Tag: Lianos Village (page 1 of 2)

2014 Greek holiday report Part 5: A coastal walk and an evening in town for our last day on Naxos


Naxos west coast

Cape Agios Prokopios view toward a recently-built residential neighbourhood on the west side of Stelida mountain. We walked a coastal trail below the houses and followed a dirt road back to Agios Prokopios beach.


[Editor’s note: This is the fifth instalment in an ongoing series of reports about our 2014 spring vacation in the Cyclades and Athens. Click here to see Part 1, click here to access Part 2, click here for Part 3, and click this link for Part 4. You can view full-size versions of all the photos posted below in the Naxos May 23 2014 album on the MyGreeceTravelBlog Flickr page.]


Friday May 23

 Final full day: Time passes far too quickly when we’re on vacation! We were completely relaxed and feeling right at home on Naxos, but already it was our last full day on the island. After breakfast tomorrow we would have to pack, check out of the hotel and get to the port for our ferry to Syros. Where did the time go?

I had been certain we would see and do a lot more on Naxos than we actually did. Before coming to the island, we had tentatively planned to visit at least one village — Koronos and Apollonas were the likely candidates — and to mountain bike as far down the south coast as we could possibly go. Windy conditions forced us to scale back our biking plans, while this morning we simply didn’t feel like hurrying into Naxos Town to catch a bus and spend more than an hour riding it to one of the villages. I felt guilty that we didn’t get to scratch more Naxos destinations off our must-see list, but a whirlwind sightseeing tour could wait for a future trip — today we found it more important to unwind and take it easy.

That’s what passengers appeared to be doing on two different sailboats that arrived in Agios Prokopios Bay while we were having breakfast. One was a large sailing yacht, probably a private charter, flying flags for Turkey and Greece. The other was a private sailboat flying a German flag. Both dropped anchor in the bay a hundred meters or so offshore, where their occupants would enjoy impressive panoramic views of Agios Prokiopios beach, Stelida mountain, and the rocky southern shores of Cape Agios Prokopios. As I watched them float quietly on the sparkling sea, I started daydreaming about what it would be like to cruise the Greek Islands on a sailboat. I hope some day I’ll get the opportunity to find out …

 sailing yacht at Agios Prokopios

A Turkish-flagged sailing yacht approaches the west coast of Naxos

 sailing yacht at Agios Prokopios

and drops anchor in Agios Prokopios Bay, a short distance from shore

 sailboat at Agios Prokopios

joined soon afterwards by another sailboat


A walk along the Cape and west coast of Stelida

Although we felt lazy, we didn’t want to spend a day sitting around or laying in the sun — we needed to move around, but at a relaxed pace. So after breakfast we took a long, slow walk along Cape Agios Prokopios and the west side of Stelida mountain, eventually making our way back to the hotel.

Click on the 2 in the link below to continue reading the trip report and view dozens more photos of the sights we saw during our hike.



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2014 Greek holiday report and photos Part 2: Summer arrives for our first full day on Naxos


woman on air mattress on Naxos

Ah, this is the life! A bikini-clad young woman catches some rays from the comfort of an air mattress floating on the calm waters at St George’s Beach. Naxos basked in gorgeous summery weather on May 20.

 [Editor’s Note: Full-size versions of all the photos that appear in this post can be viewed in the Naxos May 20 2014 album on the MyGreeceTravelBlog Flickr page.]


Tuesday May 20

Suddenly summer: When I woke up around 9 a.m., I almost felt scared to open the curtains to see what the weather was like. Would it be another day of clouds and rain, as had been forecast? Or would we get lucky and have a hint of nice weather instead?

We got lucky! There was sunshine and a bright blue sky — an absolutely gorgeous morning. It looked like our spring vacation was starting off the exact same way our holiday had begun last fall — with clouds and rain our first day on Naxos followed by sunny clear skies the rest of the trip. I couldn’t wait to to have breakfast outside — our first outdoor meal since we were in Greece last October.

I always love starting my day with a cup of coffee on the poolside breakfast patio at Lianos Village Hotel. With colourful gardens and a swimming pool just steps from our table, views of the beautiful blue Aegean Sea,  and a few of the neighbourhood cats lingering at our feet, the sun-shaded terrace is the place where I have enjoyed eating breakfast the most out of all our trips to Greece. The setting and atmosphere make me feel completely carefree, content and relaxed.  A little voice inside my head keeps repeating: “Kalimera! You’re on vacation! You’re in Greece!” I wish every morning could begin like this!

 Lianos Village Hotel

Sunshine and an almost cloudless sky greeted me when I pulled open the door and stepped onto our terrace our first morning on Naxos. This was our view looking south to Agios Prokopios and Agia Anna.


Please click on the number 2 in the link below to continue reading my trip report and view dozens of photos from our day on Naxos.


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2014 Greek holiday report and photos Part 1: Arriving at Naxos


Lianos Village Hotel view

This familiar and favourite view of the Agios Prokopios beach resort area of Naxos was a welcome sight for our tired, jet-lagged eyes when we stepped onto our private terrace minutes after arriving at Lianos Village Hotel on May 19


 Never enough Naxos: Regular readers of this website will recall that we visited Naxos island twice last year and named it our Destination of the Year for 2013 because of its wide range of activities, sights and attractions and its wallet-friendly price appeal. Our list of 15 top reasons to visit Naxos has since become one of the most widely-read reports on the blog.

Well, we didn’t get our fill of Naxos so we made a point to return for part of our two-week Greek holiday this spring.

Below is the first part of an ongoing series of photo-illustrated reports about places and things we saw while we were on Naxos (later installments will feature our other two destinations, Syros and Athens). I will include some information about specific hotels, restaurants and other tourist-related businesses that were either open or closed since it could be helpful to anyone planning low season trips to the Cyclades. People frequently post questions in online travel forums, wondering if beach areas might be too quiet to stay at in May, and I’ve noticed the responses often give the incorrect and misleading impression that virtually nothing is open at the beginning of the tourist season.


Monday May 19

We arrived in Athens early in the morning of May 19 on an Air Transat direct flight from Toronto. It was our 10th time flying to Greece on this particular airline, and probably the best flight of them all — smooth and uneventful throughout the 9.5-hour trip.

Athens was cloudy and a cool 12 degrees Celsius when we landed, and weather reports were calling for similar overcast conditions and also rain at Naxos and other Cyclades islands.

Despite the cloud cover, visibility was excellent and we had superb views of Syros and Paros as we passed over both islands during our 35-minute midafternoon Olympic Air flight to Naxos. We also got a good look at the long western coast of Naxos as the plane banked over Mikri Vigla beach during its descent to Naxos airport. [See the post below this one for important advice about carry-on baggage for flights to Naxos and other small island airports.]

The air felt warm with a touch of humidity when we stepped off the plane and walked to the tiny luggage claim room at the right-hand side of the small terminal building. By the time our bags came off the belt it was drizzling, and the light rain continued throughout our 10-minute drive to Lianos Village Hotel near Agios Prokopios beach.

This was our fourth consecutive stay at Lianos Village, and we were happy to be assigned Room 83 — the same one we had stayed in last October (there’s more information about the room, as well as photos of it and its beautiful views, in my report about Our best hotel experiences of 2013.)

Please click on the number 2 in the link below to continue reading my report and view photos from our arrival day on Naxos.


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Our best hotel experiences of 2013


Grotta area of Naxos Town on Naxos

Looking toward the Grotta district of Naxos Town from the Palatia peninsula at Naxos island. Naxos was our favourite Greek holiday destination in 2013.



Eclectic list: You could consider this a different sort of trip report. Rather than write a routine, day-by-day account of our two holidays in Greece in 2013, I have decided to mix things up and have a bit of fun compiling an eclectic “best of 2013” list instead.

In May, we island-hopped to Mykonos, Ios and Naxos before moving to the mainland for a weekend meet-up with friends in the Glyfada suburb of Athens. During a second holiday in October we spent two weeks on Naxos, then visited friends in Glyfada and Athens for two days. We had a great time at each place we visited during the two trips, but since Naxos was our overwhelming favourite, we named it our 2013 Destination of the Year, as regular readers will have noticed in my December 31 2013 post.

But there were special things we particularly enjoyed at each destination. Some, like features of the various hotels where we stayed and the restaurants where we dined, or attractions that we visited, were significant elements of our holidays. Others were interesting or quirky things we observed or encountered — minor aspects of our vacations, but still part of what made the two trips so much fun.

I thought that information about those various good things might provide useful insight into our destinations for people who haven’t been to them before, and perhaps even for people who have. So I have compiled the highlights into this “Best of 2013” holiday round-up. I have organized the “bests” into three categories: Hotels; Food & Drink; and Activities & Attractions. Today’s post profiles the best elements of our hotel accommodations, while separate posts about our best Food & Drink experiences, as well as our favourite Activities & Attractions, will follow soon.


 Katerina Hotel on Ios

Mylopotas beach, as seen from Katerina Hotel on Ios. This was just part of the marvellous view we enjoyed from the hotel during our May holiday. Turn to page 2 of this post to continue reading and see more photos of all the hotels we stayed at during our two trips to Greece in 2013.





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Our Top 15 reasons to visit Naxos


The centuries-old Portara monument greets visitors arriving at Naxos by sea

The enormous marble entrance for the never-completed Temple of Apollo greets visitors arriving by sea at Naxos island in the Cyclades.  Also known as the Portara, the monument is an internationally-recognized symbol of Naxos island.


Something for everyone: If you’re trying to find a Greek holiday destination that ticks practically every box on even the pickiest traveller’s checklist of “must have’s” and “must see’s,” take a closer look at Naxos.

The largest island in the Cyclades, Naxos is equally big on the number of activities and attractions it offers visitors of all ages and lifestyles. From beautiful beaches to mountain villages; a vibrant port town with an historic castle and Old Market district; monuments, ruins and museums; excellent dining and nightlife; accommodations to suit any budget; walking trails, water sports and mountain biking; stunning scenery and sunsets; plus sightseeing excursions and tours both on and off the island, Naxos has it all.

Whether you’re planning to visit for three days or three weeks, you’ll never run out of things to do — if anything, you’ll probably wind up wishing you had more time to spend on the island.


What’s more, Naxos is surprisingly easy on the pocketbook, with reasonable prices for food, accommodations and entertainment.

All those are precisely the reasons why we named Naxos as our Greek Holiday Destination of the Year for 2013 (see our December 31 2013 post for more about that).

Click on the link below to continue reading and to see dozens of photos that illustrate our Top 15 reasons to visit Naxos, including:

♦ Ease of getting to the island;

♦ Wide range of accommodation options;

♦ Suitability for travellers of all ages and holiday lifestyles;

♦ Its fascinating main town, built below a medieval castle;

♦ Dozens of beautiful mountain villages and seaside settlements;

♦ Historic archaeological sites, monuments and museums;

♦ An extensive array of places to eat delicious local specialties and Greek cuisine;

♦ Hiking, adventure sports and recreation opportunities galore;

♦ Spectacular scenery and sunsets;

♦ Cultural events, entertainment and nightlife;

♦ Fantastic beaches;

♦ Shopping and local products;

♦ Good local transportation services;

♦ Friendly residents

♦ Tours and boat excursions to other nearby islands



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Solitude & scenery at Stelida beach on Naxos


Hohlakas beach Naxos

A view of Stelida beach, also known as Hohlakas beach (right), and St George’s Bay (upper left) on Naxos



Hohlakas beach Naxos

This sweeping view from a slope on Stelida mountain takes in Hohlakas beach (right) and Naxos Town on the far side of St George’s Bay



 Stelida mountain

Naxos port quay view of 151-meter-tall Stelida mountain. Construction of the Dream View Hotel is visible halfway up the mountainside.



Hohlakas beach Naxos

This Google satellite image shows Hohlakas beach (circled) and the Stelida district of Naxos on the southwest side of St George’s Bay, directly opposite Naxos Town. The island’s popular Agios Prokopios beach stands out at lower left.



Scruffy and secluded: Greece is abundant in beaches, and many Greek islands are justifiably world-famous for their beautiful beaches and stunning coastal scenery.

One of them is Naxos, which boasts a variety of excellent beaches that cater to specific traveller tastes and needs. For instance, families enjoy St George’s beach next to Naxos Town as well as Agia Anna on the island’s southwest coast. Windsurfers flock to Mikri Vigla and to St George’s, which also attracts scores of sailboat and catamaran enthusiasts. The long sandy strand at Agios Prokopios and the grassy dunes at Plaka are popular with sunbathers — especially travellers who like to tan au naturel. And people who prefer secluded quiet coves or isolated coastal swimming spots can find those in spades.


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Cat tales: Our close encounters with cute kittens, cuddly cats and a few far-from-friendly felines


cats on Samos island

Two cats catch some early evening sun near Gagou Beach on Samos


cat in Milos

A cat in Adamas village on Milos watches us warily


cat in Mykonos

A drowsy cat reclines on a street near Little Venice in Mykonos Town



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Things I love about Greece: Waking up to gorgeous views at hotels in the Greek Islands (Part 4)


Fildisi Hotel Astipalea view

Enjoying the view from our private terrace at Fildisi Boutique Hotel on Astipalea


Return visits: Our 2009 Greece holiday took us to four islands, and on two of those we made return visits to hotels we had stayed at once before. That’s something we rarely do, since we generally prefer to experience new hotel surroundings whenever we return to a destination we’ve already seen. But we had particularly liked both of these hotels, so we were anxious to stay there again.

Astipalea was our first stop on this particular island hopping holiday, and we stayed at Fildisi Boutique Hotel near Livadi, a peaceful farming valley below the island’s main town, Chora. It was early in the season and the Fildisi had only a handful of guests; in fact, the owner, Elias, was still getting the swimming pool, terrace and some of the other rooms ready for the summer. When Elias picked us up at the Astipalea airport to drive us to the hotel, he said he was upgrading us to the “VIP Suite.” We had no idea what that meant until we arrived and discovered it was a large studio-size room with an enormous two-level private terrace. The spacious room was great, but the jaw-dropping views from the huge deck stole the show. (To be honest, I don’t think there is a bad view from anywhere on the Fildisi property.)

Amorgos was island destination number two, and we chose Yperia Hotel in Egali, one of two port towns on the island. We were embarrassed when the Yperia’s owner, Antonis, picked us up at the port when we arrived shortly before 7 in the morning on a gargantuan Blue Star Ferry that had left Astiplea at 5.30 with fewer than two dozen passengers. The drive to the Yperia took less than one minute — we could easily have walked there with our suitcases, which we were barely able to squeeze beside us into Antonis’s tiny sedan. (Mind you, there is no sign on the hotel, so we could just as easily have walked right past the place and missed it.) Antonis assigned us a second-floor room right above the hotel reception and breakfast area. It had two balconies that overlooked the hotel swimming pool and gave us views of the Egali ferry pier as well as sunsets over Naxos island. The room also had a window facing the mountainside behind the hotel; it gave us views of Potamos, a picturesque village where had three memorable sunset dinners at the wonderful Kamara Cafe (which, we later learned, is owned and operated by Antonis’s cousin, Christoforos).

Naxos was our third island, and we returned to the Lianos Village hotel which we had enjoyed in 2006.

Mykonos was our final stop, and Hotel Tagoo was our hotel choice there for the second year in a row.

Below are photos of our views at Fildisi Boutique Hotel, Yperia Hotel, Lianos Village and Hotel Tagoo.


Fildisi Boutique Hotel view

Every room at the Fildisi has this view of Astipalea’s Chora and Kastro (castle)


Fildisi Boutique Hotel

The private terrace for our “VIP Suite” at the Fildisi Hotel was unbelievably bigger than the hotel room itself.

Fildisi Hotel terrace

The top level of the terrace was furnished with this giant canopy shading a teak dining table and chairs, while the lower level had two lounge chairs for sunbathing.


Fildisi Boutique Hotel view

The enormous terrace offered an incredible panoramic view of the Livadi farming valley, Chora, the Aegean Sea, and a small beach below the hotel


Fildisi hotel Astipalea

Part of the Livadi valley viewed from our terrace at the Fildisi hotel


Fildisi Hotel Astipalea

Chora, the coastline and a small beach viewed from our private terrace


Fildisi Hotel Astipalea view

I never got tired of the view of Chora and the sea


Yperia Hotel Amorgos

At the Yperia Hotel in Amorgos, our second-floor room had two balconies. One of them can be seen here, above the hotel entrance and pool terrace


Yperia Hotel Amorgos

We could see Egali bay through the door to our balcony


Yperia Hotel Amorgos balcony view

This photo, taken from one of our room’s two balconies, shows part of the sea view that we enjoyed from the second balcony


Yperia Hotel Amorgos

I enjoyed relaxing on the balcony with an ice cold bottle of Mythos beer or glass of wine after a long day of hiking on Amorgos


Yperia Hotel balcony views

The balcony was a great spot to watch fishing boats return with their catch …


Yperia hotel balcony view

… and to watch Greek ferry ships come and go from the pier at Egali port. This was the same big Blue Star ferry that brought us to Amorgos from Astipalea


Yperia hotel room view

This was our balcony view of the Express Skopelitis ferry arriving at Egali one evening. We rode the Skopelitis to Naxos a few days later; this online album has photos of our journey through the Small Cyclades en route to Naxos.


Yperia hotel swimming pool view

Our balcony also had this view toward the mouth of Egali Bay


Yperia Hotel Amorgos

A window in our room faced homes and hotels on the hillside behind the Yperia …


Yperia Hotel view

… but also gave us views of Potamos village higher up the mountain


Yperia Hotel Amorgos balcony view

Best of all were the views from our balcony of sunsets over Naxos


Lianos Village hotel Naxos

On Naxos, we could view the sea from inside our hotel room at Lianos Village


Lianos Village hotel room balcony

Our balcony was a nice spot to relax with a glass of wine while enjoying extensive views down the southwest coast of Naxos


Lianos Village Naxos balcony view

From our balcony we could see Agios Prokopios beach, Agia Anna, beach, Plaka beach, and mountains in the distance behind them


Lianos Village Hotel Naxos

Palm fronds and colourful flowering plants beside our balcony


Lianos Village balcony view

Balcony view toward Agios Prokopios beach at the bottom of the hillside


Lianos Village Naxos balcony view

Another balcony view toward Agios Prokopios beach


Lianos Village hotel swimming pool

The Lianos Village swimming pool terrace had terrific views of the  southwest Naxos coast and other nearby islands


Lianos Village swimming pool terrace view

Swimming pool terrace view of the Agios Prokopios resort area of Naxos


Lianos Village swimming pool terrace views

Another view from the hotel swimming pool terrace


Lianos Village Naxos view

Another pool terrace view of the island’s southwest coast


Hotel Tagoo balcony view

This was our balcony view during our second stay at Hotel Tagoo on Mykonos


Hotel Tagoo balcony view

Another view from our balcony, looking toward the left


Hotel Tagoo Mykonos

The Hotel Tagoo pool terrace is a great place to relax in the afternoon sun…


Hotel Tagoo pool deck view

… or watch cruise ships and ferries come and go from nearby Tourlos port


Hotel Tagoo swimming pool views

Hotel Tagoo pool deck views in the morning, looking toward the left …


Hotel Tagoo swimming pool views

… and looking toward the right


Hotel Tagoo at sunset

A gorgeous Mykonos sunset reflects in Hotel Tagoo’s reception room windows




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