Category: Ionian islands (page 1 of 5)

Kalamia beach on Kefalonia

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Kalamia beach on Kefalonia

Kalamia beach on Kefalonia

Kalamia beach on Kefalonia

Kalamia beach on Kefalonia

Four different views of Kalamia, a picturesque beach near the Lassi resort area on Kefalonia island

 

Cliffs, caves & calm:  We had a sense of déjà-vu when we were flipping through a recent issue of Travel + Leisure magazine and spotted a picture of a coastal landscape that looked very familiar — a crescent-shaped beach with ivory and pale brown sand tucked between tree-covered hills, white limestone cliffs and clear turquoise seas. 

Our initial “Hey, we’ve been there!” reaction quickly gave way to surprise when we discovered we were wrong. The photo caption identified the location as Voutoumi beach on Antipaxos, while the article itself was a report on Paxos island nearby. We haven’t been to either place.

Nonetheless convinced we had photographed a nearly identical scene, we scoured our computer files to find the image that had triggered the flashback. We started with our photo collection for Kefalonia, since that island — which we have been to — is only 120 km southeast of Antipaxos in the Ionian Sea off western Greece. With such a short distance between the two islands, it seemed logical they might possess comparable landscapes and geology.

Sure enough, our  search found the “lookalike” — Kalamia beach — on Kefalonia, and our photos confirmed that it does bear a strong resemblance to Voutoumi. One of our Kalamia pictures was even shot from a similar perspective as the Voutoumi beach image in the magazine. 

 

Voutoumi beach Antipaxos photo in Travel + Leisure magazine

 

Above is a screenshot of the Travel + Leisure magazine article with the Voutoumi beach photo that triggered memories of our visit to Kalamia beach on Kefalonia, seen below in one of our own images

Kalamia beach on Kefalonia

 

Our next surprise was realizing we never blogged about Kalamia beach after our trip. Since we had our beach photos readily at hand, we have gathered them here, with these notes and observations:

♦ Kalamia is located below the coast road that runs between the Lassi resort area and  Argostoli (it’s near Oskars Studios & Apartments). We followed a trail that led from the road to the beach, but apparently didn’t notice a dirt track we could have walked down  instead.

♦ We went to the beach on May 31 2017. It was still low season for tourism on Kefalonia, and there were perhaps just a dozen other people there besides us.   With so few tourists around, Kalamia was peaceful and calm — perfect for resting and relaxing in the sunshine and light sea breeze.

♦ The sea was cool but the shallow waters were comfortable for wading and swimming. 

♦ There were no facilities of any kind at the beach on that beautiful spring day — no lounge chairs or umbrellas to rent, no canteens or beach bars selling snacks or beverages. But travel guides and Lassi hotel websites do describe Kalamia as an organized beach. We later learned that rental sunbeds are installed in time for summer, while at least one beach bar is open during peak season as well.  We just happened to be visiting the island too early to see them. (On page 2, we have included some social media photos showing the beach chairs and bar that were available during summer 2021).

♦ We were surprised to see two elderly couples sunbathing and swimming nude. We haven’t seen Kalamia included in Kefalonia listings on naturism websites (we checked), but it’s possible these couples had chosen to relax au naturel since the beach wasn’t yet organized, and no young children were present.

Below are several of our photos showing views of Kalamia beach as we approached along the coast road between Lassi and Argostoli. On page 2, you can see ground-level photos of the beach and its vistas, as well as social media pictures showing Kalamia’s summer-season sunbeds and beach bar.

Kalamia beach on Kefalonia

Kalamia beach on Kefalonia

Kalamia beach on Kefalonia

the coast at Kalamia beach on Kefalonia

 

Please turn to page 2 of this post to see our ground-level photos of the beach and its views, as well as several photos shared on social media that show a bar and sunbeds on the beach during the summer 2021 holiday season.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

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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.

 

Travel mag suggests best Greek islands to visit in 2022

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Conde Nast Traveller best Greek Islands article

 

Island mini-guides:  If you’re hoping to pay a first-time visit to the Greek isles in 2022, or make a return trip to see one or more islands you’re not already familiar with, travel journalist Rachel Howard might help you find the places most suitable to your personal tastes and holiday priorities.

Howard writes extensively about Greece travel destinations, and her work appears regularly in leading international magazines and newspapers.

Her latest article for Conde Nast Traveller magazine,  The best Greek islands to visit in 2022, is a mini-guide that profiles nearly two dozen islands, ranging from such perenially-popular tourist magnets as Corfu, Mykonos, Santorini, Crete and Rhodes, to less-commercial and much quieter places in between, like Folegandros, Symi and Ithaca.

 

 

Howard’s guide suggests 23 islands she feels might be “the best” for specific traveller lifestyles and preferences, such as Serifos for “naturists and purists,”  Ithaca for “lovers and loners” seeking a “mythical retreat,” Zakynthos for “seaside holidays with toddlers or teens,” Paxos for “the perfect blend of seclusion and sophistication,” and Hydra for “a long weekend with the art crowd.” Of course, her list also includes islands that will be appealing for noteworthy natural features and distinctive local characteristics, like Amorgos for “deep blue seas and wide open spaces,” Tinos for “traditional villages and knockout tavernas,” Symi for “castaway coves and a picture-perfect port,” and Naxos for “endless sandy beaches.”

Looking for a honeymoon destination? An island renowned for exquisite cuisine? A decadent party haven or an authentic hideaway with a bohemian buzz? Howard has recommendations for islands perfect for those features, and more.

Her easy-to-read piece mentions highlight attractions on each island, top things to see and do, and places to stay.

The article is illustrated with a photo of a scene on each island (except Skiathos, for which the editors mistakenly selected a photograph of Elia beach on Mykonos), and is peppered with links to additional photo galleries, travel guides and previously-published magazine reports about some of the destinations.

 

Video spotlight on: Zakynthos

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Are you trying to decide where to vacation in Greece once Covid-19 travel restrictions have been lifted? If your idea of a heavenly holiday destination includes beautiful island scenery, spectacular coastlines, stunning turquoise seas, plus plenty of swimming, cliff diving, water sports and other outdoor activities, YouTube contributor Stratos Zafeiriadis can suggest the perfect place to go — Zakynthos (also known as Zante).  Check out the amazing scenery in his 5-minute aerial film and you’ll see why he highly recommends the island.

 

Enticing video urges travellers to keep dreaming about going to Greece after the Covid-19 crisis

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Until the time is right, dream away! features 2 minutes of alluring natural scenery, monuments, and top tourist destinations in Greece

 

Dream on: Greece tourism officials have produced an inspiring video of sights, scenery and outdoor activities to encourage travellers to keep dreaming about taking a trip to Greece once the Covid-19 pandemic is over.

The 2-minute film,  Until the time is right, dream away!,  includes stunning aerial, ground-level and even underwater views of some of the country’s outstanding scenery, including mountains, rivers, valleys, beaches, coastlines, vineyards, monuments, historic sites, villages, cities and islands.

We recognized nearly two dozen places shown in the video — Chania, Loutro and Preveli on Crete, Corfu, Zakynthos, Mykonos, Paros, Santorini, Delos, Milos, Thassos, Skyros, Sounion, Athens and Thessaloniki — but couldn’t put place names to many more scenes that looked familiar.

The film may make you feel wistful, especially if the pandemic forced you to cancel plans to visit Greece this spring, as was the case with us. At the same time, however, it’s an inspiring reminder of all the amazing sights and places that will still be there, waiting to enthrall, excite and entertain us, once we can again travel to Greece.

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Related posts:

Greek tourism businesses urge travellers to ‘stay safe’ now, make plans to visit Greece later;

Beautiful places to see in Greece after the Covid-19 lockdowns and travel bans are lifted;

How to visit Greece during your Covid-10 quarantine;

Video spotlights spectacular Greece sights and scenery to send inspiring message

 

Island & mainland marvels: 38 spellbinding sights and places in Greece

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In Greece Places, filmmaker Pawel Worsztynowicz captures splendid sights and scenery from 38 marvellous spots around the country 

 

Stunning sequel: He’s done it again! Last year, filmmaker Pawel Worsztynowicz created an impressive video showing more than two dozen amazing places in Greece he had visited during nearly a year of travels throughout the country.

We included that film — Greece story — The best places in Greece? — in a blog post spotlighting our favourite videos of Greece from 2019. Running just over 2 minutes, Greece Story wowed us with spectacular views of some glorious Greek sights and scenes we recognized from our own travels, along with other beautiful places we haven’t yet had the chance to see for ourselves.

Pawel told us he had shot more video and thousands of photos during his time in Greece, so we kept hoping he would produce another short film sometime soon. We didn’t have to wait long — he let us know in mid-April that he had just published a new video called Greece Places, which we were thrilled to watch  and share here.

Locations shown in the film include:

♦ the Parthenon and the Old Temple of Athens in Athens;

♦ sites in Attica region, the Peloponnese and Halidiki;

♦ Evia island;

♦ Crete;

♦ Skiathos and Skopelos in the Sporades chain of islands;

♦ Corfu and Zakynthos in the Ionian islands;

♦ Ios, Santorini and Thirasia in the Cyclades; and

♦ Kos, Rhodes and Symi in the Dodecanese islands

You can see more of Pawel’s wonderful photography on his social media pages — @behind_the_seas on Instagram, and Behind the Seas on Facebook.

 

Beautiful places to see in Greece after the Covid-19 lockdowns and travel bans are lifted

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Filmmaker Anthony Venitis compiled drone footage from 30 places in Greece to create his “Proud to be Greek” salute to his country’s vast beauty

 

If you have had to postpone a trip to Greece because of the Covid-19 pandemic, filmmaker Anthony Venitis has a message — and a special 2-minute video — to share with you.

“Greece, as most countries, is under #lockdown but the time will soon come when our country will come back stronger and more colorful. The time will soon come when we will get to enjoy her beauties once more, together and united,” Venitis says in descriptive notes for an aerial video he has posted to his YouTube channel.

His film features drone video of 30 breathtaking Greek “beauties,” including historic monuments, mountains, beaches, harbours, tavernas, villages, olive groves, coastlines, lighthouses, sunrises and more.

The attractions and destinations with starring roles in the film include: the Acropolis of Athens and the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion; lighthouses at Gytheio, Andros, Mykonos and Kea; a shipwreck at Gytheio; scenes from the islands of Santorini, Milos, Lefkada, Andros, Kefalonia, Mykonos, Kalymnos, Aegina and Hydra; scenes from the Pelion and Peloponnese regions; plus Kalavryta, Sparta and Monemvasia. The video concludes with images of a Greek flag on a hilltop at Sparta. (A list of the places shown, along with the exact times they appear in the video, can be found in the descriptive notes on the YouTube page.) 

Are you planning to see any of these beauties for yourself when you can eventually take your trip to Greece?

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