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

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

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.

Tips for being a Soulful Traveler

A genuine way to become a soulful traveler

There are countless reasons for traveling the world, whether it be for business, pleasure, or something in-between. Nevertheless, you will always meet a person that views traveling as an opportunity for personal growth, self-exploration, and inspiration. They are who we call a soulful traveler.

If you book your boat cruise to the Greek islands, there are endless activities for enjoyment. And, like a photographer needs a great camera to capture the beautiful scenery, a “soulful traveler” needs a clear and focused mind to get the most of their experience. Your mind creates your world and consequently your vacations, so your thoughts are the fundamental component of rewarding experiences.

Why this is important for your next trip?

Whether we are planning vacations or not, we have the tendency to expect things to happen in a specific way, unable to create space for ourselves to enjoy the present moment. Great travelers know how to embrace new experiences.

soulful traveler relaxing in a valley watching sunset

Soulful traveler, you are the creator.

You can travel the Greek islands just to enjoy the weather, the beauty, or the food, and that’s a successful holiday.

But, as a soulful traveler, you can think about how you will wander around the islands where Socrates had a conversation with Plato, under the same sky and over the blue waters. Greek islands and their history are a great place for the mind.

No matter how much you read about it, self-exploration is a unique and different journey for every one of us. You have to experience this for yourself.

As a gift from Hopwave, we gathered 5 “soulful tips” for your next trip.

  1. Get to know a local. Ask them about old myths, and learn about their way of life.
  2. Read a book after you wake up and before going to sleep. Your state of mind matters the most.
  3. Spend at least 3 hours a day without your phone or computer.
  4. Each day, do something you have never done before.
  5. Create your day. As a painter, think of beautiful colours and let your mind guide you to your next masterpiece of a day.

Thankfully, you don’t have to go through this alone. Traveling is always an opportunity for growth both as an individual or as a group.

Don’t think too much, chase the moments!

Allow your friends at Hopwave to assist you in planning your Greek Island explorations.

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.