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Beginners Handbook to Sailing Holidays and Exploring the Greek Coastline

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Greek Island, Rocks, Sea, Blue Sky, Poliegos

A sailing holiday is a great way to explore multiple destinations during one holiday and the Greek coastline is the perfect place to start as a beginner. Not only is this a beautiful part of the world but with so many different coasts and islands to explore you are never far away from your next destination in Greece. You may feel a little nervous when planning your first sailing holiday but even as a beginner you can choose different types of holidays to suit yours and your family’s needs.

What types of sailing holidays can you take?

There are a few different types of sailing holiday you can take depending what your plans are. You can get as involved as you wish, learning to sail on yacht charter holidays and getting hands on or letting others take the lead and watching from afar. Here are two of the most popular types of sailing holidays you can choose from.

Flotilla sailing holidays

A flotilla is a group of between ten and twelve yachts which are guided by a lead yacht. This lead yacht contains an experienced skipper and a full crew. These flotillas usually have up to fifty people travelling in total. This if course depends on how many boats there are and what their sizes. The holiday has a set itinerary which begins with a full tour of the boat, an initial in depth briefing as well as daily briefings too. During these daily briefings you will be given details of the route and weather conditions. It is a great holiday to choose to give you confidence to sail on your own whilst knowing there is someone there to help if needed.

A Yacht Charter holiday

A yacht charter gives you complete freedom on your sailing holiday. Depending on your skills or qualifications you may want to sail yourself, hire a skipper, or even a full crew. Many choose a yacht charter holiday because of the freedom you get to set your own itinerary and change this if you want on route. Another great thing about a yacht charter is that you can stop in the middle of nowhere the ocean and enjoy your very own slice of paradise. Swimming and snorkelling or just relaxing on the waves. If you want some time to yourself without other boats nearby or meeting up with other sailors.

How to prepare for a sailing holiday?

To prepare for a sailing holiday you should plan in advance to make sure you have everything you need and are ready for the journey at sea. Firstly, you should pack light and well. There is limited space on a yacht so you will want to keep luggage to a minimum. You should also keep your clothes and other items separate using packing cubes, preferably waterproof ones. This is also the case for important documents and passports. Keeping them sealed in a waterproof bag will ensure protection against water damage. Don’t forget about toiletries and sun cream. It can get really hot and it is easy to forget about the sun’s rays due to the cooling breeze. AA first aid kit s also a good idea as you will have limited opportunities to pick up things you may need during your journey. Lastly, make sure you have something to entertain yourself like a good book during your down time.

Where to?

Once you decide on the type of holiday you want to take then you need to decide on the destinations. The Ionian, Saronic and Sporades in the Greek Islands are all popular choices for both flotilla and yacht charter holidays. There are many different places to stop and the sailing between islands are short and relatively easy. There are many different places to choose from in Greece, here are some great suggestions for your sailing holiday exploring the Greek coastline.

Shipwreck Bay in Zákynthos

Sea, Bay, Waterfront, Beach, Nice, Holiday, Greek

Image from pixabay.com

Also known as Smugglers Cove or Navagio Beach, this beach can only be accessed by boat, which gives you a massive advantage when taking a sailing holiday. It all started when a smugglers boat carrying illegal cigarettes the boat was shipwrecked in 1980 after hitting rocks in a storm. Now it is a popular tourist destination for exploring, sunbathing and amazing photographs too. The best thing is, as you are sailing you can visit during early morning or late in the afternoon to avoid the tours and crowds. Make sure you get here before the cruises and tour boats to enjoy the destination even more.

A first aid kit s also a good idea as you will have limited opportunities to pick up things you may need during your journey. Lastly, make sure you have something to entertain yourself like a good book during your down time.

Beaches in Naxos and Paros

Both beautiful islands have tiny coves and beaches to explore. Whichever type of setting you are looking for you will find it here. Paros beaches are busier than those of Naxos including the popular and lively Punda Beach, Santa Maria and Golden Beach. If you are looking for something a little lower key in Paros try Farangas or Lolandonis. Naxos offers you quieter coves and bays to give you more peace and relaxed atmosphere. Most popular beaches in Naxos include St George Beach, Agios Prokopios, Kastraki, Pyrgaki, and Aliki. In either of these places you will find the perfect beach for you, and whilst on a sailing holiday, you can enjoy trying out a few different ones.

Corfu

This island is surrounded by clear turquoise waters, which are just perfect for swimming and snorkelling. There are many pretty coves and sandy beaches to explore and relax on. If you plan to stop at Corfu town there are many historic sites to see. From Venetian fortress to the Grand Palace of St. Michael and St. George. Corfu has plenty of photo worthy buildings, streets and sights to visit. There is plenty of history to see here including interesting museums and architecture to explore. It is also a great place to try out local cuisine with plenty of choice for the whole family.

Mykonos

Boats, Mykonos, Greece, Cyclades, Greek Island, White

Image from pixabay.com

If you are looking for some fun times and exciting nightlife, Mykonos known as the party island, is the place to visit. Mykonos town is popular for its bars and clubs and glamourous and parties. It is also a great island for shopping especially Hora, with its boutiques and souvenir shops catered for tourists. As well as partying and shopping there are beautiful beaches and coves perfect for scuba diving and snorkelling too. Paradise and Kalafáti beaches are favourites with visitors. Mykonos is the place to stop off if you want some time spent in crowds and to experience the party atmosphere of a popular Greek Island.

Will you be taking a beginner sailing holiday in Greece?

Now you know how to plan and prepare for a beginner sailing holiday and the types of holiday you can take. All you need to do is choose where you want to go! As you can see there are so many different places to explore and enjoy and options to suit all different traveller needs. Even if you are new to sailing you can still enjoy an amazing sailing holiday in Greece with as little or as much sailing yourself as you choose. So, where will you start on your sailing holiday exploring the Greek coastline?

Cole is one half of New Zealand's leading adventure travel blogging couple who have been wearing out their jandals around the world since 2009. He loves any adventure activities and anything to do with the water whether it is Surfing, Diving, Swimming, Snorkeling or just lounging nearby on the beach. You can follow Cole on Google+. Or consider following us via RSS Feed, Twitter, Facebook and subscribe to our Newsletter.

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Travel Tips

Musical Adventures in Rome

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If you like to travel and are a bit of a music fan, head to Rome. This beautiful city caters for all kinds of musical tastes.

You can find concerts in Rome, any day of the week. Most of them take place in the evening, which is perfect for tourists. It means that you can enjoy sightseeing during the day and fill your evening with a musical experience. Here are a few suggestions of where you might like to go and what you could be listening to.

Enjoy the opera

Rome is a great place to attend an opera. You can do everything from visit one of the city’s opera houses to enjoying an intimate performance in one of Rome’s many churches. As you would imagine, the standard of opera is very high. So, whichever option you choose, you are bound to enjoy yourself.

A dinner concert

Italian food is world-renowned and with good reason. It is always tasty and there are usually several courses. So, during your stay in Rome, you really should eat out as much as you can.

For a special treat book yourself a dinner concert. If you love opera or classical music, you are sure to enjoy the experience. There are several available. Just go online and pick the one that appeals to you the most.

Visit one of Rome’s jazz clubs

It pretty much does not matter where you travel in the world the chances are you will find a jazz club. Rome is no exception.  Use this guide to find performances of the style of jazz you like the most.

Go clubbing

If dance music is what you are after, again, there are plenty of venues offering DJs and live performances. Start by heading to Il Circolo degli Illuminati. There are three club rooms and a nice garden. This club offers an eclectic mix of musical genres. The 3 rooms offer House, Techno, Hip-Hop and chill out music.

It is also well worth visiting Shari Vari Playhouse. As well as music they offer the chance to enjoy a meal as well as a wide range of music. Genres include R&B and Hip Hop. This is the place to go if you like to dress up.

Live music jamming

It is always good to broaden your musical horizons and seek out emerging trends. If that appeals, head to Live Alcazar. There you can enjoy listening to up and coming singers and DJs. Later the dance floor opens up and the atmosphere changes. Effectively you get to enjoy two nights out in one, when you visit this venue.

Take in a music festival

The citizens of Rome love festivals and fiestas. They host them virtually year-round. Everything from Shakespeare to rock music is available. The Village Celimontana festival is an interesting one. It takes place in early September and despite only being 4 years old at the time of my writing this article is already crazy popular. It offers around 100 concerts that feature, jazz, swing, unplugged, rock and roll, tango performances, classical and all kinds of modern genres as well. You would be hard-pressed not to find something that you like.

Hopefully, the above ideas have provided you with some inspiration. Regardless of what musical events you choose to attend, be sure to book in advance. Rome is a busy city, so tickets do tend to sell out fast.

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Travel Tips

Hiking up and around the Caldera of Santorini

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Can we think to typical summer destination where sunbathers go to revel in the sandy beaches. In fact, what draws visitors to this volcanic island is its unique architecture of white-washed houses sitting atop of the caldera, accompanied by the most amazing sunsets Instagram is so full of. 

The only way to really appreciate the beauty of this island is to explore it on foot. There are several hiking trails on Santorini that will take you up and down the winding paths connecting the points of interest you shouldn’t miss. Grab some comfortable footwear and prepare to be stunned by the scenery along the way.

Hiking Trail of Ancient Thira

This trail can be done in two ways – either from Kamari Beach to Thira or from Perissa Beach to Thira and vice versa. Seeing as Santorini is one of Greece’s most spectacular islands, it goes without saying that it is abundant in historical monuments and the ancient Thira is one of the greatest representatives. For this reason, hiking to Thira is ideal for those with a knack for history and the love of nature.

This is an easy trail lasting around an hour and a half (around 3 kilometers). You can start at Kamari known for its unique black-sand beach. You should head uphill toward Zoodohoos Pigi chapel and Ancient Thira where you can spend some time exploring the archeological sites. After that, the descent toward Perissa starts and the beach will come into view shortly. Parissa beach is 4 kilometers long, well-organized with lots of beach bars and restaurants you can enjoy after a lovely hike.

Hiking Trail from Pyrgos to Kamari or Perissa

Pyrgos is a small inland village that often gets overlooked in the face of Fira, Oia, or Imerovigli but it’s actually rather charming and picturesque. This is why you can choose to hike through it and avoid the crowd usually encountered on the other more popular trails. 

Once you are in Pyrgos, it will take you around 6 kilometers to get to Kamari or Perissa. First, the path will lead you to Profitis Ilias Monastery which is also the highest point of the island so you can expect to catch some stunning views of the surroundings. Continue south and after 1 kilometer, you will come across yet another picturesque church – the Church of Christ. Similar to the previous trail, you will walk through the Ancient Thira where a signpost will await, telling you there is about an hour and a half until you reach Kamari or Perissa. From there on, you can choose your path depending on the beach you want to visit.

Hiking Trail from Fira to Oia

This is one of the most scenic and extensive walks along the Santorini’s caldera that will take you from Fira (the island’s capital) all the way to the northwestern tip of the island where Oia is located. The route is approximately 6.5 miles long which translates to 2 to 5 hours of walking, depending on your fitness level and the duration of breaks you make. 

Your route should start in Fira where you will head toward the north in the direction of Firostefani. The sea should be on your left the whole time and don’t rely on the signposts too much as they are scarce. After reaching Firostefani, your next stop should be Imerovigli, a village just 8 minutes from Fira perched on a cliff of the caldera. Once in Imerovigli, you can choose between several mazy paths if you want to take a detour around the village. If not, just follow the path you came across which will push you forward toward Oia. This uphill walk will take you across one short section of the road where cars pass but that’s just a 200-meter section after which you continue via a dirt path until you finally start descending toward Oia.

Hiking Trail in Thirassia

This hiking trail is not actually located on Santorini but on its neighboring Thirassia. Not only does it represent a stunning hiking experience but it also provides hikers with a unique opportunity to gaze at the caldera from an entirely different perspective. 

Ferries run regularly from Oia to Thirassia several times a day and the tickets are rather cheap so you can easily hop to Santorini’s sister island. You can start at the village of Manolas and continue uphill until you reach the chapel of Prophet Elias. From then on, you will push ahead toward the southernmost part of the island where the monastery of Panagia is located. All the while, the majestic caldera will be visible just like the Aegean sea stretching in all directions. This track is almost 3 kilometers long and moderately difficult, easily crossed in less than an hour and 15 minutes. 

Additional Tips for Santorini Hiking

  • Stack up on water and snacks as there will be few shops along the way, some of which may not even be open at the time of your hike.
  • Embark on the journey as early as possible in order not to get scorched by the summer sun which reaches zenith as early as 11 am.
  • Prepare your route thoroughly and talk to the passers-by you meet along the trail in case you are not sure about the directions.
  • There is little to no shade along any of the trails so make sure you wear a hat and sunscreen.

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Travel Tips

Unmissable, Romantic New York For Couples

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New York is the perfect destination for couples for so many reasons! There are incredible vistas and delicious food. Then there are the quirky bars and endless entertainments. There are even some pretty romantic spots to experience together if you know where to look. Something that we aim to help you with in the post below. 

Picnic In Central Park 

A long strip of green, in the grey of the metropolis, Central Park is a must for couples visiting New York. In fact, despite its diminutive size, there is no shortage of romantic spots to hang out here. 

For those with a literary bent try Conservatory Water were bronze statues of Alice in Wonderland, and Hans Christian Anderson are to be found. Alternatively, visiting Belvedere Castle can make you feel as if you have been transported into a fairytale. A place especially beautiful when the sun goes down and the moonlight glints off windows and turrets at night, 

Of course, if you want to add an extra layer of romance, taking along your own picnic is a smart idea. You can even go to places that will pack up a luxe lunch for you if you like?

Take In A Broadway Show 

Next, if you are looking for an enjoyable couples experience in the city that never sleeps, heading to the bright lights of Broadway should be your next consideration. In fact, it is where you will find some of the most famous productions in the world are being performed. 

Of course, how much you enjoy this experience as a couple, will have a lot to do with making the right show selection. Happily, there are so many shows to choose from, it should be relatively easy to find something that will delight you both. 

You can even get things like these Book of Mormon tickets online before your trip. Something that means you won’t have to waste time queuing outside in the often bad weather to nab a seat. 

The Hayden Planetarium

Another popular location for couples to visit while in New York is the famous Hayden Planetarium. In fact, there you will find some pretty impressive science and natural history based exhibitions to geek out on.

Then there is the fantastic Dark Universe show projected onto the huge curved planetarium room. An experience that many couples enjoy together. 

Walk Brooklyn Bridge

Finally, one of the most romantic spots in the whole of New York is the Brooklyn Bridge. What many people do not realise is that it’s entirely possible to walk the bridge. In fact, doing so can make an enjoyable couples-based activity. 

 

Of course, you can choose to make this 30-minute journey on foot at any time of the day. Although, once the sun goes down, and all the city lights are glowing is the most magical time. An experience that makes a stroll along Brooklyn Bridge perfect for couples looking for a romantic promenade. With the added bonus of getting to look out over the glorious city that is New York! 

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Meet Cole and Adela

Cole and AdelaWe have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...

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