantaneous, they urged island authorities to take steps to keep people from visiting Red Beach and potentially putting themselves in harm’s way.

 

Red Beach Santorini

This aerial image shows how the slopes of a former volcano cone have caved in and crumbled onto Red Beach over time. The photograph has appeared on many social media sites, including the Akrotiri and Knossos community page on Facebook, but I haven’t been able to find the original source to give proper credit for the image.

 

The island municipality did close Red Beach to the public after a major landslide occurred in August of 2013, but most tourists have simply walked past the “no entry” signs that were put up. It’s possible many of the travellers weren’t aware there have in fact been major rockfalls, or perhaps they have thought the risk of one occurring during their visit was so infinitesimal it wasn’t worth worrying about. After all, if it was so dangerous, why would local and national travel and tourism businesses continue to recommend that people go there?

Valid point indeed, since some Santorini tour agencies offer boat trips to the beach, while a variety of island hotels and travel businesses regularly encourage visits to Red Beach in photos and comments posted on their social media accounts. Enterprising local residents also have set up rental lounge chairs and umbrellas on the beach, along with a snack canteen — apparently in blatant violation of local regulations. And Aegean Airlines recently raised some eyebrows when it featured Red Beach on the cover of its in-flight magazine for March & April 2018, and in several photographs accompanying its feature story “The hidden treasures of Santorini” (one of the pics showed a female fashion model posing in front of a debris pile from a small landslide).

 

 

 

Will anything change as a result of the most recent rockfall, which occurred on April 13?

According to reports posted on the Greek news and information websites Atlantea and LIFO,  among others, the latest landslide prompted island authorities to issue a press release reminding people that “access to the Red Beach is forbidden” — as it has been since 2013 — so the beach remains off-limits for sunbathing, swimming, walking and other activities.

“The area has been marked with warning signs, and it is urged by all those involved with tourism to respect these prohibitions in order to avoid accidents,” the municipal press release is quoted as saying.

But since the “no entry” signs have been ignored for several years already, the municipality ultimately may have to consider installing physical barriers to ensure that people keep off the beach. As of this writing (on April 30 2018), tourists were still live-posting photos and reviews of Red Beach on their various social media pages, with some commenting that they noticed the hazard signs but went onto the beach anyway because they saw other people there.

If you’re planning to visit Santorini but don’t wish to risk a visit to Red Beach, you can instead view dozens of photos of it in my May 2016 blog post The bewitching but dangerous beauty of Santorini’s Red Beach.

 

Aegean Airlines Blue Magazine

The cover photo for the March/April 2018 Aegean Airlines in-flight magazine shows a fashion model posing near rocks  at one end of Red Beach.  There are more shots of models on the beach in the magazine’s photo feature on Santorini’s natural “hidden miracles.”

Greek Island icons & landmarks: The blue-domed church high above the sea on Santorini

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Agios Theodori Church

Photos of Agios Theodori Church have inspired countless people to visit Santorini and other places in Greece — or to dream of going there

   

Greek Islands Icons & Landmarks is a series of occasional posts about curious, unusual and extraordinary sights and places we have seen on our travels in the Greek Islands

 

Celebrity dome: It’s a quintessential image of Greece:  a cute white chapel with a shiny blue dome, accompanied by a white belfry with three bells, sitting high above the sea on Santorini.   

It’s called Agios Theodori, but like thousands of other churches in Greece, few people outside the country know its name. Nevertheless, it’s a familiar sight to millions around the world, since photos of the church have appeared for decades on travel posters, tour materials and in guidebooks, newspapers and magazines. Along with the Acropolis in Athens, that little whitewashed, blue-domed church is one of the main images people associate with Greece.

I recall seeing pictures of Agios Theodori in the early 1980s, first at restaurants in Windsor, Ontario and Detroit’s Greektown, and then at travel agencies and restaurants along Danforth Avenue in Toronto’s Greektown, which was just a few blocks from where I was living at the time. That was long before I ever considered going to Greece, but the pictures of that blue-domed church stuck in my mind.

 

Agios Theodori church

 

Agios Theodori church

 

 Over 20 years later we finally made it to Greece,  and Santorini was the last stop on our island-hopping holiday. Although I hoped we would see the famous blue-domed church, I didn’t know where to look for it. I figured that if we came across it while exploring the island, that would be great, but if we didn’t get to see it on this trip, perhaps we would some other time. 

Imagine my surprise and delight when, only minutes after checking in to the Santorini Palace Hotel in Firostefani, we walked to the tip of the caldera cliff nearby to check out the views — and saw Agios Theodori church just a few meters directly below us. I was slightly stunned at first; it felt like the familiar image I had seen in print so many times had suddenly come to life before my eyes. 

So was it as breathtaking and impressive as I had anticipated, after seeing it in photos all those years? You bet! There was absolutely no disappointment here —  the live view was spectacular. And to think the church was only a few dozen meters from the front door of our hotel! Now what were the odds of that happening? 

 

Agios Theodori Church

 

Agios Theodori church

 

Agios Theodori Church

 

We saw Agios Theodori church again, on each of our subsequent visits to Santorini, and it was still impressive to see. If we ever go back to the island I’m sure we’ll pass through Firostefani so we can take another look.

 

 

Below are several photos I found online, showing the church from perspectives we didn’t manage to photograph ourselves. There’s also a map indicating where Agios Theodori is located, should you want to see it in person yourself.

 

Agios Theodori church

The Agios Theodori belfry is seen in an image from the Petr Svarc Images page on Facebook

 

Agios Theodori Church Firostefani

The front of Agios Theodori church as seen from “street” level — actually, from the footpath that winds along the top of the caldera between Firostefani and Fira. Ting Lin shared this photo on Google Images.

 

Agios Theodori Church

 Also from Google Images is this photo by Charles Cheng, capturing Agios Theodori at sunset

 

Agios Theodori church location

Agios Theodori church is marked as “Three Bells of Fira” on Google maps, but it isn’t in the town of Fira — it’s a 10- to 15-minute walk away if you follow the clifftop footpath from the cable car station and walk north toward Firostefani (keeping the sea on your left side).  To see it from the “travel poster and guidebook perspective,” make your way to the Santorini Palace Hotel. From the hotel entrance, walk up the short slope toward the sea, and head for the low wall at  the edge of the parking area. Look down to your left, and enjoy the view!

 

Mykonos parties, special events & DJ lineups in May & June 2018

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Cavo Paradiso Mykonos

This is the international DJ lineup for June at Cavo Paradiso

 

~ Final update on Thursday June 28 ~

 

Below are promotion flyers for parties scheduled to take place on Mykonos during May and June 2018. Events will be added to this page when they are announced, so check back for updates. Keep in mind that many parties may not be announced until only a day or two before they take place. Contact clubs directly to make table reservations or to purchase advance tickets.

Click here for the list of June parties and events.

For parties and events taking place in July, click here.

For August events,  click here.

 

Bar & club openings and special events during May

 

Babylon bar Mykonos

Tuesday May 1 is opening day for Babylon bar in Mykonos Town

 

Skandinavian Bar Mykonos

Skandinavian Bar’s opening party is set for Friday May 4

 

At54 club Mykonos

At54 club starts its season on Saturday May 5 with an opening party featuring a live show by singer Kelly Kaltsi

 

JackieO Beach Mykonos

JackieO’ Beach opens for the summer on Saturday May 5

 

Celebrities Bar Mykonos

DJ Jordy plays Celebrities bar on May 4, 5 and 6

 

La Rosticceria Mykonos

Singer Vicky Bee appears at La Rosticceria on Monday May 7

 

Principote Panormos Mykonos

Principote Panormos starts its season on Thursday May 10

 

Celebrities Bar Mykonos

DJ Van Damme plays a 3-night gig at Celebrities Bar starting Friday May 11

 

Enjoy Cafe Bar Mykonos

Enjoy Cafe Bar presents a live show by Lefteris Vazaios on Saturday May 12

 

Cavo Paradiso Mykonos 2018

Argie, AnXid & Heavy G are in the DJ lineup for Cavo Paradiso’s Season Opening party on Saturday May 12

 

Kalua Mykonos

Kalua returns with a refreshed look for its season opening on Sunday May 13

 

Scorpios Mykonos

Jean Claude Ades and Kaz James host the season opening party at Scorpios on Sunday May 13

 

Solymar Beach Restaurant Mykonos

Solymar beach restaurant and bar returns to Kalo Livadi on May 15

 

Lotus Resto-Bar Mykonos

Singer Kelly Kaltsi will give a special live guest performance during the summer opening event at Lotus Resto-Bar on Wednesday May 16

 

Scorpios Mykonos

Scorpios Unplugged is the new music ritual that will be held at Scorpios every Friday evening. The program makes its 2018 debut on May 18 with live music by Monality.

 

Cavo Paradiso Mykonos 2018

G. Siras & Terry will be on the decks at Cavo Paradiso on Saturday May 19

 

Buddha Bar Beach Mykonos

Buddha-Bar Beach presents Mixology Weekend with Matthias Giroud on Saturday May 19 and Sunday May 20

 

Scorpios Mykonos

Jean Claude Ades and Kaz James provide the music for The Sunday program at Scorpios on May 20

 

Toro loco Mykonos

Sunday May 20 is Disco Fever night at Toro loco 

 

Scorpios Mykonos

Scorpios presents The New Aeon with Rico Loop on Monday May 21

 

SantAnna beach club Mykonos

SantAnna beach club starts its second season on Tuesday May 22

 

Cavo Paradiso Mykonos

AnXid & Mark Code are featured DJs at Cavo Paradiso on Thursday May 24

 

Kelly Kaltsi

Narghile Bar and Sale e Pepe restaurant celebrate their official summer opening on Friday May 25 with a live performance by singer Kelly Kaltsi

 

Rustic Grill Mykonos

Local rock group Pole-Dancing Pelicans will perform at Rustic Grill on Friday May 25

 

Güzel gets its 2018 season off to a start with an opening party on Friday May 25

 

Madon Club Mykonos

Madon club opens for the season on Friday May 25

 

Bonbonniere Mykonos

Young & Tay headline the opening party at Bonbonniere on Friday May 25

 

Moni Mykonos

Live DJ duo Âme headlines the opening night party at Moni on Friday May 25

 

 

4711 Mykonos

Live Greek music venue 4711 opens for the summer on Friday May 25 with performances by Dionisis Sxoinas

 

 

NNautilus restaurant Mykonos

Pianist Vaya Nassi will entertain at Nautilus restaurant on Friday May 25, Saturday May 26 and Sunday May 27. Performances begin at 8 p.m.

 

Void club Mykonos

Void celebrates its 2018 opening with a weekend of partying on Friday May 25, Saturday May 26 and Sunday May 27

 

Void Mykonos

Joris Voorn is headline act for the opening party at Void on Friday May 25

 

Super Paradise beach club Mykonos

Athens-based RnB artist Steve #onemanshow appears for a special performance at Super Paradise beach club on Friday May 25 at 4:30 p.m.

 

Mykonos Bar

Mykonos Bar presents singer Elli Kokkinou for three nights of lives shows: Friday May 25, Saturday the 26th and Sunday the 27th

 

Mykonos Bar

Bo Fugitive also will be performing at Mykonos Bar on Saturday May 26 and Sunday May 27

 

Super Paradise beach club Mykonos

Playmen will be playing Super Paradise beach club on Saturday May 26

 

Hippie Chic hotel Mykonos

Hippie Chic Hotel is holding a Bank Holiday Beach Party on Saturday May 26

 

Alemagou Mykonos

Damian Lazarus spins the tunes for the afternoon party at Alemagou on Saturday May 26

 

The Grill House Mykonos

On Saturday May 26, The Grill House Mykonos is throwing a party to celebrate its grand opening. DJ Giorgos Panagopoulos will provide music for the event, which starts at 6 p.m. 

 

Void club Mykonos

RnB artist Steve #onemanshow appears at Void on Saturday May 26

 

Bonbonniere Mykonos

Junior Rush spins at Bonbonniere on Saturday May 26 and Sunday May 27

 

A2 DJ Music Workshop

The latest semester for the A2LTD Music WorkShop has ended, and student DJs will be taking a tour to Mykonos to spin music at four venues — Veranda, Sueno Pool Bar, Queen of Mykonos and Super Paradise Beach Club — from Friday May 25 through Sunday May 27

 

Alemagou Mykonos

Alemagou is holding an afternoon party on Saturday May 26. DJ Dest will play the opening set and then, as the sun sets, Damian Lazarus will take over the decks and really get the party going.

 

Tropicana beach club Mykonos

Israeli dance and electronic DJ/producer/remixer Sagi Abitbul brings his show to Tropicana club on Sunday May 27

 

Solymar Beach Restaurant Mykonos

On Sunday May 27, Greek singer Γιώργος Σαμπάνης (George Sabanis) performs at Solymar Beach Restaurant at Kalo Livadi beach

 

Kalua Mykonos

Alternative rock band My Excuse will perform at Kalua on Sunday May 27

 

Super Paradise beach club Mykonos

DJ Vasilis Koutonias will be playing the latest popular Greek music at Super Paradise on Sunday May 27

 

Void club Mykonos

Echonomist plays Void club on Sunday May 27

 

Cavo Paradiso Mykonos 2018

Dennis Ferrer will be on the decks at Cavo Paradiso for the Holy Spirit holiday weekend party on Sunday May 27.

 

 

 

Pinky Beach Mykonos

After 6 years at Super Paradise, Pinky Beach has relocated and will open in late May at Agia Anna/Paraga beach

 

Guapaloca Mykonos

May 28 is the launch date for the new weekly Baywatch Party at Guapaloca, scheduled to take place every Monday starting at 4 p.m. Dress code for the parties is Baywatch red.

 

Cavo Paradiso Mykonos

Argie & Heavy G are scheduled DJs for the Full Moon Party at Cavo Paradiso on Tuesday May 29

 

La Rosticceria Mykonos

Vicky Bee returns to La Rosticceria for another live show on Tuesday May 29

 

Cavo Paradiso Mykonos

Junior Rush and DJ Terry headline the party at Cavo Paradiso on Thursday May 31

 

For parties and events in June, click on the link below to turn to page 2.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

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