Explore Zakynthos island, Ionian Sea | Holidays in Greece

Zakynthos is an island at the Ionian Sea, at the West side of the mainand of Greece. Known for the amazing beaches as all the other Ionian islands, the Caretta-Caretta turtle and the amazing sunset.It is known to the tourist as Zante as well. It was inhabited since the Neolithic Times as it is mentioned by Homer, the Greek poet, in the Iliand and the Odyssey.

The first inhabitants of the island were the son of Kind Dardarnos, called Zakynthos, with his men in 1500-1600 B.C. During the Persian War in the 5th century, Zakynthos remained neutral and during the Peloponnesian War in 459-446 B.C. it took part in the Athenian Alliance. After that Lacedemonians took control of the island and they established an oligarchy that ended the democracy. The democratic political system came back at the island later when the inhabitants organized a revolution. Macedonians and Romans had control of the island later in the history.

In the 3rd century A.D. the Byzantine Empire brought the Christianity on the island. Venetians and Franks dominated on the island later on the history and during the 15th century when the rest of the Greece was under the Turkish rule, all the Ionian Islands were under the Venetian domination.

How to go to Zakynthos

You can go to Zakynthos either by a ferry or with a plane.

Zakynthos International Airport connects Zakynthos with both Athens and Thessaloniki in Greece and with other European destinations as well. You can find more information about flights to Zakynthos at Zakynthos’ airport website HERE.

There are ferry connections between Zakynthos and Killini. You can find more information about ferry tickets HERE.

Villages in Zakynthos

Zakynthos Town – Directions HERE

The Venetian Castle – Directions HERE

On top of the town of Zakynthos, on the hill of Bohali is located the Venetian Castle. It has been found that the Venetian Castle was built on the site of a former Byzantine Castle. The Castle was completed by the Venetians in 1646 A.D.  On top of the main entrance of the castle stands the symbol of the Venetian Empire, the Winged Lion of Saint Mark. Due to war attacks and the earthquakes that happened in the Ionian Sea, the castle was partly damaged. In 1812, the castle was reconstructed by the British Empire and they had built new buildings, inlcuding barracks, powder stores and the house of the British Parliament.

Krioneri Walking Route – Directions HERE

For those who enjoy walking, you can follow the Krioneri Walking Route. It starts from the port of Zakynthos at the lighthouse and ends to the Krioneri end for a total distance of aprox 4kms. As you walk to the nice route you will find the Venetian Aqueduct ( HERE ). The Venetian Aqueduct was constructed in the 16th Century by the Venetians and used to supply water to all Zakynthos town. Today the only ruins in the area is the ornate stone building with small embossed inscriptions and a stone fountain.

Byzantine Museum of Zakynthos – Directions HERE

At the town of Zakynthos, at the large Dionysios Solomos square is located an impressive neoclassical two storey building that was built in 1959 and hosts the Byzantine Museum of Zakynthos.  In the museum someone can find Byzantine icons, wood carvings, impressive temples and shrines, murals and paintings from the 15th -17th centuries. The museum enables the visitor to appreciate the development of Post byzantine and Neohellenic art and offers a full picture of the influences of the Western art in the Ionian islands.

Aristeon Olive Press & Museum – Directions HERE

The Olive Press Aristeon is. Traditional family business located in Lithakia Zakynthos. The history starts in 1850 with the traditional animal movement press, part of which survives until today. Through the decades the technology has evolved that replaced the animal movement press with a metal one and later with a hydraulic press. The olive press museum and fatory are accessible to the visitors all year round and have a step by step guided tour through the process of the olive production from the 18th century wooden olive press to today’s modern two-phase centrifuge separator.

Keri Village – Directions HERE

Keri Caves – Directions HERE

On the Sounth-West side of Zakynthos island, along the coast there are located the Keri Caves that are accessible only by the sea with private boats or tourist excursions. Some of the caves are smaller while some others can be passed through with the boats. The water at the caves is crystal clear and has an amazing blue color. The Keri Caves are the habitat of many animals like the Monk Seal and the famous Caretta Caretta Turtle.

Keri Lighthouse – Directions HERE

The first place from where you can admire the amazing sunset in Zakynthos island is the Keri lighthouse. The amazing thing about Keri lighthouse is that from there you can have amazing view to the two huge rock cones, the Mizitres, flanked by a deserted island rising the blue sea and signing the beginning of the Keri caves.

Skinaria Village – Directions HERE

Blue Caves – Directions HERE

One of the most popular attractions of the island of Zakynthos is the blue caves. Accessible only by boat, they consist of particular geologic formations giving life to a succession of caves along the North-West coast of the island. The caves took their name due to the reflection of the vibrating and striking blue color of the waters in them, which at the same time capture and reflect the shine of the limpid sky reflected on their surface. Most of the caves are accessible with the boat while some of them are accessible only by swimmers and divers. The biggest cave is called Kianoun.

The boat trips to Blue Caves start from Makris Gialos Beach (HERE), Agios Nikolaos port (HERE) and Cape Skinari (HERE).

Skinari Lighthouse – Directions HERE

Skinari Lighthouse is located at the North-East side of Zakynthos island near the famous Shipwreck Cove and the Blue Caves. At Skinari there are two old flour grinding windmills that are converted into places to stay and from where you can enjoy amazing views from the top of the cliff and the sparkling sea below. A little further down the Windmills is located the Skinari Lighthouse, an active lighthouse that wathes over the crossing between Zakynthos and Kefalonia the neighboring island.

Volimes Village – Directions HERE

Monastery of St. George Kremnon – Directions HERE

T the west of Volimes village is located the monastery of Agios Gerogios. It was founded in 1553 while the tower of the monastery was built in 1561 in order to defend the monks from the pirates. The monastery was well-known for its archive and for its library, which are now housed in the Marcian Library in Venice.

Navagio Beach ViewPoint – Directions HERE

The most well-known part of the island is the Navagio beach or Shipwreck Beach. It is located at the West side of the island on an exposed cove a little further from the village Volimes. On October 2, 1980, the coaster MV Panagiotis, ran aground in the waters around Zakynthos island on Navagio Beach during a stormy weather with bad visibility. Some rumours claim the ship was smuggling contraband, however official sources  did not confirm this. The ship was abadonded and still rests buried in the limestone gravel of the beach that now bears the nickname Shipwreck. From the end of the mainland you can enjoy the amazing view to Navagio.

Anafonitria Monastery – Directions HERE

The Monastery of Anafonitria is dedicated to Virgin Mary. It is a Byzantine monument located at the North-West side of the island that took its name after the miraculous icon of Virgin Anafonitria that was bought to the Monastery from Constantinople during the Turkish occupation. The Monastery was founded in the 15th century during the Venetian occupations. The main church, a three-aisled basilica is located in the center of the complex. In order for the monastery to be protected it was built a Tower that today is used as a belfry.

Agalas Village – Directions HERE

Damianos Cave – Directions HERE

Among the pine trees and the olive groves at the end of the village Agalas youcan find the Damiano Cave. The cave has two entrances the one at the bottom from where you can walk inside the cave and another entrance at the top of the other one where you have to climb. The view from the cave is amazing and from the place next to the entrance of the cave you can enjoy the mazing view to the sunset in the evening.

Andronios Wells – Directions HERE

According to the local legend, Andronios was a dragon 300m tall that made 12 wells of Agala and gave them his name. The protector of the village Agalas, Damianus forced the evil dragon Anthony to fight him and defeat him. As a punishment he ordered him to make 12 wells for the shake of the village people. The wells are privatedly owned, 11 of them visible on the surface of the ground while the last one is buried. There are used today for water supply of the inhabitants, their owners whom names are on each well.

Agalas Caves – Directions HERE

Activities on the island

Askos Stone Park – Directions HERE

At the North side of Zakynthos, next to the village Aksos is located a natural beauty. Aprox 170.000 self-sown plants grow at the park, exactly as placed by the nature and a lot of animals such as wild hawks, different species of birds also occupy the area. In addition, at the park there are several stone structures such as old stables and basins cut into the rock for waer collection that date a lot of years ago. The Aksos Park operates all year round if the weather allows it and visitors can spend as much time as they wish there.

Marathonisi – Directions HERE

At the South-East side of Zakynthos island, eight across the beach of Keri is located an islet that is not inhabited, called Marathonisi. You can reach Marathonisi with a boat from either Keri beach or Laganas bay. Marathonisi is an islet that Caratte-Caretta turtles and the Monachus-Monachus sea seal go in the summer season to reproduce. For this reason, visitors are allowed tostay only in the first 5m of a small beach of the islet. Another interesting thing about Marathonisi are the caves that are located at the South-West side of the islet.

Zakynthos National Marine Park – Directions HERE

Zakynthos National Marine Park is located at the South side of the island. The area presents the main characteristics of the Mediterranean ecosystem with the sandy beaches, emerging rocks and sandy dunes. The park was founded back in 1999 and the main purpose of its creation is to defend the particular fauna of the southern part of the island and the animals such as the Caretta-Caretta turtle and the Monachus-Monachus Seals.

Tsilivi Water Park – Directions HERE

Fantasy Mini Golf – Directions HERE

Boat Tours around the island.

Most of the beaches and the natural beauty of the island including the caves are accessible only from the sea. With starting point the port of Zakynthos town you can find a lot of different cruises that you can enjoy. Most of them start in the morning and return at the same place in the evening while they stop at some of the most amazing spots for swimming and pictures.

Panagia Skopiotissa Monastery – Directions HERE

At the South-East side of the island on top of Skopos Mountain is located the oldest church of Zakynthos. It was built in 15th century and in 1534 it was given to Logotheon family to whom it still belongs today. The church was built on the site of a Temple of Artemis and is surrounded by the ruins of another monastery. Inside the church there are beautiful wall paintings and an icon of Panagia Skopiotissa (Virgin mary). The murals on the wall of the monastery areoriginal and date back to the 16th century.

Beaches in Zakynthos

Tsilivi Beach – Directions HERE

Bouka Beach – Directions HERE

Psarou Beach – Directions HERE

Ammoudi Beach – Directions HERE

Alikanas Beach – Directions HERE

Laperda Beach – Directions HERE

Xigia Sulfur Beach – Highly Recommended –  Directions HERE

Makris Gialos Beach – Highly Recommended – Directions HERE

Climati Beach – Directions HERE

Vathi Lagadi Beach – Directions HERE

Kremidi Beach – Directions HERE

Madrakia Beach – Directions HERE

Filipoi Beach – Directions HERE

Agios Andreas Beach – Accessible only with Boat – Directions HERE

Navagio Beach – Accessible only with boat – Directions HERE

White Beach – Accessible only with boat – Directions HERE

Porto Vromi Marie Beach – Directions HERE

Porto Limnionas Beach – Directions HERE

Marathias Beach – Directions HERE

Laganas Beach – Directions HERE

Kalamaki Beach – Directions HERE

Sekania Beach – Directions HERE

Dafni Beach – Directions HERE

Gerakas Beach – Directions HERE

Mavratzi Beach – Directions HERE

St. Nicholas Beach – Directions HERE

Banana Beach – Directions HERE

Restaurants in Zakynthos

Prosilio Restaurant – Seafood – Directions HERE

The Halfway House – International Cuisine – Directions HERE

Estia Traditional Cuisine – Greek Cuisine – Directions HERE

The Sizzlebang Grill – Mexican Steakhouse – Directions HERE

Botanic Garden – European Cuisine – Directions HERE

Contessina Restaurant – Italian Cuisine – Directions HERE

El Greco Tavern – Greek Cuisine – Directions HERE

Elia Restaurant – Seafood – Directions HERE

Cave Damianos Tavern – Greek Cuisine – Directions HERE

Ristorante Zinc – International Cuisine –  Directions HERE

The Family Restaurant – Italian Cuisine – Directions HERE

Massa Steaks & Seafood – Italian Restaurant – Directions HERE

Prosilio Restaurant – Seafood – Directions HERE

For more articles and suggestions about your next Greek vacation, visit our blog HERE. If you need any kind of support with the planning of your holidays in Greece, you can always live chat with our customer service team HERE.

If you choose to include Nafplio, the most beautiful Greek city, in your plans, we would be more than happy to support with the best accommodation in Nafplio. Vida Hospitality operates the best holiday apartments and hotel serviced apartments in Nafplio. You can explore our properties HERE.

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Kefalonia island, Ionian Sea | Vacation in Greece by Vida Hospitality

Kefalonia the biggest island located at the Ionian sea (West of the mainland of Greece), one of the most picturesque and among the biggest Islands of the entire country. Some people believe that Kefalonia was the Homeric Ithaca, the home of Odysseus, rather than the smaller island located next to it bearing this name today.

During the Middle Ages, the island was the center of the Byzantine theme of Cephallenia until 1185. After that it became part of the palatine under the Kingdom of Sicily until it conquered by the Ottomans in 1479. The Turkish rule lasted until 1500 when Kefalonia was captured by the Venetians. From 16th to 18th centuries the island was one of the largest exporters of currants in the world and owned a large shipping fleet.

The island of Kefalonia has amazing beaches with turquoise color as all the Ionian islands and some picturesque villages, most of them built on top of high hilltops in order to be protected from pirate attacks that were sailing the Ionian Sea during the 1820’s.  

You can find photos of Kefalonia HERE

How to go to Kefalonia

You can go to Kefalonia either by a ferry or with a plane.

Kefalonia International Airport connects Kefalonia with both Athens and Thessaloniki in Greece and with other European destinations as well. You can find more information about flights to Kefalonia at Kefalonia’s airport website HERE.

There are ferry connections between Kefalonia and Killini. You can find more information about ferry tickets HERE.

Find some photos of Kefalonia island HERE

Argostoli Village – Directions HERE

Castle of Saint George – Directions HERE

The Venetian castle of Saint George is located 5kms South-East from Argostoli. It is said that there was a tunel that connects the castle with Argostoli, but this has not been revealed or investigated so far. The castle is built in the 12th century A.D. by the Byzantine emperors on top of a hill (300m high) above the village Perata. The castle was the capital of Kefalonia until 1757. The outside walls of the castle were built by the Enetians in 1504. At the east side of the entrance, in the main yard is located a typical example of the Ionian Baroque, the Cathedral of Evangelistria. The castle was damaged by the earthquakes in 1636, 1637 and 1953.

Photos HERE

Cyclopean Walls of Ancient Krani – Directions HERE

At the east side of Argostoli lie the extensive ruins of Ancient Krani, mainly consisting of the Cyclopean walls with huge blocks of stone that were created in the 7th and 6th century B.C. Krani was built on hills overlooking the plain of today’s Krania region, at the end of Koutavos Bay. Remains of a doric temple of Dimitra can be seen within the walls, which must date from the Mycenaean Period. On the south side of the hill that is called Riza, several chamber tombs from the pre-Mycenean period were found, which had been already plundered and damaged. Riza was used as the necropolis for Krani.

Photos HERE

Korgialenio Historic and Cultural Museum – Directions HERE

At the ground floor of the Korgialenios Library in Argostoli, is located the Museum that collects studies, ranks and keeps inventory of all the history and folklore data of Kefalonia. There are data since the Venetian period up until the 1953 earthquakes. There are two exhibitions , the permanent one that is divided into the sections urban and rural department, ecclesiastical art and the city plan and the collections of Byzantine icons of Charokopou and of Francis and Stephen Vallianou. The purpose of the museum is the view of history and folklore of the island from the 16th century up until the big earthquake of 1953.

Photos HERE

Cave Hermitage Agios Gerasimos – Directions HERE

At the South-West of Argostoli, on a hill called Lassi, is located the cave where Agios Gerasimos, the saint protector of the island lived for five years when he mooved from Zakynthos to Kefalonia. The cave of Agios Gerasimos is very narrow nad has a small hole from where you can have the view to the Ionian Sea. Right by the entrance of the cave, a small church that is dedicated to Agios Gerasimos has been built.

Agios Gerasimos was coming from a family of northern Peloponnese, and after visiting many places around Greece, he ended up in Kefalonia in 1555 where in the beginning he lived in this cave for 5 years before he went to Omala in order to rebuilt the Monastery of Panagia.

Photos HERE

De Bosset Bridge – Directions HERE

The De Bosset Bridge is the largest stone bridge on a seawater body that was constructed in two weeks in 1813 by Charles Philippe De Bosset who was appointed as Governor of Kefalonia from 1810-1814. The bridge was constructed in order to make it sorter for someone who wanted to travel from the east side of Argostoli Gulf and in order to avoid the 5km perimeter of walking. At the side of the bridge a four-faced symmetrical obelisk made up of carved rocks, a monument called kolona rises from the sea and was the Kefalonian Parliament’s symbol of gratitude to Great Britain.

Photos HERE

Lighthouse of Saint Theodora – Directions HERE

At the North side of the Argostoli village, at a man-made peninsula is located one of the main attractions of the village, the Lighthouse of Saint Theodora. The 8m high Lighthouse is a unique circular structure based on 20 white Doric architectural style columns and is one of the most romantic spots in Kefalonia.

Photos HERE

Katavothres – Directions HERE

At the north side of Argostoli village to the path that goes to the lighthouse someone can stop at the Katavothres a unique geological phenomenon. At this point the sea water enters the sinkholes and it seems to magically disappear underground. The water travels in underground rivers mixes with rainwater and finally reached the Melissani Lake, almost fifteen kms on the side of the island. From there the water flows into the sea t the village Karavomylos.

Photos HERE

Assos Village – Directions HERE

Castle of Assos – Directions HERE

One of the largest castles in Greece and the largest of the two castles in Kefalonia, the Castle of Assos, is located at the North-West side of the island next to Assos village. The building started in 1953 because in order to support the castle of Saint George against the Turkish threat and the pirate raids. The 2000m walls extend around the naturally impregnable peninsula and create an irregular rectangle of 44,000 sq.m. reinforced at five points by bastions. Within the ruins is located the house of the Venetian High Commissioner.

The castle was used as a political prison until 1956. The latest inhabitants living within the castle were known as Kastrini people and were group of families who mainly were cultivate olives and grapes.

Photos HERE

Sami & Karavomylos villages – Direction HERE

Drogorati Cave – Directions HERE

At the center of the Island and at the west side of Karavomylos village is located the Drogorati Cave, a 150 million old cave with remarkable formations of stalactites and stalagmites that discovered 300 years ago. The cave was discovered after a strong earthquake that caused a collapse and reveled the entrance of the cave.

The cave conists of two part, one of them is accessible to tourists. This part conists of a long corridor that leads to the Royal Balcony, a natural platform of stalactites that beautifully reflects the light, from which point the Chamber of Exaltation with the great acoustics can be seen.

Photos HERE

Acropolis of Ancient Sami – Directions HERE

On top of the village Sami, at the Mountain of Lapitha are located the ruins of the Acropolis of Ancient Sami. Ancient Sami was a powerful fortified town that was an autonomous and independent state with its own coin from the Paleolithic Times.

The citadel occupies the hills of “Palaiokastro” and :Agioi Fanetes”, whilst evidence of all types of defensive architecture and masonry construction can be found due to the extensive fortification of the ancient city, dated back to the Classical and Hellenistic era between the 5th  and 2nd centuries B.C.

Photos HERE

Melissani Cave – Directions HERE

An extraordinary beauty, a unique geological phenomenon, a natural paradise, the Melissani Cave is located next to the village Karavomylos. The cave was created by a mechanical and chemical process during which water enters the calcareous rocks, erodes them and creates hollows.

A big part of the cave’s roof has fallen down revealing an amazing sight. The Melissani Cave was founded in 1951 nad has a unique natural work of sculpture created by the stalactites and the crystal blue-green color of the water.

Photos HERE

Fiscardo Village – Directions HERE

Roman Cemetery of Fiscardo – Directions HERE

At the north side of the island, at the picturesque Fiscardo village is located the Roman cemetery that is built right by the sea and dates from the 2nd century B.C. to the 4th century A.D. It contains two rectangular sections and a total of 27 tombs. The tombs had different architecture and inside them there were found pottery, glass vases, jewellery, metal objects and coins.

Photos HERE

Venetian Lighthouse Fiscardo & Byzantine Basilika – Directions HERE

The Byzantine Basilica in Fiscardo dates back in the 6th century A.D. An impressive Venetian Lighthouse is located next to the ruins of a Byzantine Basilica and there is a path of total 850m that you can take and explore all these monuments. Part of the path is covered in the rich coastal cypress forest, perennial pines, oaks and arbutus of the Erissos peninsula of FIscardo.

Photos HERE

Lixouri Village – Directions HERE

Monastery of Kipoureon – Directions HERE

At the west of Lixouri village, on a cliff 90 m above the sea is located one of the most impressive landscapes of Kefalonia, the Monastery of Kipoureon. The monastery was built in the 17th century and its name origins from the gardens which maintained from the fathers to ensure the necessary livelihood. In the beginning it was built only ne church dedicated to the Annunciation of Virgin Mary. Later on, a male monastery was built with 80 members. The view from the monastery is absolutely unique and deserves the admiration of the visitors, especially during the sunset hours.

Photos HERE

The Gerogompos Lighthouse – Directions HERE

The historical well-designed lighthouse of international value, the Gerogompos Lighthouse is located near the Cape Gerogompos. It is a 13m high with 58m radius of light lighthouse with an amazing view on a country lane that looks a lot like tundra with no trees, only stones, shrub and a constant wind. The lighthouse was manufactured in 1907 by British engineers. The lighthouse was destroyed and was rebuilt again in 1947. It used to belong to the Greek Navy but now the access there is free and it operates automatically.

Photos HERE

Mount Ainos – Directions HERE

Mount Ainos is located at the South side of Kefalonia island and was known as Monte Nero (Mmening Black Mountain) due to the Venetian period due to thick forestation of the dark Kefalonian Fir tree. Mount Ainos is the tallest of the Ionian islands at at elevation of 1,628 m (5,341 ft). The mountain has plenty of hiking routes and amazing view to the North West part of the Peloponnese region and to the islands of Zakynthos, Lefkada and Ithaca.

Photos HERE

Beaches in Kefalonia

Small Rocky Beach – Directions HERE

Gradakia Beach – Directions HERE

Paliostafida Beach – Directions HERE

Makris Gialos Beach – Highly Recommended – Directions HERE

Platis Gialos Beach – Directions HERE

Ammos Beach – Highly Recommended – Directions HERE

Eglina Beach – Directions HERE

Avithos Beach – Highly Recommended – Directions HERE

Amandakis Beach – Directions HERE

Pessada Beach – Directions HERE

Agios Thomas Beach – Directions HERE

Kanali Beach – Directions HERE

Lourdas Beach – Highly Recommended – Directions HERE

Lefka Beach – Highly Recommended – Directions HERE

Mounda Beach – Directions HERE

Spithi Beach – Directions HERE

Kato Lagadi Beach – Directions HERE

Limenia Beach – Directions HERE

Karavomylos Beach – Directions HERE

Chorgota Beach – Directions HERE

Emlisi Beach – Directions HERE

Myrtos Beach – Highly Recommended – Directions HERE

Platia Ammos Beach – Directions HERE

Xi Beach – Red Sand – Highly Recommended – Directions HERE

Mega Lakos Beach – Red Sand – Highly Recommended – Directions HERE

Restaurants in Kefalonia

The Olive Lounge – Greek Cuisine – Directions HERE

Ladokolla Tavern – Mediterranean Cuisine – Directions HERE

Captain Nicholas – Seafood – Directions HERE

Sepia – Sushi Japanese – Directions HERE

Veramente Grill House – Steakhouse – Directions HERE

Anemos – Seafood – Directions HERE

O Makis Tavern – Greek Cuisine – Directions HERE

Deco Restaurant – Mediterranean Cuisine – Directions HERE

Old Times – Mediterranean Cuisine – Directions HERE

Galera Restaurant Bar – Mediterranean Cuisine – Directions HERE

Oskars Creative Cuisine – Greek Contemporary – Directions HERE

Gefiri Restaurant – Pizza – Directions HERE

Steki Grill – Seafood- Directions HERE

Lord Falcon Thai Restaurant- Thai Cuisine – Directions HERE

Paralos Restaurant – Italian Cuisine – Directions HERE

For more articles and suggestions about your next Greek vacation, visit our blog HERE. If you need any kind of support with the planning of your holidays in Greece, you can always live chat with our customer service team HERE.

If you choose to include Nafplio, the most beautiful Greek city, in your plans, we would be more than happy to support with the best accommodation in Nafplio. Vida Hospitality operates the best holiday apartments and hotel serviced apartments in Nafplio. You can explore our properties HERE.

Vida Hospitality Team
Vida Hospitality Nafplio Logo

Paros island in Cyclades, Greece | Holidays in Greece with Vida Hospitality

Paros is a very beautiful and small island located in Cyclades at the Aegean Sea in Greece. Historically known for its fine marble, which gave rise to the term “Parian” to describe marble or china of similar qualities. Today, it is one of the most popular Greek islands worldwide and many visitors from all over the world visit it every year especially in the summer period.

Photos HERE

How to go to Paros

You can go to Paros either by a ferry or with a plane.

Paros International Airport connects Paros with both Athens and Thessaloniki in Greece and with other European destinations as well.

There are ferry connections between Paros and Athens from either Rafina (Closer to the International Airport of Athens) or from Piraeus (Closer to the city center) and from other islands of the Aegean Sea as well. You can book online your ferry tickets to Paros HERE.

Villages in Paros

Parikia – Old Town of Paros – Directions HERE

The capital and the main port of Paros is in village Parikia. It is called Paros Town or Chora as well and is on the same site where the ancient city used to stand. Within a walking distance from the main port of Parikia there are a lot of retail shops, some famous restaurants and cafes and nice walking paths.

Parikia is built amphitheatrically around the port and has the typical Cycladic architecture with the whitewashed houses. At the entrance of the port, is located the whitewashed windmill that used to be the tourist information center and now is the taxi and bus station.

Photos HERE

The Frankish Castle – Directions HERE

The Frankish Castle of Paros was built arox in 1200 by the Venetian Sanoudos. The castle is conspicuous by its intricate stonework and the hundred-footer Hekatompedon that is fabricated into its walls. The tower of the castle was built during the Frankish era.

Part of the circular edifice is used as apse of the castle’s in-house chapel. Today in the castle you can find the ruins of a temple that dated back in 530 B.C. along with scattered remnants of ancient residences.

Photos HERE

Archaic Temple of Athena – Directions HERE

Next to the Frankish Castle in Parikia is located the Archaic Teple of Athena that is an Ionic temple dating in 530-520 B.C. and was dedicated to the goddess Athena, patroness of the city of Paros. The temple was 32,86m long and 16,70m wide. It is an amphiprostyle type with six columns on the east and west sides.

The front of the temple, the prodromos, was destroyed along with the biggest part of the main temple when the west slope of the hill collapsed into the sea. A prehistoric settlement of the 2nd millennium B.C. was excavated next to the temple.

Photos HERE

Sanctuary of Asklipios – Directions HERE

The Sanctuary of Asklipios in Paros is a temple dedicated to the god of healing, Asclepius. In the ancient times it is believes that people who were sick would sleep within the precincts of the temple and God would appear in their dreams and would explain them what is the cure for their disease.

The next day they would meet with priest and would explain him what God told them at their dream, and the priest would describe a cure based on their dreams. Most of the times the cure involved a dip in the therapeutic baths, mud cures or practicing sports.

Photos HERE

Ancient Cemetery – Directions HERE

One of the most important Ancient cemeteries of Cyclades is located in Parikia town. The cemetery was in use from the 8th century B.C. till the 3rd century A.D. and had walls that were divining it from the ancient town. The largest number of graves belongs to the 7th century B.C. and in the ancient times the morality rate of children was very high.

In the cemetery there were many amphorae and a 3m high mass grave with a headstone from the archaic times. At the western part of the cemetery there were found several marble sarcophagi that dated from the post-Roman period and were placed over some marble abutments and today they are displayed at the Archeological Museum of Paros.

Photos HERE

Ancient Pottery Workshop – Directions HERE

In Parikia you can find the Ancient Pottery Workshop belongs to the 3rd century B.C. and is conspicuous by two cisterns, a number of supplementary rooms, two large kilns with a diameter of 2m and four comparatively minor kilns.

Also on the site are a Geometric grave and the fortification of a huge Archaic edifice.

Photos HERE

Archeological Musuem of Paros – Directions HERE

The Archeological Museum of Paros id located in Parikia. Opening hours and days are Tuesday to Sunday 8:00am-3:00pm all year round. The museum consists of two halls and a courtyard.

At the first hall there are findings from the Archaic and Classica periods while at the second hall there are findings from the Neolithic, Early Cycladic, Mycenaean, Geometric, Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic and Roman periods and consist mainly from miniature pottery and sculpture. At the courtyard there are architectural parts, urns and Roman mosaic floor.

Photos HERE

Panagia Ekatontapyliani – Directions HERE

Panagia Ekatontapilliani is a historic Byzantine church (dated in 326) in Paros located by the sea in the lower part of the town of Parikia. The church complex contains mainly a chapel surrounded by two more chapels and a baptistery with a cruciform font.

It founded by the Saint Helen the mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, during her pilgrimage of the Holy Land when she stopped to worship at a chapel on the island.

Photos HERE

Naoussa – Directions HERE

The most popular area in Paros is the village Naoussa, located in a huge bay in the northern part of the island. Naoussa is an authentic Cycladic village with stone paved streets, whitewashed little houses and an amazing and very popular old port with the little colorful fishing boats and the restaurants and cafes at the paths around it.

Directions to the old port HERE.

The Venetian Castle – Directions HERE

The Venetian Castle in Naoussa is located right at the old port. The castle originally constructed in the 15th century by the Venetians right in the entrance of the port. The castle was used as a watchtower for pirate and enemy attacks and as a front line in times of war. Due to its location it made very difficult for the enemy ships to approach and it had protected the commercial ships that used to moor at the port. The only part of the castle that remains alive today is a half-submerged watchtower that is connected to the mainland with a short path. Just behind the castle today are located a lot of bars and taverns that used to be the Venetian storehouses.

Photos HERE

Moraitis Winery – Directions HERE

In Naoussa is located the Moraitis Winery that was founded in 1910 by Manolis Moraitis. He used to cultivate his own vineyards, while he gathered and vivificated grapes from selected vineyards of the island. Today the winery is operated by the 4th generation of the family and the long tradition with the modern technology produce high quality wines that reveal the unique characteristics of Paros terroir. You can book a wine tour at their website HERE.

Photos HERE

Mycenaean Acropolis – Directions HERE

At the village Kolymbithres next to Naoussa is located the Mycenaean Acropolis in Paros. The acropolis was founded from the 13th century B.C. Paros played an important role in the Greek history while the quality and magnitude of the Mycenaean architecture and he size fort with walls over 3m strengthen this assumption. It is believed that the settlement was abandoned after a fire from enemy attack took place. Later on the 1th century B.C. a Geometric settlement was erected in the same place.

Photos HERE

Lefkes Village – Directions HERE

Lefkes, the first capital of Paros, is the most mountainous village in Paros. It is located under the pinewood on the hill.

The village has old washhouses with an amazing view to the sea and the Naxos island in the background. The central street of the village, Ramnos is located among neoclassic buildings, the school, the former community building an the House of Literature.

The Folklore Museum – Directions HERE

The Folklore Museum is managed by the Cultural Association “Yria” and has exhibits from the old way of living such as embroideries, textiles and tools that all were donated by the locals.

Photos HERE

The Valley of Butterflies – Directions HERE

The Valley of the Butterflies is a biotope with a small source, which is covered by dense vegetation with cypresses, plane-trees, oleanders, carob trees and orchards. The area is ideal for the Tiger moth butterfly. It is a brown and yellow butterfly with a bit of black and white spots and two orange-red back wings, which appear when it flies.

The Valley of the Butterflies attracts a lot of butterflies in June and they “disappear” in August. This happens because in September the female butterflies search for bushy areas to lay their eggs and then, they die. The caterpillars come out of the eggs in October and they turn into butterflies in May.

Photos HERE

Aqua Paros Water Park – Directions HERE

For those who will visit the island with their families, they might find interesting to visit the Water Park in Paros with the 13 water slides with their own pool, which all end to the sea.

Beaches in Paros

Kolymbythres Beach – Highly Recommended – Directions HERE

Piperi Beach – Directions HERE

Xifara Beach – Directions HERE

Santa Anna Beach – Directions HERE

Santa Maria Beach – Directions HERE

Glifades Beach – Directions HERE

Tsoukalia Beach – Directions HERE

Molos Beach – Directions HERE

Logaras Beach – Directions HERE

Pounta Beach – Directions HERE

Golden Beach – Highly Recommended – Directions HERE

Faragas Beach – Directions HERE

Stone Coast Beach – Directions HERE

Piso Aliki Beach – Directions HERE

Paros Kite Beach – Directions HERE

Delfini Beach – Directions HERE

Marcelo Beach – Highly Recommended – Directions HERE

Monastiri Beach – Directions HERE

Restaurants in Paros

Mylos Traditional Grill – Mediterranean Barbeque – Directions HERE

Markakis Restaurants – Seafood – Directions HERE

Hellas Restaurant – International Cuisine – Directions HERE

Safran Restaurant – Greek Seafood – Directions HERE

Anna & Giorgos Restaurant – Steakhouse – Directions HERE

Ydroussa Restaurant – Italian Cuisine – Directions HERE

Soso Restaurant – Mediterranean Cuisine – Directions HERE

Les Amis Restaurant & Wine Bar – Mediterranean Cuisine – Directions HERE

The Little Green Rocket – Asian Mediterranean Cuisine – Directions HERE

Buon Vento – Italian Cuisine – Directions HERE

Magaya – Asian Seafood – Directions HERE

Le Sud – French Cuisine – Directions HERE

For more articles and suggestions about your next Greek vacation, visit our blog HERE. If you need any kind of support with the planning of your holidays in Greece, you can always live chat with our customer service team HERE.

If you choose to include Nafplio, the most beautiful Greek city, in your plans, we would be more than happy to support with the best accommodation in Nafplio. Vida Hospitality operates the best holiday apartments and hotel serviced apartments in Nafplio. You can explore our properties HERE.

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What to see in Santorini island | Vacation in Greece by Vida Hospitality

One of the most worldwide well-known destinations in Greece and the most romantic island in Cyclades, is Santorini. The island was inhabited since the Neolithic Period. Known for the amazing sunset, the volcano that actually created Santorini the way it is today, the famous wines and the must destination for weddings and honeymoons!

In ancient times Santorini was known as Strongili, which means round in Greek. A huge eruption of the volcano took place in 1,500 B.C. and some people believe that the eruption with the giant waves that it created were the main causes of the destruction of the great Minoan Civilization situated in Crete, 70 nautical miles away. Due to this eruption and the earthquakes that took place later on the island, a big part of the island was destroyed and this is the reason that some ancient myths connect Santorini with the legend of Atlantis.

In the ancient times, the island was occupied by Lacedaemonians and Phoenicians. Between 1200 A.C. and 1579 A.C. the island was under the Byzantine rule. Its name was given by the Venetians after the Santa Irini, the name of the Catholic Church. All the old times, Santorini, due to its location, was a strong trade center.

Photos HERE

How to go to Santorini

You can go to Santorini either by a ferry or with a plane.

Santorini International Airport connects Santorini with both Athens and Thessaloniki in Greece and with other European destinations as well. You can find more information about flights from and to Mykonos at the airport’s website: HERE

There are ferry connections between Santorini and Athens from either Rafina (Closer to the International Airport of Athens) or from Piraeus (Closer to the city center) and from other islands of the Aegean Sea as well. You can book online your ferry tickets to Santorini HERE.

Ancient Thera

Directions HERE

Ancient Thera is an ancient city and capital on a ridge of the steep, 360m high Messa Vouno mountain in Santorini. The city was founded by the Doric colonists from Sparta, who recognized the strategic value of its location on a rocky ridge, that until then was an unimportant settlement. The city was named after the mythical ruler, Theras, and was inhabited from the 9th century B.C.

The ancient city consisted of a street almost 800m long that was containing several imposing buildings. After about 200m of the street the city expands in an area of about 10,000 m2 on an exposed plateau high above the rocky coast. Into the lower scope there were built a theatre and an agora and around them there was residential area. All the buildings were constructed with local limestone of the mountain.

Photos HERE


Directions HERE

The ancient city at Akrotiri is the most important prehistoric settlement found in Santorini and is very well-known for the famous ruins found from the Minoan period.

On the top of the town there was an old fortress that was destroyed during the earthquake in 1956 and inside the fortress was all the life of the city before the earthquake as the city was located within the walls. After the earthquake the inhabitants built the city right underneath the fortress where it extends right up to the fields of grape vines.

Photos HERE

The Sunset in Santorini

Santorini’s sunset is one of the most amazing and romantic things you have ever seen in your life. There are a lot of different places from where you can enjoy the amazing sunset and below are displayed some of them.

From Oia Castle – Directions HERE

From Scaros Rock at Imerovigli – Directions HERE

From Akrotiri Lighthouse – Highly Recommended – Directions HERE

From the Sea – In Santorini you will find a lot of different cruises for the sunset time and some of them offer dinner as well!

Photos HERE

Volcano & Hot Springs

In Santorini you will find a lot of options for cruises that will take to you a tour to the Volcano and the hot springs. You need to be careful as the volcano is still active as the last eruption took place in 1953. The cruises start from the old port of Santorini (Directions HERE) and they have tour guidance that can explain the geology and history of whatever you will see.

The volcano in Santorini is actually the island of Nea Kameni located at the center of Santorini caldera. Nea Kameni was formed around 1570 after a series of volcanic eruptions.

It is surrounded by warm dark waters which are known for their therapeutic benefits due to the iron and manganese which act against many diseases.

Photos HERE

The villages in Santorini

Thera or Fira – Directions HERE

Fira is the capital of Santorini. It sprawls north into villages called Firostefani and Imerovigli that is the highest point of the caldera edge. A path running through these villages is lined with hotels, restaurants and amazing opportunities for photos.

In Fira you can find the Archeological Museum of Fira (Directions HERE), the Folklore Museum (Directions HERE) and the Museum of Prehistoric Thira (Directions HERE).

Photos HERE

Oia – Directions HERE

Oia is the most famous of all villages in Santorini. It is a traditional village with charming houses, blue-domed churches and sun-bathed verandas, known for its beauty and the amazing sunset views!It is located 12kms north-west from Fira and offers and incredible view to the volcano.

In Oia you can find the Maritime Museum (Directions HERE) and the small port of Ammoudi (Directions HERE), which can be reached by a set of 300 steps leading down. Many artists fell in love with the area and settled there and this is the reason that you can find many art galleries in Oia.

Photos HERE

Pyrgos – Directions HERE

Pyrgos is the largest preserved village of Santorini and the island’s former capital. Strategically built in the heart of the pre-volcanic hinterland and at the foot of Mr. Profitis Ilias.

In Pyrgos you can find the Museum Santorini of the past (Directions HERE) and the Pyrgos Castle (Directions HERE). Do not forget to visit the historic church of the Presentation of the Virgin Mary (1660) (Directions HERE).

Photos HERE

Megalochori – Directions HERE

Close to Pyrgos you can find the Megalochori, a picturesque village with historical mansions, traditional houses, pirate hideaways and wine canavas.

While being in Megalochori you should check the houses of Plaka (Directions HERE) built right by the sea, the heart of Santorini (Directions HERE) and the art gallery – 1260 CeramicStudio (Directions HERE).

Photos HERE

Emporio – Directions HERE

Emporio is the largest village of Santorini, located at the center of the south part of the island, 12kms South-East from Fira. It was named Emporio, meaning trade in Greek, because it used to be the center of the commercial affairs in the past.

The big attraction of Emporio is the Mediavel Kasteli (Directions HERE), the Venetian Castle that inside has a church that dates back on the 16th century. Also at the edge of the village you can find the ruins of an ancient windmill (Directions HERE).

Photos HERE

Wineries in Santorini

Santorini has a strong, long-lasting legacy of winemaking, producing some of the most amazing wines in the world. No-one can answer if the magic ingredient of the recipe is the soil, the grape varieties used, the technical know-how that the local winery owners have accumulated over the years. There are a lot of wineries in Santorini and below you can find some of the best.

Gavalas Winery – Directions HERE

SantoWines – Directions HERE

Gaia Winery – Directions HERE

Sigalas Winery – Directions HERE

Koutsogiannopoulos Winery & Wine Museum – Directions HERE

Beaches in Santorini

Caldera Beach – Directions HERE

White Beach – Directions HERE

Red Beach – Highly Recommended – Directions HERE

Akrotiri Beach – Directions HERE

Vlichada Beach – Highly Recommended – Directions HERE

Perivolos Beach – Directions HERE

Perissa Black Sand Beach – Directions HERE

Capo Colombo Beach – Directions HERE

Kamari Black Pebble Beach – Directions HERE

Kantharos Beach – Directions HERE

Restaurants in Santorini

On the island of Santorini there are many different options for dining. I would recommend you to check the restaurant before you visit it because on the island there are restaurants for big wallets!!

Aidani Restaurant – Mediterranean Cuisine – Directions HERE

Armeni Restaurant – Seafood – Directions HERE

Melitini Restaurant – Greek Cuisine – Directions HERE

Rare Greek Restaurant – Greek Steakhouse – Directions HERE

Fistikies Restaurant – Greek, European – Directions HERE

Melina’s Tavern – Seafood – Directions HERE

Le Ciel Restaurant – International Cuisine – Directions HERE

La Colline Restaurant- Seafood – Directions HERE

Il Forno Pizza – Italina Cuisine – Directions HERE

Terra Nera – Pizza – Directions HERE

Aroma Avlis Food & Wine – Mediterranean Cuisine – Directions HERE

For more articles and suggestions about your next Greek vacation, visit our blog HERE. If you need any kind of support with the planning of your holidays in Greece, you can always live chat with our customer service team HERE.

If you choose to include Nafplio, the most beautiful Greek city, in your plans, we would be more than happy to support with the best accommodation in Nafplio. Vida Hospitality operates the best holiday apartments and hotel serviced apartments in Nafplio. You can explore our properties HERE.

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6 Things You Need to Know About Visiting Greece

karathona beach

Are you planning to visit Greece anytime soon? If yes, that’s great! You will have for sure an amazing vacation.

Greece is very known around the world for its thousand islands. Million of visitors every year are visiting the country and they choose to explore some of the very beautiful islands.


Are you traveling to be tired or to relax and enjoy? If you travel to relax and enjoy, then find here the things you need to know in order to plan your Greek vacation easier and choose “Mainland or Islands”.

Well, we as Greeks, since we were children, we used to spend our family vacations visiting mainly islands. As kids, we are excited by the idea to move outside the mainland and explore some of the country’s islands.

Later on, we became adults and now we were traveling by ourselves, with friends, with our life partner or as a family. It was that time – that we started to understand that vacation is about relaxing, having fun and enjoying. So, the questions were? Do I want to spend 6 hours on a ferry until to reach the island? Do I want to stay at a small place that is over crowded? Do we like to move every two days from the one island to the other?

You do not have to feel the same or having the same questions, but in case of you have, keep in mind the below.

Mainland has the same beauty with islands. The most of the cities that are located next to the sea, they give you the same vibes like islands (for example Nafplio city). Plus there are 6 advantages:

Easy to Move around

It is the time of the year that you have your vacation and you want to enjoy relaxed time with your beloved ones. Are you willing to have as much time as possible available for yourself and your beloved ones or you are ok spending hours on flying from the one islands to the other (if the islands you visit have airports) or staying on a ferry for 5 to 8 hours sailing? Imagine, if the weather is also windy – you end up losing the whole day.

Mainland gives you the ability to drive easy around and reach your destination within a few hours – by the way, you have so many things to explore on your way that even the trip becomes a great experience.

More Options

Imagine yourself staying inside your bedroom and then imagine yourself staying at a big valley. Do you have the same space and options? It is the same when you choose mainland. The options are millions and you will never feel that something could be different.

Cost Effective

Think about this – if you had in 90 days to make your full annual income, could you just charge normal prices for your services? – the same like having 365 days for the same purpose? of course no. And that is normal.

Now combine the above with this – any product that leaves the mainland to reach an island has a transportation cost, right? Plus the people who are working on the islands – they have 3 months job to cover the whole year expenses. Can they work for the same salary as if it was a 12 months job? No, and that is ok.

All the above make your island vacation much more expensive than your mainland vacation.

You do not have to change always locations

So, you plan your island vacation and you choose 5 islands – 2 days on each of them. This means, 5 days you can not have time to relax, you will have to sail or fly from the one place to the other, right? So instead of 10 days vacation, you end up enjoying 5.

Greek mainland has a strong advantage. You just choose the region that you want to visit and then you pick one or two locations, you use them as your base and you explore everything around you (you will not need more than 1 or 2 hours drive from your base).

Take the example of the Peloponnese region, which by the way is one – if not the most – of the beautiful areas of Greece. You can pick Nafplio and Kalamata as your bases and very easy you can explore the whole region in max one week. You will not have to loss days of your vacation, due to in less than 2 hours drive you can explore on daily basis many different areas.

Less Crowded

Before to start imagining an extremely quite place – just think about this – 10 people inside your bedroom and 10 people at a wedding venue, does it feel the same? of course no.

The last years, there is a huge amount of visitor who choose to enjoy their Greek vacations on the mainland. Still, during the most months of the year, you never feel that any place is over crowded. The most areas are full of visitors, so you do not feel like visiting an abandoned place, but due to its size, you never feel that you can not breathe, which in the most cases, it is really nice.

More Quality Vacations

Every time we visit a new place, we all want just to enjoy the place and explore everything around it. For sure we want to have fun, but it is also important to have options and explore places with high interest – from example some unique archeological sites. Mainland, just give you this advantage almost every where.

You can be at the beach, at a castle on the top of the hill or at any unique and special archeological site.

You do not have to agree with all the above, it is just a different perspective. In any case, we guarantee to you that once you try both – and you read this again – for sure you will agree even if now, you do not!

Have a great vacation, both mainland and islands have their own beauty and for sure you will love your Greek vacation.

By the way, if you choose to enjoy some great moments with your beloved ones, visiting the Greek mainland and specifically the Peloponnese region, we can support you with great accommodation in Nafplio (the most beautiful Greek city).

Check out – our properties HERE.

Vasileios Totsikas is the Property Manager at Vida Hospitality – his English are not the best (I am sure you already got it from the above article), but his hospitality is great! Now, that I wrote the above sentence in the third person to look smarter than I am, I will continue in the first person – If I can be of any assistance regarding your vacation in Greece, feel always free to contact me via phone/message/whatsapp at +30-6979005260.

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