Category: Monuments & historic sites (page 1 of 13)

Where to go in Greece: 9 Dodecanese island gems

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Kyra Panagia church on Karpathos

Kyra Panagia church is an island icon and one of the most popular tourist attractions on Karpathos. This photo is one of many posted in galleries in the Visitor section of the  Municipality of Karpathos website.

 

Dodecanese delights: Will you be travelling to one or more of the Dodecanese islands this year? Or are you just wondering whether this part of Greece might be the right place for you and your family or friends to visit on vacation? If so, keep scrolling through this post so you can bookmark links we have compiled for a variety of Dodecanese island travel articles that have appeared in magazines, newspapers and websites in recent months.

The Dodecanese, a group of more than 15 islands in the southeast Aegean Sea, have long been a popular holiday destination. Rhodes and Kos have always been the best-known and busiest islands of the bunch, but less-familiar isles in the chain have been gaining increased attention as pandemic-weary travellers seek holiday locations that offer authentic and traditional island experiences with fewer crowds and tourist trappings.

Articles in major international news publications, and reviews and reports posted on influential travel and lifestyle websites, have also been bringing lesser-known Dodecanese islands to the forefront.

Take Karpathos, Kasos, Kastellorizo, Halki and Symi as examples. They aren’t exactly household names that most people planning a first-time trip to Greece would instantly recognize, but more people around the world are aware of them now, thanks to a photo-packed travel profile that USA Today published just before Christmas 2021. The article, featuring 46 photos of scenery, attractions and residents from all five of those islands, almost got overlooked during the distractions of the holiday season. But since the beginning of this year, we have seen it being reposted and shared widely on social media pages, reaching ever-larger audiences — undoubtedly including people trying to decide where they should go for their holiday in Greece this summer.

You’ll find a link to the USA Today travel piece below, along with other interesting and informative articles we have collected and bookmarked for personal reading and vacation research. We think they’ll be useful for other travellers who are either planning trips to the Dodecanese, or are simply curious to read more about the region, since they cover diverse topics including: island descriptions; highlight attractions and activities; recommended places to eat and drink; cool places to stay; personal trip reports; and more. For convenience, we have grouped the articles based on the particular island destinations discussed in each piece.

 

— Karpathos, Kasos, Halki, Kastellorizo & Symi —

 

USA Today article on lesser known Greek islands

 

The December 21 2021 article Beyond Santorini and Mykonos: Explore the lesser-known Greek islands is the aforementioned USA Today pictorial report that is circulating on social media pages this month.  It’s essentially a gallery of 46 photos, each accompanied by an easy-to-read, one-paragraph caption that provides some insight into the specific island on which each image was shot. All but two of the photos were shot by travel writer/photographer Nick Kontis, who wrote the article text. 

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— Karpathos —

 

Karpathos island travel article in Aegean Blue magazine issue 86

 

Whenever we come across profiles of Karpathos, like this one from Aegean Airlines’ Blue magazine, we can’t help but shake our heads and ask why we still haven’t been there yet.  If you haven’t been to Karpathos, either, you might find yourself wondering the same thing once you read through this terrific 18-page guide and view the dozens of splendid photographs by Dionysis Kouris.

“This Dodecanese diamond is a folklore paradise with picturesque villages, locals who reverently uphold customs, world-class beaches and exciting changes of scenery,” says the subheading for the article Karpathos, Captivatingly Traditional

Written by Fotis Vallatos, the guide takes readers on a tour around the island, starting at the capital and main port, Pigadia, then moving on to visit charming villages, picturesque beaches and scenic fishing harbours, with stops at noteworthy sights and places — like ruins, churches or scenic lookouts — along the way. The article mentions the main attractions at each village, recommends tavernas and cafes to stop for a bite to eat (and sample local specialty dishes), and spotlights artisanal workshops, crafts and local products shops, museums and much more. For beaches, Vallatos describes the sand conditions and sea colours and clarity, taking note of areas that are sheltered from strong winds, or that offer shade from the afternoon sun. He also points out nearby amenities, such as beach tavernas or bars, and places of interest, such as chapels and archaeological or historic sites. The article also provides location and contact names for visitors interested in such outdoor activities as kite and wind surfing, diving, rock climbing, walking and hiking, trekking and fishing tours, and others.

Karpathos, Captivatingly Tradition appears at pages 256-273 in the August – October 2021 edition (Issue 86) of Blue Magazine. You can read it either online or by downloading a PDF version of the entire magazine. 

 

Karpathos article in the blog Wremer Travels

 

“A small piece of heaven” is how two travel bloggers from Norway, Tanja and Ørjan, describe Karpathos in an article published on their website, Wremer Travels, late last fall.

Their blog post Need a new favourite Greek island? Go to Karpathos! is a fun and informative read, explaining how the pair originally decided to visit Karpathos, and describing the beaches, food, villages and other features that have kept them coming back for more, including their favourite place to stay and their personal go-to spots for meals.  The post includes a YouTube video of kitesurfing and windsurfing on Karpathos.

We enjoyed the article for its tips and helpful advice for first-time visitors — they offer some welcome words of wisdom for driving around — and especially for its wonderful photos of enticing beaches, coastlines, mountains, and Olympos, the most traditional village on the island.  

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— Leros —

 

Travel.gr article on Lakki town on Leros island

 

Architecture and design enthusiasts might feel inclined to pay Leros a visit once they see the photos and read the historic details in this fascinating article published on the Travel.gr website last November 2.

In Lakki, Leros: The strange beauty of Greece’s weirdest town, writer Panagiotis Savvidis examines how the seaside town of Lakki wound up with a curious collection of public buildings designed in minimalist achitectural styles, including Art Deco, Bauhaus, Venetian and Renaissance elements.

“According to studies, Lakki seems to be the place with the most Art Deco buildings in one place, after Miami,” he notes.

The structures, many of which are presenting in varying states of serious disrepair, are what Savvidis calls the island’s “inheritance” from the years during which the Italians ruled the Dodecanese. Since Lakki is blessed with the largest natural harbour in the eastern Mediterranean, it was a key component of Mussolini’s master plan to control the region. To that end, he ordered the construction of a new town, called Portolago, to house a massive base for the Italian navy.  Besides military infrastructure, public buildings were required for administrative, medical and education services for the 30,000 military officers and families expected to live there. Prominent Italian architects were enlisted to design the settlement, and the result was the unique architecture, large squares and wide streets.

The article also notes how Thessaloniki-based film director Ioanna Asmeniadou-Fokka produced a recent documentary about Lakki’s history and architecture, and has been lobbying government to “to rescue, restore, and showcase the buildings.”

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— Kastellorizo —

Walking on Karpathos travel article by Aegean Blue magazine

Walking on Kastellorizo is a 4-page article written for Aegean Airlines’ Blue magazine by architect, hotel owner and local resident Marie Rivalant, who “extols the attractions of this lovely Dodecanese island.”

Marie describes how the island’s charming sights — such as the buildings around the harbour and the homes designed in neoclassical style — made her fall in love with and decide to permanently live on Kastellorizo. Even after several decades, she notes that this same scenery continues to fascinate her, as do the island’s historic sites.

“Kastellorizo has an abundance of monuments that can guide visitors through the centuries,” she says, listing monasteries, museums, a castle and other not-to-be-missed attractions. Marie also mentions a few of her favourite walking routes, and explains why “one of the best ways to discover Kastellorizo, without doubt, is by boat.” She also recommends the island restaurants, bars and coffee shops that she enjoys the most.

Marie’s article can be found at page 254 of Blue magazine Issue 86.

 

Greece Is special edition magazine on Kastellorizo island

 

“An island with more personality than square meters awaits visitors at the edge of the map,” says one of the pieces in Kastellorizo, a wonderful special edition magazine published in 2020 by Greece Is.

The issue is a definite must-read for anyone going to Kastellorizo, or even just thinking about paying it a visit sometime, since the 148 pages of  this insightful publication are packed with fascinating feature articles and hundreds of gorgeous photos that describe and display virtually everything there is to know about the island. It’s inspiring, informative and educational — an absolute gem of an island guide (but that’s always the case with all of the Greece Is magazines, in our opinion).

Even if a trip to Kastellorizo isn’t on the horizon for you at this time,  we think you’d probably find the magazine a delight to flip through simply to admire the beautiful colour images of island sights and scenery, as well as the intriguing black and white historic photos that accompany articles recounting significant moments in the island’s past.

If we had a copy of the print edition, we probably would leave it on our coffee table so we could peruse it more frequently, but we do look through the online version from time to time.

The web edition  — Greece Is Kastellorizo 2020 — is available on issuu.com, and can be downloaded as a PDF. Print issues are available to order from the Greece Is e-shop.

 

The Mediterranean Lifestyle magazine article on Kastellorizo island

 

It’s “a small place with a big history,” it has two names, and it was “made for hikers and history buffs.” Located at the easternmost corner of Greece, it’s a little island called Kastellorizo by some, Megisti by others. By either name, it sounds absolutely delightful in the article freelancer writer Jackie Humphries Smith penned for The Mediterranean Lifestyle magazine last summer. And it has looks to match, as you’ll see in the beautiful photos, shot by Jackie, that accompany the story.

Jackie and her partner, Joel Smith, are American ex-pats who live in the Mani region of the Peloponnese, where Jackie writes the blog TravelnWrite.

[Editor’s Note: When we were preparing this blog post, Jackie’s feature piece on Kastellorizo / Megisti had been available to read for free on the issuu.com online magazine platform; Jackie’s own website included a link to her article there. But back issues of The Mediterranean Lifestyle appear to have been removed from that site, and are not shown as being available to order in either print or digital versions from the magazine website. You might be able to find the magazine at your local library; check to see if they have Issue 13  in their collection.]

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— Kalymnos —

 

Kalymnos island profile in National Geographic

 

We found this July 28 2021 article from the UK edition of National Geographic an engaging and educational read, even though sport climbing on a Greek island mountainside isn’t something we could ever see ourselves doing on one of our holidays. Or maybe we could.  According to writer Maria Atmatzidou, there are “easily accessible” climbing routes on Kalymnos that are suitable for beginners and even families,  so there’s no reason novices like us couldn’t give the sport a try. 

Maria’s article,  How sport climbing is helping to revitalise a Greek island describes how Kalymnos has been capturing increased attention — and attracting holiday visits — from adventure seekers and outdoor enthusiasts around the world.

Maria explains how the island was left reeling by the decline and near-destruction of its traditional sponge fishing industry, but in recent years has extended its tourist season and become a top international draw not just for climbers, but also for “non-climbers who fish, dive or swim.” 

Though not climbers ourselves, we became interested in Kalymnos after seeing the island’s amazing mountain and coastal scenery in videos we shared in our previous blog posts Kalymnos keeps calling in 2017, and Kalymos island rocks! in 2016.  We still haven’t made it to the island yet, but we do hope to visit.

 

Red Bull Bulletin article on sport climbing on Kalymnos

 

Red Bull Bulletin writer Matt Ray visited Kalymnos — the “magical corner of the Dodecanese” — to challenge his abilities on the cliffs and do some chalk-dusted first-hand research for his article, A beginner’s guide to sport climbing in Greece

“Having gained a deserved reputation among elite climbers and enthusiasts, Kalymnos has a buzzing climbing scene. It’s chiefly centred around Masouri and its beach, but stretches across the whole island and beyond, taking in post-climb swims at ‘Pirate Beach’ (Kalamies) and extending to the crags of Telendos, an islet that sits off the west coast,” he notes.

Besides detailing the adrenalin rush of the climbs he undertook to improve his personal skills and techniques, Matt describes the “astounding” array of routes available on Kalymnos — 3,400 — and notes the island is ideal for solo climbers, since they’ll easily be able to find climbing partners on the island. 

He also points out the added bonus to climbing on Kalymnos: the island’s amazing sea views and scenery are “all the sweeter” from the top.

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— Kos —

Kos travel article in Aegean Blue magazine Issue 86

 

If you’re heading to Kos this year, we recommend you keep  Kos: Ancient history and exotic beaches handy during your holiday. It’s an excellent 14-page island guide that appeared in the August – October 2021 edition (Issue 86) of Blue magazine, the in-flight publication of Aegean Airlines. Compiled and written by Fotis Vallatos, it contains a wealth of tips and suggestions for things to see and do, as well as places to shop, dine and drink. It’s also richly illustrated with three dozen enticing photos, by Dionysis Kouris, that show people, places, food and scenery from all over the island. 

The guide includes a section on Kos Town, describing “majestic monuments of bygone times” — must-see archaeological sites, ancient ruins and the Castle of Neratzia — along with a list of nearly a dozen recommended “culinary stops,” plus cafes, cocktail bars and shops.  For beach enthusiasts, the guide highlights top strands along the northern and southeastern coasts,  as well as “the magical beaches” in the Kefalos area of southwestern Kos.

Another section suggests must-visit mountain villages, and tavernas where visitors can taste delicious local dishes. There also is a 1-page profile of local agricultural products, including cheese, wine, honey and organic aloe.

You’ll find the article on pages 238 – 251 at the link provided above. The full magazine is downloadable.

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 — Rhodes & Kos —

 

4 famous Greek Islands article in The Guardian

Rhodes and Kos are among the busiest and most popular destinations in Greece, but on both “there is tranquillity beyond the hotspots,” John Malathronas notes in Peace, antiquity and beaches: a guide to five famous Greek islands.

In his article, published September 14 2021 by The Guardian, John points out why Rhodes and Kos are tourist favourites, listing the top attractions and historic sites that draw hordes of visitors each season (for good reason). He then suggests quieter alternatives for visitors seeking places that are either off the beaten path, or that draw sparser crowds, while still offering unique experiences, great views and beautiful scenery. 

John’s report also includes recommendations for places to stay, eat and drink on each island.

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— Rhodes —

Rhodes has long been one of the top Greek island destinations for international tourists, so we weren’t surprised when it made news headlines in late January for two separate but equally noteworthy achievements in the travel industry.

First, the island earned two accolades in the Trip Advisor Travelers’ Choice Awards for 2022, ranking at #3 in Trending Destinations — World — a category dedicated specifically to “places that are on the up and up,” and placing at # 11 in the Top Destinations for Sun Seekers — World group.

Rhodes was back in the news a second time in as many days when Greece’s South Aegean Region, in collaboration with TUI Group and the TUI Care Foundation, announced an ambitious initiative to transform the island into the world’s first sustainable tourism destination within the next five years. “The Rhodes Co-Lab” project aims to make Rhodes the global center for the study and development of sustainable models of tourism. Project details are outlined in the January 20 2022 Greek Travel Pages news report Rhodes begins 5-year journey to become first sustainable destination in the world.

Below are several mainstream magazine articles that explore Rhodes from the perspective of walking and cycling activities, luxury holidays and accommodations, and a “micro-living” vacation house.

 

BIKE magazine article on cycling on Rhodes

 

We know from first-hand experience that Kos is one of the most bicycle-friendly islands in Greece — we rented bikes for a day during our visit to that island in 2010. But we couldn’t recall seeing any cyclists on Rhodes the one and only time we were there, way back in 2004. And we don’t remember hearing anything about cycling on Rhodes in the years since. So we were intrigued when we saw the November 2 2021 BIKE Magazine article Rhodes: Your next cycling destination

The article was written by a journalist whose name, by pure coincidence, is Charlie Rhodes; he had been sent to the island for five days to report on the first-ever Rhodes Cycling Festival, and to observe a race held in conjunction with that event. He winds up being treated to “an unforgettable, authentically Greek week-long experience full of warm sun and breath-taking cycling spots,” and being pleasantly surprised by “just how utterly complete the island is as a cycling destination.”  Calling Rhodes “a cycling haven,” he says “I simply cannot recommend the island enough – and this goes for those looking for leisure, as well as those who are in search of a true physical challenge.”

The article is a good read even for people not interested in biking, since the writer talks about villages and attractions he visited, and great places he discovered to eat and drink — including The Old Monolithos Taverna. His report includes photos as well as a brief videoclip of scenic Lindos village. A brief companion article on the Rhodes Bike Festival provides additional information about cycling on Rhodes, and includes a short video with aerial views of beautiful Rhodes Town. 

 

Aegean Blue article Walking on Rhodes

“Rhodes boasts a plethora of paths that are perfect for hiking, mountain running and even mountain biking,” nature tour guide Giorgos Thyris says in Walking on Rhodes, an “Insider” article published in the June-August 2021 issue of Blue, the in-flight magazine of Aegean Airlines. “There are gems here, hidden beauties and unexploited Edens that only locals know, although they’re gradually being discovered by visitors, too.”

In his 4-page piece, which is illustrated with lovely scenic photos, Thyris provides vivid descriptions of several spectacular walking trails and hiking routes, and mentions some locations where rock climbing fans can challenge their skills. He also discusses such attractions as the Kournelo Cave and the Ancient Kymissala archaeology site, and explains why Rhodes is a popular destination for orchid enthusiasts from around the world.

You can read Thyris’s article by clicking on the link provided above; it will take you to the online version of Blue Issue 85, where you can download the full magazine to read at your leisure. Walking on Rhodes starts at page 220.

 

Rhodes profile in Luxury Lifestyle Magazine

 

In a trip report published in January by Luxury Lifestyle Magazine, Rebecca Underwood recounts her experiences during a visit to Rhodes prior to the Covid pandemic.  Though the article does spotlight a luxury hotel, it’s nonetheless a worthwhile read even for budget travellers since the writer describes visiting fascinating medieval sites and monuments, and the joy of simply wandering the ancient cobbled lanes of Rhodes Town, “Europe’s oldest inhabited medieval town” and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988. 

Besides the major attractions she visited, including the Palace of the Grand Master, Archaeological Museum, Acropolis of Rhodes and Temple of Pythian Apollo,  Underwood describes her accommodations at the Kokkini Porta Rossa boutique hotel and a meal at the family-owned bistro, Tamam, on Georgiou Leontos Street.

Her report, The island of knights: A luxury travel guide to Rhodes,  also includes additional restaurant recommendations as well as suggestions for interesting things to see and do outside of Rhodes Town.

 

MoneyWeek magazine travel article on Rhodes

 

If your personal travel lifestyle and accommodation preferences lean toward 5-star luxury resorts, you’ll want to read this article when you research places to stay for an upcoming trip to Rhodes.

Rhodes: Where the sun god reigns supreme is primarily a report on the 5-star Amada Colossos Resort, which MoneyWeek’s wealth editor, Chris Carter, stayed in last October. His write-up was published on February 4.

The article caught our attention because the Amada Colossos is located in Kallithea on the eastern coast of Rhodes, just a short walk down the beach from the hotel we stayed in during our one-and-only trip to the island 18 years ago — the Rodos Palladium. It, too, is a 5-star hotel, so we were curious to read how the Amada Colossos compares.

Chris was booked into a luxurious executive suite, which boasted a living room and separate bedroom, along with a spacious modern bathroom that featured a sea-view window. He describes the suite’s features, of course, as well as the resort’s impressive selection of bars and restaurants, which include a main buffet dining room, and separate Greek, Italian and Chinese restaurants.  The resort also has a spa, as well as luxury villas with private pools and access to personal gazebos on the beach.

As Chris points out, the hotel reopened in 2018 after undergoing a major renovation and systems overhaul, highlighted by the addition of environmentally sustainable heating and cooling features, and a re-orientation of the suites to offer better views of the sea.

Besides the hotel, Chris talks about some of the noteworthy attractions in the immediate area and in nearby Rhodes Town, and recommends a “wonderful” taverna situated a 20-minute drive from away.

 

Lindos Grand Resort & Spa article in Forbes

 

Yet another Rhodes luxury hotel, the Lindos Grand Resort & Spa, has been profiled in travel media recently — by publications aimed at two completely different readership markets.

First up was business, marketing and investment publisher Forbes, whose lifestyle writer Duncan Madden describes the resort’s many impressive features in his November 2 2021 report, Lindos Grand: New adults-only resort and spa brings modern glamor to Rhodes’ ancient attractions.

Madden notes that the Covid pandemic led the 189-room resort to delay its opening until July of last year, although some of its amenities — including a la carte restaurants — won’t open until this season.

Though large in size, the resort was thoughtfully designed to match the look and feel of buildings in nearby Lindos village, Madden says. “Structures seemingly tumble down the hillside towards the sea, scattered carefully in close-knit clusters around the star of the show – a vast open air infinity pool, one of the largest in Rhodes, that beckons guests in with lingering views over the beach at Vlycha and Aegean Sea beyond stretching far to the horizon.”

He goes on to detail the interior design features and amenities of the suites, many of which boast L-shaped private pools, and describes the resort restaurants and its Evridiki Spa. He also recommends noteworthy historic sites that guests should be sure to visit both in Lindos and in Rhodes Town.

 

Lindos Grand Resort & Spa article in Hello Fashion magazine

 

The U.K. edition of Hello! Fashion followed with its own profile of the Lindos Grand.

In An Island Idyll, published in the December / January issue, the magazine says “The incredibly picturesque hillside village of Lindos and its nearby bays make Rhodes the perfect Greek getaway from spring to autumn.”

The article, written by Jill Wanless, recommends staying at the Lindos Grand, which she describes as “a stylish haven of relaxation” and “contemporary, eco-friendly hotel.”  She goes on to describe highlight features of the accommodations, and the restaurants and spa, noting the resort is “the perfect retreat for two or a girls’ getaway.”

For things to do beyond the resort, Jill suggests things to see and do in Lindos, as well as activities and sights — including vineyards — elsewhere on the island.

We read the article on Apple News, but have seen that the Hello! Fashion issue is available through Zinio and other online magazine services

 

Monocabin holiday home on Rhodes

If sprawling luxury resorts and big hotels aren’t your style, perhaps a hip little hideaway might be perfect for your visit to Rhodes.

The Monocabin is a miniature holiday home only 26 square meters in size. It’s an innovative, modular housing prototype which Mandalaki Design Studios developed in pursuit of a vision to create  an “affordable dream eco-house” that could be built almost anywhere in the world.

We learned about the cute and cozy Microcabin when we came across the article Holiday home of the week: a Monocabin for micro-living in Greece while scrolling through The Spaces magazine online. 

“Constructed using modular concrete panels that manage to look both modern while blending with the traditional architecture of the island, the Monocabin sleeps two people in close but cosy quarters. Inside there is the kitchen, bathroom and bedroom, while the outside terrace doubles as both sitting and dining room – Rhodes’ sunny climate makes eating outside the easy choice – as well as offering a work out area around the side,” notes writer Tish Wrigley.

The Monocabin is located in the town of Ialysos just 200 meters from the beach, and is available for holiday rentals, with a minimum 3 nights’ stay required. Full details about the concept house project, and contact information for booking inquiries, can be found on the Monocabin website.

 

Crossing 600 years of history at the Kremasti bridge on Lesvos

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Kremasti bridge on Lesvos island

Kremasti bridge on Lesvos

The  arched stone Kremasti bridge spans a stream in bucolic countryside near the town of Agia Paraskevi on Lesvos

 

Walking back centuries: Unlike the other two tourist couples that showed up within moments of our own arrival, we did cross the Kremasti bridge when we got to it.

We couldn’t pass up the rare opportunity to walk on a hand-built stone viaduct that may have been built as long as 600 years ago. Rare for us, because bridges even just a century old are few and far between back home in Canada, so crossing an ancient span isn’t something we can do  any old day of the week.

However, walking on medieval bridges might be something those other people can do wherever they live, which would explain why they didn’t share our enthusiasm to get up close for a better look at Kremasti. The two women from the first car strode  to the edge of the olive grove at the north side of the bridge for a brief look-see, then promptly drove off in the direction of Stypsi village. The driver of the second vehicle walked only a few steps from his car to snap photos — from a spot on the road that didn’t offer particularly good views of the monument standing 30 meters distant.  His passenger didn’t even get out; she seemed more interested in something on her cellphone. Photo-taking finished, the man climbed back into the driver’s seat, made a three-point turn, and drove off the way they had come.

In less than four minutes tops, both couples had arrived and departed, probably adding a “been there, seen that” checkmark to their lists of historic sites they had “visited” on Lesvos.

We didn’t mind having the old bridge all to ourselves; we got to appreciate its elegant architecture and examine its impressive masonry and engineering without getting in the way — or in the background — of someone else’s selfie.  And on such a sunny and warm spring afternoon, who wouldn’t want to enjoy the fresh air and quiet beauty of the countryside, take a stroll through the lovely olive grove, and imagine how crucial the bridge would have been for regional travel in the centuries before motor vehicles? Oh, right — we can think of at least four people who would prefer not to! But we weren’t keen to hurry back into the car to see more of Lesvos through the windshield and side windows. We would get to do that during the drive back to our hotel in Molyvos later in the day. Instead, we took a nice, slow walk across 600 years of Lesvos history, and savored the experience of simply being there for awhile. Besides, we were on Lesvos, where rushing around just isn’t the way to see and enjoy the subtle beauty and character of the island.

 

Kremasti bridge location on Lesvos island

This Google map pinpoints the Kremasti bridge location in northern Lesvos, approximately 3 km northwest of the town of Agia Paraskevi. 

 

Google satellite view of Kremasti bridge on Lesvos island

This Google satellite image shows the historic bridge and the modern-era road that carries motor vehicle traffic through the countryside of rolling hills to Stypsi village.

 

Our travel materials and guidebooks didn’t provide much information about Kremasti. Most said basically the same things: it’s “the largest and best-preserved medieval bridge in the eastern Aegean” (to quote our 4th edition copy of The Rough Guide to the Dodecanese and East Aegean Islands); it is widely believed to be have been built sometime during the period the Gattilusio family of Genoa controlled Lesvos (1355 to 1462); it crosses a stream which flows into the Tsiknias River; and it stands 8.5 meters tall at its highest point. (Curiously, no further dimensions, such as the length and width of the span, were described in any of the publications).  

 

Kremasti bridge on Lesvos island

 

When we searched online for more details on the bridge’s history, we discovered that some websites dispute the date of construction, saying architectural details suggest Kremasti may have been built more than 100 years after the Gattilusio era, most likely during the 16th Century.  Some sources also mentioned that, according to local legend, the master builder buried his wife’s body into the bridge foundations.

We didn’t have any luck learning how the bridge got its name, but we did find some insight in The bridge of Kremasti, an interesting article written by Perris P. Vougioukas and published in 2015 by the local news and information website Agia Paraskevi Only.  

Besides discussing some of the history and legend behind the bridge, Vougioukas provided some dimension statistics that we couldn’t find anywhere else. Like other sources, he noted the Kremasti arch reaches a maximum height of 8.55 meters, but he furnished additional measurement facts: the bridge opening is 14 meters, while the span’s cobblestone walkway extends for approximately 50 meters, and is 3.5 meters wide.

Kremasti bridge on Lesvos island

 

We had been curious about the bridge length because we wanted to know how far into the past we had wobbled along the uneven surface, where weeds and grasses sprout from cracks and spaces between the stones. Unfortunately, we couldn’t cross the entire span — a section of wire fence blocked access to and egress from the north side of the bridge. We didn’t realize this until we were almost all the way up and over the arch, having begun our crossing from the south. Clambering over or around the barricade would have been awkward and unsafe, so we wisely retraced our steps. Although it was a bit disappointing to wind up just one or two steps shy of a complete crossing, we got to spend twice as much time on the bridge, and enjoy the different views in each direction. 

(We couldn’t understand why the fence had been installed; there weren’t any signs indicating it was off limits, and none of our tourist guides warned that walking on the bridge was either unsafe or not permitted. We wondered if the owners of the olive grove simply didn’t want people like us ambling around their trees or having picnics on their property! Or perhaps they had blocked the path to prevent their sheep or goats from crossing onto the bridge and possibly falling into the stream. If any of our readers know the answer, please share it with us!)

 

Kremasti bridge on Lesvos island

Our visit to Kremasti bridge took place during a day-long drive to explore sights and villages in northern Lesvos. We also could have seen the bridge by walking, since there are well-established trekking routes in the area, but we chose to leave long hikes for our next trip to Lesvos. For any of our readers who might be interested in such a scenic walk during an upcoming trip to Lesvos, here are links we had bookmarked for two websites that provide detailed directions for walking routes that pass the bridge:

Walking in the valley of Tsiknias on the Trekking Trails Network of Lesvos website; and 

♦ the Napi – Kremasti bridge route on the AllTrails website

Below are a few more of our photos of the bridge and its surroundings:

Kremasti bridge on Lesvos

Kremasti bridge on Lesvos

Kremasti bridge on Lesvos

The three photos above show the bridge as we approached and began crossing the span from its southern side

 

Kremasti bridge on Lesvos

The view toward the olive tree grove at the north end of the bridge. Even from this point, we couldn’t see the thin wire fence that blocks access to the grove.

 

Olive tree grove near the Kremasti bridge on Lesvos

Olive tree grove near Kremasti bridge on Lesvos

olive trees near the Kremasti bridge on Lesvos

The three photos above show views of the olive tree grove at the north end of the bridge. The ground was carpeted with tiny white spring flowers.

 

Kremasti bridge on Lesvos island

From the edge of the olive grove, a glimpse of the bridge’s arch

 

a man stands on the Kremasti bridge on Lesvos

The stream beneath the bridge is a tributary of the Tsiknias River, which flows into the Gulf of Kalloni

 

Kremasti bridge on Lesvos

Kremasti bridge on Lesvos island

Above: two views of the arched stone span

 

a man on the Kremasti bridge on Lesvos

The wire fence that blocks passage at the north end of the bridge is partially visible in this photo. 

 

Kremasti bridge on Lesvos island

Kremasti bridge on Lesvos

Above: two views during our walk back to the southern end of the bridge

 

Kremasti bridge on Lesvos

One final look at Kremasti, seen from the modern bridge that carries motor vehicle traffic across the stream

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.

 

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

Central Macedonia: A great four-seasons travel destination

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This is the lead video in a Central Macedonia tourism campaign that invites visitors to come “do something great.” The promotion includes four additional short films (see below) that will tempt travellers with fabulous photography of great things they can see and do in the region.

 

Greatness abounds: It’s widely known as the historic home of its king, Alexander the Great, in ancient times, but the mainland Greece region of Central Macedonia wants more people to discover that it’s also an incredible place for tourists to visit 365 days a year.

The region already attracts more than 7 million visitors annually, drawn to such internationally-known destinations as the city of Thessaloniki, the holy monasteries at Mount Athos, the beach-blessed Halkidiki peninsulas, and the tallest peak in Greece, Mount Olympus.

But Central Macedonia isn’t even on the radar for countless other people who have been to Greece, or who might be planning to visit, and aren’t aware there’s so much more to the country than Athens and the islands of Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes. Crete and  Corfu. To show those potential visitors why they should give Central Macedonia a closer look, the region has produced five promotional videos that highlight the vast array of vacation experiences available for all types of travellers and their holiday activity preferences.

With spectacular cinematography, the 2-minute videos showcase some of the region’s magnificent landscapes and natural scenery, exciting outdoor sports and adventure activities, arts and cultural attractions, beautiful beaches, and its traditional and contemporary cuisine. The sheer breadth of the region’s natural and human-created wonders may be an eye-opening surprise to people who aren’t familiar with this part of Greece.

The “Do Something Great” video, posted above, is the primary film for the tourism campaign. Published on YouTube and shared on social media platforms, it provides a general cinematic overview of Central Macedonia’s appealing travel attractions, while four other videos, posted below, shine a spotlight on destination features that appeal to specific visitor pastimes:

♦ Taste the Great! whets viewers’ appetites with images of mouth-watering traditional and contemporary cuisine;

♦ Sun the Great! displays brilliant scenes of gorgeous coastal landscapes to show that “nothing beats a sunny day on the beach”;

♦ Experience the Great! profiles some of the thrilling outdoor activities that sports enthusiasts can pursue, such as: mountain biking; skateboarding; surfing; rock climbing; scuba diving; alpine skiing; boating; and river rafting; and

♦ Admire the Great! spotlights cultural attractions, including: art galleries; museums; historic sites; monuments; memorials; churches, temples and monasteries; and music entertainment. 

 

Each of the videos is well worth watching, and the full series takes only 10 minutes to view. We don’t have a favourite to recommend; although we’ve notched half a dozen viewings for the food film, and at least two apiece for the rest, we enjoyed them all.

If you’re interested in learning more about the region after watching the clips, you’ll find the Central Macedonia travel website (pictured below) is a great place to start your research and holiday planning.

 

Central Macedonia tourism website

 

Greece Is magazine profiles food, culture and fascinating places in and near Thessaloniki

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Cover image for Greece Is magazine 2022 Thessaloniki edition

The cover of the 2022 issue of Thessaloniki, a special-edition magazine published in November by Greece Is 

 

City spotlight: We’ve got some good reading to look forward to during our holiday season downtime, thanks to the latest magazine published by Greece Is — an issue devoted entirely to notable places, sights and historic attractions in Greece’s second largest city, Thessaloniki, and its environs.

The city is on our bucket list of places we hope to visit in Greece within the next several years, so the new magazine — released in late November — will be a helpful resource for researching and planning our visit, whenever it might happen.

The main stories in this issue that caught our attention include:

♦   “The city in five walks,” a guide that invites readers to “head down to the sea, stroll through the narrow streets of the city center, visit some old haunts and new spots, and explore options for culture, entertainment and food.”

♦   A “Foodie Guide” to “new and classic” places to enjoy wonderful food and drink;

♦   “In the Xinomavro Zone,” a road trip through the Amyntaio-Naoussa wine region;

♦   “The sound of the city,” a guide to the Thessaloniki music scene “from its glorious past to its superb present”;

♦   two articles showcasing art and architecture: “Timeless Byzantine City,” which examines some of the city’s Byzantine-era monuments, and “Memories & Mansions,” which takes a look at buildings in the historic Exoches area;

♦   “In the shadow of Athos,” a tour of the historic monasteries at Mt Athos;

♦   “Mt Olympus: The three peaks challenge,” an account of a one-day climb to the highest points “on the mountain of the gods”;

♦   “Aigai reaches new heights,” an article about a new world-class museum scheduled to open in 2022 at Vergina, site of the former capital of ancient Macedonia; and

♦   the feature piece “Aristotle University of Thessaloniki,” which profiles “southeastern Europe’s largest institute of higher education.”

 

Greece Is magazine foodie guide to Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki recently became the first Greek city included in the UNESCO global network of Creative Cities of Gastronomy.  The latest Greece Is magazine’s “Foodie Guide” spotlights some of the “new and classic” dining establishments that have helped put Thessaloniki on the world’s culinary map.

 

Not-to-be-missed reads for anyone planning to visit Thessaloniki in 2022 include:

♦   “New arrivals,” which offers a peek at two recently opened hotels, a gallery, a food spot and a new Aegean Airlines lounge at Thessaloniki International Airport;

♦   “The cool factor” — a collection of insider city tips and secrets shared by six local influencers; and

♦   “Always something on” — an agenda of upcoming major exhibitions and cultural performances.

While we can’t wrap our hands around a physical copy of the Thessaloniki magazine since we’re not in Greece at the moment to pick one up, we — and you — can conveniently access a digital version on Issuu.com to either read online or download.

Greece Is has previously published six other special magazine issues focussed on Thessaloniki. If you’re interested in reading any of those, you can find digital versions on Issuu.com.

The Greece Is publishing portal is one of our favourite sources of reliable advice, inside information and fascinating insights into Greece destinations, travel, culture, arts, architecture, food and much more.  If you’re not already familiar with the brand, here are links to its website, Instagram profile and Facebook page, all of which are filled with photos of beautiful places in Greece and links to a treasure trove of information to inspire and assist your travels:

Web: The main Greece Is online portal contains a vast collection of feature articles, photos, news items, blog posts, Greek product profiles, and more.

Instagram: @greece_is

Facebook: @my.greece.is 

Twitter: @MyGreeceIs

How Milos wowed the world … in magazine, website and travel blog articles

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This is the second instalment of a three-part series examining how Milos island became a media sensation around the world in 2021.

In Part 1, we described how Milos’s popularity surged in mainstream travel publications and and websites, as well as in high-profile fashion advertising campaigns, social media posts by music and television celebrities, and more.

Here, in Part 2, we show how Milos made its mark in articles and reports published not only in travel magazines and blogs, but also in publications focussed on business, fashion, architecture, lifestyle, and hotels.

Part 3 takes a look at the impression Milos made in cinematic travel films and in YouTube videos by top international travel vloggers.

 

— Magazine profiles of Milos —

 

Business Insider article about Milos island

The Mandrakia fishing settlement is seen in a photo journalist Mark Ellwood shot for a Business Insider report on Milos’s rising popularity

 

Milos made headlines in Business Insider magazine, which reaches 23 million influential readers. In a report published in late August, writer Mark Ellwood notes that the Greek islands were a top destination for tourists seeking a holiday break during the ongoing Covid pandemic. But Milos appears to be attracting additional attention this year, he says. Like better-known Greek islands, Milos “has seemed both safe and accessible. For its extra buzz, though, credit a combination of the mines, the media, and Mediterranean yacht culture,” Ellwood observes.

Milos had a long mining history thanks to its mineral-rich volcanic geology, which blessed the island with unbelievably colourful cliffs, coastlines and beaches  — a huge draw for Instagrammers and fashion photographers seeking unusual and exotic landscapes for their photo and video shoots. As Ellwood notes, “Its Insta-ready landscape is a viral-marketing asset for models and brands.” And since many of the striking landscapes are best viewed from the sea, Milos has become “a must-stop on Mediterranean yachting itineraries.”

Ellwood interviews local entrepreneurs, travel experts and top influencers to learn more about why Milos has become such a desirable destination, particularly for premium travellers.

Read what they had to say in his insightful report, Everyone is flocking to the Greek island of Milos right now.

 

Best Hotels in Greece magazine article about Milos island

A scene from Sarakiniko beach illustrates a feature story on Milos in the digital magazine 500 Best Hotels Greece

 

“Milos is a phenomenon of colours, architecture, natural beauty, geology, history and culture, tradition,” notes a feature article published in the spring/summer edition of 500 Best Hotels Greece.

The 15-page piece provides interesting details and descriptions of the island’s villages and its myriad beautiful landscapes and natural attractions, including beaches and coastal areas. The article is informative, but worth checking out simply to have a look at the nearly three dozen gorgeous photos that accompany the text. The magazine asserts that Milos is a “dazzlingly beautiful island,” and the images conclusively support that claim.

The article is free to read in a digital version on the 500 Best Hotels Greece website.

The story and full edition of the magazine can also be read in the 500 Best Hotels Greece Issue No. 4 version on the Issuu.com app.

 

Minoan Wave magazine article on Milos island

A Sarakiniko landscape scene illustrates a Milos article that appeared in summer edition of  Minoan Wave magazine, published by Greek ferry company Minoan Lines.

 

For her Minoan Wave magazine article Milos Confidential, writer Asteropi Lazaridou spoke to two Milos residents to get local insights into the island’s “exceptional beaches and special places.”

Emmanouela Kaoustou, owner of  the traditional products shop Milokipos, struggled to suggest a short-list of her five favourite beaches simply because the island has so many she likes, each one different from the other. “In general, this is one of the many positive things about Milos, it has countless beaches, small unspoilt spots, you have endless choices and you can find somewhere to be almost alone, even in high season,” she says. Kaoustou also explains why Milos is often called “the ultimate island for couples.”

Anastasis Karvounis, who manages accommodation rentals in various parts of the island, describes what visitors will discover during night walks in Adamantas and Plaka, and explains why “Milos is an island for foodies.” He also talks about a personal favourite place on the island — “the abandoned sulfur mines and the magnificent beach that lies beneath them.”

The article, along with half a dozen beautiful photos of Milos scenery, can be found at page 126 of the Minoan Wave 2021 digital edition on Issuu.com.

 

 

Travel greece article about Milos island

In July, the Travel.gr website published an easy-to-read Milos guide that suggests cool things to do and see, as well as places to eat and sleep

 

“Milos is an island that has it all: beaches of unbelievable beauty, eerie settings, catacombs, old pirate stories, volcanic craters, Cycladic hospitality, superb all-suite hotels, and a sensational sunset,” writer Voula Akrivaki says in an introduction to a Milos guide she compiled for the Greece travel experience website Travel.gr (the piece was translated into English by George Kolyvas). “In an inexplicable way, the island has an immediate calming effect on visitors. It is home to Europe’s biggest mineral mine and offers over 70 beaches capable of covering all moods and preferences,” she adds.

The easy-to-read guide suggests things to do and places to see, with a specific section on where to swim, and also recommends notable restaurants and accommodation options.

The article includes a scenic 4.5-minute aerial video of top island attractions.

Milos: Island of contrasts and balance was published on July 6 2021.

 

Hemispheres article Three Perfect Days Greece

A sailboat excursion was one of the Milos highlights described in a trip report for the United Airlines magazine, Hemispheres 

 

Writer Ellen Carpenter paid a whirlwind visit to Athens and Milos to pen a “Three perfect days” feature article for Hemispheres, the on-board magazine of United Airlines.

We were amazed to read about all the places and things that Carpenter was able to see and do during her extremely limited time on Milos. Despite a late afternoon arrival by plane, she managed a visit to Sarakiniko and a dinner at O! Hamos in Adamas, where we’ve had superb meals ourselves.

The next day, she enjoyed a sailboat day tour with Thalassitra Sailing, which took passengers to Kalogries beach, Kleftiko, Tsigrado and Paleochori beaches, and Polyaigos island, passing Klima village on the return to Adamas. Carpenter’s evening diversions included a tour and wine tasting at Kostantakis Winery followed by a delicious meal at Armenaki restaurant on the Pollonia village waterfront.

Although we recommend staying a minimum of three nights on Milos (we suggest planning for five or more), Carpenter’s article shows just how much a visitor can see during a quick island hop when more time simply isn’t available.

Carpenter’s conclusion: “The Greek islands are more alluring than ever, and Milos, in particular, is seducing visitors with its siren song of serenity and otherworldly beauty. Heed the call.”

Get the full details in her July 30 2021 report Three Perfect Days in Greece

 

Paros vs Milos article from Journeying the Globe website

 Journeying the Globe considers whether Milos or Paros is the “better” island to visit

 

The adventure travel blog Journeying the Globe pitted Paros against Milos for an interesting comparison piece in the spring.

In Paros vs Milos: Which Greek destination is better to visit, published March 19 2021, freelance writer Joseph examined similarities and contrasts between the two Cycladic islands based on important travel criteria such as price, food, accommodations, beaches, getting around, things to do, and “general vibe.”

“Both of these islands are mega stunners,” Joseph says.

But we won’t be spoilers by revealing his conclusion as to which might be better than the other — we recommend you read Joe’s post to see what he advises, and why.

 

Greek island hopping article in The Telegraph

Milos was one of three spellbinding Cycladic islands profiled in an island-hopping article in The Telegraph

 

Milos was the first stop in a short summer island-hopping getaway by writer Michelle Jana Chan.

In a brief trip report for The Telegraph, she relates renting a car “to explore the seahorse-shaped island known for tales of unscrupulous pirates in centuries past,” swimming and cliff-jumping at Sarakiniko, and visiting the place where the Venus de Milo sculpture was discovered.

Her easy-to-read article can be read in the August 8 2021 article An island-hopping journey across the dreamy, ethereal Aegean.

 

— Mini-guides recommending Milos —

Coveteur magazine article on Milos and other Greek Islands

 

The Milos port town Adamantas (also known as Adamas) is seen in the lead photo for a Coveteur magazine mini-guide to the Cyclades islands

 

In July, lifestyle publication Coveteur magazine  cited Milos as one of  The 7 best under-the-radar Greek Islands to visit.

“Milos, in all of its rustic, small-town charm, is unanimously beloved by locals and visitors alike,” says writer Monica Mendal.

Her mini island-hopping guide is a quick and easy read since each of the seven islands is described in a succinct one-paragraph blurb that suggests  top places to visit, dine and stay. But  it does confirm what others have been saying — Milos is one of the best lesser-known islands in the Cyclades, and offers a completely different holiday experience than the heavily-touristed Mykonos and Santorini.

 

Robb Report article on 9 Greek Islands

 Robb Report recommends Milos for romance seekers

 

Milos made it onto another list of recommended Greek islands, this time in an August 24 article in Robb Report, a global luxury publication read by more than 571,000 high-net-worth people in 28 countries.

Penned by Emma Reynolds, the quick-to-read mini-guide suggests 9 Greek islands where every kind of traveler can escape the crowds.

Reynolds selected what she thought would be the best islands to visit based on specific personal travel preferences such as history, adventure, wellness, family time and more. In describing Milos as her choice as an ideal destination for romance, she explains why Milos is known as “the island for lovers,” and advises where visitors can experience the island’s “true spirit.”

 

Vogue UK article on lesser known Greek islands to visit

The postcard-pretty fishing settlement of Mandrakia is shown in the heading for a U.K. Vogue guide to Milos and four other islands

 

“A place of cliffs and higgledy-piggledy boathouses, there’s an otherworldly allure at play here,” writer Harriet Charnock-Bates says of Milos in her article 5 lesser known Greek islands you can still visit this summer, published August 19 in the British edition of Vogue magazine.

She short-lists unique beaches “worth writing home about,” suggests how to enjoy “a superlative view of the coastline,” and recommends where to go to “watch the sun melt into the Aegean.”

 

— Travel blog articles —

 

The World Pursuit article 20 things to do on Milos

The World Pursuit travel blog compiled a guide to  beaches, villages and other top attractions on Milos

 

Well-travelled digital nomads Natasha Alden and Cameron Seagle visited Milos for the first time this summer, and compiled a comprehensive travel guide for their website, The World Pursuit.

“Milos has everything you could want out of a trip to the Greek islands. Great food? Epic beaches? Amazing sunsets? Friendly people? Yup! All those things are what make Milos so special,” says the introduction to the blog post 20 best things to do in Milos, Greece,  which was written by Natasha.

As expected, beaches figure prominently on their must-see list, but villages (including Mandrakia, where they stayed), sunset viewing spots, historic sites and day trips to nearby off-the-beaten path islands also made their top 20 round-up. As did Medusa, the restaurant where Justin Bieber popped in for his now-famous sardine lunch.

The World Pursuit guide includes a map and general information about transportation around the island, places to stay, and best times to visit. But what we enjoyed  the most were the gorgeous photos that illustrate the article.

 

Once Upon A Journey article about Milos beaches

The Once Upon a Journey blog profiled the most famous as well as a few little-known beaches on Milos

 

Milos holds bragging rights to a staggering number of beaches — anywhere from 30 to 40, according to most travel publications, or as many as 84, a figure mentioned in the Hemispheres magazine article Three Perfect Days in Greece, which we showed you earlier in this post. Though the actual number may be open to question, travel experts do agree the island is blessed with an extensive variety of beaches — far more, in fact, than most visitors would ever have time to see (let alone find).

Yet, despite the staggering number of seaside spots to choose from, most travel writers tend to visit and refer to pretty much the same areas as everyone else: Sarakiniko, Tsigrado, Papafragas, Fyriplaka, Paleochori, Provatas, Firopotamos and Kleftiko. Those may be among the most popular and most-visited (no surprise there, since they get the most publicity), but there are so many other unique and interesting beaches waiting to be discovered. So we were happy to see that the Once Upon A Journey blog post 21x best beaches in Milos to visit recommended several of the less familiar but nonetheless splendid seasides.

The listing, by Dutch travel bloggers Maartje Hensen and Roxanne Weijer, is filled with terrific photos of the island’s world-famous swimming spots as well as off-the-beaten path beaches and serene, secluded coves that can be reached only by boat. The accompanying text describes each place and indicates what, if any, facilities (beach beds, taverns, canteens) might be available for visitors.

We were glad that Maartje and Roxanne included the Sykia cave on their list; it was one of the two most memorable stops on our sailboat tour of Milos in 2007 (the other was Kleftiko), as well as one of the most amazing natural sights we have seen in all the Greek islands, yet it rarely appears on the radar for many bloggers and travel writers. (You can read about our own excursion, and see our photos from the cavern, in our blog post Our sailboat tour to Sykia and Kleftiko on Milos.)

 

— Architecture & design magazine profiles of Voronoi’s Corrals on Milos —

 

IFDM article on the Hourglass Corral vacation home on Milos island

 Hourglass Corral vacation house in Milos Greece

An astounding holiday home and agricultural complex on Milos enthralled the world’s architecture and design communities in 2021. Two design publications, IFDM (top) and domus, profiled the project this year.

 

Milos came to the attention of architecture and home design enthusiasts and professionals when industry publications profiled Hourglass Corral / Voronoi’s Corrals, an extraordinary holiday home and agricultural complex built into a hillside above the island’s southern coast.

An award-winning design by Athens-based DECA Architecture, the project was completed in 2020 and attracted international publicity this year when building and design magazines published feature stories and photos of the amazing property.

A video presentation on the DECA website describes the remarkable project as a “residential landscape” that proposes “a new paradigm for sustainable development, where agricultural production co-exists harmoniously with inhabitation.”

You can read about the project and view photos in:

♦ the October 28 2021 article Vanishing into Nature, published by IFDM | Furniture Interior Design Magazine; and

♦ the June 16 2021 feature In Milos, DECA Architecture rethinks the vacation house, published by the Italian architecture, design and art magazine domus.

Even better is the DECA Architecture website page for Voronoi’s Corrals, which is chock full of information about the project as well as fabulous photos and videos of the property and its breathtaking location on Milos. The images and film offer incredible views of Milos you won’t see in travel publications or blogger videos.

 

— Milos hotel profile & review articles —

 

Milos hotel guide from Travel + Style website

Hotel review site Travel + Style spotlights 21 cool places to stay on Milos — and gives honourable mention to two dozen others

 

Until just several years ago, travel writers often commented that one of the few drawbacks to visiting Milos was its rather limited range of accommodations, and its even scarcer supply of upscale digs.  As a consequence, Milos “has been overlooked as a high-end holiday destination,” notes the luxury hotel review website Travel + Style, which is read by a well-travelled and affluent global audience.

But “discerning travellers” are now discovering Milos, thanks to a “thrilling new wave of cool hotel openings,” the website says in its June 22 2021 feature story, The ultimate guide to the best chic hotels in Milos, Greece.

The article is illustrated with beautiful, dreamy photos that might give you the instant urge to pack your bags and book suites at one of the 21 highlighted hotels. The report also lists another two dozen accommodation properties that the website says are worth checking into. We found the pictures of views from the Milos Breeze and Aqua House to be the most appealing of the bunch, but we undoubtedly would be happy to stay at any of the places that made it onto the Travel + Style list.

 

Greek Australian hoteliers on Milos island

Australian newspaper The Greek Herald profiled three Greek-Australian women who opened the White Pebble Suites this year

 

One of the this year’s new arrivals, White Pebble Suites, received widespread publicity and acclaim both before and after its official opening in mid-June.

Situated in Pollonia, the luxury boutique hotel was established by three Greek-Australian women — Lefka Georgantis, Helen Logas and Aphrodite Lambrou — who share backgrounds in the travel and hospitality sectors.

In the June 20 2021 article Greek Australian trio set off on new hotel adventure in Milos, The Greek Herald newspaper from Australia tells how the women brought their hotel project from just a dream to reality.

White Pebble Suites also caught the eye of the Danish design and interior company Tine K Home, whose website published the profile Hideaway on Milos, Greece’s most photogenic island.

In July, the Greek travel, culture and lifestyle website Insights Greece wrote about White Pebble Suites in its article Stunning new boutique hotel opens in Milos.

The hotel also drew praise from Fodor’s Travel, which ranked it as one of The ten dreamiest hotels in the Greek Islands. and from The Sunday Times, which listed it in the November 18 piece Best Greek island hotels.

And it was featured in the White Pebble Suites: Hotel in Pollonia profile on the hotel and travel website Stay Some Days.

You can see more of the hotel at its own web and social media links:

Website: White Pebble Suites

Instagram: @whitepebblesuites

Facebook: @whitepebblesuites

 

The Hotel Trotter profile article on White Coast Pool Suites on Milos island

The Hotel Trotter says the White Coast Pool Suites embraces its guests in “an enchanting microcosm of haute bohemia.”

 

Milos welcomed a second new luxury hotel in mid-June — White Coast Pool Suites — and it, too, swiftly grabbed the attention of international travel and hotel websites and publications.

Advance publicity included the Home Journal article White Coast Pool Suites set to open its door in June, and the Forbes magazine preview of 69 of the newest summer hotel openings around the world.  The French edition of Vanity Fair magazine also gave the hotel a thumbs-up in its report, Les hôtels qui nous font rêver au bords de la Méditerranée.

In the Travel + Style feature that we discussed earlier, White Coast ranked #1 on their list of 21 chic hotels on Milos.

Greek journalist Eleni Stasinopoulou spent several days at White Coast in July, and recounted her sumptuous experience in a profile published in The Hotel Trotter, a website focused “on stylish hotel moments around the globe.”

Her article Feeling relaxed and pampered at White Coast Pool Suites Milos describes the boutique hotel as “an ultra-luxurious, adult-only accommodation that perfectly balances the island life in the raw with the high-end pampering,” and notes it was “created to meet the high standards of the romantic jet setters of this world.”

Stasinopoulou’s piece also looks at the hotel’s poolside restaurant, Bianco Drinks & Gastronomy.

Meanwhile, one of the hotel’s first guests was Sabrina Chakici, who details her delightful experience there in a clip posted at the top of Part 3 of this series.  She gives viewers a tour of her suite and private infinity pool, as well as the hotel restaurant and main swimming pool, starting at the 6:30 mark of her video.

 

Continue reading and watch the videos in Part 3: How Milos wowed the world in videos and travel vlog reports

Crete city of Chania launches new tourism website

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New tourism website for the city of Chania on Crete island in Greece

Chania, the second-largest city on Crete island, introduced its new tourism website and travel promotion slogan — Chania: A City of Many Tales — on September 27 2021

 

New travel resource: If you’ve been considering a trip to the city of Chania on Crete island, whether for the first time or a repeat visit, there’s a new website you should bookmark  for your holiday research and planning. Launched in late September 2021 by the Chania Tourism Bureau, the site —  chaniatourism.gr — is chock full of information, descriptions, photos and maps that will assist travellers arriving for either a short city break or an extended vacation.

For people who haven’t yet been to Chania, or haven’t even had it on their travel radar, a few clicks through the website — starting with the “Why Chania” section — will quickly reveal why it’s a must-see destination, and in fact has been such throughout its rich and colourful history of 4,000+ years.

The website notes that, for centuries, Chania “has served as a nautical crossroad between three continents, a pole of attraction for powerful trade transactions and for Empires driven by intentions of conquest and expansion. Romans, Arabs, Venetians and Ottomans have marched, conquered and left a deep footprint, creating a modern, cultural mosaic on the architectural outlook of the city and a cosmopolitan feel at this remote corner of the Mediterranean.”

Chania also has been blessed with incredibly beautiful scenery and spectacular natural landscapes, ranging from stunning beaches, bays and coastlines to imposing mountains, gorges, caves and valleys. These unspoiled natural wonders, combined with the city’s abundant historical and cultural uniqueness, have made Chania an enticing year-round destination for travellers from around the world.

The city’s longevity and its endurance through eras of occupation and governance by foreign powers have left Chania with a richly storied history, which its tourism board’s new slogan — Chania: A City of Many Tales — invites visitors to discover,  while creating memorable stories of their own  as they explore, experience and enjoy the region.

 

Neighbourhoods section of the Chania Crete tourism website

The website’s Neighbourhoods: Little treasure islands page provides detailed descriptions, maps and photos of key spots in the old city and Chania’s modern suburbs — as well as suggested walking routes.

 

The tourism website will be informative and useful even to people who have been to Chania before, since it may reveal neighbourhoods, monuments, attractions and other points of interest they may have missed on their earlier visits.

One of the website features we were most pleased to see is the section entitled Neighbourhoods: Little treasure islands, which provides helpful information about nine significant and distinct parts of the city, along with maps and suggested walking routes that lead past important landmarks and points of interest. 

“Wandering around the different quarters of the city, feels like timelining backwards as if each decisive point in history is revealed like a layer,” the website says. “The Jewish quarter, the Turkish quarter, the Venetian harbor, the aristocratic neighborhood of Chalepa, the derelict industrial tanneries at Tabakaria, the coastal Koum Kapi and the beach town of Nea Chora, compose a colorful architectural and historical mosaic with complementary and contrasting characteristics, representative of the heritage each culture, era and economic stratum brought to the table.”

We’ve been to Chania twice, most recently in the autumn of 2017, and spent our entire time exploring the city on foot, wandering through streets and along harbour and seafront areas mentioned in a travel guide travel guide we had purchased in a local bookshop. We had a wonderful time, but our meandering definitely would have been far more enlightening and interesting with the website’s walking route maps (which pinpointed some noteworthy places we completely missed seeing.)

 

SCreenshot of the visit page of the Chania tourism website

 

Another excellent resource is the website’s Visit / An authentic experience section, which provides information and photos of highlight attractions within and close to the city, including:  monuments and top historic sites; beaches;  gorges and caves;  churches and monasteries;  museums and collections; and the Chania suburbs and nearby villages.

Be sure to check out the drop-down menu entitled “Don’t Miss,” which navigates to separate sections concerning such “unique experiences” as activities, local traditions and agritourism. The “local tips” page offers insights into local culture by suggesting things to see and do “where the people around you will be mostly locals.” 

Information on sports and both indoor and outdoor activities, as well as the world-famous Cretan Diet, can be found in other website sections.

 

To learn more about visiting Chania, follow these links to the tourism website and its related social media pages:

Web: Chania tourism

Facebook: @Chania.tourism

Instagram: @chaniatourism

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