I've stayed at Tenface for the last two weeks. It's located on Sukhumvit Road. Nice touches like a iPod in my room, sim card for local calls, Bangkok travel tips with BTS card and more. Plus excellent staffs who can speak English very well.
I refuse to disclose the joys of the Hotel Romvi in Tolon. (Damn.) The fact that it is small, family run and on the beach is something I do not wish to share with worldwide Guardian readers because you'll all be there next year filling the sunbeds two steps from the restaurant which serves great home-cooked food.(Done it again - damn.) I'm booking now before you get there. The fact that the town can be ignored as you sip ouzo with your feet in the sea is an even greater asset.
It's only 30 mins from Epidaurus, Mycenae and twenty by boat from Napflion.
SO DON'T GO!
Try Sunvil Travel
If you try, you can still find the authentic Cyclades on some of the small islands – calm, without mass tourism or too many cars. One such island is Kimolos, in the Western Cyclades.
In the "Horio", the main town of the island, the white-washed walls of the houses form the 16th century Kimolos Castle.
One of these houses has recently been renovated to provide independent self-catering accommodation for up to six people.
You can also include a skippered 51 foot sailing yacht as part of your holiday.
Villa Glyfada is just what you want if you pick Paxos as your Greek island destination: a good balance of unspoilt sights and three small port towns with plenty of small restaurants and evening bars.
In the remote olive grove hills, Villa Glyfada is hidden amongst the big old olive trees, some even centuries old.
Having candle lit BBQ dinners on the verandah with a view over the secular olive groves and deep blue sea is unforgettable.
It was difficlut to stop reading on the wooden porch swing and deck chairs to meander down through the trees to the hidden beach.
Nicely furnished and well equiped, this villa has everything you need to feel at home. Even a couple of friendly Greek cats looking for some attention.
Very good value for the price. And while you are there don't forget a day trip to gorgeous Anti Paxos.
100 Euros per night for 2p renting the house,and 130 Euros per night for 4p.
Paxos,Ionian Islands in Greece
Phone: 0030 2662 0 32589 or 0030 697 92 66 706
A wonderful cottage in the remote forest of Vastergotland, 100kms east of Gothenburg close to Ulricehamn. The cottage has two bedrooms, a living room with views of the nearby lake and a wonderful garden full of wild fruits and mushrooms, and complete with a wood burning hot tub for perfect relaxation. We loved it!
Vassiliki is a quaint fishing village on the southern coast of the Ionian island of Lefkada. Excellent restaurants line the harbour front where diners can enjoy their meals while watching local fisherman tending their boats. There are many small B&Bs or flats to choose from and from which you can explore the surrounding area. It is an easy drive to the island's dramatic west coast beaches or the local winery. There are also several isloated beaches within walking distance from the village. The bay is a popular wind-surfing spot in the summer.
Vassiliki is on the west coast of Greece in the Ionian Sea. It is only 5 1/2 hours from Athens by car, or 45 minutes from the closest airport at Preveza.
Anay Camping is a real 'oasis' in the desert. Travelling through Libya can be a frustrating experience because this country is far from becoming a truly developed tourist destination, which explains why independent travel hasn't been possible there until recently. Why Ghat and Easter? Although there are some truly fantastic Roman and Greek sites on the Mediterranean, pushing inland and into the Sahara is an exciting and rewarding experience. Other desert locations are far more developed and commercial (Ghadames, Uwbari ) but Ghat has a totally different, uncontrived feel. The old town is still relatively original and the town is within striking distance of prehistoric cave paintings which document what this area was like when lush vegetation and classic African mammals and reptiles were still inhabitants. The campsite is unusual for three main reasons:
They make affordable, palatable meals.
You can rely on security and there are friendly locals in the area who will invite you into their homes.
There is hot water if you time your bathtime correctly. I used my own tent and cooked my own food, as well as dining in the basic but friendly restaurant. I made friends with the workers at the site, locals living in the area and other tourists on organised tours (I was travelling independently, without a guide, using local transport.)
You can fly to Tripoli with BA, catch a local bus to Sebha, then go with a pre-arranged, local tour guide to Ghat via Uwbari and the cave paintings.
Easter is a good time to visit because the day temperature hasn't become unbearable yet and the night temperature isn't so extreme.
Huts are available if you don't have tents. Both food and accommodation is inexpensive and of an acceptable standard. I was there at the beginning of 2007.
2 kms south of Ghat, just off the main road to the Algerian border
The small island of Santorini is stunningly beautiful, with its old world traditional Greek charm and breathtaking views. However, it is one of the most expensive of the Greek islands, so our advice is to stay on the much cheaper east side of the island in a resort such as Kamari or Perissa. In the evening you can take a short bus ride (cheap fares and frequent service) to the more exclusive west side villages of Thira and Oia where you can dine in the cliff top restaurants whilst watching the spectacular sunsets. The other advantage of staying on the lower east side of the island is that this is where the beaches are located. Whatever you might read in the guidebooks, Oia does not have a beach! Many tourists make the trek down the long, steep winding path to the sea, in the sweltering heat, only to find a disappointing pile of rocks and pebbles awaiting them!
This is a stunning place with a huge garden surrounded by vineyards. The rooms are large, clean and well decorated. We were welcomed by the host with nibbles and wine like friends and not like paying guests. They provided us with all kind of information even for our way back home. I especially loved the breakfast with all kinds of hot and cold food, freshly picked out of the garden. It was a fantastic stay and we will definitely come back.
We recently rented this homely lovely apartment for a five day stay in Istanbul and had a fantastic time. It was pretty cheap considering the size and location. There are two double rooms and another room with two single beds, kitchen, living room/dining room, one little bathroom, a little balcony and all the mod cons you'll need on holiday.
The views from the apartment look straight across the Golden Horn with the Topkapi Palace and the Blue Mosque visible in the distance.
The area (Beyoglu) was fantastic! Not very touristy (which I thought was great) but still with loads and loads of things to do, see and eat. A young hip crowd, loads of bars, shops, restaurants and very easy transport around the city (or walk to the Grand Bazaar in 30mins). The owner gave us a little personal tour around the area when we arrived showing us good local restaurants, bars, cafe and the best places to eat local delights.
Only one thing that might be a problem - it gets a bit noisy on Friday and Saturday nights due to the numerous restaurants nearby - the locals like to party around here, so probably not great for kids but it didn't bother us much. Other than that - is excellent in almost every way.
'Corfu' and 'island retreat' may not be words which the traveller may think go together but there are still a few underdeveloped pockets located on the Albania-facing coastline of this green Greek isle. Tucked into the north-east is the village of Kalami, which makes a great base for exploring this rocky peninsula by bus, car, moped or legs. Heading north along the pretty coastal path leads you to a bay backed with swaying eucalyptus. Here at Kerasia, the lone taverna is the coolest move to avoid the midday sun. South of Kalami, a more rugged path, which itself passes through deserted bays and coves, ends at Agni. This gourmet's paradise plays host to three tavernas - all revered by gastronomes from the island and afar. Indeed, the most popular, Agni Taverna, was the purported location of the meeting between Peter Mandelson and George Osborne last year. I guess they thought it was a neat retreat as well!
Hotel Andreas on Agistri. This is a really friendly place for couples and families who don't want the usual hotel package with entertainment et al. The best recommedation for Agistri is that it's where the Greeks go for holidays! We love the place. Also known as the best-kept secret in the Saronic Islands, only an hour and a half by catamaran from Piraeus.
By far the best way to visit Greece is to take a flight only into Athens then take the one hour bus ride to the port Piraeus. Have a mental list of islands you wish to visit - use the many ticket agents to find a conveniently timed ferry. Outside the period mid-July to end of August finding accommodation is easy as people will meet incoming ferries. In Naxos I recommend Hotel Galini in Naxos Town. Other islands worth visiting, which can be reached easily from Naxos, are Syros, Amorgos, Folegandros and Donhoussa. Read a good travel book before you go!
Its a beautiful house, nestled in an enchanting coconut groove. The groove overlooks a large open paddy field to its east. Beyond the paddy field is a river, then a hill in the horizon. The sunrise is so beautiful here, its like a slice out of paradise.
There's no one around to disturb you, its just you in the lap of mother nature.
The serene Keri Beach is nearby, just 500 meters away.
The owner is Mr. Brian Fernandes, he can be contacted at Brianferns@gmail.com or at
Fortunately none of the major package operators go to Milos but it is still relatively easy to get to. Stay in Adamas at the Chronis Hotel which has the most amazing buffet breakfasts.
For something very different and to see parts of the island that no-one else will, then try sea kayaking organised by an affable Aussie called Rod. It's a really memorable day out.
Mykonos does have the reputation for being a party island but if you are looking for a serious bit of R&R, head to Ostraco Suites. Situated on a hilltop just above the hustle and bustle of Mykonos town, this is a fantastic place to stay. We were met at the airport by one of the staff and welcomed with an upgrade on arrival to a suite for a few nights which was heaven! Rooms are really luxurious and the breakfasts are served on the veranda - fresh fruit, home baked breads and so on - the list goes on. If you do feel like heading into the lively town centre, try Interni restaurant, an incredible setting tucked away in the old town and delicious food/cocktails. One other tip, Ostraco Suites will organise jeep hire for you - we hired one for a few days to explore the island and stumbled across beautiful Fokos beach, deserted with a huge stretch of white sand (just remember to take your own picnic/water etc as there are no bars or kiosks nearby, just one taverna on the beach only open from 1-7pm!)
My husband and I just returned from another trip to Marrakesh . Incredible city with a special attraction! We stayed this time at Riyad Al Moussika. ( www.riyad-al-moussika.com ), and our sojourn there, was fantastic. There are riads with cheaper fares, but if you consider that lunches are included, it is not. In addition to that its location is very closed to the square Jemaa El Fna, the main square of the Medina, but you can reach it as well by taxi. Our room had a loggia and a private terrace on the roof both overlooking the swimming pool which is so well conceived that looks like an old Andalusia basin as in the Medersa Ben Youssef. Remarkable job as it is the rest of the Riad that has been restored with a strict respect of the Moorish architecture without any concession to the present widespread Disneyland-like way of restoration I saw in the others riads where we stayed in our previous visits to the red city: A mix and match of pseudo oriental styles, more a movie set, than real places. At Riad Al Moussika it’s possible to feel the presence of the past and the authenticity of the place embrace pleasantly its guests: A timeless spot with a genius loci!. All of the staff speak good English, thing not very common in Morocco , and they were all exceptional, but Badreddine deserves a special mention. He was unbeatably helpful and all the times with a smile. The exceptional quality of the breakfast and lunches is certainly the best we had in Marrakech so far, although the fact that those are included in the rates like all non alcoholic beverages, refreshments and the delicious Moroccan patisserie served at the tea-times. If you want to have more sybarite pleasures, spoil yourself in the hammam : Unforgettable relaxing experience. In conclusion, Riyad Al Moussika is a spectacular place where we will stay in our future visits to Marrakech, and worth every cents, (I mean dirham)!
Marrakech, 62 derb Boutouil-Kennaria
00212 524 389067
The island of Ikaria feels off the beaten track in Greece. It is a mountainous island, near Samos in the eastern Aegean with some beautiful beaches. You need your own transport as buses are almost non-existent and when you are away from the main roads you often find yourself driving on dirt roads. Ikaria is a bit of a voyage of discovery. For me, a special place is to be found near the small village of Arethusa, half way up a mountain side, with a wonderful view of the sea – here you find the Ikarian Centre, where you can stay, and if you wish, join a Greek language course. I stayed there for 2 weeks in 2008 and it felt like I was part of a small community for a couple of weeks; a world away from busy urban life and busy tourism. We learnt some Greek, and we learnt about the island, and Greece; we went hiking, had a cooking lesson, learnt some Greek dances and had plenty of time left over to swim and explore the local tavernas.
For those of you who need to pinch the pennies this year, I'll let you in on a little tip.
The full-on party resort of Laganas in Zante is often top of the list for cheap and cheerful package bargains with tour operators, but it is also a little too hectic and youthful for those of us who are after a relaxing break away from it all.
However if you want to take advantage of low prices and have a civilised holiday experience simply take a short and scenic walk west along the beach, around a headland and past a tiny islet, to discover a small, welcoming and attractive village with its own beautiful beach and a much more authentic feel.
An uninhabited island called Marathonisi, or Turtle Island, lies opposite Aghios Sostis' bay and is named after the creature its shape resembles - the Loggerhead turtles that nest their eggs on the pretty beaches surrounding the island. The rural setting of Aghios Sostis is set against the peaceful countryside of olive groves and pine trees and an imposing mountain backdrop.
If you want to get out and about in Zante there is plenty to see and do: Navagio (Smugglers) Cove with its impressive white cliffs and pale sands is a sight to behold; the Blue Caves, discovered in 1897, are breathtaking for snorkelers and sightseers alike; the Byzantine and Venetian capital of Zante, Zante Town, is the island's cultural and commercial centre with many shops, museums and churches; and last but not least, there are many tiny and traditional mountain villages to be explored.
So for a credit crunching holiday - stay in Laganas but holiday in Aghios Sostis!
Aghios Sostis, Laganas Bay, Zante, Greece.
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