In a recent visit to Greece, I stayed in the Phaedra Hotel on the island of Hydra. I would recommend it to anyone visiting the island. It has big, very clean, full of light rooms.The hotel is sheltered from the noise of the port and Hilda, the hotel owner offers warm hospitality with the best service I have experienced.
It was a joy to stay there!
Phaedra Hotel, Hydra 18040
Tel: 0030 22980 53330
They do the best Gyros pitta on Rhodes - pork cooked on a rotisserie, with tzatziki, tomates and onions. I sampled quite a few just to be sure! A great value lunch at just 3 Euros.
It's near the church bell tower on a corner after you walk past the Donkeys from the main square.
Levantis restaurant in Parikia is a lovely place. Stop off for a drink first at Pebbles cafe around the corner and watch the sun go down - bliss!
If you're getting a taxi back to your hotel, try and avoid the arrival of the big ferries.
Levantis: Market Street, Parikia;
tel: (22840) 23613;
For directions see www.parosweb.com/paros-goingout/restaurants/levantis/index.html
Pebbles Cafe: on the main waterfront promenade;
tel: (22840) 22283;
Turn off the main Chania-Rethymno road at Paleloni, and you will find the road winds down for a mile or so into a picture-postcard bay. This taverna is right on the bay, offering the freshest fish, an upmarket Cretan wine list, and views of the sea from every table. A deservedly popular spot.
Near Paleloni, Chania, Crete
High above Crete's Lasithi Plateau is this extraordinary late Minoan site, slung across a strategic mountain pass with views to the sea below. It's a steep 30-minute walk up from the nearest road - though when I visited, I saw a man shepherding his goats on the plain below from inside his 4x4. The site was excavated by John Pendlebury, the archaeologist, whose grave you can see at the Allied War Cemetery at Soudha Bay.
Near Tzermiado village, Lasithi, Crete;
A real caricature of a Greek beach village. Wide, clean, sandy beach. Good self-catering accommodation, limited choice in the Tavernas. Nothing doing, so just get there, slow down, then stop.
South-west of the island. Catch a bus from Kamares to Apollonia, and then a bus to Vathy, or get a taxi from Kamares harbour (about 10 euros);
Visit the stunning temple of Aphaia with its amazing views over to the mainland and eat the freshest and tastiest Greek salad and grilled sardines in one of the restaraunts behind the fish market in town. Heaven.
Ferries from Pireus port every hour - takes 30 mins. There's a bus on the island which takes you to the temple.
Nice stretch of coast a little bit to the west of the main city, Xania. Even though the touristy main drag can be very tacky, behind all of that is a long stretch of family-friendly beach and activities. About 800 metres across the bay is the island of Thedorou, with excellent scuba and snorkelling sites. 30 minutes' drive away are more sandy beaches and snorkelling coves. Overall, a great location for a holiday.
Lovely taverna on Perissa's beachfront with wonderful, reasonably priced food and lovely service. The best food on the beach - much better than neighbour Charlina's, yet always less busy for some reason.
While at Perissa, avoid the 'club' Full Moon as the music is dire and the dj is very unpleasant if you make polite requests. Cds skip etc.
Also, the Athina Apartments are wonderful, just lovely - in a very quiet part of town.
Perissa Beach is very small, East side of Santorini, you can't miss any of the places mentioned.
The Byzantine museum has been recently renovated and houses the best collection of Byzantine art in Greece. Although the Byzantine period stretched for over a 1,000 years and influenced modern Greece as much as ancient history, it is often overlooked by visitors. Well worth a visit – and less busy than the archaeological museum.
22 Vasilissis Sofias Ave, next to the Athens Hilton
If you want to know what Greeks choose to eat when they go out then the answer is meat, meat, and more meat washed down with the odd chip or bit of salad. And there is no better place to enjoy this than in the hills of Fyli, a few miles north of Athens.
To get there you drive out of town through the massive gypsy slum of Ano Liossia (a sight that many Greeks would prefer you didn't see) before climbing up the slopes of Mt Parnitha to Fyli itself.
You will know you have reached Phyli by the sight of dead sheep and goats hanging outside doors. These aren't butcher's shops as many think at first, but the restaurants themselves, and the bodies are lunch. Not one for the vegetarians, or the sensitive since there are dozens of these tavernas within a couple of miles of each other, Greeks aren't squeamish about where meat comes from.
In winter you eat inside, warmed by vast, open wood fires; in summer everything moves out into the garden. Meat is sold by weight, and the prices are very reasonable. Someone I knew boasted of once having eaten a whole lamb by himself. Compare that to the price of two weedy little chops in Britain. Wash it down with a few jugs of home made wine, pulled from a massive barrel then wander out into the hills and find a tree to sleep it off under.
On the slopes of Parnitha on the old road to Thiva
The Vorres Museum consists of a complex of buildings, gardens and courtyards, covering an area of 80 acres. The museum has been donated, in the form of a cultural and artistic foundation, to the Greek state by the Vorres family.
It is mainly a museum of modern Greek art, which presents important works of art and sculpture created by Greek artists of the second half of the 20th-century. A general survey of the works clearly shows the significant influence of classical, Byzantine and folk tradition.
Good collection of work by artists who will be unfamiliar to most but none the worse for that. Beautiful setting, and can be combined with a visit to the impressive Peania Cave which is within walking distance if you are feeling energetic.
1 Parodos Diad. Konstantinou, 190 02 Paiania, Attica;
tel: 210-6642520, 6644771
Saturday-Sunday 10.00-14.00, Monday-Friday: please contact with the museum
This bar is set in the antiques market and actually uses old furniture for its clients (some of the hippest people), in a dimly-lit atmosphere. Now and then, you can find some interesting art exhibitions or projections on the wall. In the summer, great for seating outside.
3 Avissinias Sq, Monastiraki
Tel: 0030 210 3246446
The island in the middle of the Lake of Ioannina used to be home to the monastery of Agios Pantelaemon until 17 January 1822, when it gained a permanent place in Greek history and legend.
On that day, Ali Pasha, the legendary Ottoman ruler of Albanian descent was executed, at the monastery, by troops sent by the Sultan, from Constantinople, for the crime of insubordination. Ali Pasha had fled to the island after the defence of Ioannina to the 2-year siege by the Sultan's troops had laid on the city started collapsing.
The Turks promised Ali Pasha amnesty, arrived at the island supposedly to hand him the pardon papers that had arrived from the capital, and killed him. His body was decapitated and later buried next to the Fetihie Mosque, up on the castle of Ioannina. His head was taken to Constantinople, shown to the Sultan and then buried in a local cemetery.
Today, the monastery is a museum that tells the story of that day and of Ali Pasha's Ioannina.
You will also find a restaurant that serves local food, including lake seafood and frog's legs, and various gift shops. Boats leave from the quay in front of the castle every 10 minutes.
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