My Service for Those Planning a Holiday in Greece

Posted October 6, 2009 by Helen
Categories: Uncategorized

Hi there

It’s always a problem when you want to visit a foreign country but don’t know a lot about it and how it works. You can Google until the cows come home but never quite sort out in your mind exactly what you want.

I’ve spent many years travelling in Greece – the mainland, the Peloponnese, the Ionian Islands, the Cyclades Islands, Crete, etc, and have learned the way it ticks. I know the best archeological sites, the most interesting islands, the best places for R&R, relatively unknown spots, excellent beaches, good hikes, and can suggest best Budget accommodations or top-of-the-range resorts.

Do you want to veg-out? See as much as you can? Visit museums and archeological sites? Take tours? Just island-hop? Schmooze with the villagers?

Are you a Senior traveller? Just want to see the countryside as easily as possible, or would like a challenge?

Do you have four days, two weeks, a month, three months?

Do you want to know about the food?  Interesting geological sites? The traditions?

Let me help you plan your holiday to take out the angst and make the most of your time doing the things you really want to do.

For $50 you will get:

1. Advice on the best places to visit, according to your particular wishes. As much info as I can supply. How to get there the easiest way possible. How to best spend the time you have.

2. Unlimited emails for one month.

3. My ‘Travel Tips For Greece’ article – the dos and don’ts, the cans and can’ts, and many general helpful hints. This comes as an email, or a DVD, whichever you wish.

4. My E-book ‘Greece – Gleeful Glimpses’ – a memoir of my travels in Greece. This comes as an email or a DVD, whichever you wish.

5. Your choice of four of my photographs emailed to you from my website gallery at http://greekpixandwords.com

Interested? Email me at helen@greekpixandwords.com and relax!

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GREEK TRAVELS  – APRIL TO JULY  2009

Three months in Greece? Most of my family and friends want to know why.

To be honest I can’t answer that. I’m not a backpacker, nor am I a jet-setter (I wish), I just go there because I love it. Each time I discover a new place, meet new friends, try different food, challenge myself.

However this trip was a little different in as much that I was checking my favourite places for details, like the best way to get there, where to stay, things to do, what to eat etc. Of course you can always Google for information, but I do find that many of the Greek websites are a little light on detail. Travel guides are always good, however I’ve been able to pick up a few mistakes in the best of them, and of course nobody can do everything.

In three months this is where I went. Note, I don’t hire cars as I find driving difficult. I catch local transport.

Athens to Crete. I stayed in Chania Old Town, preferring to catch the excellent buses everywhere rather than stay in busy Heraklion. I also went to Chora Sfakion and Agia Roumeli where I walked up the Gorge of Samaria.

Crete to Nafplio. In the old town of course. Checked all three castles and bused out to Mycenae and King Agamemnon’s Palace, Epidavros and Tiryns

Nafplio to Sparti. Wandered in the old olive grove hiding the ruins of ancient Sparta. Visited my favourite Byzantine ruin, Mystras.

Sparti to Monemvasia. A wonderful experience inside real castle walls.

Monemvasia to Pylos. An amazing trip through the Langada Pass to Kalamata, thence to Pylos. A visit here to King Nestor’s Palace.

Pylos to Patras to Sami on the Ionian island of Kefalonia. An all day adventure by bus, train and ferry. Sami is of course the home of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Lovely jump-off spot for discovering Kefalonia and the neighbouring island of Ithaka – home of Ulysses (Odysseus).

Ithaka (Greeks call it Ithaki). I did the full tour staying at Vathy, Kioni and Frikes. Beautiful island, no wonder Ulysses spent 20 years trying to find his way back.

Ithaka to Lefkada, staying at Vassiliki, home of windsurfers.

Lefkada to Parga. Parga, on the west coast, is Greece’s best kept secret. A perfect spot with everything. A marvellous base to discover the Zagoria country, the Pindos Mountains and the Vikos Gorge, deepest gorge in the world. Boats also trip to Corfu and Paxi.

Parga to Athens to Piraeus to Hydra. Hydra, one of the Saronic Islands is heritage listed, a huge tourist mecca, but retains it’s amazing ambience. No cars allowed, only donkeys.

Hydra to Piraeus to Naxos. Out to the Cyclades Islands. Naxos is the biggest island and full of surprises. Stayed in the old town of course, right up in the castle, but caught buses to the picturesque hinterland and awesome mountains. From here a day trip to Paros. I am not enamoured with Paros, but I checked it out, enjoying the castle environs and the harbour at Naoussa.

Naxos to Santorini (Greeks call it Thira). Utterly magnificent views over the volcanic caldera, mystical ambience and party atmosphere. Even the hordes of tourists don’t put me off staying here.

Santorini to Folegandros. If you want a complete contrast, this is it. Pure R&R, but tucked in the hills is a perfect whitewashed chora (town). There’s a ‘surf’ beach and a delightful harbour complete with fishing boats and laid-back tavernas.

Folegandros to Milos. Milos is another overlooked gem with a history back to Minoan times. Take the round-the-island boat tour and see the most amazing rock formations ever.

Milos to Sifnos. Sifnos has everything. Whitewashed villages, good hiking, lazy beaches, lovely scenery, excellent food, night life, all kinds of accommodation. Village life still goes on around the tourists.

Sifnos to Athens. An obligatory climb of the Acropolis, a schmooze of the Temple of Olympic Zeus – and all the other attractions. The new Acropolis Museum is awesome. Visit the flea market, then spend the evening in the Plaka and eat out under the stars.

Sound good? Just writing about it makes me want to go back. Visit my website http://greekpixandwords.com and look at the photos. Need help with your plans to visit Greece? Ask me.

Yassou, Helen

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Greece – Let’s Go

Posted October 3, 2009 by Helen
Categories: Uncategorized

Hi there

I guess you will be wondering what this Blog is all about. Well, let me tell you about myself first.

My name is Helen Ellis, and I’m a Grequophile. For over fifteen years I’ve travelled the mainland, the Peloponnese and the islands of Greece. I can’t help myself. When it comes to the preparation for a holiday and a choice arises for the US, UK, Spain, South America, South Africa or points east, west, north and south, I always choose Greece. I’ve often wondered whether, in a previous life, I lived out a span there, for I keep being drawn back year after year, exploring more of the country as though I was searching for a special place. I don’t think I’ve found it yet, although I’ve come close a couple of times. It’s rather weird, for my forebears all came from Scotland!

I’ve spent much of this travel time in villages, studying customs and enjoying the day-to-day life of the people. I’ve spent time in hotels, pensions, cave houses, and domatia (rooms) of all kinds. I don’t travel in the fast lane for I can’t afford the five-star experience. And I don’t think you ever experience the real Greece in posh hotels, or on luxury cruises – you have to get out into the towns, villages and countryside to collect images, experiences, indulgences, and friends. I want to bring to you through this Blog some feelings of the country. I would like to answer your questions, so feel free to ask.

I have a service in which I can tailor-make your trip to Greece. It’s not free, but I can assure you of Greece, the easy way. I don’t do cruises, bus tours or flights, but I will help you travel the way the locals do and point you in the direction of the places best suited to your interests. If you like archeology and antiquities – great, hiking – terrific, beaches – wonderful, geology – fine, partying – hehehehe, peace and quiet in authentic surroundings – the very best.

Here is my website where you can see some photos and gain a little insight into my wanderings. http://greekpixandwords.com

I hope you will enjoy this Blog and contact me.

Helen

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