Tag: hotel (page 1 of 7)

Saronic island sojourn: Photos from our holiday week on Poros

Share

Greece, Greek island, Poros, Poros Greece, Poros island, island, town, Saronic islands, Greek island hopping

One of our first views of Poros Town, seen during our short ferry ride to Poros island from the town of Galatas on the eastern Peloponnese coast

 

Greece, Greek islands, Saronic island, ArgoSaronic island, Poros, Poros island, Poros Greece, Galatas, Peloponnese,

And here’s how Galatas looked from a vantage point beside the white clock tower shown in the previous photo of Poros Town

 

Postcard pretty:  If we had to pick a theme to describe our 2018 spring holiday in Greece, “something old and something new” would suit perfectly.  The “something old” was a repeat visit to the historic town of Nafplio, one of our most favourite places in Greece, followed one week later by “something new” — our first-ever trip to Poros, one of the Saronic Gulf islands off the coast of the eastern Peloponnese. 

 

Nafplio and Poros proved to be an ideal pairing, not just because we enjoyed both destinations tremendously, but because it was so easy to use local transportation to move from the Peloponnese to the island (as usual, we did not rent a car for our holiday).

 

Greece, Poros, Poros island, Poros Greece, Saronic islands, Peloponnese, Argo-Saronic islands, Greek islands

The red marker pinpoints Poros island’s location in the Saronic Gulf archipelago between Athens and the eastern Peloponnese. We reached Poros by taking a bus from Nafplio (shown at the center-left side of the map) to Galatas, followed by a quick ferry ride from there to the island.

 

Greece, Greek island, Saronic island, ArgoSaronic island, Poros, Poros island, Poros Greece, Galatas, Galatas Greece, Peloponnese,

A 250-meter-wide strait separates Galatas, bottom left, from Poros Town and the Sferia peninsula of Poros island. The area at the top of this image is Kalavria, the largest part of the island. Sferia and Kalavria were distinct, individual isles in ancient times, and now are divided by a short, narrow canal.

 

The regional bus system KTEL Argolida operates two daily bus trips  (except Sundays) from Nafplio to Galatas, a coastal town separated from Poros by a narrow strait.  The 5:30 a.m. departure was far too early for our liking, so we bought tickets for the 2:30 p.m. bus instead (at a cost of just €9 per person).

 

The bus left Nafplio on time, stopping en route at the entrance to the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus as well as at several villages before arriving at a crossroads where we transferred onto another bus for the remainder of the drive to Galatas. This part of the route was the most interesting and enjoyable, particularly as the road climbed through mountains and then emerged hundreds of meters above the scenic coast. As the bus descended the hillside highway, our seats on the left side of the vehicle gave us terrific views of the Methana peninsula, the Strait of Poros, and eventually Poros island itself.

 

Greece, Peloponnese, coast, Saronic Gulf, Saronic Gulf islands, Greek islands,

One of the coastal views from our bus trip from Nafplio to Galatas.  I shot this photo when our bus was about 10 minutes from Galatas.

 

The bus reached the Galatas harbourfront shortly past 4:30 p.m. , and let us out near the pier from which we could take a ferry to Poros Town, a mere 5-minute or so trip across the narrow Strait of Poros. We had time to purchase our ferry tickets (€1 per person one way), admire the excellent views of Poros Town, plus take a peek at some of the tavernas along the Galatas seafront before catching the next boat. The traditional Greek food being served to customers on the patio at Babis Taverna looked so delicious, we were tempted to stay for an early dinner and catch a later ferry to Poros instead (the boats ran every half hour, and water taxis also were available), but we decided to leave dining in Galatas for another time.

 

Greece, Peloponnese, Galatas, waterfront, seafront, Saronic Gulf,

Hotels and restaurant buildings along the waterfront strip at Galatas 

 

Greece,Greek islands,Saronic islands, Poros, Poros island, ferry, ship, Greek island ferry,

One of the ferries that shuttles vehicles and passengers between Galatas and Poros each half hour throughout the day

 

The ferry crossing was as quick as expected, with superb views of Poros Town and its extensive seaside strip lined with shops, restaurants and hotels. When we disembarked at the Poros Town port,  we instantly spotted our accommodations, Dimitra Hotel, on the hillside overlooking the town’s waterfront street. It was just a short walk away, so within minutes we were settling into our room and checking out the great views. 

From a window and our balcony, we had good views of Poros Town, the edge of the island’s Kalavria region,  and the long string of mountains along the Peloponnese coast at the far end of the bay. The extensive panoramic views from the hotel’s large rooftop terrace two floors above us were even more striking, especially at sunset.  We could have sat and watched the scenery for awhile, but we were eager to get out and about to explore Poros Town. Since we would be staying at the Dimitra for three nights, we would have loads of time to enjoy the views. 

 

Greece,Greek island, Saronic island, Poros island, Poros Greece, Poros hotel, hotel, Dimitra Hotel,Dimitra Hotel Poros island

Dimitra Hotel in Poros Town, where we stayed in a sea- and sunset-view room during our first three nights on the island

 

Greece, Greek islands, Saronic islands, Poros, Poros island, Poros Town, Dimitra Hotel

Evening view of Poros Town from the rooftop terrace at Dimitra Hotel

 

Greece,Greek island, Saronic island, Poros island, Poros, sunset, Saronic Gulf,

Sunset view from the terrace at Dimitra Hotel  

 

Please click the link below to continue reading and to see a random selection of photos from our week-long stay on Poros.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

Pages: 1 2

Two nights in Marathopoli: Where we ate and slept

Share

Artina Hotel & Artina Nuovo Hotel Marathopoli

We enjoyed our spacious, comfortable rooms at the Artina Hotel, seen here in an aerial image shared on Google by Nikos Tsiak

 

Panorama Fish Tavern Restaurant in Marathopoli

On our first night in Marathopoli, we had dinner on this seaview patio at Panorama Fish Tavern Restaurant …

 

Artoinos Μεζεδοπωλείο Marathopoli

 … while the next night, we enjoyed mezes at Artoinos Μεζεδοπωλείο, seen in a photo from its Facebook page

 

Great food & accommodations: We ate well and slept well during our brief 2-night stay in the small seaside town of Marathopoli last spring.  Our only disappointment? Not having more time to enjoy our lovely hotel room longer, or to try other restaurants besides the two where we had delicious dinners.

As I mentioned in my March 20 2018 post describing Marathopoli, we had chosen to base ourselves in the town so we could easily access top sites and attractions in Messenia during our road trip through the region. 

Though Marathopoli has fewer than 700 residents, it has a surprising variety of accommodation options, ranging from a budget-friendly campground to 2-star hotels, studio apartments, and luxury suite hotels. Choices include:

♦ the 15-room Hotel Rania (shown as Rania Apartments on Google Maps);

♦ the two-star Porto Marathos, a 33-room property with single, double and triple rooms, as well as four apartments;

♦  Artina Hotel and Artina Hotel Nuovo, two connected hotel buildings with apartment-style suites and a shared swimming pool, breakfast room, and gym;

♦  Megalos Kampos Hotel & Resort, a property offering four large studio apartments and two maisonettes;

♦  Pefkides, a complex of five separate luxury apartment residences that share a large garden area and a swimming pool; 

♦  Agrikies Country Retreat, a complex of four maisonette guest houses that can accommodate up to 5 persons each;

♦  Camping Proti, a full-service campground with spaces for tents and trailers, and facilities that include a cafe-bar, minimarket, TV room, swimming pool, laundry, kitchen and shared refrigerators and freezers;

♦  Esperides, a complex of five independent holiday apartments; 

♦  Faros Luxury Suites, a seaside hotel with 11 kitchenette-equipped luxury apartments; 

Mesogeios Hotel, a group of studios and apartments situated between Marathopoli and Lagouvardos beach;

♦  Lagouvardos Apartments, a collection of seven small, furnished houses near Lagourvardos Beach;

♦   Edem Suites, a collection of standard and family-sized maisonettes near Lagourvardos;

♦   Dialiksari Villas, a complex with six individually decorated houses, and

♦  Messinian Horizons, a complex of 5 luxury maisonette villas situated about 3 km south of Marathopoli.

Our travel companions had suggested we all stay at the Artina Hotel Nuovo, and it proved to be an excellent choice: the location was good; the breakfast buffet was enjoyable; the sea and sunset views were wonderful; and our spacious, well-appointed rooms were extremely comfortable. The nightly rates were very reasonable, too. I would love to stay there again. (You can see photos of our room and the hotel on page 2 of this post.)

For dining, we were again spoiled for choice and had to decide from such top-rated restaurants as:

Panorama Fish Tavern;

Argyris Fish Tavern;

♦  Maistrali Restaurant & Fish Tavern;

♦  Artoinos Mezedopolio;

♦ Miggas Vassilios Taverna;

Riki Mediterranean Restaurant (operated by the proprietors of the Megalo Kampos resort);

♦ Faros Restaurant in the Faros Luxury Suites hotel;

♦  Pame Bounti grillhouse;

♦ Entheon Italian cuisine and pizzeria; and

♦  De Novo Cafe Bar

(A bright new arrival on the Marathopoli dining scene, Opos Palia (Όπως Παλιά_Μεζεδοπωλείο-Ψησταριά), didn’t open until after our visit.)

For a late dinner on our first night in town, we went to Panorama Fish Tavern on the restaurant and bar strip that residents call The Sidewalk. Every dish we ordered — the calamari, horta, grilled local cheese, and meatballs — was tasty and enjoyable, while the service was very good.

The next night we chose Artoinos Mezedopolio, which had received great reviews on travel websites and restaurant apps. Our selections there included skordalia, gigantes, chick pea balls, spetzofai sausages, fried pork in white wine, and pleuvrotos mushrooms. We loved everything and would be hard-pressed to list a favourite, but all of us agreed that the sausages and mushrooms were stand-out dishes.  The wine and service were excellent to match. Artoinos would probably be the first place we’d go for dinner next time we return to Marathopoli.

And what about the Marathopoli nightlife? We didn’t experience any of it ourselves, but the town does have a lively bar and nightclub scene, especially during the main summer travel months. Popular spots for drinks, music and partying include:

♦  Albatross Seaside Cafe-Bar

♦  Aithrio Music Cafe

♦ Animus Wine Bar and Cafe

♦  Rodanthos Club

♦ Puerto Club

♦ Loco Bar, and

♦ Diva Club

If we had stayed out late for a night on the town, though, we certainly would have enjoyed coming back to the Artina Nuovo to crash in our super-comfy beds and awake to the calming panoramic views of the harbour and sea.

Below are panoramic photos I shot on my iphone, showing the interior of our spacious room at the Artina Nuovo as well as the morning and sunset views from our balcony:

 

Artina Nuovo Hotel room interior

Artina Nuovo Hotel room view

Artina Nuovo Hotel sunset view

 

More photos of our room and its views, plus pictures of the hotel, can be viewed on page 2 of this post. Of course, more photos and information about the Artina Nuovo, and its sister Artina Hotel, as well as online booking, can be found on the official hotel website.

For customer reviews of the various places to eat in the town, check the Marathopoli restaurant listing on TripAdvisor.

 

CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

Pages: 1 2

The sweet sounds and looks of luxury at Canaves Oia hotel on Santorini

Share

This 2-minute film is the official 2018 promotional video for Canaves Oia on Santorini. The hotel looks amazing, and its outstanding scenic views show why Santorini is one of the world’s most famous islands.

 

Dreamy destination: Yesterday (February 23) was a terribly dreary day here in Toronto. The morning temperature was only 1 degree Celsius, a light drizzle was falling, and fog had enshrouded most of the downtown skyscrapers that usually crowd the skyline view from my windows. The dull light made me feel tired, and I kept wanting to crawl into bed. I desperately needed sunshine, but since there wasn’t any in the forecast, I started surfing the web to watch some videos of sunny places in Greece. That always perks me up on gloomy days.

I found the usual assortment of home-made travel clips and aerial videos shot by camera-mounted drones, all of which boosted my spirits a bit. However, the film that gave me the biggest lift was a marketing promo for one of the most exclusive — and expensive — luxury resorts on Santorini.

Entitled Luxury Never Sounded So Good, it’s the official 2018 video for Canaves Oia,  a stunning 5-star boutique hotel perched atop the caldera cliffs in Oia village. The resort is just as gorgeous as its incredible views and surrounding scenery, and it regularly wins awards and accolades from top travel magazines and websites, including TripAdvisor. It also has been profiled extensively on social media and in dozens of leading lifestyle, fashion, design and travel publications around the world.

 

 

With all that good press, Canaves Oia probably doesn’t need to advertise anymore. But I’m glad they do, since their videos are professionally produced, enticing to watch and — best of all — they make me feel, for a few minutes at least, that I’m back in Greece on vacation.

What I particularly like about this year’s promo film is that members of the Canaves staff and management team play starring roles, while the hotel and the exquisite Santorini scenery fill supporting background positions.

The video runs for just over two minutes, and is bound to put you into a luxuriously dreamy Santorini state of mind — especially if the weather sucks wherever you might be while you watch it. If you won’t be able to stay at the Canaves or visit Oia this year, watching the clip and daydreaming about being there is the next best thing. 

By the way, just in case you’re wondering: No, the hotel didn’t ask me to post the video on my blog. Nor did it offer to pay me or give me free accommodation if I did.  (I don’t have that kind of good luck, unfortunately).  I found the video while clicking around the web, and liked it so much I decided to feature it in a blog post. Santorini was one of the first Greek islands we got to visit, and it’s one of the reasons we fell in love with Greece and keep going back. I simply hope that sharing the film might inspire other dreamers and travel buffs to visit Greece some day, if they haven’t been there yet. 

And if you’re a fan of minimalist design and crisp white interior decor, click on the link below to see the sweet looks of luxury — a selection of tantalizing images I’ve collected from various galleries on the Canaves Oia website. There’s a few photos of the breathtaking views from the accommodations, restaurants, bars and swimming pools, too.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

Pages: 1 2

New luxury hotels opening on Mykonos for summer 2017

Share

 

Branco Mykonos Hotel

An artistic illustration of the luxurious loungers and sunbeds that the new 5-star Branco Mykonos Hotel will offer its guests on Platis Gialos beach

 

More luxury: Visitors will have more choices of upscale accommodations for their Mykonos holidays as several brand-new luxury properties prepare to open for the 2017 tourist season.

But the arrival of some of the high-end hotels means fewer options for budget travellers, since at least two of the properties previously were mid-range hotels that have been thoroughly renovated and converted into first-class accommodations.

Gone are the Golden Star Hotel in Mykonos Town, which has been replaced by Absolut Mykonos Suites & More, and the Hotel Lady Anna at Platis Gialos beach, which has been upgraded and  rebranded as the 5-star Branco Mykonos Hotel.

 

 

The Mykonos Bay Hotel at Megali Ammos beach also has rebranded and is now named Mykonos Bay Resort & Villas. Its social media pages recently referred to “art design” and “new premises,” and its online booking page mentions the hotel was renovated in December, but no further details of changes since last season are available yet.

Meanwhile, a noteworthy newcomer is Adel Private Suites, which will welcome guests to a quiet hilltop location with panoramic views of Mykonos Town, the New Port and beyond.

 

Absolut Mykonos Suites & More hotel

A promotional image showing the logo for Absolut Mykonos Suites & More

 

You can expect to see additional upscale hotels launching on Mykonos in the foreseeable future.

The Mitsis Hotels group, which operates the Sofitel Athens Airport Hotel, is planning a 100-bed complex of apartments and suites, for instance, while other premier chains like Four Seasons and W Hotels apparently have been eyeing and acquiring locations at some of the island’s major south coast beach resorts.

 

Adel Private Suites Mykonos

An Adel Private Suites promotional image showing the jacuzzi-equipped seaview terrace of one of its Cozy Suites

 

Please click on the link below to continue reading and see more of the new hotels making their debut this year.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 2

Pages: 1 2

Older posts