Tag: Meteora (page 1 of 2)

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.

 

 

Majestic Meteora

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Although Vimeo member TKYSSTD produced Meteora: Six Monasteries on the Rocks just for editing “practice,”  I was blown away by the video’s breathtaking bird’s eye views of Meteora’s remarkable scenery

 

Since we’re big fans of island vacations, we haven’t travelled much on mainland Greece yet. Besides several stays in Athens and its beach suburbs of Glyfada and Voula, our exposure to the mainland has been limited mainly to the city and to places along or near the Athenian Riviera as far as Cape Sounion. We do plan to venture farther afield, though, and are considering some mainland destinations for our upcoming Greek holiday in May.

One of the places I’d love to see is Meteora, famous for its soaring rock “towers” crowned with monasteries originally constructed in the 16th Century. 

Although photos of the stunning Meteora landscape have fascinated me for years, I didn’t make an effort to get there because I was under the impression it was an area to see only for a couple of hours on an organized bus tour — and I personally can’t stand travelling on a tour coach. I suppose that hearing about Meteora only from travellers who had seen it on a quick coach tour or a during a brief stop on a driving holiday didn’t make me more motivated to go.

 

Meteora Greece

A Visit Greece Flickr photo of a monastery at Meteora

 

But when I stumbled upon the Visit Meteora website and discovered the variety of excursions available in the area (including sunset tours), as well as activities like hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and rafting, I realized it was time to keep Meteora in mind for one of our future holidays.

Seeing the Meteora: Six Monasteries on the Rocks video that I posted above got me even more interested. I started Googling for more information about Meteora, and thought I’d share links to some of the websites I found in case any of my readers might be interested in visiting Meteora sometime, too.

 

 Websites with Meteora photos and travel info

Some of the links are for commercial tour or travel sites, while others are for personal blogs or travel journals. All contain lots of interesting and helpful information as well as photos.

Meteora-Greece.com offers a quick overview of the area, travel directions, general information and a few photos.

Visit Meteora is the destination marketing travel portal I mentioned earlier. It’s is packed with information about daytrips, tours, transfers, accommodations, activities, restaurants, and more.

Sacred Destinations offers an illustrated ecumenical guide to the six remaining Meteora monasteries.

AirPano features a 360-degree virtual tour along with a gallery of superb photos posted in June 2014 by Stas  Sedov, Dmitry Moiseenko and Mike Reyfman.

Communicating with the Gods in Meteora, Greece is a lively photo-illustrated account of a July visit by New Zealand-based travel enthusiast Liz, who writes the widely-followed Young Adventuress blog.

The Wonder that is Meteora is an illustrated and highly-detailed personal travel journal describing a 4-day trip to Meteora from Athens back in 2003.

Last but not least, the Greek language version of Trivago’s Checkin blog features a number of insightful articles about Meteora. It’s part of a project in which Trivago and the Visit Meteora website are promoting Meteora as a top destination for religious tourism.

 

Meteora Greece

A photo from the Visit Meteora travel site, which offers a variety of daytrips and organized tours to the historic area in Central Greece

 

Recognize these places?

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Ikaria beach scene

Rugged cliffs and dramatic rock formations rise beside a beach on Ikaria, one of Greece’s East Aegean islands

 

It’s all in Greece!: From time to time one of my blog’s Facebook friends or contacts shares a link to a fun Where is this place? photo “quiz” that a Greek-language news and information website, e-fungus.gr, first published in November 2013.

Someone posted the link on Faceback again today and I thought I’d pass it along since the photos in it are so impressive and inspiring.

Entitled “Where is this place? Gia sou Hellas!”, the article shows a series of spectacular Greek destinations that people could easily confuse for places elsewhere in the world, like Hawaii, the Caribbean, Tibet, the Ukraine, the Alps, Jordan, and Bora Bora.

There are nearly 50 images of exceptional sights and remarkable scenery, including islands, mountains, beaches, castles, churches, fields, forests, coastlines and rock formations. I like viewing the photos every now and then to get ideas for places to visit on future holidays — though to date I have managed to see just 10 of the places on this particular list. Obviously, I need to get to Greece more often!

Click here to view the article and see how many places you’ve been to yourself, or that you might recognize as destinations in Greece. As the article introduction observes, “Heaven on Earth truly exists, and it is in Hellas, which is the correct name of Greece.”

I can’t wait to get back to heaven in May!

 Metereo Greece

A Greek Orthodox monastery crowns a tall crag of sandstone in the Meteora region of central Greece , near the town of Kalambaka

An awe-inspiring Aegean Airlines video trip to some of the ‘most magical places in Greece’

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 Enter Greece is a fabulous 11-minute Aegean Airlines-produced film that will give you “a taste of the most magical places in Greece!”

 Sensational scenery: If Greece isn’t already on your “bucket list” of places to visit, the Enter Greece video from the Aegean Airlines YouTube channel might well convince you to include it among your top “must see” destinations.

Even if you have been to Greece before, whether as a one-time or repeat visitor, you’ll still enjoy watching sensational cinematography of what the airline calls some of “the most magical places in Greece.”

The 11-minute film clip includes amazing views of the Athens Acropolis, the Acropolis Museum, Cape Sounion, Spetses, Santorini, Mykonos, Delos, Milos, Crete, Zakynthos, Lefkada, Meteora, Monemvasia, the Corinth Canal and many more outstanding island and mainland Greece destinations.

“Travel through the blue sky and sea, the taste and history, unique landscapes, art and tradition of Greece,” the video summary states.

It delivers as promised — I developed an immense craving for Greek food and wanted to book a flight to Athens immediately after watching the video!

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