Category: Sports (page 1 of 4)

Mykonos activities, tours & other things to do 2022

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Activities and tours available on Mykonos in 2022

Images from some popular Mykonos activity and tour providers, from top left: Mykonos Horseland; Mykonos Raceland go-kart center; Mykonos Kayak; Maria-Eleni Sfaellou from Bespoke Mykonos guided tours; a cooking class at Mykonos Spiti & Farm; Kite Mykonos; a Mykonos Phototour picture of the Armenistis lighthouse; Yummy Pedals e-bikes; animals at the Mykonos Spiti farm; kids on a horse riding lesson at IPPOS Mykonos.

 

 

Editor’s note: This post is still under construction, as we continue to add more activities and attractions

 

Beyond the bars and beaches: Mykonos may be famous for its beaches, boutiques and nightlife, but there’s a lot more to do on the island than just sunbathe, swim, party or shop ’til you drop. Activities abound for visitors, whether they’re travelling solo, as a couple, with family or in a group — either visiting the island just for the day on a cruise stop, or staying on Mykonos for a few days or an extended holiday.

Want to go sightseeing? There’s a wide variety of guided tours available that will show you scenic off the main tourist path parts of the island either on foot, by bicycle, on horseback, or in a jeep or other vehicle.

Are you a foodie who’d like to take a cooking class, taste traditional Greek dishes, or learn about olive oil or cheese making? Or are you more interested in sampling local craft beer or wine, either at a craft brewery or local vineyard, or on a private scenic tour? There’s a number of tours focussed on food and wine, as well as specialized cooking classes and demonstrations, wine or beer tastings, and more.

Looking for fitness, fun outdoor activities or watersports?  You can choose from kayaking; horseback riding; windsurfing, kitesurfing & boarding; yoga, pilates & other fitness classes; go-karting; and boat, sailboat and yacht tours and excursions galore.

If you’re a history and culture buff,  the ruins and archaeological site of Delos island — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — are a must-visit, and easily reached by boats that depart from a pier near the town hall in Mykonos Town. There’s several interesting museums, along with a municipal art gallery and a number of excellent private art galleries that showcase works by Greek and international artists.

And for evening entertainment, how about watching a movie under the stars at the Cine Manto outdoor cinema in the heart of Mykonos Town?

Below, and on page 2 of this post, we spotlight those and other top Mykonos attractions and activities:

 

 

Guided tours, sightseeing excursions and day trips to other islands

 

Two Delos Tours vessels docked at the Delos island port

The most popular partial day trip/tour excursion available on Mykonos is one of the daily boat trips to nearby Delos island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important and historic archaeological sites in all of Greece. (Admission to the site costs €8 per person, payable at the entrance gate.) Since the 1970s, the Mykonos-based family business Delos Tours has been operating boats that ferry tourists to Delos to explore the ancient ruins of what was once a thriving and wealthy cosmopolitan port city. From April until the end of October, the Delos Tours boats make daily return trips (weather conditions permitting), and visitors can either buy €22 per person tickets for just the boat transfer so they can see Delos at their own pace, or they can purchase €60 per person tickets for organized tours that include the boat trip, entrance to the site, and a guided tour of the ruins by a certified tourist guide. (Guided tours are free for children under 6 years old, and €30 for kids aged 6 to 12.) Full details of boat and guided tour schedules, and online ticket booking, are available on the Delos Tours website.

 

Tour activities offered by Kyklomar Tours on Mykonos

Operating for the past 27 years, Kyklomar Tours will resume its popular series of excursions and private tours this spring. Its City and Island Tours start on April 3, while its Jeep Safaris will begin on April 18. Tours to Delos island start May 2, Tinos island day trips on May 3, south coast boat cruises on May 21, and sunset cruises on May 22. A Wine & Culture tour can be booked anytime upon request.  The company also offers transfer services. Full details of the tours, including start times, meeting points and prices, are outlined on the Kyklomar Tours website

 

Yummy Pedals Mykonos bicycle and hiking tours

Open for bookings and requests throughout the year, Yummy Pedals began operating its guided bicycle and hiking tours on March 15.  Yummy Pedals offers a variety of half- and full-day adventures for people of all ages and abilities, with excursions tailor-made for singles, couples, families, honeymooners, and cruise passengers.  Romantic escapes and special events can be arranged, and electric bikes are available for booking.

 

Mykonos Excursions tours and activities on Mykonos

A part of the Mykonian Spiti farm and cooking class business, Mykonos Excursions offers an extensive array of adventures and activities, including cooking demonstrations and classes; farm visits; hiking, walking and jeep tours; sunset and southern beach cruises; island tours; and even a day trip to Andros island.  Their season started in March.

 

Blue Lion jeep safari tours on Mykonos

Again this year, Blue Lion Safari is offering its selection of private and semi-private specialized Jeep tours of Mykonos.  The options include 5-hour private and semi-private morning tours and sunset tours through northern regions of Mykonos; a 10-hour full day private tour; and a special occasion private tour that will be customized to private a unique adventure experience on Mykonos. The tours include a meal and wine stop along the way. Maps and descriptions of the tour itineraries, along with contact information, are available on the Blue Lion Safari website.

 

Mykonos Photo Tour

Mykonos Photo Tour returns April 24, offering private island photo tours and photography shoots, location guides and travel coordination services hosted by its founder, Achim Eckhardt

 

Maria-Eleni Sfaellou of Bespoke Mykonos private guided tours

 Private guided tours on Mykonos are available now from licensed tour guide Maria-Eleni Sfaellou of Bespoke Mykonos. Starting on April 1, Maria-Eleni also will be available to provide guided tours at the Delos island archaeological site. 

 

 

 

Food, beer and wine-focussed tours, classes and activities

 

Photos of Mykonian Spiti and Farm on Mykonos island

One of the island’s best-known food and farm attractions, Mykonian Spiti & Farm hosts cooking classes and demonstrations, wine tastings, and tours of its farm. Located in the island’s Messaria district, Mykonian Spiti offers day and evening cooking classes hosted by Teta Fragedaki. The spiti’s other activities include wine tastings, traditional lunches and dinners, a farm bakery class with lunch, a farm barbecue, olive oil tasting, and a variety of experiences — ideal for children — on the farm.

 

Rizes Folklore Farmstead on Mykonos

Photo collage from the website for Rizes Folklore Farmstead & Restaurant Mykonos

A 5-acre property in the Maou area near Ano Mera, Rizes Folklore Farmstead offers guided tours of a re-created Chorio (traditional Myconian farmstead), including its house; chapel; vineyard, olive grove and vegetable garden; wine pressing vat; cheese workshop; folklore exhibitions; stable, dovecote and chicken coop; and a visit with the domestic farm animals. Cooking and bread baking classes also are offered.  In addition, the farmstead has a popular restaurant where visitors can enjoy freshly-cooked traditional meals, including  homemade pies, salads and spreads, and vegetable and meat dishes, all prepared according to Greek and Myconian recipes and techniques, and made primarily with local ingredients and products.  On Sundays, Rizes presents live Greek folk music entertainment, and hosts party feasts to celebrate national holidays and important religious events. During winter, Rizes was open only on weekends, but since April 16 has been open every day from noon until 9 p.m.

 

Mykonos Vioma Organic Farm & Winery

April 1 is opening day for Mykonos Vioma Organic Farm & Winery, located in the Maou area near Ano Mera. Operated by the Asymomitis family, the farm offers daily free guided tours that show visitors its biodynamic cultivation and wine making techniques. The farm also hosts tastings of their wines and local products, and kids can meet and play with the farm’s four-legged residents. 

 

Tour in Mykonian Land on Mykonos

The unique Tour in Mykonian Land experiences return on April 1. The two-hour guided tours of an estate in the Marathi area take visitors through an olive grove, vineyard and wine press facility, and conclude at the on-site taverna. There, guests are treated to traditional live music entertainment while they sample local food delicacies and some of the estate’s wines and olive oil. 

 

 

Mykonos Farmers cooking class workshop

Located in the Agios Lazaros area, Mykonos Farmers is a facility that specializes in the production of Mykonian cheeses (including the spicy Mykonos Kopanisti cheese) and other dairy products using traditional methods. Visitors are welcome to drop in for a tour of the facilities, and to sample the products. Mykonos Farmers also offers interactive cooking workshops that will introduce participants to cheese making, along with recipes to take home. Tours and workshops are available for large and small groups alike.

 

Anita Zachou of Mykonos Olive Oil Tasting

From May 15 to October 15, Anita Zachou of Mykonos Olive Oil Tasting will again host her group tasting workshops every afternoon. Private tasting sessions, special event tasting parties, on-yacht sessions and children’s workshops also are available. Full details of the company’s tasting sessions and activities, as well as booking and contact information, are available on the Mykonos Olive Oil Tasting website.

 

Mykonos Brewing Company

Mykonos Brewing Company is the island’s first, and only, craft brewery, and makes the local Mikonu brand of beers.  Located in the Argyraina area just outside Mykonos Town, the brewery is a complete brewhouse and taproom in an underground facility that once housed the island’s bowling alley. Visitors can advance book tours and tasting sessions, or can simply walk in to visit the taproom and sample the brews.  The taproom has windows offering a view of the brewery production area, and “is a family friendly, pet friendly, snack friendly, board game friendly space with a bar and table seating area.” The taproom is open year-round; its hours of operation for the spring and summer are Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

 

The Wine Society Mykonos

The Wine Society exclusive wine tastings return on April 1, along with other unique holiday experiences curated by Georgia and Stelios, co-owners of Your Concierge. Their company’s one-of-a-kind activities include a variety of walking tours (a morning excursion that includes a breakfast break; an evening tour that includes a stop for a cocktail, and another that features a beach picnic); a souvlaki cooking class; a Greek cocktail masterclass; and a fish meze picnic at a secret beach. Your Concierge also can create customized private tours and memorable activities for visitors celebrating special occasions. Their experiences can be scheduled for anytime between April 1 and October 31. Full descriptions and details of the various experiences can be found on the Mykonos Experiences page of the Your Concierge website.

 

 

Open-air movie entertainment

 

Cine Manto outdoor cinema on Mykonos

Cine Manto is an outdoor cinema located in a beautiful botanical garden oasis in the heart of Mykonos Town.  Open from the beginning of June until the end of September, it presents a nightly roster of original release, first-run movies (usually in English, with Greek subtitles).  Besides the nightly Hollywood entertainment, Cine Manto boasts a cafe-restaurant which operates from 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. daily, offering a unique, tree-shaded spot to escape the hustle and bustle of Mykonos and relax with a reasonably-priced breakfast, lunch or BBQ dinner meal and beverages.  The garden also hosts special events as well as mosaic workshops and morning yoga classes offered by Sweat Vacay (you’ll find information about both of those activities on page 2 of that post.

 

Please click on the link below to continue reading on page 2, where we profile fitness, sports and outdoor fun activities; cultural attractions and activities; and boat, sailboat and yacht tours and excursions.

 

CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

Pages: 1 2

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.

 

Video spotlight on: Zakynthos

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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Related posts:

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

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

How to visit Greece during your Covid-10 quarantine;

Video spotlights spectacular Greece sights and scenery to send inspiring message

 

Travel video promotes Crete as a winter holiday destination

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This 2-minute promotional video by Incredible Crete features enticing views of Cretan food and wine, and wonderful winter scenery

 

If you think Crete is a place worth visiting only in summer to experience its exquisite beaches, historic archaeological sites, outdoor activities, food, wine and culture, the island’s regional tourism authority wants you to think again — and to consider paying Crete a winter visit.

Incredible Crete, the island’s official tourism agency, recently released a promotional video entitled Crete: Sense the authentic winter! in a bid to boost off-season travel to Greece’s largest island.

Crete is one of the most popular islands in Greece, but many people mistakenly believe it’s a summertime destination “open” only from April to October. While it’s true that winter isn’t suitable for beach fun like swimming, sunbathing and water sports, and the Samaria Gorge (one of the island’s top outdoor tourist attractions) is closed to hikers for weather and safety reasons, that doesn’t mean Crete completely shuts down for the season.

On the contrary, Crete is a veritable winter wonderland.

Lakkoi village in Crete seen in a winter photo from mapio.net

This winter photo of Lakkoi village, in the Chania prefecture, is from the Lakkoi page on mapio.net 

 

Chania and Heraklion are superb city-break destinations year-round, while many of the island’s museums, historic and archaeological sites remain open, albeit on reduced hours of operation. Plenty of tavernas and restaurants continue serving renowned Cretan cuisine and wine, while outdoor activities are available, including scenic walks and trekking, and adventure snow sports in some areas. And of course there’s one thing that doesn’t disappear just because it’s winter: Crete’s gorgeous natural scenery — from mountains and valleys to coastlines and beaches — is beautiful to behold 365 days a year.

 

Venetian Harbour at Heraklion Crete seen in a photo by the municipality of Heraklion

The Koules Fortress and the Venetian Harbour at Heraklion are seen in a photo from the municipality of Heraklion website. Below is a picture we shot at Chania’s harbourfront during a late October trip to Crete.

The historic harbour at Chania Crete

 

As the Sense the authentic winter video demonstrates, Crete can overwhelm your senses even in winter, and that’s why tourism officials are hoping to encourage more travellers to give the island a look during the off-season.

Should you be interested in exploring Crete during the winter, you’ll find information about activities, accommodations and attractions in these online resources:

Incredible Crete, the island’s official tourism website, is packed with an extensive array of information and photos to help travellers plan island visits;

♦ The Creti.co blog article suggests its Top 10 reasons for spending your winter holidays in Crete, while …

♦ the Cretan Beaches website suggests its own 11 Reasons to visit Crete in winter;

♦ The Crete in Winter page of CreteTravel.com describes places to visit, and includes links to accommodations;

♦ The official website for the city of Heraklion is loaded with information about the city, including news and event listings, maps, photos and videos, and offers a  special Visitor section with details about museums and attractions.

♦ the official tourism website for Chania also features extensive information for visitors, while

♦ the Fabulous Crete blog post Winter in Crete from a different side of view has descriptions and photos showing what the island is like in the off-season.

Additionally, a simple web search for “winter travel to Crete,” or similar topics will yield scores of additional sites and articles, including websites for specific accommodations that are open year-round on the island.

 

Below are more winter photos of Crete, followed by a video of breathtaking mountain and valley scenery in the Lasithi region in early winter of 2019.

Winter view of Heraklion Crete harbourfront in a photo from the Festivalaki page on Facebook

The snowy Psiloritis mountains provide an impressive winter backdrop to this photo of the Heraklion harbourfront. The image is from the Facebook page Festivalaki: Cretan festival of Arts & Culture.

 

Rethymno Crete harbourfront photo from the Facebook page for Festivalaki Cretan festival of arts and culture

The harbourfront of Rethymno is captured in a winter photo by Theofilis Papadopoulos.  The image was shared on the Festivalaki page on Facebook.

 

Festivalaki Facepage page photo of Chania Crete harbour

Another photo from the Festivalaki Facebook page, this time showing Chania’s historic harbourfront with a snow-capped mountain backdrop

 

Winter hiking photo from Incredible Crete page on Facebook

From the Incredible Crete site, a photo of winter trekkers visiting old mountaintop windmills

 

Incredible Crete photo of climbers on Spathi peak of Dikti Mountains in Lasithi region of the island

Also from Incredible Crete, an image of adventure climbers on the Spathi peak of the Dikti Mountains

 

Stunning winter views of the Lasithi region are shown in this clip of photos and videos by Renos Drone Works

 

Zameer Pactyan published this video of Mount Psiloritis and the White Mountains on January 4 2020. Breathtaking panoramic views of the mountains can be seen starting from the 45 second mark in the film.

Top beach, golf, diving and other outdoor activity attractions near Marathopoli

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Proti Island

Located just one nautical mile from the town of Marathopoli in southwestern Messenia, Proti Island is a popular day trip destination for swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving, rock climbing, cliff jumping and trekking. This aerial photo of Proti Island is from the website for the Artina hotels in Marathopoli.

 

Lagouvardos, shown in this aerial video by Giannis Mpantes, is a long golden sand beach less than 3 kilometers from Marathopoli. It’s considered one of the top surfing spots in Greece, and also attracts enthusiasts of windsurfing, SUP, canoeing and other watersports. 

 

Surf’s up!: In a recent post I noted that the quiet, laid-back town of Marathopoli is an ideal base for travellers wishing to explore Methoni, Pylos, Navarino, Voidokilia and other popular places in the Messenian region of the southwestern Peloponnese. 

Even closer to the town are two noteworthy destinations that draw active travellers seeking scenic spots for outdoor sports activities such as swimming, surfing, windsurfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, rock climbing, trekking and fishing.

Uninhabited Proti Island, which dominates sea views from the town, is approximately one nautical mile away and can be accessed in summer on boat trips from Marathopoli harbour.  The tours take passengers to secluded coves, including Grammeno Bay,  and stop at picturesque Vourlia beach for sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling or jumping into the sea from rocks and ledges along the rugged coast. 

 

This aerial video of a boat trip to Vourlia beach on Proti island is from the website for Proti Cruises, which offers a variety of daily “mini cruise” excursions from Marathopoli

 

Proti Island monastery

The Monastery of the Assumption of Gorgopigi is one of the sights that hikers might encounter while walking some of the trails on Proti Island. This photo appears on the websites for Lagouvardos Apartments and other Marathopoli-area businesses.

 

 

Trekkers can explore Proti Island on three designated hiking routes, while rock climbers can test their skills on the challenging cliffs and coastal rock formations. Fishing trips and sunset tours also are available.

For those curious to see what lies beneath the waves, Ionian Dive Center offers scuba diving excursions to such island sites as the Anouar shipwreck in Vourlia Bay, the Tiganakia wall and cavern, the Blue Hole cavern with stalactites, Callens Valley and the  Beacon Cove.

 

This video by Ionian Dive Center will take you to the Blue Hole, one of the sights that scuba divers could explore during excursions to Proti Island

 

Lagouvardas beach

This photo from the official Marathopoli tourism website shows an aerial view of the long strip of golden sand at Lagouvardos beach

 

Lagouvardos Beach is only 3 kilometers from Marathopoli so it can easily be reached by car, bicycle or even walking. The Culture Trip website has included Lagouvardos on its list of The Best Surfing Spots in Greece, while travel publications and online guides regularly recommend the beach for windsurfing, stand up paddle boarding (SUP), swimming, canoeing and other watersports. Equipment rentals and lessons are available from the Beach Break surf club at Lagouvardos.

For beach lovers and watersports fans who don’t mind driving a little farther afield, some of Messenia’s most beautiful and world-famous beaches — including Vromoneri, Mati, Romanos, Golden Sands Divari, and the incomparable Voidokilia — are situated within a span of just 7 to 15 kilometers. 

 

Vromoneri Beach

Just 7 kilometers from Marathopoli is Vromoneri beach, seen in an image from AllMessenia.com

 

Located about 9 km from Marathopoli is gorgeous Mati beach, seen in this aerial video by KOABeach Pool Bar

 

Additionally, the Marathopoli area is ideal for bicycling and mountain biking, while two globally renowned 18-hole courses at nearby Costa Navarino offer golfers the opportunity to tee off in spectacular settings.

 

Dunes Golf Course at Navarino

Award-winning world-class links await golf enthusiasts at Costa Navarino, just 13 km from Marathopoli. The green pictured above is on The Dunes Course, while the one below is on The Bay Course. Both images are from the Costa Navarino Facebook page.

 

Bay Course golf course at Navarino

More stunning photos and extensive information about the two golf resorts can be found in the golf section of the Costa Navarino website.

Top places to visit for a winter holiday in Greece

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Arachova Greece

The alpine town of Arachova in Central Greece, seen during our visit in June 2017. The website Greece Is has ranked Arachova one of the country’s Top 10 places to visit in wintertime 

 

Off season delights: Are you trying to pick a place to visit for a unique winter getaway? Have you considered going to Greece?

If you’re like many of the people reading this post, you probably picture Greece only as a summer destination, primarily because of the immense popularity of its world-famous beach-blessed islands.

However, Greece is more than just islands and beaches — it’s a year-round travel destination with activities and attractions that appeal to everyone, from outdoor sports enthusiasts, to foodies, to history buffs, nature lovers and more.

As for what makes Greece special during the off-season winter months, here’s a nicely succinct description by one of my favourite food, culture and travel publications,  Greece Is:

“Winter is the time to swap the sandals for hiking boots, and the cold beachside beer for a brandy or warm rakomelo by the fireplace. Hearty, slow-cooked stews replace light summertime salads, and a whole host of different seasonal products begin to appear: wild mushrooms, juicy oranges, fat chestnuts. This is a time to experience a different sort of Greece – one of rivers, mountains and glorious natural landscapes as yet undiscovered by mass tourism. One that is emptier, wilder but also comforting in its own way, insulated from the rush and chaos of the modern world.” 

Although there are scores of places in Greece that would be wonderful to visit in the off-season, Greece Is compiled this list of The Top 10 places to visit in Greece in winter:

♦ Zagori

♦  Arachova

♦  Kalavryta

♦  Meteora

♦  Tzoumerka

♦  Metsovo

♦  Loutraki – Pella

♦  the mountains of Corinth

♦  Pilio (also known as Pelion), and

♦  the mountains of Arcadia

What I particularly like about the Greece Is Top 10 list is that it includes descriptions of each destination or area, and outlines the winter activities that are most appealing at each place. The listing also includes links to additional insightful articles and practical information about each location, as well as photo galleries. I found it a great starting-point for researching a trip to Greece not only in winter (though that’s the focus of the ranking), but really for any time of year — all the destinations would be marvellous to visit in spring, summer or fall, as well.

To get some Greece travel inspiration for yourself, click here to read the full article.

 

 

Kalymnos keeps calling

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Kalymnos summer 2016 (above) and Kalymnos island (below) are short videos that spotlight sights, scenery and summer activities on the Dodecanese island famous for its sponge fishing past and its present popularity as one of the world’s premier rock climbing destinations

 

Extra enticement: There are times I’m convinced that somebody in Greece is secretly monitoring my email and text communications so they can plant my social media pages with photos, news and videos about places mentioned in my conversations. I couldn’t begin to count the number of times I have chatted with or messaged people about specific areas in Greece, only to see posts about those destinations suddenly appear on my Facebook page or Twitter feed soon afterward.

It happened again this week after a friend texted to ask if I have been to Kalymnos, which she has been considering for an island hopping holiday in the Dodecanese this year. I haven’t been there yet, but I was able to refer her to Kalymnos rocks!, a post I published last year to showcase a video that four young Scottish rock climbers made when they visited Kalymnos to test their skills on its world-famous cliffs. Exhilarating landscapes and scenery in the 4-minute-long film convinced me that Kalymnos is just the kind of island my partner and I would thoroughly enjoy — so I promptly added it to our travel bucket list.

 

 

Mere days after the text chat with my friend, two more Kalymnos videos curiously appeared in the news feed for the MyGreeceTravelBlog Facebook page, no doubt to tempt and tease me into wanting to visit the island even more. Sponsored by the Kalymnian Union of Attica, both clips were produced late last summer and show even more island sights and scenes than the fun rock-climbing film I previously shared on the blog. Since I have found myself contemplating a future trip to Kalymnos once again, I am sharing the clips here for the benefit of any readers who may be planning to spend some time on the island this summer.

Meanwhile, in text messages a few days ago, my friend and I discussed Kefalonia and Lefkada, as well as some destinations in mainland Greece. Sure enough, my social media feeds quickly filled with images and information about both islands and the other places we had discussed. Spooky? Absolutely! But maybe it’s just a goodhearted online spy who is simply trying to assist with my holiday travel planning. Whether it’s purely coincidental or not, don’t be surprised if I start blogging about how much I would like to see Kefalonia, Lefkada and certain other places this summer!

In the meantime, have a look at Kalymnos to see if it should be on your own Greek holiday bucket list.

 

 

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