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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.

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

The Best Gaming Genres for Travelers

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Traveling is the type of activity that every youngster wants to practice consistently. There’s no wonder about that since traveling can often represent an eye-opening experience with a long-lasting impact. However, being on a constant move can also have a few downsides, especially if you’re traveling alone.

Those lone travelers will often have to fill up large time gaps. Reading books or watching movies always represent a great option. But, for the tech-savvy ones, gaming might be an even better activity. Mobile gaming is the type of gaming that most travelers opt for. Some gaming genres can be better for travelers than others – we’re about to highlight those in this article.

Puzzle

Roughly speaking, half of all smartphone gamers opt for the puzzle niche. Female users more than male ones. Games like Tetris, Candy Crush and even Angry Birds are often preferred by casual gamers that are just looking to have a bit of fun. Puzzle games are being played by most age groups, from moms and seniors, all the way to youngsters.

These games are very easy to understand even if it might take a bit of practice to master their mechanics. You can only progress by acting fast and using your logic in the most effective way possible. They are very easy to play on mobile, and that’s their biggest upside. Unlike action-filled games like shooters, the puzzle ones require simple actions like tapping or swiping every once in a while – making them perfect for travelers in fastpacing environments.

Casino

Casino games are a great alternative to the puzzle ones if you’re looking for something more adrenaline-filled. Although more used on desktop devices, they also have mobile versions. Both of them are very resource-intensive, enabling even users with outdated devices to play games.

For example, an online casino like Gametwist would provide you with access to a countless library of casino games. Even if it acts as a single game or mobile app, an online casino consists of a multitude of top-level games designed to maximize your time and entertainment. This makes them perfect for travelers since all the games are in one place as they won’t have to waste time switching in-between apps.

Mobile casinos are great both for beginners and experienced gamblers. They have games for all skill-sets. If you play the free slots, you can lay back and relax as the gameplay is quite interactive and rather simple, ideal for beginners. But you can also play something like poker if you want a challenge that requires more skill.

Multiplayer Battle Arenas

Multiplayer Battle Arena games are a combination of strategy and action games. They are still quite easy to play on mobile but they give you a higher level of action. Usually, such games are played through the perspective of a single “champion” – users having the possibility of choosing between multiple ones.

You’re certainly familiar with this genre as games like DOTA 2 and League of Legends are huge on PC. Although still fun, mobile MOBAs are less complex with simpler mechanics. Mobile Legends, Arena of Valor and Vainglory are some of the top games from this category on mobile devices. They are very similar to Mightytips, PC MOBAs, providing you with loads of fun in a more dynamic format.

Conclusion

Traveling, although very entertaining most of the time, it can still prove a bit boring when you have to fill in time gaps. Playing mobile games can prove to be one of the best ways to do that. The three genres mentioned above are the best for mobile gaming as they provide loads of entertainment without sacrificing any mobility and performance.

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Travel Tips

3 Relaxing Holiday Ideas That Will Help You Unwind

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The start of a new year is a great time to make resolutions, change habits and, best of all, start thinking about the holidays that you will take throughout the year. Planning and booking a holiday in advance not only provides us with the time to budget and pay for them but also gives us something to look forward to later in the year. Work seems a little less stressful when we know that a holiday is within our grasp. Here are 3 relaxing holiday ideas that will help you unwind.

Take to the seas on a luxury cruise

If you want a relaxing holiday and don’t want to lift a finger then a luxury cruise might be right up your street. Not only does it give you time to unwind but you can visit and enjoy multiple locations in one trip. With vast areas to relax, swimming pools, bars, and shops, a cruise liner is pretty must a floating hotel complex. 

The food offered on a cruise is nothing short of spectacular. Succulent fruits, fresh seafood, and meats, as well as a plethora of accompaniments, line the tables throughout the day. The only issue you might experience is gaining weight! Most cruise liners have an amazing daily entertainment program as well as a host of activities for you to take part in.

Go on a yachting holiday

If you love the idea of taking to the seas but a cruise doesn’t appeal, then a yachting holiday might be a good alternative. Many people find cruise ships too vast and busy. Yachts come in various sizes and can accommodate smaller groups of people. You don’t have to be an experienced sailor either. 12 knots yachting club offers a variety of different packages to both experienced sailors and those who just love relaxing on the water. If you are the latter, you can charter a cabin and an experienced crew will take the reins. A chef will also be provided to tend to your culinary needs. If yachting is your thing then you can charter your own. It is an amazing way to unwind and enjoy some of the world’s most breath-taking scenery.

Have a break in the countryside

If you love the outdoors, enjoy walking and want beautiful scenery, a holiday in the countryside may be difficult to beat. Whether you would prefer to stay in a country hotel or B&B or self-catering is more your thing, there are lots of options to choose from. After a hearty breakfast, you can take off and explore. There is nothing quite like a picturesque walk in the countryside, taking in the views as well as the fresh air and getting exercise too. Unwind in the evening in front of an open fire or have a barbeque in the garden overlooking lush green landscapes and hills. If it is peace and tranquillity you are looking for then this may just be the perfect choice. 

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Travel Tips

SmartBuyGlasses – Goggles

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Snow is one of the most reflective surfaces when it comes to light, so wearing sunglasses for winter sports is absolutely essential to avoid harmful UV rays, even without direct sunlight. Snow blindness (when bright light reflected from snow affects vision) is a real threat when skiing or snowboarding, particularly at high altitudes and travelling at high speeds. Hitting the slopes this winter? Make sure your ski goggles or ski glasses lenses provide 100% UV protection to ensure the best experiences.

To make choosing the ideal pair of winter sports eyewear easy, SmartBuyGlasses provides you with a list of the top recommended products which are worth to be invested in before heading to the mountains.

Top recommended Goggles

If you’re planning on skiing or snowboarding down the slopes this winter, consider equipping yourself with some quality ski goggles; they are your best choice for comfort, visibility and eye protection.

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In low-light and fogging conditions, yellow, gold and amber lenses filter out blue light. Shadows are emphasized to see better the contours in the snow. They also work well in moderate and variable light conditions. Check out the Bloc Evolution E014 or the Bloc Small Fit Moon JM01.

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When in bright and reflective snow conditions, darker lens tints such as dark brown, dark grey and dark green will increase contrast with the whites. Gray lenses are also good to reveal the true colours. Check out the Smith I/O7 IE7BKISA17, the Smith RIOT RO2BKECW17 and the Bolle Tsar.

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Mirror coating enhances the effectiveness of tinted lenses by reflecting sunlight so it does not penetrate the lenses, making it a great choice for bright and sunny days. Check out the UVEX S40.

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Clear lenses are undoubtedly the best option for sunset and nighttime as they have the highest visible light transmission (VLT), increasing wearers’’ visibility on the slopes. Check out the Salice 609.

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Photochromic lenses or transition lenses are designed to automatically adapt to surrounding light, making them perfect to ensure optimal vision and UV ray protection in every situation. Check out the Salice 618 ITA Speed Polarized BKIT/TECH and the Smith Goggles Smith I/OX.

Top recommended Sunglasses

If you prefer opting for sunglasses over goggles, consider getting some 100% UV protecting sports sunglasses like these.

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Sports sunglasses with a wrap-around frame minimize light reaching the eyes from all sides and allows better peripheral vision. Mirror coatings such as on this model are perfect for very bright conditions as they can block an additional 10 per cent to 60 per cent of visible light for greater comfort in highly reflective sunny environments. Check out the Smith RIDGEWELL ChromaPop Polarized and the UVEX SPORTSTYLE 223.

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Polarized lenses selectively blocks light reflecting from horizontal surfaces, eliminating glare. Polarized lenses are especially helpful in blocking glare from light reflecting off water, sand, snow and concrete. This model is also made of highly durable polycarbonate made to withstand harsh conditions. Check out the Oakley OO9102 HOLBROOK.

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Photochromic or transition lenses are not just found in the goggles, and provide the same optimal protection from unpredictable light conditions. By reacting to the surrounding light, they are perfect for every light condition, from low light to bright light on a sunny day. Check out the Oakley OO9290 JAWBREAKER.

All of these models are available on SmartBuyGlasses website, discover their website for more information and lots more products.

 

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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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