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Holidays in Athens, Greece

Posted January 9, 2011 by BookingBuddy

Once the center of the civilized world, Athen has seen it all: the rise and fall of empires, the Renaissance, the modernization of our contemporary society. Visitors to Athens, Greece, then, are treated to a broad scope of human history, from the Acropolis, crowned by the sun-bleached marble of the Parthenon, to the elegant, exceedingly modern stadium and structures constructed for the 2004 Olympics. Between it all, Athens buzzes with life, its citizens bustling to and fro, gossiping over frappes at outdoor cafes, and holding tight to traditions that have survived millennia.  Best of all, holidays in Athens can often be found at very reasonable rates, including flights from the UK and it is easy to travel by ferry to visit the Greek Islands, like Mykonos, from Athens.

 

Stay

Athens Gate Hotel: Located across the street from the Temple of Zeus, and just steps from the slopes of the Acropolis, this Athens hotel puts travelers right in the heart of historic Athens. The hotel was renovated in 2007, and travellers can enjoy breakfast on the rooftop deck overlooking the Temple. The hotel is located near the Acropolis stop on Athens' metro, as well as the new Acropolis Museum. Rates start at around €100 per night.

 

Eat

Strofi: Come for the view, stay for the food. Strofi, located just blocks from the Acropolis, seats customers on a rooftop deck with panoramic views of the Parthenon and … well, not much else! But even though your neck may be craned in the direction of the Ancient Greeks' most famous building, do pay attention to the food, which favors traditional Greek tavern fare. Prices are reasonable, considering the view, between €8 and €20.

 

Shop

Monastiraki Flea Market: On Sunday mornings, the normally busy Monastiraki market turns into a chaotic bazaar, bursting at the seams with people and items for sale. Monastiraki is worth a visit any day of the week (and it's open every day of the week), but go on Sundays to get the full experience. Is it a little touristy? Of course. But it's also full of locals negotiating in Greek over the price of this or that, as they've been doing for years. The market features numerous cafes, perfect for taking a break and watching the hustle and bustle pass by. Be warned, though: Arriving early is key, especially on Sundays, before the crowds get too big.

 

Compare cheap flights to Athens from airports in the United Kingdom.

Holidays in Skiathos, Greece

Posted January 9, 2011 by BookingBuddy

Serving as a backdrop for certain scenes in the film, <em>Mamma Mia</em>, Skiathos offers a relaxing reprieve from the hustle and bustle of daily life. This small island, located in the Aegan Sea,  gets particularly popular during the warmer summer months when travellers come from around the world to visit its more than 60 beaches or to explore its vast pine forests.  If you are looking to relax, a laid back holiday in Skiathos will be the perfect option.

 

Eat

Taverna Lyhnari: With a name that means Aladdin's Lamp, Taverna Lyhnari strives to make your dining wishes come true. The owner, Dimitri, bought the restaurant in 1999, and  still hand selects products from the market to guarantee only the freshest ingredients are used in its traditional Greek dishes.

 

Stay

Paradise Hotel: As the name suggests, the Paradise Hotel aims to provide its guests with a little bit of heaven. The three-star hotel offers 46 rooms, with views of either the ocean or the pine valley below. Rooms come equipped with a balcony, a TV, air conditioning, a hair dryer, and a telephone.  Paradise Hotel is the perfect accommodation in Skiathos.

 

Shop

Papadiamantis Street: This main thoroughfare in the capital's downtown area is ripe with shops selling goods, ranging from handmade goods to rare delicacies. Though many shops may be a bit expensive, the street provides endless opportunities for window browsing and people watching.

Holidays in Zante, Greece

Posted January 9, 2011 by BookingBuddy

Explore Ulysses' playground with a holida in Zante, Greece, known as Zakynthos to the locals. This picturesque island on the Ionian Sea is famous for its citrus fruits, olive oil, historic sites, and postcard-pretty beaches. Scuba divers will find more than 100 kilometers of coastline to explore, with cave diving offering glimpses of sea wildlife such as turtles, seals, octopus, and more.

 

Eat

On an island known for its olive oil, you'd be smart to have a meal (or two) at The Olive Tree, a family establishment in Tsilivi teeming with Greek and Mediterranean specialties. Can't decide on just one dish? Order the mixed appetizers to sample a variety of tastes, or ask the owner for recommendations on the best plates of the day.

 

Stay

The Plaza Hotel in Laganas serves all types of travellers, with guests choosing from self catering, bed and breakfast, half board, and all-inclusive dining options. Rooms have balconies, satellite television, and private baths; some rooms have kitchenettes and separate dining areas. The property has two pools, a whirlpool, and a salon; multiple children's facilities, such as a pool and a game room, are available. Rates start at €20 per night - a great deal for your holiday in Greece.

 

Shop

Head to Alexander Street in Zakynthos town proper to find the Greek island's largest cluster of shops and specialty merchants. You'll discover plenty of olive wood souvenirs, handmade textiles and leather goods, plus local delicacies such as cheeses, olive oils, and mandolato (nougat candy).

 

 

Holidays in Kos, Greece

Posted January 9, 2011 by BookingBuddy

Come to Kos, Greece to find beauty and respite along the Aegean Sea. Stay at a luxury resort along the coastline, or follow the locals and settle in the island's namesake town—you'll still have easy access to the island's many archeological sites, restaurants and nightlife establishments, and beaches. Wander at your own pace to best enjoy Kos's pleasures, with your days exploring the ruins or soaking up the sun, nights at a plentiful table or on the dance floor.

 

Eat

Moussaka, souvlaki, Harto, are just a few of Olympiada Restaurant's authentic Greek dishes to tempt your palette. This family-run restaurant focuses on traditional Greek foods at affordable prices, with prompt service and a welcoming atmosphere. The secret is out, with both locals and tourists packing the place each evening, so plan on arriving early or grabbing a drink while you wait for your table.

 

Stay

Kos Aktis Art Hotel is a boutique establishment on the waterfront featuring a restaurant and lounge, as well as a fitness center. Minimalist decor, both in public and private spaces, highlights the water views. All accommodations have flat-screen satellite television and high-speed Internet access. This hotel is ideal for all types of holidays in Kos.  Rates start at £81 per night.

 

Shop

With such a focus on tourism, Kos's shopping options tend to lean primarily toward souvenirs. The Kos Market Building, located right in the center of town, offers local wines, sponges, herbs, produce, and spices. There are also plenty of trinkets if you'd like to bring home a commemorative keepsake from your holiday in Kos.

 

Compare cheap flights to Kos, Greece from top travel providers.

Holidays in Crete, Greece

Posted December 23, 2010 by BookingBuddy

The largest island in Greece, Crete boasts beaches, mountains, and enough myths to fill a lifetime of study. This is Zeus's playground, from the towering White Mountains to Mediterranean seashores. The region's temperate climate and 300 days of sunshine has proved irresistible to tourists in recent years, and hotels now pepper the landscape, serving a range of tastes and budgets for all types of holiday packages. The attractions, of course, have been here for centuries, from the ancient city of Knossos to the Samaria Gorge National Park.

 

Eat

Lotus Eaters, in Elounda, focuses on traditional Greek dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. Fresh seafood and produce dishes are its specialty, and while many travellers rave about the food, the atmosphere is also worth the trip. Situated on the bay of Elounda, Lotus Eaters features sweeping water views, perfect for a romantic night out. Be sure to try the mussels saganaki and lamb dishes.  For holidays on a budget also check out holiday packages that include meals by comparing half-board deals.

 

Stay

The Hotel Anastasia in Stalis offers accommodations with mountain or water views and is just a short walk from the beach. Each room has a private balcony or terrace. The property has plenty of recreational facilities, including four pools, a basketball court, a mini-golf course, and a playground. Evening entertainment features live bands, game nights, and karaoke. Rates start at €30 per night and include breakfast and dinner.  Be sure to compare holiday packages that include both flight and hotel to ensure you get the best deal for your vacation.

 

Shop

Make your way to Odos Skridlof ("Leather Street"), Chania's traditional shoemaker street, for top-quality leather goods. Known for sturdy boots, the merchants in and around this region also produce sandals, belts, and satchels at reasonable prices. Rugs and souvenir shops round out the offerings.

 

Compare flights to Crete or check out cheap package holidays in Crete with airfare from the UK.

Visit The World’s Oldest Cities

Posted December 9, 2009 by BookingBuddy

Samarkand Towering skyscrapers of steel and glass may be very eye-catching and cutting edge, but they do tend to look alike after a while. If modern cities such are Sydney and Tokyo are starting to look very similar these days, then maybe it’s time for a change of pace? Instead of rushing around under the shadows of tall, shiny office buildings, why not travel to some of the oldest cities in the world and discover the origins of civilization?

Athens, Greece - Often referred to as the ‘cradle of Western civilization’, this city has layers of history buried under yet more layers of history. Monuments from the Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires all jostle for space in this ancient city, while camera-wielding tourists engage in elbow fights for a chance to pose in front of these magnificent ruins.

Beirut, Lebanon
– With a history that stretches back at least 5000 years, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this city is nothing much than a bunch of dusty old buildings, but Lebanon’s capital is a bustling, modern city these days. Churches and mosques stand side by side, and visitors who aren’t fans of gawking at Phoenician remains can choose to go shopping at ultra-modern, air-conditioned shopping centres. 

Samarkand, Uzbekistan
– As one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world, Samarkand has seen the fall of several great civilizations. Modern-day Samarkand is a cheerful, bustling market town boasting a wealth of carefully restored archaeological treasures.
These days, you’re more likely to run into hordes of beige-clad retirees bargaining for a silk rug than rampaging Mongol soldiers on their way to sacking the city.

(Photo: math.unicaen.fr)

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