1. March 2013 12:21
Ian John takes a look at the other side of Zante, the third largest of the Ionian Islands, and discovers a destination of small villages, secluded beaches and museums.
The picturesque Greek island of Zante, also known as Zakynthos, has become one of the most popular holiday destinations for party lovers. The bustling town of Laganas is particularly renowned for its loud bars, fabulous nightlife and red-cheeked revelry into the small hours. Indeed, Laganas' popularity as a clubbing destination has ensured its status as a rival to that most famous of Ionian party island destinations,Corfu.
Yet to assume that Zante's popularity is due to its strident nightlife does the island a great disservice. Away from the loud sounds and bright lights of Laganas lies one of Greece’s most beautiful island destinations, with many other delightful beachfront towns and resorts offering an ideal getaway for holidaymakers seeking a quieter break. More...
26. August 2004 12:25
Athens has become the starting point for all of my visits to the Greek Islands. Although frequently castigated for its air pollution and congestion, there is something undeniably appealing about this bustling, vibrant city.
Its incredible historical and cultural legacy means there is plenty to see and with a little careful pre-planning, many areas and sites can be packed into a short stay. Bar and places to eat abound, and the Plaka district (among the oldest and most charming parts of the city), houses some of the best candle-lit garden tavernas. If visiting the city between June and September, check out the Athens festival. A concert at the ancient Theatre of Herodes Atticus, just below the Acropolis, provides a magical setting for a memorable evening of opera and classical music.
The city’s fame rests with the Acropolis; this magnificent ancient monument with the Parthenon sitting resplendently on top, never fails to make an impact. An early viewing is highly recommended, as in the summer months the number of visitors combined with the intense heat More...
1. July 2002 13:33
At the beginning of November London is not the sunniest place to be. So we thought that a trip to the Greek Islands would be a good idea, especially with the cheap direct flights to Athens available nowadays.
We were happy and confident, looking forward to some sun and warm weather on dream-like white and blue islands. We arrived in Athens and got a boat to reach Naxos. It was not warm, but not unusual for a morning in autumn. When we got to Naxos, there were about 5 of us More...
1. July 2002 12:32
I can't pretend that I've 'done' Crete. The island is much larger than I expected and with its rugged central terrain, and consequently slow roads, it takes a lot of time to get around. There's also much to see. So it will be a lifetime's study, not one holiday's.
For this first visit we had only a week - and we also had several young children in tow. We went very early in the season, during the first week of April. The weather is variable at that time - it can be sunny and More...
1. July 2002 12:30
The first year we ended up in Agios Stefanos by accident: it was a last-minute holiday, late in the season. We had very little money, and somehow we ended up in this pricey resort full of luxury villas.
Our accomodation was a good 10-minute hike up the hill above the village, near the junction with the main coastal road. The trek down to the village for provisions and to eat in the evenings wasn't ideal but we enjoyed the solitude and the superb views looking towards Albania. More...
1. December 2001 12:27
Athens. The look is definitely more LA than BC.
The high-rise concrete apartment blocks, six-lane motorways and notorious smog that sprawl above this ancient city are enough to make a Blue Guide cry. In the high summer the immense heat never relents, even through the nights. As the air temperature creeps finally into the low 30s, the concrete and tarmac respond by releasing the heat they've been hoarding over the last twelve hours. Mix in the traffic More...