This restaurant in Agia Efimia is the best in Cephalonia. It has stunning views from the terrace to Ithaca. There's also a cafe/bar and rooms to let. It was the restaurant of choice for the Captain Correlli crew but is still inexpensive and serves up honest home cooking with very fresh ingredients.
Run by Stavros Dendrinos Snr, Jnr & Jnr Jnr, aged 9. Cooking by Snr, Jnr & Mrs. Dendrinos.
Malia, Crete, gets undeserved bad press. Yes, The Beach Road bars/clubs cater for British kids in July/August, but one can avoid them altogether & have a pleasant vacation here. There is an attractive old village to the north of the main road.
Most of the restaurants mentioned in the Rough Guide & Lonely Planet have been closed for the past few years as they were run by non-Greeks and rents were too high for the short tourist season. There are however, two excellent restaurants remaining, The Elizabeth, which is in the town square of the old village, and off to the left, Kalesma, both offering dishes way above the usual taverna fare.
There are two classic rock bars on the Main Road, The Cavern and Epsilon - The Alcoholic Church, which can be dangerous territory in the afternoons if the owner, Michaelis is working. He doesn’t like the customers to leave sober!
Malia is a good central base from which to see the island. It has a spectacular beach and a Minoan Palace nearby. Driving inland will take one to the breathtaking views from the Lasithi plateau in about 15 minutes.
The old port of Santorini originally could only be reached by the long winding set of steps down from Thira. All 888 of them, or 588, but lots! The locals came up with an easy way for seafarers to go up to the town of Fira: use mules to carry people up and down. Today the tourist and charter boats bring tourists in who ride the mules up to Fira for their short stay on Santorini.
One can get to the old port (it is worth a visit) by walking down (which we did). The choice is then to either take a mule ride back up or take its modern equivalent, the cable car. We chose the cable car for the views, speed and smoothness. Both the mules and the cable car cost. One can also think about walking back up... but I recommend against it.
Follow the signs to the steps or the cable car station in Fira. The cable car is 3.50 euro per person each way;
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;
Mykonos's finest beach, for the views, quality of sand and the people: think transatlantic/European 20-, 30- and 40-somethings, style-conscious, but still relaxed. There are three coves, becoming more gay and secluded the further you go. Clamber over the rocks to the next beach and a stunning taverna where you can eat in a shady garden.
Elia is one of the most easterly beaches on the south coast. Takes about 20-30 minutes on a moped, and twice that long in the old fishing boats from Ornos;
Just got back from Thasos, a Greek island I had never heard of before arriving. Going in late May/early June, I found it at its best. It was a total change from any other Greek island I have visited: rural, beautiful, unspoilt and the friendliest locals I have met.
Ferries depart every one or two hours from Kavala on the mainland to Skala Prinos on the island and take one hour, 15 minutes. There are ferries from Keramoti on the mainland to Limenas (the island's main town) every hour or so in the summer, and these are quicker (and more direct) than the ferries from Kavala. Keramoti ferry port is a 15 minute taxi ride from Kavala airport.
Seven Springs near Afandou is a wonderful cool spot set in a pine forest beside a mountain stream. Sit at a wooden table and eat village food – specialty: baby kid chops. Then follow the stream and walk through a long cool tunnel (about 100 metres) out to a beautiful freshwater lake. The tunnel is clean and safe - and thrilling for children over 5. Try it.
Afandou is around 22 km from Rhodes Town, on the east coast. From there, to the right of the Kolimbia coast, is a road that leads to Seven Springs;
This is the best beach taverna on Rhodes, run by Philip (from the island) and his English wife, Barbara. Perfect traditional Greek menu, all freshly cooked, in a drew setting on top of the cliff above the north end of the beach
At the end of a long, winding road through stunning mountain scenery is a little piece of Crete as it was in the 60s and 70s - but with electricity.
A traditional family-run taverna offering fresh food and four simple-but-comfortable balconied rooms, all with stunning views along one of the most picturesque and unspoilt coastlines in Europe.
Situated in a secluded bay and literally perched at the water's edge, you can fall asleep to the sound of the waves after a perfect meal of freshly caught and perfectly cooked fish and a carafe of local wine.
Perfect for those whose idea of nightlife is counting the stars, and who don’t need any water sports other than swimming and fishing.
Stavros & Vicky Peraki;
tel: (0030) 6937124600;
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;
The much overlooked islands in the northern Sporades are like stepping stones leading out into the azure waters of the Aegean National Marine Park, each one less inhabited than the other.
The largest island, Skiathos, hosts the only airport and once landed you should quickly make your way to the more beautiful and less touristy, Skopelos. Once there I would recommend making the exhausting climb through Skopelos Town to "Anatoli" restaurant where the views are breathtaking and the food is sumptuous - all accompanied by traditional rembetika music.
If possible travel by boat to the other islands; the sleepy Greek island of Alonissos with it's crystalline waters and hidden coves; the tranquil monastery at Kyra Panagia inhabited only by monks and male donkeys and the flat volcanic island of Psathoura hiding the underwater ruins of a lost city.
Fly direct to Skiathos and take one of the daily Flying Dolphin boats or a high-speed catamaran to the islands of Skopelos or Alonissos. Alternatively, hydrofoils go directly to the islands from either Athens or Thessaloniki;
Egiali, at the top of the island, is extremely quiet and friendly with just a couple of shops and a handful of restaurants. There are decent rooms and a really good campsite to stay in, all within 5 minutes of a quiet beach with good swimming.
There is a lovely morning's triangular walk to the two nearest villages, Tholaria and Langada. Katarina restaurant in Langada serves THE BEST TARAMASALATA ON THE PLANET.
You can get boats directly from Piraeus to Katapola at the south of the island. Egiali Camping sends a minibus on spec and I'm sure a lot of the private rooms in Egiali do too. You can get the 'Skopelitis Express' from Naxos straight to Egiali, but it is slow.
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