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Massive snowstorm gives Greece’s winter tourism campaign a big boost

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The Greece National Tourism Organisation released this video last month to kick off a campaign promoting the country’s mainland destinations for winter holidays. This week, a  massive snowstorm made international headlines and reinforced the campaign message that “Greece has winter, too.”

 

Snow wonder:  Was it simply good timing, a complete coincidence, or an incredible Greek drama directed by the mythical Greek gods at Mount Olympus?

Just days before Christmas, Greece’s ministry of tourism and its national tourism organization launched an advertising promotion to encourage winter tourism at destinations in mainland Greece — a campaign intended to show people around the world that there’s much more to experience in Greece than summer vacations on its famous sun-drenched islands.

The campaign was built around its centerpiece video, which we posted above. It begins with a press conference-style spokesperson greeting viewers with: “Dear World. We Greeks know that when you think of our country, you think of the islands, the sea, the endless summer. But today, we have a big announcement to make. It may sound confusing. You may be surprised. But Greece has a winter too!” 

The video goes on to show beautiful winter scenery and exciting outdoor activities at places in Central Greece, Epirus, the Peloponnese, Thessaly and West Macedonia. We were surprised that the film doesn’t mention or display any skiing or other alpine snow sports, even though mainland Greece does boast major ski centers — such as Parnassos and Kalavrita — along with 15 smaller but very popular alpine facilities.

 

Kalavrita Ski Resort in Greece

Kalavrita Ski Resort (Το χιονοδρομικό κέντρο Καλαβρύτων) in the Peloponnese, seen in a January 15  aerial photo  from its Facebook page

 

The promotional campaign was aimed primarily at Greece’s main travel markets — the U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Scandinavian countries and Israel. But less than a month later, the message that Greece has a winter season reached countless millions of people around the world loud and clear — not through the video or advertisements, but rather thanks to some unexpected free publicity from Mother Nature on Monday January 24.

That’s the day a massive weather system walloped Greece, dumping record-setting heavy snowfalls that virtually paralyzed traffic and transport in Athens and many parts of the country. The unprecedented snowstorm and its immense visual impact made international news headlines across the globe,  with television and social media reports showing almost surreal snowfall images that confused, surprised — and astounded — millions of people who didn’t realize that it snows in Greece in winter, including sometimes in Athens and on the islands, too.

Given the widespread media coverage of the storm — including videos of people skiing along streets below the Acropolis of Athens — it seems clear the tourism campaign achieved its goal of showing people there’s a winter season in Greece, albeit inadvertently. 

Perhaps tourism officials might consider updating their campaign to include images and references to skiing, snowboarding and other alpine snow adventure sports. Before the Elpis snowstorm, Greek ski enthusiasts were raving about this season’s superb snow conditions, which some reports described as the best in decades.  Imagine how good the skiing and boarding is now, with even more snow. We think it would be a shame for people outside the country not to learn there is much better skiing to be found in Greece than on the roads beneath the Acropolis!

Below are a few of our favourite Instagram photos of Elpis snow on globally-recognized Athens monuments, along with an aerial video showing some of the city’s landmarks the day after the storm.

 

spirostheodorou photo of snow at the Athens Parthenon

 An aerial view of the Parthenon with snowy mountainsides in the background, by @spirostheodorou

 

engelvolkersgreece Instagram photo of snow on the Athens Acropolis

Snow-covered Acropolis and Theatre of Herodes Atticus, captured in an image by @alkisk_

 

ioanniskoskoutis Instagram photo of snow on the Acropolis of Athens

Overhead aerial view of the Acropolis, by @ioanniskaskoutis

 

@slavmk23 photo of snow on Anafiotika in Athens

@slavmk23 captured this image of the Anafiotika neighbourhood on the lower slopes of the Acropolis

 

@imikov photo of Dromeas The Runner sculpture in Athens

@imikov captured this marvellous image of snow collecting on Dromeas (The Runner), the famous glass sculpture by artist Costas Varotsos on Vassilissis Sofias Avenue near the Athens Hilton hotel.

 

 agispeterson Instagram photo of snow on the Athens Acropolis

The Acropolis and its recently-upgraded lighting system are seen in one of a series of sunrise images captured by @agispeterson 

 

imikov Instagram photo of snowy trees and the Athens Acropolis

The Parthenon, photographed through snow-laden trees by @imikov

 

katerinakatopis Instagram photo of snow on the Zappeion in Athens

A @katerinakatopis aerial photo of snow on the Zappeion Megaron and on Mount Lycabettus in the background

 

Καλημέρα Αθήνα – Καλημέρα Ελπίδα is a 2:25-minute aerial video by Up Stories showing views of snowy Athens landmarks the day after the Elpis snowstorm struck the city

 

Thousands more photos and videos are available online; if you’re keen to see more, here are links to several news and information websites that have published photo galleries of Elpis images from across Greece:

In pictures: snow covers Athens and Greek Islands by Greece Is;

Athens after Elpis snowstorm by Greek City Times;

Frozen fountains, snowed in Evzones, and blanketed Monastiraki by Greek City Times;

Snow blankets Greece’s ancient city of Athens; disrupts life by Greece High Definition;

The most beautiful snowy photos and videos from Greece by Greek Gateway;

Parthenon covered in snow as rare cold front hits Greece by Greek Reporter;

 

You might also be interested in seeing our own recent posts with photos from Greek islands that were struck by Elpis, and by a different storm, Diomedes, just a few days earlier:

After the Elpis snowstorm: Amazing Mykonos landscape photos by Leanne Vorrias;

The powdery white Mykonos beaches few tourists ever see;

After the storm: Snowy streets and landscapes on Samothraki island

Snow scenes from Thassos island

The powdery white Mykonos beaches few tourists ever see

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Snow on the Mykonos Town beach

The snow on Agia Agia beach at the Mykonos Town harbour had at least one of the island’s resident geese in a flap. This photo by Argiris Chatzis has gone viral on social media.

 

Snow on Psarou beach on Mykonos

People who have danced on the sand at the world-famous Nammos beach club would probably never have imagined that Psarou beach could look like this in winter. The photo was shared on social media by Mykonos Live TV.

 

Snow on Kalafatis beach on Mykonos

Snow covers Kalafatis beach while ominous stormclouds lurk above the two hills at Divounia that Mykonos locals have nicknamed “Aphrodite’s Breasts.”  Ηλίας Παναγάκος shared this image to the Meteo GR weather group page on Facebook.

 

Snowy strands: Mykonos is renowned for its dozens of beautiful beaches, but few tourists have ever seen them transform overnight from gorgeous golden sands to fluffy white powder.  That’s what happened this week when a winter weather system that meteorologists named Elpis swept across Greece’s Aegean islands, leaving a layer of crisp white snow in its wake.

On Sunday January 23, Mykonos residents awoke to find their homes, yards and vehicles under a blanket of snow — the heaviest snowfall the island has received in nearly 40 years.

While parts of the island got just a light dusting of the white stuff, some areas attracted deeper accumulations — and some no snow at all. That resulted in the striking sight of patches of vibrant green winter vegetation — another feature most Mykonos tourists never get to see during the dry, barren months of summer — surrounded by wide expanses of snow-topped fields and hills.

On the other side of the Atlantic, we awoke to snowfalls, too (a normal January sight here in Canada), but were taken aback to find our social media pages filled with stunning pictures and videos showing Mykonos with snow-covered landscapes and moody winter stormclouds looming overhead — just like here!

The famous Mykonos beaches looked amazing, though rather than showing off their usual tones of golden brown, they appeared just as white as the island’s iconic sugar-cube buildings.

Below, we have re-posted some of the social media photos, to show you how striking the beaches looked in their white winter coats.

We’re sure the images will astound people who have spent summer holidays partying , sunbathing and swimming at these beaches, but never imagined how drastically different they might appear in winter. The photos might even come as a complete shock to many people around the world who mistakenly believe Mykonos weather is similar to the Caribbean’s, since they’ve only seen pictures and videos showing the island in summer, with beaches, palm trees and swimsuit-clad tourists basking in the sunshine.

— Ornos beach —

 

Ornos beach area of Mykonos after a snowfall

The Ornos beach area is seen in a photo that was widely shared on social media formats and credited to Dimitris Paterakis

 

Snow on Ornos beach on Mykonos

Snow on Ornos beach on Mykonos

Above, two ground-level views from the southern end of Ornos beach as snow continued to fall. The images were both shared on Facebook by Kostantis restaurant, one of the beach tavernas at Ornos.

 

Snow at Ornos beach on Mykonos

Another  photo by Kostantis restaurant, this time showing  Ornos from the northern end of the beach

 

— Super Paradise beach —

 

Snowfall at JackieO Beach Club and Super Paradise beach on Mykonos

Views of snowy Super Paradise beach and the JackieO Beach Club, seen in images shared in the club’s Instagram stories

 

— Kalo Livadi beach —

 

snow on Kalo Livadi beach Mykonos

With this layer of snow giving it a different look, Kalo Livadi beach might be unrecognizable to people who have been to Solymar Beach Restaurant or Lohan Beach House in summer months. The photo was shared on Instagram by Island Mykonos Suites.

 

— Agios Stefanos beach —

 

Snow on Agios Stefanos beach on Mykonos

Agios Stefanos beach next to the Mykonos New Port is seen in an image, credited to O. Kyrantoni, shared on the Delos Tours Instagram page

 

Snow on Agios Stefanos beach on Mykonos

A ground-level view of Agios Stefanos beach from the opposite direction to the image posted above. This picture was shared on Facebook by Olga Pavlidi.

 

Snowy Mykonos beach photo shared on Instagram by o_lofos

The view toward Delos and Rhenia islands from Agios Stefanos beach, as seen in an image shared on Facebook by  O Lofos Luxury Boutique Suites

 

— Psarou beach —

 

@kostis_krg Instagram photo of snow at Psarou beach on Mykonos

The snowy slopes surrounding Psarou beach seen in an image shared by @kostis_krg

 

Aerial view of snow at Psarou beach on Mykonos

Another aerial view of the snow-covered hills and beach at Psarou. This image was shared on Instagram by Betty Chanozidou.

 

Snow on Psarou beach Mykonos

Mykonos Live TV captured this image of sunshine sparkling on the turquoise waters at snowy Psarou beach

 

Snow on Psarou beach on Mykonos

 Another Mykonos Live TV view of Psarou

 

snow on Psarou beach Mykonos

Snowy Psarou beach and the surrounding hillsides are shown in an image Mykonos Animal Welfare shared on its Instagram account, along with a message urging island residents to open their hearts and doors for strays and farm animals that might need food, water and shelter during the cold snap that will last several days.

 

— Agrari beach —

 

 snow on Agrari beach on Mykonos

A Mykonos Live TV social media image of snow-laden Agrari

 

snow on Agrari beach on Mykonos

The golden sand of Agrari beach is completely covered by snow in this image shared on social media pages for Mykonos Live TV and Agrari Beach

 

— Paraga beach —

 

Snow on Paraga beach on Mykonos

Snow on Paraga beach on Mykonos

Snow-dusted Paraga beach is seen in two screen captures from a video that Paraga Cafe shared in its Instagram stories

 

— Kalafatis beach —

 

Snow on Kalafatis beach

Skandinavian Bar shared this photo showing a view toward Divounia from the snow-powdered sands of Kalafatis beach

 

snow at Kalafatis beach on Mykonos

A view of Kalafatis from the southern end of the beach. The photo was widely shared on social media and credited to Stacey Papaiannou.

 

— Elia beach —

 

@yioris_gk Instagram photo of snow on Elia beach Mykonos

Sunshine breaks through clouds above Elia beach in an image shared on Instagram by yioris_gk

 

— Agia Anna beach at the Mykonos Town harbour — 

 

Snow on Agia Anna beach at Mykonos Town

This photo of Agia Anna beach in Mykonos Town was shared on social media by Delos Tours and credited to photographer V Delarosa

 

Snowy Agia Anna beach in Mykonos Town

An Agia Anna beach photo shared on the Facebook page for Mykonos Promo

 

Geese pigeons and snow on Agia Anna beach at Mykonos Town

The wing-flapping goose and its companions are joined by a flock of pigeons for this shot, which was shared on social media by Mykonos Animal Welfare. 

New Radisson Blu Zaffron luxury resort opens on Santorini

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Radisson Blu Zaffron Resort on Santorini swimming pool

The Radisson Blu Zaffron Resort is a luxury retreat that opened in August 2021 at Kamari beach on Santorini

 

Newly opened: We regularly receive emails from readers asking us to recommend accommodations at Santorini beach resort areas — requests we’re not well-positioned to respond to since we haven’t been to the island since 2006, and have only stayed at caldera-side hotels when there.

But when someone recently asked if we knew of any stylish luxury hotels near one of the island’s beaches, we actually could suggest a place for them to consider — we had just received a media release announcing that a brand-new 5-star hotel had opened its doors.

The Radisson Blu Zaffron Resort opened in August at Kamari, a seaside village popular for its lively bar- and cafe-lined beach promenade, and an open-air summer cinema. Designed and built in traditional Cycladic style, the Radisson Blu Zaffron is an exclusive luxury retreat situated a short stroll from the resort area’s bars and restaurants, and just 150 meters from the black volcanic sands of Kamari beach.

 

Photos of the Radisson Blu Zaffron Resort on Santorini

 

The resort complex is comprised of 103 guest rooms and suites, as well as stand-alone villas, appointed with what the hotel website describes as “minimally sumptuous interiors.”

The luxe accommodations are “are all about supreme comfort in a sophisticated ambiance, topped off with indulging amenities to make you feel pampered. Designed for discerning travelers who appreciate refined luxury, the rooms and suites follow a traditional Cycladic outline with arches, smooth lines and cotton-white walls embellished with an exotic boho-chic décor and high-end furnishings,” the website says.

 

Room, suite and villa categories available for booking through the website include:

♦ Superior room with either ground-floor terrace or upper-level balcony;

♦ Premium room with terrace and outdoor whirlpool;

♦ Premium room with terrace and private plunge pool;

♦ Junior suite with balcony;

♦ Junior suite with terrace and private plunge pool;

♦ 46-sq-meter Suite with separate living area, work desk and private balcony;

♦ a Presidential suite which can sleep 4 adults in 2 separate bedrooms, has a private balcony, and is equipped with either a whirlpool or a plunge pool on a private terrace;

♦ Villa with terrace; and

♦ Villa with terrace and private plunge pool:

 

Spa gym and pool at the Radisson Zaffron Blu Resort on Santorini

Radisson Blu Zaffron Resort on Santorini swimming pool

 

The Radisson Blu Zaffron’s recreation facilities and common amenities include two centrally-situated swimming pools furnished with 80 comfy sun loungers.  Guests can enjoy coffees, cocktails and other beverages at the pool bar, as well as ice cream, snacks, sandwiches, panini, burgers and more.

The Calliste Wellness centre offers a variety of relaxation and stress-reduction treatments including facial and body massages, along with nail salon treatments.

The resort also has a meeting room that can accommodate up to 80 people for corporate events and business meetings, as well as social gatherings and receptions.

 

Radisson Zaffron Blu Resort Santorini restaurant and cuisine

Resort guests can savour tastes of Italy in the Radisson Blu Zaffron’s two in-house restaurants, Zefferino Ristorante and Belloni Trattoria.

The menu at the fine dining Zefferino Ristorante spotlights “meticulously selected dishes with raw ingredients brought by local Italian producers, honoring the rich gastronomic heritage of the Emilia-Romagna and Liguria regions as well as the Zeffirino family, who have been awarded the title of ‘Ambassador of Italian Cuisine’ thanks to their Genoese Pesto brand.”

Belloni Trattoria boasts an open kitchen and relaxed, laid-back atmosphere where guests can enjoy a mix of Greek and Italian dishes for lunch, and classic, traditional Italian cuisine for dinner.

 

The Radisson Blu Zaffron is operated by the tourism and hospitality firm Fais Group, in partnership with the Radisson Hotel Group.

Full details of the hotel’s accommodations and facilities can be found on the resort website, while its social media pages include numerous photos of the property.

Facebook:  @RadissonBluZaffrontResortSantorini

Instagram: @radissonbluzaffronsantorini

Web: Radisson Blu Zaffron Santorini

We haven’t heard back from the reader to whom we suggested looking into the Radisson Blu Zaffron, and don’t know if they wound up booking there for their Santorini holiday. But so far, the resort has been racking up excellent customer reviews on TripAdvisor, booking.com and Google, among others.

Writers report on mood, hopes & fears at top Greece travel spots during & after the nation’s Covid-19 lockdown

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Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis

At his Greece Summer 2020 press conference on Santorini on June 13, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis formally announced Greece’s re-opening for summer tourism. Impressive backdrops for the international media event included views of the island’s clifftop village of Imerovigli (top photo) and a glorious sunset over nearby islands (bottom). Greece went into lockdown in late March to protect its citizens from the Covid-19 pandemic, and on June 15 began reopening its borders to tourism.

 

By mygreecetravelblog.com

 

“Greek tourism is back.”

Those words — spoken by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis during an international press conference on Santorini island June 13 — must have been sweet music to the ears of people around the world who have been hoping to holiday in Greece this summer.

 

Please click on the link below to continue reading on page 2 of this post.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

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CNN examines Greece’s plans for 2020 tourism season in wake of Covid-19 pandemic

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CNN Travel report on Greece plans for summer travel season

CNN Travel has taken a look at what the summer tourism season might be like in Greece as the country re-opens after its Covid-19 lockdowns

 

Travel comeback?: Millions of people are on tenterhooks this month, wondering what will happen to their plans — and bookings — for summer and autumn vacations in Greece.

Many — including yours truly at mygreecetravelblog.com — have already had our spring holiday hopes dashed by the Covid-19 pandemic. We were supposed to fly to Greece a few days from now but, like hundreds of thousands of people who had booked trips to Greece for April, May and June,  Covid quarantines and travel bans put the kibosh on those plans.  

Millions more people who had scheduled trips for July, August and September are holding out hope that their holidays will still happen, now that Greece has announced a timetable to gradually re-open its economy, and to begin welcoming tourists back starting in July. But it’s still too soon for anyone outside Greece to know for certain if their vacations will in fact materialize, since Greece hasn’t yet determined who will be allowed into the country, or what sorts of tourism activities will be available.

Indeed, it appears extremely likely that some kind of medical testing will be required to gain entry into Greece (to show that travellers either have developed antibodies to Covid-19, or are not testing positive for the virus), and it also is likely that citizens from only a few select countries might be permitted to visit Greece initially. So while there is some promise that travel will resume in Greece this summer, it’s still a matter of wait-and-see for the all-important details.

What does seem clear, however, is that the Greek holiday experience could be drastically different from what regular visitors have experienced in the past — and what many first-time travellers might have been anticipating this summer, especially with regard to beaches and the legendary Greek nightlife. Because of social distancing requirements, for instance, crowded bars and party clubs could be out of the question for the foreseeable future, while organized beaches will have considerably fewer lounge chairs and umbrellas, with those available being spread 2 meters apart. (One beach bar on Santorini has already installed plexiglass screens between its sunbeds.) For their part, hotels and restaurants will have to adapt to stringent health and safety protocols as well as social distancing requirements.

To find out more, CNN Travel recently sent a team of reporters to Greece. They examined how Greece has handled the Covid-19 pandemic, and interviewed industry and government officials — including Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis — to see what the country’s post-pandemic travel season might look like.  Check out their May 7 2020 report, which consists of an article and a 4-minute video.

Hopefully more concrete information will come available within the next several weeks.

First vegan hotel in Greece, Koukoumi, set to open on Mykonos this summer

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 This 2-minute promotional video explains the inspiration and philosophy for the new Koukoumi Hotel, and features beautiful views of famous Mykonos landmarks and island scenery 

 

Holistic lifestyle hotel: The first — and only — authentically vegan hotel in Greece is set to open its doors on Mykonos this summer, promising to bring both “a breath of fresh air” in hospitality and a “new life philosophy” to the Island of the Winds.

Situated on a hillside near Ano Mera, in close proximity to Kalafatis, Kalo Livadi and other top southern coast beaches, the 4-star Koukoumi Hotel is a project of the Kontiza family of Mykonos. The property has been designed in traditional Myconian architectural style and boasts 14 “boho chic” suites, a  restaurant featuring ethnic, Mediterranean and Greek-inspired vegan and raw cuisine, a swimming pool, spa and fitness center, and its own fruit and vegetable garden.

“Koudoumi” is a Myconian word which translates as “sheltered from the wind” and “a cozy place for snuggling.” To stay true to its name, the hotel has been conceived as “a peaceful sanctuary” where sophisticated travellers can “enjoy life without harming animals, the environment, or [them]selves,” the Koukoumi Hotel website explains.

Rooms include spacious standard, superior and executive suites that can accommodate up to 3 guests each, as well as deluxe and master suites that can sleep two persons each.

The hotel restaurant will offer a completely vegan menu, and pledges that its delicious recipes “will challenge you to reconsider everything you believed about food before!”

The Koukoumi Spa has been designed as a “haven of relaxation”  in which guests can detox, de-stress and rejuvenate “with soothing massages, healing treatments for face & body or by using the sauna.”

The hotel also has an indoor fitness center, staffed by a personal trainer and sports nutrition advisor who can tailor cross-functional training programs to help guests develop their own specific physical fitness programs and wellness goals.

Reservations can be made through the online booking page of the Koukoumi Hotel website, or through the hotel’s listings on booking.com, TripAdvisor and Expedia.

Below are several renderings of rooms and hotel facilities; additional images and information can be found on the Koukouimi website and on the Koukoumi Facebook page. A number of photos also can be viewed on the hotel’s Instagram.

 

A rendering showing an exterior view of Koukoumi Hotel on Mykonos

A rendering of the swimming pool at Koukoumi Hotel Mykkonos

Koukoumi Hotel Mykonos fitness room

A rendering of a suite at Koukoumi Hotel Mykonos

A rendering of a suite at Koukoumi Hotel Mykonos

A rendering of a suite at Koukoumi Hotel Mykonos

Koukoumi Hotel Mykonos 2020 opening announcement

 

Lonely Planet’s April issue looks at ‘legendary’ Crete and 15 other Greek Islands

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Cover of the April 2020 edition of Lonely Planet travel magazine

The cover of Lonely Planet‘s April issue promises to help readers find a perfect Greek Island holiday destination

 

Island profiles: Wondering where to take a holiday in Greece if Covid-19 quarantines and lockdowns get lifted in time to permit a trip sometime during the summer or fall? If you think an island might be the best place to de-stress once the pandemic has passed, Lonely Planet magazine has some excellent suggestions for you to ponder.

The travel publication’s April 2020 edition spotlights a selection of 15 household-name and lesser-known isles in its cover feature, Find your perfect Greek Island: Secret experiences the locals love, from Anafi to Zakynthos

“Here we outline the most original slow-travel experiences across the Aegean and Ionian Seas, from local festivals to hidden beaches — and beyond,” writer Oliver Smith explains in his introduction to the 12-page guide.

The piece profiles Folegandros, Hydra, Symi, Tinos, Chios, Zakynthos, Paros and Antiparos, Sifnos, Milos, Skiathos, Anafi, Ikaria, Kea and Limnos, providing a brief island description, suggesting accommodations to consider, and noting how to reach each island. Beautiful, full-colour photos illustrate an enticing place or sight in each destination.

The magazine also includes Gods’ Own Country, a 12-page feature story about Greece’s biggest island, Crete. 

“Beyond the harbours and white-sand beaches of Crete lies a land rich in history and myth, home to deities and monsters from the Minotaur to the thunder-god Zeus himself. We embark on a quest to discover this island’s legendary legacy,” Christa Larwood writes in the article introduction.

Both articles are interesting reads, and the stunning photos that accompany them will certainly provide a welcome distraction from the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

If you can’t find the April magazine at a retail outlet or a library, you can order a copy or purchase a digital download for your tablet or smartphone directly from the publisher. 

Screenshot of Greek Island guide in the April 2020 edition of Lonely Planet travel magazine

Illustrated with enticing photography, the magazine’s Treasured Islands feature suggests 15 places to consider for a “slow travel” experience

 

Screenshot of feature article about Crete in the April 2020 edition of Lonely Planet travel magazine

The feature article Gods’ Own Country takes readers on a journey across Crete, from the scenic seaports of Chania and Rethymno to the Samaria Gorge, the Palace of Knossos, and the Lasithi Plateau.

Skiathos, Lefkada & Paxos top Conde Nast list of best Greek islands to visit in 2020

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This photo gallery video profiles Conde Nast Traveller magazine’s 23 choices for best Greek islands to visit in 2020

 

Thinking of taking a holiday on a Greek island in 2020, but aren’t sure where to go? To help you decide, the U.K.’s Conde Nast Traveller magazine has compiled a list of what it believes are the 23 best islands to visit (out of more than 200 possible choices).

Selected by “regular isle-hopper Rachel Howard,” The Best Greek Islands to Visit in 2020 feature article rates Skiathos as #1, Lefkada #2 and Paxos #3.

Skiathos is described as the smallest but most popular of the Sporades islands, and as a favourite with families for its “baby powder-soft sandy beaches and laid-back vibe.” 

“Lefkada’s main town, flattened by an earthquake in the 1950s, won’t take your breath away, but those famous cliff-backed beaches, Egremni and Porto Katsiki, sure will,” the article says of its second-place selection.

Meanwhile, “Paxos packs a big punch … for its electric blue sea and three dinky harbour towns, each one so pretty it’s impossible to pick a favourite,” Howard writes.

Her Top 23 round-up includes a scenic photo from each destination, two or three paragraphs of text describing highlight features and what each island is considered “best” for, and suggested accommodations.

Besides Lefkada and Paxos, the ranking includes:

♦ four other major Ionian islands: Kefalonia, Corfu, Ithaca and Zakynthos;

♦ the Cyclades islands of Milos, Serifos, Amorgos, Mykonos, Santorini, Folegandros, Syros, Naxos, Tinos and Sifnos;

♦ the Dodecanese islands of Rhodes, Symi, Astypalia and Patmos;

♦ Hydra;

♦ Chios;

♦ Crete.

The online article concludes with a gallery of 16 photos showing scenes from some of the islands. Curiously, there is a picture from Andros, even though that island didn’t win a spot in the Top 23.

A much bigger blooper is the photo that purports to illustrate top choice Skiathos. The magazine’s photo editors mistakenly chose a picture of Elia beach on Mykonos instead of the Skiathos strand with the same name. Another photo boo-boo is a picture captioned as Petra beach on Patmos; the posted image actually shows Grikos beach.

Below are videos I’ve selected to give some additional photographic insight into the  islands that ranked in Conde Nast’s Top 3:

Meet Skiathos: Something for Everyone is a 6-minute film produced by Ionian & Aegean Island Holidays Ltd., the Greek National Tourism Organisation, and Ellie Patrikios

 

Lefkada island 4K is a 4.5-minute video published by bikisek1979

 

Discover Paxos is a 2-minute clip from Agni Travel

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