Σάββατο, 24 Δεκεμβρίου 2016

Greece Set to Gain in 2017 as Safe Destination

Greece is expected to gain from the instability in the wider Mediterranean region with pre-bookings setting the trend for 2017, Alpha Bank analysts reported this week.

According to the Alpha Bank assessment, which cites data from the National Bank of Greece, the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) and the Foundation of Economic & Industrial Research (IOBE), there is considerable tourism potential for 2017 with Greece remaining a steady and safe choice for holidaymakers.

As 2016 draws to a close, tourist arrivals are expected to reach 24.5 million against 23.5 million in 2015, excluding cruise travelers and despite the ongoing refugee crisis with resultant revenue however remaining at the same levels with last year.

Alpha Bank analysts also referred to the return of tourists from Russia, with the number up by 18.9 percent in the first nine months of 2016, against a drop of 62.1 percent in the corresponding period last year.

According to SETE meanwhile, the number of arrivals are also reflecting the positive trend for the new year with the country’s major airports welcoming 25.1 percent more visitors in October and 13.5 percent more in September demonstrating that the tourism season is extending beyond the traditional summer months of June, July and August, with autumn months now playing a crucial role in the overall performance of the sector.
(gtp)

Athens among the top 17 places to travel in 2017

Conde Nast Traveler published the list with the best places to travel in 2017.
According to the list, the best place to visit in 2017 is Canada.
Athens is fifth on the list.



 "Athens has always been known as an old city, that’s nothing new.
Instead, what is new is its burgeoning status as a modern arts capital: Look no further than the recently opened, Renzo Piano-designed, $623 million Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center, which houses the National Opera and the National Library of Greece, sits on the biggest park in Athens, and is the first public building in Greece to achieve a Platinum LEED certification. The National Museum of Contemporary Art also partially reopened in a renovated brewery after a 12-year closure, and in April, the city will co-host documenta, the exhibition of modern and contemporary art that takes place every five years in Kassel, Germany (it’s the first time the hosting duties will be split between two cities).Though it’s long played second fiddle to other European capitals like Rome, and merely seen as a stopover point on the way to, say, Corfu, Athens has once again arrived."

Τρίτη, 29 Νοεμβρίου 2016

Photo of the day..

South Crete, Damnoni beach...

CNTraveller: Greece voted best country to visit in the world!

What are your favourite countries to visit?
In our Readers' Travel Awards you told us you really can't get enough of Greece, which continues to capture your imagination with crowd-pleasing scores across the board.
You think Italy produces the best food (closely followed by France), the USA has the finest places to stay and South Africa is fantastic when it comes to value for money.
Yet when it comes to scenery, it seems no other destination can touch the vast open spaces and dramatic coastlines of Australia.
The Readers' Travel Awards celebrates the best of the best in travel, as voted for by people who love travel: the readers of Condé Nast Traveller.

CNTraveller

Πέμπτη, 10 Νοεμβρίου 2016

New Review on Tripadvisor: “4th visit and better than ever.”

The owners Eleni and Giorgos are exceptionally helpful and welcoming..


Reviewed yesterday 

It is a real pleasure to stay here hence our frequent returns!
Normally we do not visit the same place twice and this was our 4th stay. 
 
The owners Eleni and Giorgos are exceptionally helpful and welcoming and the apartments cleaned every day to a very high standard. 
 
Beach and shower towels are provided and changed whenever necessary and the beach is very close to the apartments. 
 
We visit in October and the temperature is just perfect, warm in the daytime and cooler in the evenings. 
 
Stayed October 2016, travelled as a couple.

See here: Tripadvisor


Plakiassuites: Ranked #1 of 49 Speciality Lodging in Plakias, Retyhymno - Crete, Greece!
  
 103 Reviews Certificate of Excellence

Τρίτη, 8 Νοεμβρίου 2016

Two Greek islands among the best in the world

The readers of travel magazine “Conde Nast Traveler” included 2 Greek islands among the best in the world.

Over 300,000 readers of the famous tourist publication picked Mykonos and Crete in the top 15 list of best islands outside the US.




Παρασκευή, 21 Οκτωβρίου 2016

Photo of the day: Autumn sunset


Video escape: The Beach is always a good idea!


Crete is located in the southeast part of the European continent and temperature never drops below 20º C from September until November.

The average sunshine totals seven hours.

Plakias is 35 kilometres south of Rethymno, on the southern coast of Crete on the Libyan Sea and the water temperature in the south shores (washed by the Libyan sea) reaches 23º C and the average air temperature is 26º C!

Mediterranean Cooking: The map of the traditional Greek Salad..

By: Νικόλας Δρόσος - Food Blogger |


Here’ s how to make the traditional Greek salad in a few steps. Just look at the photo and get inspired!
 Click on photo to enlarge

Condé Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice 2016 Awards: Crete voted among the best islands in the world

Condé Nast Traveler readers ranked the best islands in the world outside the U.S. in the 2016 Readers' Choice Awards survey, from nearby Caribbean beaches to far-flung islands in Southeast Asia...

The largest Greek Isle, Crete is also one of the most distinctive, with its own unmistakable culture, landscape, and mythological history.
Make sure to visit the Minoan palaces in Knossos if you make it beyond the beach.

Pro tip: Skip the bumpy drive or three-hour hike to one of the most photographed spots in Crete. Balos Beach is most easily accessed by ferries from Kissamos port.

Getting there: Most flights to Crete connect in Athens, but visitors can also take the year-round ferry from Piraeus or the summertime ferry from Santorini.

Condé Nast Traveler  

Σάββατο, 1 Οκτωβρίου 2016

Have a nice October! Autumn in Crete..

The experience of a lifetime!  

(source:VisitGreece)
It’s a common secret among travellers to Crete that summertime on the island is at least 2 months longer than most European destinations.  

The Telegraph had an article about autumn tourist destinations where Crete features as a warm and welcoming place. 
 The Austrian newspaper Kurier published a long praising article on the island describing it as a place where you can enjoy a laid back summer vacation in autumn and get to know local tradition. 
 The Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail has included Crete in the six top European destinations for an autumn holiday, saying that people who prefer to extend their summer vacation all the way into October should visit Crete. 
One of the island’s biggest assets - apart from beaches - is the famous Cretan cuisine which you can enjoy all over the place.
The reason for all of the above is quite simple. Crete is located in the southeast part of the European continent and temperature never drops below 20º C from September until November. The average sunshine totals seven hours. Water temperature in the south shores washed by the Libyan sea reaches 23º C and the average air temperature is 26º C.
The atmosphere is limpid most of the time and the tall mountains are clearly defined against the horizon in every detail.
The summer’s blue sea waters change into new fascinating hues, the autumn winds fill the heretofore clear blue skies with amazing cloud shapes and the fairly limited rainfall is very welcome after the dry season has passed.
However swimming remains one of the activities you will definitely enjoy even in late October. Make a note that at this time of the year you will find that there are less tourists so you’ll get better holiday deals as prices are down compared to the high season.

 While you are on your autumn trip to Crete don’t miss the opportunity to visit the renowned historical sites, monuments and museums. The season’s mild weather will tempt you to discover inland secrets and the wide variety of flora and fauna, to visit picturesque mountainous villages as well as those of the lowlands, to follow the hiking trails, go mountaineering or cross breathtaking ravines such as the well-known Samaria Gorge, Kourtaliotiko Gorge etc.
  The end of the summer is the time for agricultural activities such as grape harvesting and sun-drying of the grape berries so as to produce raisins. Ploughing, sowing, grape pressing, wine and raki making are all activities that take place later in the fall. This time of year you can follow the traditional agricultural activities: participate in grape harvesting and pressing, go olive picking, watch the procedure of raki making in cauldrons- cauldron feasts, as it evolves into a traditional celebration, taste local products and learn about the way they are made in the island’s agritourism farms. Let’s bear in mind that traditional Cretan cuisine is based on fresh seasonal produce and that makes it all the more tasty not to mention healthier and more nutritious!

Πέμπτη, 29 Σεπτεμβρίου 2016

Photo of the day: Summer non stop at South Crete, Greece!

Still warm to take a photo from inside..


 Set beside a long southern-coast beach, between two immense wind tunnel gorges, Plakias was once a humble fishing village. 

In 1961, the official census recorded a population of just six. Today its population explodes each summer with Central European package tourists...

While the town itself isn’t particularly peaceful, from here you can walk through olive groves, along seaside cliffs and to some sparkling hidden beaches. 

It’s also a good base for regional excursions.

Πέμπτη, 15 Σεπτεμβρίου 2016

Conde Nast Traveller: Greece best country in the world to visit

What are your favourite countries to visit?

In our Readers' Travel Awards you told us you really can't get enough of Greece, which continues to capture your imagination with crowd-pleasing scores across the board.

The Readers' Travel Awards celebrates the best of the best in travel, as voted for by people who love travel: the readers of Condé Nast Traveller. 

 Here is the complete list:

1. Greece
2. Italy
3. USA
4. South Africa
5. France
6. Spain
7. India
8. Australia
9. Thailand
10. Mexico 

Conde Nast traveller

German bookings for specific Greek destinations up 16-31%

Even though the number of German tourist bookings in July might have dropped by 5%, their favourite holiday destinations such as Crete, Rhodes and Kos have seen a rise between 16-31% over the same period.

According to data by TravelTainment, Heraklion (25%), Rhodes (31%) and Kos (16%) are among those choices that experienced a rise in German tourists.

In contrast, the same data revealed that bookings by Germans to Antalya in Turkey and Egypt were down by 46% and 35%, respectively, a result of many German holidaymakers opting to stay at home for the vacations.

According to a monthly survey conducted by GfK on 1,200 travel agencies, the German market was down this summer by 8% compared to last year.  

Telegraph: Crete among the 10 best walking tours for 2016

Walking holidays are the antidote to the pressures of modern life. 
There is no real goal or to-do list other than to wend your way from A to B at your own pace, typically against a scenic backdrop.

 Telegraph selected the 10 best walking holidays for 2016.

France, Italy and Spain, with their varied terrain and enduring appeal, feature heavily on the list.

There are also walks in Switzerland, Portugal, Greece, South Africa and Costa Rica, which offer varying difficulty levels.


2. The way to Crete

"This 13-day Crete’s Coast and Mountains itinerary wends its way around western Crete, passing through Aiolos, homeland of the god of the winds, the pirate country of Gramvoussa, and Elafonisi, land of the Cyclops.
A self-guided trip, it includes stops at a monastery in Chryssoskalitissa, a beach at Elafonisi and the gorges of Paleochora, one of the main attractions of walking in southern Crete. There’s a chance to spot griffin vultures that nest on the slopes of Mount Prophet Ilias and the option to spend a full day relaxing in Souyia, a small seaside village.
Other highlights include the ancient ruins of Lissos, the city of Chania and the Irini Gorge which has only recently been opened up for exploration, and rivals the more famous Samaria Gorge."
 Telegraph

Τετάρτη, 14 Σεπτεμβρίου 2016

USA Today: Greek islands in world’s 9 top destinations for a solo trip in 2016

 "It's no secret the Greek economy isn't doing great, but that shouldn't stop anyone from traveling there alone — just make sure to take a few extra steps before going solo.

While Athens has rich history to offer and is a good home base, the islands offer a perfect solo beach escape where you'll be able to meet people and island hop when you get bored.

Luckily there are thousands of islands to explore with ferries and flights providing easy access between them.

Don't miss picturesque Santorini, famous party spot Mykonos, beach-riddled Zakynthos, historical Ithaca, under-rated Syros, and of course the biggest island, Crete."

 USA Today

Mediterranean Cooking: Tomato salad with herbs

By: Elias Mamalakis
        Delicious salad, ideal for a light dinner.

Ingredients
6 large tomatoes
1 onion
4 barley rusks
1 cup chopped mint
1 cup chopped basil leave
1 tsp. tablespoon of fresh thyme leave
1 tsp. lemongrass soup leaves, finely-chopped
extra virgin olive oil
1 to 2 tsp. good soup wine vineger
coarse salt
10 ice cubes
Method
Step 1
Break the crispy bread into a very large bowl. Peel the tomatoes.
Step 2
Grate one of the tomatoes and scatter over the crispy bread. Cut the remaining tomatoes into pieces and add to salad bowl.
Step 3
Cut one onion and stir
Step 4
Add the herbs and plenty of coarse salt and stir again. Scatters the ice cubes in abowl and sprinkle with two tablespoons of vinegar. Pour plenty of oil and serve the tomato.
Tips
Probably such a sensual salad will make your guests to despise the other dishes of the meal, so take care with what would compliment the salad and not what will accompany the salad.
* You can make your salad some time before eating, so the tomato will release its juice and will be able to dip.
* The crispy bread is ideal for this salad because it is hard and then not melt, but soften.

New Review on Tripadvisor: “Relaxing time in a beautiful area with superb hosts”

Reviewed 1 week ago


Eleni and her husband, Giorgos are great hosts. 

The arrival was very warm and we felt directly at home. 
The house and rooms are very comfortable and very close to the sea.

Weather was sunny but a little windy. 

Eleni gave us good tips for excursions as well as great restaurants.
Thank you for this fine holiday.
 
If we are some day back in the area, we would certainly stay again there.
Dirk - Olga - Pascale - Patrik 

Room Tip: All rooms are very comfortable !

See here: TripAdvisor


Plakiassuites: Ranked #1 of 49 Speciality Lodging in Plakias, Retyhymno - Crete!
  
99 Reviews Certificate of Excellence

Photo of the day

Pancratium maritimum - Sea daffodil -Το κρινάκι της θάλασσας!

 The Sea Daffodil is a stunning flower and is one of the most beautiful of the wild Cretan flowers which appears on beaches in late summer and can be found on a few of the Southwest beaches of Rethymno...

Pancratium maritimum - Sea daffodil

Πέμπτη, 25 Αυγούστου 2016

New Review on Tripadvisor: “So relaxing!”

Reviewed 3 weeks ago:

A quiet retreat, a beach to die for, a relaxation dream! 


What more can I say about this great little haven. 

Eleni welcomed us at a late hour and did all she could to make this a great holiday for us.

The apartment had everything we needed including a well equipped kitchen and a little balcony with a sea view.

She told us where to find the butcher's and fish shops in the little villages so we were able to cook ourselves great meals. 

She also advised on the best local restaurants for the times when we felt like going out - one of these was just over the fence!

All-in-all, a memorable holiday but don't move in too soon - leave room for us!!
  • Stayed May 2016, travelled as a couple.
See here: TripAdvisor


Plakiassuites: Ranked #1 of 49 Speciality Lodging in Plakias, Retyhymno - Crete!
  
103 Reviews Certificate of Excellence

Greece Shines at Rio Olympics Despite Obstacles

Amid the economic crisis and lacking government support, Greece participated in the Rio 2016 Olympics with the smallest delegation in the last two decades and managed through its athletes to shine, securing six medals, 14 participations in Olympic finals, and 12 athletes among the world’s top eight.
The Rio Games mark Greece’s fifth best performance since the first modern Olympics held in Athens in 1896, having thus far collected a total of 122 medals.
The Greek Travel Pages (GTP) congratulates this year’s Olympic medal bearers:
  • Anna Korakaki, gold in women’s 25m pistol; bronze in 10m air pistol. Korakaki is also the first woman athlete to bring home two medals from the same Games, achieved 104 years ago by Konstantinos Tsiklitiras in standing long jump and standing high jump.
korakaki
  • Katerina Stefanidi, gold in women’s pole vault
stefanidi
  • Lefteris Petrounias, gold in men’s rings
petrounias
  • Spyros Gianniotis, silver men’s 10km marathon swim, the first medal in swimming in Greek history. Gianniotis was the oldest competitor of the event at the Rio Olympics at 36.
gianniotis
  • Panagiotis Mantis and Pavlos Kagialis, bronze in men’s 470 (dinghy)
mantis-kagialis

Παρασκευή, 22 Ιουλίου 2016

50% Mediterranean tourists pick Crete

Nearly one in two tourists choosing the Mediterranean Sea for their holidays are likely to pick Crete for their destination, according to data presented during an event co-ogranised by the regional tourism unit of Crete and the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) held on the island. 

According to the findings, 47% said they showed a preference to visiting Crete in the next two years, placing it second only to the Balearic islands (49%). Tuscany (43%), Sicily (40%), Provence, Cote d’Azur, Sardinia and Corsica followed with 36%. 


The event revealed that Crete constituted Greece’s tourism steam engine, as it absorbed 20% of all tourist arrivals and 2015 receiving 3.5 million people from all over the world, a 40% increase in the past 4 years. 

The top markets for the island are Germany, the UK, Russia, France and Norway. One of the problems facing the industry on the island is the fact that the bulk (77%) of arrivals come over a span of only 4 months, limiting the season to the summer months.

Meanwhile, according to results of an MRB Hellas study on 607 likely visitors Crete’s brand name awareness is first, as most of those polled said they knew the island more than Sicily or the Balearic islands. 90% of the respondents said they chose Crete for its natural beauty and history, with 78% saying they picked to for its tourism infrastructure.
(source:protothema)

Photo of the day..

Plakias is 35 kilometres south of Rethymno, on the southern coast of Crete on the Libyan Sea and is a popular tourist resort well-known for its award-winning Blue Flag sandy beach stretching for 1400 metres.

Plakias Suites Beach is situated to the eastern part of the long beach of Plakias!

The beach is sandy and very well organized with cool green waters!!


http://www.plakiassuites.com/

Τετάρτη, 20 Ιουλίου 2016

3 Greek islands in Europe’s top 10 by TripAdvisor

TripAdvisor has rated the top 10 islands in Europe, according to its 2016 Travellers’ Choice Awards, and its list includes three Greek islands: Crete is 4th.. 







See here: TripAdvisor

Greece is the second most popular choice for German tourists for 2016

According to a survey conducted by German tour operator giants ‘Tui’, Greece is the second most popular choice for German tourists for 2016, with Spain taking top spot as the choice of 35% Germans. 

The survey was done in the area of the most densely populated state of North Rhine-Wesfalia. 

Turkey, Germany and Italy are the next most popular choices. 

The US (6th), Portugal (7th), Austria (8th), Bulgaria (9th) and Croatia (10th) make up the top 10 spots. 

According to the findings, TU travelers will holiday for 9.6 days this summer compared to 10.4 last year. 

Ad TUI estimates the trend to cut down on holidays could lead to second of third holidays later in the year.  

Last-Minute Bookings to Make or Break 2016 Tourism for Greece

Tourist bookings to Greece are moving at a slower than ever pace, according to figures released by the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) this week which found that the number has dropped by 59,000 in the first six months of the year compared to the same period in 2015.

While incoming air traffic to Greece for the January-June period marked a 4.9 percent increase, up by 278,000 arrivals, inbound road traffic dropped by 7.4 percent at a loss of about 337,000 arrivals compared to the same period in 2015.

Topping the list of main destinations accessed via air thus far are Crete, up by 11.1 percent, the Ionian islands up by 9.7 percent and the Cyclades with a rise of 16 percent.
Athens recorded an increase of 4.2 percent in arrivals and Thessaloniki a 4 percent rise.
Meanwhile, islands primarily affected by the refugee influx have seen a major decline in the number of visitors: Kos recorded a drop of 17.9 percent, Samos by 39 percent and Lesvos by a massive 63.1 percent.
At the same time, road traffic from neighboring Bulgaria fell by 32 percent.
“The figures corroborate that the tourist season underway remains ‘fluid’ and  last minute,” SETE said in the accompanying statement, adding that this does not apply to all destinations in Greece, and underlining the significance of incentives instead of over-taxation for the further growth of the industry.
(source: gtp)

Πέμπτη, 26 Μαΐου 2016

Photo of the day..

Time you enjoy wasting, was not wasted...
http://www.plakiassuites.com/

Greece comes third in Blue Flag certification with 430 beaches and 9 marinas!


Greece has came third among 50 countries in terms of Blue Flag certification, with 430 beaches and 9 marinas for 2016. 

Blue_Flag_Greece_AV1C_65187-cmyk
The country also came fourth in Europe with the European Environment Agency confirming that 97.2 percent of its beaches are of the highest quality for swimming.

Run by the independent non-profit organization Foundation for Environmental Education, the Blue Flag Program is dedicated to labeling beaches and marinas appropriate for swimming.

The criteria that a beach must fulfill to get a Blue Flag has to do with its cleanness, the water quality, organization, safety of the swimmers, environmental protection and other services.

This year, 3,462 beaches and 660 marinas in 50 countries were inspected.

 http://en.protothema.gr/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Blue_Flags_-2016-.jpg

Greece Wineries ‘Open Doors’ to Intoxicating Taste Experience

wine_Amateur2
Wine lovers and bon viveurs will have the chance to indulge on May 28-29, when wineries and vineyards across Greece open their doors to the public for an intoxicating wine and dine experience.
wine_IMG_9349_1
The two-day series titled “Open Doors”, an initiative of the European Network of Wine Cities (RECEVIN), includes vineyard, production area and wine cellar tours, wine tasting sessions and many surprises.

The Wine Producers Association of the Vineyard of Central Greece (ENOAKE) is participating in the event and invites all lovers of the vine to come along and meet the producers, taste their wines and stroll selected routes that traverse the country’s most picturesque viticultural zones.

While there, visitors will have the chance to select from a wide variety of wines at attractive prices.

Meanwhile, the Wines of Crete network will also be participating with a series of food and wine tasting events featuring local delicacies and wine varieties.

“Open Doors” at wineries across Greece run between 11am and 7pm. Admission is free.

Some of the wine routes included are: the Olympus Gods, Epirus, Limnon, Naoussa, Pella-Goumenissa, Thessaloniki, Halkidiki, Dionysus and Crete.
(source:gtp)

DPA: German Tourists are Choosing Greece Again this Year

Despite the refugee crisis and tax hikes in Greece, German tourists are opting once again to holiday under the Greek sun, Deutsche Welle said on Monday, citing a report of the German Press Agency (dpa).

According to the dpa, despite “gloomy forecasts” made by Greek tourism  representatives that refer to a dramatic reduction in bookings to Greece this summer due to the refugee crisis and the increase in the value-added tax (VAT) rate at popular Greek tourist destinations, this does not seem to be verified in practice, at least in relation to data provided by German tour operators.
German_tourists
As a representative of the German Travel Association (DRV) informed the dpa, this year’s booking figures to Greece are exceeding those of 2015, which had recorded a record.

According to data from DRV, German travellers are opting this year for the popular tourist destinations of Crete, Rhodes and Corfu.

On the other hand, bookings are sluggish to Samos and Kos, mainly due to the massive arrival of refugees and immigrants from Syria and other major trouble spots.

Meanwhile, the German Association for Consumer Research GfK has come to the same conclusions. According to GfK, bookings to Greece in 2016 will rise compared with last year’s summer tourist season, partially due to the decline in demand for Turkey, because of recent terrorist attacks in the country, especially in Istanbul.

 Last year Turkey had ranked third on the list of favorite destinations of the Germans. The dpa added that bookings to Egypt have also declined, for similar reasons.

On the other hand, according to the dpa, tourist traffic is expected to increase significantly at Spanish and Portuguese destinations.
(source:gtp)

Τρίτη, 17 Μαΐου 2016

Police-manned Help-desks at Greek Airports to Assist Tourists

tourist police_1
Tourist police offices have opened up at airports across Greece with officers ready to answer questions and assist incoming visitors in efforts to facilitate travel.

Thessaloniki, Heraklion, Rhodes, Chania, Corfu, Mykonos, Kos, Santorini and Zakynthos airports are currently hosting tourist police offices in their arrival area. 

A tourist police office will soon be opening at Athens International Airport. 
tourist police_2 
The new help desks – manned by foreign language-speaking (English, French, Italian and Spanish) Greek police officers from the Department of Tourism Police and the Security Service of Attica – aim to support Greek tourism by providing assistance and necessary information to incoming visitors and tourists.

Holidaymakers or visitors can also file complaints or charges concerning loss/theft of travel documents/objects. 

The offices are operating in collaboration with the Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO) and local government bodies.
(source:gtp)