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.
The Portsea Hotel (aka the Portsea pub) has one of the best outlooks of any pub in the world. It’s a favourite of those who live in Portsea, as well as those visiting. Drives to the Mornington Peninsula end at the pub, motorcyclists arrange their rides to end at the pub. The views are awesome, and the food and service are very good. Eat in the restaurant or outside in the beer garden. They also offer accommodation.
3749 Point Nepean Rd (Nepean Hwy), Portsea. It’s on the right-hand (beach) side as you enter Portsea.
tel: (03) 59842213
Fiskardo is a small (by British standards) local fishing port on the northern point of Kefalonia. With good restaurants and a good-quality chandlers at the far end of the port, it's very easy to spend a day relaxing there. The restaurants on the whole serve excellent traditional Greek and Kefalonian dishes.
Fiskardo is very popular in August, and is quietest at the beginning and end of the season. There's plenty to do, and plenty of seats if you just want to sit. There are also boats to nip across to Ithaka for some calamari, and a ferry to take you to the nearby islands.
It’s my favourite place in Kefalonia - I have often found myself spending a whole day there watching the world go by, enjoying breakfast, lunch and dinner with a few Mythos in between.
50km north of Argostoli. Catch a bus from there, or a ferry from Lefkada or Ithaki. N.B: The bus drops you off in a carpark. Walk down the steps to the left of the church and go straight ahead to get into the town.
The island's 'capital' is the perfect place to sit and have a coffee surrounded by mountain peaks and sea. The backstreets have excellent estiatoria (restaurants).
Bus service runs twice-daily between Kioni and Vathy (though not during school holidays), and taxis can be expensive, so it's best to hire your own transport.
The main Volcanic eruption in Santorini which is disputed to be some time around 1630 BC, is said to have been the downfall of the Minoan civilisation flourishing at that point upon the island. The ruins of this fascinating society can be seen at Akrotiri, which is on the south side of the island.
The capital, Fira, sits above the caldera, which was produced by this eruption, a sheer drop of between 500 and 900 ft. At the very edge of the caldera are a number of cafes and restaurants, some of which serve cake as lovely as the view.
From this location one attempts to visualise the way in which Santorini appeared prior to the main eruption, when it was one large island, as opposed to it’s present form of two main islands, a volcanic island, and a number of smaller ones in between.
The view from the top of the caldera is unquestionably breathtaking, yet serene in its beauty. Not recommended for those who have other things to do that day, as you will probably want to stay for seconds, and possibly thirds.
Block Arcade is an old shopping arcade tucked away in the inner part of Melbourne. It has been refurbished and all its 19th century fittings restored. It originally was a place to shop but these days also has the obligatory cluster of cafes (lots of them!)
Melbourne city centre, between Collins St and Little Collins St (a short walk from Flinders St station);
The food and ambience at Levantis restaurant in the old market street of Parikia are worth visiting Paros for alone.
Market Street, Parikia;
tel: (22840) 23613;
For directions see www.parosweb.com/paros-goingout/restaurants/levantis/index.html
When in Alice drop into Bojangles for a drink or a bite to eat. Tell the folks back home to watch you on the live webcams. That's why all those other people are waving. And help yourself to the free peanuts (in their shells).
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.
Choose Argo bar in Apollonia for your evening drinks and share a tasty Greek meal by the sea at the Lempesis taverna in Chrysopigi.
Argo bar, Apollonia
Open from April until late October.
Tel: +30 228 403 1114
Lempesis can be found across from the church of Chrysopigi.
A typically Ionian, small pebble beach which looks unpromising. But as lunchtime approaches, a tiny beachside taverna opens up serving a menu of locally caught fish and fresh vegetables that changes every day.
Take the coastal path uphill from the village with fine views of the bay to your left. When the path runs out you'll find a track down to the beach.
A cafe, bar and restaurant tucked just 50 metres away from the maddening crowd and central city tourist mayhem. It’s a hangout for students, artists and writers... with a sprinkling of business people lunching together.
Read newspapers in any language, or work on your laptop. They have free WLAN, so it's deal for hanging out while working online, just surfing, or even reading the Guardian! The menu is good and reasonably priced. Breakfasts are excellent, however the coffee is the typical German barely-tolerable lukewarm stuff… try to think of it as something else and put up with it. Having said that, it’s still one of the city’s top (secret) locations.
It's between the end of Barfussgässchen (where all the tourists and village Germans go) and the main ring road. Walk towards the Stasi Museum (worth visiting!) and you´ll find Telegraph on the right.
tel: 0341.149 49 90;
Fantastic milkshake bar where staff will turn your favourite chocolate bar into a delicious milk shake while you wait. I particularly recommend the Fry's Peppermint Cream ones.
26 Greenwich Church Street, just outside the market
This is a small restaurant run by an energetic chef, Peter van der Linden. We visited it 13 years ago and on our return it was still as friendly, plus the locally sourced food is excellent - both in presentation and price. Meal of the day is about 11 euros.
Roelof Hartstraat 26, 1071 VJ, Amsterdam-Zuid;
tel: 020 662 5454;
Fruh is the best-known and most widely available Kolsch and the bar near the cathedral, (Fruh am Dom), is one of the oldest brauhuses, having survived bombing during WW2. It's a traditional German pub serving good beer and wholesome German food, and a great place to start the day.
Am Hof 12-16, 50667 Köln Altstadt/Dom;
The Bäckerhof has a Thai restaurant downstairs and a bar upstairs. The building is unassuming from the outside but has a great space inside. The restaurant food is good and fairly inexpensive, with a small separate lounge area. Through the back there is a fussball table. Upstairs is a really huge bar with chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. Sofas, table service, cocktail waiters and a DJ make it a great place for a couple of pre-club drinks.
tel: 0911 801 3642;
I recently spent a week working in Stuttgart, and although I enjoyed the city, I was much more impressed with a neighbouring town called Esslingen, about 20 minutes away. A medieval jewel which used to be the regional capitol long before Stuttgart’s growth, Esslingen has a cosy, small town feel, with plenty to offer.
Relatively untouched from WW2, the first thing that strikes the visitor after anodyne Stuttgart is the magnificent architecture: Fantastic lanes and courtyards which take you back 500 years, all beautifully maintained. I found Stuttgart relatively quiet at night, but Esslingen has plenty of restaurants, bistros and bars - in a compact area - where even if you don't know any German, the locals will certainly make you feel welcome. It is very safe at night. The local red wines are not to everyone’s taste, but the regional sparkling whites - Sekt - are alone worth the detour.
It's no shoppers’ paradise, but has enough interesting little stores and cafés to make an afternoon worthwhile. There's beautiful countryside a stone’s throw from the town and the hillside woodland provides welcome relief in unspoilt nature.
The centrepiece is the church of St Dionysus, which provides postcard-perfect photo ops and has remarkable stained glass - see it in the morning for the best effect - and the restored altar. Roman and pre-Roman ruins are on display around the church. The tourist information office opposite can provide all you need. Ask about open-air concerts, usually free, which often take place in the surrounding areas. Certainly a worthwhile day trip.
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