We found this very interesting article made by the Telegraph which shows fist hand what people liked and disliked in the Greece and The Greek Islands!
We are sure that you will find it very interesting
Book your Greece Holidays with the specialist www.bestofgreece.co.uk
This week's winning review: Makis is a teacher in Chania, but in summer he goes to Panormo, to his restaurant in the square, where he performs small miracles daily. There are no menus; Makis takes you into his kitchen and lifts the lids on beans, stifado (rabbit – though I have never seen a live rabbit on Crete), stuffed peppers and enormous prawns fresh from the sea that morning. The aromas waft up to our balcony all afternoon while we laze and read. "What is your favourite?" he asks. "I will cook it for you tomorrow." The rickety chairs at our table under the bougainvillea are exchanged for some that are slightly less uncomfortable. Two cold beers appear "from the boss"; he smiles at his beautiful wife. During the evening, his tables gradually spread across the square. The food is delicious, full of flavours that need to be sponged up with the bread baked in the shop opposite. The butcher from next door sits and chews the fat with Makis, while the owner of the café on the corner sings to the square. Replete, we consider trying another place tomorrow, one with a better view perhaps? But Makis promises lamb…
Mrs Liz Bartlett, Dorset
Weekly travel tips competition
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Beautiful, relaxed and very Greek, this is Sissi on the north-east coast of Crete. The sun shines, the cicadas whirr and the olives slowly ripen. A solitary fishing boat leaves the harbour and a cat stretches, curled up in the shade. Several restaurants line the road leading down to the harbour and evenings are spent enjoying authentic Greek dishes – tomato and onion salad, grilled sardines and garlic – lovely, rustic home-cooked food.
A little train drives visitors around the village, yielding snapshots of Greek life – whitewashed houses, bright flowers, a church and tranquillity. A handful of shops clusters around the harbour. A stroll past the bakery offers a whiff of fresh bread and a group of elderly men sit passing the time of day. A taverna, where locals outnumber visitors, serves unusual local food and drinks.
Sleepy Sissi is also the gateway to adventure – it’s a short bus ride to chic Agios Nikolaos, with its pavement cafés, classy shops and boat trips to spellbinding Spinalonga.
Cecilia Walker, Cheshire
Santorini and Naxos
We arrived in Athens on Saturday evening and, well rested, were up on Sunday morning to visit the Parthenon. “It appears to be shut,” my wife said.
It is one of the wonders of the world but the administrators were on strike so we spent the rest of the day wandering around the city with tantalising views of this ancient monument.
The next day we arrived at the airport for our transfer to Santorini, only to find our flight had left an hour earlier. The airline switched to a new summer schedule and omitted to notify us. Fortunately we boarded a later flight and arrived at this fascinating island.
Our hotel room had spectacular views over the Caldera, though a cruise liner was docked, prices were high and the tiny streets were jammed with visitors. Eventually the ship departd and we were left almost alone to wander this historic town. The following day our ferry departed on time and we continued our island-hopping to Naxos. The weather was gorgeous: blue skies offset blue seas and a green interior, and we remembered why we chose to visit Greece and the islands.
Colin Astin, Bucks
It was an adventure. I knew as much at midnight on my first night, when the train guard offered me welcoming ouzo as we crossed the Greek border. I was a student at the time and, having travelled overland to Piraeus, the main port for ferries into the islands, I didn’t have much of a plan. I bought a ticket for Naxos. With limited research, I knew that it had an abundance of unpronounceable places and many classic whitewashed villages. I wasn’t disappointed. It was an island full of the pungent scents, sun-parched valleys and olive groves that epitomised the endless summer and lost nights that followed.
I explored many islands in the following weeks, all unique and very welcoming. I was often met by local hotel owners or, in the case of my last island, Sifnos, by an old resident who had a spare room for rent overlooking the valley. It was here, where the stars touched the sea, that I fell into a long and happy sleep, secure in the feeling that this was a love affair that would last for the rest of my life.
Ken Glendinning, Hampshire
Rhodes Town offers the wonderful opportunity to experience Christianity, Islam and Judaism in a very small area. The people at the nearest Orthodox church always included us in their activities. I was even asked to help in the kitchen. We also met a devout Orthodox icon painter who taught us much.
The first time we visited the mosque, the man who greeted me said: “We all worship the same God.” We were given an interesting explanation of the history of the Islamic community on Rhodes and we regularly visited the Islamic library and sat in the garden in the shade to read.
The Kahal Kadosh Shalom Synagogue (Holy Congregation of Peace) is the oldest synagogue in Greece, and the only synagogue on Rhodes still in use for services. It has a small museum. A remarkable lady, Loukia Modhiano-Shaloom, used to be there every day to greet visitors in English, French, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Ladino and Spanish.
She survived Auschwitz and returned to live on Rhodes. She loved visitors and we visited her frequently. Sadly Loukia is now too old and ill to be on site every day.
Jacquetta Gomes, Cumbria
We live on Greece’s Ionion Coast and, like a million others, our flights (to Manchester) were cancelled due to the Icelandic volcano earlier this year. So we went to Corfu, which is only three hours away by car and ferry. Corfu Town is worlds away from the island’s popular resorts. It’s a lively, cosmopolitan city with elegant boutiques, shops (including a Marks & Spencer).
We stayed overnight at the Arcadion Hotel (0030 26610 37670; www.arcadionhotel.com), the best in town and situated next to Liston, the town’s chic bar and restaurant quarter. The Arcadion’s rooms have views of the Old Fortress and Corfu’s English cricket pitch. The hotel is pleasant, the staff helpful and the accommodation excellent.
From the extra-comfortable bed to the rarely-found-in-Greece bath, everything was perfect. The cost – €85 – included a breakfast that had a surprise: as well as the expected Continental, there were fried eggs, bacon and sausage. The disappointment of not flying to Manchester was easily cancelled out by two days in Corfu Town.
Peter Lenihan, Parga, Greece
Cephalonia is a mountainous island with a rich history, spectacular scenery and great beaches. A car is essential but watch out for goats.
Among personal highlights are the drive from the charming resort of Aghia Efimia to Mesovounia, with some splendid views across to Ithaka, and a trip to the Lixouri peninsula, taking in the cliff-top monastery at Kipurion with its solitary monk-in-residence.
I also recommend a visit to the Folklore Museum in Argostoli, where you cannot avoid being moved by the photographs of buildings before and after the 1953 earthquake.
Many tavernas offer great food – my own favourite is the Vegera in Vassilikades, where Martina and Spiros offer you a warm welcome and you can dine on the balcony watching the stunning sunsets.
We stay in the picturesque, unspoilt village of Assos at a b&b, The Cavos Inn (book through Ionian Island Holidays, 020 8459 0777; www.ionianislandholidays.com), which we recommend highly. Rooms are tastefully decorated and ample breakfasts are served on a terrace that enjoys superb views towards Myrtos beach and beyond.
Assos lies on a narrow isthmus and has a tiny harbour, beach and a few tavernas. Views from the top of the old Venetian fort are magnificent.
Dr Robin Watson, Surrey
“Have ye been to Samos before?” asked the Scottish lady next to me as we flew in. “It’s a wee bitty bumpy…” As our plane swooped in over the mountains, it was, indeed, a wee bitty bumpy. As were the winding mountain roads, still showing signs of the terrible fires in 2000.
It didn’t bode well – until we got an eagle’s eye view of the village of Ormos, in a beautiful bay, with a harbour curling around a blue sea. The usual spartan Greek villa, with the addition of olive trees and geraniums, became paradise.
Ormos itself – with a supermarket, tavernas, bakery, harbour, sunsets and fishing boats coming in at dawn – was heaven. But the whole island of Samos was a joy, particularly the drive to Drakei, with stunning views, pine forests and islands floating in the blue sea, and inland Mount Kerketeas – great for walkers.
The mountain villages – Manolates, Vourliotes – were all worth exploring and there were monasteries everywhere. Go early in the summer, before it gets busy.
Mrs Bridget Dean, Cumbria
In the mid-Nineties, I went with the woman who is now my wife to Lesvos. While there we took a taxi out of Petra with the intention of taking a romantic walk along the coast back to our accommodation.
However, it wasn’t long before I realised I’d lost my prescription sunglasses. We retraced our steps, but soon gave up.
That evening we went into Petra for a meal and while walking into the town centre, we heard a shout and a car pulled up alongside us. It turned out to be the taxi driver, who reached out of his cab waving my sunglasses, which he had found in the back of his cab soon after we alighted.
He had, he said, been looking for us to give them back and was clearly delighted to have been successful. I offered him a reward but he wouldn’t hear of it.
“These will help you to enjoy our beautiful island,” he said and drove off. I’ve had a soft spot for the Greeks ever since.
David Crozier, Herts
Lesvos or also known as Mytilini may be known for its ouzo and sardines, for the wide expanse of Kalloni bay and for the defensive fortresses that pepper the rugged coastline, but it pays to venture deeper into the countryside, where there are numerous unspoilt villages and squares shaded by plane trees.
I recommend a trip to Agiassos, high on the slopes of Olympos mountain. Park at the bottom of the village and walk up one of the steep side streets lined with old houses, geraniums tumbling from their balconies.
After a visit to the Women’s Co-operative, where you can sample freshly made biscuits and baklava, head through the square to the church set in a cloistered courtyard. This is the home of an ancient icon attributed to St Luke and a place of pilgrimage and festivity in mid-August.
Have lunch on the square – home-cooked food, fresh bread and local wine – before strolling back down through streets lined with shops selling local cheese, wood carvings and embroidery.
Sue Theodossiadis, Cheshire
What to avoid
We had a sailing holiday around the Greek islands last summer and were amazed at the number of jelly fish we saw, particularly at dusk. We were careful and weren't stung but I would advise other travellers to pack a tube of sting relief, just in case.
Leonie Moore, London
Avgolemono soup: we have tried this disgusting Greek speciality several times and don't understand its appeal. The chicken, rice and lemon soup is apparently used to cure all sorts of illnesses but it tastes like lukewarm washing-up liquid. We love dimples and melomakarona, though.
Sarah and Tony Butcher, Tyne & Wear
It's true that Greece has a high road-accident rate but if you're an experienced driver, don't let this put you off hiring a car. Often it's the only way to explore an island. My husband and I both drive in Crete every summer and have never had a problem. But be careful on scooters.
Jayne Cunningham, Suffolk