Category: Things I love about Greece

What we can’t wait to eat in Greece next week …


Greek salad

A delicious Greek salad we enjoyed at Maria’s House restaurant in Kos Town



Feta fans: We will be arriving in Greece for our 2013 spring vacation in just a few days, reaching our first island destination around lunch time. And I can tell you right now what we’ll be ordering for lunch: Greek salad.

I make Greek salads often, but they never taste even just a fraction as good as the ones we eat in Greece. The ingredients simply can’t compare. The cucumbers sold at my neighbourhood grocery stores generally have no flavour, the green peppers are usually bitter, the tomatoes tend to be bland and mushy, the olives are sour and rubbery, and the over-salted feta typically has a spongy texture.

It’s a whole different story in Greece, where the vegetables are packed full of flavour and the olives and feta are divine. Just the thought of ordering a Greek salad in Greece practically makes my mouth water.

Can’t wait for our first lunch!


Maria's House restaurant at Averof 80 in Kos Town

Maria’s House at 80 Averof Street in Kos Town. Maria’s was our best — and favourite — dining experience on Kos during our Dodecanese island hopping holiday in May 2010.



Amorgos is a hiker’s paradise


Amorgos hiking path

You will feel like you’re on top of the world while hiking on Amorgos. This particular trail leads from Egali to Chora along what’s called “the spine of Amorgos”



Amorgos hiking path sign

Start points for many of the hiking routes on Amorgos are well-marked by signs. This one even shows the approximate walking times to the destinations indicated.



Wonderful walks: If you like to see vacation destinations on foot rather than through the windows of a rental car or tour bus, you can’t beat the Greek Islands. Most islands, especially those in the Cyclades, are ideal for walking and hiking. Some, like Sifnos and Amorgos, boast extensive networks of footpaths and donkey trails that take visitors to scenic parts of the island that can’t be reached by vehicles.

Amorgos is one of our favourite destinations for hiking.


Pages: 1 2 is now on Flickr!


Click on the image to view a small-format slideshow of photos posted on, or click here to view full-size photos directly from the blog’s Flickr photostream


New Year, new photostream : Regular readers will recall that my blog posts often included links to online photo albums that I had uploaded to Unfortunately, the company that owns Webshots decided to close it down last month, so the thousands of photos I had posted there are no longer available for viewing.

I’m pleased to report that I have established a photostream on It’s still in the early stages of development, with just three collections of pictures available for viewing so far (sets of photos from Ios in 2011, and from Paros and Mykonos in 2012). But I will be creating new albums and uploading more photos regularly.

Please bear with me while I gradually rebuild an online photo collection. I had around 20,000 photos of Greece in over 200 different albums on Webshots, and can’t possibly recreate all of those albums because of the amount of time it would take. But you’ll still be able to see plenty of my photos on Flickr — there are already more than 1,700 on my photostream.

Happy New Year, and happy photo viewing!


Top 6 memories of my Mykonos holiday in 2012 #2: Exploring the streets of Mykonos Town


Mykonos Town

A hillside view overlooking Mykonos Town and its harbour area


Lots to see: Unlike a lot of visitors, I never get bored of Mykonos Town. Many people think they’ve seen all that’s worth seeing after they walk along the harbourside, visit Little Venice, and stroll some of the narrow, twisting streets.

But those people see only the highly commercial, touristy side of Mykonos Town — the lanes lined with jewellery stores, T-shirt shops and tavernas. They don’t wander far enough away from the main tourist zone to walk the quiet residential streets or climb to hillside lookout points that offer amazing views over the town, harbour and beyond.

Even after 7 separate visits to Mykonos, each of which has included a lot of walking around town, I still keep discovering streets and vantage points I’ve never seen in my favourite Greek Island town.


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Things I love about Greece: Waking up to gorgeous views at hotels in the Greek Islands (Part 2)


Donny B in Santorini

I loved the views of Thirassia island (left) and Skaros Rock (right)…


Santorini sunset

… as well as the sunsets we could watch from our private balcony at Grotto Villas/Cliffside Suites in Firostefani village on Santorini


Musical rooms: I could describe our 2006 holiday as “Goldilocks goes to Greece,” because that was the vacation during which we kept switching hotel rooms — or even hotels, in one instance — to find one that felt just right.

On Mykonos, we stayed at the Petasos Beach Resort & Spa at Platis Gialos beach — the same area where we had stayed two years earlier. The Petasos sits on a peninsula between Platis Gialos Bay and Psarou Bay, so its property boasts a wide variety of views of two separate beaches and bays. Our first room at the Petasos had a small ground-level terrace facing Psarou Bay and the Aegean Sea, but we didn’t like the room itself. It was one of the hotel’s older units (the Petasos had been undergoing a major room renovation program, but had not yet overhauled the one we were in), and appeared comfortable enough, but felt very dark and depressing. We couldn’t determine exactly what we didn’t like, but since the room put both of us in a gloomy mood, we asked if we could move.

The hotel manager obligingly relocated us to a bright and cheery room on the second floor. Newly-renovated and upgraded, it looked and felt 100 times better than the first room, and had a much bigger terrace with twin sun loungers as well as a bistro table and two chairs. The trade-off was considerably less privacy and a much less impressive view. The balcony overlooked the back of several Petasos Resort buildings plus a row of terraces for all the other rooms on our floor, but also gave us views of Platis Gialos beach and bay, as well as other hotels and buildings on the surrounding hillside. It suited us just fine. And whenever we wanted a change of scenery, all we had to do was take a walk around the resort. The swimming pool bar and deck looked toward Nammos, the trendy upscale restaurant on posh Psarou beach; the dining room faced Psarou Bay and the Aegean Sea; and the hotel’s smaller second swimming pool overlooked Platis Gialos beach and bay.

On Naxos, we were supposed to spend a week at the top-ranked Hotel Kavos above Agios Prokopios beach, but stayed only three nights. The hotel had been getting consistent rave reviews on, and still does to this day, but it wasn’t our cup of tea. The manager, Barbara, was terrific and so were the two young women who worked in the poolside restaurant and bar. And the views were good: the terrace outside our room faced Agios Prokopios Bay on the southwest coast of Naxos, and we could see similar views as well as nearby Paros island from the swimming pool deck. But many aspects of the room irked us, including the thick insect-infested vines above our terrace, and we didn’t enjoy the 30-minute one-way trek to a reasonably-priced breakfast spot at Agios Prokopios each morning (breakfast was not included in the room rate, and we thought Kavos’s menu prices were steep; I would have gone broke getting my daily caffeine fix at €3.50 per small cup of coffee).

While walking to breakfast one morning we passed the Lianos Village hotel, which we could see from our terrace at the Kavos, and stopped in to inquire about room rates. When the receptionist showed us a nice, bright sea-view room costing half as much as we were paying at the Kavos, and told us that the rate included a light buffet-style breakfast (with coffee), we decided to switch hotels. In a bid to convince us to stay at the Kavos, Barbara insisted on showing us some other rooms, including suites, that had better views and more space, but they were all significantly more expensive and, in one case, nearly twice the price. So we declined. Amazingly, Barbara insisted on driving us to Lianos Village, even though it was only a short walk down the hill (didn’t I say she was terrific?). It turned out the coffee at Lianos Village was dreadfully weak, but the breakfast spread was satisfying, the room was comfortable, the views were wonderful, and the price was excellent.

On Santorini, our final island-hopping destination that year, we stayed in the village of Firostefani at Grotto Villas, a caldera-view hotel that was in the process of changing its name to Cliff Side Suites.  We were initially assigned Room 119, a windowless Flintstones- style cave room which initially struck us as novel and fun but soon became incredibly frustrating (not to mention a huge pain in the head for me). After two nights we had to change rooms, and totally lucked out by getting switched to Room 110, a small kitchenette-equipped studio boasting a private balcony with million-dollar views — including Santorini’s fabled sunsets. (For detailed descriptions of both rooms and the hotel in general, see my comments in post #3 of this July 2006 thread in the Santorini forum.) Room 110 was wonderful, for a lot of reasons, and we thoroughly enjoyed our time in it. I only wish I could say the same thing about our 2006 Santorini experience as a whole, but that’s a topic I’ll deal with some other time.

Below are photos of our various views at the Petasos Beach Resort, Hotel Kavos, Lianos Village and Grotto Villas/Cliff Side Suites.


Petasos Beach Resort Mykonos Room P208 terrace

Room P208, our first room at the Petasos Beach Resort & Spa on Mykonos, had a stone terrace with views of Psarou Bay and the Aegean Sea


Petasos Beach Resort Room P208

Our terrace overlooked the landscaped hotel grounds as well an upscale residential area on the steep mountainside directly across Psarou Bay


Petasos Beach Resort Room P208 view

To the left we could see part of Platis Gialos Bay and the rocky peninsula that juts into the Aegean Sea between Platis Gialos and Paraga Bay


Petasos Beach Resort Room 183 balcony

The terrace for Room 183, our second room at the Petasos Beach Resort, overlooks Platis Gialos, one of the most popular beaches on Mykonos


Petasos Beach Resort Room 183 terrace

If we didn’t feel like lounging beside one of the hotel’s two swimming pools, we could lay in the sun on our terrace instead


Petasos Beach Resort view from Room 183

To the far left we could see another hotel across the street (actually, it’s the main road that links Platis Gialis to Mykonos Town) …


Petasos Beach Resort Room 183 view

… as well as a semi-constructed resort building and more hotels lining the steep hillside above Platis Gialos…


Petasos Beach Resort Room 183 terrace view

…while straight ahead we looked onto Platis Gialos beach, another wing of the Petasos Beach Resort, and the Hotel Petinos Beach next door


Petasos Beach Resort Room 183 terrace view

To the right are terraces for the other hotel rooms on our floor


Petasos Beach Resort Mykonos

The main swimming pool terrace had views of Psarou beach and bay…


Nammos restaurant and bar at Psarou beach Mykonos

… including the trendy, private beach club-style Nammos restaurant and bar


Petasos Beach Resort dining room view

The hotel’s poolside bar and dining room had similar views


Petasos Beach Resort breakfast terrace

Some of the breakfast tables sat on an open air dining terrace …


Petasos Beach Resort pool deck view

… with completely unobstructed views of the beautiful blue Aegean Sea


Petasos Beach Resort swimming pool

The Petasos has another (smaller) swimming pool …


Petasos Beach Resort swimming pool terrace

… with great views of Platis Gialos beach and bay …


Shuttle boat pier at Platis Gialos beach

… plus the Platis Gialos pier where people can catch caiques — traditional Greek boats that shuttle passengers to popular beaches along the south coast of Mykonos


Hotel Kavos Naxos room 1 view

From our terrace outside Room 1 of the Hotel Kavos on Naxos …


Hotel Kavos Naxos Room 1 view

… we could view the Aegean Sea off Agios Prokopios beach, a 15-minute walk away


Hotel Kavos Naxos Room 1 terrace view

To the left of our terrace were private homes and villas in the Stelida area of Naxos


Hotel Kavos Naxos swimming pool

The Hotel Kavos Naxos swimming pool had a view of the sea…


Hotel Kavos Naxos view

… while the pool terrace had views of the coastline on the southwest side of Naxos


Hotel Kavos Naxos sunset view

From the pool deck, we could watch the sun set behind Paros island


Lianos Village hotel room view

The balcony for our room at the Lianos Village hotel offered a partial sea view toward the Agios Prokopios resort area of Naxos


Lianos Village pool terrace views

The lovely swimming pool terrace at Lianos Village had views not just of Agios Prokopios beach, but also nearby Paros island, visible at the rear right of this photo


Lianos Village Naxos view

This was one of the pool terrace views of the Agios Prokopios area


Lianos Village Naxos swimming pool terrace view

This is a wider swimming pool view of the southwest coast of Naxos; the long, wide strip of sand in the foreground is Agios Prokopios beach


Lianos Village Naxos view

Here’s another view of the sea and Agios Prokopios beach


Grotto Villas/Cliffside Suites

On Santorini, the shared public terrace outside Room 119 at Grotto Villas/Cliffside Suites had views of Thirassia island, Skaros Rock and Imerovigli village


Grotto Villas Room 110 private balcony

We were happier when we moved to Room 110, which had a private balcony


Grotto Villas Room 110 balcony view

The Room 110 balcony offered spectacular views. Visible in this photo are Nea Kameni (the Santorini volcano island, left) and Thirassia island


volcano view from Grotto Villas Room 110

Here’s another view of the volcano island from our balcony


Grotto Villas Room 110 view

The view to our right included Skaros Rock (left) and Imerovigli village


Grotto Villas Room 110 balcony view

This was our caldera view, looking to the left from our balcony


Grotto Villas Room 110 view of Kafieris apartments

Our balcony overlooked the large swimming pool and breakfast terrace for the aptly named Kafieris Blue Apartments


cruise ships at Santorini

We had a great view of cruise ships and ferry boats near the volcano island…


Grotto Villas Room 110 sunset view

… and enjoyed watching the sun set in the distance, centered almost perfectly between Thirassia island and Skaros Rock


a terrace at Grotto Villas/Cliffside Suites

Most of the rooms and public areas at Grotto Villas had superb views. As an example, here’s a sitting area outside the hotel’s reception room


Grotto Villas reception terrace view

This is the view in the opposite direction from the same sitting area


Grotto Villas hotel room terrace view

This was the view for one of the larger Grotto Villas hotel rooms


Grotto Villas hotel room terrace view

This was the view for yet another Grotto Villas terrace


Grotto Villas swimming pool

The swimming pool, situated on one of the lower levels of the hotel, had a great view towards Thirassia island


Grotto Villas poolside breakfast tables

Breakfast was served on the swimming pool terrace. Some of the tables at the cliff side of the pool had wonderful views of the volcano island


Dana Villas swimming pool

Some of the hotel’s terraces overlooked the swimming pool for Dana Villas, a separate hotel situated even farther down the cliff face below Grotto Villas


Grotto Villas terrace view

And some of the terraces had this view of Skaros Rock (left), Imerovigli village (center rear) and Firostefani village (right)



Things I love about Greece: Waking up to gorgeous views at hotels in the Greek Islands (Part 1)


Platis Gialos bay beach and resort area on Mykonos

On our very first morning in the Greek Islands back in 2004, we were awestruck by this view from our balcony at the Myconian Ambassador Hotel on Mykonos


Va-va-va-view: On our first-ever trip to Greece, we arrived at Mykonos after nightfall and didn’t have a clue what kind of view we would get from our balcony at the Myconian Ambassador Hotel. The hotel employee who showed us to our room opened the balcony doors and assured us we would have beautiful sightlines of the sea and Platis Gialos beach, but most of the area was pitch black  and we couldn’t see much more than lights from nearby hotels and houses. It also was surprisingly quiet, though whenever the light breeze blew in our direction, we could faintly hear Greek music being played in the tavernas lining the beach a few hundred meters below us.

When we woke up the next morning and pulled open the balcony doors, our jaws dropped as we got our first glimpse of Platis Gialos in daylight. The view was absolutely gorgeous! Spread out below were dozens of the island’s signature white cube buildings, the golden-brown sandy beach, and the vivid deep blues and tempting turquoise waters of the legendary Aegean Sea.

On all of our Greek Island holidays since then, we’ve always tried to get a hotel room with a good sea view. If the room itself doesn’t offer one, we’re content if there is at least a decent sea view from a public area somewhere else on the hotel property — be it a breakfast room, swimming pool terrace, or other place where we can sit, relax and gaze at the scenery. At home, all we see from our windows and balcony are highrise glass, steel and concrete towers. When we travel on holidays, we cherish views of the sea. It’s even better if we can see some islands and mountains, too. Bonus points if we can watch a spectacular sunset. But a Greek holiday just wouldn’t feel the same if we couldn’t see the Aegean.

I posted additional photos of the views from the Myconian Ambassador Hotel in my June 3 2011 post. Below are photos showing the various different views we have had from some of the other hotels we stayed at during Greek Island holidays since. Some of the views are terrific, and others considerably less so, but with only one or two exceptions, we always got to see the sea without having to leave our hotels.


Rodos Palladium sea view

The view from our balcony at the Rodos Palladium at Kallithea beach on Rhodes


Rodos Palladium sea and pool views

Evening view from our balcony at the Rodos Palladium in 2004


full moon above Kallithea beach Rhodes in 2004

Our Rodos Palladium balcony view of a full moon above Kallithea Bay in 2004


Candia Maris Resort & Spa Crete hotel room view

The balcony to our room at the Candia Maris Resort & Spa in Amoudara, Crete gave us this view of sea and mountains in 2004…


Candia Maris Resort & Spa Crete

… as well as this view of the resort’s indoor swimming pool…


a row of balconies at the Candia Maris Resort & Spa Crete

… plus this view of other balconies on our side of this particular hotel building


Santorini Palace Fira Santorini

That’s me on our sea-view terrace at the Santorini Palace Hotel on Santorini in 2004. This isn’t the breathtaking caldera view for which Santorini is renowned (this is the less scenic east side of the island), but it looked great to us. And if we did want to see the spectacular caldera view, all we had to do was exit the hotel’s main entrance and walk 100 meters up a short slope — and there it was.


Imerovigli village on Santorini at sunset

We couldn’t see a famous Santorini sunset from our terrace at the Santorini Palace Hotel, but we could see the sunset glowing on clouds above Imerovigli village


Myconian Imperial Hotel view of Elia Bay

A view of Elia Bay on Mykonos from the Myconian Imperial Resort & Villas in 2005


Myconian Imperial Resort & Villas hotel room view of Elia Bay

Part of the sea view from our balcony at the Myconian Imperial Resort & Villas


Myconian Imperial Resort balcony view

More of the sea view from our balcony at the Myconian Imperial Resort & Villas


Myconian Imperial Resort & Villas balcony view

Houses and rental accommodation on the steep hillside rising to the left of our balcony at the Myconian Imperial Resort & Villas


Myconian Imperial Resort & Villas Mykonos

Our bathroom window gave us a view of more hotel rooms higher up the hillside


Naxos Beach Hotel II view of Naxos Town

In 2005, we enjoyed views of Naxos Town and Agios Georgios Bay from the Naxos Beach II hotel in the Stelida district of Naxos


Naxos Beach II hotel views of Naxos

Another view toward Naxos Town from the Naxos Beach II hotel


Naxos Beach II hotel room view

Our bedroom at Naxos Beach II had doors that opened onto a stone-paved terrace offering this view toward Naxos Town


Naxos Beach II view of Naxos Town

Another view from the terrace outside our bedroom at the Naxos Beach II


Yria Hotel room terrace

At the Yria Hotel on Paros in 2005, our room had a large ground-level terrace

Yria Hotel Paros hotel room view

This was the view if we looked to the left while sitting on the terrace…


Yria Hotel Paros hotel room view

…while, unfortunately, this was the view to the right — overlooking an unattractive overflow parking area


Yria Hotel Paros views

We could catch a slight glimpse of the sea from the Yria’s swimming pool terrace…


Yria Hotel sea view

…and also see a small section of Paraspora beach, which was just a five-minute walk down the road…


Yria Hotel Paros swimming pool

… but the Yria Hotel’s main attraction was its enormous swimming pool. It looked fantastic, but the chilly water was murky from suntan oil


Phenix apartments and cliff houses on Santorini

In 2005, we loved this marvellous caldera view from our private terrace at the Phenix Hotel in the cliffside village of Imerovigli on Santorini


Phenix Hotel Santorini

We didn’t even have to leave our hotel room to enjoy the amazing view…


Phenix Hotel on Santorini

…but we preferred to savour the stunning scenery from our sun-bathed terrace


Phenix Hotel view of nearby hotels in Imerovigli

Looking to the left, we had this view of other hotels perched perilously on the steep cliffside high above the sea in Imerovigli


Phenix Hotel Santorini views

Looking down, we could see the caldera and cruise ships below the town of Fira


Phenix Hotel Santorini views

And from an upper level of the hotel, we enjoyed this view of the volcano island (Nea Kameni) and the gorgeous swimming pool at the Honeymoon Petra Villas, a beautiful multi-level hotel clinging to the cliffside next door to the Phenix


Things I love about Greece: There’s always a great place to experience a Shirley Valentine moment


Little Venice at Mykonos Town Mykonos Greece

Gazing toward Tinos island from Semeli bar at Little Venice, Mykonos


Seaside drinks and dining: One of the things I love most about Greece, especially in the Islands, are the bars and tavernas with seaside tables. I always find it soothing and refreshing to enjoy a drink or meal while sitting just a few feet, or even mere inches, from the sparkling waters of the Aegean Sea. Gazing toward nearby islands, watching the waves, or savouring a spectacular sunset comforts and re-invigorates me. Experiencing my own “Shirley Valentine moment” is always a highlight of my holidays in Greece. Probably because it’s something I can never enjoy at home, unfortunately.

Although my home city, Toronto, has an extensive waterfront along Lake Ontario, there are precious few lakeside restaurants where you can enjoy an alcoholic drink or restaurant meal while overlooking the water and the Toronto Islands. In fact, you could probably count on one hand the number of dining spots that are within a stone’s throw of the water here. And most of those are situated side-by-side on just one outdoor terrace at Harbourfront’s Queen’s Quay Terminal, about 50 feet from the water’s edge (which usually isn’t even visible if any of the big Toronto harbour cruise boats happen to be in port at the time; they block most views of the water from all the restaurant patios). In Toronto, you just can’t enjoy food or beverages any closer to the water’s edge unless it’s fast food takeout or a picnic lunch you’ve lugged along.

The fact there are barely any harbourfront bars or restaurants in Canada’s biggest city is completely pathetic in itself, but what’s worse is our province’s incredibly antiquated and Puritanical liquor laws. Here in Ontario, we’re allowed to consume alcoholic beverages on outdoor restaurant patios only if the terrace is completely enclosed by a fence or barricade of some sort. If you ever dared to move a table and chair to the water’s edge, and sat down with a beer or glass of wine, you’d get charged with a provincial liquor law violation, while the restaurant would be fined and probably get its liquor licence suspended, if not revoked altogether. And if they served you any food, city health inspectors would probably shut down their kitchen.

But in Greece, you won’t risk getting a criminal record if you drink a glass of wine or a bottle of Mythos at the seaside, and the taverna that serves you won’t be shut down by the authorities. And that’s exactly the way it should be.

Paradiso Taverna on Plaka Beach on Naxos

Paradiso Taverna has tables under a tree on the golden sand of Maragas beach (near Plaka beach) on Naxos.


Tables next to the seaside at a taverna in Little Venice in Mykonos Town

These tables at a taverna in Little Venice in Mykonos Town sit only a few feet from the water’s edge, and offer incredible sunset views…


Tables next to the sea at a Little Venice taverna

…if the tables were any closer to the sea, diners would get their feet wet!


Babulas Taverna in Mykonos Town

Harbourside tables at Babulas Taverna in Mykonos Town


Babulas Taverna at Mykonos Town

An overhead view of Babulas Taverna in Mykonos Town


Babulas Taverna at Mykonos Town

From the harbourside tables at Babulas Taverna, Tinos island is faintly visible across the sparkling waters of the Aegean Sea


Harbourside tavernas in Kokkari on Samos

Harbourside tavernas in the scenic village of Kokkari on Samos


Harbourside tavernas in Kokkari on Samos

Tables sit barely more than a meter from the water’s edge at dozens of bars and restaurants in Kokkari on Samos


Katina's fish taverna at Amoudi Bay

Katina’s fish taverna at Amoudi Bay below the village of Oia on Santorini


Sunset Taverna at Amoudi Bay on Santorini

Seaside tables at Sunset Taverna at Santorini’s Amoudi Bay


Taverna table at Amoudi Bay on Santorini

A table right next to the water at Amoudi Bay on Santorini


Oasis taverna at Grikos bay on Patmos

Oasis taverna has tables right on the sandy beach at Grikos Bay on Patmos


Meltemi beach bar in Skala Patmos

Meltemi beach bar in the port town of Skala on Patmos



Egali beach on Amorgos

Taverna tables beside Egali beach on Amorgos island


Egali beach on Amorgos

Taverna tables beside Egali beach on Amorgos


Beachside tables at Agia Anna on Naxos

Taverna tables beside the beach at Agia Anna on Naxos


Little Venice on Mykonos

Views of the famous Mykonos windmills from a seaside bar in Little Venice


Little Venice in Mykonos Town

Seaside cocktail bars at Little Venice in Mykonos Town


Semeli cocktail bar at Little Venice in Mykonos Town

Sun-soaked Semeli cocktail bar at Little Venice in Mykonos Town


A seaside bar at Little Venice in Mykonos

Tables right at the water’s edge at a Little Venice cocktail bar in Mykonos Town


Little Venice in Mykonos Town

A table beside the water at Little Venice in Mykonos Town


Little Venice in Mykonos Town

Sunsets, sailboats and cruise ships are all part of the view from the bars and tavernas along the seaside at Little Venice on Mykonos


Harbourside taverna tables in Kokkari on Samos

Tables overlooking the harbour at the village of Kokkari on Samos