Home Blog

Best Places to Travel in December on a Budget

Apart from Europe, Asia has a series of world-class best places to travel in December in a Budget.

December is traditionally the month when people all over the world go on their winter vacations.

Most places have a pleasant climate in December and winter months, and this sends the prices of airfares and hotels and room rates soaring.

At the end of the article, find a guide that will help you to find all the necessary resources for budget travel.

Places to travel in December in a Budget

We are here to tell you the best places you can visit in December on a budget!

With the advent of new modes of accommodation, such as serviced apartments, local homestays, shared accommodations, hostels and even camping out in the open, your dream vacation doesn’t have to be out of reach.

We are going to see the places that you must travel in December on a budget in the holiday high season!

Bhutan

Best Places to Travel in December on a Budget

Bhutan is a landlocked country in the East Himalayas surrounded by India and China. Filled with scenic valleys, snow-clad mountains and fresh snow-fed glaciers, Bhutan is Heaven on Earth.

It is primarily a Buddhist country with several monasteries dotting the landscape.

The most suitable time to visit here is from October to December as in January temperatures drop below zero levels. It is also the time when most traditional festivals happen.

Bhutan currency value

The Bhutan currency value is the same as the Indian rupee value, i.e., 1 USD = 70 INR.

Bhutan Visa charges

It will cost around 40$ for getting a Bhutan visa. Note, you have the only option to book an organized tour with a Government-authorized tour operator which would cost you 250$ per day.

That includes everything like 3* hotel accommodation, food, and tour with a guide.

Places to travel in December in a Budget in Bhutan

  • The Rinpung Dzong, overlooking the Paro valley, is an excellent example of Buddhist architecture. It is a monastery and fortress that was used in earlier times to protect the country from Tibetan invasions.
  • At an altitude of 3989 meters, Chele La Pass is a beautiful spectacle with views of the Paro and Haa valleys on either side. The 22000 feet Mount Jomolhari can be seen from this point.
  • The 169 feet tall statue of the Buddha Dordenma is a popular place situated at the foot of the Paro Valley made of gold and bronze. It is a must-visit place in Bhutan.
  • The Taktsang Monastery also located in Paro Valley is a religious site of Guru Rinpoche, a revered figure in Buddhism. The Monastery is built on a cliff and gives panoramic views of the lush green forests in the valley below.
  • Chomolhari is well known for its trekking circuit. It is mildly strenuous packed with splendid views of glacial lakes, snow-lined slopes and rare flora along the way. It begins at Paro and spans between 7-15 days for the complete circuit.
  • A few more monasteries that can be visited are Drukgyal Dzong, Tashicho Dzong, and Punakha Dzong, which are the better-known Dzongs in Bhutan.

You can also check the beautiful sites to tour in Bhutan!

Overall Cost

Farmstays and homestays are available as cheap as US$20 per night.

Food is mostly local and straightforward as most places practice sustainable tourism here.

Travel is by bus or taxi. An average five day stay in Bhutan would cost US$200-300 per person.

Philippines

Best Places to Travel in December on a Budget

The Philippines is the best place to go if you are looking for a budget trip.

It has fantastic beaches, a tropical climate and plenty of water sports, not to mention island hopping and a trendy nightlife.

The weather in December ranges from 22 degrees to 32 degree Celsius, which makes this a perfect time to visit this place. It has more than 7000 islets, so it’s easy to visit the country multiple times.

The scenery in the Philippines is diverse as it has steep mountains, tropical beaches, private sanctuaries, and historical landmarks in different regions.

Philippines currency value

1 USD = 52 Philippine Peso

Philippines visa cost

You can get Philippines visa for free for a stay up to 30 days!

Places to Travel in December in a Budget in the Philippines

  • Palawan: This should be at the top of your list if you are looking for a pure beach stay with beautiful views of the sea. The Puerto Princesa is the town from where Palawan is approachable. You shouldn’t miss the Puerto Princesa underground river, which is a World Heritage UNESCO site. Flights are available from Manila and Cebu to Puerto Princesa.
  • Boracay is a famous island, as it consists of more than 12 beaches. It has many stay options, and getting here requires a flight from Manila to the closest airport at Panay island. The boat then brings you to Boracay.
  • The Island of El Nido has spectacular ocean views and sandy, and sun-kissed beaches. There are secret lagoons and jutting limestone islands that rival the beauty of the Phi Phi islands or the Halong Bay. El Nido is accessible by land or by flight.
  • The beaches of Coron also are pristine and are suitable for shipwreck diving, snorkeling and coral watching.
  • Cebu is the most popular destination in the Philippines known for its colonial history, beaches, waterfalls, and nearby beaches. It has functional connectivity by air and the ferry. It is also close to Bohol, which is a must-visit to see the iconic Chocolate hills. Dolphin encounters can be had in the Panglao Island nearby. Other beaches to explore are Siargao, Divagate Islands, Britania Islands, Siquijor Island, etc.
  • Visit the Banaue and Ifugao rice terraces to see the well-preserved culture of the local population. Sarada is one more place where you can see the bizarre spectacle of the hanging coffins. It is known for its waterfalls, caves, limestone mountains and hill-tribe atmosphere.

 Also check the most unexplored Masasa beach in Batangas, Philippines.

Overall cost

Stay in the Philippines can be ridiculously affordable as there are plenty of backpackers hostels, dorms, and hotels available for around US$20. Local food is available at shacks on the beaches for less than a dollar.

Island hopping is by public ferries, which is around US$4 per trip. You can plan a trip to the Philippines according to your budget. You could visit just one island or traverse the entire region as every island has the utmost beauty to offer.

Stay, food, and travel would cost around US$50 per day.

Sri Lanka

Best Places to Travel in December on a Budget

Sri Lanka is heaven for holidaymakers.

With a perfect mix of beautiful beaches, mountainous towns, historical architecture, and city conveniences, it has something for everybody.

There are two parts to Sri Lanka, and the best time to visit the western and southern coasts is from December to March when the weather is dry and pleasant.

Sri Lankan currency value

1 USD = 176 Sri Lankan rupee

Sri Lankan Visa charges

You can get Sri Lanka visa for 30USD. You can get it on arrival or apply it online from their official website.

Places to travel in December in a Budget in Sri Lanka

  • Wind and kite surfing is a popular activity, so if that is your interest, the Meddawatta, Weligama, Mirissa and Midigama beaches offer this sport. The climate is December is just right for these sports.
  • The hilly areas experience rains during the monsoon, so by December, there is dense greenery all around. Hiking and trekking are popular options in the Horton plains and near Ella Rock.
  • The Yala National Park sees a grand influx of migratory birds during this season. Wildlife safaris and stay options are available inside the park.
  • Tea Plantations organize their picking from December. Thus, a stay at the hill stations of Nuwara Eliya and Horton plains give you the refreshing view of bright green tea plantations.
  • The golden triangle featuring the iconic religious landmarks of the country is a must-visit for history buffs. Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, and Dambulla are the three spikes of the triangle and abound in natural beauty too. The capital city Colombo is the place to go for shopping, dining and enjoying the western-influenced lifestyle.

Overall cost

You can go to Sri Lanka by railway and bus transportation. Otherwise, you can also hire a taxi, although it can be more expensive.

Sri Lanka is abundant in local homestays and guest houses. Even the locals let out their homes for short stays and provide food to travelers.

So a holiday in Sri Lanka can be as cheap or as luxurious as you want it to be, without compromising on the experience.

Stay, food, and travel can cost US$80 per day.

Cambodia

Best Places to Travel in December on a Budget

Cambodia is a small nation tucked away between Thailand and Vietnam in South East Asia. Untouched as yet by the crowd of tourism that afflicts neighboring Thailand.

It is slowly getting discovered as a go-to place for tourists seeking a vacation in natures lap.

As it is in the tropical belt, the climate is temperate to hot all year long. However, November to March are the best months to tour this place.

Scores of ancient Hindu and Buddhist temples, beaches and lush forests are the trademarks of Cambodia.  

Places to travel in December in a Budget in Cambodia

Phnom Penh is Cambodia’s capital and home to the Royal Palace. The Palace has a Pagoda on its southern side which is one of a kind, constructed with almost 5 tonnes of silver and Italian Marble. It houses a life-sized statue of Buddha entirely in gold and diamonds.

A tuk-tuk can be hired to explore the town with its local culture. Boat cruises on the Meyking river can take you from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap in 3 days.

Siem Reap is a quaint little resort town with French and Colonial-style architecture, local markets selling souvenirs, a cosmopolitan dining scene, and traditional apsara performances.

Note: It will take 7 hours to get Siem Reap from Phnom Penh by bus, which is the cheapest way to get there. One, three, and seven-day passes can be purchased and are quite affordable, starting at USD 37.

There are over 36 temples that can be toured at the 402 acre Angkor Wat complex.

The largest temple in the world is beautiful to behold with its intricate architecture and historical importance.

However, do take along a hat and lots of water as touring this place can get quite tiring due to the heat.

The southern coast of Cambodia is a tropical paradise nestled away between lush coconut trees and lagoons.

The beaches are pristine, and the big resorts have not got here yet so local bed n breakfasts and homestays provide a cheap, yet peaceful stay. 

Some of the beaches to go are Koi Thmei, Saracen Bay, Lazy Beach, M’Pai Bay, Coconut Beach, and Long Beach.

Sihanoukville is a scenic beach town and also has historical importance as the last place where the US fought the Vietnam war.

It has several resorts in the area and provides snorkeling, boat rides, and kayaking activities.

Battambang is home to the famous Bat Caves. Take a tuk-tuk from the town at dusk and get to the Bat Caves. See the incredible spectacle of thousands of bats flying out of the caves together.

The vision lasts for around 1 hour.

Although Battambang is 7 hours from Phnom Penh, don’t miss this experience as it appears in not so many places.

Cambodia tourist visa cost

You can get Cambodia visa for 30 USD for a stay of 30 days. You can get it on arrival or pre-apply it online.

The overall cost per day in Cambodia

The railway does not have much of a presence in Cambodia, so traveling by buses and taxis are the best ways to get around. Food, stay in mid-range hotels, and travel by public buses can require a budget of US$50 per day for one person, will make Cambodia a must-visit destination in this December!

Vietnam

With its temples and pagodas, endless stretches of paddy fields, unsullied beaches, and warm hospitality, Vietnam is a popular destination for budget travelers that too in December!

You step foot in Vietnam through Ho Chi Minh, which is the capital city.

Ho Chi Minh is a blend of old and new, with former French buildings and architecture, modern-day skyscrapers, malls and swanky dine outs.

Places to travel in December in a Budget in Vietnam

  • A one day tour in Ho Chi Minh can cover historical landmarks in the city such as The War Remnants Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, History Museum, and the ornate Saigon Post office. The Saigon Opera house conducts performances in the evening which you could combine with a walk through the city’s local markets.
  • The Cu Chi Tunnels, 70 km from the city, are a reinforced version of the tunnels used by the Vietnamese soldiers to move around secretly during the Vietnamese War.
  • The next place to visit would be Mui Ne, on the southern part of Vietnam. It is a beautiful beach town with plenty of hotels and resorts. It is well known for its majestic white and red dunes. Dune tours are very cheap at $5, and for a little extra you could do hot air balloon rides and quad biking also.
  • The next stop would be Da Nang, which serves as a stopping point to visit the Marble Mountains. There is a cluster of five mountains. They are made of limestone and Marble and are a sight to behold! Some caves and tunnels are visited by local Buddhists to pray and meditate. Trekking can occur on the hills.
  • Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is a UNESCO protected park with a bountiful forest area. The natural beauty is at its most magnificent here, and you can bike through the mountains too. It is home to the worlds most significant cave system Hang Son Doong. 
  • Halong Bay: The crown of Vietnam, Halong Bay is a World Heritage Site in the Gulf of Tonkin. It is a cluster of more than 2000 limestone islands with lush forests surrounded by turquoise and green waters that make for a breathtaking sight.
  • You can stay at Hanoi or Halong city and book a cruise to tour these fascinating islands.

Note: A day cruise should cost around US$60 and go up to US$150 for an overnight one. 

Vietnam visa cost

The stamping charges are at 25 USD, and the visa letter fee would cost you around 5 USD. In the total, you can get Vietnam visa for 30 USD.

The overall cost per day

The Best way to travel around in Vietnam is by bus. Airports are available from Hanoi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh with regular flights, so there is high-grade connectivity between all tourist places.

Stay at mid-range hotels, eating the local food at local restaurants, and travel by buses around the country should cost US$50 for one person per day.

Singapore

The city of Merlion is said to be the dream destination of any traveler wishing to visit South East Asia.

Singapore’s Arab Quarter
Singapore’s Arab Quarter

A combination of east meets west, with a melange of cultures adding to its vibrant social scene, Singapore is a beautiful place to explore in December.

It is considered a little pricey by many. It has developed its hospitality industry to include guest houses, short term rentals, shared accommodations in apartments, and of course, budget bed n breakfasts.

Tip: Avoid popular tourist areas and go for areas that do not have much tourist presence and you will get good deals. Since travel in Singapore is extremely convenient, with excellent bus and metro connectivity, you can easily access any area.

Singapore Visa cost

A Singapore visa would cost you around 30 to 40$ (Processing fee 30 Singapore dollars + service fee extra if processed by authorized agents).

Singapore Currency value

 1 USD = 1.40 Singapore dollars

Places to travel in December in a Budget in Singapore

Sentosa Island: Located on the southern part of Singapore, Sentosa Island was originally a military fortress.

It has changed remarkably over the years into a beach holiday destination for tourists traveling to Singapore. You can access it by cable car, bus, and metro.

The beaches are full of life, teeming with nightlife, good food, drinks, and hotels.

There is iFly Singapore, an adventure park, and Resorts World, which has all the luxury brands for retail therapy.

Universal Studios is a movie-themed amusement park with themes like Transformers, Jurassic Park, and more.

An underwater world with 2500 marine animals is an enjoyable visit for families with children.

Read our post from our experiences in Singapore.

Visit the Singapore Night Safari at the zoo to see lions, tigers, leopards, orangutans as well as a giant panda forest. Jurong Bird Park is a magnificent place to see hundreds of birds of distinct types in the immediate vicinity. Clarke Quay is the hub of nightlife in Singapore. Weekends are lively and full of people milling about the clubs and restaurants here.

The Merlion statue is the symbol of Singapore’s humble beginnings as a fishing village. It overlooks the Marina Bay, spouting water from its mountain in a fountain. Orchard road has the best malls and luxury hotels in the city.

The city’s Chinatown area will take you right into the bylanes of a little China, with small Chinese food stalls, shops, and buildings with Chinese decor. Similarly, Little India is an area where you can find Indian food, products, and religious places of worship. There are an Arab street and Malay street along the same lines.

The Singapore Flyer gives a birds eyes view of Singapore’s skyline, reaching over to Malaysia’s Straits of Johar too. Visit the Marina Bay Sands to explore the Gardens by the bay, Infinity pool at Skypark hotel and the Double Helix bridge. It is the first curved bridge in the world built in the shape of human DNA. The sights at Marina Bay are best seen at night with all the lights glowing.

Note: The food at restaurants can get quite expensive. There are many stalls scattered along with the interiors of the city. There you can get local as well as continental cuisine. Parottas and chicken are the favorite street food in Singapore.

The climate in Singapore is tropical, so it is pleasant all through the year. However, occasional thunderstorms do occur without warning.

Overall Cost

Travel is by bus and metro rail which connect every nook and corner of the city. Food and Overall Cost can cost around US$80 – 150 per day for one person depending on the area and standard of stay.

Thailand

Best Places to Travel in December on a Budget

Thailand has long been a dream holiday destination for many.

With its long stretches of sandy beaches, turquoise clear waters and international culture, Thailand gives the best vacation experience one could ever have.

Places to travel in December in a Budget in Thailand

Phuket

  • Beaches: Kata and Karon Beaches have the right mix of nightlife, restaurants, and watersports. Kamala, Bangtao and Mi Khao beaches are quieter with sprawling resorts and a peaceful family atmosphere.
  • The most distinctive feature in the seas of Phuket is the Phang Nga Bay. Small limestone islands with thick vegetation jut out from the water dramatically.
  • James Bond Island and Koh Panyee are two famous spots in the Bay. You can take a boat and go cruising along the islands leisurely, which makes for a breathtaking experience.
  • The seas near Phuket are home to many other small islands, the Phi Phi Islands being one of the best. They are tiny islets surrounded by the endless expanse of the azure blue Andaman seas. You can spend a day or two here.

Krabi

  • The most famous island in Krabi Province is Ao Nang. It is a hub for long-tail boats that can take you island hopping to other islands such as Ko Hong, Koh Poda, Koh Gai, and Railway.
  • Thung Teao Natural Park is the most arresting highlight of Krabi island. Home to tall trees in ever-changing shades of green, the waters in the Emerald Pool are beautiful and bright, with a surreal aura of untouched beauty. It is accessible from the island of Ao Nang by taxi.
  • Klom Thong Hot Springs is the scene of natural hot springs flowing from within the volcanic chambers of Klom Thing.
  • Two hours from Krabi, the Khao Sok National Park is the oldest rainforest in the world. It is a beautiful place for trekking, watching animals like deer, bears, monitor lizards, various rare species of flora, bamboo rafting and camping.

Bangkok

  • If you are full with the endless beaches around Thailand, then Bangkok will add the fun element into the mix. The capital city of Thailand, Bangkok, is known both for its vibrant nightlife and culture.
  • The Chatuchak market is a thriving market that sells everything from clothes to antiques to crockery.
  • Explore the floating markets in Taling Chan market and Bang Ku Wian. They are an exciting experience. You can float in boats and buy fruits, vegetables, flowers, and more from vendors in vessels.
  • The night markets also are a colorful affair with hundreds of people teeming through the stalls.
  • Go on a dinner cruise over the lovely Chao Phraya river in the city.
  • Get a glimpse of the Grand Palace, the former abode of Royalty in Thailand.

Also, check the top sites to hit in Thailand!

The overall cost per day

Phuket and Krabi have international airports, so getting there from any major international city is convenient.

You could backpack across the islands or choose to live in luxury resorts. Travel between the islands is usually by ferry and is cheaper if you rent bicycles or motorcycles.

Bangkok has some of the worlds best affordable hotels so food, stay, and travel would cost less than US$80 per day on a mid ranges budget.

Nepal

Hiking in Nepal Top Locations

Nepal is a mountainous country nestled in the lap of the Himalayas.

Natural beauty abounds in this area where you can soak up fantastic mountain views and experience the warm hospitality of the native Gorkhas.

You could be looking for a backpacking adventure trip, or a luxury vacation, Nepal can offer you the best of both worlds.

December is an excellent time to visit Nepal as the climate is dry and cold with temperatures going from maximum 22 degrees to minimum 5-degree Celsius.

It is one of the worthy places to be considered for budget travelers!

Nepal visa charges

It would cost you 30$ per adult for a stay up to 15 days and 50$ for a stay up to 30 days!

Nepalese currency value

1 USD = 113 Nepalese rupee

Places to travel in December in a Budget in Nepal

Your holiday will begin from Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal with an international airport.

The Pashupatinath Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-visit for any tourist.

The Boudhanath Temple is a Tibetan pilgrimage center known for its large stupa. About four hours from Kathmandu, the scenic town of Nagarkot offers spectacular views of snow-clad mountains, including Mt. Everest.

You might rent a taxi for the day to visit Nagarkot. Don’t miss the plane rides which give a panoramic view of Mount Everest and regularly fly from Kathmandu. The cost of a plane ride is around US$170. 

Pokhara is the second-largest valley in Nepal. It is in the Annapurna Range, which acts as the gateway to the Himalayas.

There are many adventure sports available in this area, such as skydiving, mountain biking, trekking, rafting, zip wire flying, and paragliding.

You could stay at Pokhara and explore all the places nearby. Some of the places to check out are:

  • Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha. There are over twenty monasteries built here by numerous countries and Buddhists come here to meditate.
  • The Annapurna Range offers a fantastic opportunity for hardcore mountain trekkers. The complete trekking circuit can take three weeks. You go around the Annapurna range, Mustang Valley, follow the Kali Gandaki river and end the trek near Muktinath.
  • The Chitwan National Park has Royal Bengal Tigers and one-horned Rhinos as the star attraction. At 1000 sq km area, this park is the most well conserved national park in Asia. It is at a distance of 150 km from Pokhara.
  • Mount Manaslu, is the world’s 8th largest peak. The Manaslu circuit in Nepal is one of the most robust trekking regions in the area and also one of the most beautiful. The trail has tea houses on the way stop make halts, and the hospitality of the locals leaves you feeling welcomed.

Overall Cost

Kathmandu has options from luxury hotels to let out bungalows. An average stay with food and travel in the city would cost around US$50. 

Busses and taxis are the most convenient way to get around the nation. A 50 km distance by taxi would cost around US$35. Cycling and trekking can further reduce your costs. 

Useful Information for Budget Travelers

Conclusion on Places to Travel in December on a Budget

These are the best worthy places to visit in this December on a budget with your family.

Remember that these places are not only budget-friendly but very beautiful too!

Please do let us know your comments and feedback!

Christmas in Europe 23 Best Cities

Best Destinations for Christmas in Europe

Christmas in Europe has an entirely different allure. When it comes to Christmas celebrations, some of the best Christmas Markets in Europe are ideal destinations for travelers.

It is that time of the year; it’s Christmas time and flags the Winter Holidays.

An essence of grandeur if you like! Now is the time to plan (yes, in August) to get the best possible prices for airfare and accommodation.

A sizzling blazing spirit goes through Europe each year bringing up the best of Christmas markets that are out there.

Fantastic decorative lights and ornaments elevate warm feelings everywhere around.

Our expert’s team put together this handy post for where to spend Christmas in Europe. We took into consideration the preferences of our fans, of millions of visitors of Europe, and a little bit of Christmas spirit and magic.

Here is our extended and informative post!

Best 23 Destinations for Christmas in Europe

Why in Europe? It could be the architecture when all the twinkling lights fill the night with amazing colors and buildings of Old Europe. It can also be the cobblestone streets that get a different life of their own.

Maybe it is the spectacular range of different foods that each European country has to offer in the Christmas period! Could be the mulled wine, spiced with cinnamon and herbs of Northern countries.

Could be all of these put together, next to a dazzling Christmas tree, aside to a blazing fireplace.

Some of these Christmas winter destinations offer wooden chalets and glamor while others offer joy through their open-air Christmas markets.

It could be love and who can tell?

Christmas have their magic dust, and specific European destinations take that magic and mix it with each local magic ingredients.

Let’s find out.

Vienna, Austria

Best Destinations for Christmas in Europe
Vienna, Austria

The city of Vienna is one of the best Christmas destinations to enjoy your Christmas holiday.

These are some of the events that you can plan for:

  • The Christmas in Vienna concert
  • Ice skating
  • Advent concert at Stephansdom
  • Belvedere palace Christmas market
  • Schonbrunn palace orchestra Christmas and new year concert
  • Freyung Christmas market
  • Karlsplatz Christmas market
  • Winter in MQ (winter in the Museumsquartier) and
  • Mozart Christmas concert

If you plan to go to Vienna besides Christmas period, read our post for things to do in the city.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Best Destinations for Christmas in Europe
City of Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen presents several; Christmas events worth visiting.

These are:

  • Tivoli amusement park
  • Ice skating in Frederiksberg Have
  • Copenhagen street foods
  • The Royal Copenhagen’s Christmas tables
  • Visit Fairytale castle
  • Paper island street food
  • Strolling down Kronprinsensgade; you may also visit the old candy factory.

Copenhagen is a great city (top for a living). We spent a week there. Read our posts from here.

Nuremberg, Germany

Christmas Markets Europe
City of Nuremberg, Germany

Beautiful sites during Christmas in Nuremberg include:

  • Be part of a stagecoach tour
  • The market of the sister cities for international gifts
  • Visit the Christmas market
  • See the Nuremberg Christkind
  • The funny prune men
  • The children’s Christmas market
  • Find a selection of Christmas tree decors at the Christmas market

If you choose to go to Germany, then read this post for things to do in the country in a few (or many) days.

London, England

Christmas Markets
City of London, England

In London, expect the following:

  • London Christmas concert
  • Christmas lightings in London
  • Meet Father Christmas at ZSL London zoo
  • Visit London museums
  • Christmas carols at Trafalgar square
  • Battersea Cats and dogs home carol concert
  • St Paul’s Cathedral
  • St Martins-in-the-fields Church among others
  • Go ice skating

London is great at Christmas but also great with kids or not. Read our related posts.

Strasbourg, France

Christmas in France
Strasbourg, France

In Strasbourg expect to see; Cathedral Notre-Dame, The Strasbourg Christmas markets, the huge Christmas tree in Strasbourg city that’s about 30 feet.

Prague, Czech Republic

Christmas in Czech Republic
City of Prague, Czech Republic

The city of Prague presents these beautiful sights and events:

  • Watching the Nutcracker ballet and other international class performance
  • Ice skating in the old town
  • Relaxing moments at Prague river cruise
  • A visit to Prague Zoo
  • Czech traditional food stands
  • Shopping in Prague street markets
  • The Christmas atmosphere in Prague town

One of the most popular destinations in Europe for all year round trips. Read what to do in Prague.

Colmar, France

Festivities in Colmar
Colmar, France

In Colmar city you and to enjoy the following:

  • A visit to the Toy museum
  • Colmar Christmas park for children
  • A stroll through Colmar’s Christmas market
  • A visit to the hills, Christmas carols by boat
  • Shopping and sampling foods at Colmar City markets
  • Christmas tasting at Colmar
  • A visit to the historic town

If you travel to France, then you need to see more things. Depending on where you will choose to stay, there are many options. Read all our posts from here.

Dresden, Germany

Best Destinations for Christmas in Europe
Dresden, Germany

Yes, Dresden city has the record of having the tallest Christmas tree, which is around 14 meters high.

The city of Dresden has one of the oldest Christmas markets in the world. Experience the:

  • The Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady)
  • The Moritzburg water castle is one of the world best water castle
  • The Green Vault museum a rococo-style palace.

Brussels, Belgium

BChristmas Brussels
Brussels, Belgium

The city of Brussels has some of the ancient cathedrals in Europe; St Catherine, St Gudula, and St Michael cathedrals.

Expect to see amazing Christmas lightings in Brussels streets:

  • The city hall is well light with Christmas decorations
  • A visit to the Brussels Christmas market should be in your list
  • skating at Place de la Monnaie

And finally the Christmas tree, sound and light show at the Grand- Place.

Did you know that Brussels is considered one of the best affordable destinations in Europe? Read why.

Cologne, Germany

Christmas Markets
Cologne, Germany

A visit to Cologne city you should experience the following:

  • The Fragrance Museum
  • The cathedral or Dom
  • Cologne city Christmas markets for a variety of Christmas gift for family and friends
  • A Visit to Museum Ludwig

A visit to the old town and a stroll by the waterfront, the chocolate museum is also worth visiting.

Paris, France

Best Destinations for Christmas
City of Paris, France

Paris France presents the following during Christmas:

  • Grand Magasins like the Bon Marche and the Galeries Lafayettes
  • A visit to Trocadero square for a spectacular view of the Eiffel tower
  • Ice skating
  • A visit to the Paris Christmas markets
  • Christmas in the church at Notre-Dame Cathedral
  • Sacre-Coeur Basilica of Montmartre or The Church of Saint Eustache

You may also opt to sample wine in Pairs bars and watch the Christmas lighting in Paris streets.

Three days or maybe seven days in Paris? Well, it is Paris, and there is a ton of things to do.

Read our advice and things to do for five days in Paris and another one for seven days.

Budapest, Hungary

"<yoastmark

Budapest presents the following during Christmas:

  • The city of Budapest Christmas boats- cruising on river Dunabe
  • Christmas concerts In Budapest
  • A visit to the Budapest Christmas markets
  • Budapest Nutcracker ballet
  • The ice rink in the city
  • Hot springs of Gellert spa
  • Christmas streetcar ride.

Another city that is not only for Christmas and also included in the best affordable destinations in Europe list.

Trier, Germany

"<yoastmark

The city of Trier is one of Germany’s oldest cities. During Christmas you can:

  • Visit Trier Dom (Which is the high cathedral of saint peter)
  • Porta Nigra (An ancient Roman city gate)
  • Konstantin Basilica
  • Rheinische Landesmuseum
  • A visit to Trier Christmas markets
  • A stroll in Trier streets
  • Attend Trier Christmas concerts
  • Visit The Hauptmarkt the primary city market

Bruges, Belgium

"<yoastmark

In Bruges, you can do:

  • Visit Grote Market, the largest market in Bruges for Christmas shopping
  • Basilica of the Holy Blood
  • Visit the Grand Hotel Casselbergh Bruges Christmas lounge
  • Walk in the streets of the city

Enjoy the nightlife at Bruges city, the city lighting, local delicacies, and sample wine.

Geneva, Switzerland

Geneva, Switzerland
Geneva, Switzerland

In Geneva, you can expect:

  • A winter walk on the icy slopes
  • A visit to the Geneva Christmas markets like the Montreux Noel
  • Vie the splendid tall Christmas trees like the one at St Gallen’s, it is usually about 20 meters
  • Ice skating
  • Stay in an igloo village
  • Be part of a Christmas day procession

Upcoming cities to consider for Christmas Markets in Europe

Ghent, Belgium

That is what you will see in Ghent:

  • Skating in the city
  • A visit to Ghent Christmas markets for a selection of Christmas gifts
  • The winter wonderland castle
  • A stroll through Ghent streets for spectacular lighting
  • Visit Ghent Christmas concerts and carols

Glasgow, Scotland

If you plan to visit Glasgow during Christmas expect; A visit to the Barras market, Glasgow Museums, Visit Glasgow’s west end area, Meet Santa at St Enoch center, See Santa Claus at snow factor, attend Glasgow international comedy festival and the Glasgow film festival.

Zagreb, Croatia

Zagreb offers a unique Christmas atmosphere it boasts of some of the best Christmas markets in Europe.

Other attractions during the Christmas season include:

  • The Zagreb street Christmas lightings
  • A visit to the frozen Plitvice national park
  • A tour for the Christmas story in Cazma
  • A visit to an outdoor thermal spa
  • The museum of broken relationships
  • Play an ice-hockey game
  • Skiing at Sjleme ski resort

Rovaniemi, Lapland

At Rovaniemi city, you stand to enjoy

  • A visit to the Ranua wildlife park
  • Ice fishing
  • A reindeer ride at Santa Claus village and see the real Santa
  • A Northern lights hunting tour
  • You can also visit the arctic science Centre and museums like the Korundi house of culture, Arktikum, and the science Centre Pilke

Manchester, England

The city of Manchester offers the following:

  • Skating at the ice rink
  • Shopping at the Manchester Christmas markets for gifts from different parts of the world
  • Elf the Musical at the Lowry
  • Enjoy a magical time at Dunham Massey, and the Curious Teepee

Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg presents a beautiful Christmas experience that includes:

  • A stroll through the city streets tracking the history of the Silent Night carol, that was initially done here at Oberndorf
  • Exposure to local cultures like the “Salzburger Adventsingen
  • Visit a Perchtenlauf
  • A visit to the Salzburg Christmas markets
  • Go for skiing

Florence, Italy

These are some main attractions in Florence city during Christmas; best nativity scenes, lighting and Christmas trees, sample Florentine Christmas foods, Ice skating, Visit Florence Museums, Florentine Christmas markets like the Piazza Santa Croce, attend Christmas mass at Cathedral of Florence( Duomo), Ice skating at Florence winter park, Watch The Nutcracker at Teatro Della pergola.

Florence is a city where we’ve been twice and both times as part of a road trip. Read our post from our experience and include these ideas in your Christmas in Europe in Florence itinerary.

Tallinn, Estonia

In Tallinn you can expect the following during Christmas:

  • Skiing in the snow
  • Ice skating on a frozen lake
  • Enjoying your time in a sauna or spa
  • A visit to Tallinn Old town
  • The frozen Jagala waterfall
  • Traditional Estonian Christmas food

Visit the Christmas market in Tallinn town.

Christmas in Europe? Use These Resources

First of all make a note of our Travel Resources page here, with lots of links for services for your holidays/vacations in all world destinations.

If you are already in Europe and don’t mind driving from one country to another, then you can drive to your destinations?

In case you want to spend Christmas day in one city and New Year’s Eve in another then that is even better.

Driving in Europe

You may need an exclusive license on top of your driving one. You can either navigate using your car GPS or a smartphone app. In case your roaming service doesn’t charge you extra then you can use ViaMichelin website to plan your route and costs.

We have done that twice for two different road trips in Europe.

Cheap flights for Christmas in Europe

Do not let time pass without booking ahead! Book at least 4 to 5 months ahead.

That means that book in or before August. Otherwise, prices will start rising, and many European cities are not that cheap to travel into.

To be sure that you can find the best prices and travel options use Skyscanner and do subscribe for their price alerts.

You can also use this service for Fare Watch Alerts. And cross-check prices and timetables with Google Flights (double-check with Skyscanner for final booking).

Take the train in Europe

You can travel by train all over the world.

Europe is really “crawlable” via train, due to its extended railway network. This website is all you need to start planning your trip to Europe by train.

Book (way) ahead for Christmas markets in Europe

As usually if you book early then, you can get (better and cheaper) accommodation closer to the places of interest and where Christmas happenings are taking place.

Click here to check prices and accommodation in Booking.com.

Booking is a member of Priceline, Kayak, Agoda, RentalCars, and OpenTable so you can be sure you can utilize the whole network.

You can also use HotelsCombined.com

The website brings results from Booking, Expedia, Agoda, Hilton, Hoteltopia, Accor, and GetARoom. So, pretty much you get results from at least 80% of the accommodation market.

European Christmas Tours

With hundreds of Christmas in Europe related tours or any cultural and culinary tours, this is the website to have in mind for your Christmas trip.

Choose your city and adventure.

Moscow, Russia for Christmas markets in “Europe”?

Needs a special Visa but do consider being on Red Square of Moscow for New Year’s Eve. It is a crazy loud experience!

Read our post here (we were there in 2013).

Moscow New Years Eve 2013
Moscow New Years Eve 2013

Which is the best market for Christmas in Europe?

Well, no clear conclusion can be made. Our research showed the inevitable (and logical) outcome that the decision depends on what everyone wants.

Some people would love to do some Christmas markets “hopping” if they could, by visiting as many Christmas markets destinations as possible in Europe.

What an idea indeed, if you have the budget to spare!

What about you? Have you decided on the Christmas in Europe destination for your trip yet?

Let us know about Christmas experiences in Europe!

Where Are The Best Places To See The Northern Lights

Northern Lights

The dancing auroras in the night skies are nothing short of spectacular, and definitely must be experienced once in a lifetime at the least. It has to be in your bucket list.

Let’s take a look at some of the best places to see the Northern lights in the world.

About the Northern Lights

The Northern Lights occur as a result of electrically charged particles from the sun entering the earth’s atmosphere resulting in the magical display on night skies.

Auroras appear above the magnetic poles of the northern and southern hemispheres.

The lights on the northern hemisphere are called Aurora Borealis whereas on the south they are called Aurora Australis, the Southern Lights.

The color of the lights depends on the type of particles that collide, the most common color being green, amidst other colors such as yellow, blue, purple, purple-red, pink, etc. 

Best places to see the Northern Lights

Iceland

Best places to see the Northern Lights

Iceland is one of the most popular sites for viewing the Aurora Borealis. Read our posts for Iceland.

The Northern Lights just make Iceland more spectacular than it already is, with its glaciers, stunning waterfalls, hot springs and volcanoes.

There are many ways in which you can hunt for the Northern Lights in Iceland. You could take guided tours or take a self-drive tour to track them yourself. 

If you are short on budget, you can try your luck from the Reykjavík countryside, ensured the display is sharp because light pollution is generally an issue.

Another exciting option is viewing from the sea on a boat.

Though mobility to move around to get better views of the Aurora can be an issue here, the serenity of watching it from the seas is incredible.

Whichever way, Iceland is an icy country so you might want to keep yourself warm with appropriate clothing while hunting for the Northern Lights. 

Some of the most popular places to see the Northern Lights are Thingvellir National Park or the Grotta Lighthouse near Reykjavík.

More are Kirkjufell mountain, Jökulsárlón glacial lagoon in Höfn, Hella, and Skógafoss waterfall in Skógar.

Best time to visit

September to Early April

Alaska

Best places to see the Northern Lights

A trip to Alaska is incomplete without seeing the Northern Lights as it is one of the top destinations. Along with dog sledding are one of the best things to do in Alaska.

Fairbanks in Alaska is situated just below the aurora oval and very close to the Arctic Circle, is the most popular destination to get views of the Northern Lights in the USA.

In addition to this, Fairbanks is also very easily accessible by flights as it is very close to the international airport.

Some of the famous viewpoints near Fairbanks include the Cleary Summit, Murphy Domes, Haystack Mountain, and Wickersham.

Some of the other places in Alaska to view the Northern lights are Denali National Park, Coldfoot, Wrangell-St. Elias National Park, Barrow, and Anchorage.

Best time to visit

September to Mid April

Norway

Best places to see the Northern Lights

Northern Norway is a pleasant and preferable location for the Northern Lights because of its mild temperatures, the breathtaking landscapes, and the Alps.

Tromso is the most popular & commercialized place in Norway to spot the Northern Lights, through guided tours.

Situated well above the Arctic Circle makes it perfect to view the Northern Lights, added with the advantage of its proximity to the Gulf Stream that makes the temperatures milder and warm.  

Lyngenfjord is yet another destination where you get to see bright and sparkling Northern Lights above the mountains, which is quite a sight to watch.

One can quickly get to Lyngenfjord from Tromso by car.  

Some of the other places are Senja in which you get to see the Lights reflecting on the:

  • Norwegian fjords
  • Lofoten Islands for witnessing them with the fantastic landscapes of Norway
  • Alden for its resorts
  • North Cape for seclusion, and
  • Hammerfest, Svalbard, Nordkapp, Senja, Alta, Kirkenes among the others

Best time to visit

Mid-September to March

Sweden

Best places to see the Northern Lights

One of the best places to view the Northern Lights at Sweden is the Abisko National Park.

The national park is situated far away from the city lights, so the lights can be viewed from anywhere in the National park.

However, the observatory tower at the Aurora Sky Station is also another popular option among visitors.

If you are looking at guided tours, Kiruna might be the perfect choice for you.

Jokkmokk is another town north of Sweden. In that town, the annual Winter Market is a quite happening event. In that market, you get to see the beauty of local Sami culture and food.

That event happens in late February every year. At winter vacation at this time is perfect for viewing the Northern lights in addition to the festivities. 

For ice hotels along with guided tours, Jukkasjärvi is where you should be going. The world’s first ice hotel was built here, and it is rebuilt every year with fresh ice. 

Porjus and Tärendö are two other small towns in Sweden where you can most likely see the Northern Lights.

Both of these are small towns, and hence, it is an excellent way to detox yourself from the cities and reconnect with nature.

The towns have mountain hotels and forest lodges to accommodate visitors. 

Best time to visit

Mid-September to late March

Greenland

Best places to see the Northern Lights

Greenland, also home to one of these spectacular light shows in the sky, has a higher success rate of the appearance of Northern Lights. 

Kangerlussuaq at Greenland is the best place to view the Northern Lights between October and April.

From the top of the Greenland Ice Cap glacier at Kangerlussuaq, the views are even better.

If you would like to get a view from the comfort of your home, Sisimiut has the most substantial chances.

You could hop on to one of the snowmobile buses and take a mountain safari that takes you back in the backcountry. 

Ilulissat Icefjord is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and yet another stunning spot for viewing and photographing the Northern Lights in northern Greenland.

If you spot the Greenlandic Sled Dogs in the Ilulissat Icefjord, it is a bonus! 

Some of the other popular places are Nuuk, Kulusuk, and Tasiilaq.

Best time to visit

September to early April

Northern Canada

Best places to see the Northern Lights

Canada has low light pollution, and the northern latitude and longitude at which it is present make it a dream for aurora viewing.

The most popular place in Canada for the Northern Lights is Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories. There are high chances of viewing the auroras besides the shores of Great Slave Lake.

Whitehorse at Yukon is also another top-notch destination with a special mention to the excellent accommodation options available here – tents, lakeside lodges, cabins, and cottages.

For a mixture of cultural arts, artic activities such as ice fishing, polar bear viewing, and aurora viewing, Iqaluit at Nunavut provides a remote and unique experience.

The Athabasca University’s Geophysical Observatory at Alberta, Wood Buffalo and Jasper National Park are other popular viewing spots.

Best time to visit

Late August to Late April

Russia

The Murmansk Region, on the Kola Peninsula, is the most popular destination in Russia for viewing the Northern lights, in addition to winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding.

It is situated north of the Arctic circle that makes it ideal for aurora viewing.  

Kirovsk, a small town close to the Khibiny Mountains, clear and bright auroras can be viewed. Arkhangelsk is a modern town famous for its wooden architecture, winter tourism, and auroras. 

Other popular places in Russia are Vorkuta, Naryan-Mar, and Petrozavodsk, Karelia’s capital.

Some of the Karelian small towns such as Belomorsk, Kem, and Nilmoguba are also some places from where the Northern lights can be witnessed in addition to Petrozavodsk.

Best time to visit

September to mid-April

General tips for viewing the Northern Lights

  • The darker the sky, the better, the longer the night, the better. 
  • No clouds provide the best views.
  • Full moon days can cause light pollution. Five days to the new moon would be the perfect time to visit. 
  • Move away from any artificial lighting to get the best views.
  • Wear proper woolen/warm clothing to make sure cold weathers aren’t a hindrance. 
  • The winter solstice is the best time to spot the auroras. September and March are deemed to be the best months to view the auroras in its full glory. Generally, it can be seen from September to March depending on the location. 
  • September and March, in which the fall equinox and the spring equinox occur. While the spring equinox on March 20 has passed by for 2019, you could look forward to the fall equinox on September 23 for stronger displays of the aurora borealis.

So that’s it, guys!

This magical phenomenon is something that should be witnessed at least once in a lifetime. I hope this article justified listing some of the best places to see the Northern Lights in the world. 

Have you experienced the Northern Lights before?

Let me know in the comments; I’d love to hear your stories 🙂

Author’s BIO: Mark Bennett is an American writer and traveler, whose major inspiration has been camping with his father ever since his childhood. He aims to visit 75 countries before he’s 30. You can also follow his adventures on his site Outdoorily.

Top 13 Things to Do in Azores Portugal

Top 13 Things to Do in Azores Portugal

The Azores is one of our bucket list destinations, and you do know that (read our posts) Portugal is excellent. It is. But when people in (and out) of Portugal think of summer vacations, they think of Azores.

Plenty of things are available in the Azores, even for the most demanding travelers. There are things to eat and things to do.

The Azores are hot! How else could it be? Azores and volcanoes are the same things.

Placed in the Atlantic Ocean is maybe that ocean’s best-kept secret. It is a complex of islands and not an island itself. The main settlement is Ponta Delgada.

The islands are Flores and Corvo, to the west. The Graciosa, Terceira, São Jorge, Pico, and Faial are in the center.

São Miguel, Santa Maria, and the Formigas Reef are at the east.

Brace yourself! Here are the top things about the Azores.

Sete Cidades Caldera

Things to Do in Azores Portugal
Sete Cidades Caldera, Flickr

Be prepared for that green ocean.

Sete Cidades Massif is at the west side of São Miguel Island. The combination of exotic vegetation and blue lakes in a volcanic crater is what you are looking at above.

You will take great pictures from every single vantage points around.

Whale watching

Whales are sailing through the Atlantic, and there are organized tours available so to meet magnificent mammals.

Perhaps you will find more tour options/companies via São Miguel, being the largest of the islands. Look at Ponta Delgada & Villa France do Campo.

Things to Do in Azores Portugal
Whale watching is a unique experience. maybe some dolphins will come through

Angra do Heroísmo

Things to Do in Azores Portugal
Angra do Heroísmo, Flickr

That is a harbor on the Island of Terceira. In 15th and 16th centuries was used as a pivot point for those fleeing to discover the New World.

As you see, the architecture resembles that from the 1700s. There are traditional houses and streets are with mosaic pavements.

Seeing from afar is the cathedral. Spend some time in the city’s museum to absorb the very essence and history of this city.

Hot food means something else in Furnas, São Miguel

Eat food cooked inside the hot volcanic ground. Locals make pots of a meat & vegetable stew (called Cozido).

Then they lower the pots inside the ground and leave it there, so it slowly cooks all day long.

Well, it is not just food; it is an experience.

Geothermal pools

What else could you find in the Azores? There are numerous hot springs on the islands. Popular ones are Terra Nostra Park & Poça da Dona Beija.

Locals advise not to wear light colors in the pool water as the natural yellow tends to discolor such fabrics (i.e., your swimsuits).

Things to Do in Azores Portugal
Geothermal pools, Flickr

Montanha do Pico

Things to Do in Azores Portugal
Montanha do Pico, Wikipedia

Pico is the second largest island, and there resides Portugal’s highest mountain. 

Montanha do Pico (2,351 mt – 7,713 ft) is not considered a mountain for non-experienced hikers. It is mostly rocky.

If you manage to reach the top, you will see a spectacular view of the islands of Graciosa, Faial, Terceira and São Jorge (on a clear day).

You need a permit to climb there, but the route is well marked.

Lagoa do Fogo

Things to Do in Azores Portugal
Lagoa do Fogo, Sao Miguel, Azores, Portugal, Wikipedia

The Lagoa Del Fogo is one of the most massive bodies of water in the Azores.

This photo may look serene, but this erupted just 60 years ago. It is spectacular how nature fixed things.

Plan your visit carefully as many times the crater is under mist.

Marina da Horta

Things to Do in Azores Portugal
Marina da Horta, Flickr

This beautiful location with lovely sailboats sliding on the water is on Faial Island.

The photo shows just a few boats, but this is not usually the case. That is an intermediate staging port for transatlantic regattas.

The harbor can be bustling, filled with superyachts or of those of amateur sailors who try to cross the ocean.

Sailors are superstitious, and you will see paintings painted on the harbor with the boat name and year it was there.

Things to Do in Azores Portugal
Marina da Horta, Flickr

Pretty beautiful volcanic beaches and water sports

Things to Do in Azores Portugal

Some beaches resemble those of Santorini, Greece due to the volcanic ground.

You can to stand-up paddle-boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and snorkeling.

Things to Do in Azores Portugal

Vila Franca do Campo Islet

Things to Do in Azores Portugal
Islet of Vila Franca do Campo, Flickr

Unless you’ve been to Santorini, Greece or in any other volcano caldera, then you will be one of the few to have swum in such.

You can do this in the Azores, at the islet of Vila Franca do Campo. That is around a kilometer off the coast of São Miguel.

Above is a lagoon that is in the middle of the islet, with seawater in it. It is protected from ocean currents as it faces the port.

Horse-drawn carriage ride like old times

Things to Do in Azores Portugal
Horse-drawn carriage ride, Wikimedia

Mosaic pavements and houses with wooden doors and window frames make you feel like you have gone back in time.

Complete that by having a tour around Ponta Delgada with such a carriage, bathing in Azores sun.

Attend one of the many festivals

Things to Do in Azores Portugal

Plan to attend of the numerous musical, religious or themed festivals during summertime. There are various happening in every island of the Azores.

Here is the list of festivals you can check so to plan your trip to the Azores properly.

The Architecture

Things to Do in Azores PortugalThings to Do in Azores PortugalThings to Do in Azores Portugal

Just allow time to explore local architecture.

All those beautiful houses will let you with perfect memories of the towns of Azores, that will sum up to magnificent landscapes.

The Azores is a multi-day traveling experience. Just the hiking part- going through all these greenery- is merely one those unique experiences.

We hope we gave you some ideas for your trip there.

It would be great if you use these travel resources to arrange for your accommodation, transportation and many things to do in the Azores.

Don’t forget your travel insurance.

Than you for reading this.

Be a sport and pin this for others to find.

Things to Do in Azores Portugal

Exploring Gaudi Park Güell Barcelona

Park Guell Barcelona - Fairyland of Gaudi

Exploring Gaudi Park Güell in Barcelona city is a part of a complete experience of Barcelona experiences. The park is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Many different designs of the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (along with his residence) are here.

Except for the remarkable Gaudi Buildings, one can see far more of the “Gaudi style” architecture and walk through his work.

Güell Park is a major touristic attraction, as it combines a charming hill with lots of trees and pathways for soft hiking, along with this Gaudi open museum.

We visited Gaudi Park Güell, and here is our story.

Walking Through Gaudi Park Güell

The great thing about Gaudi Park Güell is that it is a park. It is not the “standard” type of museum. Güell and Gaudí are the same things, and you will see that in every detail of the park.

Everything exhibited it is artistically detailed that you may find yourself getting absorbed deep inside the details of each work.

Gaudi Park Guell Barcelona - Fairyland of Gaudi

Shapes, columns, and walls do not follow any standard. They flow, and they are covered with colors and thousands of details.

Everything seems like a fairyland, both structural applicable and magical.

It is a feast of colors and happiness and of life itself.

It is the passion for nature of Gaudi; perhaps of the things he imagined through his room as a child seeing life dancing outside his window.

Gaudi Park Guell Barcelona - Fairyland of Gaudi

Allow yourself to be less severe and see his work as applied magic. These are the Gaudi Park Güell sectors.

Entrance and Concierge Pavilions of Gaudi Park Güell

You will see these if you enter the Park from the roadside. However, the area entrance (and ticket control) is from the hill far above that area.

Gaudi Park Guell Barcelona - Fairyland of Gaudi

The Monumental Staircase

A stairs complex along with a lovely set of sculptures, functional benches, and flowers.

Gaudi Park Guell Barcelona - Fairyland of Gaudi
Gaudi Park Guell Barcelona - Fairyland of Gaudi
Gaudi Park Guell Barcelona - Fairyland of Gaudi
Gaudi Park Guell Barcelona - Fairyland of Gaudi

The Hypostyle Hall and its 86 sloping columns

All columns are inclined.

In that way, they support the load of the large terrace above. These columns and the vault are built in such a way that allows the rainwater to be collected in cisterns.

The cisterns are under the market.

Gaudi Park Guell Barcelona - Fairyland of Gaudi
Gaudi Park Guell Barcelona - Fairyland of Gaudi

The Corrugated Bench & the mosaics of the Nature Square

At the time of our visit, there were construction works taking place at the Nature square.

The bench is one continuous curvy bench surrounding the Nature square covered with a mosaic style of decoration. 

The bench is 110m long and is said to be the most extended undulating bench in the world. The decoration technique used is called “Trencadis.”

Gaudi Park Guell Barcelona - Fairyland of Gaudi

The Park and Calvary

It is a splendid way to walk the spiral paths that lead to the top of the hill. There you can enjoy a panoramic view of the city of Barcelona.

Gaudi Park Guell Barcelona - Fairyland of Gaudi

This area is outside the Monumental area.

Gaudi ark Guell Barcelona - Fairyland of Gaudi

The Casa-Museu Gaudí

Would you live in a house like that?

Gaudi Park Guell Barcelona - Fairyland of Gaudi

How would life be while walking under these arks?

Gaudi Park Guell Barcelona - Fairyland of Gaudi

These stone columns look like tree trunks, right?

Gaudi Park Guell Barcelona - Fairyland of Gaudi

See what we mean? Simply magical. All his works resemble common natural forms, inspired by the things he saw outside his window.

Gaudi Park Guell Barcelona - Fairyland of Gaudi

Now imagine walking through the park, and some guitar player was playing one of the most romantic and calming pieces of music.

Gaudi Park Guell Barcelona - Fairyland of Gaudi

Park Guell and the works of Antoni Gaudí

Gaudi was born in the town of Reus at a farmhouse from where he observed nature. Nature would be his inspiration and would be depicted through his whole work.

He spent lots of time observing nature and -who knows- maybe imagining his future creations in his mind.

Gaudi was a child with fragile health and -as we learned- he spent his early youth observing from inside his room

He was a religious person. Gaudi moved to Park Güell around the age of 54.

Gaudi Park Güell started as a real estate project for which Gaudi was commissioned to deliver by Count Eusebi Güell I Bacigalupi.

That real estate business didn’t go well.

Gaudi Park Guell Barcelona - Fairyland of Gaudi

Later on, heirs of Eusebi Güell offered the whole Park to the City of Barcelona which opened it as a public park.

The concept behind Gaudi Park Güell was not a new one. It followed the overall idea of “Garden Cities” from England (end of 19th century).

The whole concept was to build a small rational city in the countryside, so to balance between work, agriculture, and industry.

It seems like the Industrial Revolution showed rather early that this would be an issue in the future.

Gaudi’s “right arm” was the architect Francesc Berenguer I Mestres. He had no diploma but designed lots of buildings, signed in the records under the name of others. He also designed the house of Gaudi, you see inside the park.

How to get to visit Gaudi’s Park Güell

You get to Park Güell from the Alfons X metro station (metro L4). From there, take the BUS GÜELL. That is a quick, direct way to get to the Park.

You need a ticket, of course. The Park consists of 2 areas:  The Monumental Core (for which you need a ticket) & the free access area which is open to all visitors at no charge.

Entrance fee is around 10 euro.

You can enter into the Monumental area every 30 minutes (staying inside as long as you like after that).

For example, if your ticket says entrance is at 11.30, you need to be there at 11.30 sharp. Otherwise, you will enter at 12.00.

But the entrance is not allowed all day long. There are some significant intervals when you cannot enter.

Make use of this website to find every detail before your visit.

Gaudi Park Guell Barcelona - Fairyland of Gaudi

The work of Gaudi (not only for Sagrada Familia) is seen all over Barcelona, but in Gaudi Park Güell you see much of it in one place.

Make some notes for the things to experience and don’t forget to read our other posts for Poble Espanyol, La Sagrada Familia & Barcelona, and Montserrat.

Enjoy.

Pin this.

Gaudi Park Guell Barcelona - Fairyland of Gaudi

Best Trekking Poles For Men and Women

Best Trekking Poles

All serious hikers want to know what are the best trekking poles for their hiking.

A trekking pole is not a mere supplement to a hiking trip, but a basic set of gear that ensures your safety, comfort, and helps you reduce future pains.

But are trekking poles of severe hikers only? Clearly, no. They are for all who respect their health and safety.

Proper usage of trekking poles, can you walk safer and get less tired, without putting stress on your upper body.

If you ever get any Nordic Walking training, then you will see how trekking poles, propel your speed in ways that seem like floating above the ground.

They will reduce the load and impact on your hips, knees, and ankles when going downhill, or uphill.

Trail runners, Nordic walking enthusiasts, and hikers use them, and there is a reason for that.

Best trekking poles come in diverse shapes and forms. This diversity means that they serve different tasks and purposes. You, therefore, have to find the one that best suits the hiking task you have in mind.

You can only achieve such a feat if you make the most informed purchasing decision.

Read along and make sure to check our hiking & outdoors posts from here. A vast range for best gifts for hikers is found here.

For hiking gloves tips and reviews, click here. If you are looking for hiking leggings, click here.

15 Best Trekking Poles Suggestions and Features

Best Trekking Poles

Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Trekking Pole

A 17 oz. Telescoping pole (lever lock), made of carbon fiber with a cork grip. Bit pricey but an excellent high-end product. One of the best Black Diamond trekking poles for the money.

Check prices & options

Best Trekking Poles

Black Diamond Women’s Trail Pro Shock

A 19.2 oz. Telescoping pole (lever lock), made of aluminum with foam handles, made for women. Shock-absorbing technology, FlickLock (maybe the best pole-locking mechanism), the dual-density grip & padded wrist strap explicitly sized for women.

Check BD Women

Best Trekking Poles

Montem Ultra Strong

A 19.2 oz. Telescoping pole (lever lock), made of aluminum with EVA foam grip. Suitable for heavy use and steep terrain. Choke-up extensions on the grips, quickly adjustable straps, in-field adjustments for the locking part. Rubber tips and baskets included.

Check M.U.S.

Best Trekking Poles

Black Diamond Alpine FLZ

Aluminum shaft. Highly packable set of trekking poles, FlickLock® technology, 3-section foldable design with SlideLock. Easily transition from summer to winter by swapping the trekking baskets. Non-slip EVA foam grip, moisture-wicking straps, interchangeable carbide tech tips, and rubber tips.

Check FLZ in REI | Check in Amazon

Best Trekking Poles

REI Co-op Flash Carbon Fiber Poles

14.8 ounces, carbon shaft, EVA foam grip, with ergonomic shape. External Lever lock, adjustable wrist-straps, Powerlock 3.0, trail basket. Fitted with trekking baskets & durable tungsten carbide tips. Trip protectors included.

Check REI FCF

Best Trekking Poles

Black Diamond Trail Ergo Cork

1 lb. 2 oz., aluminum shaft with cork grip & dual-density rubber tops for a solid grip. FlickLock adjustability with ”zero-slip” security. Τrekking and powder baskets included.

Check BD TRAIL

Best Trekking Poles

Black Diamond Distance Carbon Z-Pole

13.6 ounces, carbon fiber shaft, EVA foam grip with non-slip extension. Carbide Tech tips, topper basket with shaft catcher. Rubber Tech Tips avoid rock and trail scarring.

Check BDD

Best Trekking Poles

REI Co-op Traverse Power Lock Cork

1 lb. 4 oz., aluminum shaft with cork grip. Low profile Powerlock 3.0 with trail baskets & padded wrist straps.

Check REI Traverse

Best Trekking Poles

Leki Micro Vario Ti Cor-Tec

1 lb. 2.3 oz. HTS aluminum with cork and rubber Aergon grip. Kevlar reinforcement, push-button release, air-textured strap wicks, nylon mesh, carry bag. The edgeless shape on grips for comfortable hand positioning.

Check Leki Micro

Best Trekking Poles

Cascade Mountain Tech Carbon Fiber Quick Lock

8 oz, carbon fiber shaft. It comes with twist-lock, or quick lock and grip vary to cork and EVA. The tip is from Tungsten Carbide. 4 Sets of Additional Tip Covers include Boots, Mud Baskets, Snow Baskets, and Small Tips.

Check Cascade

Best Trekking Poles

BAFX Products Anti-Shock Poles

Twelve ounces per pole, aluminum shaft, carbide/rubber tip, anti-shock mechanism, mud disks to prevent sinking on soft terrain and wrist straps.

Check price & options

How to choose the Best Trekking Poles

While searching for the right trekking pole, you have to take care of several factors. These factors are listed and are in details below:

Poles vs. Staff

Generally speaking, it is necessary to purchase a trekking pole that is appropriately reinforced. These are trekking poles sold in pairs rather than individually.

They are superior to the single pole in the sense that they last longer and are also more reliable. Moreover, you may use one as a substitute for another.

This reality comes in handy when you confront an emergency which requires some prompt response. The single hiking staff is only suited for trekking on flat land with almost no extra load on your back.

Grip

Grip refers to the firmness with which your hand holds the pole. It is mostly determined by the kind of material that makes up the exterior surface of the pole.

It subsequently determines the reliability of the pole, especially in times of intense impacts and violent vibrations. The trait is also a necessary consideration if you happen to sweat profusely.

By far the best trekking poles based on this consideration are ones that have handles from rubber, foam, or cork. These materials have consistently proved to be quite reliable and handy, indeed.

Shape and Texture

Other than the grip, it is also necessary to consider how the pole will feel on your hand when you touch it. That is why the texture is also a vital consideration.

The best pole under this consideration ought to have some rough outer surface for a maximum great feel.

It should also ideally be contoured as to be able to provide additional traction. Other than these, the best pole also ideally ought to be tilted to several angles. Thατ is to guarantee your use regardless of the inclination of preference.

Gender

It is common knowledge that men and women possess varying physical strengths, likes, and dislikes. That is why most products are specially manufactured to mirror and respond appropriately to these differences.

It is necessary also, therefore, to consider the gender of the person who shall utilize the trekking pole.

With regards to this, you are strongly advised to buy only those products that are suited for the specific gender you have in mind.

Some companies issue trekking poles marked as “women-specific.” The difference is the narrower diameter grip, intended for smaller hands, and a shorter maximum length.

A good case is the REI Co-op Flash Carbon poles. This pole can extend to 47 inches, while the men’s extended to 55 inches. 

Alternatively, if you can find one that suits both genders equally, by all means, do go for it.

Wrist Straps

While trekking on snow in the winter, it is not uncommon for you to experience the issue of post-holing. Thατ simply means that the pole plunges into the water beneath the snow mainly due to too much force.

The result of this event is usually an injury or at the very least, a fall off.

To guarantee your safety as you trek in winter, the pole you settle for has to have a wrist strap. You coil and fasten your hands on the strap to enhance your safety.

Material Construction

The kinds of materials that are used to make up the pole determine its longevity and reliability, especially when tackling difficult chores. It is also essential that the materials be as light enough to guarantee a smooth usage and lifting of the pole.

By far, the best materials are Aluminum and Carbon fiber. These two materials are ultra-light, very stable, and pretty resistant to the various elements of deterioration.

They are therefore more likely to confer to you the impressive levels of reliability you badly need.

Dimensions

Given that trekking is an activity you undertake infrequently, you have to be mindful of the storage space requirements of the trekking pole you are interested in. Find one that has the smallest dimensions possible.

Thαt is to demand the least amount of storage space.

While at it, take care of the packing aids. Some of the issues you might want to consider are the existence of loops, the collapsibility of the various parts, and its ability to fit in suitcases.

Such determines whether you might carry it onboard an airline or not.

Weight

Apart from the dimensions, you also want to pay attention to the weight of the pole itself. A right pole should be extremely light in weight as not to inflict too much drag on you.

Such a consideration is also essential if you lack the necessary muscle power to handle a tougher pole.

In case you plan to hike uphill, you badly want a pole that is extremely light as you will be moving against gravity. A heavier version will do you some good if you are trekking on flat terrain or downhill.

Shock Absorption Capability

When trekking in rough terrains, your hands will often feel too shaky owing to the intense vibrations.

If this problem is not mitigated appropriately, it might typically inflict blisters or peel off the sensitive skin of the palms of your hands. It is hence vital that you take care of these shocks as well.

To forestall these problems, you have to ensure that the pole you have in mind has excellent shock-absorption capabilities.

These capabilities come in various shades and forms. Common examples include spring-like mechanisms, spring-loaded cushions, and extra flex features.

Adjustability

Adjustability refers to the ease with which you might modify the dimensions and inclinations of the best trekking poles.

The right pole has to be easy to adjust without compromising the lock system. While traveling uphill, you require a shorter length and vice versa.

The trait, therefore, has a role to play in your stability while trekking.

Some of the features to look out are the bend, extensions, and contractions. These determine the likelihood that the pole shall incline at an angle when needed, lengthen or shorten when called upon e.t.c.

Locking Mechanism

As stated, most poles are adjustable. That means that they allow you to determine the various parameters such as length and inclination.

Whenever you set any of these parameters, you will often have to lock the pole to secure those dimensions and guarantee their applicability at all times.

If you choose one that is adjustable, you have to check out that it also has a reliable locking mechanism.

You have three main kinds of locks for your consideration. These are the twist, flick, and the unfold-and-slide, respectively.

Baskets

For your added safety while trekking on snow, your preferred pole must possess a removable basket at its tip.

The primary purpose of the basket is to prevent you from driving too deep in the snowy conditions.

Additionally, quite a number also have provisions for the accommodation of extra baskets if the need may so determine.

That makes them by all means your better bet. You should acquire one that has a basket even if you do not intend to trek on snowy surfaces.

Cost vs. Financial Resource Endowment

Finding the right trekking pole does not have to be a life and death affair. It is indeed possible to find one that is affordable.

To be able to arrive at such kind of a pole, do compare the prices of the various poles under discount.

After that, find one that closely mirrors your expectations and also falls well within your budget space.

Most good and affordable poles fall within the price range of $20 to $200. This bracket should act as a starting point for your subsequent search later.

Durability

You do not want to incur too much expense to keep your poles in the right shapes and forms at all times, do you?

On the same note, you also do not want to keep purchasing newer poles every quite often. It is against these two backdrops that you want to settle only for an extremely durable pole.

Yet again, the carbon fiber and aluminum poles fit this particular bill perfectly.

These materials are generally great and way very resistant to corrosion, cleavage, torsion, curvature, and other agents of deterioration.

Ergonomics

To guarantee your comfortable and smooth handling at all times, it is necessary that the pole possesses excellent ergonomics.

Most good poles fall into three categories under this consideration. They are telescoping, folding, and fixed types, respectively.

The telescoping poles are by far the most common and ergonomics of the three.

This is because they are highly adjustable and also fold easily to expedite the storage. You might want to give them the topmost priority in your search for the right poles.

Pole Tips

Pole tips are the portions of the poles that get into direct contact with the ground.

They are the ones that confer some stability to the pole and enable you to stay stable, focused, and balanced. It, therefore, follows that their structural makeup has a bearing on the kind of experience you might accrue.

Those with a tip made of hardened steel are by far the most reliable. If possible, it would also be better for the tips to be angled or bendable.

The argument here is that such traits allow for added agility.

Eco-friendliness

While enjoying your popular treks, you should not inflict any harms or damages to the environment or terrain you ply.

You have to be sure that the trekking pole is as safe to the environment as it can be. In particular, you want it to be harmless to the vegetation, trails, soil, and the rocks.

You should, therefore, ascertain that the poles you have in mind have an eco-friendly mark or certification.

That is to guarantee that it will not leave behind any damages such as those mentioned above.

Choke-up Extensions

While climbing steeper hills, you should be sure that you have an extra grip as you are more prone to the dangers of falling or slipping.

That is where the choke-up extensions come in. These are extended grips underneath the upper grip.

They confer some secure hold at the lower ends of the poles. They play the role of improving your balance and leverage as you tackle the extremely steep slopes.

You may opt for the do-it-yourself versions if you find the conventional ones a bit expensive.

Seasons

Different seasons come along with different requirements. Trekking in winter, for instance, imposes some unique challenges not needed in the summer or spring.

You must, therefore, be mindful of the season you plan to trek.

For winter hiking, the trekking pole has to possess a removable basket or at least have a provision for the attachment of the same.

The ones for the summer hikes have to maintain reliable grips to fasten your hands effectively.

Lastly, the ones for the springs have to have sharp-pointed tips to guarantee excellent balance and support on the slippery grounds.

If you can find one that is suited for all the four seasons, by all means, go for it! You will save some money and effort in the process.

Versatility

Versatility refers to the total chores that the trekking pole can perform at any given time. It is determined chiefly by the number of accessories that the pole might accommodate at any given time.

One that attaches to many different accessories is more versatile than that which lacks that capacity.

Some of the questions to ask while figuring this particular trait out are:

  • What kinds of application options does the pole confer?
  • Is it possible to change the tips, baskets, and other components while confronting different kinds of terrains and environmental conditions?
  • Does the pole give you numerous options and varieties to hold or manipulate it?

Brand

The field of the manufacture of the best trekking poles is awash with numerous players. Not every player taken randomly may yield you the desired outcomes.

Some players have proved to be quite effective than others. They are Black Diamond, Leki Micro, Montem, REI, and Gossamer.

In your search for the right trekking pole, do consider giving them a higher priority.

Other than selling you high-quality poles, they also have an excellent track record and reliable customer support. You are better off with them as the supplier of your gears.

After-sale Services

Generally speaking, good poles are expensive to acquire. They are also delicate in that they may easily inflict some injuries on you if they have any structural defects or inappropriately handled.

You, therefore, want to factor the after-sale services that are offered by the manufacturers of the poles.

A right pole must be backed by a comprehensive manufacturer’s warranty to guard against structural defects.

They must also be accompanied by a reliable back-end customer support to handle any emerging issues or queries. It is only then that you may shop them with confidence.

Cheap Trekking Poles

Grips are slipping, cork deteriorating when used, shaft parts not locking well. Do we need to tell more? Are cheap poles worth your safety, long-term knees, and back health and comfort? 

Some have tried to use tent poles for hiking. Imagine that.

Avoid fixed length of trekking poles. Depending on the terrain and angle of ascending or descending, you do need to adjust the poles multiple times. Fixed length won’t do the job for you.

Conclusion on the Best Trekking Poles

Finding the best trekking poles is not an easy task as you might have already noted. You have to put in too many considerations to be able to arrive at the best purchasing decision. 

Do find someone who is more experienced and who understands your passions and unique preferences to guide you.

It is only then that you will be able to make the most informed decision ever.

You might also want to skim the testimonials and reviews of past buyers. They are more likely to give you a clear picture of just what to anticipate from these poles once you purchase them.

You are not the only one who needs this information. Kindly consider passing it on to as many others who might need it as possible!

Best of luck also as you take the first significant step towards finding the right trekking pole for your use.

Special 2 Days in Andros Island Greece

2 Days in Andros Island Greece Itinerary

It was Maria’s birthday, and we decided to spend two days on Andros Island, Greece.

Andros is one of those islands that are close to Athens and the northernmost island of the Greek Cyclades archipelago, at about 10km southeast of Evoia island (Euboea).

Sightseeing in Andros includes (but is not limited) monasteries, and ancient sites. Most of them are accessible through well-marked hiking paths or via organized jeep safari trips.

In Ormos beach, you will find lots of people engaging in another popular activity: Windsurfing. 

How to Get to Andros island?

You can take a public bus up to Rafina port. Hop on a ferry and with just 15 euro per person you arrive on Andros in under 2 hours trip.

It is best to make a plan before arriving there, as there are many places you can visit. If you are an avid hiker, then this island is for you. You can book your Andros ferry tickets from here.

What Things to Do in Andros Island Greece?

There is 300 Km of footpaths with 160km of them being well marked.

One is called the Andros Routes and is a continuous 100km footpath (check here for more details and a helpful map).

All paths are from easy to moderate level. To walk them all, you will need to stay around 30 days on the island, but the main one (100km) can take ten days.

Make sure to get the map mentioned above with all routes. That is a unique map with all info, made with a laminated paper that won’t get wet and is hard to tear apart.

Andros island Greece has lots of different options for accommodation, depending on your preferences. Check your options via Booking.com or Hotels Combined.

If you plan it correctly, then you can do lots of things in 2 days. The island is not under mass tourism so that you can have lots of fun without the crowds.

Most places are close to each other to visit. The only thing that can take up much time but is rewarding is hiking.

As said, there are numerous routes.

You do want to read these extra posts about things to do in Andros island, Greece.

Click here for more ideas, here for surfing ideas, here for culinary events and here for hiking routes.

Andros Chora

Maybe one of the most photographed places of Andros island.

White and blue colors dominate here.

Do allocate time to sit in the main square for a beverage or a snack under the shade.

2 Days in Andros Island Greece Itinerary
Cycladic gems in every turn

Do walk through the different alleys and narrow streets of Chora Andros.

2 Days in Andros Island Greece Itinerary
Walking in the streets

You will have lots and lots of photo opportunities.

2 Days in Andros Island Greece Itinerary
Action by the sea

Andros island belongs to Cyclades island complex, and this can be seen everywhere around.

2 Days in Andros Island Greece Itinerary
Red, white and blue of Cyclades
2 Days in Andros Island Greece Itinerary
Ornaments and symbols of the past

One of the best views towards Chora is from outside of it.

You need to walk all the way through to end up in an alley with a stone bridge ahead. There is a castle on the small island. That is the Venetian Castle.

That is the main castle, built by Dandalo on the eastern side of the island on this naturally fortified rock.

The rock was fortified with an additional wall all the way around. On the rock was a palace along with a large water storage area.

Later on, the rock has connected the mainland with this arch-shaped bridge. 

Be careful when you cross that bridge as it is more an arch than a bridge.

Walk the short path, and you will end up in a small cave that looks directly towards Chora.

From there, you will be able to take one of the most popular photos that relate to Andros. There you are. The secret is out!

2 Days in Andros Island Greece Itinerary
View from the cave opposite to Chora

Archaeological Museum of Paleopolis, Andros, Greece

Outside of Chora is Paleopolis village.

That is a rather small village with few things to see, except the museum and charming small coffee house with shade.

Paleopolis is additionally a starting point for one beautiful hiking route (which we did).

2 Days in Andros Island Greece Itinerary
2 Days in Andros Island Greece Itinerary

Check your accommodation options in Andros island, via Booking.com or Hotels Combined.

If you are into museums (like we are), then you can also visit the famous Cyclades Olive Museum and the Museum of Modern Art.

Our Andros island hiking experience

We decided to go after a single circular hiking route in Andros Island.

That started from Paleopolis and went through pastures and golden fields, ending up to the sea and then goes up again from a different route.

2 Days in Andros Island Greece Itinerary

You don’t get bored as you continuously have a panoramic view of the hill and the sea in front of you.

2 Days in Andros Island Greece Itinerary
2 Days in Andros Island Greece Itinerary

Just make sure you take some water with you. There are no springs along the route.

2 Days in Andros Island Greece Itinerary

If you care for a guided tour, then these options are helpful:

Where to stay in Andros island Greece

Where to stay in Andros island depends on if you have means to move around and the kind of beaches you like.

We decided to stay at a relatively remote resort named Aegea Blue Cycladic resort at Zorgos Bay. It was a birthday weekend, and some luxury was what we wanted.

Zorgos bay is very famous, even among locals.

It takes some time to go there from the harbor and the last 40 minutes is through a dusty dirt road, but when you get there, you will appreciate the place and its beauty.

What you will see is the resort, with different ways to access the isolated sandy beach and a tavern and that’s that.

The whole bay is secluded, really peaceful, and stylish.

If you want to relax then, this is the place for you, additionally spiced with some affordable luxury.

There is a pool and all, but most walk their way to the beach (5 minutes). Seeing the photos, you understand why.

Check more accommodation options in Andros island, via Booking.com or Hotels Combined.

Dining in Batsi Andros, Greece

We ate at different places.

The food in our hotel was excellent too. But the one that we will remember was Themelos restaurant in the famous Batsi village.

Themelos was a small gourmet restaurant, recommended by a Greek friend (thank you Alexandra) who specifically said: You Must Eat at Themelos.

2 Days in Andros Island Greece Itinerary

Fantastic modern Greek cuisine. We would leave for Athens in a few hours, and that was the best bye-bye to Andros Island Greece.

2 Days in Andros Island Greece Itinerary

Best Andros Beaches to Visit

There are more than 20 beaches in Andros, for you to swim in the Aegean sea. The ones suitable for families are Kypri, Batsi, and Neimporio.

For the overall popular ones go to Grias Pidima, Achla beach, Zorkos, Ateni, Paraporti, and Fellos.

For fun and activities, go to Ormos, Agios Petros, Golden Sand (Chrisi Akti) or Piso Gialia.

There are more but not accessible by car; only with a boat.

Is Andros just for a two days trip? It is not.

Most Greek islands need at least five days to fully experience them and walk around; especially islands with such an extensive hiking network.

That was the first taste of Andros island Greece for us. Now we know that we have to go back and explore more.

Have fun with all the things to do in Andros island!

Best Things To Do in Sicily, Italy

Things To Do in Taormina Sicily, Italy

It is Italy, and yet Sicilians say Sicily is not exactly Italy. There are lots of things to do in Sicily.

If you ever traveled in both (Italy and Sicily), you will indeed notice significant differences.

The differences are in architecture, history and troublesome of Sicily, influences from Arabs, Normans, and Byzantine eras.

Greeks have a lot to do with the history of Sicily (if not everything to do). You may hear the “Magna Crecia” terms. That relates to Sicily a lot.

Sicily is an island located in the very south part of Italy. It hosts Mount Etna, Europe’s tallest active volcano and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Most popular things to do in Sicily

There are lots of items related to ancient times but also different cultures.

Many buildings (churches, surprisingly) have such active architectural elements. Visitors will see buildings with Byzantine domes next to Arab ones.

Excitingly, these co-exist in a balanced, symmetrical form.

Sicily is a strongly religious island. They support Pope decisions in a similar robust way, no matter if the “mainland” Italy may disagree.

If you can be a week there, these are things to do in Sicily.

You can explore many of Palermo options with private tours as part of your Sicily itinerary. See here.

Things To Do in Sicily: Palermo

Called a Mafia city but we didn’t get that feeling while walking around the city.

Start from the historical center of Palermo and eat cannoli. Get the Palazzo Conde Federico tour.

Things To Do in Palermo Sicily, Italy

Things To Do in Sicily: Catania

Visit the old city build with stones from the lava (ergo the dark grey color of everything).

Seek for underground theaters and ancient buildings that are weaved with modern ones.

Find out about the Elephant monument and its meaning. Eat “arancini.” In case you wonder on if to visit Catania or Taormina, do visit both. They have a completely different style and include different things to do in Sicily.

Things To Do in Catania Sicily, Italy

Things To Do in Sicily: Taormina

Make time to visit the ancient theater and the beach.

If you go in the summertime, you will be amazed by this place. Part of the city is on a hill, while the rest is near the beach. There is a cable car to visit all and explore.

Taormina is not big, but from one side to another, it is a beautiful city placed high on a hill, which provides excellent views. 

Among the many things to do, pay a visit to Villa Romana del Casale.

If you have time for a day trip then do visit the Aeolian Islands.

Things To Do in Taormina Sicily, Italy

Things To Do in Sicily: Syracuse

A fantastic place like Ortygia is a must to visit.

Allocate lots of time walking around, exploring, and eating. You can cross one of the three bridges to get there.

Walk the Piazza Duomo, one of the most bright and beautiful places in Sicily. Visit the archaeological site of the Greek theater and the Roman amphitheater.

Syracuse’s Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica is a U.W.H site.

Things to Do in Syracuse Sicily, Italy
Roman Amphitheater

Things To Do in Sicily: Agrigento

The Valley of the Temples will get you connected with ancient history.

You are in Sicily, Italy, but Greek temples, culture, gods, and mystery are here vivid and robust. Ancient Greeks are connected with this place. The most popular temple is the Temple of Concordia  (the goddess who embodies agreement in marriage and society).

Get into the archaeological site (best with a guide) of the valley and learn why this whole area existed. Agrigento is also a U.W.H site.

Things To Do in Agrigento Sicily, Italy

Things To Do in Sicily: Cefalu

Cefalu could be one of your first stops in Sicily as it is close to the airport.

Very picturesque with a small beach.

Try their delicious local lemon iced-water. Visit the Duomo as it is one of those who kept the Norman style of architecture.

Things To Do in Cefalu Sicily, Italy
Panoramic view of the beach of Cefalu

Weather in Sicily

The climate follows the Mediterranean “pattern.”

It is hot during summer, even after Easter time, so plan accordingly.

Many of the places you may want to visit are swarming with people in summertime (Taormina for example).

In parallel, many of the locations are under the bare sun. That means “too hot.”

If you are okay with that (and why not to be), then you will enjoy the colors.

The limestone reddish and yellows, along with the grey of lava stone made cities like Catania.

Moving inside the cities of Sicily

Get prepared to take lots of photos, as each town is an architectural jewel.

The only thing you will find to be the same in most cities is the Duomo (The Cathedral). Each town has one, and most seem to look alike regarding their interior.

We encountered no “funny business” in Sicily.

Prices were okay, food was well cooked, even in snacks restaurants or in some looking “too touristic.”

Transportation is regular, and taxis are a bit pricey. Not “London like” pricey but still…

Compared with other countries, even nearby Greece they are expensive as in Greece in the city taxi is cheap.

Read the posts mentioned per destination for things to do in Sicily and you will find lots of ideas for your adventures there.

Enjoy.

If you travel abroad, don’t forget to book your flight and accommodation. Make sure you get travel insurance too for your Sicily itinerary. If you are an extended traveler, do see these travel resources.

Sensational Things To Do in Taormina Sicily, Italy

Things To Do in Taormina Sicily, Italy

If Ortygia, Agrigento, Palermo, and Cefalu look picturesque to you, then Taormina will blow you away.

It combines a fantastic hill city along with a great beach and incredible architecture and is at the Ionian Sea, at the east coast of Sicily.

The coolest thing ever? You can move up and down from the beach (way uphill), into the city, with a funicular (3 euro p.p.).

Taormina is considered one of the most expensive cities in Sicily, Italy. Many celebrities prefer this place along with the Italian Riviera seaside cities.

To get into the city, you need to park outside of it. There are small buses that take you there. Almost all roads are stone-paved.

Taormina is very close (around 40 minutes by car) to Mount Etna (Aetna) volcano. From there you can stay in Taormina and do a half (or less than that) day trip to Etna.

We first visited the outskirts of Etna and then moved to Taormina as we were driving from Catania.

Visiting mount Etna (Aetna) near Taormina

Etna is Europe’s highest volcano. It is an active stratovolcano, belonging to the Metropolitan City of Catania, between the cities of Messina and Catania.

The volcano has been responsible for some significant catastrophic events since the old times, up to recent years. It still smokes.

This volcano is by far the single largest source of tourist traffic in the area. Indeed, many holidaymakers who choose to visit the area do so exclusively to behold the mountain.

That is because the mountain incorporates unique sceneries and a couple of monuments.

What’s more? The entire site has been a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site as from 2013. To make the most of your visit here, arm yourself with a digital camera.

Take as many photos as you probably can as these will showcase to anyone that you once paid a visit to the place.

There is not just one crater, but around 400(!).

This as the magma tries to come to the surface and breaks through from different points on the mountain.

Things To Do in Taormina Sicily, Italy

Organized tours will take you there, or you can drive your car. The top is reachable (with guide) and is at around 3000mt.

You can go to the top (if weather permits), but you need a license & a guide (around 60 euro p.p.). You don’t need a permit for the lower levels. 

This site can be beneficial. There is a lift that takes you to the top, starting from the bus/car parking lots where tourist cafes exist.

Don’t go for the top without prior booking your time there.

Things To Do in Taormina Sicily, Italy

Best time to be there is early in the morning, as later on clouds sum up.

Temperatures vary. Even if you see lots of suns, better come with layers of clothes to be able to shift them around during your hiking.

When you drive down from Mount Etna seek to buy the famous honey of Aetna that comes from orange flowers, inside Zafferana Etnea village.

Exploring Taormina, Sicily

Leaving Mount Etna and in just 40 minutes (or less) you will be in Taormina.

Approaching the city from the top will give you a lovely perspective of how beautiful it is and why many (celebrities too) prefer it.

Some scenes from “Godfather” were filmed here. In 2017, Taormina hosted the G7 Summit.

The Ancient Greek Theatre of Taormina

It exists in the most prominent spot of Taormina, with an unparalleled view to the Calabrian coast, the Ionian coast of Sicily, along with the spectacular cone of Etna.

The most active part of the ancient theatre of Taormina is its scene. The seats are carved into the rock.

Things To Do in Taormina Sicily, Italy
Ancient Greek Theatre Taormina

The Greek Theatre of Taormina ranks as the 2nd largest theater of Sicily. The first one is in Syracuse.

For the last 60 years, the theater hosts a wide range of theater, concert and award ceremonies, along with operas and ballets.

This “Greek theatre” traces its roots to the Greco-Roman era. Its diameter is 120 meters (390 feet) and is built mostly of bricks.

Though mostly meant for matters tourism, this theater is still open for performances in this day and age.

You have to time your visit appropriately though to catch any performances.

If you do not find any ongoing plays, worry not. That is because you may still take pictures of the facility.

Use the pictures to remind you later that you once visited the area. Its surrounding area is also fresh and perfectly suited for matters relaxation.

Here is a video on how it looks.

Walking around the city of Taormina

We suggest that you visit the theater first, leaving plenty of time to explore the whereabouts of Taormina city. Here is a quick view from above.

Taormina is one of the most popular summer destinations. Sicily has quite a rocky coastline, but in Taormina, you will see a sandy beach.

Do you love a Sicilian “dolce vita”? Then this is one of the places.

The name comes from the Greek word “Tavromenion,” which relates to bull horns. Before your walk or to cool down, grab some gelato or granita.

Things To Do in Taormina Sicily, Italy
Eat gelato, granita, and the perfect Sicilian Food

See how beautiful it is from all different angles.

To get this picture, you need to climb to the very top of Castello Saraceno.

You can go by car, but we suggest to take the stairs. They are a few, but the view climbing up is rewarding.

Things To Do in Taormina Sicily, Italy
Castello Saraceno

It is unknown when the castle was built. Most probably it was the antique acropolis of the Greek town of Taormina. Here is the Church of Madonna Della Rocca, too.

Things To Do in Taormina Sicily, Italy
Things To Do in Taormina Sicily, Italy

This below is the Duomo (Cathedral) of Taormina and looks more like a fortress than a religious building. Notice the large rose window at the facade. Near here is Palazzo Corvaja.

The Corvaja Palace houses the tourist office and the Museo di Arte e Tradizioni Popolari.

Things To Do in Taormina Sicily, Italy

The fountain in Piazza Duomo in Taormina. It is also located in Piazza Duomo.

Things To Do in Taormina Sicily, Italy

The fountain was built in 1635 in the Baroque style. Statues of mythological ponies face opposite from the fountain.

There is a Minotaur at the top of the two central basins. The Minotaur is the emblem of the city of Taormina and is in a female version. 

Things To Do in Taormina Sicily, Italy

The church of San Giuseppe in Taormina (below) built in the Baroque style and dedicated to St. Joseph, and you will find it next to the Clock Tower.

The church faces onto Piazza IX Aprile.

Things To Do in Taormina Sicily, Italy
Chiesa San Giuseppe – Taormina

Look at that part of the beach! It was a bit cloudy that day, but when the sun came out, the waters near the shore were bright white!

Things To Do in Taormina Sicily, Italy

Isola Bella

Isola Bella is a beautiful nature reserve in Taormina. Year in year out, it experiences some recurrent blooming of the flowers and vegetation.

Initially, it used to be a barren rock. Now it also provides you breathtaking views of the Lago Maggiore blue waters. A visit to this place opens a world of opportunities.

You get an excellent opportunity to relax and breathe fresh air. Being isolated, you also get to spare yourself of the risks of noise pollution.

Adjacent to the garden is the small fishing village. If you understand Italian, stroll there and converse with the locals too.

Corso Umberto

Running right across Taormina is the Corso Umberto I street. It connects Porta Catania to the Porta Messina.

The street follows in the footsteps of the ancient Consolare Valeria. These are ruins of the Greco-Roman settlements of the years of yore.

A walk here takes you back in time.

You also get to behold other tourists from all walks of life. Either side of the thoroughfare is lined with elegant shops, restaurants, and other facilities.

Do stop by to purchase some memorabilia for your future reference.

The main square exists halfway through, where you may stop by and relax.

Cable Car

Fancy cable cars or want to enjoy some ride?

There is indeed a cable care which interconnects the center of Taormina with the adjacent satellite beach of Mazzarò.

Also located within a comfortable radius of the cable car is the Isola Bella beach.

To get to the cable car, you have to start at Via Luigi Pirandello. The vehicle departs the station after every 15 minutes.

It stays operational for 12 hours a day, typically from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM and costs €3. Your rides will give you a chance to behold the skyline and horizon.

Giardini Naxos

Giardini Naxos is a commune within the more extensive Messina metro. It is a seaside-resort which sits in between Cape Schisò and Cape Taormina.

Being a resort means it is home to many hotels, hostels, restaurants, and accommodation facilities. Detach to the place to have time to relax.

As you relax, try the local cuisines sampled from around Italy and Greece. Mediterranean diet is a famed world over for being healthy.

You too will get a slice of this health. Do not forget your camera behind.

You will need to take plenty of shots. In your free time, walk around the place to unwind.

Public Gardens of Taormina

Lastly comes the public gardens of Taormina. The garden itself is full of trees, birds, and grass. Jointly, these yield an environment that is very cool and relaxing.

That is because it contains many species of trees and birds. Examples are cacti, palm, and flowers.

You have the garden for your consideration if you want to relax.

The benefits extend beyond that. The garden also provides beautiful views of the town below.

Consider also walking around freely and looking down at the town below. The skyline you will behold will live a mark in your heart.

FAQ’s for Taormina

How to get to Taormina?

There are a train and bus from the airport that takes you there.

What is the weather in Taormina?

The city has mild winters with few rain patches from November to February. Things get hot after the end of May to end of August. Some times there are thunderstorms in August.

Do I need a car in Taormina?

Not. You can walk your way through. Just take the cable car to get to the beach!

Are there any beaches?

Yes, Mazzarò and Isolabella. However, walking down to Isolabella means going up and down 300 steps.

What we think of Taormina

Isn’t it a beautiful city? It is also preferred from Bon-viveurs like D.H. Lawrence, Oscar Wilde, Goethe, Alexandre Dumas, Tsar Nicholas II, Elizabeth Taylor, and Greta Garbo, to name a few.

Taormina gets extremely busy in July and August and virtually “shuts down” between November and Easter. We went to Taormina during Easter time, and there were lots of crowds from all over the world.

We hope you visit Taormina and like it as we did.

Enjoy.

Premium 23 Best Hiking Gloves Reviews & Tips

23 Best Hiking Gloves Reviews & Tips

There is nothing worse than wearing the wrong hiking gloves outdoors. Your fingers get freezing, and you can’t touch anything; sometimes you do that with pain.

Weather in hiking can change around very fast, and a pair of hiking gloves weigh very little but makes the difference between safety, comfort, and discomfort.

Wearing gloves will give you an excellent level of protection from cold weather (and hot one) and blisters while holding your trekking poles.

You can find a great variety of glove styles and warmth levels online. If you searched, you would find that the “layers” for torso clothing, stands valid for hiking gloves too.

Most people choose to carry a lightweight or fleece liner pair of hiking gloves, along with a pair of gloves that at waterproof to layer over the liners as needed.

Winter is a particular category by itself though and is always best to choose a glove designed for the winter elements.

Make sure to read all the tips on how to choose hiking gloves at the end of this post.

Here is a collection (sorted alphabetically) for a great choice of hiking gloves along with their features, to choose from.

Featured 23 Best Hiking Gloves

Best Hiking Gloves

The North Face Etip Gloves

Touch screen compatible, 4-way stretch, silicone gripper palm pattern, glove clip, AFN-NORT-A7LN closure, machine wash.

In REI | In Amazon

Best Hiking Gloves

Outdoor Research VersaLiner Glove

Water-resistant, silicone palm pads, heat pack pocket, pull-on loop, removable Pertex shield, glove clip. 

In REI | In Amazon

Best Hiking Gloves

Black Diamond Soloist Gloves

Goat leather palms, Kevlar-reinforced, removable line, PrimaLoft insulation, Pertex shell. 

In REI | In Amazon

Best Hiking Gloves

SEALSKINZ Ultra Grip Glove

Wind-blocking, waterproof, Chevron printed palm & fingers, anti-slip lining, index fingers compatible for touch screen.

In REI | In Amazon

Best Hiking Gloves

Marmot Evolution Glove

Marmot Evoluti Water/wind-resistant, elastic wrists, washable leather, Marmot M1 Softshell Fabric, leather reinforced palm, Falcon grip on Glove.

In Amazon

Best Hiking Gloves

Mountain Hardwear Hydra Lite Glove

They are made with water-resistant material; thumbs have a suede patch, carabiner loop, pull-loop, adjustable neoprene cuffs.

In Amazon

Best Hiking Gloves

Outdoor Research Alti Hiking Gloves

Gore-Tex inserts (waterproof and breathable), removable liner, removable wrist cords, slim PrimaLoft One insulation.

In REI | In Amazon

Best Hiking Gloves

Black Diamond Patrol Gloves

BDry inserts (waterproof), Thermolite padding, Polartec Thermal Pro High Loft Fleece, goat-leather palm & knuckle. 

In REI | In Amazon

Best Hiking Gloves

Outdoor Research Men’s Centurion Gloves

Windproof & waterproof, AlpenGrip LT palm, hook and loop wrist closure, glove clips.

In Backcountry | In Amazon

Best Hiking Gloves

Pearl Izumi Women’s Thermal Conductive Glove 

Touch screen compatible through index fingers, fleece thumb, reflective elements, silicone screened palm. 

In Amazon

Best Hiking Gloves

Marmot Power Stretch Hiking Gloves

Reinforced palm, moisture-wicking, Free-Flow Stretch fit, Grip Zone fingertips, all-purpose liner, and cool-weather glove. 

In Amazon

Best Hiking Gloves

Black Diamond Mercury Mittens

Durable, waterproof, comfortable, warm. Outer shell completely waterproof, abrasion-resistant, 4-way stretch. 

In REI | In Amazon

Best Hiking Gloves

Gordini Polar

Waterproof, windproof, breathable insert, excellent moisture management, separated lining, bulky. 

In Amazon

Best Hiking Gloves

Mountain Made Hiking Gloves

Quick-dry, preserve heat, super breathable, few durability complaints, touch screen friendly, adjustable size, anti-skid design. 

In Amazon

Best Hiking Gloves

Mountain Hardwear Torsion

Insulated, warm, windproof, water-repellent, breathable, finger leather reinforcement, goatskin palm. 

In Backcountry | In Amazon

Best Hiking Gloves

Columbia M Fast Trek

Washable, polyester, durable abrasion-resistant palm patch, security clip, elastic wrist. 

In Backcountry | In Amazon

Best Hiking Gloves

Glacier Waterproof

Yamamoto neoprene, soft fleece lining, waterproof, tear-resistant, seamless palm design, Pro Strap. 

In Amazon

Best Hiking Gloves

Marmot Randonnee

Marmot’s Thermal R Insulation, 2-layer MemBrain, DriClime lining, moisture-wicking, liner not removable. 

In Backcountry | In Amazon

Best Hiking Gloves

North Face TKA 100 MicroFleece

Durable, pill-resistant fleece, lightweight warmth, split kangaroo hand pocket, chin zip guard, elastic hood binding. 

InREI | In Amazon

Best Hiking Gloves

SeaLskinz All Season Hiking Gloves

Lightweight, warm, thumb & index touch-screen compatible, polyester & spandex, no liner pull out, water-resistant. 

InREI | In Amazon

Best Hiking Gloves

Black Diamond Screentap Fleece Gloves

Polartec Power Stretch Pro on back of the hand, U|RAr on palm & fingers, touchscreen compatible, suede leather palm patch.

InREI | In Amazon

Best Hiking Gloves

Marmot’s Spring Glove

20 layer nylon, a vast range of movements, goatskin palm, polyester fleece lining, moisture-wicking, under cuff gripping. 

In Backcountry | In Amazon

Best Hiking Gloves

REI CO-OP Polartec Power Stretch

Breathable Polartec Power Stretch, rubberized palm pattern grip, touch-screen compatible, pull tabs, removable S-hook. 

In REI

How to choose the Best Hiking Gloves

The warmth factor in hiking gloves

Too warm is not always too good, right? Hiking gloves come in many different materials and warmth levels.

For example, fleece gloves will be a great base-layer glove for cool summer or autumn mornings.

On the other hand, when it comes to winter hiking, then winter hiking gloves need to be made from -at least- water-resistant or -better- waterproof materials.

That is the way to keep your fingers dry. Dry fingers are good, right?

That is the reason suitable winter hiking gloves are -usually- designed with an internal 3-layer insulation system.

This system entraps the air that is warmed by your body, and as a result, your hands are kept warm.

The proper lining allows breath-ability. Thus, far less moisture is trapped between the insulation and your hands, which also helps in keeping your hands warm.

There are gloves with liners that you can remove and others where you cannot.

Of course, you can use extra “cover” for your hands with extra gloves or hand warmers. During hiking, you need to be able to use your hands to grab/hold things; your trekking poles at least.

Some people love mittens, but mittens are made of wool or some nylon-type synthetic material.

Mittens may warm your hands fast, but they will not be water-resistant, and if they are bulky, you will not be able to use them to hold things.

Another type of hiking gloves is the “lobster” type.

These come with three “fingers.” Keeping more fingers in one “glove ginger” can provide more warmth, but you need to wonder if it is practical.

If your hands are fixed around something you hold, they may be handy. Such cases are holding ski poles.

That gives a minimal range of motion, and that is why the majority of hikers prefers the 5-finger style.

The Features of Hiking Gloves

In recent years and due to smartphone usage as a camera, navigation system, or only as a phone, there are gloves that allow uncovering your fingertips.

These are handy when it comes to easy hiking trips, with relatively good weather. However, I think that having a hole in each finger simply allows your fingers to get cold.

If you need to handle your smartphone or any touch screen device, you can look out for such specific gloves with fingertips that are touch screen compatible. 

The durability of Hiking Gloves

That is a significant factor. You do want your gloves to last long.

It is not a beautiful thing to reach for a tree branch or grab from a rock and have them ripped leaving you unprotected to cold, blisters and micro-injuries.

When you walk with trekking poles for hours, your gloves must not allow all that friction to be transferred to your palm and fingers.

Depending on the weather you may need different types of more “tough” gloves, either partially covered with leather or other synthetic material.

Layers of Hiking Gloves

The internal removable liners are the norm.

There are gloves where the liner can’t be removed and sometimes makes it a bit tricky to wear them or take them off, as the inner layer is shifting along with your palm.

Then the glove fingers get cluttered from the fabric.

Better to have gloves where the liner is easy to remove. Winter gloves are like that.

The outer part can be waterproof or water-resistant, providing extra warmth and protection, while when the weather gets warmer, you can remove the excess and be comfortable and less sweaty.

The best material for gloves is synthetic.

How to be sure that your gloves fit well

Well, the practical way is to wear a pair in a store. On the other hand, online shopping is more relaxed, so here are a couple of ways to find the correct size.

  • The first way: If you have a pair that fits well, measure that, and seek online for the same measurements and size.
  • The second way: Measure your palm and overall hand. Then take the numbers and seek online how these “translate” to glove sizes. Use the online shop chat to define the accurate glove size for your case. While sizes vary, in general, a small scale usually means something between 6.5-8 inches, the medium is from 7 to 9, and broad is 8 to 10.6 inches.

We wish you plenty and happy hiking trips! For a big range of outdoor-related gear and tips, visit this section.

Unreal 14 Top Day Trips From Athens Greece 2019

Meteora Greece Sunset Tour day trips from athens

Most travelers don’t know that there are lots and lots of day trips from Athens. You can include that in your trip to Greece. For many who come from abroad, Athens is a 2 to 3-day destination for them.

However, there are tons of things to do in Athens, including Ancient sites.

Check at least 40 top things to do in Athens. Don’t forget to read why Greece is an affordable country even for students! It is one of the cheapest (but with high quality) destinations in Europe.

So, before hopping on the next ferry to the fabulous Greek islands, give more time to explore Athens and whitewashed beaches of Mainland Greece. 

Athens is a great base to experience vacations all over Attica region.

That includes excellent beaches, mountains, ancient Greek monuments, museums, hundreds of outdoor activities, bars, great restaurants, and top street food.

So, there are things to inside Athens, but there are much more close to Athens.

How to receive the best from your Day Trips from Athens

As in many European countries where English is their second language, and street signs follow along, renting a car is an option.

Use GetYourGuide or Urban Adventures for guided tours and private tours

Both will serve you well, not to mention the time you will save trying to find out which of the things you want to taste/visit is available or not when you are in the city (that is a significant hint to know).

If you plan to get outside Athens (what this post is about), then we suggest renting a car. Car rentals are not that expensive in Athens.

They are cheaper than in other countries, and with a GPS you will find all the points of interest we mention below.

Better to avoid public transportation unless you are okay with wasting tons of time.

If you don’t want to drive at all, then choose one of the many organized tours.

Day Trips from Athens

Please note that the hours mentioned in tours are one way. You need to plan accordingly for the time to get back.

Depending on the destination, you may meet lots of traffic, either on your way there or on your way back.

Day Trips From Athens In 1 Hour from the Capital

Temple of Poseidon and Cape Sounion for culture and swimming

Cape Sounio, Temple of Poseidon
Cape Sounio, Temple of Poseidon

There are lots of options for swimming (organized beaches), food (tons of taverns), and cafe’s to enjoy the sunset along the way to Cape Sounion, next to the Aegean sea.

Read this post too. Cape Sounion is related to the myth of Aegeus and Theseus.

Artemis (Loutsa) for swimming, windsurfing, kiteboard, SUP

windsurfing tony frey
Windsurfing: Jibing, tacking, riding the wind

Lots of taverns and cafes by the sea. We suggest to go to Old Artemis city (there is New Artemis of course) and get a table or sun lounge at Albatros bar.

Great music and windsurf, sup station to stay there all day long.

Loutraki & Iraio Temple, near Corinth

Top Day Trips From Athens For All Kinds of Travelers

A great small town by the sea which also hosts superb thermal spa installations (both indoors and outdoors) along with massage therapies. Ιt has lots of options for food too.

Make sure to visit the Heraion temple (has a beach right next to ancient Greek ruins) and the lighthouse at the top.

To get there, you pass through the Corinth Canal (Isthmus). That is an opportunity also to visit the area of Ancient Corinth.

Parnitha mountain

Parnitha from Mpafi
Parnitha from Mpafi to Athens

Fantastic for hiking and -believe it or not- has some pretty great food in 2 of the summits called Mpafi and Flabouri.

The Casino of Athens is also situated on mountain Parnitha. You can take the public bus, and in less than 1 hour you will arrive at the funicular parking of the casino.

Hop on (free), and you will arrive at the top. From there you can hike from the dirt road towards the summits or take the asphalt road.

There are hiking paths (well signed) that start from the funicular parking too. The view from the summits is spectacular as all Athens is viewed from 1160mt. Also, read this post.

Ready to go a bit further for your day trips from Athens?

2 Hours Long Day Trips from Athens

Nafplion

Top Day Trips From Athens For All Kinds of Travelers

Visit the Nafplion castle and find out about its history. The small city of Nafplion is ideal for enjoying food and coffee.

It has a couple of beaches too so you can combine it with some swimming.

Mycenae Archaeological site

Top Day Trips From Athens For All Kinds of Travelers

Do know that Mycenae and Epidaurus offer top landmarks, museums, and tons of history to explore. Mycenae is the place of King Agamemnon. A must-see in Greece.

There are some “touristic” taverns near the site, but we advise to take your eating business to another place.

The Ancient theater of Epidaurus

Top Day Trips From Athens For All Kinds of Travelers

The world-famous for its acoustic properties theater is there.

Go and test it yourself how one can be at the very upper top rows while hearing a person whispering at the base. A true acoustics marvel from Ancient Greece.

Day Trip to Delphi archaeological site and museum

Top Day Trips From Athens For All Kinds of Travelers

Perhaps one of the most popular places in Greece.

Along with Acropolis and Acropolis museum do try to visit the temple of Apollo and where Pythia, the Oracle, gave her prophecies.

It is not near the 3 locations above and is also a different trip to a different direction by itself, but the temple of Apollo worth’s it. After all, all this is part of Greek mythology.

Day Trips from Athens: Whole Day

We suggest taking these if you can plan to stay one night outside of Athens (at least).

For example, driving 4 hours to Meteora (either by car or organized tour) is a bit too much when you have another 4 to return to Athens.

Day Trips from Athens to Meteora (approx. 4 hours)

meteora greece

One of the famous religious locations in Greece are the gigantic rocks of Meteora and the cliff-hanging monasteries.

Check these posts here about Meteora. In case you’ve been to Montserrat in Spain, you will find significant similarities. It is a Unesco World Heritage Centre.

Mystras (approx. 3 hours)

One of the oldest castle cities of Greece. The castle on the top of the hill was founded in 1249 by the Frankish leader William II de Villeharduin.

It is also a Unesco World Heritage Centre.

Karpenisi area (approx. 4 hours)

Karpenisi
View of Karpenisi from the mountain top (close to the Ski Center)

One of the greenest places but not near the sea. The area has tons of routes for hikers, beautiful villages “drown” in trees and waterfalls.

There are many rivers & gorges. Here is the famous “Panta Vrehei” canyon.

Galaxidi village (approx 3 hours)

Top Day Trips From Athens For All Kinds of Travelers

You can combine this with your visit to Delphi Archaeological Museum and site, and maybe the town of Arachova (or going there on your way back).

Galaxidi is a small village on the road that goes to Nafpaktos and West Greece.

Day cruises from Athens

Day cruise from Athens to Hydra, Poros, Aegina

Cycling in Aegina island
Cycling in Aegina island

That is an excellent option. The ferry will take you to the island of Hydra in Saronic Gulf and to each of these villages/ports of each where you will experience the local cuisine and culture.

The Saronic Gulf is spectacular.

Aegina is excellent for a day trip by itself

Bonus: You can take the ferry and be there in 1 hour and if you like cycling, you can do that with your bike. We did it as part of a two days bike tour.

Note: It has some uphill when you want to visit the Temple of Afea. Try to go to Perdika village during sunset. It is extraordinary.

Don’t forget to buy pistachio.

Where to Stay in Athens?

There are plenty of options, including hotels and hostels. Click each of these two posts to find the suitable for you and learn about the best places to stay during your day trips from Athens:

  1. The 13 Best Hotels in Athens, Greece
  2. Save your Money – Top Hostels in Greece & Tips

Did you like our day trips from Athens? Have you ever been to any day trips from Athens or in Greece, before? We would be happy to know more about it.

If you like, do pin this for others to find and please never forget your travel insurance.

Best Sicily Beaches: Warm and Sunny Paradise

Which Are The 20 Best Sicily Beaches
Cefalu beach

Are you going to Sicily and looking for the best Sicily Beaches? Sicily is ideal for summer months.

We’ve been in Sicily for a good number of days. That South East of Italy island is a beautiful destination for sightseeing and summer vacations too.

Here are the best Sicily beaches to have in mind, after reading our extra posts for Cefalu, Taormina, Palermo, Catania, Agrigento, and Syracuse.

In all these places you will find the best beaches in Sicily. Read this post for the best things to do in Sicily.

Best Sicily Beaches in all Coasts

So, are you looking for a premier European destination to unwind this coming summer? Consider the Mediterranean island of Sicily.

It is by far the largest island in the Mediterranean. With an area measuring 25,711 km², this island indeed provides impressive beach facilities for your enjoyment.

Sicily’s suitability as a holiday destination is proved by the fact that it hardly experiences the wide seasonal fluctuations in weather and climate as is the rest of continental Europe.

That means you can visit it just about any time of the year.

We have sampled the best Sicily beaches in our post. We are going to explain them alongside the resources which they have for you to explore.

Taormina

Taormina is a picturesque Italian holiday resort. It is situated at the base of Mt. Etna and strategically above the Ionian Sea.

Which Are The 20 Best Sicily Beaches
City and coast of Taormina from above

The town is a famous fashion destination for the lovers of sea activities. Throughout the resort are numerous hotels and restaurants.

A cable car also exists which connects this Sicily beach resort to the other adjacent destinations.

Read our experience in Taormina.

Apart from the usual beach activities like sunbathing and swimming, this resort city also provides numerous other opportunities. For instance, it is right next to the tiny island of Isola Bella.

That is a nature reserve which showcases numerous attractions inspired by nature.

San Vito Lo Capo

Located at the northwestern Sicily, this seaside town overlooks Mt. Monaco and is sheltered from the harsh external weather elements.

Its beaches are unlike any other in Sicily.

On the whole, they exhibit some clear azure waters, are adorned with some white sands and have numerous palm trees around and about.

The culture of this town is also strange and one of its kind. Each afternoon, the shops in the city are locked, and the streets dead quiet.

If you are not taking the afternoon siesta, you are on the beach. What a beautiful place to go and spend some quality time?

Palermo

Palermo is the capital of this Italian autonomous region. Throughout the city’s wave-washed strands are numerous beaches.

The two most outstanding of these are the Mondello and La Piazza.

Generally speaking, the Sicily beaches west of Palermo are well-maintained and appropriately equipped for your comfort and proper stay.

Best Sicily Beaches: Warm and Sunny Paradise
Mondello Sicily beach, near Palermo

They possess deck-chairs, beach umbrellas, and the elegant multi-colored wooden cabins. To make the best of your time while at Palermo, you must time your visit appropriately.

If you are a bathing enthusiast, May to September is the best time to visit. If you like swimming though, the spring to autumn would be your best time to pay a visit.

Close to Palermo is Isola Delle Femmine (Island of Women). The place has a nature reserve and two beautiful towers (15th century), while it extends to a small island with the same name.

One of the towers is on the mainland and the other on the island. The church is also beautiful (built around 1850). Some say that the name of the place came from being a female prison.

Anyway, the place is excellent for summer holidays with lovely beaches and plenty of water activities.

Here is our experience in Palermo.

Cefalù

This northern Sicilian town features long sandy beaches. It is a picturesque and historic town with a beach with shallow waters.

Which Are The 20 Best Sicily Beaches
Cefalu Sicily beach

Its strategic location on the rocky headland also provides breathtaking views of the adjacent Mediterranean Sea.

What’s more? Many decent transportation links serve the city.

Cefalù is an embodiment of the Italian past. That is because it developed from the numerous fishing villages which graced Italy’s history.

Cefalu is the place to be for sightseeing and photography. It is seen in numerous archaeological sites and ancient buildings. Cefalu is a historical gem.

Catania

Catania stands apart from the others in that as it has an international airport.

Apart from this, it also avails to you a comfortable 18km stretch of white sandy beaches to explore, relax, and enjoy.

Active nightlife does exist here. That is evident by the existence of numerous night clubs, bars music concerts, and restaurants.

It, therefore, follows that this is the place to be if you are a nightlife enthusiast.

Syracuse

Syracuse is a Sicilian beach city right at the length of the Ionian coast. The town is generally famed from its ancient ruins.

This notwithstanding, its coastal strip of Syracuse has perhaps some of the most beautiful beaches that the entire island of Sicily has to offer.

Best Sicily Beaches: Warm and Sunny Paradise
Ortygia or Syracuse

These beaches are surrounded by some incredible natural scenery, which is excellent to behold.

Your visit to this beach, therefore, gives you so much more than you bargained for. You get to enjoy the water sport, beach activity, and excellent sightseeing opportunities.

Close to Siracuse (12km away) is Fontane Bianche, another summer holidays destination. That is an ideal choice among Sicily beaches, for kids. The waters are warm and calm, and the beach is sandy.

Sciacca

Sciacca is in its bare form and shapes a fishing port city. Located at the south of Sicily, this venue is an embodiment of numerous attractions.

From excellent ceramics, thermal baths, religious gatherings, and ample fishing fleet, the untold wonders of this city never cease to amuse.

Best Sicily Beaches: Warm and Sunny Paradise
Sciacca Sicily beach

Visit this locale is as a layover in the course of a journey to any destination in North Africa or the entire Mediterranean world.

You may as well also time your visit accordingly to take part in the numerous festivals which happen in the city year-round.

Licata

Licata is a seaside resort city which is situated right at the heart of the southern portions of Sicily. The beach is full of historical attractions and a couple of other natural wonders.

At its east are numerous white sandy beaches while its west side is dominated by a series of cliffs and pebble beaches.

Take your time to visit this area to swim, enjoy some water sport, and also sunbathe.

After you are through with those water sports activities, you also want to explore other attractions of the area.

In particular, we recommend that you try out the various traditional cuisines on offer.

Trapani

Trapani is an enchanting parcel of land. It comprises some spectacular coastlines which have alternating cliffs together with endless sandy terrains.

Best Sicily Beaches: Warm and Sunny Paradise
Trapani Sicily beach

Along the entire shoreline are some valuable naturalistic spots, cliff seafronts, and sandy strands. You may wish to relax, sunbathe, and even swim if you so desire.

Owing to the picturesque nature of this location, you might also want to take some photos or simply relax.

Capo d’Orlando

Capo d’Orlando is not one but numerous beaches that span a total of 14 km stretch. The beaches draw quite many watersport enthusiasts ranging from holidaymakers and revelers.

From viewing the Aeolian Islands in the horizon to swimming, and boating, the opportunities that Capo d’Orlando provides you are limitless.

There are also numerous cultural shows, events, and exhibitions in this beach city. To catch the best of them, you have advised to time your visit accordingly.

By far the most fascinating of these are the blues and the Villa Piccolo clubs.

Acireale

Acireale is an elegant baroque town. Located at a stone-throw distance from Catania, the beach rises a hill which overlooks the adjacent Ionian Sea.

Even though Acireale is predominantly a beach city, it is only significant for relaxation, not really for water-related activities.

This beach is a beautiful place to escape from busy city life. That is because it confers to you some breath of fresh air, not to mention its detached location.

Given also that it attracts fewer visitors, you will find it less congested and highly breathable.

Mazara del Vallo

Mazara, by its conception and design, is a city dedicated to all things hospitality. As you stroll around and about the town, you will come across numerous eateries, hotels, casinos, and high-end restaurants.

What is more striking, though, is the cosmopolitan nature of the city.

Best Sicily Beaches: Warm and Sunny Paradise
Mazara del Vallo

That is the place to fish, dive, relax, and swim.

If you do not like any of the water sports, you can still take some of your time to gaze at the anemones, daisies, and wild orchids that surround the area.

Porto Empedocle

Are you a lover of nature? Do you just want to go to a beach and spend some of your time gazing at the breathtaking wonders of nature?

You have this Porto Empedocle for your consideration! On the whole, this beach offers breathtaking natural attractions over and above the ordinary beautiful beaches.

Among the attractions that await you here are medieval structures, excellent opportunities to take memorable photos, and only a chance to take some rest and relax.

For your curiosity, this village is the birthplace of two renowned Italian writers, Andrea Camilleri, and Luigi Pirandello.

Castellammare del Golfo

Who said going on a holiday overseas ought to be that expensive? You can and indeed deserve spending the least to go for such a holiday.

The Castellammare del Golfo is the place to retreat to. It does have a rough sandy beach right behind its harbor.

Best Sicily Beaches: Warm and Sunny Paradise
Castellammare Del Golfo

Yet another beach is to the east of the medieval castle which sits atop a cliff. What makes this beach cheap is the fact that it has an excellent public transport system, which is cheap and affordable.

It also contains numerous beach establishments for your overall satisfaction.

Marsala

Marsala has two main beaches. These are Lido Signorino and Punta Tramontana. Both of them are sandy and have clear adjacent waters.

Over and above this, the two beaches are equipped with numerous relevant facilities which are intended to make your visit worthwhile and very enjoyable.

The summerhouses which are easily reachable by car are by far the most notable.

Marsala beaches are the places to consider going to if you want to sunbathe, adore rocky terrains, or simply want to enjoy some quiet time with that ‘someone special.’

Gela

Gela is one of Sicily’s most ancient communities. Its coastline extends roughly 24 km and is adorned with fine and golden sandy beaches and dunes.

Along the coastline is some Mediterranean flora which contributes to the beauty of the land nearby.

On the whole, Gela is the place for beach and water sport. Some of the activities that revelers engage in while here are jogging, canoeing, diving, and beach volley.

You might also retreat to the archeological ruins that are located around the beaches for sightseeing and photography.

Avola

Christened ‘the grand canyon of Sicily,’ Avola is a seaside village nestled in the southeastern portion of the island.

It is so-called as it is a beautiful destination which makes for a great place to spend your vacation while on the island.

Its coast is somewhat unusually transparent.

The beaches themselves are long, sandy, and expansive enough to accommodate all your small children.

This expanse also provides for elegant and romantic strolls which are great for relaxation. You want to spend your romantic evening here!

Favignana

Visiting a beach need not necessarily mean swimming, sunbathing, or engaging in a water sport. You can just do so for the sake of a short trip. 

If you are such kind of a person, we recommend the Favignana Sicily beach.

Best Sicily Beaches: Warm and Sunny Paradise
Favignana rocky Sicily beach

This beach is rocky and hence unsuited for water-based activities.

However, its secluded location, sheltered harbor, and sweet breezes make are ideal for relaxation.

Also, it offers you impressive views of the surrounding environment. Be wary of the jellyfishes which may attack you from time to time.

Giarre

Giarre is a tiny village within the island of Sicily. It is home to Sicily’s most famous beach, Fondachello.

The adjacent sea is quite clear not to mention that it is constant bombardment by the strong winds.

Its strand is also cleaner and unusually cooler than the rest of the island as a result of this.

Summer is the best time to pay a visit to this city-cum-beach. It is at this time that the area experiences many events and concerts which add flavor to your visit.

Further to this, the beaches are well-equipped because of the possession of numerous beach resources.

Scala Dei Turchi

Scala means stairway, but this is not one. Prepare for a long white cliff, between Realmonte and Porto Empedocle (Agrigento). The beach is of a soft, limestone and blinding white sand.

When you look at it, you admire what an artist nature can be. The Scala is beautifully carved by the wind and sea, creating patterns on the white terrain.

It looks quite a bit like Milos island beaches if you ever been in that Greek island.

Of course, some say that walking on the Scala is like walking on a vast white meringue.

Ready for the Best Beaches in Sicily?

A visit to Sicily is a must if you indeed are a true beach enthusiast. The numerous facilities and amenities this excellent geographic locale has to offer are simply inescapable.

Apart from the beautiful Sicily beaches, have a visit to the Vendicari Nature Reserve. It was established in 1984 by the Sicilian Region.

The Reserve is in the mid-distance between Noto and Pachino (Syracuse). It is occupying about 1512 hectares. There is an entire ecosystem inside the reserver that lives undisturbed.

Admire the breath-taking landscapes and dense vegetation. All open to a clear sea, very long stretch and golden sand beaches with crystal clear water.

From the observation cabins, you can admire Flamingos, Herons, and Storks that hang here before reaching the definitive migratory destinations.

Here is another post for the best seven beaches in southern Italy.

Its Mediterranean location further makes it suitable for a visit year-round. This stems from its lack of substantial seasonal variations in weather and climate, and as such, the Sicily beaches are a delight.

What are you waiting for? Rush to your calendar and find the best time to do so right away! You do not want to visit alone, do you?

Consider bringing your family too! You want them to enjoy the impressive wonders and resources of the city as well.

Are you intrigued? Read our experiences in the whole of Italy, so far.

Best Santorini Beaches & Santorini Beach Map 2019

Best Santorini Beaches Increasingly Gaining Popularity
Vlychada Beach

Where can you find Santorini beaches? Located in Greece, the Greek island of Santorini is a popular one that boasts of seven sandy beaches. These are the best beaches on the island.

The Santorini beaches lie beside quality beach resorts, which are suitable spots for swimming, diving, hiking, and nightlife. You gotta love that fantastic beach blue water and island blue and white colors.

Unlike other sandy beautiful beaches, Santorini beaches have dark unique volcanic sand and a natural setting.

Best Santorini Beaches Increasingly Gaining Popularity

As a tourist, you will need to wear water shoes or beach sandals since the dark volcanic sand is usually hot to walk on during the day.

The Highly Recommended Santorini Beaches

You can get a clear view of one of the best beaches or the volcano when you are at the caldera. Fira, the island’s main town, is closer to Kamari (one of the beaches in the island).

The recommended towns to stay when you are in Santorini Greece are Oia, Imerovigli, Firostefani, and Fira. You can get spectacular views of the volcano, which make the isle unique, from these towns.

Check our Santorini Greece section of posts here, to see all the things you can do and see in Santorini Greece island.

The most affordable ways of exploring the isle are by riding the bus or renting a car. If you are in pursuit of nightlife, be sure to visit Fira since it is home for the most entertaining clubs on the island.

You will also find restaurants/bars that operate day and night in Perivolos, Perissa, and Kamari, along with Agios Georgios beach near Perivolos.

Here are seven of the Santorini beaches in no particular order.

Red Beach

As its name suggests, Red Beach is famous for red pebbly sand and stunning backdrop. It also borders the ancient Akrotiri, which is five minutes away from the beach.

Best Santorini Beaches Increasingly Gaining Popularity
Red Beach

It will take you approximately 20 minutes to drive to Red Beach from the southern side of Fira.

The beach may not be safe for kids due to its steep terrain and falling rocks.

You can reside in Akrotiri if you want to be close to the beach.

It will also take you less than an hour and cost you about $6 on a boat ride from Rahidi (an archaeological site) to Red Beach.

Hiking and rock climbing are among the fun activities you can indulge in when visiting the beach. Most people like visiting the beach between July and August.

Click here for accommodation options in and around Fira.

Where is the Red Beach in Santorini Greece?

Perivolos Beach

The Perivolos beach lies south of the island. It is a great tourist destination for its tropical vibe and sandy landscape. Several hotels lie near the beach.

Best Santorini Beaches Increasingly Gaining Popularity
Perivolos Beach by Klearchos

Perivolos is also a fun place for water sports such as sea-bananas, sea-ski, and Jet Ski. Most locals, Greek celebrities, and tourists like to hang out here.

It can be an exciting place to visit if you love live music concerts or DJ performances.

The beach is also ideal for playing beach volleyball and lying on sunbeds. Relaxing couches, black pebbles, and clear waters are among the tourist attractions in Perivolos.

Click here for Periovolos accommodation options.

Where is the Perivolos beach in Santorini?

Perissa Beach

Local dwellers like to refer to Perissa and Perivolos beaches as one beach since they are adjacent to each other. Perissa is separated from Kamari with a mountain called “Mesa Vouno”.

Best Santorini Beaches Increasingly Gaining Popularity
Perissa Beach via Cha già José

When it comes to their geographical setting, the two beaches are independent. Perissa is a suitable spot for beach parties, backpackers and swimming.

With its serene environment, it houses several restaurants and accommodation facilities.

Both Perissa and Perivolos beaches are famous for the black sand, which can burn your feet during summer.

They also boast of great cuisines, a variety of beach bars with incredible cocktails and a fantastic atmosphere for beach parties. They also lie about 15 kilometers from Fira town.

Click for accommodation around Perissa.

Where is Perissa Beach in Santorini?

Kamari Beach

Kamari is the most upscale tourist destination in Santorini. With lots of eateries and accommodation facilities, the spot is a fun and relaxing place to visit.

Best Santorini Beaches Increasingly Gaining Popularity
Kamari Beach

It is the only beach in the isle that is closer to Fira town and the airport. It also offers better views of the caldera than other Santorini beaches.

With well-organized and touristic features, Kamari is among the beaches that help put Santorini on the global map for the best tourist destinations.

It is also among the few easy-to-access beaches in Santorini. You can stay in the villas or resorts that are close to the beach.

Click here for accommodation options in and around Kamari.

Where is Kamari beach in Santorini?

Vlychada Beach

Also known as, the “White Beach of Santorini,” Vlychada is unique in terms of the atmospheric setting and white rocks.

Best Santorini Beaches Increasingly Gaining Popularity
Vlychada Beach

You will never find water sports or noisy beach bars on the beach.

Vlychada is a fun place for photographers and nature lovers since it boasts of amazing white volcanic rock formations.

You can stay in Perissa, Emporio, or Vlychada, which have close access to the White Beach.

Click for Emporio accommodation selections.

Where is Vlychada Beach in Santorini?

Koloumbos Beach

Koloumbos Beach is one of the quiet and most secluded beaches you will find in Santorini. It also occupies a large portion of the island and is famous for the black pebbles and clear water.

Best Santorini Beaches Increasingly Gaining Popularity
Koloumbos Beach

You can access it from Oia town, which also provides excellent accommodation facilities for tourists.

Are you staying in Oia? Click here.

Where is Koloumbos in Santorini?

Ammoudi Bay

Ammoudi bay is the best swimming spot on the island. Though it is not a beach, it offers excellent views of the caldera.

Best Santorini Beaches Increasingly Gaining Popularity
Ammoudi Bay

You can access it from Ammoudi port, which lies at the heart of Oia town. The bay has several luxury hotels, boat ride services, swimming experts, lifesavers and tour guides.

Click here for accommodation options in and around Oia.

Where is Ammoudi Bay in Santorini?

Monolithos Beach

If you are touring Santorini with your children, Monolithos is one of the laid-back beaches you should visit.

Lying a few kilometers north of Kamari, the beach has the most family-friendly features that you will ever see.

It is an ideal place to visit due to its serene environment and a small collection of accommodation facilities and eateries.

Monolithos’ seafloor has a shallow slope that makes it safe for kids to swim.

Unlike other surrounding beaches, there is a small play area on the beach for kids. Monolithos is not a great place to stay because the accommodation facilities are not as competitive as the ones in other Santorini towns.

You can either ride a bus or drive a rental car to access the beach.

Click here for accommodation options in and around Kamari.

Where is Monolithos beach in Santorini?

What to do in Santorini besides the beaches? 

Here is an additional big list of suggested tours and posts to read. Visit the full post of things to do in Santorini.

Is Santorini Worth Visiting?

Tourists from different parts of the world enjoy visiting Santorini for its breathtaking sceneries and views.

The nature of the volcanic sand and the surrounding cliffs make the beaches surreal environments for basking and swimming.

People love Santorini for its refreshing and clear seawater.

The caldera (volcano) lies on Santorini’s west coast while the best beaches lie on the southeast and east side of the island.

Spectacular 25 Things to Do in Patmos Island Greece

Best Things to do in Patmos Island Greece

We visited Patmos island after five days on Ikaria island, Greece and while being at Samos island.

This small holy island is in the Aegean Sea and part of the Dodecanese islands. It obtained new habitats in the 11th century.

The history of the Greek holy island of Patmos is fascinating. Initially, it was known as Letois after goddess Artemis, the daughter of Leto.

Patmos is also referred to as Jerusalem of the Aegean and is popular among Greek orthodox people.

The Greek island of Patmos is famous for being the place where Saint John of Patmos (exiled by Emperor Domitian) had a vision.

He wrote the Book of Revelation (“Apocalypsis Tou Ioanni”), a Christianity’s most ancient pilgrimage sites.

Best Things to do in the island
The Greek island of Patmos

The time the book was conceived, Patmos island was an exile prison. Today it is a beautiful island that has a mild cosmopolitan character.

Allegedly, during the Emperor Domitian reign, John the Divine (also called as St John the Theologian) was tortured by being dipped into boiling oil, where miraculously nothing happened to him.

The audience of Colosseum changes to Christianity upon witnessing this miracle.

Patmos island worth a visit.

What to see & do in Patmos Island

In this island, there are a lot of things to do, and the most fun thing is to be able to discover your favorite spot.

In this article, we will list the top things that one can do while on the island.

Alleys of the Medieval Chora of Patmos

The accommodations part of the Greek island of Patmos is Chora, the capital village.

It is built on top of a hill to protect it from attacks of pirates back in the 1000s.

Alleys of the Medieval Chora
Through alleys of Patmos

In this town, you will get to see traditional whitewashed captain houses and medieval churches. The city is declared a UN world heritage site.

The fact that it is at the top of a hill you will have a great view of the sea.

Agia Levia Square

One of the evenings while at the island visit the busy square of Agia Levia in Chora, a perfect spot for you to relax.

Make sure you get a seat next to the wall in one of the cafes so as you will manage to view the coming and going of the Chic yacht visitors.

Best Things to do in Patmos

Cave of Apocalypse of Patmos

The caves are a UNESCO World Heritage site that everyone who visits Patmos island ought to attend regardless of the religion.

Here Saint John of Patmos (also called as John the Divine) is believed to have received the vision. The English speaking tour guides will explain the whole story.

Best Things to do
Apostle John (knows as John the Divine) lived here

Monopatia

This path used to be the main transportation route of the Island.

While on the Island enjoy trekking in these old paths.

Today the trails are sadly deserted, but they will give you a good island view as well as an insight of how people used to live.

Ecclesiastical Museum

It is a small museum in the Monastery of St John. The museum houses all the valuable things of the Monastery like icons, clothing of the priests, embroideries, religious ornaments, and superb figures.

Visit the Monastery of St John museum to see all these things.

Monasteries of Patmos

Monastery of Saint John

This monastery is a thousand years old, founded in 1088 by Ossios Ioannis Christodoulos with a grant by the Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos.

Best Things to do in Patmos
The castle and Monastery of St John

It has a church and a museum that has ancient treasures. To be able to enjoy the monastery view, it is advisable you visit the place in the morning to avoid the crowds and heat.

You can trek up the hill or use a bus from Skala, Patmos.

The Monastery of St John was founded in 1088 by Ossios Christodoulos. Its walls are over fifteen meters high; it has a length of 70 meters and a width of 53 meters.

Best Things to do in the holy island
Views from the Holy Island of Patmos

It even looks more prominent when you stand at the entrance.

There are tour guides that will help you understand the story of Saint John.

Ensure you visit the beautiful churchyard to enjoy a moment of peace before living.

Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi

The Monastery is on the southwest of the Holy island Monastery.

It is the largest nunnery on the island and the second most popular convent after the most populous Evangelismos, founded in the year 1607 by Patmian hieromonk Parthenios Pangostas.

The monastery was built to function as a refuge for widows, orphans, and disabled people.

The church traditions here include the feast of the Virgin Mary. That feast happens on the 5th of August. Murals and carvings date back to the 16th century.

Villages of Patmos

Skala Patmos

This village is at the center of the island. It is the main port of Patmos. It has the most significant settlement built along with the port.

Skala is the trade and commercial center of Patmos island. This village flourished back in the 19th century when many wealthy families settled here.

Best Things to do in Patmos

There are sites in this village that are worth seeing including; the ruins of an ancient acropolis, the 17th-century church of Agia Paraskevi of Cavos, the Monastery of Zoodochos Pigi and the church of Panagia Koumana.

Kambos village

The village is 9 kilometers north from the Chora village. It is made up of two smaller communities; upper Kambos and lower Kambos.

The village is the home of the famous and beautiful church of the Annunciation. The people here are mostly involved in farming.

It is a green village with beautiful beaches that attract people.

Chora of Patmos

The village is on the southern side of the island.

It is built on top of a hill and has traditional houses that are known for their elegant architecture. It gives visitors a great view of the sea.

The village stretches around the monastery of Saint John.

Sapsila village, Patmos

This village is 3 kilometers from Chora.

It has some lovely beaches and excellent fish taverns. The village rarely gets overcrowded, and therefore, it is a perfect destination for those wanting to have a quiet and peaceful holiday.

Grikos

Grikos is 4 kilometers to the south-east of Chora village.

It has pebbled beaches and many tourist facilities, making it a perfect destination. The green settlement situates around a plateau.

The long sandy beach has with tall palm trees swinging in the ocean breeze, making the spot a favorite for locals and tourists.

It is the home of the chapel of Agios Ioannis Theologos.

Best Beaches in Patmos

Best Things to do

Petra beach

It is commonly known as “the rock” or the stone of Kallikatsou.

The myth claims that this stone once used to be an open-air sanctuary dedicated to the Greek goddess Aphrodite.

Today it is a stunning beach where you get to experience the spiritual energy of the island.

Agrio Livadi beach

This beach has blue-green waters that are said to be the best on this island. The beach has with umbrellas, sunbeds, snacks, and beverages.

There is also a hotel in front of the beach that serves simple and good quality Greek food.

Diakofti beach

It is among the most secluded beaches on the island, surrounded by wild mountains and short vegetation that gives it a splendid view.

The mirror-like waters and looks make it very attractive. It is on 4 kilometers away from Chora.

Geranou beach

The beach is located 13 kilometers from Chora village.

You can get here using all means of transport. It is a lovely beach with a calm environment, well protected from the Aegean meltemia winds that are common during summer. It gets popular during the summer holiday.

Patmos

Psili Ammos beach

Psili Ammos is among the most exquisite beaches you can visit on this island.

The clean waters and the soft pure golden sand attract a lot of people. The beach also has trees that provide shadows to the people during the summer season.

To reach the beach, people use boats from Skala or uses a bus that will take them to Diakofti and walk to the place for about 30 minutes.

Lefkes beach

This beach is the home of the Gulf of Lefkes that offers a perfect place for visitors to relax. The beach has a calm environment and fishing boats frequently moor here.

It has crystalline waters that are considered to be the most beautiful on this island and remains a refreshing place for people of all ages. The beach is 12 km northwest of Chora.

Patmos

Vagia beach

If you are the kind of people who love privacy, this is the perfect beach for you to visit during the summer.

This beach is said to have the coldest waters in Patmos.

Down the beach, there is a small café in case one wants some refreshment. To get here, you use a boat, car, or buses.

Agios Nikolaos beach, Patmos

The beach is 12 kilometers north of Chora.

It is a secluded beach with a rocky ambiance that provides shelter that enhances privacy.

This beach took its name after a church that resides within the beach, called Agios Nikolaos Evdilos or Avdelos. The church is a main attraction on the beach.

Alikes beach

This beach is 7 kilometers south of Chora and is among the calmest beaches in Patmos. Alikes is a large bay on the southern side of the island. The beach lies in an area where the monks collected salt. It took her name after Alyki, which means salt I greek.

Activities in Patmos island

Swimming 

One of the many things that you cannot miss to do is swimming. Enjoy the clean waters.

There are lovely and secluded beaches. Swimming is one of the best activities that one can enjoy the suns of summer.

Having lunch in the seaside taverns

After swimming and enjoying the beach sands, you can pop in one of the seaside bars and enjoy simple, well-cooked foods and refreshments.

Wine and dine in the evenings

Many taverns and restaurants place their chairs and tables on the sand. Some of them are just a few meters away from the waters.

All that gives the places excellent and romantic sites for dinners. Dine and enjoy your wine as you watch the sea.

All your worries and stresses will go away with the combination of the summer sea breeze, delicious fresh food, and a sip of the 36% alcohol drink.

Hiking Patmos island

There are hills on the island that provide perfect sites for hiking for those people who have an interest in hiking. Read this post for hiking paths in Patmos.

Patmos

However, during summer, hiking might be a bit uncomfortable due to the much heat. Hiking is more enjoyable during spring and autumn.

How to get to Patmos, Greece

There is no airport on the island; therefore, the only means to get to Patmos is by ferry.

For ferry prices and options, click here. Ferry ticket fees are around 45 USD.

Some come only for one day in Patmos, coming from Samos. In this case, you can book one from Samos. Click here to see all the options.

The closest airports are in Leros and Kos. Kos airport is busier than Leros and receives flights from Athens and international flights in summer.

Check prices for Flights to Patmos from here.

Lithos, on the other hand, receives domestic flights from Athens, Greece. After landing here, one can use a ferry to get to Patmos.

You can also use a ferry from the port of Piraeus in Athens.

The ferry carries people three times a week.

These ferries also connect Patmos island to other ones of the Dodecanese like; Rhodes, Kos, Lipsi, Leros, and Kalymnos.

From Athens to Patmos island it will take 8 hours.

Some boats carry people from the neighboring islands of Leros and Lipsi every day. The ferry tickets can be booked online on various platforms.

Getting around Patmos, Greece

There are also cars for hire for those people who do not feel comfortable trekking long distances.

However, if you plan to hire a car, you must be ready to spend much more. Car hires are quite expensive.

There are also scooters for hire available. They are quite cheaper compared to cars. They will help you get everywhere where the buses cannot cover.

Conclusion for your itinerary in Patmos island

Patmos Island is another Greek island, a perfect destination for your holiday. Regardless of your religion, this place has a lot of sites for you to visit.

It has many beaches that give you a wide selection for fun, depending on your age and personality. The activities to engage in are also a big list meaning you can never get bored here.

Get ready for lots of fun and memorable experiences. You will also get a chance to learn a lot more so about Saint John.

Life on Patmos island is very affordable; you will find accommodation and food that will suit your preferences and budgets.

Volcanoes of Greece That Should Not be Missed!

There’s something very alluring about volcanoes. The real strength of nature in all it’s splendid and terror!

If you are looking to seek some adventure and unforgettable memories, consider this guide. While on your visit to this beautiful paradise-like country, this is the perfect Greek volcano guide for you.

The country of Greece has one of the most well-known volcanic arcs worldwide. That arc formed when the African lithosphere (Oceania) sunk under the Eurasiatic plate (mainland).

The volcanic arc of Greece showed quite an intense activity in the past. That activity formed some fantastic volcanic landscapes that are rather popular in the world. 

How Are They Formed?

Most of us, whenever we hear the word volcano, picture a conical shaped mountain, spewing lava and very poisonous gases from the summit crater. Is that all? No, as that form is only one of the many types found in nature.

In ancient years, people believed that it was in such where the Greek god Hephaestus had his smithery. Hephaestus was the god of blacksmiths and the god of fire.

However, through science, we know the truth. 

A volcano manifests when molten rock, ash emissions, and gases (pyroclastic flows) escape through tectonic plates, rising through Earth’s crust. That molten rock and ash plume solidify as they cool, forming the volcano we usually see.

Volcanoes In Greece

Greece is home to more than half-a-dozen great ones – some active, some dormant.

Despite the still-smoking active volcano of Santorini, there isn’t a potential volcanic hazard in Greece.

Here are five volcanoes in Greece that you need to visit – if only once.

Santorini

That is well-known and active in Greece.

Santorini erupted in 1600 BC and buried the city of Akrotiri. It left only three islands behind – Thera, Therasia, and Aspronisi; also, possibly giving rise to the legend of Atlantis.

Santorini Caldera View

The awe-inspiring volcano has a diameter of 11km N-S and 7.5km E-W and has a depth of 390 m in the North.

This volcano erupted in 1950, producing a lava dome, lava flow, and even created explosive activity.

Though in January 2011, Santorini started to wake up from its 60 years of inactivity. That began with a seismic swarm and radial deformation of the volcano – there was no eruption of any sort.

Imagine being at the gorgeous Santorini island and experiencing volcanic activity at the time of any kind of eruption. Experiencing such has to be beautiful if you would be alive after the explosion. Nonetheless, even by paying a visit to this magnificent specimen of a volcano, you fully appreciate its magnificence.

So worth a visit on your Greek vacation!

Methana

The Methana volcano is one of the 32 that are on the Methana peninsula. That is approximately 50 km southwest of Athens.

The height of the volcano in Methana is 417 mt, and its diameter is 150 mt.

It has a lava-dome complex that forms the peninsula.

The volcanic activity in the peninsula began 1 million years ago and continued sporadically until 300 years ago.

Its last eruptions took place in 1700 at a submarine volcano.

This volcano, in particular, is surrounded by lush greenery. Pitching a picnic here would prove very stimulating for you and your family – kids will love seeing a volcano!

Milos

Milos or Melos is a volcanic Greek island in the Aegean Sea. It is quite famous for its fantastic bounty of natural mineral deposits (silver, perlite, bentonite, etc.) and gorgeous clear beaches.

7 Days Milos Island Greece - It Blows Your Mind and has Volcanoes too

When the Milos volcano erupted, it created a lahar which ended up burying the walls of a Roman town.

Apart from the volcano, which in itself is a beautiful spectacle to behold, the island has about 70 scenic beaches.

The volcano at Fyriplakes is 220 m high and has a diameter of 1.700 m.

You can come to this lush island – where the last volcanic eruptions took place in 90.000 B.C. near the Tsingrado volcano. Explore the volcano, and relax on any of the sandy beaches. Work on your tan and take in the breathtaking surroundings!

Volcano of Nisyros

The second most famous volcano in Greece is on the small island of Nisyros, Dodecanese.

Volcano of Nisyros
Volcano of Nisyros

Only 160,000 years old, it is the youngest of the massive volcanic centers in Greece. In spite of being more active than other Greek ones, it is not that popular a tourist destination.

The eruption which took place in 1872, created a crater of about 6-7 meters, and another outbreak in 1888 ended up forming a crater of 25 m in diameter.

That is one of the largest calderas in the world on Nisyros at the height of 650 mt with a diameter of 3.000 mt. 

The eruptions also ended up leaving behind a moon space – with gorgeous, multi-hued craters and some very active fumaroles.

Nowadays, the volcano of Nisyros is dormant.

The most massive crater there is the Agios Stefanos that has a diameter and depth of 30m and one that you should visit.

Kos island

That volcano is far smaller and not widely known. It is an extinct volcano. Maybe the reason is that it didn’t alter the landscape dramatically. Yet, you can still observe it.

Kos Island Greece

Take the ferry to Kos and go near Psalidi beach. There is a beach under the name Therma (also called Bubble beach). You will find hot springs that get you relaxed.

Kids love this place, as the bubbles effect is entertaining. The water remains hot during wintertime.

So, our list of the five best volcanoes in Greece that deserve mention and a visit. That is an essential guide anyone who is planning a trip to Greece and doesn’t know where to go exploring such jaw-dropping marvels of nature.

Go ahead, guys – start packing and check out a volcano or two!

Mount Parnassus Greece – A Fantastic Trekking

Mount Parnassus Greece Snow Trekking

Mount Parnassus (mt Parnassus) is a multifaceted mountain of Central Greece, relatively close to Athens. Many interesting sites and landmarks reside on this mountain, like the Oracle of Delphi

Parnassus was sacred to the god Dionysus, and it was also sacred to Apollo.
 

Its height is 2457mt at its tallest point.

Lots of villages reside around the mountain, and many are popular.

The most popular is Arahova, one of the most prominent ski centres of Greece. That includes the popular slopes of Mount Parnassus: Kellaria and Fterolakka.

The village of Agoriani is another popular travel destination for Greeks.

At the feet of the mountain is the sea of the Gulf of Corinth with great seaside cities and villages like Galaxidi, Itea, Antikyra.

On top of that, Mount Parnassus is a popular trekking destination, since there multiple routes all over the mountain.

This mountain and the surrounding area attract people all year round. Imagine that the Arahova ski resort and installations are no more than 2 hours driving time from Athens.

Ancient Greek Mythology about Parnassus

What is the etymology of Parnassus? The word “Parna” means a house or temple. So the sum of the phrase means the mountain of the home of the god. 

Mount Parnassus Greece Snow Trekking
Mount Parnassus from afar

Parnassus was considered a sacred mountain. Why is Mount Parnassus sacred?

According to the myth, it relates to Dionysus, its mysteries, and Apollo. It was also the home of the Muses and referred to Pegasus, the mythical winged horse.

Furthermore, the famous Corycian Cave was here, dedicated to Pan (the God who was half a goat).

Trekking Mount Parnassus

It was our first winter trekking trip (with snow) at Parnassus and proved to be lots of fun, with tons of snow. It was that period where lots of snow fell in a short time all over Greece.

We planned to trek immediately after the first days of snowfall; the snow was powder-like.

However, that sudden snowfall blocked all roads leading to the mountains. As we arranged to trek with a group of 50 people, our coach (bus), the bus couldn’t reach the initial starting point to start our 5-hour trekking. A small car could but not a big coach.

As we approached the mountain, a decision came up from the trip leader and mountain guide to trek from a different place, but on the same peak. That place was Amfikleia and was reachable. 

That route is named: From Amfikleia to the Gorge of Keramidiou.

Our trekking started from within Amifikleia, but 10 minutes after we left the village behind us and started moving up the northern part of Mount Parnassus.

Mount Parnassus Greece Snow Trekking
Moving in

It was cold, and despite moving all the time upwards, we didn’t remove our outer layers (hard-shells). Yes, it was that cold!

Mount Parnassus Greece Snow Trekking
Sunny but freezing

We didn’t encounter constant strong winds, except in a couple of turns.

It was cloudy all the time with sun breaks around late noon. However, snow was always at waist level.

Mount Parnassus Greece Snow Trekking

The head of the team had to open the path by plowing through the snow with his body.

Mount Parnassus Greece Snow Trekking

The rest of the team followed along, placing their feet carefully on the steps of the person ahead of them.

The snow was fresh on Mount Parnassus, and everything was covered so much.

It was not possible to see if the next step (or the ones at the left and right of our feet) was hiding plants and slippery rocks or solid ground.

Mount Parnassus Greece Snow Trekking

The movement was slow, but that gave us the time to admire the landscape a lot.

Going always up on rather steep terrain and sharp angle did build a strong pair of quadriceps.

Mount Parnassus Greece Snow Trekking

Going down was a bit challenging as previously walked over snow was starting to freeze and terrain was rather slippery.

The team managed to return to Amfikleia safe and hungry.

Mount Parnassus Greece Snow Trekking

Energy Restoration after Mount Parnasus

To cope with the hunger coming from all that exercise, we moved to the nearby city of Livadeia, famous for anyone seeking for roast meat, especially “souvlaki.”

We sat at “Taverna ta Kopsidia,” 5 minutes walking from the famous “Kria” of Livadeia. Fantastic fresh and well-cooked food served impressively fast.

“Kria” is an excellent stone paved area with a river (inside the city) and small waterfalls. It also has a hiking route going high on the mountains from where you can admire the greater area.

Having fulfilled all five senses, we took the coach back to Athens.

Were we tired? Yes, but it was a splendid trekking trip, despite the last-minute change. 

Tip: When you trek in winter you need to use gear that is proper for cold weather conditions. Explore the hiking gear section of our blog for such.

3 Days in Karpathos Island Greece

3 Days Karpathos Island Greece

Karpathos island is not a popular destination. At least that is what many people think. We spend three days in Karpathos, and we got blown away from the things you can do.

We came back, wondering why this Greek island is less known than other ones that also belongs to Dodecanese islands of Greece, of the Aegean sea.

It is an island not to underestimate. It has stunning and colorful beaches, fantastic food options, excellent prices (we went at the end of May), tons of Dutch people (yes, it is a popular destination for Dutch).

That is the second-largest island in the Dodecanese after Rhodes.

Karpathos is ideal for kite-surfers, windsurfers, and anyone seeking thrills using a sail and board.

3 Days Karpathos Island Greece
Sculpture at Diafani village, close to Olympos

When you land at Karpathos, pay a visit to the islet of Saria. Karpathos separates it by a narrow, long strait.

People believe that it was part of the mainland in the past, but became separated after an earthquake.

Another place of interest is the ancient Acropolis of Poseidion (or Potidaion). The Hellenistic acropolis of Potidaion was on the hill northeast of the modern port

Let’s take things from the beginning, though.

How to get to Karpathos island?

We had three days to spare since a religious holiday was taking place on a Monday. We combined it with the weekend time and voila.

If you have little time, then it is best to go to Karpathos by airplane. We stayed in Pigadia (capital of Karpathos). That was just a 40 minutes drive from the airport.

3 Days Karpathos Island
Pigadia (the capital)

The ferry from Athens, Greece takes about 18 to 20 hours to get to Karpathos, and this is quite a long time, as you need the same amount of time to return to Athens.

With a ferry, you lose two days from Karpathos.

Booking your airplane tickets ahead will reduce the cost, and you can always rent a car on the spot. There are tons of options from international car rental services to local ones.

So, better get on a plane.

Accommodation options: Karpathos Greece hotels

In almost every single village you will find different options for accommodation. Check all of them in Hotels Combined.

Most hotels and rooms to let are in Pigadia (the capital). We never go to hotels that have a low score, and this time we wanted a bit more: Some luxury.

So we booked into the Alimounda Mare Hotel.

A fantastic 5star resort next to the sea, with a vast pool too. Excellent prices, even for mini-bar items or by the pool snacks and beverages.

3 Days Karpathos Island
View from our room balcony

We couldn’t recall seeing so low prices in other islands or cities around our trips in Greece and Europe, for 5star hotels.

3 Days Karpathos Island
Resting next to the pool

Most hotels in Karpathos are on the southern side. Pigadia, Achata, Amoopi, Arkassa, Finiki & Lefkos host most hotels and apartments. These are the most famous villages too.

Check the guided tours from here.

Where to eat in Karpathos island?

We never eat in a hotel. Has nothing do to with prices but with our eagerness to taste the local culture and cuisine. Breakfast in our hotel was huge and fantastic, but that’s breakfast.

We chose to eat in three different taverns. Two of them were in the capital and one of them in a remote village, famous for its fantastic beach.

The ones in the capital were: “To Perasma Family Restaurant” and “Pigadia Restaurant.”

In “Perasma” go for the grilled squid, fava and the salad called as “Perasma”. Portions are enormous, so ask to see before you order.

3 Days Karpathos Island
Yeah, we know. We were starving. Here is half of the squid.

In “Pigadia” go for the Mousaka and the swordfish, and choose the unanimous salad. Also big portions.

That was the first time we ate “Mousaka” in a Greek tavern. We usually eat it at home, cooked by my wife or mother-in-law, and is a fantastic dish. We were impressed with the quality of materials in that restaurant.

3 Days Karpathos Island3 Days Karpathos Island Greece

The other restaurant was in the village of “Kira Panagia” (the name relates to the Virgin Mary). The village is tiny but has that fantastic beach.

There is a famous tavern there, named Sofia’s tavern (5 meters from the beach) but we didn’t go to that one. Instead, we went to the other one that was around 80meters from the beach. We think it had no actual “brand” name, but just a sign saying “tavern.”

3 Days Karpathos Island

Food was fantastic. When you are there, go for the fried small shrimps, their salad and salted sardines. All are homemade. In the end, they served us with Greek donuts with honey and almond.

3 Days Karpathos Island

A Special Village of Karpathos: Olympos

This mountainous village has its weather! It does. When you get close to it, the weather is different from the rest of Karpathos. The temperature dropped 10 degrees inside Olympos village.

3 Days Karpathos Island

Olympos is one of the pretty picturesque villages that are in Aegean.

3 Days Karpathos Island Greece3 Days Karpathos Island

The whole place is colorful and looks like a postcard.

A very peculiar thing you will see is that all women wear their traditional clothes. That is not a “tourist” thing. They dress like that until today. A friend of ours who comes Karpathos confirmed that they wear them in big cities too.

Check your options for tours with a guide from here.

3 Days Karpathos Island

Their dresses are colorful too. Maria managed to take a picture with them.

3 Days Karpathos Island Greece

Quick break: Ice cream time at Mesochori village.

3 Days Karpathos Island Greece

Popular Karpathos Beaches

There are around 80 beautiful beaches in Karpathos (accessible by boat only, included), so you have lots of options. Some are popular though. Depending on the season some of the popular ones get crowded. With so many options (and a car) you can get anywhere.

Kyra Panagia: That sandy beach is spotless and well organized. Colors combine the blue of the sea along with white sand and smooth pebbles. It is also close to Apella beach.

3 Days Karpathos Island Greece
Kyra Panagia

Argilopotamos: The beach is around 20km for Pigadia. There is a canteen and acts as a base for kite-surf sports.

3 Days Karpathos Island Greece
Argilopotamos

Finiki: Sandy beach with crystalline waters.

3 Days Karpathos Island Greece
Finiki

Lefkos: This is a combination of 3 different beaches with different names each, and close to another. The one called Gialou Chorafi has all the “bells and whistles” (better than the other 2). The 2nd one is small and sandy and named Panagias Limani. The last one is Francolimnionas.

3 Days Karpathos Island Greece
Lefkos

These are just a few of the beaches of Karpathos island. More come under the names of Apella, Achata, Mikri & Megali Amopi, Arkassa, Diakoftis, Afoti, Agios Nikolaos, Amopi Pera Ammos, Christou Pigadi, Damatria, Psoraris, Valias, Vrontis.

Can you spend just three days in Karpathos island? Well, no.

We consider this trip a “reckon” trip, and we plan to go back for a week or more.

See prices for available tours in Karpathos from here.

We were happy to find this special corner of Greece and share it with you.

Mykonos Beaches Experience for 2019 – Top 10

Mykonos Beaches: Ultimate Life Experience

Are you planning for Mykonos? Then you need to know a bit more for Mykonos beaches too.

Perhaps no other Greek island grants you breathtaking and significant tourist destinations than that of Mykonos, along with the spectacular Mykonos beaches.

Apart from enjoying any beautiful beach in Mykonos, you will find joy through a multitude of beach clubs, beach parties, beach bars.

This island is located in the Mediterranean Sea and constitutes part of the Cyclades islands group, surrounded by Naxos, Paros, Syros, and Tinos, respectively.

The island is tropical in that it does not experience the seasonal fluctuations in external environmental temperatures such as spring, winter, fall, and summer.

In light of this, you may visit the island at any time of the year and derive the same degree of satisfaction.

How to get to Mykonos, Greece?

The most reliable planning and mediums are:

Top 10 Mykonos Beaches

We have sampled ten of the best and ‘must visit’ famous and popular beaches on the island of Mykonos which you have no choice but to pay a visit.

Ornos Beach

If you intend to visit the island with your whole family, then this is the beach to consider spending some of your time. It is not attached to the mainland Mykonos.

As such, it is super quiet and very breathable indeed. Moreover, the beach contains a host of family-friendly features that make it quite suited for whole families.

That is not to mention the numerous cafes, restaurants, sun loungers, and other amazing amenities that sprawl in and around it. The area is excellent for diving, skiing, windsurfing, and sightseeing.

Agrari Beach

In case you are that kind of a person who cherishes privacy and abhors congestions and crowds, this is the beach to look up. Just like the Ornos, it is also secluded from the mainstream island and is as such hardly accessible by many.

The beach possesses soft white sand and an adjacent cobalt sea. Because of this arrangement, it finds high applications as a honeymoon destination.

There is no public transport serving the beach, and so you will have to walk to and from it.

Agios Ioannis Beach

Located approximately 5 km south of the Mykonos town, the Agios Ioannis Beach is a beautiful, quiet, yet narrow beach. 

However, it does experience a surge in the number of visitors from all walks of life. Reach it by public transportation.

Several hotels like the Mykonos Grand Hotel & Resort, Saint John Hotel Villas & Spa, and the Manoula’s Mykonos Beach Resort surround the area. You may wish to pop in to get refreshed.

Elia Beach

Elia is by far the longest of the Mykonos beaches. It lies around 11 km to the southeast of the town of Mykonos and is served by about 5 or 6 buses each day.

There is also a boat service from the beach of Platis Gialos to that of Elia.

That is the place to be if you have a private car or need car rental services. It has a large and spacious parking lot that is well capable of accommodating a large fleet of vehicles.

Paraga Beach

Paraga Beach is two-in-one in that it has two beaches that are separated by a headland. Both beaches are sandy and are in a north-south direction.

The northern portion is ordinarily more crowded and busier than the southern one. It is nonetheless the more organized of the two.

You will find several tavernas, music, water sports, and other amenities. Given the protective nature of Paraga Beach, it is excellent for those who like getting nude outside.

Its sea breeze is too high to be forfeited.

Lia Beach

Do you have an elderly person in mind? That is the beach to take him to. It is farther away from the mainstream Mykonos Island and is sparsely populated.

Its lack of heavy traffic and lower population makes it all the more suited for the elderly or those who cannot keep pace with the congested and fast-paced lifestyles.

The adjacent water is also cold enough to cool the elderly in the scorching summer months. You have no excuse at all should you not take your old grandmother out next time.

Panormos Beach

To significantly relax and enjoy your time on the island, you want one that is comprehensive and adequately equipped.

No other beach comes even close to this one as pertains this particular parameter. It is full of a range of features, amenities, and facilities that make this happen.

There are huge pillows, umbrellas, sunbeds, and tavernas.

That guarantees that you enjoy all your needs under one roof. It is, on the whole, a great place if all you want is to leverage fun and relaxation.

Psarou Beach

If you happen to have too much money to spend, do not even contemplate looking to any other beach than the Psarou.

It targets the high end of the market. The area is excellent for all kinds of water sports. These are the snorkeling, drinking, scuba diving, eating, golden sand, and turquoise waters courtesy of its breathtaking bay.

That is the place to be for a New Year eve celebration or an end of year party. Its super quiet ambiance makes it all the more irresistible!

Fokos Beach

People visit beaches for different reasons.

If yours is to sightsee or photography, this is the beach to go for. It has a breathtaking ambiance. It is by far the most beautiful of all the beaches on the island. You will find it great to sightsee and take photos.

The white sounds, blue waters, and spectacular waves are but a few of the great sites to behold. Being rarely visited, the beach is excellent for couples who want to bond together.

Mersini Beach

Situated at a stone-throw distance from the Foko beach. The area is excellent for swimming. That is due to its protective nature, calm waters, and a relaxed atmosphere.

You, therefore, have it for your taking if all you could be looking for is a place to swim and relax.

It is also rarely visited owing to the rocky surroundings and detached nature.

That makes it suited for relaxation and bonding. The clear waters that lie adjacent to it may also be great for photography.

Mykonos Beaches Overview

Well, the choice of the best sandy beach to visit is yours. You have all the beaches for your consideration.

Needless to point out, there are no other beaches that the island has to offer. Because of the limited time we had, we inevitably had to leave quite a good number of them out.

Feel free to carry out further research and share your experiences with us. There are more beaches like Platys Gialos beach and others that we will let you explore.

All the best in your next trip to the island of Mykonos and the accompanying beaches!

To get around in Mykonos, you can use bus services, water taxi or get comfy by renting a car or a hog bike.

Some people balance between Mykonos or Santorini, but you can do both. The islands are close, and there are numerous ways to reach each of them. Read the post from getting from Mykonos to Santorini and vice versa.

You’ve probably seen all those pictures of white-washed houses and churches with blue domes. Both Santorini and Mykonos have them.

Mykonos town is a vivid and crowds gathering place, while Santorini Thira, Imerovigli, and Oia are the same analogies in Santorini.

They exist on both islands, and they are even prettier in real life.

Last but not least, do visit our extended post with all the things to do in Mykonos island, Greece.

Premium Tips: Athens to Mykonos Ferry or Flight 2019

Athens to Mykonos Ferry or Flight?

Are you going to Mykonos? Need to know the Athens to Mykonos ferry options and particulars. We are here to help you out.

Whether you are planning for a family vacation or just an individual trip, rule number one is that you should always plan well. Plan equally well for your Athens to Mykonos Ferry. Have your tickets booked in advance.

Make sure you double-check each ferry route, when ferries run and when ferries operate. Sometimes there are unplanned strikes or weather conditions may prevent approaching some harbor. 

When you plan for island hopping, such information is crucial.

Get to know where you are traveling to and what are the challenges that you might likely to encounter on your way.

In case you need to travel from Athens to Santorini by ferry click here. For Crete to Santorini ferry read this post.

Tip: Where to stay in Mykonos

You may don’t know this, but Mykonos beaches get really (really) crowded in tourist season. You may want to check hotels and villas with private pools.

Click here to see hotels with private pools and their prices. To book your airplane tickets, compare prices on flights with Skyscanner.

To book Ferry tickets from Athens to Mykonos (or other destinations in Greece) make sure to check prices from here.

About Mykonos Greece

There are several destinations in the world to visit and have a good time, and one of them is Mykonos in Greece.

Mykonos is one of the most famous Greek Island in the Aegean Sea. It attracts a massive crowd of people from all over the world. They come into this beautiful island to experience what it has to offer.

There are so much to encounter when you are in Mykonos, most of which is the Stylish nightlife.

It is not only the nightlife, that is what you will enjoy, but you can do a lot during the daytime.

That includes some of the most beautiful beach parties along the private beaches, ski, jet-ski, mindful, horseback riding, para-sail, and much more.

So, how does one get to Mykonos from Athens? There are two ways that you can travel to Mykonos from Athens, Greece.

This will depend on what your budget is and the time that you have on your hand. Each way has its advantages and disadvantages at the same time.

One can be very fast at the same time very expensive while the other can be very slow but price friendly.

Should you get the Athens to Mykonos Ferry?

An Athens to Mykonos ferry is one of the best ways to experience your vacation in Greece. That is because you will get to witness some of the magnificent scenery when you are also traveling.

It is advisable not to take some of the slowest and biggest ferries to Mykonos and at the same time if you can please avoid the fast and smaller boats as well.

The reason behind all this is that the small ferries are faster. There are very high chances of getting seasickness — a bumpy ride which might not be a pleasant experience. We have been there and know what we are talking about.

If you are travel in August, it is advisable to take some of the biggest ferries to Santorini (goes through Mykonos too). That month is one of the windy month of the year in Greece.

What you need to know is that before you take the ferry, you will have to make your way to Piraeus, which is Athens ferry port.

How do you get to Piraeus from the Airport?

One of the cheapest and easiest ways to get to Athens Ferry Port is by the use of X96 bus that stops just outside the Athens airport.

Depending on the traffic on that particular day, the bus will take an average of 75 minutes to get you to the Athens Ferry ports using their design route.

What you need to know about the X96 Buses in Athens

  • You will have to stop at the bus station which is also the metro station to get to Mykonos ferries which usually depart from E7 port gate.
  • There are very slim chances of getting lost. That is because there are GPS screens that always shows you where you are. In case you might miss them approach the bus driver and talk to them. They are usually very fluent in English.
  • The bus runs 24/7, and there is always a bus every 30 minutes. If you miss one coach, be patient and wait for another 30 minutes and you will get another bus.
  • There are kiosks outside the bus stop. That is where you will have to get your bus ticket from. If you are still at the airport, you can also get your ticket from the kiosks at the airport. Just follow the bus sign.
  • The bus ticket will cost about 7 US dollars for adults and 3.5 US Dollars for children
  • The tickets have to be validated inside the bus, and you can use the ticket for about one and a half hours

The other means of getting to the Ferry port from the airport is by using the taxi. That is not advisable since it is so expensive (though cheaper than in other countries) and coaches cost much less.

The taxi will cost you around 58 to 70 US dollars.

What you need to know about Mykonos Port

There are two main ports in Mykonos; this is the old port and the new port.

These are for different functions. The old port is used only for excursions to the neighboring island of ancient Delos.

The new port is the ideal one to use as it is only a few meters away from the City of Mykonos.

There are several numbers of ferries that anchor into the port of Mykonos and the number has drastically increased in recent years.

Around twelve ferry boats anchor at these port daily. That is in May and September. About three cruise ships are said to arrive regularly.

How do you get to Mykonos Port?

As mentioned earlier, the new port is situated just a few meters away from Mykonos. Which means that you get to the port from the city by just walking, this will take about 10 minutes.

Another alternative to getting to the port from Mykonos Town is by using the bus. That operates from the new port to the old port as well.

The great thing about the buses is that nearly every hotel in Mykonos has a mini Van for their clients. That makes it very easy to travel in and from the hotel, but one has to make prior arrangements with the hotel personnel.

One can also access the port by using the car; this can be either rental or hired vehicles, even hog bikes.

That is not only a very comfortable way to travel and explore this magnificent island but also one of the most convenient means to reach the port very fast by using the old regional road.

There are also taxis, but you will realize that it is one of the most expensive means of transport on the island.

The reasons as to why the taxis are costly are that it is scarce and the same taxi prices are predetermined because they do not have taximeters installed in them.

The taxi stands are situated nest to Manto Mavrogenous Statue, which is the central square of the island.

Another mode of transportation to the port is the use of the small boats, also known as the caiques.

These boats depart from the old port of Mykonos Island nearly daily to the island of Delos.

Ferries from Athens to Mykonos

There three main options for an Athens to Mykonos ferry and these are as follows;

  • The Blue Star Ferries
  • SeaJet Catamaran
  • Highspeed Ferries
  • Golden Star Ferries

The Blue Star Ferries

It is always the first option of ferries to pick from because it is stable even though it is the largest and slowest ferries to Mykonos and takes about two hours thirty minutes to arrive in Mykonos.

When you are traveling with these ferries, you will have minimal chances of getting seasickness as you will not notice when it is bumpy and windy.

Another great advantage of the Blue Star ferries is that they visit another small island before reaching Mykonos, which means that you will get a glimpse of some of the Greek islands.

They are also some of the cheapest Ferries available with the Super Economy costing around 23 US dollars and have the chance of seating at the deck.

You will realize that this price is only for limited tickets, and chances of getting this ticket in the high season are meager.

The cheapest seat that you are likely to find in the Economy Class goes for about 42 US Dollars Euros, and this does not come with guaranteed seats.

You should spend around 48 US Dollars to get aircraft types seats inside the ferry.

If you fancy a more stylish accommodation, you can always go for a cabin inside the ferry, and one can easily upgrade to one.

As far as food is concerned, one should not be worried as there is a snack bar inside the Blue Star Ferry where one can buy sandwiches and lunch if they want.

The tickets from the ferries are available from the travel agency that is at the airport.

That is advisable because if you book your ticket online, you will still have to visit the travel agencies to print the certified tickets as this is what the law requires.

SeaJet Catamaran

They also take the same time of two hours and thirty minutes to reach Mykonos, the notable difference with these ferries is that they do not have a deck and are the smallest of all ferries and has a significant drawback of being canceled depending on the weather.

The price of SeaJet Catamaran is about 87 US dollar to get you from Athens to Mykonos, and that is only one way

Highspeed Ferries

It takes about the same time as Blue Star ferries and the SeaJet Catamaran.

They leave Piraeus in the afternoon and will take about 2 hours to arrive in Mykonos.

The tickets for these ferries will cost one about 40 US Dollars.

It is advisable to book your ticket in advance, especially during the high season because the tickets are limited.

Which is the best Ferry to travel from Athens to Mykonos?

From the three above mentioned ferries, it is clear that the Blue star ferry is the best, this is because of the following reasons:

  • It is the most stable meaning the ride to Mykonos can be much better, and one will not be scared of getting seasickness because of the speed and bumpiness of the rise
  • Chances of the Ferry to get canceled because the weather is very slim
  • Though very limited, you will get the opportunity of seating on the deck and be able to enjoy some of the fantastic Greek blue seas and at the same time pleasant weather.
  • It is notably the cheapest mode of transport (this year, 2018)

Mykonos Port ferry schedules

Most of the Ferries and Highspeed boats that leave the port of Piraeus and Rafina usually arrive at Mykonos.

Mykonos also connects to Thessaloniki and other Cyclades islands, including Crete and Dodekanisa.

Piraeus which is a port in Athens, Syros, Tinos, Mykonos connects by ferries of one of the most famous ferries company called the Blue Star Ferries.

Four other ports are Rafina, Andros, Tinos, and Mykonos that are served by about five significant ferries namely, Agoudimos Line Ferries, Hellenic Seaways Ferries, Cyclades Fast Ferries, Alpha Ferries, and Blue Star Ferries.

There are so many other ferries that connect Mykonos to another island, as indicated below.

  • Alpha Ferries and Blue Star Ferries connect Mykonos to some of the neighboring islands of Paros and Naxos
  • Mykonos connects connected to Heraklion which is in Crete, and to Santorini, Folegandros, Amorgos, Koufonisi, and Naxos with the high-speed ferries
  • Mykonos connects with Ikaria and Samos with itineraries of Kallisti Ferries. Mykonos is also an intermediary port of another route, which is the Heraklion Crete, Ios, Naxos, and Paros.

On the other hand, instead of getting the Athens to Mykonos ferry, you can take a flight there.

What to do in Mykonos, Greece?

We are sure that you didn’t decide to get to Mykonos by chance. Yet, here is a list of ideas on what to do in Mykonos island. Some are guided tours, while others are not.

Should you get an Athens to Mykonos Flight?

That is the fastest way to travel to Mykonos because it is very fast when you compare traveling by plane. The journey will take around 30 minutes. Compare prices on flights with Skyscanner.

You will notice that this is also the most expensive mode of travel. Prices change fast depending on the day and time you want to get to Mykonos.

One will not need to worry as there are many flights from Athens to Mykonos per day. The trip gets even much more during the high season that is from April to October.

Several companies operate direct flights from Athens to Mykonos. These are the Aegean Airlines, also known as Olympic Air, Ryanair, Volotea and Sky Express.

What one needs to notice is that the flight schedules change from time to time, and it is not at the same time throughout the year.

It is advisable to check the right flight times to avoid inconveniences.

One of the everyday things about these flights is that it takes off every 40 minutes to fly back to Athens.

The best way to always be sure of your flight schedule is still to book your ticket well in advance, preferably four to six months. That will guarantee that you get the best deals.

When you book your ticket in advance, it will cost you about 30 US dollars compared to 60 US dollars that you are likely to spend on the flight if you do not book your ticket in advance

Even though it is the fastest way to get to Mykonos port, it is not the best alternative to travel because of the following reasons:

  1. It is costly when you compare to the other mode of transportation
  2. The flight might not so much reliable and convenient as you will end up spending most of the precious hours stranded at the Athens airport.
  3. Compared to the Ferry you do not get to see any other Greek Island while you are traveling as there is so much to witness in term of the beautiful nature when you are traveling to the island.

Conclusion for choosing Athens to Mykonos Ferry

Mykonos is, without any doubt, one of the most popular destinations in Greece, and that is why one has to make sure that their vacation or trip very enjoyable.

That is why this is very important to get to know not only the route of where you are traveling but what are some of the challenges that you are likely to encounter on your way.

The best way to get about this is by preparing well in advance.

That will not only make your trip as enjoyable as it can be, but you will also be able to have a lot of money in the long run.

That is why this article will be the best guide to show you some of the ways to save you some money on your vacation to Mykonos.

Have fun in Mykonos and enjoy the beaches!

Mykonos or Santorini Greece 2019 Guide

Mykonos or Santorini? - White & Blue Island Hopping

Are heading to Greece? Do consider to also visit one (or both) of the two most famous Greek islands – Mykonos or Santorini.

If you need to choose only one from Mykonos or Santorini, then our guide will help you choose the best option.

Keep in mind that in July and August, the sun bathes both islands – Santorini and Mykonos – in a significant way.

That is the reason most of the photos you see online (for both islands) look like postcards!

Mykonos or Santorini? Sightseeing & Landscapes

You’ve probably seen all those pictures of white-washed houses and churches with blue domes. Both Santorini and Mykonos have them.

Mykonos town is a vivid and crowds gathering place, while Santorini Thira, Imerovigli, and Oia are the same analogies in Santorini.

They exist on both islands, and they are even prettier in real life.

Santorini is world-famous for its stunning views of the volcano, and the romantic sunsets.

Admire the famous sunset of Santorini from the main town of Fira. You can do the same from the smaller village of Firostefani or the world-famous town of Oia.

View of Caldera – Mykonos or Santorini

When you take the boat to go across to the volcano, look up towards Santorini mainland.  You will see many white-washed houses perked up on the cliff.

That is a fantastic view to remember for the rest of your life!

Mykonos or Santorini? - White & Blue Island Hopping
Volcano and Scaros rock from Imerovigli

Mykonos, on the other hand, is also very scenic.

With its many windmills, picturesque streets, lovely white churches, and pretty villas, it’s a feast for your eyes.

Walk around the Chora (main town) and the Old Harbor, or drive around the island, and you will love it.

Mykonos or Santorini? - White & Blue Island Hopping
Chora of Santorini

Verdict: Choosing between “Mykonos and Santorini” is difficult when it comes to landscapes and views, as both islands are beautiful.

You can choose according to other things you like doing during your holidays.

Activities

There are plenty of activities to choose from in both Santorini and Mykonos. Read the analytical posts about the things to do in Santorini and the things to do in Mykonos.

When it comes to Archaeology in Santorini, you can visit the archaeological site of Ancient Akrotiri. That is a bronze age Minoan settlement buried under volcanic ashes for several centuries.

If you opt for Mykonos, don’t miss a day trip to the nearby island of Delos, a UNESCO heritage site.

Apart from the sites, there are archaeology museums on both islands – make sure you check opening times, as they change often.

Akrotiri Archaeological Site in Santorini
Interior view of Akrotiri Archaeological Site in Santorini

Wineries: Other than the sunsets, Santorini is very famous for its wines.

Check out grape varieties like Assyrtiko, Nikteri, and Vinsanto.

You can also take a guided or self-guided winery tour – make sure you have a designated driver.

More recently, Santorini craft beer has also found its place on the map. Mykonos also has wineries and a brewery, but they are nowhere near as famous.

Nightlife / partying: If partying is your thing, Mykonos is the place to go. It has a solid reputation for being a party island – and for a good reason.

Weddings Destination: Santorini is a top-notch weddings destination for couples from all over the world. The island receives thousands of requests for weddings every year and for some venues, there is a 2-year waiting list. Read what it takes to do your wedding in Santorini atour weddings in Santorini post.

Mykonos has world-famous clubs and a crowd to match. You can spend a few days dancing and socializing like there’s no tomorrow.

That is not to say that Santorini hasn’t got its fair share of clubs and bars. If nightlife is a factor that will determine whether you will go to Mykonos or Santorini, we suggest going to Mykonos.

Mykonos or Santorini? - White & Blue Island Hopping
Elia beach in Mykonos

Outdoors: There are other Greek islands, far better for outdoors people. However, there’s plenty to do on both Santorini and Mykonos.

Both islands offer the usual water activities – kayak, SUP, snorkeling, etc.

Santorini offers a stunning 10km (6 miles) hike from Fira to Oia. Do that early in the morning so to avoid the summer scorching sun. You can stop at Oia for snacks, coffee, brunch, and to admire the splendid view.

Mykonos, on the other hand, has several hiking paths to choose from, but they are not well sign-posted.

Hiking Santorini Greece - 10km From Thira to Oia
Part of the hiking route from Thira to Santorini

Beaches: You read on various websites about the amazingly beautiful beaches in Santorini, like the Red Beach, Perissa and Perivolos.

While those are not too bad, they are not up to the standards of the sandy beaches in Mykonos.

Crowded and also famous beaches in Mykonos are Super Paradise, Psarrou, Ornos, Elia and Paraga. 

The less busy ones are Fokos, Platis Gialos, Agios Sostis, Loulos, Kapari or Merhias. Read the post for best beaches of Mykonos.

Accommodation

Both Santorini and Mykonos attract thousands of tourists every year, and there are plenty of options for accommodation.

Many of those hotels and villas are on the high-end/luxury category, with unparalleled views and fantastic service. Here is a guide on where to stay in Santorini (for all budgets and preferences).

Click here to see hotels with private pools and their prices for accommodation in Mykonos. To book your airplane tickets compare prices on flights with Skyscanner.

People from all over the world choose to visit Santorini for their honeymoon. Santorini is one of the few places in the world where you can have your private balcony along with a view of a volcano.

As for where to stay in Mykonos, there are lots of luxury villas to choose from.

Mykonos or Santorini? - White & Blue Island Hopping
Hotels in Caldera, Santorini

 

Thira Santorini Capital of Beauty in Caldera
View from Firostefani

Food

Both islands have several award-winning restaurants, like Bill & Coo, Matsuhisa, and Kensho in Mykonos. The equal popular in Santorini are Santoro, Koukoumavlos, and Selini.

That is not to say that more basic restaurants do not exist – quite the contrary. And in any case, it’s difficult to go wrong with Greek food!

Which island is easiest to get? Mykonos or Santorini?

Both islands are popular and as such, you can get to them in many ways. These include both ferries and airplanes.

On top of that, there are plenty of ferries between and towards both of these Cycladic islands. As such, you can spend some days in one and some in the other. 

You can even go to both from Crete.

If you are planning to visit Mykonos or Santorini in high season, make sure you book very early to avoid disappointment. Booking early for the appropriate ferry is also crucial.

Ferry from Athens to Santorini

A popular way to get to Santorini is by ferry from Athens, if you land in Athens first and you should do! There are quite a few ferry routes to choose from.

Here are the instructions to help you out getting the Athens to Santorini ferry tickets options.

As with ferries, there are more than four available ferries every day that travels from Athens to Santorini; that is in the summer alone. Read the complete post.

Click to read the extended post on all things to know for Athens to Santorini ferry tickets, ferry schedules, and companies.

Both islands are trendy, and booking six or more months in advance is recommended.

Ferry from Athens to Mykonos

An Athens to Mykonos ferry is one of the best ways to experience your vacation in Greece this is because you will get to witness some of the great scenery when you are also traveling.

Having said that, it is advisable not to take some of the slowest and biggest ferries to Mykonos and at the same time if you can please avoid the fast and smaller ferries as well.

The reason behind all these is that the small ferries are faster but there are very high chances of one getting seasickness as well as a bumpy ride which might not be a pleasant experience. We have been there and know what we are talking about.

Read the post with all the details for Athens to Mykonos ferry and flights.

Traveling Using the Crete to Santorini Ferry

That is the most fancied mode of transportation from Crete to Santorini and runs two times daily. The overall trip to by ferry takes around 2 hours 30mins that is if you fancy using the Heraklion- Santorini route.

You will realize that almost all ferries dock as Athinios Port. There are available buses to shuttle the passengers to their favorite destinations on the island.

Read about the Crete to Santorini Ferry options.

Conclusion

Mykonos or Santorini? It depends on what you are after, and what time of the year you are planning to visit.

To use popular stereotypes, Mykonos is “a party island,” while Santorini is “an island to watch the sunset from.” But as you have seen, there is a lot more to do on both islands.

So, whether you are going to Mykonos or Santorini, get ready for a blast!

Extra tip

As you realize, both islands can get very busy in summer. You might find prices a little too high and lovely photos impossible to get.

Are you a budget-conscious traveler? Do you prefer less busy places? Then we recommend visiting those islands off-season (October – March).

During May, the weather is hot enough to take a swim, and enjoy the magnificent landscapes without the summer crowds.