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.
Greece is ranked fifth among the top five countries in terms of
global perception for tourism in the latest Anholt-GfK Nation Brands
IndexSM (NBISM) study, after Italy, France, the UK, and Spain.
to the same study – which measures 50 countries as perceived in terms
of culture, governance, people, exports, tourism, and
immigration-investment – France has jumped to second place for the first
time since 2009, the UK is third, Japan entered the top five for the
first time since 2011 with the US dropping significantly in global
Meanwhile, despite the perception of Germany improving across all six
categories with higher ratings for its culture (+1.07), governance
(+1.28), and people (+1.34), it still hasn’t made it into the top five
countries for tourism. Germany’s overall score was boosted by improved
perceptions among Egyptians (+5.92), Russians (+2.26), Chinese (+2.17)
and Italians (+2.06).
Global perception of the UK has also improved after it lost ground
following the Brexit vote with its overall index score back to 2015
levels marking improvement across all six categories. The UK’s largest
gains were for governance and people.
“The Nation Brands Index allows our clients to understand where – and
why – their nation stands in terms of their current image, momentum and
potential,” said Vadim Volos, GfK’s senior VP of public affairs and
consulting, adding that “Changing global perception of a national brand
is challenging and slow – but countries can influence biased or outdated
perceptions by understanding the negative views and actively
communicating actions and changes that address those.”
is Greece’s national spirit, a strong anise flavoured drink,
reminiscent of Greek summer.
Greeks drink it along with good friends,
either straight or watered down, with plenty of ice and always
accompanied by delicious appetizers, called ‘meze’ in Greek.
flavour of the spirit actually ‘begs’ for a spicy, salty, or even
sourish ‘meze’, usually served on little plates decorating the table’s
surface right before you start eating and drinking.
Ouzo is served bulk or in a carafe, in tall spindly glasses.
stimulating and strong anise aroma it promises to tickle your taste
buds. Greeks are very fond of gathering with friends around a table
eating, drinking, laughing and toasting each other.
completes the picture and helps out in getting the spirits higher and
higher. Traditionally restaurants will bring you another meze every time
you order a new carafe of ouzo.
First servings usually consist of
olives, cured sardines, some cheese,
pickles or cold sliced meats pinned with toothpicks and at every round
of ouzo the appetisers differ.
Of course the variety of the meze may
vary from one location to the other and from one season to the next.
Flavours will differ between a mountainous village in winter and the
ones you’ll taste in a seaside village in summer.
Ouzo drink is much better when it is accompanied by the little plates
filled with delicious tidbits!
Taste the seafood plates such as octopus
(which are first hanged in the sun and then grilled on the barbeque),
saganaki shrimps (tomato sauce, cheese and shrimps cooked in a pan,)
steamed mussels, marinated anchovies with parsley and garlic, fried
calamari (squid) and a variety of shellfish served with lemon
Next on the menu is anything that is cured: sardines, mackerel,
sliced meats (such as salamaki or pastourmas,) strong cheese (such as
ladotyri, kefalotyri and grilled feta with tomato and hot pepper.) This
‘drinking-spree’ is without a doubt incomplete if you don’t accompany it
with tzatziki (a creamy appetiser made with yogurt, cucumber and garlic), eggplantsalad or tyrokafteri
(creamed feta cheese with kerato spicy peppers.)
If you can’t decide
which one of all you want you can order a variety of the above mentioned
‘mezes’ and savour a little bit of everything!
(source: Visit Greece)
Over 260 Greek food product companies participated in this year’s Anuga food fair held last week in Cologne, Germany, where the world’s finest delicacies went on show.
The Greek companies participated in the exhibition under the umbrella of Enterprise Greece with the aim to expand into new markets and boost their exports.
The event was attended by some 7,500 food and beverage ventures from
110 countries featuring the largest range of gourmet and delicatessen
products on the market.
Under the motto “Invest in Taste”, companies, SMEs
and cooperatives offering everything, from Greek olive oil and honey to
herbs, cheese and raisins met with international buyers with the aim to
forge alliances and strategic partnerships.
According to Enterprise Greece CEO Elias Athanasiou, the Anuga
meetings paved the way for Greek products – to be branded under a new 35 million euro branding program – to enter markets outside the EU via the catering industry, specialty stores, restaurants and special menus.
The next Anuga fair will be held on October 5, 2019 in Cologne.
Tour Operator says country is promising destination
Thomas Cook is expending its presence in Greece in the summer of 2018.
The group dubs Greece s one of its most promising in the Mediterranean
in the tourism sector in terms of projected growth for 2018.
a destination in the Mediterranean that stood out this summer.
Cook’s bookings for Greek destinations rose by 24% in the summer of 2017
compared to the summer of 2016”, pointed out Martin Ratchford from the tour operator Thomas Cook’s financial team.
Fasolada is considered Greece’s national dish and is definitely one of
the most traditional recipes of Greek cuisine. Every Greek family eats
this dish at least once per month, especially during winter.
Serves: 6 Preparation time: 10 mins Cooks in:1.20 mins Ready in: 1.30 mins
500 g beans
1 large onion, chopped
1 leek, chopped
2-3 carrots, sliced into small round pieces
1-2 tablespoon of tomato paste
½ cup chopped celery + some more for serving
½ red pepper
1 red chili pepper
1 cup of olive oil
salt, freshly ground pepper
Method Step 1
Place the beans in a saucepan with plenty of cold water to cover them.
Bring to the boil, turn the heat down to medium and parboil for 30-35
minutes, until slightly tender. Drain in colander and set aside.
Fill the saucepan with water up to the middle. Boil the beans with the
onion and leek until they are soften and then add the carrots.
Add the parboiled beans and boil. Then add tomato paste, celery, red
pepper, salt, pepper, chili pepper and continue cooking for about 15
minutes more or until the soup becomes thick and creamy soup. Step 4
Serve this traditional Greek bean soup (fasolada) while still steaming hot with feta cheese and bread.
Skinaria beach is 33 km south of
Rethymnon, and belongs to the area of Plakias.
The beach is relatively unknown
to most, but for many it is a paradise and they don't hesitate to classify it
as the best beach in Crete! It is a small beach with fine sand and crystal
clear deep waters. Also, the clarity of the water is
truly impressive and exceeds 40m. horizontally!! https://www.plakiassuites.com/
'Usually I am not the one who gives many reviews and in general I would
save the 10 for the batter that could possibly come but in this case I
will make an exception because Plakias Suites are exceptional and
How can others rate less than 10?
Everything was PERFECT.
Just need to say: Thanks a lot and we will for sure come back!'
What is fava?
Think of it as a creamy and super tasty hummus on
“steroids”, both in nutrition and taste.
Along with squids cooked with
ouzo, it is the perfect meal!
Enjoy with a nice glass of ouzo, raki,
cold beer or cool white wine!
For the fava:
300g yellow split peas
1 onion, quartered
1 bay leaf
3½ lt water
For the squid:
400gr squid, cleaned, cut in rings
1 garlic clove
1 sprig fresh oregano, leaves finely chopped
1 sprig fresh marjoram, leaved finely chopped
1 tsp caper, rinsed
3 tbsp ouzo or other star anise based liquor
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt, freshly ground black pepper
Boil split peas in a pot with water for a minute until foamy. Drain and
rinse under cold water. Then return to pot and cook with 3,5 lt water,
onion and bay leaf skimming the foam when necessary. Add extra water if
necessary. Season with salt and pepper 15 minutes before you remove pot
from heat. When split peas are left with hardly any water discard bay
leaf and whizz half quantity with onions until creamy. When cool, mix
with the rest of fava. Brush with oil a medium-sized mould cake tin with
a hole in the middle and lay the fava. Let cool completely.
Meanwhile prepare squids. Put squid rings with garlic in a pot and in
medium heat. Let squid release all juices, then simmer in low heat until
absorbed. Then add oil and sauté for 5 minutes. Stir in ouzo and let
alcohol evaporate. Sprinkle with oregano and marjoram. Add a little
water and allow squid to soften if necessary. Add caper and season with
salt and pepper accordingly.
Turn the cake mould upside down on a serving platter and scatter the
squid in the hole and the rest on top and round the fava. Serve
immediately with some sautéed cherry tomatoes and capers.
Greece in June saw an increase in foreign arrivals and tourism
revenue by 13 and 14.2 percent respectively compared to the same month
last year, the Bank of Greece (BoG) said on Monday.
According to the data, tourism revenue last month increased to 2.046
billion euros against 1.792 billion euros in June 2016.
In the first
half of the year, travel receipts amounted to 4,133,5 million euros from
3,840,9 million euros in the corresponding half of 2016.
BoG’s data showed that compared to the first half of 2016, foreign
arrivals during the January-June 2017 period increased by 6.6 percent
and and the corresponding tourism revenue by 7.1 percent.
Crete is the largest island in Greece and its coastline of 1,046 km or
650 miles makes for some extraordinary beaches.
With crystal clear
waters and sand in a variety of colors, Crete’s beaches are
unforgettable – in fact, this year of the 486 Blue Flag awarded beaches
in Greece, 112 of the eco-labeled beaches are located on Crete!
look at the top ten beaches on the Greek island of Crete.
1. Elafonissi beach in Chania
This is the beach that
you want to go to if you are into sparkling water and beautiful pink
sand! Located on the southwestern side of Crete the beach has both soft
white and pink sand and the coast is lined cedar trees. There are sunbeds and umbrellas available on part of the beach.
2. Balos beach in Chania
Located on the
northwestern side of Crete, this beach gives you a view of the sea and
an island with a Venetian Castle on top. There are many ways that you
can reach this beach – either by car through a track road from Kissamos
or by excursion boat from Chania Town and Kissamos.
3. Matala beach in Heraklion
Once known as a
popular hippie destination in the 60’s and 70’s, this beach is now a
popular family destination. Surrounded by caves where hippies once
dwelled for months on end, there is much to explore and enjoy at this
4. Vai beach in Lassithi
Why not go to a beach
that is surrounded by the largest palm tree forest in Europe while on
Crete? This beach is surrounded by over 5,000 trees and offers clear
blue water. This beach once was a free camping site but now in recent
years free camping has been made prohibited.
5. Falassarna beach in Chania
Another beach on
the west side of the island and close to Kissamos town, this beach
offers many organized facilities and activities which makes it an ideal
beach for families. Above the beach you can visit the archaeological
site of Ancient Falassarna. Also there are many activities such as
windsurfing which you can access from a windsurfing station at the beach
during the summer months.
6. Plakias beach in Rethymno
to get away form it all? This beach is the perfect escape as it has a
mellow atmosphere and sits just in front of the village. There is part
of the beach where you can access umbrellas and sunbeds, or you can
bring your own and enjoy this sandy beach.
7. Istro beach in Lassithi
While visiting the
east of the island in the region of Lassithi, stop by and check out this
beach located near the town of Agios Nikolaos. The large beach has
golden sand and turquoise water – not to mention you can rent sunbeds
8. Preveli beach in Rethymno
This beach is
located in the south side of the prefecture of Rethymno and has a river
which meets the sea and forms a lake! It’s a lovely beach that is
surrounded by palm trees and offers activities such as exploring the
lake. The beach itself has no organized facilities so bring your
sunbeams, towels and umbrellas and dive in!
9. Rodakino beach in Rethymno
This beach is
located on the southern side of Rethymno near the village of Plakias.
The beach is sandy, large and does have some organized sunbeds for rent.
Also, there are some seaside tavernas and apartments which surround
10. Tymbaki beach in Heraklion
This beach is
large and has both sand and pebbles and is also known as Kokkinos Pyros.
You can pass the entire day at this beach! It is complete with an
organized section in case you want to rent sunbeds and umbrellas, not to
mention this beach also has few seaside tavernas serving up local
After a long wait, tireless effort and patience researchers from
ARCHELON, the sea turtle rescue centre in Rethymnon, the first nest of
the sea turtle for 2017 was recorded in the Sfakaki area in Crete.
The volunteers’ daily routine involved waking up at the break of dawn to
check the state of the spawning beaches and to identify any sea turtle
traces leading to nests.
The first nest was finally located in Rethymnon on the beach of Sfakaki.
Due to the erosion of the beach at the area, which led to a diminished
space for the turtles’ nests, the volunteers transferred them to more
Greece may be expecting a record breaking
30 million tourists this year, but the Economist is saying that
convincing them to dig deeper into their pockets will be the challenge
Under the title “Kalo Taxidi! Greek Tourism” (Bon Voyage), the Economist says Greece is set to welcome more travelers from the UK, Russia and Germany, at top destinations including Mykonos and Santorini.
The magazine goes on to refer to friendlier prices at “hot” destinations like Corfu and Crete,
compared to rival destination Spain, and adds that vacationers are now
opting to stay fewer nights and consume less compared to 12 years ago.
The London-based weekly magazine underlines the potential of Greek
tourism, attributing in great part even further growth to the Fraport’s management of 14 regional airports.
The Archaeological Museum of Heraklion on Crete was recently honored with a Special Commendation at the annual European Museum of the Year Awards (EMYA), held by the European Museum Forum (EMF) in Zagreb, Croatia!
The EMYA Judges praised the museum for presenting a cutting-edge
interpretation of the history and civilization of Crete, focused on the
rise and decline of the Minoan culture.
“The museum is a huge social and
cultural asset for the island, influencing tourism, the economy and the
local community”, EMF said in an announcement.
The Heraklion Archaeological Museum was also nominated for the
Council of Europe Award, in recognition of the Minoan Civilization’s
broad dimension, displayed in a unique way at the Museum’s premises!
Boosting incoming tourism from Russia to Crete and
promoting Cretan products to the Russian market where the focus of
talks between Crete regional Governor Stavros Arnaoutakis and the
Russian Ambassador to Greece, Andrei Maslov, last week.
The two men met ahead of a joint inter-ministerial committee held in
Iraklion, with the participation of Foreign Affairs Minister George
Katrougalos and Russian Transport Minister Maksim Sokolov. On the
sidelines of the committee, the University of Crete organized a
conference on “Transport and Tourism in the Globalized World”.
discussed all the issues of interest affecting the region, with
particular attention to tourism as well as to promoting Cretan products
to the Russian market,” said Arnaoutakis, adding that there is “a very
significant flow of tourism to the island”.
“We want to see this relationship with Russia grow even stronger, we
share the same faith, we have enjoyed an excellent relationship over
time and I think that attracting tourists from Russia can be a
significant source of revenue for the island, which can be achieved via
synergies,” Arnaoutakis said.
“We have been discussing the prospects for cooperation between Crete
and Russia in various fields and in the tourism sector. We are very
pleased that arrivals of Russian tourists to Greece have increased
significantly and especially to Crete,” said Maslov, adding that “42
percent of Russian tourists visiting Greece come to Crete, a very
important destination for Russian tourists”.
2-3 courgettes, grated, salted, squeezed well
1 tsp dill, finely chopped
2 tsp spearmint, finely chopped
2 tsp parsley, finely chopped
1½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 tbsp pine nuts
⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
chopped dill for serving
12 cherry tomatoes, baked, for serving
coarse sea salt for serving
salt, freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven at 180C. In a large bowl beat the eggs and stir in the
rest of the ingredients except the olive oil and the ingredients for
Add olive oil in a medium oven dish (32cm diameter), put in the oven and
let heat for 6-8 minutes. Pour in egg mix and bake for 25-30 minutes,
until set and nicely browned.
Sprinkle the oven omelet with dill and serve with baked cherry tomatoes sprinkled with sea salt and pepper. Serve warm.
Photo Vangelis Paterakis – Food styling Antonia Kati
Greece is expected to see a record number of bookings from Germany this year, according to travel giant TUI.
The German tour operator said on Monday that bookings from Germany to Greece are up 23 percent compared to the year before.
By destination, bookings to Crete are up by 14 percent, to Rhodes by 26 percent, to Kos by 14 percent, to Corfu by 6 percent and to the Western Peloponnese by 32 percent.
to,TUI’s chief operating officer, Marek Andryszak, on a scale of 10, TUI’s customer satisfaction for Greece
has risen to 8.7 percent.
“Quality of hotels and service levels have
never been better than today,” he said, adding that Greek hotels have
made great progress especially in the areas of “services”, “hotel
facilities” and “hospitality”.
Greece is ranked second among TUI’s most popular air travel destinations worldwide after Spain.
All the signs indicate that Greek tourism is expecting a very successful
Greek hotel owners and industry professionals are
confident the current season will be extended based on messages by
foreign tour operators and are already setting their eyes on the next
2017 is considered a success, despite the slow start in the
year, as the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) expects arrivals to
exceed 28 million (including cruise-ships), with estimates of revenue
reaching 14.5 billion euros.
According to a study conducted by GBR
Consulting, Athens and Thessaloniki saw a double digit rise in revenues
during the first quarter of 2017, while the data for resort bookings was
Meanwhile, the Hellenic Hotel Federation predict
vacancy capacities will hover around record numbers for the season,
provided stability remains in the wider region.
However, the issue of
the tax for overnight stays, which is scheduled to take effect from the
start of 2018 is of concern in the industry, as it will push revenues
Galatopita, or milk pie, is a traditional Greek dessert that is made
with or without crisp phyllo and a super-satisfying custard cream made
with semolina flour. You will absolutely love it!
Serves: – Preparation: 15′ Cooks in: 60′ Ready in: 1:15′ Ingredients
3lt sheep milk
1½ cup fine semolina flour
½ cup semolina flour
1½ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp vanilla
lemon or orange zest
2 tbsp butter, melted
icing sugar + cinnamon for dusting
Brush a heavy pan with water. Bring milk, 1/2 cup of sugar, lemon zest
and butter to a simmer. Whisk in semolina, a little at a time, with a
wooden spoon, and simmer, whisking constantly, until custard thickens
and reaches consistency of loose mashed potatoes. Remove pan from heat
and let cool a little.
Preheat oven at 170C. Whisk together eggs, remaining sugar and vanilla
in a large bowl until well combined. Add in warm semolina mixture (not
hot) and whisk, a little at a time, to temper yolks.
Pour mixture in a baking pan (40cm diameter) brushed well with butter.
Put oven rack in middle position and bake for 45-50 minutes until
filling is golden and top is nicely browned (to test, insert a skewer
into the middle of the pie; if the skewer comes out clean, it’s ready).
Serve warm or at room temperature, dusted with confectioners sugar and cinnamon.
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.
The island of Crete
in Greece is considered the third “Best European Destination” by Money
magazine, mainly due to its numerous attractions and competitive prices.
Money is a magazine that is published by Time Inc. and includes
articles that cover personal finance topics ranging from investing,
saving, retirement and taxes to family finance issues.
Taking into consideration the “record low summer transatlantic
airfares” and the strong U.S. dollar, the magazine urges travelers to
pack their walking shoes and travel from the United States to popular
European destinations such as Crete, Paris, Prague, Rome, Italy and
Barcelona, among others.
Money named Crete a “best destination for your money” due to its world-famous sites like the Palace of Knossos, its outdoor attractions, beautiful beaches, distinct culture and cuisine.
The Elafonisi Beach and the Balos Beach and Lagoon
are suggested by the magazine as Crete’s must-see spots.
Money, the cost to spend a week for two on Crete would reach $3,697 as
ticket prices have gone down nine percent since 2016, while hotel prices
have dropped as well.
The top 10 cities scored highest on overall cost factors, giving the
most weight to the price of airfare, lodging, and food, as well as the
biggest year-over-year price drops.
Money also considered the number of
restaurants and attractions each place offered, as well as experience
factors like low crime rates, pleasant weather and ease of access to
Greece is ranked 11th in the preferences of American travelers as a
tourist destination, according to online platform “TripHobo”.
was collected based on the choices of 700,000 users and revealed that
American holidaymakers picked Greece as one of their most popular
choices over the last six months.
Canada took first spot, followed by
Mexico, Italy and Britain. Californians and Texans loved traveling the
most, followed by people from Florida and New York, with the most active
travelers being between the ages of 25 and 34.
Millenials traveled more
and made more independent travel plans, opting for experience-based
holidays. The same group is expected to travel even more in 2017.
was an increasing trend for shorter getaways, which were the most
popular option with an average stay between 3 to 4 days. 1. Canada 2. Mexico 3. Italy 4. Britain 5. France 6. Spain 7. Ireland 8. Japan 9. Germany 10. Thailand 11. Greece 12. Netherlands 13. Switzerland
Recognizing travelers’ favorite places around the world, travel planning and booking site TripAdvisor has included Crete, Santorini and Rhodes in the top 20 of its top Travelers’ Choice Destinations in Europe for 2017, based on the preferences of travelers.
According to the Travelers’ Choice awards for European destinations
by TripAdvisor, Crete is fourth most popular destination in Europe,
Santorini is the 16th and Rhodes is the 18th.
Crete also came in sixth among Tripadvisor’s Top 10 Travelers’ Choice Destinations in the World in 2017.
Award winners were determined using an algorithm that took into account
the quantity and quality of reviews and ratings for hotels, restaurants
and attractions in destinations worldwide, gathered over a 12-month
period, as well as traveler booking interest on TripAdvisor.
honor 418 outstanding destinations in 24 lists across the globe.
excited to reveal our community’s favorite travel destinations for 2017
and recognize these iconic places with Travelers’ Choice awards,” said
Barbara Messing, chief marketing officer for TripAdvisor.