Vacations in the island of Skiathos – Sporades

Wonderful Skiathos

Sκiathos island! The most famous one in the cluster of Sporades.  It is called “the island of Papadiamantis” as a tribute to the famous Greek writer who was born and lived there on the island of Skiathos. You can even find his house remaining as it was back then in the city center. Nevertheless, the magic of Skiathos is far exceeding his historical figure. Perfect blue waters, astonishing beaches, parties, sunsets, and all kinds of experiences are waiting. 

First encounters

While in the main part of the island, you can find the old Venetian fortress that nowadays hosts the Nautical Museum. Besides, you can easily visit the medieval monasteries of Skiathos for a strong experience.
But I shall remind you now that you are on an island. Therefore, it is better instead of just visiting the mainland to discover it all around. 

Just hop off to the truly magical experience that Skiathos has to offer!

Although being on an island for vacations is great, it is different from the city and you can’t just visit every corner of it. Especially if you are a beginner at island hopping. But, my friend, you have nothing to worry about as we are here to help you achieve exactly that.

Proper exploration in Skiathos

Firstly, being there, it means that you can discover lots of beaches and every part of the island. Secondly, with hopwave, you can even explore other beautiful islands around and amazing remote beaches. All in less than a day!

Skiathos- island - women - peaceful- waters

Some of the most famous ones are Koukounaries and Lalaria. Koukounaries is a part of the island that took its name from pine trees existing all over the area. The majestic beach you will find there is called Xrisi Ammos (Golden beach) because the sand is truly glowing like gold. Being there, dare to test yourself a little bit more by trying some water sports, extreme and not only.

On the other hand, Lalaria beach is the other way around.  You can reach it, by small boats existing in the old port of the island. Lalaria beach has not consisted of sand but from rocks and pebbles. The main rock has a path that looks like an arch, reminding you of a fairytale. Adding the clear blue waters, the scenery becomes fully romantic and of course…Instagram friendly!

Other beaches you shall see

Vasilias (king), which is a Blue Flag awarded sandy beach, easily accessible by urban buses. Moreover, Achladies that is very near to the mainland of the island, perfect for water sports fans and a windsurfing experience. Kolios, for all those who like fancy and chilling island experiences.

You gotta catch them all!  

So my friend, are you still waiting? Hop off to the most unique experience of your vacations and explore the magic of Greece!

Naxos Tips: How to reach an obscure peaceful beach

Naxos Tips

Naxos is the largest island in the Cycladic region, it can offer you various kinds of activities, famous for sandy beaches and picturesque villages. But, what about these travelers that are looking for serenity and tranquility?

If you want to find the place where time can stop, you have to wait…From Chora of Naxos, there is a bus heading towards the northern part of the island only on Mondays and Fridays. You could also rent a car. But why don’t you wait?

You usually have to wait for that which is worth waiting for.

-Craig Bruce

Imagine this. It is Friday (or Monday) and you are waiting for the bus. It is noon and you are watching the port, ancient artifacts and the people that are walking under the hot sun. When the bus for “Apollonas” is here, you will notice that is full of local people. You have a huge backpack with you. They will be probably holding a shopping bag.

Naxos Tips: Where to stop?

You will need to ask the bus driver to stop at “Abram”. The beach of Abram is your destination and definitely not a popular one.

The journey itself is majestic as you will travel a scenic route which stretches along the top of steep cliffs which are punctuated with small coves and attractive beaches. After 20km into the journey, the bus will stop in the middle of the main road and all you have to do is to walk to the beach. During your bus trip, you may wonder if it was the right decision to visit this place. The next bus will arrive in 4 days. But anyway, these days it seems like you are constantly waiting for something.

In a world that we are always in hurry, you can once allow the time just to pass.

At the end of the path, you will discover a secluded and remote cove and its exceptional natural beauty as the blue of the sea mixes with the green of the trees in a wonderful combination of colors. It is sandy with small pebbles and calm waters at its northernmost end near the rocks. The landscape is majestic and wild. Search for a small tree that will offer you shade. 

Naxos tips

Naxos Tips: Taste the food!

The food tastes like your mother made it. Take a look around and you will notice the vineyards, olive trees, and fig trees. You can grab to taste some grapes. Its fertile soil has enabled Abram to be self-sufficient in terms of agricultural products.

From the tavern which is right on the beach, you will taste food which is produced in Abram and recipes who belong to the grandmother of the owner. This hospitable family is running the tavern and after a while, you will feel part of this family too. I can recollect with clarity a memory at this terrasse on the Aegean where the visitors were drinking homemade wine and tsikoudia. They laugh, they socialize, and they celebrate together their birthday’s and life in its entirety. It is hard to imagine a better place on earth to meet people and watch the sunset together.

Naxos Tips: Be ready for surprises

In the end, I am sure that you will not want to leave a place that feels like family in such a short time. You will not want to miss the smiley people and the stunning sunset. Be aware that there is a great chance you will want to stay longer than you expected.

The greek Sculptor Rokos have illustrated his summers in Abram. It is about the person, the nudity, nature, the sun and the sea. It is about the small church on the east side of the beach. It is about how a place can be transformed into an entirely unique experience.

Naxos tips
Art dedicated to this place

But finally, you will leave. You will grab your backpack that now is heavier, full of new friends and unforgettable experiences and you will walk to the main road. You will feel calm, sad and happy. You will wait again. But this time not for the bus. You will just wait for the next time you will see “Abram” again.

“If you are not too long, I will wait here for you all my life”

– Oscar Wilde

Paros Greece: A quick overview

Paros Greece: A quick overview

Do you want to taste the experience of a Greek island? Tricky question. We all do! 

Located In the heart of the Cycladic region, the island of Paros has been inhabited at least since 3200 BC. Today, it is still standing proud for its history and beauty attracting thousands of tourists every year. 

Paros Greece: What to expect there?

paros greece

Your arrival at this wonderful island it is a reason to celebrate your life. The graphical port with the serene scenery will take your mind away in a more peaceful and beautiful world. Astonishing beaches and villages, crystal-clear waters, gorgeous nature, delicious Greek food, and friendly local souls are waiting for your journey. Of course, the bright sun will gently enlight the graphic scenery.

In Paros, you will meet the Cycladic architecture, picturesque ancient windmills, ruins of Venetian castles and an ethereal atmosphere capable to transcend your senses. Ask the locals for more. They will respond!

Your experience can be peaceful, adventurous, or both, heavily dependent upon your ambitions. The island is perfect for activities like windsurfing and it is always a good idea to go with the wind. Meanwhile, we suggest a life that bears a resemblance to the vacations of Kings & Queens. What else to do on an island? Explore it on a boat. The easiest way to do that is, as you can guess, with a day-cruise.

A journey qualified to immerse you in a world that competes for the most vivid dreams is perfectly possible.

Paros Greece woman traveling island

In less than a day, you will get to discover picturesque remote beaches, waterfront vintage taverns and other amazing islands close to Paros. The best photo on your Instagram profile will come as a direct consequence. Don’t hold back!

Be free to feel like a pirate searching for gold at the “Pirate’s cave” and wait for your arrival at “Koufonisia”, a hidden paradise that more and more tourists are discovering every year. Everything is within walking distance and it will be an unforgettable ride.

Paros Greece: Great villages

It is a good idea to dedicate at least one day exploring the villages. You will be exposed to the real culture of the island and it is always a unique experience. Remember these names and never forget to ask the locals. They know better! 

  • Naoussa
  • Parikia
  • Piso Livadi
  • Lefkes
  • Aliki

Paros Greece: Best beaches

There is a variety of wonderful beaches and they are equally as good as these ones in Santorini that you visualize in your dreams.

  • Santa Maria
  • Golden beach (perfect for windsurfing and similar activities) 
  • New Golden beach (big, organized coast) 
  • Molos
  • Kolymbithres beach (relaxing, sandy) 
  • Punda beach (party beach)

island of Paros Greece

And, what about the night?

Without a doubt, after your tranquil experience during the day, expect an active nightlife around the island. The night bars will be full of life and I bet that you have heard stories about the greek parties. More good news? Contrasting the neighboring Mykonos, this island is affordable for all kinds of budgets. No matter if you are a parent or a student, Paros will surely satisfy your expectations in terms of money, beauty and style.

Make your life easier! With Hopwave you have one more loyal friend during your Greek holidays. And, it is the only place where you can easily book a small day-cruise around Paros from home. Join us!

The colorful beaches of Santorini

A story for Santorini

Beyond the classic Greek blue and white, Santorini is an island of orange and red, purple and yellow, green and pink.

The little buildings of the settlements are painted with pastel colors. The cliffs made up of layers of volcanic rock and soil, are banded with bright hues. The color palette of Santorini is extraordinary and majestic.

when history is connected with volcanoes…

In the beginning, about two million years ago, Santorini used to be a small non-volcanic island. Scientists are expressing the opinion that about two million years ago, volcanoes located underneath the Aegean Sea to the west of Santorini began generating volcanic emissions.

Prior to 1620 BC, the island of Santorini was built up by layers of lava created by overlapping shield volcanoes. Furthermore, it had experienced three significant eruptions that formed overlapping calderas.

Around 1620 BC, the fourth and latest major eruption created the present-day islands and caldera bay of Santorini Volcano.

Volcano as a gift

The volcano is not only responsible for disasters and catastrophe but also for the special volcanic soil. Nature offered to Santorini the most impressive natural color mixing and texture combination. In the foreground, the caldera cliffs show some of the extraordinary colors of the volcanic rocks and the flora that thrive in the mineral-rich soil.

A beach for every color

The volcanic origin of Santorini is also obvious at the beaches, which come in a variety of hues. A glance at a map looks like a passage from a modern painting Russian avant-garde: Red Beach, White Beach, Black Beach. The pebbles and sand come from hardened lava, and the colors vary depending on which geological layer has been exposed.

Red beach _ In The Shadow of The Rocks

The hue of the massive rocks at Red Beach comes from iron deposits. The landscape is full of scale and color contrasts. The view of the huge, almost vertical, volcanic rocks and the small, reddish pebbles will take your breath away. The combination of the red rocks, the turquoise water and the black sand of the shore give the impression of outlandishness.

White beach _ Swimming In a Lunar Landscape

A small beach carved into the side of the mountain with white cliffs as background. The rock formations are gorgeous and the white against the deep blue sea is stunning. In the water, there are plenty of various sized rocks. You can swim beside them or even climb on them if you want to discover a kind of your “personal” moon.

Black Beach _ Lying on The Lava

Due to the former intense activity of the volcano, you can find plenty of beaches with either dark black sand or black pebbles. The black beaches were formed because when lava contacts water, it cools rapidly and shatters into sand that consists of tiny fragments of basalt. So, by visiting them you can easily enjoy lying on lava and swim in warm waters because lava acts as a heat absorber.

Travelling is about all kinds of pleasure. I think that the most powerful one is the “pleasure of the unconventional”. To see, to feel, to experience, to live something that is not expected to.

So, if the “pleasure of the unconventional” is when you live what is not expected to, then the unexpected is definitively the wild and unique beauty of a beach on Santorini.

Alonissos – The Hiking Experience

A traveler’s hiking experience

Alonnisos is the perfect destination for hiking either you are a beginner or an experienced hiker. It is the island of majestic beaches, crystal-clear waters, and stunning landscapes. The hiking experience is undoubtedly the most charming way to discover the wholeness of nature in Alonnisos.

You can find more than 15 stone-paved hiking paths in the island. It is the network of old transport routes from the era where mules and donkeys were the only means of transport. They can lead you to beaches, villages or even to the top of a mountain. It seems like the perfect hiking adventure, doesn’t it?

Prepare yourself!

Check the hiking paths of the island. You can search online, buy the guide-book that a Danish woman and her Greek husband wrote, or just follow some of the organized tours. Duration varies from 20 minutes to 7.5 hours.

Choose the route that suits you better considering your physical condition and the time. Don’t forget that the whole idea of a hiking experience is to arrive at your destination no matter how slow or fast you walk. So, take your time and enjoy it.

  • Buy a bottle of water and some snacks.
  • Use a solar cream
  • Put on your hat.
  • Grab a book
  • Grab your camera 

The hiking experience is a reconnection with nature and yourself.

hiking experience

While you are walking, you will notice the transition from the built environment to pure nature. The colors are changing. You can hear the song of the birds and the concert of the cicadas. You can smell herbs, saffron crocus, wild chamomile, and mint.

Discovering this botanical paradise creates the desire to activate all your senses. The hiking experience elevates them. You are becoming more aware of your surroundings.

It is a pertinent reminder of how beautiful the world is.

In the southern part of the island, you will find pine forests and olive groves. Throughout them, there is a wide variety of bushes and shrubs. On the other hand in the northern part, there are mostly holm oaks, kermes oaks, maple trees and arbutuses. Last but not least, in the middle part of Alonnisos, there is a beautiful cedar forest.

In Alonissos, nature will provide you with everything with you need to be happy. Alonissos can keep your mind and soul present.

According to the ancient Roman philosopher Seneca, to be happy is to enjoy the present moment. Right now it is just you and the world. You are just walking. One foot in front of the other. Breathe in, breathe out.

You can just be.

Finally, you can enjoy the stunning view from the top of Kalovoulos Mountain. You can swim at the quiet beach of Micros Mourtias. You can visit old restored windmill in the beach Yalia or eat fresh fish at the village of Stevi Vala. Truth is, that probably you could achieve that with a rented car or by paying a taxi.

But none of them it would be the same. Hiking nourishes the mind, the body and the soul in ways that are impossible to replicate elsewhere.

Hiking is real and poetic. Just like Alonnisos.

Discover Milos – Unique beauty and amazing beaches

Why Milos?

The island of Milos, located north of Crete in the Aegean sea, is one of the major islands of the Cycladic complex. It became very famous due to the statue “Aphrodite of Milos (Venus de Milo)” and its stunning beauty. The origin of its name is a story that will take you back to the 8th century BC and the epic ancient Greek story of “Odyssey”, one of the oldest works of western literature in existence. You can research and find more by yourself.

Today, I will tell you why you need to travel to this wonderful place at least once in your life. Moreover, you will discover the best beaches and how to book a day-cruise with hopwave. Let’s go there!

Milos Unique Beauty

Due to volcanic activity in ancient times, Milos now has impressive and unique rocky coastlines. Beaches and landscapes are truly special, making it a desirable destination for tourists around the world.

Besides the landscapes, Milos can gracefully thank volcanoes for its mineral-rich rocks and subsoil, making mining a major industry. The island is home to picturesque fishing villages with the well-known syrmataor boat-garages that are built into the volcanic rock. You will find them in the traditional fishing village “Klima”

These lovely settlements are truly a sight to see.

Interesting Fact – “Venus de Milo”

The statue “Aphrodite of Milos, (Venus de Milo)” was found on the island in 1820. Believed to have been created between 100-130 BC, it was first discovered by a poor farmer who didn’t understand the significance of the marble sculpture and kept it on his farm. Eventually, a French naval officer recognized its historical importance and arranged its purchase by the French government. It is now located at the Louvre Museum in Paris. The museum has given a replica to Milos as a gift. But, no need for worries.

Aphrodite is not just a beautiful statue. We are talking about the goddess of love, beauty and pleasure! She is still on the island preserving the beautiful scenery and the feeling of love in the atmosphere.

Milos Best Beaches

Believe me, you will be captivated by the beauty that is waiting to be explored there. Remember these names!

  • Sarakiniko
  • Kleftiko
  • Firiplaka
  • Gerontas
  • Paleochori
  • Tsigrado

Day-Cruises around Milos 

day-cruise on a boat is one of the experiences that you should seriously take into consideration while on an island. The privilege to peacefully enjoy every treasure around by going with the wind is priceless. Allow the captain to offer you Greek Tsikoudia and you will get to discover majestic small beaches and islands dressed in a beauty that far exceeds your imagination. If you want to learn more about the available boat-cruises click here.

Time to feel sincerely free!

Milos

Don’t hold back! Walk between the whitewashed houses through the narrow streets of Plaka to enjoy the capital of Milos. When you are reaching the top of the hill, take a breath and witness the magical sunset from the panoramic view that “Castro” offers. Beautiful colors will be on your sight. It is a moment to feel thankful for being alive.

Something to remember 

There is a rumor that when couples visit Milos they break up.

Why?

Because they fall in love with the island itself.

You still don’t believe me? See for yourself!

Naxos island : Find Love & Happiness

Naxos island: A quick overview

In the heart of the Aegean sea, there lies a place where Zeus, the father of the of the 12 ancient Greek gods was raised, and Dionysus, the god of merriment was born. I am obviously talking about the island of Naxos.

But, apart from the mythology and its glorious past, Naxos can deliver an enormous amount of goods today, even for the most demanding travelers. 

Naxos island – Tremendous beauty

To begin with, visualize long sandy beaches and spectacular paths among mountainous villages. Nature is flourishing! In addition, ancient artifacts and the Cycladic scenery full of white houses are making the view even better. It would be a huge mistake to forget your camera in this place.

It seems like there are secret paths everywhere. These graphical villages are incredible, surrounded by tall mountains and valleys full of green.

 Wait for the crystal-clear waters and the feeling of wonder when you are one with them.

A day in the life

The island can be self-sustainable, producing a vast amount of local goods every day. Fresh-baked bread can wake you up in the morning and a romance between you and the Greek food is guaranteed during the day. Always, the easiest and greatest way to discover the most alluring attractions is to talk with a local, and they will surprise you with their help. Therefore, you have to make decisions.

  • Windsurfing or hiking?
  • A peaceful walk around the villages?
  • What about a day-cruise around the island?  

A day-cruise offers great advantages if you don’t have enough days to properly explore the island. You can swim to the greatest beaches, enjoy the best views, and easily attain a good perspective of the beauty. Moreover, you can discover hidden treasures close to Naxos like Koufonisia. You will see people in ecstatic wonder in this dreamy destination. Tranquillity, peacefulness, relaxation, beauty, all great words to imagine this place.

Great beaches and villages

  • Beaches: Agia Anna, Plaka, Agios Prokopios, Agios Georgios, Mikri Vigla, Alyko, Kastraki  
  • Villages: Halki, Apiranthos, Filoti, Potamia

naxos island wine

Naxos island: Is it future or is it past?

Have you ever heard that the past is storytelling the present?

In the island where the mythical wedding of Dionusos with princess Ariadne took place, music, dance, and love for life will always be present in the daily life.

And, what about today?

Most probably the sun is shining brightly in Naxos and a boat-cruise there can offer pure bliss. Life is too short to deny it!

Discover more about the Greek islands and allow your friends in hopwave to help you book a day-cruise around Naxos.

Why are Cyclades white?

Cyclades: White and Blue Aesthetic

When someone is asking about Cyclades Islands all that you can think about is white and blue.

Blue is the sea and the sky. White is every single cubed-shaped house. White is the church that stands out of the rocky ground and the paved paths of white villages.

The scenery is the absolute example of minimalism, but it can indicate more than a minimal aesthetic.

Cyclades Islands weren’t always white

It is known that in ancient Greek art and architecture there were used colors made from plants and flowers. In the Medieval era, when the Aegean islands had a huge problem with piracy, the villages were surrounded by walls. The only color was one of the rocks and the earth, so they were less visible and safer from the pirate invasions.

Cyclades santorini

History is the key

In 1938, the Greek dictator ordered to paint all the buildings with lime, a white antibacterial material, so it could stop the spread of the epidemic disease of cholera.

In 1955, the Queen Frederica of Hanover presented to the Greek Prime Minister a photo of some perfectly-conserved white houses of Mykonos. She suggested white as the “trademark” of Greek islands.

1967 – 1974: The military government commanded to paint everything at the islands white by law. Even the islands that weren’t white before, were forced to change their local identity and to follow the ethnic style of blue and white combination, along with the colors of the Greek flag.

What about now?

Now, the white color is not obligatory. For locals living in the islands, it means cleanliness, clarity, and protection from the heat because is reducing the solar absorption.

But, what does the white color mean to us?

Does it matter if white exists because of past epidemic diseases, the desire of a Queen, political reasons or a touristic branding? When you are witnessing the scenery of Cyclades Islands it is impossible not to fall in love with the beauty.

You can’t help but be in love with the forms, the textures, and the way that the sunlight is reflected on the surfaces. Finally, you have to admit that all of this is a matter of material and color. A matter of white color.

“The white color of the lime made the picturesque unity of the settlement. As a theatrical scene: as if everything was created by only one hand.”

Le Corbusier, modernist architect

Traditional Greek Food – Dolmadakia (stuffed grape leaves)

If you know anything about Greece, you’ve probably heard a thing or two about Greek food. This remarkable country has plenty of delectable food to offer, but there are certain dishes that Greece is best known for, such as Souvlaki, Mousaka, and of course, frappe coffee.

The deeper your knowledge of Greece and its lands, the more you discover the country’s wide variety of incredible foods! Let’s learn about traditional Greek specialties.

A well-known dish is dolmadakia, or dolmades, which are stuffed leaves, usually vine/grape or cabbage leaves. Dolmadakia stems from the word “dolma,” which comes from the Turkish verb “doldurmak,” meaning to stuff or fill. The leaves are filled with minced meat, rice, parsley, and different spices. When the “home” of these same ingredients are peppers, tomatoes, or zucchini rather than leaves, the masterpiece is called “Gemista.”

For those that are not familiar, vine leaves pack in a lot of nutritional value. Not only are they low in calories, but they have sufficient levels of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fiber. Furthermore, grape leaves have curative properties for both the body and mind, as studies show they can help combat memory loss while keeping the body young. This traditional Greek dish stays true to the Greek folk saying, “healthy body, healthy mind.”

Ingredients:

Fresh or jarred vine/grape or cabbage leaves – 205 grams (~60 leaves)
Rice – 1½ cups
Olive oil – ½ cup
Water – 3 cups
Juice of 1 lemon
1 onion, finely chopped

Add to taste:

Dill
Parsley or Mint
Salt
Pepper

Instructions:

  1. Start by prepping your leaves. For fresh leaves, wash them thoroughly, remove the stems, and blanch them in boiling hot water. Place aside to cool down. For jarred leaves, rinse them thoroughly, remove stems, and place them aside.
  2. Next, sauté the olive oil and onions in a large pan.
  3. Add the rice and stir for one minute, then add water and let it simmer. Once the water starts to evaporate, add lemon juice, herbs, and spices.
  4. Stuff each leaf with one spoonful of the mixture, and roll the leaves. Here is a helpful video showing you how to easily roll the leaves.
  5. Put the stuffed leaves in a large pan with one cup of water and a bit of olive oil. Cover the pan and cook for half an hour on low heat. Once removed from the heat, let cool for 30 minutes. They are now ready to serve or to refrigerate for later.

 

Dolmadakias are delicious when eaten both cold and warm.

This vegetarian recipe is both vegan and gluten-free, but minced meat serves as a great addition to the filling!

PRO TIP: eat with feta cheese, yogurt or tzatziki, and squeeze some extra lemon juice over them before you eat!

Getting excited about the traditional tastes of Greece? Stay tuned to learn more about Greek food! With hopwave, you can discover the best of the Greek experience.

A Boat Cruise around Greek Islands…

Why a boat cruise…

When traveling to new places, travelers commonly explore on foot, by car, or by the means of public transportation. But, if you consider traveling in Greece, you’ve found the ideal country for exploring on a boat cruise.

Let’s see why a boat cruise can be the best way to explore the Greek Islands.

It’s impossible to experience Greece’s vast number of islands and their countless remote beaches in any other way!

While traveling by bus or car requires significant effort and patience, a boat cruise eliminates these pressures and offers pure relaxation. This allows you to savor every moment of your journey. Choosing a boat cruise amplifies the travel experience at every level.

From the cheerful spirit of the captain to the excited company of your travelers, you will feel a sense of togetherness that is unique to small boat cruises. A taste of exceptional Greek food along with a few icy cool drinks throughout the day is sure to enhance your trip even more. Not to mention, your photography skills will improve with the help of the crystal blue waters and breathtaking landscapes.

Each island is vastly different from the next. Visiting multiple islands in one day is a great way to maximize your potential and see as much as possible. As I’m sure you can guess…

This is attainable only by a boat cruise.

boat cruise around greece

You’ll get the opportunity to swim around beaches and caves that aren’t accessible by land travel. Anything you see on the horizon and would love to know about, just ask the captain and he will fill you in. No breathtaking scenery will remain undiscovered. When the boat is anchored and you swim ashore, there’s even more to see.

You will find yourself floating in the crystalline waters and exploring the beauty around you from an entirely new perspective.

These are the priceless moments that the boat cruise offers, which typical forms of travel cannot.

All you have to do is decide which part of Greece you want to explore and book your tickets for an unforgettable boat cruise like this one around Milos

Don’t ever forget…

“You don’t have to be rich to travel well” – Eugene Fodor

With hopwave by your side, you have one more local friend that is here to help you arrange the perfect trip.