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Chania, a beautiful port town in Crete

Chania is a city on the northwest coast of the Greek island of Crete. It’s known for its 14th-century Venetian harbor, narrow streets and waterfront restaurants. I have visited Chania 3 times. From where I live the distance is very short and the price is quite cheap! We got a direct Ryanair flight to Chania from Paphos which cost us around 65 Euros return. When you arrive at Chania airport, if you’re a group it’s worth taking a taxi to the center which is around 15 EUR or take the bus which is around 2 EUR. Stay We stayed at the Kasteli Studios & Apartments in the 3 bedroom house. It was wonderful. The house was clean and cozy. It's a nice traditional place with a garden, an amazing place to sit and relax since it’s quite. Better to stay here than any other luxury hotel. The owner, Mr. Alexis welcomed us and provided us with drinks and fruit. He also answered any questions we had regarding the place and provided us information about places we can visit. Our rooms were cleaned and tidied every day. The location of Kasteli Studios is near the port and the Chania center; you only need to walk 2-3 minutes to get to the old port. I would totally recommend the place and will come back for sure when we are in Chania again. I also stayed at Elia Daliani Suites right in the center however during the night the street is very noisy due to the fact that there's a lot of bars in the same street. Booking.com Eat & Drink Every morning we had breakfast in Aroma at the old port. You can get a coffee and a ham & cheese sandwich for 3-4 EUR. The best food we had in Chania was at Tamam and Ta Chalkina. We visited Tamam, near the old port, during lunchtime. I would totally recommend you to go there if you are in Chania and have the Tamam salad and the Iranian rice, awesome tastes. Both restaurants provide you with a nice atmosphere and great food. Some [...]

2018-07-23T15:00:54+00:00June 19th, 2018|

Balos Lagoon, Crete – A MUST visit

The famous Balos Lagoon is the most photographed beach and a touristic spot in Crete. Balos Lagoon is located approximately 56km northwest of Chania and 17km northwest of Kissamos, between the Cape Gramvousa and the small Cape Tigani and below the range of Platiskinos. Balos is famous for its crystal clear waters, its natural beauty, and its beautiful scenery. During summer time, Balos is visited by thousands of locals and tourists, who arrive mostly by the ferries from Kissamos port. If you do not like crowds, you’d better avoid visiting the beach in July and August (especially after midday). The perfect time is to arrive at Balos is early in the morning, before the boats arrive from Kissamos. Accessing the Lagoon The best and most convenient way to visit Balos blue lagoon is to drive there. No matter where you are located in Crete, just take a car and start your journey early in the morning. Bear in mind that the road from Kaliviani until you reach Cape Gramvousa is not premixed. Once you reach Kaliviani you'll be required to pay a fee, per person, which is used for the preservation of Balos. After a few miles, you will reach a wide parking area. Make sure to drive slowly and enjoy the scene. On the way, you'll get to see many goats. Bear in mind, if you visit the beach with a ferry you won't get to admire this wonderful view, so I strongly recommend you to go there by car or bus in order to view the lagoon from the top of the hill. From there you'll have to walk down to reach the lagoon. My first advice is to wear trainers and NOT FLIP FLOPS! My second tip is to have water with you. Balos Lagoon has white sand and exotic white, vivid blue and turquoise waters. The sea is very shallow and warm making it ideal for children. In some areas, the sand has a slightly pink color, because of hundreds of crushed shells. Beyond the rocks at [...]

2018-06-07T14:30:28+00:00June 7th, 2018|

Mykonos Windmills & Little Venice: Best Sunset Point

Little Venice is one of the most romantic spots in Mykonos to watch the sunset. Many people gather here to enjoy the sunset and afterwards get lost in the small narrow streets to start their evening. Mykonos Windmills are the islands’ iconic feature and from there you can watch the sun setting down. Little Venice is located on the opposite side so from there you will see the sun illuminating on the small houses.   Of course there are more points on the island where you can enjoy the sunset, just make sure to take a breath and enjoy the mixture of sunset colors wherever you are.

2018-02-23T09:14:21+00:00August 30th, 2017|

Santorini Top 10 Things to Do

Santorini is another beautiful island of the Cyclades in the Aegean Sea. It was devastated by a volcanic eruption in the 16th century BC, shaping its existing landscape. The whitewashed, cubiform houses of its 2 principal towns, Fira and Oia, cling to cliffs above an underwater caldera (crater). Personally, I believe Santorini is more for sightseeing instead of swimming (there are other Greek islands with great beaches and golden sand for that). In Santorini you can enjoy amazing landscapes, views, wineries, food and the amazing sunset. You can visit is anytime between April - November, where the weather is still warm compared to northern European countries. If you choose to visit within October-November prices are dropping compared to high season during summer. If you select to visit during low season, then you should stay in Fira since most places are still open. 1. Watch the most famous sunset Santorini's sunset is what makes the island so famous. Find the perfect spot to watch the island in Oia, Fira, Imerovigli. Make sure to check my post about 'Chasing Sunsets in Santorini' to see more photos. Arrange to watch the sunset and have your dinner at the same time. Although dinner with a view tends to be expensive (in areas like Fira, Imerovigli & Oia) you can still enjoy the sunset from another point of view e.g. in Megalochori. 2. Eat Traditional Greek Food There are a lot of places to enjoy a budget meal, either fish or meat. 3. Explore the small paths in Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli & Oia Walk through the hidden alleys, discover magical places and enjoy amazing views. 4. Drink a Donkey Beer Donkey Beer is the locally brewed beer made in Santorini. There are three beers, yellow, red and crazy with another one which they are making now. You can even visit the Brewery for free tasting. 5. Visit Perissa & Kamari Beaches Perissa is one of the nicest beaches in Santorini. There are a lot of restaurants and bars [...]

2018-02-23T09:14:21+00:00July 1st, 2017|

Chasing Santorini Sunsets

The earth rotates, the sun disappears. Sunsets are never the same. You have to chase Santorini sunsets, be ready at the right time, other times you just get to see them out of the blue. I've seen thousands of Sunsets, unintentionally, but in Santorini I had to plan in order to see the sunset! What I mean by that? If you happen to been in Santorini before you know. People from all over the world come to this beautiful island to see the sunset. Santorini is famous for its beautiful sunsets. Whilst spending a week on the island, we've seen 3 different sunsets, one in Oia, one in Fira and another one from Megalochori. All three of the different. Below I'm sharing my photos from each spot.   Oia Sunset I felt that I had to run the marathon in order to get a spot in Oia and see the sunset. The place is packed during that time, with people arriving earlier in other to stand in a nice spot waiting for the golder hour. To be honest I didn't enjoy the sunset in Oia due to the fact that the place was packed - as you can see from my photos. I also took some photos from Strogyli restaurant (you have to book in advance in order to enjoy the sunset from here).   Fira Sunset In Fira we arrived earlier and sat down for a drink before the sunset. If there's no cruise ship at Fira then you'll find a lot of empty spaces to enjoy the sunset - I think most people on the island are in Oia at the specific time so you'll find plenty of places to sit down!   Megalochori Sunset We arranged dinner at a restaurant in Megalochori, at Athermi Restaurant, where we enjoyed the sunset from a different angle compared to Oia and Fira. The place is very quite with no people jumping in front of you (e.g. in Oia).

2018-02-23T09:14:22+00:00September 7th, 2016|

Top 10 reasons to visit Chania in Crete

Chania is the second largest city of Crete, a place where different civilizations have flourished throughout the centuries, a place with natural beauty that everyone should visit.  I've been here twice (you can read my relevant post here)  and will be going again at some point in the future. Chania is a place I adore and below I'm listing my Top 10 reasons to visit Chania. 1) It is one of the most beautiful and picturesque cities in Crete https://www.flickr.com/photos/dora1986/26538369622/in/album-72157633876630181/ 2) The welcoming locals will make you feel like home. They will give you a shot of raki (local drnik) for free, even whilst walking around.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/dora1986/26638031915/in/dateposted-public/ 3) The charming narrow streets will amaze you https://www.flickr.com/photos/dora1986/8925191416/in/album-72157633876630181/ 4) The best views of the city https://www.flickr.com/photos/dora1986/8925126712/in/set-72157633876630181/lightbox 5) The delicious Greek food - Dakos salad, Chochlioi (snails) Kaltsounia (cheese pies), Gamopilafo (rice dish served in Cretan weddings) and many more.  https://www.flickr.com/photos/dora1986/26027950393/in/dateposted-public/ 6) The delicious cheese (graviera, mizithra, anthotiro) https://www.flickr.com/photos/dora1986/26572281981/in/dateposted-public/ 7) The local drink raki/tsikoudia (strong, clean alcohol) https://www.flickr.com/photos/dora1986/8925067016/in/album-72157633876630181/ 8) The best beaches (Kedrodassos, Balos, Elafonissi, Falassarna)  https://www.flickr.com/photos/dora1986/26611235916/in/dateposted-public/ 9) The best sunset at the Venetian Harbor  https://www.flickr.com/photos/dora1986/26566075621/in/dateposted-public/ 10) The Pentozali dance is  the trademark folk dance and you'll enjoy watching Cretans dancing with their traditional costumes!  https://www.flickr.com/photos/dora1986/26034191883/in/dateposted-public/  

2018-02-23T09:14:23+00:00April 25th, 2016|

Athens Walk around Acropolis

Athens is the center of Greek civilization, the capital of Greece, a contemporary city offered for history exploration, holidays, relaxation, nightlife and many more. There are a lot of things to write about Athens but I’ll do that in another post. This post is about recommending my Athens walk around Acropolis and reaching the top of Areopagus hill in order to enjoy the amazing Athens panoramic view. Start Point: Syntagma Square End Point: Monastiraki Walking Distance: 3.5 km Duration: 1 hour Cost: Free Highlights: Acropolis, Acropolis Museum, Odeon of Herodes, Areopagus Hill, Anafiotika, Plaka, Monastiraki So my Athens walk around Acropolis (that's how I named it) started from Syntagma Square. I walked towards Mitropoleos street and then turned left in order to walk towards Acropolis (there are signs). I walked through small pedestrian streets with small shops selling souvenirs and local things. Of course you can take an alternative route via Leoforos Vasilisis Amalias, however you’ll miss the scenic streets. After a few minutes of walking I reached the Acropolis Museum on my left. If you haven't been to the museum before, and have some free time, I recommend you to spend 1-2 hours there. It's worth visiting since you'll get to see some findings of the Acropolis archaeological site. The day I visited Acropolis was closed for construction works. However I've visited Acropolis a few years ago and it's a lifetime experience which I recommend you to do. Moving on, I walked towards the ‘Archeologikos Choros Theatro Irodou Attikou’ via the Dionysiou Areopagitou pedestrian street. As you walk you will reach the The Odeon of Herodes Atticus theatre on your right. This is a stone theatre structure located on the southwest slope of the Acropolis of Athens which is still used for performances. The theatre was closed so I couldn’t go in, but I managed to capture a few pictures outside and inside. I continued my walk uphill. The path is really good for walking. Once you reach the top [...]

2018-02-23T09:14:23+00:00February 9th, 2016|

Spetses, a mixture of sea and forest

Whilst staying in Hydra we decided to visit Spetses for the day since it’s very near. We got the flying dolphin from Hydra which is about 40 minutes. I’ve known this island since I was in school, from history lessons, that Spetses is famous for its contribution to the 1821 war of independence. Once you reach the Spetses harbor you’ll see Dapia (new harbor) which is the tourist and commercial centre and old harbor. The trademarks of the town are not far away from there. You’ll almost see everywhere near the harbor the horse-drawn carriages which are the island’s emblematic means of transport. We got a motorbike (25 EUR for the day) in order to explore the island which is 25km. We started our journey from the old port towards Agia Marina and followed the white line (as illustrated on the map). We got off at Agioi Anargiroi which is one of the largest beaches on the southwest of the island. The Bekiris cave is located near the beach. This dark cave used to be a safe place for pirates to hide. There’s a story which says that the cave was named after a man with the name Bekiris betrayed the people who were hiding there during 1770 when the Turks were plundering the island. We then moved on towards Agia Paraskevi. We didn’t get off here but we only viewed the amazing and breathtaking sea views. On our way to Vrellos beach we could only see a mixture of the sea and forest pine trees. This was our next stop. A beautify sandy beach on the west part of the island surrounded by pine trees. Then we passed through Zoodohos Pigi and moved on to Kaiki Beach Bar restaurant for lunch. This place is one of the most popular beaches in Spetses. Then we got the motorbike and went towards the lighthouse. Spetses is famous for its little almond cakes with sprinkled icing sugar (called Amygdalota) and there are available near the old port. We tried them as Politis and they were delicious (even though I don’t like these in [...]

2018-02-23T09:14:27+00:00September 15th, 2014|

Hydra the relaxing island with no cars

After spending 2 days in Poros the next island to continue our holidays was Hydra. From Poros we got the flying dolphin and Hydra was about an hour away. The first thing you’ll see when you get off the ferry is the harbor which is centered and all around there are restaurants, shops and markets. The small streets are made of steep stones. In Hydra you won’t see any cars, buses or motorbikes – instead you’ll see a lot of donkeys. The only vehicle we've seen on the island was a rubbish truck. Donkeys and water taxis are the only public transportation in Hydra for tourists and locals. We booked our stay at Pension Erofili which is located 2 minutes from the port and stayed in the studio which had a kitchen and an independent veranda. Although we didn't pay extra to have breakfast there, it looked nice and on the last day the owners offered us coffee and breakfast. Spilia Beach Bar is located under the cannon on the west side of the port and it’s the only swimming spot you can access by foot neat the harbour. It serves food and drinks all day and during night there’s music. We went there before sunset and had a few beers until dawn. There’s an excellent view of the harbour and you’ll see the ferries, cruise ships, water taxis and boats coming to the island. Although the drinks were a bit expensive it’s worth going there just for the relaxing view. During daylight people enjoy the rocky beach beneath (Hydronetta) where most of the people jump from the rocks in the clear crystal waters. Mandraki Bay – Miramare is a beach where you can easily reach by water taxi or by boat. At the Mandraki Bay there’s a hotel known as Miramare that you could see as you approach with the boat. We got our sunbeds (which were free) and we looked to see if there’s a bar nearby or something but the place looked ‘dead’. There was a kid there cleaning the tables and bringing some refreshments and informed [...]

2018-02-23T09:14:27+00:00August 22nd, 2014|

Poros a lovely hideaway in the Saronic Gulf

Poros is a small Greek island in the southern part of the Saronic Gulf, about 58 km south from Piraeus and separated from the Peloponnese by a 200 m wide sea channel, with the town of Galatas on the mainland across the strait. Before deciding to visit Poros I had no idea about this island. I knew other islands in the Saronic Gulf e.g. Aegina, Spetses, Hydra but not Poros. After making a short research about the island it looked like a nice and quiet island and decided to book there a few days. We got the plane from Cyprus to Athens and then the metro to Pireaus. We reached Poros taking the Flying Cat 5 ferry from Piraeus within about less than an hour.  It was mid of August when we travelled to Poros therefore it’s highly recommended that you pre-book your ferry tickets in advance since there are a lot of people travelling between islands within this period of summer. The island is located about 58km from Piraeus. We rented a motorbike so we could travel through the island since its hilly and mountainous and walking during summer would have been very tiring. Sleep We stayed at Poros Apartments which are located 2km away from the port. You can walk there or take a taxi, however I would recommend if you are in Poros for holidays to rent a motorbike. The place is easily accessible. The room and bathroom were both clean. There's a kitchen were you can prepare your meals and a fridge to store food. Wifi is free and reliable. Eat & Drink Dimitris Place is a pleasant place where you can have lunch and dinner with a nice view of the port. The place is near Agios Georgios square/church; however you have to walk up there or take a motorbike or a car. It's certainly worth the visit. We ordered the 'Stavlisia mprizola', medium to raw, which is 1kg and we hardly managed to eat it (I would recommend this for 3 people).The cooking was just right and it was delicious. If you have a [...]

2016-10-22T12:07:48+00:00August 21st, 2014|
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