ISLAND SERIES 3 - AEGEAN TR & GR
Summer of 2020 has been revisiting the islands I've been so far, if not in person this time. Hoping to pay more visits and enjoying these and many more undiscovered beauties. I close the series with Aegean islands of Turkey & Greece, hold on tight!
Santorini is considered to be the most sought after place for a romantic getaway in Greece and has a growing reputation as a “honeymoon destination”. The volcanic island provides an unspoiled landscape and picture-perfect sunsets with astonishing rock formations and traditional whitewashed settlements built at the edge of the caldera.
There's so much to do in Santorini; don't you think of just laying down, man! You'll obviously first want to hit the colorful beaches, that's a good start. The black and red sands make for a memorable visit. To swim, pick any from options Kamari, Perissa, Perivolos, Vlychada, Monolithos beaches. Exploring the beautiful villages Pyrgos and discover Emporio and Megalochori. Then comes hiking through Imerovigli, riding into the sunset in the one and only Oia, dining in Firostefani and clubbing in Fira. If interested, indulge in the archaeological delights of the impressively preserved Ancient Akrotiri or check out Ancient Thera to see the ruins of three empires, including the Romans.
Who says you only need a day to enjoy these islands' charms?! I mean, c'mon, you need at least a week to make the most of this gorgeous island. Here's how you could, in great detail, read along my blog post on Santorini itself 🙂
Despite its St Tropez meets Ibiza reputation, with its sizzling weather nearly all year round and family-friendly amenities, Mykonos is a holiday destination that everyone can enjoy.
Located in the center of the Cyclades island group, Mykonos is known for its white architecture similar to that of Santorini. The old town is a maze of narrow lane ways with gorgeous white washed abodes.
There are 2 ports in Mykonos. The cruise ships arrive at the New Port of Mykonos (Tourlos), which is one bus stop away from the city center. The tour boats arrive at the Old Port of Mykonos, which is actually a few steps away from the center of the town.
The path from the Old Port into Mykonos Town ends in the town’s central square, named after Manto Mavrogenous, a heroine of the Greek War of Independence.
One of the most popular areas with tourists is Little Venice. Little Venice in Mykonos is a charming little area where you can watch the amazing sunset views. Its whitewashed edifices against the backdrop of the azure blue Aegean Sea is simply marvelous.
The trademark of Mykonos is the beautiful traditional windmills in front of Little Venice, where you can also enjoy the magical sunset and capture the colorful light washing up the island’s Chora.
Mykonos sure can't compete with Santorini when it comes to churches 😀 Famous for its minimal Cycladic architecture, Mykonos is full of churches, if not blue-domed. They're more typical in Santorini.
The best side of Mykonos is definitely its beaches!
Mykonos is such a fun island to be 🙂
Lesvos is the third largest of the islands in Greece behind Crete and Evia. Here you can find the authentic Greek laid-back lifestyle while enjoing idyllic bays and pretty calm beaches.
Mytilini, the capital of the Lesvos is also the capital of nightlife where terraces are full of people. To your surprise though, there's also a university. Just keep in mind if looking out for studies 😉
Built in the 18th century, dedicated to Saint John the Healer, Church of Agios Therapondas is a three-aisled basilica of an impressive architecture with neoclassical elements and architectural elements from the Renaissance.
Yeni Mosque is the largest Muslim mosque in Mytilini from late 19th century. Today, it is used as an exhibition center hosting many cultural events and art exhibitions.
Molivos is surely the most iconic town of the Lesvos island. Also a good option for accommodation. The tiny little streets leading uphill to the castle are adorned with numerous cute coffee places, souvenirs shops, bakeries and ice cream stalls.
The Fortress of Methymna has stood still hosting from the Venetians to the Catalans, to the Genovese and the Ottoman Turks. Don't get lost in the tiny little streets (shopping 🙂 ) leading uphill, you might miss the castle 😀
Let's check out Turkey’s most promising wine destination which is the third largest island of Turkey. Wait, Lesvos was the third largest in Greece, remember 🙂
Known for its tavernas, wine, and beautiful beaches, the former Greek island of Bozcaada is the perfect summer getaway in Turkey.
Welcoming you at the entrance is Bozcaada Castle, one of the largest citadels in the Aegean. The castle was expanded by the Byzantine, Genoese, Venetian, and Turkish civilizations who occupied the island successively.
Bozcaada is famous for its cold water. If you’re on the lookout for relaxation, check out Akvaryum Beach, which is also known for its vivacious underwater life.
Ayazma Beach is Bozcaada's most popular beach because of its soft, white sands, sometimes becoming a bit too crowded in the high season.
The center of Bozcaada is composed of a beautiful square that branches out to the taverna-lined streets, and make sure to see the old Greek houses in this elegant town that was built on a grid plan along a slight slope.
Thanks to its breezy climate and volcanic soil, Bozcaada has been famed for its wine exhibiting distinct salinity and minerality on the palate. You can check the wineries located on the island which are Corvus, Amadeus, Talay, Ataol and Çamlıbağ.
One characteristic of the island is its murals, keep your eyes open 😉
Gökçeada Island, which is located near Canakkale in the northwestern area of the Aegean Sea, ranks as the largest in terms of land of all of Turkey's islands. Gökçeada translates to “heavenly island” and that it’s one of the first members of the Cittaslow movement, which encourages towns to retain their original and natural states. Its unpolluted waters and virgin lands attract both domestic and foreign tourists. Among the pine trees of various tons of green and the dense olive groves are nestled sacred springs and monasteries.
Referred as the island of the Poseidonin Homer's epic the Iliad, it was believed that Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, rested his horses in the deep sea between Gökçeada and the Greek island of Samothrace, to the north of Gökçeada.
One of the best places to really take in that particularly lazy island feel, Gökçeada is full of beautiful beaches, historic stone houses and churches, and plenty of delicious seafood. Make sure to explore historic Greek villages such as Bademli, Tepeköy, Dereköy, and Zeytinliköy, which all happen to have fantastic views of the island as well as historic churches that hark back to the island’s former life.
Zeytinli Village is perhaps the cutest among all. Agios Georgios Church is the oldest of the island. Aya Todori Primary School, which was founded in 1951 and then closed in 1964, had reopened in 2013 with four students. Nostos Cafe is where you should stop for a Turkish coffee and the desert with mastica. Founded by Mihalis Okumusis, Nostos was named as "returning home".
Derekoy was once the most populated villages of Balkans,thanks to it's Pyrgos Bay. Hagia Marina and Koimies Tis Theotokus Churches today still function. The village is also home to Marmaros Waterfall.
Tepeköy is the highest village in Aya Dimitri Hill. It uses to be famous with olive oil and soap factories. Evangelismos Teofoku is open to visitors. Don't miss Yorgo's tavern nor wines.
In the old Bademli Village, historical laundry and the buildings of primary schools are worth seeing. The Roman Stone Burial Place, which has gone under archeological excavations in the New Bademli Hoyuk and Kokina regions, is also worth seeing.
Aydinli Beach is located in the Eselek Village, and it is good for windsurfing. The Salt Lake is found here where people take mudbath. Ugurlu Village, Gizli Liman, Inceburun and Sirinkoy are worth seeing.
Most of the restaurants and hotels are in the village of Asagi Kalekoy. On Sundays, make sure to visit the village bazaar in the city center where you can find excellent local produce as well as island specialties such as efibadem (almond cookies), thyme honey, and cicirya (a Greek dish made from a round pastry filled with melted goat cheese, mint, and thyme). Yukari Kalekoy was established above foothill of the ruins old fortress. Central Mosque and Fatih Mosque are located in Yenimahalle.
Ready to find out more?
Check out my photo gallery on Mykonos for more!
Ready to find out more?
Check out my Gokceada Gallery for more!