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!

Off-Season Traveling: Advantages & Recommendations

Off-season traveling-Greek Islands

Late September is a reality and another summer is reaching its end. Can I still travel to the Greek Islands?

— Absolutely!

Okay, we all know that these places during summer time are glorious. But, don’t you find it strange that nobody ever talks about the rest of the year? It is a great misconception that Greece is exclusively a summer destination. The country provides a serious and diverse amount of beauty despite the season but the summer is absorbing the fame.

A quite different story

Instead of parties, high temperatures and long days to the beach, visualize yourself exploring graphic villages and fascinating towns, hiking the mountains and meeting delightful local spirits. Just follow the trails and prepare yourself. Wonderful surprises are on your way! Off-season vacations in the Greek islands is a tranquil experience, but there can always be a lot of adventure if you want it so.Okay, we all know that these places during summer time are glorious. But, don’t you find it strange that nobody ever talks about the rest of the year? It is a great misconception that Greece is exclusively a summer destination. The country provides a serious and diverse amount of beauty despite the season but the summer is absorbing the fame.

Off-season traveling Advantages

So, why to travel off-season? First of all, The tourism industry is closed and this is a gift. You have no other option but being in touch with the true culture of the island, meeting the locals and eating in the same restaurants. Consequently, the food will be sublimeIn terms of demand, there is no comparison between the summer season with the rest of the year. The prices are great

You are receiving high value wandering around breathtaking scenery at affordable costs.   

In addition, you have the privilege to avoid overcrowded streets enjoying every view without the need to rush at any point. Don’t worry. There will be enough time to experiment with your camera or imagination.

More good news? The climate is truly gentle compared to other destinations. If you are used to cold and heavy winters with below zero temperatures, Greece will be easy like a Sunday morning.

off-season traveling

Recommendations

In the meantime, it is time to make decisions. Which island suits you better?

Maybe Naxos?

Numerous picturesque mountainous villages are waiting to be explored there. The scenery is qualified enough to make you feel like the leading actor in a slow atmospheric movie. Nature is astonishing, the local food is heaven and it’s almost obligatory to taste the wine. Don’t forget to visit “Portara”, a gate of an ancient Greek temple for Apollo, and “Kastro”, a castle from the medieval times. Certainly, wandering around villages in Naxos is something that you will remember for many years.

off-season traveling greek islands beach

Or Crete?

The biggest island in Greece! You need a car for a proper exploration and definitely a week. In the big cities ( Heraklion, Chania, Rethimno) there are universities, so expect students and an active nightlife. Mountains, villages, tradition, and every part of your imagination can be satisfied on this island. Crete is a dreamy destination and a unique experience for every kind of traveler.

Santorini?

I am sure that even once in your life you have heard someone talking about this glorious island. It is one of the most famous Greek destinations and among the most praised islands of the world. When you are traveling off-season, you have the priceless opportunity to enjoy this piece of art without dealing with tourists that can ruin part of the experience. A blissful walk from Fira to Oia is highly recommended. When you arrive at “red beach”, you might feel like exploring Mars or a parallel universe. It’s up to you! Plus, the prices are amazing for Santorini!

What about Milos?

Unique rocky coastlines and landscapes will surely transform your senses in a strange but wonderful world. Everything is a result of the volcanic activity in ancient times. Drink Greek tsikoudia to warm the day up, and be ready for spectacular views, restaurants and naturally friendly people. Off-season traveling in Milos is a “one of a kind” experience.

And, what about Corfu?

Οdysseus’s final stop before reaching Ithaca, well known for its cosmopolitan character and style. Corfu’s old town is a masterpiece. Follow the pathways and explore different cultures by visiting museums and temples. Finally, relax with the charming environment at the Korission lake. You might find your Ithaca there!

Every island accessible by ferry or airplane will have life and visitors.

  • Rhodes,
  • Evia,
  • Mykonos
  • Kea
  • Lesvos
  • Paros  

All great choices, just to name a few. Moreover, you are always getting something special in spite of your choice.

off season traveling

A useful tip

Before booking tickets and hotels for different islands, make sure that there is a boat between them on this specific day. Nobody likes unpleasant surprises.

Break the illusion

Off-season traveling in Greece is seriously underrated and the world should know about it. For artistic souls, writers, couples, or those who love meditating in the silence of nature, Greek islands will feel like a paradise on earth. One of our first aims at hopwave is to create travelers, not common tourists!

Integrity in our vacations is priceless cause everyone is dreaming a different version of a paradise. Be brave! Dare to follow your path. You will never regret it.

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” – Mark Twain

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!

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.

A journey through time in Alonisos

Welcome to Alonissos

You don’t have enough time to explore the wholeness of this small majestic island. It could be just one more stop on your cruise, (there are incredible day-cruises in unbelievable prices). But, if you wish to have a journey through time, all you have to do is visit the old village of Alonnisos. It is called Ηora.

Ηora is the main village and usually is strategically located on a high point of the island. Every Greek island has its own picturesque and charming Hora and it is reasonable to wonder what is so special about the Ηora of Alonnisos. Meanwhile, our journey has just begun.

You have just arrived at the port of Alonissos

You noticed a group of people that consists of both locals and tourists. They are gathered and are waiting for something. Stay with them and when an old bus will arrive you should jump into it without a second thought. Neither are there many buses, nor a lot of destinations. It will not last long. Just a few minutes. Enjoy the ride.

You have just arrived at the Hora of Alonissos

The bus will stop at a square with a huge plane tree in the center. Normally you would love to stop and feel in your skin the shade of the old tree. But now an uphill paved path is appealing you to follow it. It is revealed in a seducing way. On the way up to the highest point, you will find little-crowded squares, old paleochristian churches, stone houses with impressive bougainvilleas and breathtaking views of the sea. The main path will be crossed by even narrower paths. You will find shops with local products and artworks. You will watch women chatting from their doorsteps. You will not meet cars. If you are lucky enough, you will meet a donkey.

Alonnisos scenery

It seems like time is stuck in another era…

Maybe it is stuck in 1965 when an earthquake was the reason for the abandonment of the village. Later, German and English travelers fell in love with the old ghost village and decided to regenerate it. They bought the old damaged buildings and renovated them. They respected the traditional architecture of the island. In other words, we could say that they respected the history and the heritage of Alonnisos, too. You can easily recognize that you are at a place that is loved.

You have just arrived at the end of the path

And now what? You can feel satisfied because of your achievement. But it is not only this.

The way up was a kind of ritual. Wandering along Hora means discovering the periods and the layers of Alonnisos. It is your own Ithaca of Cavafy. It was more important than reaching the highest point.

Hope the voyage is a long one and you will find your personal Cyclops, Phoenicians and Egyptians.

Hope the voyage is a long one and full of adventure and you will smell the sensual perfume of every kind.

Voyage is more important than the destination

Alonnisos travel ithaca poem of cavafy words

Where to go in Greece: 4+1 Underrated Greek Destinations

4+1 options to help you explore Greece

So it’s time to explore the Greek islands. Because we are avid travelers, the hot-spot destinations swarming with tourists could potentially be underwhelming and overpriced. Not quite the experience we’ve been dreaming of.

No more wondering where to go in Greece! Pick your favorite places, book your tickets online, pack your bags and start traveling!

We crave the lesser known, and lesser traveled gems that offer authentic experiences to satisfy our wanderlust. Yes, we know, everyone says you must visit Santorini, but let’s save it for the off-season and consider these Greek islands that are underrated but remarkable. 

Where to go in Greece – The island-style summer!

Nisyros

greek islands nisyros

Off the beaten path

A volcanic island with charming hilltop villages, green meadows, and one of Greece’s most beautiful churches, this place is sure to satisfy those looking for the road less traveled.

Island Group: Dodecanese

Alonnisos

greek islands alonissos

Life of leisure

One of the first inhabited Aegean islands, with a picturesque harbor, a notable wine region, and natural landscapes, Alonnisos is the perfect place to unwind.

Island Group: Sporades

Thassos

greek islands thassos

Lush natural landscapes

 With stunning crystal beaches and mountainous forests, this island is the perfect relaxing getaway.

Island Group: North Aegean

Náxos

greek islands naxos

Best of both worlds

 As the cultural center of classical Greece, Náxos is a hub of traditional culture and ancient sites, along with beautiful isolated beaches.

Island group: Cyclades

Where to go in Greece – The land-style summer!

Chalkidiki

greece summer chalkidiki

Something for everyone

Not actually an island, but a group of three peninsulas in Northern Greece, Halkidiki is home to countless sandy beaches, intimate coves, green forests, ancient sites, and nightclubs, sure to satisfy all traveler types.

Before deciding on a place take into account some questions that could help you decide on the perfect destination for you:

  • City, beach or countryside?
  • Adventure or relaxation?
  • Shopping, culture or adrenaline?
  • Family,  friends or boyfriend/girlfriend? Or maybe solo?
  • Independent travel or have everything organized for you?
  • Budget or splash the cash? Or somewhere in the middle?
  • Off the beaten track or a tried and tested destination?
With hopwave, you can explore these places, ensuring the ultimate experience. Take it from your island experts!

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.

Aphrodite – “Venus de Milo”

Aphrodite of Milos

Okay, I’m not going to tell you about Aphrodite. We’ve all heard of the Greek goddess of love, beauty, and pleasure.

Then what is this post about? 

A volcanic island in the Aegean Sea known as “the island of Aphrodite.” Since we already know about her, we can imagine the allure of this island, better known as Milos.

Now, everyone has preconceptions about the Greek islands and their beauty. But, Milos may satisfy and exceed your expectations better than most of them.

Have you lost your mind?

With all the incredible Greek islands out there, how could Milos possibly be the best? Let’s remember, it is named after the irresistible goddess of beauty and pleasure after all. 

Aphrodite!

Now, let’s forget what we think we know. Let’s search a little bit more, look further, embrace our imagination and let her go.

Milos is more than clear blue skies, crystalline waters, and uniquely stunning beaches. If we just ogle at Milos’s beauty, we wouldn’t be appreciating the depth of the island’s magic. Don’t you think Aphrodite would be upset if you only saw her for her beauty?

For this reason, we must remember Milos’ villagers. Let’s see through their eyes. Let’s feel the salty waters, gaze at the stars, and hear the hum of the boat as it glides along the waves, just like they do.

Milos fishing boats

Discover Aphrodite 

These rock-backed villages are telling more than an ancient story, they’re calling us to explore, they ask us to feel with a villager’s heart.

We must discover the fishing villages, like Klima, and feel the coolness of the fisherman’s homes that are carved into the rocks.

Or in Pollonia, we can walk along the fisherman’s wharves and watch the bobbing boats as the catch of the day is loaded ashore. There is magic in their way of life

If you want to visit Milos, take our advice and feel like a local; feel like a hopwaver.