As you start to plan your family vacations for the summer, consider one of the most popular destinations in New England: Cape Cod. “The Cape” is not only the easternmost point of Massachusetts, but it is also the perfect spot for a family-friendly getaway. This week’s deals will allow you to spend your afternoons riding bikes down the Cape Cod Rail trail or sunning on the beach near your summer home. Top it all off with an afternoon BBQ and a sunset walk on nearby dunes, and you have the recipe for a memorable summer vacation.
Tucked away at the end of a street this home is close to the beach, restaurants, and Cape Cod Rail Trail. Spend those long summer nights on the back patio in the spacious backyard grilling with your family.
This charming summer home is on 150 feet of private beach on Long pond in East Harwich. Enjoy the Master bedroom’s panoramic view of Long Pond or stroll down to the breezy shore to relax in the hammock.
This cottage is perfect for some sweet and salty fun for the whole family. Take your kids swimming at the beach or fishing for large mouth bass, before they play on the swing set as you prepare an evening campfire.
Today we are featuring, Magnus Hirst, a tour guide and Social Media Coordinator at IcelandicTravelMarket.is, a leading Iceland tours company specializing in bus tours, Iceland day tours, jeep tours, Iceland group travel, glacier walks, whale watching tours and more.
Travel can be one of the great joys of life. When you travel, you get to experience new things, new people, and new places. While there are plenty of interesting domestic travel destinations, international travel brings with it a whole new world of experiences. Here are some reasons why you might consider an international trip this year, rather than a domestic one:
Greece is a fantastic place to visit for many reasons: the food, the climate, the history, and the gorgeous beaches. Another reason is the many unique and amazing Greek islands visitors can explore: each one with its own particular atmosphere and local flavor. Whether you fly, or travel by boat; whether you go island-hopping between a dozen islands, or just pick one or two to visit, it’s likely you won’t be disappointed.
Here are 10 Greek islands that are definitely worth visiting:
Crete is the largest of all the Greek islands, and it has a lot going for it. According to some, the best food in Greece can even be found here! Crete is where the ancient Minoan civilization flourished from about 2700 BC, to 1400 BC, and this is where the stories of Ariadne’s thread, Theseus, the labyrinth and the Minotaur originated. For travellers interested in Greek history, the Minoan palace of Knossos is a must-see with its gorgeous buildings and colourful, evocative frescoes. Travellers interested in natural wonders can hike the Samaria Gorge, or enjoy one of the island’s many fabulous beaches. Popular beach-destinations include Balos and Elafonisi in Chania, Red Beach near the town of Matala, and the beaches around the town of Rethymno.
Located in the eastern Aegean Sea, near the coast of Turkey, Rhodes is one of the larger Greek islands. Like so many other places in Greece, it has a lot of ancient history for travellers to explore. Two of the most famous historical sites are Rhodes Old Town, which dates back to medieval times; and the acropolis of Lindos, which sits high on a cliff above the ocean, and was used as a fort by Greeks, Romans, Arabs, medieval knights and others through the ages. Rhodes also has a wealth of gorgeous beaches to enjoy. Several nice beaches are located near Lindos, while the popular (and sometimes crowded) Faliraki beach is just south of Rhodes Town, on the east-side of the island. There are also more secluded beaches, for example Prassonissi Beach in the southern-most part of the island.
Corfu, or Kerkyra, is located in the Ionian Sea between Greece and Italy. Once upon a time, this island was ruled by the Italian kingdom of Venice, and the Venetian influence still shows in the architecture in Corfu’s Old Town. The Venetian rulers also encouraged and rewarded the planting of olive trees on the island, and centuries later, many of those trees are still alive and thriving. Of course, there are olive trees everywhere in Greece, but in Corfu, they are especially abundant: estimates vary from three to six million olive trees! Corfu has many beautiful beaches for visitors to explore. Popular beaches include Paleokastritsa, Glyfada, and Agios Gordios. Acharavi beach, on the northern tip of the island, is also a great beach-destination. For an “unofficially” nudist beach experience, travellers can visit Myrtiotissa Beach on Corfu’s west side.
Mykonos is known as Greece’s party-destination number one, and a lot of tourists go here to sunbathe, drink and dance the nights away. Paradise Beach, and its neighbour Super Paradise, are the prime party beaches. Other popular beaches are Elia, Platis Gialos, and Paraga Beach. Travellers looking for quieter spots to sunbathe and enjoy the turquoise waters can head to more remote beaches like Agios Ioannis and Agios Sostis. For visitors looking to explore some Greek history, the nearby island of Delos is a great destination for a day-trip. In ancient times Delos was considered the birth place of Apollo and Artemis, and the island has many easily accessible archaeological sites, like the temple of Apollo, the temple of Isis, and an ancient amphitheatre.
Many Greek islands have connections to the ancient Greek myths, and Naxos is no exception. According to legend, this is the island where Zeus himself was raised in a cave. For travellers looking for a taste of Greek history, there’s the ancient temple of Apollo, a medieval Venetian castle, and Naxos’ Old Town to explore, as well as other historical sites. This small island also has many great beaches. Popular beaches include Agia Anna, Agios Prokopios and Plaka: all long and sandy and located south of Naxos Town. Another beach in the same area, Agios Gordios, is especially good for families with children.
Cephalonia is located in the Ionian Sea, and provided the setting for the movie “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”, starring Nicolas Cage and Penelope Cruz: not a bad way to get some good word of mouth going! Remains of the island’s ancient Greek, Roman, and Venetian past can be found at various archaeological sites. Cephalonia is famous for its hiking and walking trails, and there are beautiful mountains, caves, and forests to explore. The island is also well-endowed when it comes to beaches. Myrtos beach, located just north of the main town Argostoli, is often mentioned as the best beach in Greece. Other good beaches include those near the resort town of Lassi, and Lourdas Beach – a relatively un-crowded and quiet pebble-beach further to the south.
Santorini, also known as Thera or Thira, belongs to the group of Greek islands called the Cyclades. It is often mentioned as one of the most beautiful islands in Greece. During the Bronze Age, a violent volcanic eruption occurred here and destroyed much of the early Minoan settlements. Some even believe that this eruption was the origin of the myth of Atlantis. The archaeological remains of Santorini’s early civilization are now being excavated at a site called Akrotiri. The excavations show that as early as 2000 BC, inhabitants used running water, constructed multi-level buildings, and painted beautiful frescoes. Most of the beaches on Santorini, like the island’s famous Red Beach, are made up of coarser volcanic rock and sand, which can make them seem a little less inviting than the soft, sandy beaches in other places. To make up for it, the submerged crater near the island makes for spectacular diving.
According to ancient Greek history (which tends to blend with myth), the island of Zakynthos was once invaded and conquered by Odysseus, the hero of Homer’s “Odyssey”. These days, tourists are doing most of the invading, and one reason people come here is Navagio or Shipwreck Beach, one of the most beautiful and most photographed beaches in all of Greece. The name comes from the smuggling ship that has been stuck in the middle of the sandy cove since the 1980s, when it ran aground and foundered just off-shore. The dramatic wreck, the surrounding white cliffs and the crystal-clear waters, make this beach a knockout. There is also excellent snorkelling and scuba diving around the cliffs and rocks.
According to Greek legend, Skopelos was founded by the wine-god Dionysus and Ariadne (the girl with the thread in the labyrinth), and throughout antiquity the island was famous for its wines. It is also famous for its green forests, with pine and oak trees covering most of the island’s interior. This is one of the quieter Greek islands, with smaller crowds and friendly locals. There are several beautiful beaches here, including Panormos, located near the small town by the same name, and Milia, a long, sandy beach that was featured in the movie “Mamma Mia”. Other beaches, like Ftelia and Sarres, are very secluded and can be reached only by boat or rough hiking trails.
Paros, located in the Aegean Sea, is favoured by many island-hopping visitors because it offers great ferry connections to other islands in the area. The island’s main town is Parikia, a picturesque and quintessentially Greek town with white-washed walls, doors painted brilliant turquoise, and lush gardens. Parikia also has a small archaeological museum, and the ruins of a medieval castle overlook the sea from a cliff above the town. Those looking to party on Paros usually head to Naoussa in the northern part of the island. The nearby Kolymbithres Beach is one of the best on the island, and famous for its clear waters. Other great beaches here are Livadia Beach near Parikia, one of the most popular beaches on the island; and Golden Beach on the island’s east side, which is frequented by many windsurfers.
I’m a freelance writer and stay-at-home mom with two kids. I maintain a travel blog called Traveling with Kids: http://traveling-kids.blogspot.com/ My twitter handle is @TravelAndKids .
Greece is a country rich in ancient history. Visiting Greece can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. The culture, food, annual events, and landscapes of Greece consistently draw in visitors from around the world. There are numerous historical sites to visit, but these are the top seven that will make your trip memorable.
Explore FlipKey’s 300,000+ properties to find the perfect home for your Greece stay. From luxurious villas with sea views to modern apartments with lots of amenities, there’s a place for everyone on FlipKey.
The Acropolis in Athens, Greece with the Parthenon temple.
Athens is a major historical site with an urban vibe. All of the top tourist spots are located in Athens.
In this city travelers can find:
National Archeological Museum
The Temple of Poseidon
The Acropolis of Athens is an ancient citadel located on a high rocky outcrop above the city of Athens and contains the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic significance, the most famous being the Parthenon. The Parthenon is the one of the most significant structures in the world. Built in 440 BC, the architectural features and size of this ancient temple is a must-see. The Agora was the open-air market of Athens, and remains of the most visited sites in Greece today. In addition to being a place where people gathered to buy and sell goods, it was also a place where people assembled to discuss important topics: business, politics, current events, or the nature of the universe and the divine. Syntagma Square (also known as Constitution Square) is the city center of Athens and all areas meet back at this central location. It has a long and storied history through war, rebuilds, and democracy. Pláka is the old historical neighborhood of Athens, situated around the slopes of the Acropolis, and features labyrinthine streets and neoclassical architecture. Cape Sounion is noted as the site of ruins of an ancient Greek temple of Poseidon, the ‘god of the sea’ in classical mythology. The remains are perched high on a hill, surrounded on three sides by the sea.
If the name sounds familiar, that is because the Olympics started here. The archeological sites here are all full of the ancient Greek history. Ilia is home to Mt. Kronion, the most sacred spot in all of Olympia. The Olympics are an important part of world history, and visiting here will allow to see just how it all began. In the 10th century B.C., Olympia became the top place for the worship of Zeus. The Altis (the sanctuary to the gods) has one of the highest concentrations of masterpieces from the ancient Greek world. In addition to temples, there are the ruins of all the stadiums built for the Olympics, which were held in Olympia every four years beginning in 776 B.C. The Temple of Zeus was the largest and most important building at Olympia and was one of the largest Doric temples in Greece. The statue of Zeus within the temple was by Pheidias (who had worked on the Parthenon and its statue of Athena) and was a solid gold and ivory representation of Zeus seated on a throne. It is was regarded as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Many people come here and claim that being in Meteora is like being on another planet entirely. Rock pillars shoot up into the sky (up to 1200 ft) from the otherwise flat landscape. Monasteries here are perched delicately atop high cliffs where monks and nuns worship. There were originally 24 monasteries, but only six have stood the test of time. The six monasteries are built on natural sandstone rock pillars, at the northwestern edge of the Plain of Thessaly. Access to the monasteries was originally (and deliberately) difficult, requiring either long ladders lashed together or large nets used to haul up both goods and people, but now thousands of tourists visit each year. The rock pillars were formed approximately 60 million years ago by earthquakes and weathering. This is a very popular hiking spot for those who want to see the monasteries while also getting exercise. Architecture here compliments the dramatic landscapes. Meteora is a massive historical site and on the UNESCO list. The summer months can be brutally hot, while winter months are very cold. Visit here in the early summer, spring or late summer as temperatures drop.
This is an island in Greece that is known for it’s beautiful shores that are part of the Aegean Sea. Historically relevant sites are scattered throughout this island including Temple of Apollo, Acropolis of Rhodes, and Acropolis of Lindos. Additionally, Rhodes has a vibrant nightlife with clubs and restaurants. You can museum stroll by day and go clubbing at night. The Colossus of Rhodes was considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. This giant bronze statue was documented as once standing at the harbor. It was completed in 280 BC and destroyed in an earthquake in 224 BC. No trace of the statue remains today. Rhodes Greece is the largest and most popular island of Dodecanese. With 300 days of sunshine per year, Rhodes Island is mostly famous for the romantic Old Town. The Old Town is among the best-preserved Medieval Towns of Europe, with strong walls, an impressive castle, paved paths and elegant stone mansions. The Acropolis of Lindos is overlooking the picturesque village and dates from the Hellenistic period.
Crystal clear azure ocean waters are famous in Corfu. Unique architecture here is a star point of visiting. Much of the architecture takes cues from Venetian-Roman styling. Due to its strong historical connection with Europe, this was among the first Greek islands to open to tourism. Paleokastritsa, Sidari, Kassiopi and Acharavi are nice tourist areas on the northern side of the island, while the inland is dotted with lovely villages and many attractions. Apart from the wonderful beaches, the highlight of the island is the Old Town with a characteristic Venetian style. There are dozens of churches and museums in Corfu which highlight the history of the area with architecture, artifacts, texts, and more. Achilleion is a fairy palace built among cypresses and myrtles by the Empress Elisabeth of Austria, who wished to escape from the Austrian court. In Corfu you can also visit the historically significant City Hall or see Mon Repos palace. Mon Repos Palace is situated on top of Analipsis hill in the area of Kanoni. The remains of the ancient town of Corfu, which have been found opposite to the palace, make archaeologists believe that Mon Repos was built right on the site where the ancient city of Corfu used to be. The palace is surrounded by magnificent park where thousands of tourists visit each year.
Visiting the ancient city of Corinth is a short 48 mile trip from Athens. This coastal city was home to the Corinthians, who were some of the best problem solvers in ancient Greece as they solved complicated issues such as population growth, money exchange, and schooling. It was a wealthy locale that controlled sea trade in the area. It holds religious and spiritual significance – Apostle Paul was known to live here. Temples of Apollo, Aphrodite and Octavia are also located in Corinth. The Temple of Apollo, especially, is regarded as a prime example of Doric architecture. The remains of other temples, villas, a theatre, shops, public baths, pottery factories, a gymnasium, a large triumphal arch, and other buildings dot the site, which since 1896 has been extensively excavated. Corinth was also famous for its pottery, and you can see a comprehensive collection of Corinthian pottery showing all stages of development. The Temple of Aphrodite has little remaining, while the Temple of Octavia, dedicated to Emperor Augustus’ sister, has barely a foundation remaining after centuries of earthquakes. The Archaeological Museum of Ancient Corinth contains a number of artifacts of religious interest, including inscriptions of Gallio and Erastus, both mentioned in religious texts.
A look inside the Cave of the Apocalypse, Patmos, Greece.
Cave of the Apocalypse
This sacred grotto in Patmos, Greece is the ancient place where St. John had visions and is located halfway up the mountain on the island. These visions led to the Book of Revelation. Visit the Cave of the Apocalypse on foot through the historic trail that bridges Skala and Patmos Island. Inside the cave is a sacred site; a foundation of the Christian tradition, the rock is ragged with three small fissures which symbolize the Holy Trinity, and the voice of God was heard and dictated to Saint John the text of the Revelation. The cave entrance is decorated with a mosaic and inside you’ll find a small grotto. There are also writings about the visions in the cave area.
Visiting Greece is a historical journey through early human history. There are dozens of important sites to see. Spend your time at each one, but be sure to balance your schedule to include as many as possible. A longer vacation may be beneficial to enjoy more of the historical places in Greece.
Today we are featuring Julie Bowman who loves independent worldwide travel and immersing herself into the local culture, trying the local foods, visiting unusual local sights and bringing plenty of mementoes home!
Eating in Greece is a fantastic way to learn about the culture and the people as there here there is a really strong emphasis on family and dining is an extension of those beliefs. When in Greece, a traveller can expect to eat dinner very late as many restaurants open at 9:00 pm (don’t worry, most of the tourist restaurants operate longer opening hours) and the meal usually lasts until midnight or later. It is wise to eat snacks throughout the day so you are not starving hungry by dinnertime!
While the Olympic Games will be held in London this summer there is something to be said for visiting the birthplace of the games. With over 200 inhabited islands offering countless panoramic ocean views from various mountains, Greece continues to be a must see part of the world. Whether you are enjoying a meal of cheese, olives, and fresh fish or basking in the sun next to your pool, this week’s deals will have you feeling like a Greek Goddess.
Only a few steps from St. Sofia church, one of Thessaloniki’s landmarks, this apartment sits in a perfect location close to shops, restaurants, and public transportation. Wander to one of the nearby bakeries for a warm pastry as an afternoon treat.
Just a few minutes outside of Athens, Greece this impressive villa sits private and secure on a small hill giving captivating panoramic sea views. Enjoy a cup of tea in the colorful garden or swim in the private pool for your peace of mind.
Stay in this home full of flowers, trees, and grass in a small village near Platanias. Take a short walk to the beach or a nearby tavern for an afternoon adventure or stay at home relaxing in the pool or comfortable veranda with your family.
Situated on the top of a hill between Kalo Livadi and Ag. Anna beaches this apartment is close enough to the city for desired excitement but far enough away from the hussle and bussle to enjoy the scenic views from the terraced area.
Today we are featuring, Amy Nicole, a freelance writer for Myrtle Ave. Pediatrics, a Florida pediatricians’ office serving Palm Harbor and Clearwater. She enjoys writing about travel, fitness, cooking, and home improvement projects.
For parents-to-be, a Babymoon could be the perfect way to spend a quiet Mother’s Day weekend before baby arrives. While you could be limited with travel arrangements depending on how far along you are in your pregnancy, there’s no shortage of things you can do to pamper yourself when preparing for baby. For anyone looking to take a domestic Babymoon trip, here are some suggestions for destinations to visit this Mother’s Day weekend.
This week we are featuring, Rob Toledo, a world traveler who hopes to one day get a foot on every continent. He is working along TravelEx currency exchange creating guides of various places in the world. Follow him on Twitter @stentontoledo
Every May, Cannes becomes the darling of the international spotlight. We see the biggest stars of the screen posing in their finery in front of the gorgeous Palais des Festivals for the yearly Cannes Film Festival. Not only does the festival serve as a showcase for the best of upcoming films, but it also highlights the beauty intrinsic to the French Riviera. Yet Cannes is really so much more than the annual film festival. In fact, Cannes can be a destination spot for a vacation that includes it all: art, nature, and cultural.
Festival d’Art Pyrotechnique
Every July and August, Cannes hosts this festival that features international teams showing off their firework shows. When the evening falls, a different team is highlighted for some of the most impressive half-hour displays of pyrotechnics. Travelers can find a spot on the beach and sit back for the festivities. The festival is also a competition, so the participants try to outshine one another with cutting-edge programs set to music. It’s an all-around win for families traveling with children or for those of us who are really just big-kids at heart.
Château de la Castre and Fort Royale
Located at the top of the Susquet hill, this castle was built in the 11th century. Travelers can explore this ancient castle whose original purpose was to guard against pirates on the open sea. Today, the castle houses an impressive collection of pre-Colonial artifacts and art. The largest component of the collection is Mediterranean artifacts from Iran, parts of Africa, and Greece. Art buffs interested in primitive arts, such as those from Asia, will also find a large of assortment of pieces to ogle.
Across the sound, sits Fort Royal. Historically, the fort was used as an important military base by both the French and Spanish monarchies. Upon being recaptured by the French in the 17th century, the site then became a state prison. Those familiar with the tale of The Man in the Iron Mask will recognize this as its setting. Visitors can expect to learn a lot about the French Rivera’s storied past and the historical aspects of Cannes.
And Who Can Forget The Beaches
Of course, Cannes earned its reputation as a travel hotspot because of its miles of beaches. While most of the beaches are private and require a fee for day use, there are public beaches located on both ends of the city. However, they tend to be crowded and pebblier than the private beaches. If you like to see and be seen, a private beach attached to one of the major shore hotels might be just right for you. For their rather hefty entrance fees of up to $30, they offer day use of parasols and beach recliners as well as access to world-class restaurants that cater to folks in their swimsuits. For something more off the beaten path, a quick ferry ride out to the Illes de Lerins might be in order. Not only can you explore castle ruins and a monastery and sample their homemade foods and wines, but the islands are full of quiet coves for swimming, snorkeling, finding shade beneath the palm trees, and finding a moment of solace from the bustling shops and beaches of downtown Cannes.
When I first came to France, I lived in the cold and dark North region, where I left my host family’s home at 8:00 and came home at 5:00 in the dark. I didn’t see much of France, because there wasn’t much to see.
Imagine how different it was, then, when we packed up into the car and drove nearly a day to the border between France and Switzerland, and the family’s holiday home in Évian-les-Bains.
I was fourteen; everything was new to me. But even if it hadn’t been, I would have been amazed at the beautiful view over Lac Léman from the living room window, where we sat playing board games. I would have still been intrigued from the Évian water that ran from the taps and in the shower. I would have still stared in awe as my host father showed me where townspeople who don’t have this luxury can still fill bottles with the mineral water from a tap in the center of town.
And I definitely would have loved the fact that, as one looks over Lac Léman from the shore, the land on the other side is Switzerland. There’s something other-worldly about knowing that you’re standing on the border between here and there, and though I suppose it’s always true — one is always standing just on the brink between the present and the future, between one place and another –, there’s nowhere in the world I’ve found where it feels more true than standing on the boardwalk along Lac Léman.
I became aware, afterwards, that there is a spa in Évian, a world-famous one where thermal baths and other treatments are available using the water from the natural source. I was there in November, so we didn’t swim in the lake or even go to the indoor water park I know exists. Instead, we spent our afternoons wandering the small village, running around under the huge expanse of sky, and eating. If the French know how to do one thing perfectly, it’s eat.
Saint-Marcellin is a small cow’s milk cheese that comes from the Dauphiné region, now a part of the Rhône-Alpes. While Évian isn’t technically a part of this antiquated region, its Rhône-Alpes location means that you can easily get this and other dauphinois treats — like gratin dauphinois — in the lakeside town. When my host father offered me a small slice of Saint-Marcellin, I assumed it was goat’s cheese, but as soon as the buttery, mild cheese melted on my tongue, I knew that I had stumbled onto something else entirely. Évian-les-Bains is located less than an hour’s drive from Châtel. It’s the perfect day trip to explore the small town and have a lakeside stroll!
Emily Monaco is native New Yorker, living and writing in Paris since 2007. She loves discovering new places and, of course, their local cuisines! Read about her adventures in food and travel at tomatokumato.com or follow her on Twitter at @emiglia
Once riddled with fishing villages, the France’s Mediterranean Cote d’ Azur is now home to fantastic open-air restaurants, outdoor markets, and beautiful beaches. Walk down the cobblestone pathways to your new French abode and relax in coastal serenity. This week’s deals will sweep you off your feet and have you exploring a foreign city with ease, let’s just hope you remember some of your High School French!
This newly refurbished apartment sits in the historic centre of Frejus on the Cote D’Azur. Overlooking the charming cathedral square it is close to a variety of open air restaurants and only a mile from the beach.
Less than a 10 minute walk away from the train station and beach this spacious two bedroom apartment is perfect for a family wanting to see it all. Whether you are relaxing on the balcony or exploring the city, this rental has it all.
FlipKey is a vacation rental marketplace with more than 240,000 rentals around the world. Find the perfect place to stay for your trip, and get great value along with the space, privacy and amenities of home.