Tag Archives: Crete

6 Holywood-class filming locations in Greece

25 Nov

We love Greece! You love Greece as well! Now, you may be thinking, “How can I like something that I don’t know?!”. Well, think again because it is highly likely that you have seen Greece in a movie!

1. Mamma mia

Mamma mia was filmed in 3 different locations in Greece; in Skopelos and Skiathos, 2 islands in the complex of Sporades, and in Pelion, a mountainous traditional area in Greece’s mainland. Highlight of the movie (and one of Greece’s as well!) the monastery of Agios Ioannis Prodromos in Skopelos, where the wedding takes place!

Agios Ioannis Prodromos church in Skopelos

Agios Ioannis Prodromos church in Skopelos

Skopelos Island

Skopelos Island 

2. Before midnight

Before midnight, probably the latest movie that has many scenes filmed in Greece, was shot in the region of Messinia, in Peloponnese. It includes scenes from the castle in Methoni, a extremely picturesque and well preserved area and also from Costa Navarino, one of the most luxurious hotels in Greece.

Methoni castle, Peloponnese

Methoni castle, Peloponnese

3. Captain Corelli’s mandolin

Captain Corelli’s mandolin was shot in Kefallonia island in the Ionian sea. You will enjoy the amazing beauty of Kefallonia and its traditional villages and at the same time the unique blue green colours of the beaches and the seas of the island.

Assos village in Kefalonia

Assos village in Kefalonia

Agnantia Boutique Hotel in Kefalonia via http://www.pinterest.com/pin/404690716486058911/

Agnantia Boutique Hotel in Kefalonia via http://www.pinterest.com/pin/404690716486058911/

4. Zorba the greek

Zorba the Greek (a name probably related with dance in your mind!), is a classic movie, shot back in the 1960s in the island of Crete and more specifically in the region of Chania with scenes in Apokoronas region and Akrotiri Peninsula. The famous scene with Anthony Quinn dancing on a beach at the rhythms of syrtaki, was shot in the beach of Stavros village!

Stavros beach in Chania, Crete

Stavros beach in Chania, Crete

Acrotiri peninsula in Chania, Crete

Acrotiri peninsula in Chania, Crete

5. The Big blue

Big blue was shot in the island of Amorgos, in Cyclades; showing some breathtaking images of the Mediterranean sea and the island.In the movie you will also see the monastery of Panagia Hozoviotissa clinging to the cliffs, over the Aegean. There were also some scenes in Manganari beach which is located in the island of Ios.

Agios Pavlos Beach in Amorgos, Cyclades

Agios Pavlos Beach in Amorgos, Cyclades

Panagia Hozoviotisa in Amorgos, Cyclades

Panagia Hozoviotisa in Amorgos, Cyclades

6. For your eyes only

In this James Bond film you will find a couple of scenes shot in Greece; you will have the chance to enjoy the island of Corfu in the Ionian sea and also, the magnificent scenery of Meteora, where monasteries are built on the top of rocks standing hundreds of meters in the air!

Loggas Beach in Corfu Island

Loggas Beach in Corfu Island

Monasteries in Meteora

Monasteries in Meteora

Stavros Tsoukatos

5 islands – winter destinations you haven’t thought of

17 Nov

The Greek islands are not “closed” during winter time, time does not stop there! Although some of you might think they disappear shortly after September, they still stand over the blue waters all year round. Apart from those with very small population even during summer, all the rest enjoy a relaxed rhythm of life and a mild winter, with a bit more wind but little rain.

For some, the off season period is perhaps the best period to visit a Greek island because:

  • Many cafes and restaurants might be closed but the ones that remain open usually offer services of quality above the average since they serve fewer people than in the summer and mostly locals.

  • Prices for all services could be lower.

  • Museums and archaeological sites are working properly and without the hundreds of visitors one can enjoy them better.

  • It is easier to meet the authentic culture of each island which is probably the most enchanting experience one could live.

  • Joining locals in their gatherings is almost certain to happen and true friendships are more than possible to happen!

1. Crete

Rethimno during Winter via www.pinterest.com , Barbie

Rethimno during Winter via http://www.pinterest.com , Barbie

The largest island of Greece is waiting for you to visit throughout the whole year. The vibrant atmosphere in the 4 major towns guarantees that you will live a full experience even during the coldest times of winter. Head to Heraklion and pay a visit to the two archaeological sites located nearby: Knossos and Phaistos are the remaining of one of the oldest civilizations in Europe, the Minoan.

Explore the White Mountains (the greek name is Lefka Ori or Madares) near the town of Chania, stay in a mountain refuge, play with the snow and taste the authentic Cretan cuisine in front of the fireplace.

Leuka Ori via forum.snowreport.gr

Leuka Ori via forum.snowreport.gr

Admire the Venetian architecture and the famous Fortezza fortress in the town of Rethymnon and then practice some winter sports in the ski resort of Psiloritis, located in the Nida plateau, 70 km away from Rethymnon.

Fortezza Rethimnon via Leuka Ori via forum.snowreport.gr

Fortezza Rethymnon via forum.snowreport.gr

Psiloreitis ski resort via forum.snowreport.gr

Psiloritis ski resort via forum.snowreport.gr

Finally, visit the town of St. Nikolas to enjoy stunning panoramic view of the lake and the sea from the town’s waterfront!

Agios Nikolaos, Crete via www.thomson.co.uk

Agios Nikolaos, Crete via http://www.thomson.co.uk

2. Evia

The second largest island of Greece is located just an hour away from Athens and you can reach it by crossing a bridge within seconds. The island offers you numerous experiences. In the north of the island you will find the village of Edipsos, with the most famous thermal spa in Greece, whose fame dates back to the ancient times.

Edipsos via travelphoto.gr

Edipsos via travelphoto.gr

Thermae Sylla Wellness & Spa Hotel, Edipsos via www.greece.com

Thermae Sylla Wellness & Spa Hotel, Edipsos via http://www.greece.com

Located also in the northern part of Evia, the beautiful village of Kimi offers an astonishing vista over the Aegean sea.The whole island is well known for its physical beauties turning it into an ideal destination for sports in the nature like hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding.

Dimosari’s Canyon, Evia via www.anastasiahotel.com.gr

Dimosari’s Canyon, Evia via http://www.anastasiahotel.com.gr

Visit the town of Chalkida and observe the strange movement of the waters beneath the old bridge, result of a rare tidal phenomenon.

Chalkis bridge via www.flickr.com

Chalkis bridge via http://www.flickr.com

3. Corfu

Corfu, one of the most cosmopolitan islands of Greece, has an amazingly stylish town, great example of Venetian architecture. Walk to its famous alleys, visit the museum of Asian art to find wonderful exhibits and try the local cuisine.

Corfu via melissokomos.gr

Corfu via melissokomos.gr

Do not miss the chance to pay a visit to Achillion, once being the palace of Empress of Austria-Hungary Elisabeth of Bavaria, better known as Sisi. Achillion that has served as a casino in the past and now as a museum offers a beautiful vista over the Ionian Sea.

Achillion Palace via travel-around-greece.blogspot.com

Achillion Palace via travel-around-greece.blogspot.com

4. Syros

Being one of the most beautiful islands of the Aegean Sea, Syros is at the same time the commercial, administrative and cultural centre of the Cyclades islands. The Catholic and Orthodox elements that coexist harmonically on the island form its particular character. Ermoupoli, Syros’ largest town and capital of the Cyclades, is amphitheatrically built and stands out for its beauty with impressive neoclassical style mansions and magnificent churches.

Syros via www.cycladia.com

Ermoupoli, Syros via http://www.cycladia.com

Wander around the narrow streets of the upper part of the town and admire the unique Miaoulis Square with the impressive Town Hall designed by the German architect Ernst Ziller in the lower part. Visit the archaeological museum of the island where you can find exhibits dating back to 3,000 BC and attend a theatrical play or a concert at the Apollo Theatre, a miniature of La Scala in Milan.

Miaouli square via www.syroumelathron.gr

The Town Hall at Miaoulis square via http://www.syroumelathron.gr

5. Rhodes

Rhodes via https://maps.google.co.uk/maps?q=rhodes+google+maps&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=0x14950ae9895f8bfd:0x586d9037b4e902ad,Rhodes&gl=uk&ei=aLKIUuDwMIiJ4gTapYHoDg&ved=0CCwQ8gEwAA

Rhodes via rhodesmarket.blogspot.com

 The capital of Dodecanese islands is a famous destination year round. Rhodes, often called as the emerald island or the island of the sun, will welcome you warmly even the coldest days of the winter. You can find places of great interest all over the island: medieval and ancient castles, the valley of the butterflies and several museums. The medieval town of Rhodes, selected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, combines Late Gothic architecture with local Aegean features and Muslim elements added later by the Turks, thus creating a blend that makes this medieval town triple special.

Grasp the opportunity to visit the baths of Kallithea, hosted in a magnificent restored building – unique combination of nature, incomparable monumental architecture and history.

Kalithea baths via www.travel-rhodes.com

Kallithea baths via http://www.travel-rhodes.com

Labros Psomodotis

5 Sunset experiences you shouldn´t miss!

6 Oct

The first image that comes to anyone´s mind when they hear the word “Greece” is one of its most beautiful islands: Santorini! And there is a good reason for that; according to many, the unique view from Caldera offers the best sunset one could possibly imagine. Well, I am afraid I have to disagree. In my opinion Santorini’s sunset complements the infinite beauty of the island, but without the rest of the scenery it wouldn’t be that unique. And that is because Santorini is not the only Greek island offering impressive sunset experiences! To justify that I went through my electronic and mental photo albums and I present my findings to you… So turn the lights off, set your screen at the highest possible resolution and travel to all the shades of red:

1. Kalamitsi beach, Lefkada, Ionian Sea

Note that the official name of this beach is Aivali but it is widely known as Kalamitsi. Upon arriving in the village of Kalamitsi, turn left and descend through the olive groves. After 4km you will see a junction; take the road on the left and you will reach the beach within five minutes. You can enjoy the sunset either lying on the beach or from the exotic canteen that is amphitheatrically built above the coast. Reggae music, banana trees and the sound of waves on the rocks will offer you one of the most beautiful sunsets of your life!

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2. Anafi, Aegean – Cretan sea

First of all, you need to get some rakomelo (an authentic Greek spirit) or chestnut ice cream by “Ta plagia”, the first shop you meet on your left hand as you enter Chora. Then, take the road that passes by the village and leads to the west of the island. There is no chance of getting lost since the island has only two paved roads! Pick a spot with a nice view and enjoy the sun setting over Santorini!

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3 Ikaria, Aegean – Ikarian sea

After a swim in the stunning beach of Na in the western part of the island, pay a visit to the tavern of Na located just above the beach. Don’t miss the chance to taste their pasta with braised veal and a glass of local Ikarian red wine as you watch the sun setting between rocks!

Camera ikaria Camera Camera

4. Balos, Aegean – Cretan Sea

Balos is a mind-blowing (yet quite hard to reach) beach with wonderful blue-green waters. You can get there by boats departing from Gramvoussa but unfortunately they head back before sunset, so I suggest you drive the 8km dirt road to get to the beach. The road ends 3km before the cape but the perfectly preserved footpath is not difficult at all to follow. After 8 pm the colours of the sky will carry you away… Following the nightfall you will be accompanied by the crabs that come out of the lagoon’s shores. Do not forget a flashlight to help you find your way back to the car!


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5. Gaidouronissi or Chrissi, Libyan Sea

Quite a few travellers each year visit this tiny island south of Crete, home to a cedars’ forest since the ancient times. There is neither a settlement nor electricity on the islet, just a canteen on its south coast. You can take a boat from Ierapetra and return with the same one the next day. All you need for spending a night there is your sleeping bag; the rest can be found on the spot (like food, water, even friends!) since Chrissi is a popular free camping place not only for travellers but for local Cretans as well, and they are fully organized and charmingly hospitable! So after enjoying the blue waters go to the north beach (if you’re not already there) and wait for the sunset. Do not be surprised to see a group of people practicing yoga during sunset; classes are offered by a yoga teacher for free and of course you will be more than welcome to join! An experience not to be missed!

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I am waiting for your own sunset photos, and do not forget to share the story behind them! Stories are what make the colours more vivid! 😉

Labros Psomodotis

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