WHERE TO NEXT?

Dear Traveler,

I dove straight into the Aegean Sea at half past seven this morning. The water was calm and although the sun was rising, a cliff shielded its radiance. Only its orange glow made it to the little cove. The view across the bay was of three yachts and one tall sailboat that had moored here for the last few nights. The light from the morning sun was reflecting off their hulls and magnified by the terracotta orange of the hills just behind them.

I expected to be stunned by the cold sea. But instead I was pleasantly surprised by its warmth. I swam laps in the open water marveling at how crystal clear it was.

My dip in the sea was prompted by one of my colleagues who also has a love of open water swimming. For me it is the perfect way to begin a day on vacation (or a work day) in Greece.

The last week has been beyond amazing and I have so much to share with you. Given the limited free time I have to write, expect much more in the coming weeks. I have been so surprised at how glorious the weather has been for this late in the season! It has felt like the perfect summer day every day. Shorts, tank tops, summer dresses and sandals are the defacto uniform, with the addition of a wrap or light jacket in the evenings. This is the time of year to come to Greece if you want perfectly mild temperatures, sunbathing weather and fewer people.

My last trip to Greece was to Athens, Santorini and Mykonos and this visit includes returning to Athens and Santorini as well as visiting Naxos, Paros and Antiparos. Each island is SO different!

When you are wanting to plan your first (second or third) trip to Greece, I will give you insights on the different islands so you can choose the absolute best destinations for you. To help with that I will be writing up an article highlighting my favorite Greek Islands and what I love about them. Today during my travel time around Athens and en route to Santorini I will be asking one of my Greek partners, who is a former cartographer and has been to all of these island, lots of questions about each one. I look forward to adding more dimensions and insights to what I share with you.

For now, know that if you have never been to Greece, you absolutely must have it on your list. The food, seafood, wine, luxury resorts and boutique hotels, yachts, sailboats, caves, history, archaeology, hiking, watersports, shopping, sunsets and pure beauty make it ideal for families with teenagers through young adults or a couples’ getaway.

A few highlights…

  • So far on this trip I’ve visited or stayed in 12 hotels with at least 5 more to come.

Naxos

  • Drinking a Flaming Lips cocktail while watching the sunset from the rooftop terrace on top of a Venetian castle.
  • Eating crispy French fries made from local potatoes (so delish!) overlooking the sea.
  • Walking on the 7km long white sand beach.
  • Learning to make keftedes from a local bakery owner.
  • Strolling through the charming villages of Kinidaros, Apeiranthos, Kaloxylos, Chalki and Naxos Town.

Paros

  • Hiking solo to an old lighthouse at Paros Park and discovering a wakeboarding shop next to a fun beach club. It would be the perfect spot to take teenagers!
  • Walking the narrow stone streets filled with shops and restaurants in the towns of Paroikia, Lefkes and Naousa.
  • Tasting the most unique iced coffee on the island at an outdoor cafe in the mountainous town of Lefkes.
  • Studying the map with our guide to learn about the many hiking options around the island – many of which are point to point, which I love.
  • Buying my new favorite sandals made by a local Paros artisan.
  • Eating on the outdoor terrace of Tsachpinis (see Highlight below) with colleagues and friends.
  • Swimming in the crystal clear Aegean sea.

Antiparos

  • Taking a 7 minute ferry over to see this tiny island that has a famous resident (Tom Hanks) and doing a site visit at a beautiful hotel that I’ve been dying to see. Barefoot luxury at its best.

I can’t wait to share more with you!

 

 

 

 

This week’s inspirational articles include the most beautiful beaches in the world, once in a lifetime trips and the top 10 things to do in Oaxaca, Mexico.

You’ll also find information on the trend of homeschooling aboard yachts, the secrets to happiness and mistakes to avoid while traveling during shoulder season.

I’m about to head to the airport to fly to Santorini. More to come next week!

Warmly,

Below:

  • This week’s highlight – Tsachpinis
  • Hot New Hotel Opening – Kimpton Grand Roatan Resort & Spa in Honduras
  • Inspiration + Information

TSACHPINIS

In Paros, the most fun square to have dinner at is a picturesque spot in Naousa next to a small marina full of colorful fishing boats.  There are multiple restaurants to choose from, but the one you want to go to is Tsachpinis (pronounced ‘sock-pee-nees’).  It is a perfect combination of a local feel, fun atmosphere, attentive service and delicious food at reasonable prices.

Our partner ordered everything for us, starting with mezzo.  Including Greek salad, Melitzanosalata (eggplant dish similar to baba ganoush), seared squid, fried calamari, tzatziki, shrimp and local white wine. The pièce de résistance was the grilled grouper – fresh and perfectly cooked.

After dinner, head to one of the bars just around the corner for the best nightlife scene on the island and enjoy a perfect Greek evening!

What a summer night looks like…

The night we were there, just before sitting down at our table…

Some of the incredibly fresh seafood…

 

? Tsachpinis

? Just last week, the Kimpton Grand Roatán Resort & Spa opened in Bay Islands, Honduras. Roatán is the largest of the Bay Islands and a tropical paradise for adventure travelers.

Why visit Kimpton Grand Roatan Resort & Spa?

  • The resort is on the beach, surrounded by the Caribbean Sea and steps away from the world’s second largest barrier reef.  The snorkeling and diving are stunning. Use the available snorkeling gear and clear bottom kayaks to see the reef up close.
  • Try other water sports such as paddleboarding, kayaking, parasailing and jet skiing. Adventures on land include ziplining, riding ATV’s through the jungle and exploring the island’s capital Coxen Hole.
  • The Kao Kamasa Spa is inspired by cultural traditions of the Pesh, an indigenous Honduran ethnic group. Offerings such a Painted Jade Restorative Facial or Pesh Obsidian Palm Stone Ritual. Follow with the interior soaking pools featuring color therapy, salinity variations and temperature variants.

Of course it comes with the usual perks and VIP treatment when booking your stay through Truvay Travel.

 

 

? Kimpton Grand Roatán

 

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