Videographer Nikos Outdoor travelled to the Eastern Aegean island of Ikaria at the beginning of the summer — before Greece had ended its Covid-19 lockdown and reopened its borders to international tourism — and enjoyed what he described as “probably the most unique trip ever!”
“We had the whole island literally for our own as the the usually crowded places were missing! We took advantage of the closed borders and shot some magnificent scenery that even during winter it is difficult to catch them so pure!” he says in notes accompanying his drone video, which was published on YouTube July 10.
The 5-minute film features amazing aerial views of the island’s inimitable scenery, including interior and coastal landscapes, beaches, villages and sunsets.
If you ever get the chance to visit Samos, here’s a few sage words of advice: Stay for at least a week, and rent a car for either all or part of your holiday. You’ll need that time, and access to a vehicle, to see even just a few of the fabulous sites and scenic locations spotlighted in the video This is my island, This is Samos by Michali’s Films.
We spent 4.5 days on Samos during an island-hopping holiday through the Dodecanese and East Aegean regions of Greece exactly 10 years ago this month. (How time flies — we can’t believe a full decade has passed since that vacation).
We knew when we arrived that we would only be scraping the tip of the iceberg, so to speak, by basing ourselves in and near the island’s capital city, Vathy, and not having a car at our disposal. Samos is a big island, as evidenced by the fact it boasts three ferry ports and an airport; spellbinding mountain, valley and coastal landscapes; dozens of beautiful beaches; charming villages, churches and monasteries; noteworthy historic places and monuments (including UNESCO World Heritage Sites); vineyards that produce the island’s world-famous muscat wine; scores of tavernas serving delicious local and traditional Greek cuisine; and much much more.
We weren’t stuck in Vathy the whole time, though, since we did rent mountain bikes for a day. That gave us the opportunity to take a fun ride to and from the picturesque seaside village of Kokkari, and to explore the countryside north of the city.
Still, we missed out on seeing so much, as This is my island, This is Samos made clear.
The 4-minute film shows dozens of remarkable places all over the island, and captures impressive aerial views of:
♦ the villages of Platanos, Kokkari, Pyrgos, Miloi, Irion, Pythagorion (and its striking Blue Street), Mesokampos, Posidonio, Mitilinii and Ormos Marathokampou;
♦ the beaches Klima, Potami, Mourtia, Mykali, Proteas, Psili Ammos, Megalo Seitani, Klima, Glikoriza, Tarsanas, Remataki, Livadaki, Limnionas, and Balos;
♦ the Temple of Hera, Ancient Walls of Samos, an ancient observatory, and other historic sites;
♦ the 2,500-year-old olive tree “Eva” at Miloi village;
♦ numerous churches and holy sites including the Church of Profitis Ilias, Agias Triada Monastery, Agios Nikolaos Church at Pandroso village, Panagia Church at Mitilinii village, the Church of Panagia Eleousa, the Church of Profitis Ilias near Spatharaioi village, the Church of Agiris Chrysostomos of Smyrna at Mykali, the Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi, Agios Nikolaos Church at Posidonio, the Monastery of Panagia Spiliani at Pythagoreion, and Agios Nikolaos Church at Potami;
♦ a flamboyance of flamingos at Alikes Mykali;
♦ the islands of Samiopoula, Karavopetra, Agios Nikolaos, Diaporti and Vareloudi;
♦ Mount Kerkis and the Profitis Ilias mountain region;
♦ the statue of Pythagoras at Pythagoreion village;
♦ tour boats, and more.
If you’d like to see more of the island after taking this aerial tour, you’ll find nearly 20 other Samos videos to watch on the Michali’s Films channel on YouTube.
Danielle van Doorn filmed the video to her inspirational song Fly at Molyvos, Petra and other places on Lesvos island
Scenic backup: Lesvos island plays a co-starring role in Fly, a pop music video released this month (April 2020) by talented young Dutch singer/songwriter Danielle van Doorn.
The beautiful town of Molyvos, the historic Molyvos Castle, Petra village and numerous inland and coastal locations on Lesvos provide scenic backdrops for the 3.5-minute video which van Doorn made as a posthumous birthday gift for Justin G. Valk, who produced the studio recording of the song prior to his death two years ago from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
Known professionally as JRedsun, Valk also produced van Doorn’s 2017 single, Leave Me Alone.
We recognized several of the video filming locations since we stayed in Molyvos and visited Petra and other places during our first-ever trip to Lesvos in spring 2019, but I’m sure many more sites shown in the clip will be familiar to regular island visitors.
If you haven’t been to Lesvos before, the video will give you glimpses of some of the pretty town, coast and landscape scenery that await your discovery on this truly wonderful East Aegean isle.
Staff at Delfinia Hotel in Molyvos roast lamb on the spit — the main course for the hotel’s special Greek Easter holiday meal in 2019
Memorable meal: Today — Sunday, April 19, 2020 — is Easter in Greece, the country’s biggest and most important holiday event of the year. Last year, we got to celebrate Greek Easter for our first time ever while vacationing on Lesvos island. Although it was only 12 months ago, it feels much, much longer, since time seems to have slowed to a crawl during the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
We were staying at Delfinia Hotel & Bungalows in Molyvos at the time, and jumped at the opportunity to enjoy a traditional Greek Easter meal that the hotel was hosting on its open-air, seaview breakfast patio.
It cost us €25 each, an absolute bargain for the excellent quality and splendid variety of delicious food that was served. Amidst all the hustle and bustle of the afternoon feast, we managed to snap a few photos of some of the delightful dishes we enjoyed, and have posted them below.
The menu for the Delfinia Hotel’s Greek Easter meal
Two views of the wonderful salad and cheese selections on the buffet
Rice and baked pasta side dishes on the buffet
Three of the side dishes: mushrooms (top), zucchini fritters (center) and cheese pies
We started the meal with a Greek salad, olives and tzatziki
Next up was a plate of yummy baked pasta, cheese, rice, cheese pie, zucchini fritter and mushrooms (all so delicious, we went back to the buffet for seconds)
The first main course was a large serving of kokoretsi. If you love organ meats, you would love this spit-roasted traditional dish.
The centerpiece of the meal: spit-roasted lamb with roasted potatoes
The buffet included an array of mouth-watering Greek sweets and pastries, which we unfortunately forgot to photograph before devouring them.
The afternoon feast lasted a few hours, following which we took a long walk through Molyvos to get some exercise and work off some of the gazillion calories we had just consumed. [Click here for links to previous blog posts in which we have published photos from our walkabouts in the beautiful town of Molyvos.]
Greek Easter won’t be the same this year because of social distancing rules and lockdown restrictions in Greece during the Covid-19 pandemic, so there won’t be any group festivities like the one we enjoyed at Delfinia Hotel. With luck, though, things will return to normal for next year and, with even more luck, we might get an opportunity to experience another wonderful Easter meal in Greece.