Category: Hotels we have stayed at (page 1 of 2)

Greece 2017: Our 4-day road trip in the western Peloponnese

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Voidokilia beach

Omega-shaped Voidokilia, in the western Peloponnese, was one of many beautiful beaches that took our breath away in 2017

 

All-new experiences: Two trips to Greece in 2017 gave us opportunities to expand our horizons and see diverse regions we had never visited before, including parts of the Peloponnese, one of the Ionian islands, Central Greece and southwestern Crete.

Our first vacation, from May 22 to June 7,  gave us impressive introductions to the western Peloponnese, Kefalonia, and Central Greece. The second holiday, from October 19 to November 6, took us along the spectacular southwestern coast of Crete.

With the exception of our arrival and departure days in Athens, plus a 4-night stay in Chania (which we had seen briefly during our first trip to Crete in 2004), every place and region on our itinerary was completely new to us, offering a tremendous variety of first-time experiences for accommodations, activities, dining and sightseeing.

Our travels took us to several spots we would absolutely love to revisit, along with many more we would be happy to see a second time if we find ourselves in the area once again. As for the few places that didn’t quite catch our fancy, our mixed feelings were simply due to the time of season we happened to be there — now we know when to return to enjoy them better. Happily, there wasn’t a single destination we disliked.  

 

 

Our spring vacation began with a  4.5-day road trip, with friends, through the Messenia and Elis regions of the southwest and northwest Peloponnese. We covered considerable ground in that time, moving at a much faster pace than we usually travel, but the goal was to give us a peek at a number of different places so we could find favourites to revisit for longer periods in future. After the Peloponnese segment of our holiday, a week-long visit to Kefalonia island and six days in Central Greece gave us time to relax and to comfortably explore towns and sites on foot rather than by car. 

On page 2 of this article, I have posted photos and brief descriptions of the main locations and key attractions we got to see during our car tour in the Peloponnese.  Pictures of the places we explored on Kefalonia and in Central Greece, and those we visited during our fall holiday on Crete, will appear in separate posts. Future articles will spotlight specific destinations in greater detail, and will profile hotels we stayed at and restaurants where we dined.

Please click on the link under the next photo to continue reading on page 2.

 

Kyparissia

Red-roofed houses in the attractive mountainside town of Kyparissia

 

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Where to eat and sleep well in Mavromati

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Messana Hotel in Ancient Messini

Street view of Messana Hotel in Mavromati. The boutique-style hotel has seven rooms, and serves a wonderful breakfast featuring dishes made with products grown locally and in the Messenia region.

 

Ithomi restaurant in Mavromati

Ithomi Restaurant in Mavromati has an inside dining room and a large open-air terrace, both offering views of the countryside and the archaeological site of Ancient Messini.

 

Good eats, good sleep: As I related in my previous posts Moments in Mavromati and Admiring the Arcadian Gate, Day 1 of our 2017 spring holiday got off to a great start with visits to historic sites in Ancient Messini and some scenic walkabouts in Mavromati village.

Our busy afternoon of sightseeing and exploring wound down with a fabulous dinner at Ithomi Restaurant, followed by a very restful night of sleep in our comfy, quiet room at Messana Hotel.  

Thanks to a delicious breakfast at the hotel, our Day 2 got off to an excellent start as well.

Please turn to page 2 to read and see more of the hotel and restaurant.

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Admiring the Arcadian Gate and walking atop the 2,300-year-old wall at Ancient Messini

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Circuit wall at Ancient Messini Greece

A segment of the 9.5-kilometer-long stone wall that was built in 369 BC to protect the ancient city of Messini. We walked sections of the circuit wall between three of its lookout towers. 

 

Arcadian Gate at Ancient Messini

The circuit wall was built with two gates — one on the east side of Ancient Messini and one on the west. This toppled stone lintel is a striking sight at the western portal known as the Arcadian Gate.

 

Arcadian Gate at Ancient Messini

The Arcadian Gate has two entrances, each at opposite ends of a large circular courtyard. This is a view of one of the curved walls inside the courtyard.

 

Ancient Messini archaeological site

Part of the extensive archaeological grounds at Ancient Messini, which is described as “one of the most important cities of antiquity” in a listing on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites webpage.

 

buildings at Mavromati village

Mavromati is a small village that overlooks Ancient Messini from the lower slopes of Mount Ithomi. We stayed here for one night during our brief visit to the area in May.

 

Wall walking:  Suffering from jet lag and lack of sleep after a 9.5-hour overnight flight to Athens, we didn’t expect to see or do much during the first day of our vacation in the western Peloponnese region of Greece in late May.  We definitely didn’t anticipate walking around a village and historic sites for a few hours in hot temperatures and blazing sunshine. But since we had less than 24 hours to see Ancient Messini, we resisted the urge to take a nap in our hotel room, choosing instead to explore as much of the area as we could while our energy and enthusiasm lasted.

Our early afternoon arrival gave us an opportunity to wander the quiet streets of Mavromati village, admire the unique design of the Arcadian Gate, walk along sections of a two thousand year old fortification wall, view parts of the Ancient Messini archaeological site, see an historic monastery, and enjoy the fresh air and countryside before tucking into a delicious Greek dinner at a taverna near our hotel. We didn’t have enough time or stamina to visit all of the area’s fascinating attractions, but we enjoyed everything that we did get to see — and loved every minute of being back in Greece. 

Please continue reading on page 2, where you’ll see more photos of the impressive Arcadian Gate, circuit wall, and Ancient Messini.

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Our stay at Aneroussa Beach Hotel on Andros

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Aneroussa Beach Hotel

Thanks to the clifftop location of Aneroussa Beach Hotel 

 

Aneroussa Beach Hotel

we enjoyed exceptional beach, sea and sunset views … 

 

Aneroussa Beach Hotel

from our room and its very comfortable veranda

 

Didn’t want to leave: After three nights at Andros Town, we moved across the island to spend the next stage of our spring holiday at a hotel near Batsi, a popular beach resort area on the northwest coast of Andros.

This marked only the second time in all our travels to Greece that we have stayed at two different places on the same island (in October 2013, we similarly split our stay between a beach resort and town during our two-week vacation on Naxos.)

For accommodations, we chose Aneroussa Beach Hotel, which is located on the coast south of Batsi at the small but delightful Delavoyia beach.

We could not have picked a better place — it perfectly suited our personal travel tastes and accommodation preferences, and it quickly became one of our favourite hotels out of the more than three dozen we have stayed at in Greece so far. In fact, when it came time to move on after our scheduled 3-night stay, we didn’t want to leave, wishing we could have spent more time at the Aneroussa.

Please click here or on the link below to continue reading our review and to see a video and photos of Aneroussa Beach Hotel on page 2 of this post.

 

Aneroussa Beach Hotel photos on Flickr

My Aneroussa Beach Hotel album on Flickr contains 160 photos showing the hotel grounds, our room and terrace, the Aneroussa beachfront, and some of the hotel facilities. Click here to see the pictures.

 

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Our brief stay at Irene’s Villas in Andros Town

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Irene's Villas on Andros

Irene’s Villas is a collection of self-catering studio apartments on a hillside above Nimborio beach. We spent 3 nights here in late May.

 

Hilltop hideaway: First stop on our island-hopping holiday this year was Andros, where we spent  three days with friends who, like us, were visiting the island for the first time.  They had researched accommodations and shared a short-list of three options they were considering in Andros Town. They ultimately booked at their first choice, Anemomiloi Studios, but by the time I contacted that property, there was no availability in our budget range. So we settled for our second choice, Irene’s Villas, and used their website’s online booking form to reserve a studio.

 

Irene's Villas Andros

Exterior view of the front of our apartment at Irene’s Villas. The studio was spotlessly clean, comfortable and quiet.

 

Irene's Villas Andros

What we liked the most about our studio was the long sea- and mountain-view veranda out front, where we enjoyed having breakfast and coffee

 

Please click on the link below to continue reading our review of Irene’s Villas, and to see our photo slideshows of the property and nearby area.

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