The Art of Enjoying a Sunset in The Greek Islands

A Sunset for Kings & Queens

One of the most famous events in the Cyclades are the breathtaking sunsets. All of them are majestic in their own way. A perfect sunset can transform a normal evening to a unique summer experience. But, which sunset is the best one for you?

A family of 220 islands at the center of the Aegean sea is waiting and therefore, you can choose between more than 220 unique sunsets to live your own myth. Sometimes they can be overcrowded, other times not. It is possible to spend your night with a drink at a bar or just with a friend on a bench. As always, you are responsible for your experience. Take a look at our favorite ones! 

Santorini, The famous Sunset

Sunset

Believe me, watching the spectacular view of caldera all day long is not enough. The palette of colors that you can ob at the cliffs is like a natural miracle. The perfect spot is Oia but you have to be prepared before it gets overcrowded. That’s why visiting off-season is a wise choice. Oia’s sunset is the event of the island. You should come early to secure a spot in the street or on a wall. People go to great lengths to capture the moment, they are clapping when the sun is disappearing and you will see them holding a bottle of wine to celebrate it. 

Sunset tip: If you would prefer a spot that is less crowded, there is a hill outside Oia, located off a dirt road north of the little town. This hill is your best chance to enjoy the show without the crowd.

Naxos, The Sunset & the Monument

sunset

The best place to watch the sunset at the island of Naxos is definitively the Great Door, “Portara”. It lies close to the port, on the islet of Palatia which date back in the ancient times, a strip of land connected the north side of Naxos port to the islet. “Portara”, it is the remnant from the ancient temple of the Greek God of music and poetry, Apollo. It is not easy to imagine a more poetic moment than the one that the sky will be orange and the emblematic form of the gate will be standing over there since 500 B.C.

There is silence. You can feel both the present and the past at the same time.

Sunset tip: The majority of the visitors are leaving the islet right after the sunset but that’s not the case with you. Stay there and enjoy the scenery less crowded and more colorful. Interesting arrangements of blue and grey are going to appear before the total black of the night and the final combination will seduce you. 

Mykonos, The almost Italian sunset

sunset

Mykonos is all about the party and the fun. Nevertheless, a break is always welcome. The village of Mykonos is beyond incredible and picturesque for the human eye. The neighborhood of “Little Venice” is replete with elegant and gorgeous old houses, balancing precariously on the edge of the sea.

These houses are 18th-century fishing houses with balconies where you can enjoy the view of the sea. Originally, they used to belong to shipping merchants that gave them direct access to the sea. These old fishing houses have long gone and now these buildings have been transformed to cafes, restaurants, bars, and shops. The sky offers some brilliant colors of different versions of orange and pink. Hold no doubts, your mind will be mesmerized from the colorful reflections on the water.

Sunset tip: If you want to watch the sunset from the “Little Venice” balconies, you should arrive earlier because it can be really busy in the evenings. If you plan on having dinner at one of the restaurants, you should phone ahead to reserve a table. 

Milos, The Romantic sunset

sunset

On a hill of 220m above sea level, Plaka was originally built for the protection against pirates and it is known as the best and most popular place in the island to watch the sunset. As a result, it is always full of people by the end of the day. You can go to “Panagia Korfiatissa” church that is the cathedral on the highest point of the island and enjoy a dreamy sunset right from its marble yard. Whether you are a couple or just you and your romantic soul, we definitely recommend it to go there.

Sunset tip: If you prefer waiting for the sunset with a beer or a glass of wine, you can visit the cafeteria with its amazing views on the western side of Plaka. Just return back there on time and finish your drink later.

sunset

Sunset or sundown is the daily disappearance of the Sun below the horizon due to Earth’s rotation. Boring? Maybe.
Obviously, there are plenty of sunsets that you are ignoring during your daily routine. But, when you are traveling through the Greek islands, you should really take your time and enjoy a sunset. You will notice that sunsets are not boring at all.

You can take photos or just stay calm, breath and think. You can wonder how many colors is possible to exist at the same moment in the sky. You could also dream with your eyes open.

You are watching something that is ending but still, you know something new is about to begin. Like everything in life.

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.

Tsikoudia: The Greek traditional drink with body and soul

Greek Tsikoudia – An integral part of the Greek culture and way of life.

First things first! What is Tsikoudia?

Tsikoudia also commonly know as raki is a strong grape-based alcoholic beverage famous all around Greece. It is clear as water, containing 40-60% alcohol by volume. It is made by distillation of pomace and pieces of grapes (stems and seeds) that remained after a winemaking process. Nothing goes to waste in Greek tradition!

And why you should taste it?

First of all, because it is a Greek drink that you will meet literally everywhere in Greece. From the Cyclades to Crete and from Pindos Mountains to Athens Greeks always ordering tsikoudia to taverns or bars. Secondly, because tsikoudia is an integral part of the Greek traditional cuisine for ages.

According to predominant rumors, its history begins eight centuries ago inside a stone monastery on Mount Athos. Several monks tried to keep themselves warm in the cold winter by exploiting nature to the fullest.

History of wine is pretty much the same. Humans trying to exploit vine to the maximum. Apart from the fruit, producers used also leaves, shoots, and its trunk. As a result of this exploitation, there is a huge variety of flavors, colors, and qualities.

Greek Traditional Tsikoudia: The Recipe

After the completion of wine production in Greece, it’s time for Tsikoudia production. Main ingredients are the remnants of the process of turning grape into wine. Those remnants are called “Chikudas”. Producers keep Chikudas in a sunless and dry corner of their warehouse for 30 days of maturing. Then, they are ready to provide us with their precious ingredients once again through the distillation process.

This recipe left monks and spread throughout the Mediterranean meeting several changes and counterfeits. Therefore, within few years Tsikoudia was famous not only in Cyclades and Crete but also in Italy, Cyprus, the Middle East, Turkey and other places.

Depending on the distillation process, there are three types of related products:

  • tsipouro

  • tsikoudia / raki 

  • or ouzo.

All three products are an extra income for breadwinner farmers since 1900.

The distillation celebrity

In Greece, there is a tendency to celebrate whatever makes you happy. This is why there is a festive period dedicated to the production of Greek Tsikoudia. During the last days of fall, people all around the Cyclades come together in “Kazania” or “Kazanies”. Large groups of family and friends gather in the warehouse of the distiller to eyewitness the first production of the year. All together they eat and dance, and welcome the new tsikoudia on production.

tsikoudia greek traditional drink raki

Believe me, drinking Tsikoudia in Greece is more than drinking an alcoholic beverage. Do not miss this chance! Join hopwave and find your next islands destination for the best Greek traditional drink!

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!