Part naturist on the other side of Lopud, it’s idyllic and has good facilities in a sheltered, shallow bay - safe for swimming and the sea is clean and turquoise. It warms quickly and there's only the occasional jelly fish to vex.
There's a small choice of accommodation on the island, but for those like us with young children, the Lafodia Hotel is ideal. It provides a kids club
where the children's creative side is encouraged and they are taken on little fishing trips. We travelled earlier this year when the weather was rather mixed, the children were kept occupied with activities for about 90 minutes in the morning and afternoon.
Food is hot and cold Mediterranean buffet style with plenty of salad and fruit and the hotel is all inclusive so you could get house red/white; beer and some spirits all day to 11pm.
Lopud island is about a one hour ferry journey from Dubrovnik.
Lopud is reached via a one hour ferry crossing from Dubrovnik. Unusually for Croatia, it has sandy beaches; that was part of the appeal to us. The other was that the island is completely car free. Indeed there is little traffic at all aside from some little tractors and buggies carting people and luggage about. Each morning, locals cluster round the port to unload produce and supplies from the ferrys - everything comes to the island from the mainland and everyone living there seems to know each other!
A short ferry ride from Dubrovnik, Mljet, which comprises a stunning national park and lakes, is perfect for a day trip. You can swim in the freshwater lakes, walk and cycle round them or get something to eat at the beautifully preserved monastery. A steep hill separates the lakes from the ferry port, so if you're planning to cycle it's a good idea to use the mini-bus service included in the park entrance fee, and then hire bikes at the lakes themselves.
Raw pinnacles of rock rear out of the Atlantic swell making landing difficult even at the best of times. A thousand years ago monks lived, or rather existed here with only the eggs of seabirds and fish caught from the rocks for sustenance. Even the Vikings left them alone.
Mfangano Island is a small island in Lake Victoria, Kenya. Smaller than Jersey, it has 2000 inhabitants, no roads, no vehicles, transport is by boat and the locals mainly live by fishing. It is reached by small plane which lands on a grass landing strip and other transport on the island is only by foot or boat. For complete peace, beauty and comfort this is the place.
A 10 minute flight from Kisumu or 3 hours by road and boat.
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.
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;
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;
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