Category: Places on my bucket list (page 3 of 5)

Set your sights on Skiathos!

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André Eckhardt shot Skiathos — Eyes wide open (2015) during a week-long visit to the island and its neighbours, Skopelos and Alonissos

 

Island beauty: I’ve been in a Skiathos state of mind today. I haven’t been to the island yet, but hearing some of the soundtrack for the 2008 hit movie Mamma Mia!, which was partly filmed there, got me daydreaming about it this morning. Then I logged onto my blog’s Facebook page, where my news feed was filled with photos and videoclips showing streets, trees, fields, houses and beaches blanketed in snow (flurries fell on Skiathos today during a storm that left parts of the island without electricity for over six hours). You can see some of those pictures in my Mamma Mia! Here it snows again post below.

A link in a Facebook post subsequently led me to the André Eckhardt video of Skiathos that I posted above, and a quick peak on YouTube took me to a few more travel films of the island, one of which I’ve posted below.

Happily, the videos show Skiathos in sunny, summery conditions, so I’m sharing them here in case you’re in the throes of  gloomy winter weather wherever you might be — the sight of some gorgeous Greek island scenery is bound to boost your spirits. Only 149 more days until summer!

[Editor’s update: If you enjoy these videos, click here to see another enticing film that I shared on February 25 2016.]

 

 Skyframe.gr isn’t kidding when it describes its short video Skiathos Summer 2015 volume 2 as “a small teaser of aerial footage for Skiathos Island.” Teaser indeed! It will certainly leave you wanting to see more.

 

Views of Vai and Preveli, Crete’s amazing palm grove beaches

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Palmtree forest of Vai beach, by Emmanouil Papadopoulos, will show you what it’s like to gaze out to sea from the shade of a palm tree on the sand 

 

Palm tree paradise: In a recurring daydream, I’m laying on a golden sand beach, looking at a tempting turquoise sea, while the gently swaying fronds of a palm tree shade me from the blazing sun. It’s something I have done on Hawaii and in the Caribbean, but in this particular fantasy I’m on a Greek island vacation.

It’s a dream that could come true for me on Crete, where Vai beach boasts the largest natural palm tree forest in Europe — over 250,000 square meters of Cretan date palms.

Vai is situated near the northeastern tip of Crete, a 30-minute, 24-km drive from the town of Sitia, which I wrote about in my December 23 post, Sitia casts its spell. Once a haven for hippies in the 1970s, Vai is now one of the most popular tourist beaches in eastern Crete.  

 

 

 

It’s not the only scenic beach with a palm tree grove on Crete.  There is a unique palm-tree-lined river lagoon behind Preveli beach on the island’s south-central coast near Plakias (about 43 km south of Rethymno). 

You can find photos and detailed information about Vai beach, including driving directions, on the Explore Crete website.

Photos and helpful information about Preveli beach can be found on the We Love Crete website.

Below are several videos that have led me to picture myself relaxing on a palm tree beach. The first two show Vai, while most of the bottom video shows the Preveli beach area, followed by some views of Vai.

 

Το Βαϊ από ψηλά – Vai palm grove on high is a 6.5-minute aerial video shot by Heraklion-based filmmaker Nikos Sarantos. If features impressive views of the palm forest, as well as the beach, bay, and surrounding coast.

 

The Miracle of Vai is an artistic time-lapse film showing the palm forest and beach from breathtaking day and night perspectives. Shot by Manos Efchetzis, it was compiled from “more than 6,000 images of night and day long exposure photography, taken over a month of photo shooting and edits.”

 

Lake Preveli & Vai, by YouTube contributor milero1000, shows scenes primarily from Preveli lake and beach in southern Crete, but also includes views of Vai during the final minute of the clip

Enchanting Alonissos

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The Secret Magic of Alonnisos – Teaser is a short film by Costas Kalogiannis 

 

While we were visiting Andros last month, we met a Swiss woman who spends her summers on Alonissos, a verdant isle in the North Sporades. When she heard how much we were enjoying our walks and hikes on Andros, she assured us that we would equally love Alonissos, which boasts scenic mountain walks and villages, ravines, forests and wildlife, and picturesque coves and bays. (It’s also part of a national marine park which happens to be the largest marine-protected area in Europe.)

The island looked gorgeous in the dozens of photos she showed us on her ipad, and her descriptions of things to see and do on Alonissos easily convinced us to add it to our list of Greek holiday destinations to visit on future trips.

Once we got home from our latest vacation, I discovered a short video of Alonissos that I’m sharing for readers who, like me, might not be familiar with the island. The Secret Magic of Alonnisos – Teaser is part of a “movie in progress” project by photographer / cinematographer Costas Kalogiannis, who is from Alonissos. The film is only a minute and a half long, but it spotlights some beautiful landscape and village scenery that have sold me on a future visit to this enchanting island. Give it a look to see if the island’s magical allure has the same effect on you!

 

Enticing air & ground tours of Koukounaries beach on Skiathos

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Click on the white arrow to view a fun aerial tour of Koukounaries beach. It was produced by Skiathos Air, a company that provide aerophotography and aerofilming services

 

I haven’t been to Skiathos yet, but I’ve heard endless good comments about its dozens of fabulous beaches, especially Koukounaries, which is one of the largest on the island and apparently the most famous.  After watching the two videos I’ve posted here, I understand why people love it so much — and I wish I could see it for myself this summer!

The first clip is an aerial video filmed with drone technology by Skiathos Air, while the one below was shot from ground level and posted online two years ago by Goran Tosic.

Koukounaries is a beautiful golden sand beach that curls along the edge of a verdant pine forest. (In Greek it’s called Chrisi Ammos, which means “golden sand,” while “koukounaries” means pine cones.) Organized with sunbeds, bars, restaurants and water sports, I’m told  it’s great beach destination for families but also a place where adults can have a blast, too.

It’s now on my bucket list for a future holiday!

 

Click the arrow to view Goran Tosic’s 6-minute video of Koukounaries

 

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