Παρασκευή, 8 Φεβρουαρίου 2019

Crete in top five of TripAdvisor’s best travel world destinations

The Greek island of Crete has just been voted the fifth best of all the world’s top destinations in TripAdvisor’s recent “Best Destinations in the World – Travelers Choice” awards.

Crete was featured among the most well-known and popular tourist destinations anywhere on the globe including London, Paris, Barcelona, Bali and New York.

The first three places on the TripAdvisor award list were taken by Paris, London, and Rome, while destinations such as Istanbul, Tokyo and New York ranked lower than Crete on the list.

Crete and Bali, Indonesia were the only two island destinations to be featured in the top ten locations this year.

Crete is a rising destination for Americans

Greek Pavilion at the New York Times Travel Show

The island of Crete took part in the New York Times Travel Show for the second year in a row boosting its presence in the US market.
The show took place from 25 to 27 January 2019 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in Manhattan, New York.

Local authorities from the Region of Crete have turned their attention on the lucrative US market, targeting the American public in an effort to boost visits.
The New York Times Travel Show is the longest-running trade show for tourism in North America aimed at both professionals in the field and consumers.
This year, Greece was a silver sponsor and its pavilion, which was more impressive and larger than last year, was located at the front part of the expo centre, thus offering higher exposure and more visits by the visitors and tourism professionals.

The pavilion of the Region of Crete was at the centre of the stage, and was the focus of interest by visitors, the media and tourist agents. Diplomatic officials and representatives of the Greek community also stopped by and talked with the staff at the Cretan pavilion.
All of the visitors were treated by the amazing display of a Cretan dance group that presented traditional dances.

According to the Director of the Greek National Tourism Organisation (GNTO), Greta Kamaterou, Greece has surpassed 1,200,000 visitors from America and Crete is a rising destination for visitors, as it can offer exceptional gastronomy and unique adventure.
(source:proto thema)

Τετάρτη, 23 Ιανουαρίου 2019

Greek Passport is the World’s Seventh Most Powerful

The Greek passport is the seventh most-powerful travel document in the world, according to the annual global ranking of the Henley Passport Index, released recently.

The Henley index measures the number of countries certain passport holders may visit without having to apply for a visa.
According to their passport index, Greek citizens may freely visit 184 countries without having to obtain a visa.

Greece shares the seventh place along with the nations of Canada, Belgium and Ireland.

Japan remained in the top spot worldwide for the second consecutive year in the list of the world’s most powerful passports. Japanese citizens may visit 190 out of a possible 218 countries in the world without obtaining a visa.

South Korea edged up from from the October, 2018 index rankings to join Singapore, as both nations offer unfettered access to 189 jurisdictions, thanks to a new visa-on-arrival agreement with India.

European countries also performed favorably, with European Union member states (along with Norway and the U.S.) filling in the spots below the top three nations. However, the U.K. continues to drop down the rankings, along with the U.S.

The least powerful passports in the world currently belong to the citizens of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Greece on List of Most Hospitable Places on the Planet

Seemingly everyone around the world dreams of taking a vacation in Greece, and apparently they are on to something. Greece has just been named one of the “Most Hospitable Places in the World” in a report released by Booking.com.

What is it about Greece that people find so welcoming? Let’s take a look.

Greece has beautiful natural sights, including islands and archaeological ruins, as well as great food. And Greeks are well-known for being excellent hosts when tourists visit their country. But this is not only because the country depends greatly on tourism.

Greece is the home of “filoxenia”, which loosely translated means “love of strangers”. They have historically been known to be inviting and warm to travelers from distant lands. This is party perhaps because Greeks love to tell stories about their family, their village, their “Ellada” (Greece). Greeks are so proud of their history and culture — of both ancient times and what they have achieved in modern society.

It should be no surprise that based on Booking.com’s 2018 Guest Review Awards, Greece received the honor of being included on the list of the most welcoming places on earth.

This is the seventh edition of the annual report, which evaluates of hundreds of thousands of properties across 219 countries and territories.

The final results, released by booking.com, show that the most welcoming countries are, in descending order, Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, New Zealand, Taiwan, Romania, Hungary, Ireland, Serbia, and Greece.
(Source: Kerry Kolasa-Sikiaridi/greekreporter)

Τετάρτη, 9 Ιανουαρίου 2019

The Guardian: Greece’s ‘Rakomelo’ Among World’s Best Winter Drinks

Greece’s ‘rakomelo’, a strong distilled spirit produced from grape pomace, is included on The Guardian’s list of the 10 best warming winter drinks in the world.

 According to an article recently published in the online edition of the British newspaper, rakomelo is featured among the world’s best traditional and – in some cases – homemade alcoholic drinks, which are mostly consumed during winter and include the gløgg, Denmark’s traditional mulled wine; Chile’s quintessential Christmas and new year aperitif “cola de mono” and Japan’s “hirezake”.

“When winter arrives in Greece, locals turn to rakomelo, a mix of tsipouro (a pomace brandy that’s similar to grappa, but fruitier), spices and honey,” The Guardian says.
“To make it, the tsipouro is gently warmed with cloves and cinnamon – orange peel is often also added – and then mixed with a little honey. The resulting drink – its alcoholic kick mellowed by the sweetness – is served in small ceramic or glass pitchers and poured into miniature cups (a Mediterranean version of those used for sake) or shot glasses; it is meant to be sipped and enjoyed in good company.”

The Guardian’s list includes the following warming winter drinks:

  • Chacha, Georgia
  • Grzane piwo, Poland
  • Gløgg, Denmark
  • Mumma, Sweden
  • Jägertee, Austria
  • Rakomelo, Greece
  • Cola de mono, Chile
  • Hirezake, Japan
  • Jólaglögg, Iceland
  • Mulled cider, UK  

Τετάρτη, 26 Δεκεμβρίου 2018

Christmas wishes

We wish you Merry Christmas and happy New Year !!

See you next summer in Crete !

Christmas carols from every corner of Greece (videos)

Greece is a country where traditions and customs are a part of modern, everyday life. Most holidays in Greece are celebrated traditionally, and Christmas in no exception.

Christmas caroling is very popular, and although you might hear any songs being sung at any given moment during the holiday season, there are actually three “official” caroling days in Greece.

The custom is that children go from house to house singing carols, with the accompaniment of a triangle, and residents of the houses give them small amounts of money. Greek Christmas carols (“calanda”) are always sung on the mornings of Christmas Eve, New Year’s Eve and January 5, the Eve of the Epiphany.

Caroling has been a part of Christmas celebrations in Greece for two thousand of years. In fact, it has its roots going back even further, to ancient Greece, where children would carry small boats and sing songs honoring Dionysius.

The tradition of praising the head of the household also began in ancient Greece.
In addition to singing songs to honor their god, they would also bestow the household with a gift of an olive branch, which also signified prosperity.

Amazingly, many elements of this ancient tradition still exist today. Children often do still hold decorated wooden boats while singing the carols. And the sentiment is also the same – they wish the homeowners health, wealth, and prosperity by what they sing.

Different regions of Greece have their own versions of Christmas carols. Here is a sample of carols from the island of Crete:
(Source: thegreekobserver)