Tag: Tinos (page 2 of 2)

Glimpses of Gavrio, and a ferry ride from Andros to Tinos


Gavrio port at Andros

Gavrio harbourfront

The harbourfront at Gavrio, the port village on Andros island


Au revoir, Andros: When we arrived at Gavrio port on Andros at the start of our Greek holiday last May, we barely even noticed the village. Already groggy from our transatlantic travel and jet lag, we were struggling to shake off more cobwebs after dozing periodically during the ferry ride from Rafina. 

I saw a few shops and tavernas when we stepped off the ship, and can even remember thinking “there doesn’t seem to be much here” when I took a quick glance around. We didn’t have time for a longer look since we had to focus our attention on a more pressing issue — fitting luggage for four people into the compact car our friends had rented.

Soon we were pulling away from the port and driving up a narrow lane that squeezed tightly between rows of whitewashed houses before widening into the two-lane highway that would lead us to Andros Town. As we rounded a bend on the outskirts of Gavrio, we got our first views of exhilarating Andros scenery — fields, beaches and the wide open sea on our right side, and to our left a long line of mountains extending far into the distance.  It was a beautiful sight for our sore and very tired eyes.

View from highway on outskirts of Gavrio Andros

The mountain and sea view from the outskirts of Gavrio, seen in an image from Google Street View. This is the highway that leads from Gavrio to Batsi and onward to Andros Town.


We got a better look at Gavrio when we walked there from Batsi on the final full day of our Andros visit. As we turned onto the waterfront strip, we discovered there was much more to the town than we had seen while disembarking the ferry five days earlier.

On arrival day, we had basically seen just half of Gavrio’s commercial district — the extensive port authority area with its parking lots, loading zones, and of course the quays for ferries and ships, as well as a few of the businesses along the main street nearby.  We had not noticed that the street continued farther past the port, lined on one side with tavernas, shops and ferry ticket agencies, and a flagstone-paved walkway on the sea side. It took longer than we had anticipated to stroll the entire length of the road, and we were surprised by the large selection of restaurants and cafes — we had not been expecting to be so spoiled for choice in finding a place to have lunch. 

Though not as scenic as some other port towns in the Cyclades, Gavrio isn’t an unattractive place — it just doesn’t have the pretty, polished veneer of upscale boutiques and trendy cafe-bars that draw  the big-spending tourist and cruise ship crowds to places like Mykonos Town. And while Gavrio may be conveniently located for quick easy access to a variety of good beaches (see my post A bevy of beaches & coves on the scenic west coast of Andros), we were happy we had chosen to spend our holiday time at Andros Town and Batsi instead, since we preferred their overall look and feel.

Mind you, we didn’t walk around any of the residential streets on the hills tucked behind the waterfront strip, so we didn’t get to see all of Gavrio. We may have been more impressed had we taken time to explore beyond the port and harbourfront.

Gavrio harbourfront

We didn’t get to explore the residential streets on the hill behind the commercial waterfront strip


The next day we got more glimpses of Gavrio during a taxi ride to the port, followed by panoramic sea views of all of Gavrio Bay as we stood on the outdoor decks of the ferry taking us to Tinos. It was a brilliantly sunny morning, and Gavrio looked picturesque as it glistened in the sunshine.  I’m sure we’ll be back sometime for another look around.

Click on the link below to see more photos of Gavrio, as well as pictures of the Andros coast that we passed during our ferry trip to Tinos. There also are photos of the ship that took us there, the Superferry II, as well as the western coast of Tinos.


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More weather woes as wind & waves thrash the Greek Islands


Portara monument Naxos

The ancient Temple of Apollo monument on Naxos is barely visible as winds carry sea spray up and over the Palatia peninsula. This amazing shot was one of three photos shared on Facebook by Manolis Lykouropoulos.


Wild winter: While it was the ongoing economic turbulence and political bluster in Greece that made headlines around the world this week, surprisingly severe winter weather conditions in many parts of the country were just as wild, crazy and unpredictable.

For several days, and especially on February 10 and 11, Mother Nature thrashed many of the Aegean islands and parts of mainland Greece with an unusually vicious torrent of wind, waves, rain, sleet, snow and cold temperatures.

The latest barrage of bad weather came slightly more than a month after a similarly brutal storm system brought icy temperatures, freezing rain and heavy snowfalls to many of the Greek Islands in early January (see my posts Wild winter weather wallops Greece and Snow scenes from the Cyclades to view photos and videos that were shared on social media during and after that storm).


Acropolis and Odeon of Herodotus Atticus in Athens

Snow falls on the Parthenon (top) while two pedestrians walk past the Odeon of Herodes Atticus next to the Acropolis in Athens. Flowmagazine posted this photo on its Facebook page February 11.


This week’s weather disturbances dusted Athens and surrounding areas with light snow, while various islands including Skiathos, Samos, Karpathos, Crete, Naxos and Tinos experienced either light flurries or significant snowfalls in some regions, particularly in mountainous areas. Freezing rain accompanied chilly temperatures in many places.

But it was relentless gale-strength winds that wreaked the most havoc, flooding popular waterfront tourist areas on Crete, Samos, Mykonos and Naxos.

Gusts registering force 10 and higher on the Beaufort wind scale raged across the Aegean, pushing powerful waves against coastlines, ports and harbours. Particularly hard-hit were the Chania harbourfront on Crete, the Little Venice seafront of Mykonos Town, the Naxos village of Apollonas, and the Long Beach area of Kokkari village on Samos, where seawater surged ashore, flooding streets, shops and restaurants and leaving muddy debris — and even the bodies of drowned animals — in its wake. The winds and water also caused extensive damage to the port of Evdilos on Ikaria.

Chania Crete floodwater damage

Waves and water damage at the Chania waterfront on Crete are shown in these photos posted to Facebook by βαγγέλης διαμαντακης 


Please click on the link below to continue reading page 2 of this post, which includes more news, photos and videos of storm activity and damage on several islands.


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Snow scenes from the Cyclades


Achim Eckhardt photo of snow on Tinos, as seen from nearby Mykonos island

This might look like Alaska or the Arctic, but it’s actually Tinos in the Cyclades islands of Greece. Achim Eckhardt shot this amazing photo from a vantage point on nearby Mykonos island after a severe winter storm passed over the Cyclades last week. Click on the picture to enlarge the image.


snow on Tinos

The storm dumped a thick blanket of snow up to 2 meters deep on some mountain areas of Tinos. This image of snowdrifts towering above a 4WD vehicle is a screen capture from a video posted on Facebook by Emmanuel Delasoudas from Tinos.



Snow wonder: Mention the words “Greek Islands” to people around the world, and many instantly think of the Cyclades, recalling iconic postcard images of rustic villages with white “sugar cube” houses clinging to steep slopes high above the sparkling Aegean Sea.

Last week those scenic towns and buildings looked breathtakingly whiter and brighter after a ferocious storm system swept rain, sleet, snow and below-freezing temperatures across the Cyclades on January 6, quickly transforming the region into a winter wonderland.

While some isles got dusted with a light blanket of snow that soon melted away, the storm thumped mountain areas of Andros, Tinos and Naxos with heavy snowfalls, leaving parts of those islands looking more like the Alps than Aegean islands.


Islanders shared dramatic storm images on social media

Residents quickly took to social media to post dramatic photos and videos of snow scenes that resembled winter images depicted on Christmas cards people exchanged during the holiday season. Though both shocking and delightful to many viewers who have only seen the islands in warm seasons, Cyclades residents pointed out that snowfalls, while rare, do occur about once or twice a decade — most recently in 2008.

But while the snow-laden islands look pretty in pictures, the storm had calamitous consequences for Andros and Tinos, which bore the brunt of the brutal weather conditions and received the heaviest snowfalls as the unexpectedly strong storm cut a wide swath across the Aegean. 

Authorities declared a state of emergency after an electrical grid failure left many residents on both islands without power and running water for up to four days, and snowplows had to be shipped from the mainland to clear roads to remote villages rendered inaccessible by the snow that measured two and a half meters deep in spots. Schools, shops and businesses were forced to close, while emergency personnel had to rescue senior citizens and ill residents who were snowbound in mountain hamlets. On Tinos, farmers suffered extensive snow damage to fruit and olive trees and greenhouses, while livestock breeders lost sheep and other livestock that perished in the cold.

What follows is a selection of photos and videos I have collected from social media, showing scenes from several Cyclades islands in the aftermath of the storm. I have endeavoured to credit the original sources for all images and videos; however, some photos were widely shared without naming the source. Please let me know of any inaccurate credits so I can make immediate corrections.

You can view additional photos of winter scenes in my January 2 2015 post Wild winter weather wallops Greece, and in my December 15 2013 post Greece gets winter, too!




Leonidas Triantafyllakis posted this video of Apikia on January 6



Scenes from Apikia in a January 8 clip by Leonidas Triantafyllakis



Mixalis Karelis posted this on January 7. It shows views from a terrace in the midst of a heavy snowfall, but the location on Andros is not mentioned.


 Click on the 2 in the link below to open page 2 of this post. It contains dozens of startling snow photos and videos from Tinos, Mykonos, Milos, Santorini, Paros, Syros, Naxos and Sifnos.


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Top 6 memories of my Mykonos holiday in 2012 #6: the striking sea and island scenery


Elia beach Mykonos

Villas cling to a steep mountainside above Elia beach on Mykonos


Stark contrasts: On Mykonos, I have always loved the stark contrast between the arid, rocky island and the blue sea and sky that surround it. The rugged brown landscape seems to make the Aegean Sea’s shimmering turquoise water look more vivid and vibrant, especially at beaches, than it does at other Cycladic islands, where it has a pronounced cobalt hue.

This trip I did a lot of walking on Mykonos, as usual, but also saw many parts of the island through the windows of buses and cars.  I never got bored of the scenery, and always found it exhilarating whenever the vehicle rounded a corner and gave us a glimpse of a horseshoe-shaped bay with alluring blue and green water sparkling under the blazing sun.


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Things I love about Greece: Waking up to gorgeous views at hotels in the Greek Islands (Part 6)


Tinos island viewed from Hotel Tagoo Mykonos

The swimming pool terrace at Hotel Tagoo on Mykonos offers this view of Tinos island, a short ferry ride from the tip of Mykonos (right)


Oia Santorini viewed from Hotel Hermes on Ios

On a clear day, we could see the whitewashed clifftop buildings of the renowned Santorini village of Oia from our balcony at Hermes Hotel on Ios


Halara Studios in Plaka on Milos

Our terrace at Halara Studios in Plaka, on Milos, gave us this sweeping view of the Gulf of Milos and mountains on the western half of the island.


Three islands, three hotels, three superb views: Last month, our 2011 Greek Island holiday took us back to a favourite hotel on an island we have visited more times than any other place in the world; a different hotel on an island we visited back in 2007; and a hotel on an island we had previously seen only from a ferry. All three gave us superb views.

On Mykonos, we stayed at Hotel Tagoo for the third time in as many visits. We’ve been to Mykonos so often I can practically picture the views with my eyes closed, and I also never forget the scenery from the balconies and public areas at Hotel Tagoo. (If you’ve been following my posts about Greek Islands hotel views, you’ve already seen numerous pictures showing the wonderful views from Hotel Tagoo.) No matter how often I visit, I never get bored of looking at the sea and nearby islands, or the mountains, beaches and coastline of Mykonos itself. For this trip, I requested the same room we stayed in our first time at Hotel Tagoo — the cozy and semi-secluded #19, on the east side of the property — and I was glad it was available for our stay. Although #19 has only a partial sea view, rather than a full-on panoramic sea and island view like many of the rooms positioned at the front of the hotel, I like it because I always sleep exceptionally well in that room. I don’t know why, but I always wake up feeling more refreshed after a night in that particular room than in any other. What’s more, the afternoon sun doesn’t seem as hot or intense on room 19’s terrace, like it does on other balconies, so I can spend more time sitting there without feeling like I’m going to melt.

After several days on Mykonos we travelled to Ios for the first time. We had “seen” Ios several times before — through the windows of the FlyingCat 4 ferry en route to Santorini — but we had never set foot on it. We stayed at Hermes Hotel in Agios Ioannis, a hillside area high above beautiful Mylopotas beach, and just a short walk from the island’s main town, Chora. Although views from our hotel room balcony were partially obscured by a building in front of us, we could still gaze across the Aegean Sea and, if the skies were clear, see the whitewashed buildings in the village of Oia on Santorini. When we wanted completely unobscured views of Ios scenery, all we had to do was walk up one flight of stairs to the hotel’s breakfast room & bar, which had a comfy outdoor sitting area, or down several flights to the huge sea- and valley-view swimming pool terrace. (The pool was just being cleaned and filled during our visit, so we couldn’t take a swim, but we did enjoy the terrace for suntanning, taking in the scenery, and watching the hotel’s herd of goats in the field below.)

Our third island stop was Milos, which we had visited once before in September 2007. Last time we stayed at a hotel on the edge of the port town of Adamas; this holiday we wanted a complete change of location and scenery, so we stayed at Halara Studios, which is literally on the edge of the mountaintop village of Plaka, the capital of Milos. Being high up and on the edge meant we had outstanding views of farm fields, the Gulf of Milos, and the mountainous western half of Milos. If our visit had been just a few months later in the summer, we would have enjoyed incredible sunset views from the Halara Studios terrace, too.  Nevertheless, we won’t soon forget the scenery because on our last full day in Milos the island got thrashed by a vicious thunderstorm, and our terrace provided an excellent front-row seat for watching lightning strikes and the dramatic, dark stormclouds swirling over western Milos.

Below are photos of our views from Hotel Tagoo on Mykonos, Hermes Hotel on Ios, and Halara Studios on Milos.


Donny B at Hotel Tagoo Mykonos

Enjoying a glass of wine on the terrace for Room 19 at Hotel Tagoo Mykonos


Hotel Tagoo Room 19 terrace

The cozy terrace for Room 19  sits on the east side of the Hotel Tagoo property


Room 19 terrace at Hotel Tagoo Mykonos

Part of the view from the terrace for Room 19 at Hotel Tagoo Mykonos


Hotel Tagoo Mykonos Room 19 view

The terrace overlooks another nearby hotel and this old stone wall


Room 19 terrace at Hotel Tagoo Mykonos

It also overlooks the balcony for the room next door, but still feels fairly private


Hotel Tagoo room terrace view of the sea

Our terrace at Hotel Tagoo gave us a partial view of the sparkling Aegean Sea …


Hotel Tagoo view of the Aegean Sea

… which is a gorgeous blue in the morning but takes on a molten silver hue under the blazing afternoon sun. Sunglasses are definitely required to enjoy this view — the sunlight reflection is so intense, it’s almost blinding!


Hotel Tagoo Mykonos views

A late afternoon view of the sea from one of Hotel Tagoo’s many levels


Hotel Tagoo Mykonos view

When I’m in the Greek Islands, I enjoy watching cruise ships and ferries come and go … this is a view from the Hotel Tagoo swimming pool terrace of a cruise ship approaching the nearby port of Tourlos (also known as the New Port)


Hotel Tagoo view of Tourlos port on Mykonos

The hotel’s pool terrace has a good view of ships docked at Tourlos


Hotel Tagoo Mykonos swimming pool view

This is the view in the opposite direction, looking towards Mykonos Town


Hotel Tagoo Mykonos

From the pool deck, my camera can zoom in on three of the famous Mykonos windmills and the Paraportiani Church (right) near Little Venice


The view from Hotel Tagoo Mykonos

Looking straight ahead, there’s a fabulous view of the sea and nearby islands


Hotel Tagoo Mykonos views

An early morning view from the Hotel Tagoo swimming pool deck


Hotel Tagoo Mykonos swimming pool

A late afternoon view from the Hotel Tagoo swimming pool deck


Donny B at Hotel Tagoo Mykonos

Enjoying one last look at the view before leaving Hotel Tagoo to travel to Ios


Hotel Hermes balcony view

At Hermes Hotel on Ios, we could see the Aegean Sea and mountains near Mylopotas beach through our balcony doors


Hotel Hermes Ios Room 2 balcony view

The balcony for our room (Room #2) gave us this view of the Aegean Sea and a graceful palm tree on the hotel grounds below


Hotel Hermes Room 2 balcony view towards Santorini

From our Room 2 balcony, our cameras could zoom in on Santorini island


view from the door to Room 2 at Hotel Hermes Ios

We had this view of the valley when looking out the door to our room


Hotel Hermes main entrance

Sitting areas outside the Hotel Hermes reception entrance offered excellent views of the sea and parts of Ios; this was a popular place for hotel guests and other people to enjoy the scenery while relaxing with breakfast or a drink


Hotel Hermes seaview cafe and bar deck

One of the features we loved most about Hotel Hermes was its sea-view outdoor café-bar terrace where we ate breakfast or had an afternoon coffee


Hotel Hermes cafe-bar deck

Part of the amazing view from the hotel’s café-bar terrace


Hotel Hermes Ios cafe-bar deck

The café-bar deck was my favourite place to take in the views


Hotel Hermes Ios outdoor cafe-bar terrace

The café-bar terrace overlooked the sea and nearby valley …


Hotel Hermes view of the road to Chora

… had this view up the road to Chora, just 10 minutes away by foot …


the hillside between Chora and the Hotel Hermes Ios

… this view of the upper part of the valley near the hotel …


view from the cafe-bar terrace at Hotel Hermes Ios

… and this view of the lower valley and the scenic Ios coastline


Cafe-bar terrace view from Hotel Hermes Ios

Another view of the coastline far below the Hotel Hermes


view from cafe-bar terrace at Hotel Hermes Ios

The café-bar terrace had this view  of the mouth of Mylopotas Bay …


Hotel Hermes Ios cafe-bar terrace view

… and this view towards beautiful Mylopotas beach


Hotel Hermes Ios view of Mylopotas beach

Mylopotas beach is just a 15-minute walk down the hill from Hotel Hermes


Hotel Hermes view of Mylopotas beach

Another view of Mylopotas beach from the café-bar deck at Hotel Hermes


Hotel Hermes view of Drakos Fish Taverna

A camera zoom view of our favourite seaside drinking and dining spot at the far end of Mylopotas beach, Drakos Taverna (right)


Hotel Hermes Ios pool deck view

The swimming pool deck had views toward Santorini (visible under the clouds near the upper left corner of the photo) …


goats at Hotel Hermes Ios

… and was a great spot to watch the goats roaming the hillside below the hotel


Halara Studios Milos view of western Milos

On Milos, the front window to our room at Halara Studios gave us this scenic view toward the western half of the island …


Halara Studios Milos view

… while the window next to the kitchenette in our studio gave us this view


Halara Studios terrace view

However, the long terrace outside our room had the best views of all


Halara Studios Milos

In the morning, we would enjoy the view with a cup of coffee and, in the evening, savour the scenery while drinking a bottle of wine


Halara Studios view

When we weren’t hiking around Milos, I spent my time admiring the views


Halara Studios Milos view

This bucolic scene greeted us when we opened the door each morning


Halara Studios Milos

The hillside below us was lush and green, thanks to wet spring weather


Halara Studios Milos view

Mount Profitis Elias rises 748 meters on the west side of the Gulf of Milos


Halara Studios Milos view

The white building at left is a farmhouse; the other two buildings are churches that we visited during a morning hike to the seaside village of Klima


Halara Studios Milos

We snapped this photo of Halara Studios while hiking to the churches


Halara Studios Milos

Our studio was the one with the light blue-coloured window and door on the lower right-hand side, just above the MyGreeceTravelBlog.com logo


house on the hillside in Plaka Milos

Our terrace view included this hillside house, to our upper left …


houses in Plaka on Milos

… and this house, just a few feet to the left below our balcony


Halara Studios Milos view

This was the terrace view looking straight ahead across the Gulf of Milos


Halara Studios Milos views

Right below us is a wide expanse of farm fields on the east side of the Gulf


Halara Studios Milos view

Looking to the right, we could see the west coast of the Gulf of Milos all the way to Cape Vani, the point at the northwest tip of Milos


Halara Studios Milos view

Some of the mountains along the west coast of the Gulf of Milos


sailboat off the coast of Milos

A sailboat passes steep rocky cliffs on the west coast of the Gulf of Milos


Cape Vani on the northwest tip of Milos

I get a kick out of looking at Cape Vani on the northwest tip of Milos because I think it resembles a semi-submerged hippopotamus


view from Halara Studios Milos

Rays of sunlight stream through clouds above Milos one evening before sunset


Cape Vani on Milos

A ship passes behind Cape Vani at sunset on May 24 2011


Cape Vani on Milos at sunset

Another view of Cape Vani at sunset on May 24 2011


stormclouds passing over western Milos

Dark stormclouds threaten western Milos, but we felt only a few drops of rain before the storm system cleared the region


west coast of the Gulf of Milos

The west coast of the Gulf of Milos at sunset on May 24 2011


thunderstorm over western Milos

A severe thunderstorm lashes western Milos on the afternoon of May 27 2011


a thunderstorm over western Milos

Stormclouds above western Milos on Friday May 27 2011


Halara Studios Milos

The terrace view I hated to leave when we had to depart for Athens on May 28



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