Posts Tagged ‘greece’

LEFKADA KEFALONIA

LEFKADA KEFALONIA

On the 2nd of June, a group of journalists and I flew from Vienna to Aktion National Airport in Preveza on a press trip organized by the Greek Tourism board and My Austrian holidays.

That was the beginning of a great adventure. We were set to explore 4 islands in the Ionian sea: Lefkada Kefalonia, Meganisi, and Ithaka. Four Greek islands that I have never been before. I was excited to see these new places and capture their natural beauty with my camera.

LEFKADA KEFALONIA

Once we landed in Preveza, we were transferred to Lefkada island where we spent the first 3 days of our press trip. At this point, I would like to thank our travel guide Mr. Spiros Zampelis for spending everyday with us during our stay, and showing us around the beauty of Lefkada.

It was so nice to have a great guide, such as Mr. Zampelis. It made our whole travel experience in a new place so much more interesting and meaningful.

LEFKADA KEFALONIA

Travel tips for Lefkada

Hotels: Ionion Blue hotel, Galini hotel
My choice: Crystal waters hotel
Beaches: Pefkoulia beach, Porto Katsiki beach, Kathisma beach
Best Coctail bar/restaurant in Lefkada: Fly Me
Taverna : Burano

LEFKADA KEFALONIA
LEFKADA KEFALONIA
 
LEFKADA KEFALONIA
LEFKADA KEFALONIA
 

LEFKADA KEFALONIA

LEFKADA KEFALONIA

During one of those days in Lefkada, we visited Meganisi, a hidden gem in the Ionion sea. That was my absolute favorite part of the whole trip. In Meganisi we also had a great host. Mr. George Vasileiou-Mourkoyannis organized a very thoughtful daily program for us in order to make the most of the one day we had to spent on the island. Once you arrive in a place for the very first time, you need to know the right persons, right? ; )

LEFKADA KEFALONIA

Meganissi is for those who are into slow living, privacy and tranquility.

LEFKADA KEFALONIA

Take the ferry from Lefkada to Meganisi for a one day trip. But in my opinion, the best way to enjoy Meganisi to the fullest is to rent a yacht and a villa…and stay longer than just one day. For lunch go to the TOP sea food Tavern Errikos.

LEFKADA KEFALONIA

LEFKADA KEFALONIA

From Lefkada, you can easily get access to Kefalonia by ferry.

Travel tips for Kefalonia

The most picture perfect villages: Fiskardo and Asos!

Beaches: Myrtos beach, Xi beach, Makrys Gialos, Platis Gialos, Fteri beach, Skala, Pessada beach, Antisamos beach

Hotel recommendation: White Rocks

LEFKADA KEFALONIA

LEFKADA KEFALONIA

If you prefer to stay in Argostoli, please check out this amazing boutique hotel: Kefalonia Grand hotel. 

Argostoli has amazing pastries shops! Check “Glikon Esti”!

Taverna : Apolafsi

Fancy wine tasting? Go to Foivos

Points of Interest: The Cave Lake of Melissani

LEFKADA KEFALONIA

LEFKADA KEFALONIA

LEFKADA KEFALONIA

Travel tips for Ithaka

Cafe Margarita in Stavros village

Lunch at ODYSSEAS (Raftopoulos- Tzanetos) in Frikes seaside village

LEFKADA KEFALONIA

Many thanks to the Greek Tourism Board, My Austrian holidays and the Regions of Lefkada Kefalonia for the opportunity to visit Lefkada Kefalonia, Meganisi and Ithaka! 

More on Instagram!

Folegandros

Folegandros
Folegandros
 

Folegandros

During this past winter, I asked some of my friends whether they’ve been to Folegandros or not. And the answer I got from most of them was a no. Neither have I. My immediate thought was, “we should change this”.

This was how a carefully planned trip to Folegandros got started. From a simple question.

One reason why I think none of my friends have visited Folegandros yet is because of Santorini, Greece’s most popular island. Santorini is very close to Folegandros, and if people have to choose between those two, people mostly choose to go to Santorini. I personally didn’t mind going to a less popular island. I was actually intrigued by the idea of exploring Folegandros and 100% sure that I would love it from the very first moment we touched ground. And I did.

Folegandros

Folegandros

I can still recall in my mind the moment we arrived at the port Karavostasi. We were super exhausted even though the trip on the fast ferry lasted only 4 hours and a half. We were exhausted because we had an early morning wake up call, as the ferry’s departure was set at 7am. But once we arrived, the magic power of the white washed houses in combination with Folegandros’s natural beauty had made our fatigue fade away and turn it into a state of excitement and euphoria.

We spent one week in Folegandros, ignoring what people had told us that one week would be too much. My answer to them is: “one week is enough to see the island, but if you want to really enjoy it, then you need to stay longer”.

Folegandros

If time and money were not an issue, then I would suggest: stay, relax, enjoy.

Folegandros

Folegandros

Folegandros

Three things I noticed during my stay in Folegandros: 
  • June is a wonderful month to visit Folegandros. The island is not jammed, which makes your stay on the island very enjoyable. 
  • The island offers high quality accomodations to the most discerning travelers. It has a great variety of amazing boutique hotels.
  • Also, the little fashion stores host incredible pieces made by Greek fashion designers. I fell madly in love with the Kori collection. 

Folegandros

Here is a list of some cafes/tavernas that we visited, in other words, a few things you shouldn’t miss:

Try the traditional dish “matsáta”, which is handmade noodles with rooster or rabbit

Mama’s Pita, Souvlaki House in Chora. We paid a daily visit here!

Chrisospylia restaurant for shrimp spaghetti in Chora 

Breakfast/brunch at Pounda in Chora / Traditional cafe “Lontzia

Eva’s garden restaurant / Pancakes at Parasagas

Folegandros
Folegandros
 

I want to remember this small rocky and longish island as a place I want to return to. Hopefully it won’t be long before I return.

Folegandros

Hotel: Folegandros Apartments

Rent a car: Evo rent a car

Outfit: 2 the little store

The Viennese Girl visited Folegandros island in partnership with the Greek Tourism board.

Special thanks to Mrs. Christiana Papitsi, Mrs. Efthalia Papadopoulou and Mr. Konstantinos Magkas. 

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Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites

Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites
Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites
 
Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites
Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites
 

As you may have already noticed on Instagram, last June I embarked on a great adventure.

I went island hopping in Greece. During my Greek island adventure, I stayed in 8 hotels in total. One of those was the Blue Sand, a charming Boutique Hotel that has views to Agali Bay in Folegandros.

I have done this in other destinations and I did it once again at Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites. I spent the first four days in the hotel and didn’t leave Agali Bay. Even though it was my first visit to Folegandros and we were curious to explore the whole island, my friend Pauline and I decided to hang around the hotel instead. Tell me if I’m wrong…

We simply wanted to soak in all the beauty of the landscape, breathe in and out, relax in our hotel room, and take as many photos as possible. And we couldn’t have found a better place to do just that.

Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites
Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites
 
Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites
Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites
 
Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites
Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites
 

Agali Beach and Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites had us covered in every way. We were within close proximity to everything our soul and mind needed: the beach, a choice of tavernas, a traditional cafe and wifi…

Plus, we were told that if we took the coastal path to the right of the hotel, we would discover three other secluded and unspoiled beaches. We did just that! Pauline and I love walking, so we didn’t miss the chance to go for a walk.

Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites
Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites
 

Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites

Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites

Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites

On one of those balmy summer evenings during our stay in Folegandros, our boutique hotel set up a beachfront picnic for us.

The team at the Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites created the perfect atmoshpere using stylish rugs, boho-chic pillows, and lanterns. They spoiled us with with cheese plates and champagne. We were lucky to have someone who knew how to do all this right.

Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites

Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites

I have always found it hard to find the right words to describe amazing places and unforgettable experiences. I prefer to let the photos above do the talking. All I know is that we were lucky and privileged to have spent a few days at the Blue Sand Boutique Hotel & Suites in Folegandros. We feel forever mesmerized by the entire experience and we wish to come back.

So, thank you Katerina, Spiros, Vasilis and Panagiotis.

The Viennese Girl visited Folegandros island in partnership with the Greek Tourism board.

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Zagorochoria

Zagorochoria

Zagorochoria

Zagorochoria

 
 

 

 

 

 

At the end of May, I joined a group of journalists and together we flew from Vienna to Athens with Aegean Airlines on a press trip organized by the Greek Tourism Board.

I actually joined two trips powered by the Greek Tourism Board in the course of the last two months. Let me make it a little bit more clear for you.

On the first press trip we visited Athens, Ioannina, ZagorochoriaSivota, Parga, Paxoi, and Antipaxoi. After that trip ended, I came back to Vienna for a few days and then left again for Karpathos for the second press trip. Yeap, I am lucky, I know!

On the first trip, Athens was actually just a stop over, because there is no direct flight from Vienna to Ioannina. The two first photos of this blog post were taken at Grecotel Cape Sounio, where we had a welcome lunch by the pool. I loved everything about this short visit at Cape Sounio. The 5 star resort is situated in an idyllic location and has great views of the sea and Temple of Poseidon. They treated us to delicious Greek mezedes. We couldn’t have started the press trip in a better way. It got me immediately into Greek spirit and in the mood for holidays (although this trip wasn’t 100% for pleasure).

After the welcome lunch at Grecotel Cape Sounio, we went back to the International airport of Athens to take the flight to Ioannina (3rd photo of this blog post). We arrived quite late in Ioannina and spent the night at Hotel du Lac. Many thanks for the lovely welcome and dinner. If you ever find yourself in Ioannina and you are looking for accomodation you might want to check out this 5 stars hotel.

The next day we drove to Zagorochoria. Zagorochoria is a cluster of 48 traditional picturesque villages in the Zagori region. Here, we found very friendly locals who did anything they can do to ensure we had a nice time. This is something we have to mention and appreciate. What was the first thing we did once we arrived? We went for rafting in the Voidomatis river. Although I am not so much into sports, as you might have already guessed, I was excited to try out this adventurous activity. It was very nice and I was pretty sure that it would be so beforehand!

My hotel in Zagorochoria was the Aberratio Boutique Hotel. My room was very beautiful and the owner was such a warm-hearted person. My photos will give you a taste of how Zagorochoria is and what you should expect from this place, but if you need more info, please check here and here.

Now if you wanna know what I would choose if  I had to choose between mountains or sea, I would go for the sea. Blame it on my origin. My mother comes from a Greek island and I grew up in a city that was surrounded by water, Athens. I like blue hues more than green hues. I like to listen to the sound of waves. I like to dive in the sea and swim with the fishes (and sometimes with the sharks like in the Maldives). And after all, I am pisces. However the itinerary I describe in this blog post is for people who are seeking both: sea and mountains. I think it’s a great combination and you will definitely not get bored.

I am so happy that I had the chance to visit all those beautiful places and to feature them all now on The Viennese Girl blog. I hope I will always be able to show you more places from my homecountry, Greece, and inspire you to visit them for yourself.

If you have any question, please leave a comment and I will get back to you asap.

More on Instagram ♥

Trip to Chania

Trip to Chania

Trip to Chania

Trip to Chania

Trip to Chania

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Trip to Chania
 

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Trip to Chania

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When I got the invitation for the trip to Chania, three things came immediately to my mind: amazing food, amazing weather, and generous warm-hearted people. It was impossible to say no to the invitation. Even with back pains, I packed my luggage (I have two, one was already packed with clothes from Paris) with summer clothes and a swimsuit, and left for my home country, Greece.

I never thought that in the mid of October I would walk barefoot in the sand in one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, in Balos, and that I would still be wearing white summer dresses while the rest of Europe was freezing cold. Now I know. I know a place where there is still summer while winter has already begun in Vienna. Two flights with Aegean from Vienna to Chania, and I welcome summer back to my life!! Don’t hate me for this. With my little photos on Instagram, I wanted to take you on a journey, and to let you know a little bit more about this beautiful part of the world (which I guess you all know already).

At the airport in Athens, I was glad to meet a group of like-minded young people with whom I would spend the following days. During my stay in Chania we stayed at Minoa Palace. Note here that the hotel’s breakfast was amazing (I am drooling over it right now, it’s better not to think about it). Our daily schedule was based on the “senses”: hearing, sight, touch, smell, and taste. We heard Cretan traditional music. We visited so many beautiful places like the Kalathenes village, Chora Sfakion, and the fishing village of Loutro. We touched and smelt Cretan herbs at the Botanical Park. We had wine tasting and unforgettable dining experience at Salis restaurant. We ate sea food at Apostolis restaurant and had our last dinner at Santa Marina beach. Not to mention the full moon we saw on our last night in Chania’s old town. Especially that made it more difficult to leave Chania the next day.

Oh yes! I ate a little bit more than I was supposed to. But we were in Crete. When they put in front of you five dishes of fresh lobsters with spaghetti and traditional Cretan cheese pie, you just cannot resist the temptation. If you plan a visit to Crete, you can rest assured that the Cretan people will treat you right.

Thank you Discover Greece and Aegean Airlines for bringing back summer to my life. Even for a few days. It was beautiful.♥

 

Skiathos and Skopelos

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Hotel in Skiathos: Skiathos Palace
Hotel in Skopelos: Skopelos Village Hotel 

You can’t imagine how happy I was for going back to Greek islands. I still remember being so excited while waiting for the departure at Vienna International airport. Together with a group of journalists, we flew directly to Skiathos island for a press trip organized by the Greek national tourism Organization. The plan was visiting and discovering Alonissos, Skiathos and Skopelos which automatically means: amazing landscape, warm hearted people, and good food. Yay!

I have never been on the Greek islands in May. When I was living in Greece, I used to visit the islands mostly in July and in August, but after spending a couple of cold months in the Central Europe, my desire for sea and sun together with my wanderlust was urgently calling for a cure and absolutely could not wait until June or July. I also realized that, not only June and July, but May as well, is a perfect month to visit and have holidays in Greece (pleasant temperatures and not that much crowd in places).

Once we arrived at Skiathos, we took the boat to Skopelos, that famous island where the musical Mamma mia was filmed. The three islands are connected by boat. So if you visit them, fly to Skiathos and take the boat. The boat trip from Skiathos to Skopelos lasted about an hour. In Skopelos, the people of the island who would later give us a tour in the following days welcomed us warmly with local delicacies. In the days that followed, I soaked all in: the good company of my new friends, blue of the sea, green of the nature, amazing view from my hotel room at Skiathos Palace and of course my favourite fried potatoes, a lot of kalamarakia and the famous Skopelos cheese pie, known as Skopelitiki Tyropita.

In Skopelos, I did something for the first time in my life: scuba diving (say yes to new experiences)! Visit Kostas & Ines at Skopelos Dive Center. Kostas explained to me everything about my first dive in the sea in order to enjoy the trip under the water the most and stay safe at the same time. What an amazing experience that I definitely recommend to others.

In this blog post you can see photos from my visit in Skiathos and Skopelos. My Austrian friends continued their travel to Alonissos but I didn’t. I had to go back to Skiathos and take the airplane to my next destination. The adventure would go on in Mykonos! ♥

Mykonos, the picture perfect island

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Upon my arrival in Mykonos, everybody was asking me the same question: “first time here”?
No, it wasn’t the first time visiting Mykonos, the picture perfect island. The first one was many, many years ago. My first visit, I recall, was based on a lie. I lied to my work and said that I was ill and left with a friend for a weekend in Mykonos, the picture perfect island.

This time, my friend Edisa and I got a little bit crazy during our stay in Mykonos because of all the beauty around us. We loved roaming around and let our instinct drive us through the alleys of the little town. If you visit Mykonos, pay attention to the details around you. You will notice that residents of Mykonos take care of their island. They really have a good taste about everything, they keep their island polished and this is a considerable reason to love them, right? With my camera, I tried to catch all that beauty, architecture and details as well.

In one of those photos you will see Petros, the pink pelican. Petros is the cutest bird I have ever seen. I had a quick conversation with the woman who takes care of him. She told me that there were three pelicans on the island. Now there is only one left. She set Petros free every morning and before the sunset, she is looking for him to bring him back home. If she doesn’t find her, she can’t sleep. Having and taking care of an animal is a big responsibility and this adorable animal left me to touch him and caress him. The woman pointed out that Petros doesn’t let anyone caress him. I guess this was a good sign that Petros and I became friends. What a pity I couldn’t pack him and take him with me to Vienna. : ) We also saw many dogs and cats on the streets of Mykonos. It seems that they were all taking naps and I am sure they were also annoyed by tourists like me who wanted to take photos of them.

Mykonos has the reputation worldwide of being a party island but for me and the way I conceived it, this island is something more than that. No doubt that here you can party until dawn, but this island has something special that you cannot describe with words. We had the chance to feel that “special” thing in the air, also thanks to the unbeatable hospitality at our boutique hotel Bill&Coo Suites and Lounge. Four days on this island resulted in more than 4.000 photos. That’s the reason that makes me call Mykonos the picture perfect island. The worst thing you can do is visiting this island without your camera, or forgetting your battery/memory card at home.

And as we are talking about the cosmopolitan flair of Mykonos, there is a lot happening in Athens as well. After Mykonos I came back to Athens to visit my parents. I would like to mention an event held by my friend Chrysanthos Panas. The Italian fashion desiger, Valentino, together with Giancarlo Giammetti and their good friend and jet setter Micaela Calabresi Marconi, visited Athens on Friday, March the 25th. They decided to visit Athens, for a three day city break so that they could see the beautiful city during the springtime – until now they have only travelled in Greece on summers. My friend, Chrysanthos Panas, owner of Panas Sophisticated Hospitality, Greece’s leading company of entertainment facilities and hospitality welcomed them and showed them the most important attractions of Athens. Among them, the renovated and historic restaurant Zonars in the centre of Athens, which now exhibits authentic paintings of Picasso, Matisse and Giacometti. Valentino and his company dined in Zonars on their first night in Athens and were thrilled with its amazing atmosphere. Giancarlo Giammetti signed his book “Private” and Valentino signed his book “At the Emperor’s Table”. On the second night they chose Athens exclusive members’ club Salon de Bricolage. Valentino loved the Salon de Bricolage crowd, which he said was full of “stylish and quality people”. Photos of the event here.

Bill&Coo Suites and Lounge

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It was Edisa’s birthday and she wanted to do something special. I told her that I would be in Greece for a press trip organized by the Greek National Tourism Organization but I could extend my stay in my homeland if she wanted to come and find me in Greece. I suggested that we could go to Mykonos. And this is how our little adventure started…

I flew from Skiathos to Athens and from Athens to Mykonos. I hate morning flights that forces my bell to ring at 05.00 am but on the other side, who cares if you are about to spend a couple of days at Bill&Coo Suites and Lounge in Mykonos with the company of a good friend? Once I arrived, a member of the staff picked me up from the airport with a white Jeep with beige leather interior and offered me a hot towel to clean my hands. I still remember some details of the service, small gestures like this, provided by the hotel that made our stay at Bill&Coo Suites and Lounge special, unique and above all unforgettable.

When I stepped in, I was offered a welcome drink and another member of the staff came to me with a map explaining some things about the island. Once I entered Bill&Coo Suites and Lounge, the first glance at the breathtaking view over swimming pool, beach, and all this romantic oasis that surrounded me had me thinking…. Why I haven’t discovered that place earlier? It was time for me to breathe easily and unwind. Edisa came on another flight a few hours later.

In the days that followed, we did all kind of things that belong to what someone would call as dreamy holidays. We relaxed in a 5 star Mykonian suite, savored amazing Greek food, took many photos, did funny things, made new friends, talked to strangers, and discovered hidden paths in the city of Mykonos. But most of all we were pampered from the hotel and felt like two small princesses. What I really really loved from our stay at Bill&Coo Suites and Lounge was that the staff surprised us pleasantly every now and then by being very generous and friendly to all the guests, the privacy of our suite, the dinner from the restaurant’s Chef, Athinagoras Kostakos (could he cook like this for me everyday…?), and the music from the bar…!!!!! It felt like everything was unfolding very naturally and effortlessly. We didn’t have to worry about anything, we were in good hands.

But then comes that day when you have to leave a place you don’t want to leave. Hmm… Hopefully we will get back soon to discover their beach club “Bill & Coo Coast Suites” that Bill&Coo Suites and Lounge launched to celebrate their 10 years anniversary.

Obviously we fell in love with Bill&Coo Suites and Lounge. Who wouldn’t? ♥

Weekend in Athens

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The last weekend of October I found myself in Athens much earlier than expected thanks to #theathensworld team who invited me to celebrate the World Cities Day together with them and many other Instagrammers. Once I arrived at the Athens International Airport, the taxi driver brought me directly to Kolonaki where I had dinner with the whole group who had gathered there. The next day, on October 31st, began at The Museum of Cycladic Art and after that we walked around the city center and headed to Plaka where several street events and celebrations of all kinds were happening at different spots around the city center.

Here are a few travel tips, that were also included in our program, if you plan to visit Athens:

Niceneasy (Bio restaurant), Salon de Bricolage (Bar restaurant), City Bistro, Balux Cafe (Cafe Restaurant), the oh so fabulous ARK (Bar restaurant) where I had the best cocktail in my life called Shibuya Martini, and of course you want to go to Lukumades.

and here is a video with a small interview that I gave to MTV Greece.

The weekend in Athens was just awesome. The weather could have been a little bit warmer but nevertheless I had a great time, made new friends, and ate the best food. Sunday was a free day, so I had the chance to see friends and family again. The highlight of the whole trip, I have to confess, was the taxi driver who picked me up from the airport. He is the person you want to wait for you in the airport! He was very kind and had nice stories to tell and I have been told that he brought the other guests to the Lykabettus, once they landed in Athens, so that they can get a first impression of the capital from above.♥

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