Category Archives: Greece

Rhodes’ medieval citadel is one of the best preserved ones in Europe and earned its place on the Unesco heritage list. We can thank the Knights Hospitallers for much of what Rhodes looks like now. They moved to the island in the 14th century and left their mark in the approximately 200 years that they were there. After some Ottoman attacks the knights decided to build heavy fortifications, which you can still see today. However in the the 16th century the Ottomans won after all and added some oriental flavor to the town. Visiting Rhodes Town now, you can see elements from different times in the small streets within the city wall. If you enter the old town from the coast, you walk through the impressive Knight’s street towards the even more impressive palace of the grand master. At the hottest time of the day, tourists were using the small…

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You often hear travel is all about the journey, not the destination. And the journey certainly counts. Over the years I’ve gathered a lot of good memories and interesting stories on old, crowded buses crawling over bumpy roads, on trains that seemed to have come straight from the past or on foot with my backpack, alone or with fellow travelers. So when I had to cross the Aegean Sea to get from Athens to Rhodes, I decided not to take the plane, but enthusiastically promoted the ferry to my boyfriend. Initially he didn’t really understand why, but was ok with it because I wanted it so much. But after our overnight journey he’d changed his mind. I’d taken an overnight ferry once, sleeping in the trucker’s cabin. There’s something about boats, especially massive ships like the car ferries crossing from Athens’ Piraeus port to the Greek islands. Even as we…

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If you travel with someone who’s training for a marathon, you can’t really escape doing some exercise on your holiday. And not being able to do my regular classes, I thought I’d join for a few running sessions. Whereas my boyfriend ran in each city we visited, including Athens at 43 degrees Celsius, I only joined 4 times. I guess I didn’t want to miss out on the beauty we would see along the way. Here’s an overview. Symi – 3,5km mini run Of course I loved my run on Symi. I went solo for this one since my boyfriend had to do hills training. Now, I like a run, but I’m not crazy. So together we walked down the hill from our accommodation towards the Pedi bay as a warm up. Do you really need a warm up when it’s 33 degrees? At the bottom he went uphill and…

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The photos on blogs and Instagram were incredible. It seemed like there was the perfect town, right from a fairytale on a tiny island off the coast of Turkey. Once I’d settled on going to the area of Rhodes in Greece I knew I had to put Symi on the itinerary. Symi is a popular day trip from Rhodes town, but I wanted more. I wanted to experience Symi, not just take a picture and leave. But how much time is really needed on such a small island? I settled on 2 nights, meaning 2 full days on the island. If I could redo it, I’d add another one. Colorful houses greeted me when our small ferry SEBECO finally arrived in the port of the island. The small ferry was a quicker solution than the bigger ships, but the first 20 minutes to half an hour were also quite rough.…

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Full of excitement I got on the plane. It felt strange. The 8 months in which I didn’t leave Berlin-Brandenburg felt like a lifetime to me. And now I was on a plane again, leaving from an almost empty airport. Like last year my destination was Greece, only this time I would land in Athens and this time I wasn’t alone. I’d been to Athens before, but on a work trip and although we had a lot of fun and saw some of the inner city, I still hadn’t made it to the famous Acropolis. This would be my chance. After a smooth flight it took forever to get the luggage. It was getting late and I hadn’t had dinner yet. I chewed on a bread roll I’d taken from home, looking around. There were plenty of people at Athens’ airport. After an hour the baggage belt finally started moving.…

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During my recent trip to Crete I spent time in 3 different cities; Chania, Rethymno and Heraklion. Each city is a little different and has a different atmosphere although the Venetian influence is definitely apparent in all of them. Arriving in Chania I arrived at Chania airport and took a bus into the city. It’s easy and the bus station is right in the center. Chania isn’t too big and you can walk anywhere you want to go. So after checking in, I went on an exploratory stroll. Along the coast I found a really pleasant breeze and I just sat for a while staring out over the water, taking it all in. “I’m here. I’m really here. On Crete.” There is a long promenade along the water and it’s great for a pre- or post-dinner stroll as well. Part of the old town is the Venetian harbor. You can…

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Into the nature of the small Myli gorge Rethymno has it’s very own gorge to explore, although it’s not nearly as big as the famous Samaria gorge. Rethymno’s Myli gorge is well worth a visit though if you’re staying in the area. I stayed at Elizabeth campground and walked out to the gorge from there. You can also get here by bus from the city center. Maps.me helped me navigate the streets to the entrance of the gorge. I had the feeling all the other people entered from the top of the gorge, since I didn’t meet anyone until I reached the end. At the bottom I entered the gorge via a small side road at Canteen Banana. There was some crazy art around there and the café’s music was already on. I didn’t stop though and continued on my way uphill through the gorge. It was immediately different from…

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During my time in Chania on Crete I did a few day trips to the famous beaches in the West of the island. Elafonisi was on my list, but my roommate at the hostel had told me he wasn’t that impressed. He also said he went as part of a tour and felt as if it was a long day for just 3,5 hours at the beach, with stops at restaurants where he didn’t want to go. I wanted to see it for myself and decided to take the public bus. It meant I had a looooooong day at the beach, but at least I didn’t have the obligatory stops of an organised tour. I must say that from the moment my eyes saw the beach I was simply blown away. What’s not to like! It’s the perfect lagoon, with lots of shallow water that is so clear it looks…

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It’s peak season, the summer holidays, usually the worst time to travel. However, corona virus has messed up the normal and because of it I find paradise on Crete in July. I thought it best to go soon after the borders open in case there is a second wave and they decide to close again or travel warnings are put into place. I’m not the only one. A lot of people have found their way to Crete, especially the French. But where you’d usually be able to touch your neighbor on the beach, there is now plenty of space for social distancing. And therefore it’s also better for taking nice photos and enjoying the attractions. In Rethymno I found out that the hotels usually have an occupancy of 95% in July, whereas this year it was only 25-35%. The pandemic is a real problem for locals working in tourism, but…

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Balos beach, the most beautiful beach in Greece? I’d seen many photos of Balos Beach online while I did my research for my holiday to Crete. This beach is considered one of the top beaches in the world. I knew a day trip out to Balos and Gramvousa would be beautiful, but I tried not to have high expectations. When the ferry docked in Balos I was blown away. I think my mouth actually fell open. This could not be real! I decided to book a day trip to Balos beach and Gramvousa island from Chania. Basically what it meant was that a coach picked me up near my hostel and dropped me off at the port in Kissamos. We received boat tickets and then we were on our own. I may as well have gone by public bus. A huge ferry boat lie waiting for us in the harbour.…

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