In Greek mythology Mykonos was the location of the battle between Zeus and the Titans , and the island was named in honor of Apollo’s grandson Mykons. Today Mykonos is one of the most popular islands in Greece, mostly known for its beaches and intense nightlife. There is a great package deal to this Greek Island that will give you 5 nights in Mykonos at the Deluxe San Marco Hotel and 2 nights in Athens. The San Marco luxury hotel in Mykonosis situated in an ideal location featuring 85 rooms, in the exclusive area of Houlakia Bay, 4,5 km northwest of Mykonos town and just 1,5 km from Tourlos Port. The Mykonos Experience vacation package will give you a week of luxury in Greece at an affordable price.
For those of you who are looking to travel in a less conventional manner during your Greek Island Hop why not consider a small regional air carrier called Sky Express. Sky Express is based in Heraklion Crete and operates turbo prop Jet streams offering up to 30 seats with two pilots and one cabin attendant. These aircraft offer jet comfort and are reliable, safe, and fast enough to achieve quick flight times between short distance airports.
Ideal for when trying to get from from one small Greek Island to the other where either direct Ferry Boat access is not available or where schedule flights with Olympic or Aegean Airlines are not an option. Sky Express is a great option for visiting many Greek Islands and they keep expanding each year. Click here to read more on Sky Express and what Greek Islands they can take you to.
The goal of Yoga is the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility while meditating. With its warm weather and spectacular beaches, the Greek Islands are an ideal place to find that harmony. Semperviva Yoga Studios located in Kitsilano, offers retreats on the island of Kythira perfectly located near the Ionian Islands. The Island with its effortless beauty–jagged terrain and spectacular beaches–will give you an incredible backdrop to meditate and to attain a spotless mind. Kythira still maintains the integrity of the traditional way of life and offers a calm refuge.
Combining the power of yoga with the rugged beauty and passionate energy of the Greek Islands will surely transform you. This Greek Island Yoga Retreat will give you daily yoga classes, traditional villages, and lots of free time to soak up the Mediterranean sun and to swim at any of Kythira’s amazing beaches.
Enjoy the world famous Mediterranean Diet and become a native where you will enjoy three group dinners together at the island’s finest tavernas, where the local musicians will be sure to thrill. You will be staying in the small, picturesque fishing village of Avlemonas, located on the eastern side of this alluring Greek Island, where archaeologists have spent years searching for the Temple of Aphrodite, the goddess of love.
Take a peak at what your Greek Island Yoga Retreat will look like with this video:
Your Greece Yoga Retreat Package Includes:
- 6 nights accommodation
- Shared car rental car
- 24 hour access to our representative on the island
- Morning and evening yoga classes
- 3 Group excursions with meals
- Breakfast of fresh local fruit and coffee
- Round Trip airport transfers
According to a report in the Associated Press this morning, The Fitch ratings agency says it has downgraded Greece further into junk status, from ‘CCC’ to ‘C’ following the announcement of the details of the country’s debt swap deal with private creditors. What does this mean in in “English”, The agency said Wednesday the downgrade indicated “that default is highly likely in the near term.”
The AP went on to say, that the new austerity measures demanded by creditors in return for the rescue loans follow two years of deepening misery, with the Greek economy in free fall and unemployment at a record high. Angry unions have called two separate protest rallies outside Parliament in the afternoon. One is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. outside Parliament and a second by Communist supporters will hold a separate march an hour later. Other supporters are planning a motorcycle rally in Athens.
Demonstrations were planned and executed around the world this past weekend as a show of solidarity with Greece. There seems to be a global consensus forming that the austerity measures are going too far in Greece, especially on the working class. Greece and other countries are receiving hundreds of billions in Support, but to what avail?
Countries like Greece need to have their tourism infrastructure further developed, which will bring about economic activity, growth and prosperity. More austerity means more pain with no gain for now. The only saving grace from a tourism perspective is that the prices of tourism services on the Greek Islands will continue to fall, and the hope is more will come to experience the amazing Greek Islands this summer. Economic Activity and Growth is needed, not austerity and starvation.
Only a short ferry boat ride from Athens these spectacular Greek Islands are a skip away from the hustle and bustle of the city of Athens. They are situated a close distance from the port of Piraeus and are scattered between the prefecture of Attica and the eastern side of the Peloponnese.
The Saronic Islands: Angistri, Aegina, Poros, Salamina, Spetses, Hydra and the coastal area of Methana have a lot to offer to the visitors: natural beauty with remarkable landscapes, clean sandy beaches, unique archaeological sites, museums, manor houses, picturesque settlements and even small deserted islets to explore. They feature spectacular hotels both inexpensive and over the top to satisfy all budgets. Visits these Greek Islands via a highly recommended day trip from Athens which can bring you to the islands of Hydra, Aegina and Poros in half of a day.
Below are some links to the Saronic Greek Islands for you to check out.
Greece offers many types of ferry services such as standard ferry service, high speed ferry service, hydrofoils as well as catamarans, via an array of companies that operate schedules not only domestically in The Seas of The Aegean, The Ionian & The Mediterranean but also internationally to countries such as Italy and Turkey. It is always recommended to book in advance since most routes sell out rapidly, especially during the high season months of July and August.
Ferry schedules on the Greek Islands change often and some times with out notice. High winds during certain times of the year lead to cancellations and strikes have led to days with out service, especially over the last two seasons. However, Ferries in Greece are the primary mode of transportation for most islands and the back bone to their economic survival; bottom line we can not live with out them. So what is the best course of action when it comes to booking ferry travel in Greece? Many feel that it is an easy process that can be accomplished with a quick phone call or a click of a mouse; think again.
According to Julie Subotky the author of the best selling book Consider It Done; “I’d recommend using a travel agent, and letting him or her take care of the ferry reservations on the Greek Islands”. She goes on to say, “If you are using a travel agent, at least find someone who speaks the language to do the booking for you. Don’t know anyone who speaks Greek? I guess you could try calling yourself, but just know that you are not guaranteed anything, ever, and allow some time for the ensuing lengthy and confusing conversation-I dare you to complete the whole transaction in under an hour. In addition, know that schedules change all the time, so be sure when you book your ticket that you are working off a schedule that will apply during the dates of your trip.”
Leave the ferry ticket process to professionals that understand the dynamic nature of traveling the Greek Islands. If you insist on going it alone, there are many online resources for schedules and the Greek National Tourism Office publishes ferry schedules weekly. However, it advisable to always check with the Harbor Master at each of your ports of travel to verify ferry schedules. Click here for your online Ferry Schedules & Reservations to Greek Islands
For More Great Tips, Check out Julie’s New Book, Consider it Done
Named the “Top Island Destination” by Conde Nast Traveler, the Greek Islands offer a diverse amount of travel experiences for all; breath taking volcanic cliffs of Santorini, amazing beaches of Mykonos, to the rich history and culture of Corfu and Rhodes.
Princess Cruises is offering special fares on cruises to Europe as part of “The Love Boat Sale,” which runs from thru February 20th . Cruise Passengers can enjoy an on board credit of up to $100 per cabin. This Cruise sale includes up to 30 European itineraries, including Mediterranean cruises, Greek Islands cruises.
Clients must call to book any stateroom on a qualifying Princess sailing departing 04/07/12 –12/02/12 and Princess will give them $25, $50 or $100 FREE Princess Cash depending on the category booked. You can use The Princess Cash towards a spa treatment, cocktails, shore excursions, or other purchases made on the ship – or keep however much is left over after cruising. On board Spending Amount Per Stateroom is as follows: Inside & Ocean view on 6 to 9 Night Cruises up to $50 earned and on 10+ Night Cruises up to $100 on Balcony and Suite Cabins. Hurry, Cruise Sale ends midnight EST February 20. Call Cruise one for more information at 718.878.6410 or Click Here for Eastern European Cruising Itineraries
Last year this time there was great anticipation and excitement with the prospect of Hellenic Airways flying daily non stops flights from JFK Airport in New York to Athens. Rumors were rampant and sure enough they initiated service. Grant it, the service was spotty with delays but in the end Hellenic Air successfully delivered and relieved both prices and availability.
As many wait anxiously for any news on Hellenic Imperial Airlines commencing flight service from Athens to John F Kennedy Airport in New York City, the frustration builds as the peak travel season to Athens is upon us. The fares on most major carriers are up substantially this year primarily due to the lack of competition amongst non stop airlines servicing the New York City Tri-State Area. Delta controls the market out of Kennedy, Continental out of Newark Airport and the nearest non stop flight would be US Air out of Philadelphia making connecting flights the only reasonable option this season.
If in fact Hellenic Airways commences services daily out of JFK via its non-stop service to Athens it will be a welcomed relief to many potential summer travelers as it was last summer, and a much needed boost to the Greek Economy. We all anxiously wait for the news but as the great Yogi Bera was fond of saying, “It’s déjà vu all over again“ For Flight Assistance to Athens this Summer call Delos Travel 718.578.4183
According to a story I read earlier this week from Toronto Star’s travel editor Jim Byers, a study by Tripadvisor in the UK showed hotel prices in Greece have fallen as much as 20 per cent over all thus far.
The company looked at nine popular Greek Island destinations and found that all but two have seen hotel rates fall significantly in the past year. The biggest fall was in the Island of Corfu, where hotel rates have dropped on average by 20 per cent. Rates in Zakynthos dropped 12.4 per cent, while rates in Athens dropped 7.9 per cent and prices in Crete fell 7.7 per cent. However, prices on the most popular Greek Islands of Santorini and Mykonos were up slightly at 0.1 percent and 0.7 percent respectfully. “While the Greek economy has experienced a traumatic year, the silver lining for tourism could be an increase in visitors due to the lower prices in many of its popular destinations,” said Emma Shaw, a TripAdvisor spokesperson.
It is great news for the Greek Island Traveler that falling Greek Hotel prices are making the Greek Islands a greater value this season, however another great way to save more money Greek Island Hopping is to travel independently of cookie cutter tour packages. Such packages present a value to the traveler, however they are not flexible and do not allow for changes or modifications typically. Using a professional Greek Island Travel consultant however, is best if you are not an experienced traveler since they handle all the details and can can typically find better deals. It is recommended to use a Greek Island travel expert with offices in Athens and the USA who typically have great knowledge of Greek island ferry routes, itineraries, hotel values and are full of information and resources. The best thing of all is that you know they are hands on from start to finish and will handle any unforeseen issues should they arise.
Another basic tip is to book early and get the cheapest flight to Athens which typically means connecting via a European city with a small lay over. For the true travel adventurers after landing in Athens, avoid the cab or private transfer and catch the airport bus to the Port of Piraeus. Once there you can head south on a slow ferry saving money, since they are typically 50% to 70% cheaper than High Speed Ferries and air flights. Keep in mind that you must allow a couple of extra days in your schedule to accommodate for unannounced time table changes and delays or cancellations caused by high winds or strikes. It is also critical to make your last Greek Island a major ferry hub, providing multiple ferry options for your trip back to the port of Piraeus or Rafina.
I leave you with some Greek Island traveling tips from the The Ancient Greek Poem Road to Ithaca which states, “When you set out on your journey to Ithaca, pray that the road is long, full of adventure, full of knowledge.” The best way to determine which is the best way to Greek Island hop, is to ask yourself is the final destination more important to you or the road leading to it? But, “Always keep Ithaca fixed in your mind. To arrive there is your ultimate goal.”
The casual lifestyle of Ikaria can be experienced through out the Island where the daily grind of the modern world has never reached the shores of Ikaria. Shops are typically left unattended and customers indulge in self service leaving monies due in baskets which serve as cash registers. The island is perfect for those that want to kick back and chill and truly experience a hip laid back spot.
Made famous by Icarus who’s father, Daedalus attempted to escape from his exile where he and his son were imprisoned at the hands of King Minos, the king for whom he had built the Labyrinth to imprison the Minotaur (half man, half bull). Daedalus fashioned two pairs of wings out of wax and feathers for himself and his son. Before they took off from the island, Daedalus warned his son not to fly too close to the sun, nor too close to the sea. Icarus soared through the sky, but in the process he came too close to the sun, which melted the wax, so Icarus fell into the sea near Ikaria, an island southwest of Samos.
According to website “Greeka” The permanent inhabitants of Ikaria are approaching the record of longevity and attract the interest of the global scientific community. In fact, a group of American scientists of various specialties (dieticians, geneticists, doctors, biologists) traveled to Ikaria recently to study why the inhabitants of this beautiful Aegean island live till their 90 or 100 years.
The leader of the group believes that this is due to the qualitative daily life and the diet of the inhabitants. “On Ikaria, people follow a diet rich in vegetables, fruits and fish, while most of the residents are farmers, which means that they exercise daily”, he says. He also stresses that of great importance is the rare honey of the island, the habit to drink tea and the daily siesta.