Category: Syros (page 3 of 6)

And the sun sets on yet another fabulous Greek holiday

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Donny B watching a sunset from Kini Beach on Syros IMG_2249

That’s me watching a brilliant June 4 sunset from Kini beach on Syros. We have returned home from our 12th consecutive trip to Greece, during which we visited Andros for the first time, paid a repeat visit to Syros, and ended our vacation with a brief one-night stay in the Glyfada suburb of Athens. It was one of our best holidays ever (quite possibly even the best), and I’ll be showing and telling you more about it in the weeks to come.

No sandy beach? No worries at these seaside swimming spots on four Greek Islands!

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sunbeds on the coast of Rhodes

Colourful umbrellas and lounge chairs brighten a rocky stretch of coastline near Kallithea Bay on Rhodes

 

Whenever I tell people we’re going to Greece, almost everyone says the same thing: “A beach vacation! Nice!”

Truth be told, we visit Greece for many more things besides sunbathing, swimming and water sports activities. Still, I’m not surprised that so many people associate the country with bountiful, beautiful beaches. With its thousands of islands and its mainland combined, Greece boasts nearly 16,000 kilometers of coastline and many of Europe’s best beaches.

But the Greek seashores aren’t long, continuous strips of stunning sand and pebble strands. While those number in the thousands, much of the country’s seafront is rugged and rocky, with no sandy shores in sight. But that doesn’t stop people from enjoying the seemingly endless waterfronts in Greece. In fact, it’s along craggy coastlines that you tend to find uncrowded swimming locations that are favourites for local residents and for in-the-know tourists, too.

There must be countless seaside swimming “holes” throughout the country, but in this post I will profile four that we have seen during our Greek Island travels over the past 11 years. The photo at top shows one we discovered on Rhodes back in 2004, while the three pictures below showing swimming spots on Naxos, Santorini and Syros, respectively:

 

swimming area below the Temple of Apollo on Naxos

Several stone staircases descend to the water’s edge at a swimming spot below the Temple of Apollo monument (also known as the Portara) near the ferry port and harbour at Naxos Town.

  Photo by Rocio Lluch if the swimming area near Amoudi Bay Santorini

A short walk from Amoudi Bay brings visitors to a narrow channel separating Santorini from little Agios Nikolaos island, seen in this photo by Flickr member Rocio Lluch. Tourists enjoy taking a dip in the channel and swimming to the islet, where they can dive from cliffs into the sea.

  Vaporia swimming spot

This is one of several jetties in the Vaporia district of Ermoupoli, on Syros, where locals and visitors alike can take a quick dip and soak up some sunshine

 

Click on the link below to continue reading and view more photos.

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Snow scenes from the Cyclades

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Achim Eckhardt photo of snow on Tinos, as seen from nearby Mykonos island

This might look like Alaska or the Arctic, but it’s actually Tinos in the Cyclades islands of Greece. Achim Eckhardt shot this amazing photo from a vantage point on nearby Mykonos island after a severe winter storm passed over the Cyclades last week. Click on the picture to enlarge the image.

 

snow on Tinos

The storm dumped a thick blanket of snow up to 2 meters deep on some mountain areas of Tinos. This image of snowdrifts towering above a 4WD vehicle is a screen capture from a video posted on Facebook by Emmanuel Delasoudas from Tinos.

 

 

Snow wonder: Mention the words “Greek Islands” to people around the world, and many instantly think of the Cyclades, recalling iconic postcard images of rustic villages with white “sugar cube” houses clinging to steep slopes high above the sparkling Aegean Sea.

Last week those scenic towns and buildings looked breathtakingly whiter and brighter after a ferocious storm system swept rain, sleet, snow and below-freezing temperatures across the Cyclades on January 6, quickly transforming the region into a winter wonderland.

While some isles got dusted with a light blanket of snow that soon melted away, the storm thumped mountain areas of Andros, Tinos and Naxos with heavy snowfalls, leaving parts of those islands looking more like the Alps than Aegean islands.

 

Islanders shared dramatic storm images on social media

Residents quickly took to social media to post dramatic photos and videos of snow scenes that resembled winter images depicted on Christmas cards people exchanged during the holiday season. Though both shocking and delightful to many viewers who have only seen the islands in warm seasons, Cyclades residents pointed out that snowfalls, while rare, do occur about once or twice a decade — most recently in 2008.

But while the snow-laden islands look pretty in pictures, the storm had calamitous consequences for Andros and Tinos, which bore the brunt of the brutal weather conditions and received the heaviest snowfalls as the unexpectedly strong storm cut a wide swath across the Aegean. 

Authorities declared a state of emergency after an electrical grid failure left many residents on both islands without power and running water for up to four days, and snowplows had to be shipped from the mainland to clear roads to remote villages rendered inaccessible by the snow that measured two and a half meters deep in spots. Schools, shops and businesses were forced to close, while emergency personnel had to rescue senior citizens and ill residents who were snowbound in mountain hamlets. On Tinos, farmers suffered extensive snow damage to fruit and olive trees and greenhouses, while livestock breeders lost sheep and other livestock that perished in the cold.

What follows is a selection of photos and videos I have collected from social media, showing scenes from several Cyclades islands in the aftermath of the storm. I have endeavoured to credit the original sources for all images and videos; however, some photos were widely shared without naming the source. Please let me know of any inaccurate credits so I can make immediate corrections.

You can view additional photos of winter scenes in my January 2 2015 post Wild winter weather wallops Greece, and in my December 15 2013 post Greece gets winter, too!

 

  Andros

 

Leonidas Triantafyllakis posted this video of Apikia on January 6

 

 

Scenes from Apikia in a January 8 clip by Leonidas Triantafyllakis

 

 

Mixalis Karelis posted this on January 7. It shows views from a terrace in the midst of a heavy snowfall, but the location on Andros is not mentioned.

 

 Click on the 2 in the link below to open page 2 of this post. It contains dozens of startling snow photos and videos from Tinos, Mykonos, Milos, Santorini, Paros, Syros, Naxos and Sifnos.

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A warm reminder of a spring day on Syros

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Kini beach

To distract myself from our January deep freeze in Canada, I’ve been looking through photos of Greek Island beaches, like this one of Kini Bay from our visit to Syros last May. If you’d like to see more photos of this lovely family beach to take your mind off winter weather wherever you might be, click here to access my Kini beach album on Flickr.

 

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