On Andros Island in the Cyclades Islands, it’s easy to be distracted by vistas at every turn. With my first glimpse of the glittering harbor of Batsi it was obvious I’d enjoy four days exploring the island’s coastline and dramatic interior.
I can’t think of a better way to spend a beautiful afternoon than lunch at Taverna Lagoudera on Batsi harbor. When you can still taste the natural saltiness of the Aegean Sea on the sea bream you know you’re in heaven (aka Greece).
Andros and its sister island Tinos (the subject of my March Hellenic News article) are affluent escapes with more villas than hotel rooms. Within easy access of Athens through the port of Rafina, the comfortable car-ferries of the Fast Ferry group run year round. Restaurants, cafes and coffee shops thrive on this island
It is an undeniable cliché that the islands of Greece are firmly part of the great destinations of the world. It’s an extra pleasure to be a guest on one of the lesser known islands, Kythnos. The island is ideal for tourists who seek tranquility. Five photo perfect villages dot the island and all are easy to reach by car. Their compact size makes them enjoyable to wander on foot. Kythnos being a classic Cyclades mountaintop, driving the roads means going either up or down until on the spine of the island. The panoramic views are spectacular. Read my article in the Hellenic News of America, Kythnos: small island with a big Greek heart.
Homer chose Ios as his final resting ground. His tranquil burial site on the herb blanketed north hills of the island offers a panoramic view of the Aegean. In the 21st century thousands of young tourist in July and August choose the island for its clubs, resorts, secluded beaches and music scene. Yet even at the height of the summer season and certainly the remaining ten months of the year, the tranquility Homer enjoyed for millenniums is the genuine character of Ios. my article in the Hellenic News of America, Slow down on the Greek party island of Ios tells you how to still have fun!
Flowering shrubs, trees, herbs and succulents blanket the hillsides while clear Aegean water laps Paros Island’s shore. Classic white villages accented with blue are surrounded by soil envied in the Cyclades. Buildings jumble upon one another like blocks and many pre-industrial stone streets are pedestrian only, too narrow for anything more mechanized than a scooter. Ancient and protected grape vines thrive along with winter wheat, olives, fruit and produce. Please read aboutSavor culinary and historic Paros Island in the Hellenic News of America.
From volcanic cooking at Cafe Restaurant Sirocco on the island of Milos to Barriello’s 150-year-old vaulted basement in ancient Trypiti, the culinary scene in Milos is part of a trend among young Greek chefs to preserve grandmother’s recipes but tweak them for the 21st century. Read about this gastronomic find in the Hellenic News of America in Eating Milos: culinary stars in a Cycladic galaxy
The steep Sifnos Island hillsides that rise from the Aegean Sea are crisscrossed by dozens of centuries old foot and donkey paths. These tended rock walled paths still connect island towns. With the decline in the use of donkeys, Sifnos tourism promotes them as ideal walking trails, although a hiker will have to make way for goats and the occasional working donkey. This acceptance that both ancient and every day reality still coexist is the unique pleasure of Sifnos, and in the Hellenic News of America find out why Tradition crafts 21st century Sifnos.
“Selene is zero distance from farm to table,” Georgia Tsara says with a broad smile obviously as pleased with the restaurant’s location on Santorini as she is with this fabled island’s products. The volcano that blew Santorini into history 3,500 years ago is responsible for sculpting the magnificent and photogenic 800-foot cliffs currently topped by some of the most sought after hotels in all the Greek Islands.It’s responsible as well for some products unique in all of Greece, and my article, A Santorini lunch with Selene’s Georgia Tsarain the Hellenic News of America will guide you to one of the finest meals you’ll experience in your travels.
Not all Greek islands are similar, just as the mainland is a patchwork of ecosystems. The Cyclades, the tourist mecca of islands in the south Aegean, tend to be dry with low vegetation and whitewashed villages trimmed in blue shuttered windows and doors. Alonissos, located in the central Aegean, is the most northerly of the Sporades islands with towering pine forests tumbling down the rocky cliffs to the sea. They’re more akin to the northern New England coast of the U.S.A. than southern Greece. Discover why Alonissos Island is a floating spoon sweet.
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Mrs. Annezio Bouritis and her son Mixαlis Famelitis operate the traditional Annezio Bakery located in the port town of Merichas. Set in a typical white washed stone building with a view overlooking the harbor, the cars of customers are usually double parked on the narrow street.
Greeks positively revel in sharing their food, especially with visitors. Mrs. Bouritis and Mixalis were equally enthusiastic to share recipes for cheese tarts and pastel. Read more at…
Spend time talking to the owners of the Paros Land Hotel and their promising young chef and you understand the resilience that has sustained Greece for millenniums.
It’s a creative force responsible for this enterprise and it will propel Greece beyond a temporary financial crisis.
Brothers, sisters, in-laws and grandchildren have all had a hand in the design, rebuilding and the myriad operational details required of a hotel. Their pride was palpable when they sat down each night at a long wooden table in the airy dining room for lengthy multi-course meals.