Category: Tourist attractions (page 2 of 30)

Crete clinches 4th place ranking on TripAdvisor list of the world’s top destinations for 2019

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Greece, Greek islands, Crete,Crete island, Crete Greece, Chania, Chania Crete, harbour, port,, Chania harbour,

Greece, Greek islands, Crete,Crete island, Crete Greece, Chania, Chania Crete, harbour, port, lighthouse, Chania lighthouse,

Views of the historic Venetian harbourfront and the iconic lighthouse at Chania, a perenially popular travel destination in northwestern Crete

 

Crete shines: Millions of travellers around the world have spoken, and their positive reviews, ratings and comments have landed Crete island in 4th place on the prestigious TripAdvisor listing of the Top 25 destinations in the world this year.

The 2019 TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice awards were announced this week (on March 26), lauding London as the #1 destination in the world, followed by Paris, Rome, Crete, and Bali in Indonesia. Last year Crete placed fifth, behind Bali. 

TripAdvisor is the globe’s largest travel website, containing listings for more than 156,000 destinations. Each year it presents its Travelers’ Choice awards to top international destinations, honouring the places that are most popular with people who post reviews on the website.

A press release announcing this year’s winners quoted TripAdvisor’s VP of Global Communications, Desiree Fish, as saying: “The Travelers’ Choice awards for Destinations recognize major cities and islands that continue to deliver an outstanding experience and are beloved by our global community of travelers.”

The news release explained that award winners “were determined using an algorithm based on reviews and ratings for hotels, restaurants and experiences in destinations worldwide over a 12-month period. The methodology takes into account quality and volume of reviews to surface destinations that consistently deliver the best overall experience for travelers.”

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Loutro village in southwestern Crete

 

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Looking along the spectacular southwestern coast of Crete from one of the many beaches near the town of Paleochora

 

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A taverna courtyard in the heart of the historic old town area of Chania

 

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Sweet Water Beach in southwestern Crete, between the villages of Chora Sfakion and Loutro

 

Greece, Greek islands, Crete, southwest Crete, Agia Roumeli, village, coast, mountains, Samaria Gorge,

A view of Agia Roumeli village, situated at the foot of the world-famous Samaria Gorge. Extending for 16 kilometers, the gorge is the longest in Europe and is one of Crete’s top tourist attractions.

 

We spent more than two weeks on Crete in late fall of 2017, and could easily see why it has been ranked among the world’s Top 5 travel destinations two years in a row — it truly delivers outstanding travel experiences. Crete has something to suit every traveller’s taste, style and budget: fascinating cities, towns and villages; vibrant resorts; breathtaking landscapes, stunning scenery and gorgeous beaches;  superb food and wine; significant historical sites and attractions; a diverse range of outdoor activities for all ages and lifestyles; myriad hotel and lodging options, and much more. 

Crete also claimed two spots in the list of the world’s Top 25 Beaches: Balos ranked #15, while Elafonissi took 21st place. Though both are situated in western Crete, the region in which we focussed our 2017 holiday travels, we never made it to either beach, so they remain on our bucket list of places to see. The island is blessed with a bounty of beautiful beaches, however, so visitors still have countless strands to choose from if they can’t get to Balos or Elafonissi.  (We saw many impressive beaches along the island’s southwestern coast.)

Greece in general fared well on other top rankings, particularly for hotels, where it won top honours in two categories. It nabbed the number 1 and 2 spots in the Top 25 all-inclusive hotel ranking, and it claimed the number 1 and 3 position on the awards list for the world’s Top 25 Small Hotels. Greece also achieved Top 25 rankings for best hotels, luxury hotels, best service, romantic hotels, family hotels, and bargain hotels.

I couldn’t help but chuckle when I read that Greece received TripAdvisor recognition for the world’s top two all-inclusive hotels because, in TripAdvisor’s own travel forums, regular visitors to Greece routinely advise travellers to avoid all-inclusive properties, urging them to stay at hotel or self-catering accommodations instead. In essence, the forum commentators claim Greece simply doesn’t do all-inclusives very well, and visitors don’t experience Greece if they stay at an AI resort. With this year’s awards, however, it’s quite clear that all-inclusive resort guests disagree! 

Greece, Greek islands, Crete, Crete island, beach, Greek beach, Elafonissi beach Crete, Elafonisi beach Crete,

Famous for its brilliant turquoise waters and pink-hued sand, Elafonissi beach is seen in an image from the Best Travel Tips to Crete page of the Tourist Maker website.  Elafonissi ranked #21 on the TripAdvisor list of the Top 25 beaches in the world.

 

Balos Crete photo 02 by Antoine Nikolopoulos

Lagoons and sandy beach strips at Balos are seen in this photo shot by Antoine Nikolopoulos of Odyssey Art Photography. Balos ranked #15 on this year’s list of the world’s top beaches.

 

Please click on the link below to continue reading on page 2, where I have posted photos and rankings for the Greek hotels that placed in the world’s Top 25.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

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Mykonos parties, live music events & DJ shows during 2019

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Mykonos is the prominent supporting star in  the new music video Χωρις Εσενα, released July 23 by Greek singer Giorgos Tsalikis. During the summer, Giorgos and his band performed live at 4711 club for 65 nights. 

 

Looking for a list of party events in 2020? Check out my article Mykonos party and event calendar 2020.

 

Events during December

 

Live music events at The Dublin Mykonos on November 29 and 30 and December 1

The Dublin presents live music entertainment by Dimitris Drosinis on the evenings of November 29 and 30, and on the afternoon of Sunday December 1

 

Announcement for the Sunday Party at El Burro Mykonos on December 1

Apostolis G. will DJ the Sunday Party at El Burro on December 1

 

Promotional ad for the Wednesday night Karaoke Party at Rustic Grill Mykonos

Rustic Grill hosts its weekly Karaoke Party on Wednesday December 4 starting at 9 p.m.

 

Vegera Mykonos promotional ad for its parties with DJ Jerry on December 6 and 7

Vegera gets into the Christmas spirit with parties on Friday December 6 and Saturday December 7. The parties start at 10 p.m. and DJ Jerry will be playing the music.

 

Promotional ad for the Stand Up Comedy Night at Central Mykonos on December 7

Central hosts a live Stand Up Comedy show on Saturday December 7, featuring comedians Giannis Roussos, Alexandros Paspardanis and Konstantinos Bouras Bai’makos. Entry fee is €15 per person, and includes a drink.

 

Promotional ad for the Sunday Party at El Burro Mykonos on December 8

DJ Jerry will be on the decks for the Sunday Party at El Burro on December 8

 

Promotional image for the Tuesday Quiz Night events at Notorious Bar Mykonos

Notorious holds its Quiz Night on Tuesday December 10 

 

Promotional ad for the Wednesday night Karaoke Party at Rustic Grill Mykonos

The weekly Karaoke Party takes place at Rustic Grill on Wednesday December 11

 

Taverna Kandavlos presents live music on Friday evening December 13, and on the afternoon of Sunday December 15

 

Promotional image for a Latin Christmas party at Rustic Grill Mykonos on December 13

Rustic Grill hosts a Latin Christmas Party on Friday December 13

 

Wild Cafe Bar Mykonos presents Giannis Barbaris on December 14

Wild Cafe Bar presents a live performance by Γιάννης Μπαρμπαρής (Giannis Barbaris) on Saturday December 14

 

Promotional announcement for the December 14 Closing Party at Vegera Mykonos

Vegera is throwing its final party of 2019 on December 14

 

Promotional ad for Sunday DJ parties at Rustic Grill Mykonos

Every Sunday, DJ Nassia T. will play for the “artistic folk evenings” at Rustic Grill

 

Promotional ad for the V Bros rock music show at Central Mykonos on December 14

The V Bros perform at Central on Saturday December 14

 

Promotional image for the December 15 Sunday Party at El Burro Mykonos

DJ Apostolis G. will play for the December 15 Sunday Party at El Burro

 

Mokka Brunch Mykonos presents Tilemachos Zeis on Friday December 20

Singer Τηλέμαχος Ζέης (Tilemachos Zeis) performs at Mokka Brunch on Friday December 20

 

Promotional image for the DJ party at Rustic Grill Mykonos on December 20

DJ Nassia T plays for the party at Rustic Grill on Friday December 20

 

Taverna Kandavlos Mykonos live music events on December 20 and 22

Taverna Kandavlos once again presents live music twice in one weekend — on Friday December 20 at 9 p.m., and on Sunday December 22 at 3 p.m.

 

Rustic Grill Mykonos presents DJ Stathis on Saturday December 21

Rustic Grill presents DJ Stathis on Saturday December 21

 

Promotional ad for the Xmas Music Nights at El Burro Mykonos

El Burro launches its Xmas Music Nights on Saturday December 21

 

Central Mykonos presents Petros Veronis on December 12

Petros Veronis, Daniel Kousathanas and Marianna Sanguita A Roe will perform live at Central on Saturday December 21

 

Promotional image for El Burro Mykonos Christmas Parties December 24 and 25

DJ Jerry plays for the Xmas Parties at El Burro on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

 

Promotional announcement for the Raya Mykonos Christmas Party on December 29

Festive season celebrations continue at Raya on Sunday December 29 when it hosts a Christmas Party with music by DJ Giannis Oikonomou 

 

New Years party at Toro Loco My Bar Mykonos

Toro Loco will celebrate the arrival of 2020 with a New Year’s party on December 31

 

El Burro Mykonos New Years Eve Party announcement

El Burrow welcomes the arrival of 2020 with a New Year’s party on Tuesday December 31. 

 

~ See a listing of past events on page 2 ~

 

What’s happening: Mykonos is in end-of-season mode, with bars, clubs and restaurants either closing up shop or preparing to wind down operations.

As usual, the last weekend of September is closing party time for numerous establishments, including Scorpios, Moni, The Garden, JackieO’ Beach, and Elysium Hotel’s popular Sunset Cabaret.

Parties are continuing at many bars in Mykonos Town, however, and beach parties are still going strong at Paradise beach, where Tropicana will be open until October 20.

Page 2 of this post contains promotional flyers showing daily beach parties, regular weekly events and special event series. 

Page 3 lists events that have taken place since March, in case you’re interested in seeing what has already happened.

I update this post whenever new announcements are released, often several times per day, so check back regularly to see what’s new.

 

 

CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

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Greece guides featured in June travel mags from UK & USA

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Sunday Times Travel magazine

A scenic view from Santorini appears on the cover of the June Sunday Times Travel Magazine, which includes a 24-page “Total Guide” to Greece

 

Travel tips: Spring is the time when international lifestyle magazines and travel publications typically turn their attention to Greece, and that has been the case again this year. 

When I browsed newsstands while we were in Greece from late May until mid-June, and here at home after returning from our holidays, I noticed numerous magazines that featured cover stories or major articles focussed on travel to Greece.

The two periodicals that appeared the most interesting and informative were the June edition of The Sunday Times Travel Magazine, which I purchased at Athens International Airport prior to our return flight, and the June/July issue of National Geographic Traveler, which I bought at my favourite local bookstore a few days ago.

A photo from Santorini island appears on the eye-catching turquoise and white cover of the Sunday Times magazine, where the main cover line proclaims: “We’ve found the tiny, timeless idylls you’re dreaming of” — all revealed in a 24-page Total Guide inside.

The guide includes:

♦ tips on island hopping by ferry in the Cyclades, Dodecanese and Argo-Saronic archipelagos;

♦ short profiles of “heavenly” 5-star hotels on Naxos, Crete, Santorini, Sifnos, and Mykonos islands, as well as in Halikidi, the Peloponnese and the Athens Riviera;

♦ an article about the Arcadia region of the eastern Peloponnese;

 ♦ highlights of three places, away from the “holiday hotspots,” where visitors can “find solitude in a Greece untouched by time: lost in nature, rich in ancient, spiritual sites”;

 ♦ advice for low-cost weekend getaways to Athens, Thessaloniki and Kefalonia; and

♦  recommendations for exclusive rental villas and luxurious all-inclusive resorts.

 

 

National Geographic Traveler Magazine

In the feature article “New Greek Odyssey,” Christopher Vourlias relates what he learned about “home, heroes and Hellenic heritage” during a trip to his father’s ancestral village in Central Greece.

 

The theme of the National Geographic Traveler issue is “Trips to Change Your Life,” and includes two features on Greece:

♦ the intriguing article “New Greek Odyssey,” in which writer Christopher Vourlias describes the personally insightful trip he took with his father to the latter’s home village in Agrafa, a mountain region of Central Greece; and

 ♦ An “insider’s guide to the best of Greece” — short profiles of specific recommended places to visit for food & drink, history & artifacts, islands & beaches, and culture &  people.

And as you would expect, the articles in both magazines are illustrated with tantalizing photos of Greek destinations,  monuments,  and scenery that will make you feel wistful for a trip to Greece — even if, as was the case with me, you may have just had a holiday there.

 

 

April landslide prompts renewed warning of 5-year-old ban on visits to Santorini’s Red Beach

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Red Beach Santorini

With its breathtaking backdrop of soaring crimson cliffs, many tourists regard Santorini’s Red Beach as one of the top “must-see” attractions on the island. This image appeared on the Travel to Santorini page on Facebook.

 

Red Beach Santorini

Red Beach has officially been closed to the public since 2013 because of rockfall risks, but thousands of tourists ignore warning signs and visit regardless.  This photo, posted to Facebook by Hui Lin, shows a newlywed couple walking in the water at Red Beach on February 25 2018.

 

Red Beach Santorini

 Luckily, no-one was injured when a landslide struck Red Beach on April 13 2018. This photo by Costas Konstantinidis shows the huge pile of sand and rock debris that slid onto the southern end of the beach.  The photo appeared in Greek news stories reporting on the latest rockfall.

 

Beautiful but dangerous:  “Attention! Danger of landslides. No entry.”

That’s the warning on signs posted along the access path to Santorini’s world-famous Red Beach, but each year thousands of tourists have ventured down to the beach regardless, to sunbathe, swim and shoot those all-important “I was here” selfies.

Scores of people will probably visit Red Beach again this year, even though a landslide in mid-April confirmed there’s an ever-present danger that sections of the tall crimson cliffs that tower above the beach could collapse on them at any time.

Widely considered to be one of the most beautiful and unusual beaches in the world, Red Beach resulted from the natural erosion of the cone of a small volcano. Comprised of loose layers of slag (volcanic cinder), the cone’s steep southern slope developed large cracks and fissures during seismic and volcanic activity; eventually, sections of the slope crumbled and slid seaward, creating the dramatic cliffs that rise above the stone and pebble shore today.

The cliffs have been studied extensively by geologists and volcanologists from Greek universities and the Institute for the Study and Monitoring of the Santorini volcano, who concluded that further erosion cannot be stopped or prevented.  Since landslides are unpredictable and instantaneous, they urged island authorities to take steps to keep people from visiting Red Beach and potentially putting themselves in harm’s way.

 

Red Beach Santorini

This aerial image shows how the slopes of a former volcano cone have caved in and crumbled onto Red Beach over time. The photograph has appeared on many social media sites, including the Akrotiri and Knossos community page on Facebook, but I haven’t been able to find the original source to give proper credit for the image.

 

The island municipality did close Red Beach to the public after a major landslide occurred in August of 2013, but most tourists have simply walked past the “no entry” signs that were put up. It’s possible many of the travellers weren’t aware there have in fact been major rockfalls, or perhaps they have thought the risk of one occurring during their visit was so infinitesimal it wasn’t worth worrying about. After all, if it was so dangerous, why would local and national travel and tourism businesses continue to recommend that people go there?

Valid point indeed, since some Santorini tour agencies offer boat trips to the beach, while a variety of island hotels and travel businesses regularly encourage visits to Red Beach in photos and comments posted on their social media accounts. Enterprising local residents also have set up rental lounge chairs and umbrellas on the beach, along with a snack canteen — apparently in blatant violation of local regulations. And Aegean Airlines recently raised some eyebrows when it featured Red Beach on the cover of its in-flight magazine for March & April 2018, and in several photographs accompanying its feature story “The hidden treasures of Santorini” (one of the pics showed a female fashion model posing in front of a debris pile from a small landslide).

 

 

 

Will anything change as a result of the most recent rockfall, which occurred on April 13?

According to reports posted on the Greek news and information websites Atlantea and LIFO,  among others, the latest landslide prompted island authorities to issue a press release reminding people that “access to the Red Beach is forbidden” — as it has been since 2013 — so the beach remains off-limits for sunbathing, swimming, walking and other activities.

“The area has been marked with warning signs, and it is urged by all those involved with tourism to respect these prohibitions in order to avoid accidents,” the municipal press release is quoted as saying.

But since the “no entry” signs have been ignored for several years already, the municipality ultimately may have to consider installing physical barriers to ensure that people keep off the beach. As of this writing (on April 30 2018), tourists were still live-posting photos and reviews of Red Beach on their various social media pages, with some commenting that they noticed the hazard signs but went onto the beach anyway because they saw other people there.

If you’re planning to visit Santorini but don’t wish to risk a visit to Red Beach, you can instead view dozens of photos of it in my May 2016 blog post The bewitching but dangerous beauty of Santorini’s Red Beach.

 

Aegean Airlines Blue Magazine

The cover photo for the March/April 2018 Aegean Airlines in-flight magazine shows a fashion model posing near rocks  at one end of Red Beach.  There are more shots of models on the beach in the magazine’s photo feature on Santorini’s natural “hidden miracles.”

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