Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Greece: Best Kept Secrets

Due to the rich and lengthy cultural history of Greece, there are bound to be MANY amazing secrets. We filtered through many of them and with the help of some new found Greek friends, we narrowed it down! Check it out!

Folegandros: A small island of Greece located in the south west edge of the Cyclade Islands. This 12 square foot, rugged island is like a dot in the Aegean Sea. Barely populated with 600 people inhabiting the island, this little piece of heaven is the island to be if you are looking for quiet romance, peace and spectacular scenery.

Folegandros used to be a place of exile. It was considered the Aegean Alcatraz. The small missed the tourism boom, but couldn’t be happier. The town is picturesque consisting of the traditional picture we form in our heads when we think of Greece; the tall cliff housing in blue and white. No building is greater than two stories high. The island only contains one taxi and one bus as forms of public transportation. Every sign in the town is hand painted as well! There is something to be said for a quiet society.

It is not easy to get to this little secluded island. Supplies are brought to the island by boat from Athens. One of the only islands that brings passengers to Folegandros is Santorini. There is no real schedule for the ferry headed to Folegandros so don’t expect to follow the schedule or expect the ferry to leave on days it is suppose to leave. At least you know when you get there you truly will be on an exclusive island!

Some activities you must look into are cave exploration by row boat. Snorkeling around the open cave area is beautiful. The best beaches in Foleganros are Agios Nikolaos and Angali. Additionally, the sunrise is something that must not be missed. One Folegandros local said "One thousand sunsets equals one of our sunrises”. You should watch the sunset over the Panaghia Church which is at the highest peak of the island. The local was also quoted as saying, “When you see the sun over Panaghia Church, you will not need to recharge your batteries for the next twenty years."

Corfu: Corfu is also known as Kerkya and is said to be the greenest and most beautiful island in the country of Greece, if not the world. The eastern side of the island has long beaches and bays while the western side of the island is drastically different as it is steep and rocky with deep coves and beaches.

Corfu has a few secluded beaches but can be very touristy during travel season. There are plenty of spots to relax and a lot of night life for those who are looking for entertainment.

The weather is ideal for outdoor water sports and other beach activities. Rocky coves are ideal for great snorkeling and scuba diving. In the summer, the weather is dry, sunny and warm. It can be cool at night so bringing a light sweater is recommended. The weather is very different from other regions of Greece as it tends to be cooler. The winter months are actually rainy and humid; quite mild.

Corfu has a lot of vegetation due to the rainy winter months and its olives growing season lasts much longer than anywhere else is Greece. The Mediterranean island has 3 million olive trees!

Do you have a secret to share with us about Greece?


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