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Vacation in Greece / Top Destinations For Christmas
« on: December 16, 2011, 04:35:40 PM »
1. Quebec City, Canada. This is a particularly ideal vacation destination for Americans. It offers the charm of Old World Europe with the proximity of a North American destination. It’s guaranteed to offer a snowy White Christmas, which is a must for many holiday travelers. This city is known for providing a great Christmas experience to visitors. It has terrific holiday shopping options. It is filled with lights and decorated Christmas trees. And there are numerous holiday events to enjoy while you’re here. Plan now for a trip to this top destination!
 
2. Any of the Caribbean islands. At the opposite end of the spectrum from the snowy Christmas in Quebec is the sunny sand-laced Christmas on a Caribbean island. There are many reasons that this is a popular choice. The obvious one is that you can enjoy a great relaxing getaway without all of the Christmas trimmings. People who don’t celebrate Christmas find this especially appealing as do people who need a vacation after their traditional tense vacations back home!
 
3. Amsterdam, Netherlands. Returning to a more traditional snowy Christmas destination, this is a perfect time of year to take a trip to Amsterdam. This city starts celebrating Christmas in mid-November and doesn’t stop until the New Year. Even the infamous Red Light District here goes all out with Christmas lights! Numerous events are available to enjoy. In general this is just a magical destination and you’ll truly feel that ambience of holiday spirit in the air here.
 
4. San Francisco, California. If you’re looking for an American destination to enjoy this Christmas then consider San Francisco. You won’t get the snow but you will get to enjoy many other holiday activities. Ice skating in the shopping district of Union Square, attending an annual Dickens Christmas fair and singing carols on a cable car ride are all opportunities that will be available for Christmas. What’s great is that this place isn’t overrun with tourists during this time of year so you can enjoy all of these activities at an affordable price without too many crowds.
 
5. Austin, Texas. Another great American destination to enjoy during Christmas is Austin. What’s really great here is that it’s on the Trail of Lights. You can take this little road trip to enjoy the best Christmas light displays in the entire nation. Austin also offers numerous Christmas activities of its own to enjoy during your time in the city.
 
6. New York City. If you can’t imagine an American Christmas without snow then consider heading up to New York City this year. It’s a great urban destination that offers famous experiences like the Macy’s Parade, the world’s tallest Christmas tree and live viewing of The Nutcracker. It’s also likely to snow (and you can easily travel to much snowier New England destinations as well).
 
7. Lapland, Finland. This destination is well known during the Christmas season because it’s where Santa lives. Here you can enjoy all of the amazing trappings of Christmas including sleigh rides, seeing reindeer and taking a tour of the toys being made by Santa’s helpers. This makes for a great unique family vacation experience to enjoy at Christmastime.
 
8. Bethlehem, Palestine. Are you more interested in the true meaning of Christmas? Visit this religious center to experience that side of Christmas this year. Plan to attend the midnight mass at St. Catherine’s Church if you want to be part of the traditional Christmas experience here.
 
9. Vienna, Austria. If you want to bring Christmas gift souvenirs home from your trip then go here where the Christmas markets are absolutely amazing. You’ll also enjoy a terrific ski destination, a city with many Christmas activities and a generally merry vacation.
 
10.  Your hometown. There are loads and loads of different destinations that could hold the last spot on our list. From the snowiest to the sunniest, it’s tough to select what’s really the best place for a memorable Christmas experience. However, the place that most people go is back to their hometown. Christmas is about spending time with family and friends so no matter where you’re from the place is special during the holiday season.

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Vacation in Greece / Chania, Crete Top Travel Destinations
« on: December 16, 2011, 04:26:11 PM »
Find out about the beauty of the cretan prefecture of Chania or Hania during your holidays to Greece. Steep mountains, wooded slopes, ravines and gorges, dense vegetation, running streams, picturesque coves and vast beaches will fascinate the visitor.
 


Agia Marina Agia Marina is a small, fully organized resort on the northern coast, some 9 km from the city of Chania on the road to Kasteli.
 
Named after the church which is located on the small hill of the old village, Agia Marina is set within lush vegetation; endless olive and orange groves, all kinds of fruit-bearing trees and a limpid seashore. The fine golden-pink sand and the trees along the beach create an exotic setting. Looking north and 400 meters out at sea, is the island of Agii Theodori.
 
Very close to the beach, is the old village of Pano Agia Marina (upper Agia Marina) with lovely traditional Cretan houses and hospitable restaurants serving original Cretan dishes in a traditional atmosphere. There is also a cave (water cave) of unknown length, which became an issue of study for archaeologists and speleologists from all over the world.
 
Agia Marina caters mainly for the package holiday market and lacks a Cretan atmosphere. The old part of the village located on a hill still retains its Cretan charm though. Agia Marina consists almost only of hotels and apartments of all categories, many of which can only be booked through agents though. You will also find a bank, a *store, many shops, gas stations, hotels, rooms for rent, restaurants, tavernas, car rental, cafes, bars, clubs, discos, travel agencies, jeweleries, water sports, camping and many other tourist enterprises.
 
There are plenty of restaurants to cater the large number of visitors and many good nightlife options in Agia Marina and in neighbouring Platanias which is only a short walk away. The long sandy beach is a little exposed to north winds (currents can be quite strong) and has good facilities and water sports. There are several pleasant beach bars and small tavernas with sea view.
 


Agia Roumeli 
 
Agia Roumeli - Much more than just the end of
 
the Samaria gorge
 
Agia Roumeli is a small town in southwest Crete. A few km above the town is the end of the Samaria Gorge, one of the most popular tourist destinations in Crete.
 
Agia Roumeli has a large beach and a ferry slipway where the ferry to and from Chora Sfakion via Loutro arrives, mainly used by hikers who have completed the Samaria walk. There are also rooms for rent, a few bars and some traditional restaurants.
 
Every summer, thousands of people pass through the village after completing the long walk through the Samaria Gorge. Anyone who has done this walk knows that this spectacular experience in nature combined with sore feet and exhaustion are a little too much.
 
Agia Roumeli becomes merely the place where you can get some refreshments while you wait for the ferry to take you back to a tour bus which will bring you to your departure point.Agia Roumeli is so much more; it is a very special and unique place with a genuine Cretan background. It has strong character and is surrounded by breathtaking, wild mountains and a long pebble beach by the clear Libyan sea.
 
The surroundings are so peaceful that there is a chance you might actually forget about the outside world. Watching the stars is quite an experience here. The hospitality of the locals and the quality of the food they prepare is extraordinary.
 
The village is remote and a little isolated since it can be reached only on foot or by boat. There are no roads, no nightlife and no entertainment. Once the last boat has left, the village becomes a restful, calm community between wild mountains and the deep, blue sea.
 
However, anyone who can relate to nature can find plenty to do besides enjoying the almost deserted beaches. The village is situated in one of the wildest regions of Crete and you could spend weeks exploring it on foot.
 
The rich history of Crete has also left many traces in this region and there are several theories regarding the name of the village. Most probably it is traceable to the Arabic words aia = water and rumeli = Greek. So Agia Roumeli would mean Greek water.
 
Close to the new village there is a Byzantine church, "tis Panagias" (the Holy Mother) built where there originally was a temple of Apollo and Vritomartis (Artemis).
 
The ancient site of Tarra was located on the eastern side of the river. Tarra was a small but strong, independent city. It was significant enough to mint its own money. The coins had the Cretan wild goat with an arrow on one side and a bee on the other side. Tarra also established colonies in the South of Italy and in the Caucasus.
 
Several excavations were made and many interesting finds are exhibited in the Archaeological Museum of Chania.
 


 Gavdos
 
Gavdos Island, Crete - a campers' paradise
 
Gavdos is a tiny island in the middle of the Libyan Sea, located 26 nautical miles south from Chora Sfakion. With a permanent population of approximately 60 inhabitants, Gavdos, a stunning combination of rocks, dunes and pristine beaches, becomes the place myth for the traveler.
 
Far from what is considered a technologically advanced world, with a rich and exciting history, landscape and culture, the island attracts more and more visitors who seek authenticity, spontaneity and a contact with nature and people.
 
Belonging to the prefecture of Chania, it forms a community with surrounding islets and is part of the province of Selino.
 
It is of triangular shape, with an area of 27 km². Its terrain is plain and semi-rocky and the climate subtropical, with few rain showers.
 
Gavdos is Greece’s southernmost island and the southernmost point in Europe is the headland Tripiti (north 34°48'07" east 24°07'35"), which presents a beautiful composition of arcades diving into the sea.
 
The island has supported a permanent population since Neolithic times. The place has seen many uses in the different times it has inspired interest. Gavdos has sometimes been identified as the site of the mythical Ogygia where Kalypso held Odysseus prisoner.
 
There is archaeological evidence that the Roman Empire was active on the island. During this time the flora of the island was overexploited which started a process of erosion continuing to this very day.er, at the time of the Byzantine Empire, the island had some 8,000 inhabitants (900-1000 AD) and supported 3 bishops and an archbishop.
 
During the Turkish Empire's reign on the island, which lasted from 1665 up until 1895, Gavdos was known as Gondzo. During this period the population decreased considerably to only 500 inhabitants by 1882. A reference to Saracens on the island survives - a beach is named Sarakiniko (Greek = of the Saracens).
 
In the 30's the island was used as a place of exile of communists; more than 250 people were exiled including leading figures of the Greek movement, such as Markos Vafiadis. Later on, the general phase of urbanization that started in other parts of Greece in the 60's, took place in the 50's on Gavdos. During that period the islanders exchanged their land on Gavdos with ex-Turkish land on Crete, which had now become exchangeable via the state. Upon settling in Crete they created a community known as Gavdiotika.
 
Following years of isolation, in 1996 the island came to media prominence. In a NATO exercise Gavdos was the focal point of a contestation between Greece and Turkey.
 
Nowadays there are only a small number of year-round residents and services for tourists are still pretty basic. As in 2001, the total population of Gavdos was measured as 98 people. The truth is that fewer than 60 people live on the island permanently, but during the census period which lasted 2 days, 98 people were on the island. In the summer the number may reach over 3500, most of which are campers.
 
The harbor for irregular ferries is Karave and the island's capital is Kastri. The southernmost populated village is Vatsiana with a total permanent population of 2 people.
 
Today, apart from the harbor Karave, there are three villages on the islet: Kastri (the capital), Vatsiana and Ambelos.vdos is a low, sandy island wooded with pine trees and cedars. The island is filled with superb sandy beaches such as Sarakiniko, Agios Ioannis, Potamos, Lavrakas, Tripiti and the pebble beach of Korfos, all of which have recently been awarded with the "Golden Starfish".
 
Gavdos has more then 3000 sunny hours a year. The temperatures may reach over 40 degrees Celsius in the summer and there are not many possibilities to escape the powerful sun. So don’t forget to take sunglasses, a hat and a strong sun screen.
 
Bear in mind that tourist facilities and bus connections are quite basic. Gavdos is a very popular place for camping and hiking. So make sure to take a good pair of walking shoes along. Also useful for a stay of some days would be a pocket lamp, knife and fork, solar recharging system if you are using electronic equipment, first aid (your medicine), and a compass.
 
If you plan on visiting Gavdos only on a day trip (arriving at lunch and leaving in the afternoon), you could see either Sarakiniko or Korfos Beach for a swim. Of course you can also stay on the small beach close to Karave.
 
If you are staying overnight you can plan a very nice trip to the southern point of Europe: Cape Tripiti. You will have to leave Korfos early in the morning around 8:00 - 8:30 and walk directly from the beach in southern direction. Starting from Sarakiniko or Karave you will have to start 45 minutes earlier.
 
 

 Georgioupoli 

Georgioupoli - the lively tourist resort
 
Georgioupoli or Georgioupolis (translates into Georgetown) is a village and resort in the region of Apokoronas, 43 km east of the city of Chania and 22 km west of the city of Rethymnon. It was named after Prince George of Greece, the high commissioner of the island during the last years of the Ottoman occupation.
 
Georgioupoli is found at the apex of the Almiros Bay on the Cretan Sea, with Cape Drapano and its rocky coast to the north and the long sandy beaches towards Rethymnon in the east. Three rivers meet the sea at the village; the largest, Almiros, creates a small harbour for fishing and tourist boats. The entrance to the village on the old road from Vrisses is a long avenue of eucalyptus trees.
 
Formerly a small fishing village, Georgioupoli is very much a tourist town now, with many cafés, tavernas and small hotels and apartment blocks. The town square is surrounded by outdoor seating used by tourists enjoying their drinks and ice creams.
 
Archaeological evidence points to Georgioupoli as the site of ancient Amphimalla (Amfimala or Amfimalion), the port of Lappa, a classical city at modern Argiroupoli.
 
Georgioupoli, with its 600 residents, is the largest village of a municipality of the same name, covering several other villages inland as far as Kournas.e 9 km beach is the main attraction of the area, with Kalyvaki beach on the other side of the river as well. Nearby Lake Kournas is also a popular excursion on foot, bicycle or tourist 'train'. Georgioupoli is a well-located base for exploring the traditional villages of the area towards Vamos or into the White Mountains to the south.
 
Georgioupoli is a city that emerged from a marsh. In the 19th century the region was a marsh area; the source of a terrible malaria epidemic that killed the residents of the around regions. In 1880, a tradesman from Athens reached this deserted land. He conceives the value of the region and decides to drain the marsh by planting Eucalyptus and hundreds of other trees in order to cultivate the land. Little by little the region starts to attract new residents and around 1893 a town with the name of Almyroupoli emerges. In 1899, with the arrival of the Commissioner Prince Georgios, the town is renamed into Georgioupoli.
 
 
 

Loutro

Loutro - the right place for relaxing holidays
 
Loutro - Years ago still the paragon of solitude; with its handful of houses, some archaeological ruins, small hotels and tavernas, Loutro has remained a picturesque spot in spite of the meanwhile overall reservation possibilities.
 
Attainable only by boat or hike, tourism has also come here, but Loutro still offers enough peace for a few days of relaxation. The climax of the day is the pier manoeuvre of the ferry to Agia Roumeli on the narrow gravel beach.
 
In the surroundings of the former insider tip Loutro, the destinations for more or less extended excursions are plentiful. Whether to the neighbouring bays, up to Anopolis, by the Aradena ravine or up to the exit of the Samaria Gorge at Agia Roumeli: like in all places in the southwest, numerous tour possibilities arise in the rocky landscape.
 


 Paleochora 
 
Paleochora - a tourist resort with relaxed atmosphere
 
Paleochora is a small town on the southwest coast of the Chania prefecture, some 77 km from the city of Chania, making it the south-easternmost geographical position of the European Community.
 
It is built on a small peninsula of 400 m width and 700 m length which has beaches on both sides and the steep mountain slopes of the White Mountains in the back, forming a natural protection against the South winds. The Libyan Sea wets its coasts of 11 km length.
 
It seems that nature and man have lived here in a mystical union throughout the ages. The beautiful landscapes, the abundant wild life, the vivid history, the fantastic seascapes and the pleasant climate, blend in with the contemporary life of quaint hotels and rent rooms, picturesque and traditional coffee shops, open-air summer theatres, discos and modern cafeterias, creating a memorable sensation to the visitor as he descends south, from Chania to Paleochora.
 
Paleochora’s economy is based on tourism and agriculture (mainly tomatoes cultivated in glass-houses and olive-oil). It has been a relaxing holiday place since the early 70’s, when it was a renowned hippies’ centre.
 
Paleochora is built on the ruins of the ancient city of Kalamydi and the larger area is rich in medieval Byzantine memorials. There are many small Byzantine chapels with interesting and rare wall paintings as well as the remains of early Christian churches.
 
In 1278 the Venetian general Marinos Gradengos had the historical castle of Selino built on an elevation overlooking the Lybian Sea. This memorial of the Venetian era - named the Fortezza, remains today behind the village of Paleohora. The fort gave its name to the whole province, which was renamed from Orina to Selino. The fort was destroyed in 1332 and rebuilt in 1334. Underneath the fort, the Venetians founded a new settlement named Vourgos for workers and merchants. The pirate Barbarossa destroyed the fort in 1539, but later in 1595 Dolf revamped it. In 1645 the Turk conquerors, modified and adjusted the fort to their needs. In 1834 an English traveller named Robert Pashley found the fort completely destroyed and the whole area uninhabited with only a granary and one or two small buildings left. The re-inhabitation of the town known today as Paleochora began in 1866.
 
During the Battle of Crete the town was the scene of fighting between motorcycle-riding troops of the German 95th Reconnaissance Battalion and the Eighth Greek Regiment (Provisional) with elements of the Cretan Gendarmerie.
 
Nowadays Paleochora is one of the fastest growing tourist towns in Crete with crystal clear waters, well-organized pebble beaches and beautiful, isolated little anchorages. Its population of 1.500 inhabitants expands to 10.000 in the summer. Visitors will find many hotels, restaurants, taverns, cafes, bars and nightclubs.
 
Paleochora has all the facilities like bank branches, post office, central telephone office, health centre, doctors, dentists, pharmacies, police station, coast guard and customs office and all kinds of stores.
 


Platanias - The resort of Platanias has successfully retained its individual charme and hospitality whilst developing into a popular, cosmopolitan holiday destination with a wide range of hotals, rooms, tavernas, shops, bars and restaurants; a bustling centre full of activity and entertainment
 
 


 
Sfakia is a beautiful, traditional, mountainous area in the southwest part of Crete, in the Chania prefecture.
 
It is considered one of the few places in Greece to never have been fully occupied by foreign powers. There are many beaches in Sfakia which do not see the numbers of tourists
 


 
Chora Sfakion (commonly called Sfakia) is a characteristic traditional village of about 300 inhabitants.
 
Shepherds can still be seen in local dress and you can hear strains of traditional rhyming couplets "mandinades" sung by village men.
 
 

Sougia is a small village located by the Libyan sea, some 75 km south from the city of Chania.
 
Maybe the narrow winding road which links the village to the north of Crete puts off tour operators from offering package holidays there.

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If you have an interest in beauty, art, architecture and the classic culture that gave us our civilization, then a visit to Greece is just the ticket.  And a vacation rental of a villa, a beach house or another type of private home will give you a chance to experience this wonderful country that is impossible when going from hotel to hotel. 

There are so many places in Greece that choosing a location for your vacation rental can be mind boggling.  Choices include beach houses, apartments, cabins, condos, and other types of holiday homes.  Securing lodging is easy though, when you see what is available.  And the locations in Greece are wonderful.  Crete, the largest of the Greek islands is beautiful and has many archeological sites to visit, as well as tourist attractions like Knossos and Phaistos.  Crete was home to the ancient civilization of the Minoans, from 2600 BC to 1400 BC, and in more recent times gave the world the famous writer, poet and novelist Nikos Kazantakis.

Athens is known as the birthplace of democracy.  This ancient city was home to the Greek philosophers like Aristotle, Plato and Socrates.  Named after the goddess Athena, Athens is one of the most famous cities in the world, and one of the oldest.  As a city state Athens figured prominently in ancient history as well as myths and legends of the ancient world.  The Greek capital, now home to three and a half million people, has been called the cradle of civilization due to the many achievements of its culture.  Birthplace of the Olympic Games, Athens is home to art and architecture, including the famous Acropolis.

Wine, honey, olive oil, and sheep herding are just a few of the products that can be sampled fresh if our holiday home is in Thassos.  This island figures prominently in ancient history and is named after Thasus, son of Phoenix and leader of the Phoenicians who first settled the island and erected a temple to Heracles.  Imagine a vacation on Thassos, staying in a private home near a beautiful beach, enjoying sun and sand and dreaming of the long ago days of great civilizations.  You will be sure to enjoy the native cooking, picking up a bit of the Greek language, and staying with some of the most hospitable people on earth. 

Greece is a country that at one time ruled the known world, through Alexander the Great.  And even when military conquest was no longer part of its agenda, many believe that Greek culture conquered Roman culture from within, with the Romans copying Greek art and architecture and even religion.  When the Roman Empire split into Eastern and Western halves, it was the Greek half of the empire, the Byzantine Empire of Constantine, which lasted far into the middle ages.  Greece is truly a country to enjoy and to learn from, and the most enjoyable way to learn about Greece is through a vacation, with lodging in a private home.

Rent holiday home or vacation rental in Greece on http://www.thechaniavillas.com and enjoy your stay!



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Vacation in Greece / Planning To Travel To Greece?
« on: December 16, 2011, 03:36:57 PM »
If you are planning a visit to Greece, don't miss the Hellenic Festival in Athens located in the second century Odeon of Herodes Atticus.  Planning a sea voyage to Greece's many islands can be a memorable experience.  Greece offers mountain climbing, sailing, windsurfing, scuba diving, river rafting, kayaking, and hiking in it's beautiful natural settings.

Visiting Piraeus

Piraeus is known as the premier port on the Aegean Sea and is a busy hub for travelers and locals.  While in Piraeus, visit the Marina Zea and catch a ride to the Saronic Gulf to view the large yachts, restaurants, shops and taverns along the shoreline.  The Hellenic Maritime Museum exhibits modern and ancient ships and is a great place for those interested in naval history.  Piraeus also offers an archeological museum featuring bronzed statues of Apollo, Athena, and Artemis.  Kastella Hill offers a spectacular view of the sea and the surrounding traditional Greek houses perched on the scenery.  The Hill is home to shops, restaurants, clubs and coffee houses. Take in a soccer game of the Olympiako’s, the resident, champions of Greek Soccer.

Amazing Athens

The Acropolis is the most famous site in all of Athens and lies in the center of the city. It contains a cluster of ancient ruins and is very popular among tourists. National Archaeological Museum is a museum featuring the art and artifacts of the Minoan’s an ancient tribe of people who once dominated the Aegean Sea.  The Jewish Museum, Parthenon, and the National Gardens are all tourist hot spots in Athens. Kolonaki is a modern Athenian street filled with chic boutiques, coffee houses and restaurants.

Staying in Athens is recommended at the Hotel Athens, the Grande Bretagne Hotel, the Art Hotel, the Athens Hilton, the King George Palace, the Life Gallery Athens Hotel, the Periscope Hotel, and the Eridanus Hotel.  These hotels are highly recommended by fellow tourists visiting Greece.

Colossal Crete

The Palace of Knossos is home to labyrinthine ruins that have been reported to be the home to the monstrous Minotaur, a half-man, half-bull creature that devoured young virgins in ancient times.  Be sure to visit the Venetian Walls and Tomb of Nikos Kazantzakis, the historic village of Iraklion and the beautiful sixteenth century fortress known as The Venetian Fortezza. Greece is filled with ancient history, beautiful scenery and friendly hospitality.  Including Greece in your travel itinerary will ensure a pleasurable, memorable trip for the entire family. Greece is a land that must be experienced to be truly appreciated.



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Vacation in Greece / Tips for People Travelling to Greece
« on: December 16, 2011, 03:35:33 PM »
Greece can satisfy even the most demanding of its visitors. It has beautiful scenery and great man made establishments, it has sea but also mountains, it has archaeological sites and night clubs as well, it has crowded areas but it also has nice and quite places. The best of all is that all these are not far away from each other.  I don't think its an overstatement to say that Greece is a traveler's paradise.

Where can you find such places.

If you want to find fancy restaurants and Hotels and all the comforts a man can get those are the services every known place has and they are actually difficult to miss.  Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, Corfu, Crete, Athens, Thessaloniki, Samos are among the most visited destinations in Greece.  If you need luxurious accommodations, fancy restaurants, loud music, packed cafes, lots of visitors you can find them here. 

Places that are not crowded but still have lot to offer are more difficult to find.  There are less services and less money to be gained from visitors and therefore are not heavily promoted.  If you are looking for those places don't ask at your local travel agent.  Don't arrange a Cruise hoping to find them.  The are usually very close to the crowded centers but not much is mentioned of them.

Lots of smaller islands that are not heavily advertised, and island satellites to famous ones usually fall under this category and would be ideal places for people that want to explore the alternative Greece. For the sake of the discussion I am going to mention Gaudos, Paxoi, Fournoi, Sifnos, Ikaria, Chios but this is not extensive by any means. These places are usually recommended from people that have already gone there.  If you have not had such recommendations then I would advise you to prepare your trip to the most favorable location leaving some room in your schedule for visiting places that the locals will undoubtedly suggest. An inquiry to a local Greek travel agent or a Greek Habitant might reveal some hidden treasures around the area. Keeping in mind the pros and cons presented right after, one can easily recognize such places. 

With quiet destinations you avoid the mass tourism and the noise and you enjoy more the nature and the hospitality of people simple and not caught up at the great rush of our times.  Nature is purer and the food is fresher and atmosphere is unspoiled and healthier.  The prices are cheaper too.  One great disadvantage is that such places don't have many means of transportation to and from them and not to many comforts should be expected when looking for accommodation.  Some of them don't even have air connectivity with mainland Greece.  They might have boat or bus connection 3-7 times a week from the near by Town.

Travel off high season

Greeks usually take their summer vacation around the 15th of August that is the biggest festivity in the Orthodox Christian world, commemorating the Assumption of Theotokos (Mary the mother of Jesus).  Around these days everything gets very busy with boats running full and extra flights being added and all types of accommodation running at full capacity.  These period makes for some very tiresome vacation and I would definitely avoid it if I had the choice.  Planning either before or after August is probably the smartest thing one can do when traveling to Greece. You do avoid the headaches and prices are a whole lot different.

Almost all destinations in Greece are connected through Athens, so this gives an opportunity to the traveler to explore the Athenian lifestyle and Acropolis if he/she so chooses. Some alternative routes include Italy which has daily direct boat connections to the Ionian islands and Turkey which has daily boat connectivity to the nearby islands of the Aegean.

Arranging your car rental before hand

Small places usually luck the public transportation of the big and famous cities.  Buses usually run not very frequently and planning your excursions around them usually is not an easy chore.  The more crowded places will probably have cars booked fully for the high season times.  So if you are planning on using a car arranging it ahead of time is always good choice.

Alternative accommodations for rent

If you are not interested in the standard services of a hotel (food, everyday cleaning/towels/sheets pools and restaurants) you can rent villas or homes at cheaper prices.  Usually the such places provide a high level of service compared to what you pay for them. Plenty of non Hotel accommodations are spread at all possible places and the go by the names of "studios" "apartments" "homes" "rooms to let" "homes".  Some times its even possible to rent such places a monthly rental fee, provided you will stay for at least 1 1/2 months there.



6
Vacation in Greece / Greece - The Most Admired Land On Earth
« on: December 16, 2011, 03:33:32 PM »
Greece is widely regarded as the place where the western civilization was born many centuries ago. It is widely acknowledged as the guiding force that has driven the human civilization for over 2500 years now. It is also the place where three continents, namely Europe, Asia and Africa, and three varying climatic conditions submerge into one. These enthralling shades make it one of the most visited places on earth today. Roughly 16 million tourists walk on its soil every year, thus allowing several hundred thousand Greek nationals to be employed by its tourism industry. Located at the southeastern fringe of the European peninsula, Greece is spoken of highly for its world class beaches, lavish hotels and the level of hospitality it offers. Hotels in Greece are an integral part of its tourism infrastructure, which earns around 15% of the nation's entire GDP in revenues.

Rich visuals may be recalled; if one began examining how the events of Greece had benefited the world we are part of. It was Greece that first gave the idea of democratic governance almost 2500 years ago. The word "democracy" itself stemmed out from the Greek language, meaning the rule of the people. In spite of its initial doubts, the Greek democracy survived on and was later followed by many other states. Modern states are often seen mimicking the same federal structure that Romans established around 2000 years ago. However, it should be noted down for academic reasons that Romans were more of an autocratic regime, as their later years suggest. Only parts in and around Athens had democratically elected councils to look after their people.               

Greece also gets known for having gifted the world with Modern Olympic Games. It was Athens in 1896, where the first Olympic Games were organized after its modern-day revival. Olympic Games have since become a rallying point for the players and athletes from all over the world to compete and people from varying backgrounds to mingle with each other. Remains of the ancient Olympia stadium were excavated and restored in the middle of the 20th century. It is the same location from where the Olympic Flame starts its journey and gets carried to the game venues. These and many other exciting stories may suggest why Greece has been admired for ages now.

The world loves visiting Greece in huge numbers as a result, providing an immense boost to its tourism infrastructure. Its scenic Mediterranean coastline and the yearlong pleasing weather make holiday making fun and frolic. Athens, Peloponnese, Cyclades and Crete are some known cities carrying immense historic significance, where most travelers prefer heading on to. Hotels in Greece would be seen having high occupancy rates throughout the year, in this process, and one should plan their journeys in advance, for the same reason, to make their trips hassle free. Travelers can buy both cheap and high end accommodation from hotels in Greece, and also try to get best deals from tour operators, which include last minute holidays.

There is enough online support available for those who might be willing to book their accommodation from hotels in Greece. Sea-side resorts and self-catering apartments should also be taken into consideration apart from prime hotels in Greece for garnering accommodation. Planning out in advance should make your Greek journey memorable, since there were plenty of activities to be entertained from apart from visiting the usual heritage sites.



7
Vacation in Greece / Discover Greece
« on: December 16, 2011, 03:13:15 PM »
A staple throughout history, Greece is a country filled with stories and landmarks that have remained for many centuries. This fact is not lost on the 15 million or more people that visit this country each year. 

If you are thinking of planning a trip to the area here is some advice to make sure you get the most out of your Greece vacation.

To start your holiday in Greece you must visit the Acropolis.  This locale has been depicted hundreds of times in pictures, books, and movies. This is an area where legends were born and geniuses gathered.

Just below the Acropolis is the city of Ancient Agora. While in ruins, walking through the area that is over 2,500 years old lets you tread on the same ground as Plato and Socrates.

Discover Greece from the air. There is no better way to really take in the historic city of Athens than by seeing the whole thing, at once, by air.  There are many helicopter tours available that will give you a 30 minute ride in the skies over Athens, pointing out all the landmarks you won’t want to miss.
 
It’s worth the time to make a stop at the National Archaeological Museum with a wide selection of historical antiquities. It is regarded as one of the world’s best museums.

If you are looking for a great outdoor experience while on your holiday in Greece, bring your hiking shoes and take a stroll down the Vindos Gorge. This Northern Greece location is the deepest canyon in the world, as recorded by the Guinness Book of World Records.

Looking for a little water time? Head to the beaches of Crete. These beaches are some that many European visitors have tried to keep as a secret for their own enjoyment for many years.

If you want to make a difference while in Greece and are attached to the oceanfront, there is an organization called the ARCHELON Sea Turtle Protection Society that is always looking for volunteers. They need people who will help them monitor the nesting habits of the sea turtles every summer.

There are also events you can take part if to do as the Grecians do is you choose to vacation at the right time of year. Here are some to consider.

If music is your escape from the world, the Rockwave festival is held every summer. It is a three-day event in which three stages are constantly heralding music.  One stage features metal, one showcases rock, and another plays dance music.

Try out a local sporting event.  If you’re there in football season (soccer for Americans) you may want to try to attend a Hellenic National League football game. Be sure you’re up for it. Football fans in this area are passionate about their sport and may even storm the field if they don’t like an official call.

If you are the athletic type, head to Greece in November and strap your running shoes on.  This is when the Athens marathon is run, on the same route as the Olympic marathon.

Don't forget www.thechaniavillas.com , the rental website with the best offers.

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Vacation in Greece / Vacation in Greece Chania
« on: July 14, 2011, 02:33:44 AM »
Greece is famous for its cultural heritage including beautiful historical buildings,
 democratic and philosophical background, enriched flora and fauna. World’s great
 historical figures like philosopher Socrates and the famous epic ‘Odyssey’ maker
 Homer are from Greece. So this is the right place to spend your summer vacations
 and be off from the hustle and bustle of life. Now stretch your legs for enjoyment
 of invigorating hike to tread the White Mountains, walk barefooted on the sandy
 beaches of Mediterranean, and experience the fun and pleasure. All this requires a
 longer stay in Greece and you should seek for luxurious villas in Chania.
 
It is the time to have some mindless fun and indulge in eating, drinking and
 merriment. Chania guarantees to stay in rich tapestry of the area’s sophisticated
 architecture, cuisine and culture. Needless to say, fresh fish, specialty beer and
 wine will be served best with delectable desserts and delicious cheese menus. Thus,
 you will experience the Greek lifestyle to learn the ins and outs of their culture. Of
 course, privacy and space are essential in order to enjoy, experience and explore
 fully the region. The Chania villas are self-sufficient and self-catering that guarantees
 beautiful relaxing classic beach holidays where you can plod forth and return from
 the sun to the Chania rooms and to the sun again.
 
All this convenience is possible when you seek for villas to rent in Chania. You can
 book online Chania villa at the lowest prices starting from 130 € per day, for villas,
 that sleep up to 8 people, in 4 rooms with separate bathroom per room. This will
 cost you less than an apartment, or a hotel room. We are always abrupt and ready to
 rent villas and apartments as well as rooms for you that also direct from the owner
 and make great offers as well as prices.
 
Greece is enriched with typical Mediterranean weather replete with slightly moist
 and rainy winters as well as sunny dry summers. Every year, people from all corners
 of the earth visit Chania to get a taste of the Mediterranean beaches and sea resorts
 and have a glimpse of its ancient past. The traditional style of stone villas in Crete
 are built with stonework and woody touch, standing on only one level skirted with
 trees, olive groves where you can undergo the activities like fishing, horseback
 riding, windsurfing and many more. Chania villas and rooms rental website are the
 best alternatives irrespective of the usual hotel rooms in order to have affordable
 but comfortable accommodation in Chania. Welcome to platanias villas to have the
 picturesque amalgamation of sun, sand and surf melting together in Crete to make
 your summer vacation most enjoyable and unforgettable.

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