Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Lyrical Minutes in the City of Ljubljana


As I have already mentioned in my previous post, according to Lonely Planet Slovenia was voted amongst top 10 world travel destinations for the upcoming year.


If you are still wondering how this small European country could be on such a list, you might get a hint from this video. Locals are really trying hard to promote this country and lots of travellers appreciate the effort.
If you have a personal experience from a trip to Slovenia, please share your thoughts. I always find it interesting to read about how visitors from abroad see my home country.


Recently I have stumbled upon a video of a summer surprise event in the Slovenian capital - city of Ljubljana. It is one of those videos that make you wish you were there to see it in person.




I must say every year there are more events and festivals worth attending in Slovenia. Most of those still happen in Ljubljana during the summer months but there are quite a few also elsewhere and during other seasons.

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Friday, 25 November 2011

Slovenia voted top 8 travel destination


At the end of every year Lonely Planet's top destinations for the coming year are published. A few weeks ago they announced their top picks for 2012. This year Reykjavik was voted the most popular city and Iceland the most popular country in the world. Since those two places got by far the most votes, it might be the right time to tweak my travel list a bit.


I was surprised (and pleased at the same time) to also find Slovenia in the Readers’ Choice: Top 10 countries category. With 6% of all votes my home country took 8th place. Both USA and Mexico were behind.


I think this is a great result and hope it will help promoting this great country. In my opinion it has been off the average traveller's radar for too long.


If you want to read the whole article, it is available on the Lonely Planet website.

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Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Bell Tower of Agios Markos


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Monday, 14 November 2011

How to find a typical old village on Corfu?


No matter where I go, I always enjoy visiting typical local villages. That is easily achieved in some countries and can be quite a challenge in others. Since Greece is a country where you can literary stumble upon history on every step you take, I was expecting to find numerous nicely preserved, traditional old villages also on the island of Corfu.


I was surprised to find every coastal town and village turned into a place suitable only for mass tourism. Unfortunately this means those places were robbed of any charm long time ago. This new architecture has little or no regard for the old beauty and historical value of the area. It seems like the only two aims were to build fast and to build cheap.


The only exception among coastal town I saw, was the protected centre of Corfu city (Kerkyra).


Even though I didn't like this fact one bit, I didn't give up. Soon I figured out all I needed to do was stop concentrating on coastal towns and look inland instead.
I didn't need to look far, since the nearest such town was just a short ride from the town of Ipsos into the hills. This old town is called Agios Markos. Actually it is a small mountain village of some 30 buildings - one of them being a small church with a separate bell tower.


However charming the village might look, quite a few of the buildings have been deserted a while ago and are already falling apart.


So if you are looking for an old picturesque village on the island of Corfu - take a random mountain road and your chances for finding one are quite good.
I guess roads ending in the middle of nowhere, near a small mountain village are the best choice.

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Monday, 7 November 2011

Stunning Beaches of Corfu


Greece is known to have some of the prettiest beaches in Europe. With countless islands (actually there are more then 6.000 islands and islets in Greece) it should not be a surprise at all...


Corfu is known as the greenest Greek island and not as the one with the prettiest beaches - the nearby Zakynthos, Cephalonia and Lefkada are usually mentioned in this context. I was visiting Corfu for the first time and I was expecting to see at least some nice beaches. Let me just say I was not disappointed with what I saw.


Since we were stationed in the town of Ipsos (North-Eastern part of the island) and renting scooters, we mainly concentrated on the northern part of the island.


We tried to visit a different beach every day. There are quite a few to choose from...


I particularly enjoyed Logas Beach near the village of Peroulades. There is even a cute café/restaurant (7th Heaven Café) at the top of the cliff overlooking the beach.
However I have to point out that when we were there a strong wind started blowing in the afternoon and high tide literary flooded those few meters of this cute sandy beach under high cliffs. I am not sure if this is something that happens there every day, but could be quite inconvenient getting there just to find a flooded beach. If you find yourself in a situation like that, I suggest to take it easy and order a cocktail or two at the panoramic bar on the top of the cliff. I am sure you'll feel much better afterwards.


A bit harder to get to is Myrtiotissa beach, located nearby the much more popular and usually overrun with tourists - Glyfada beach. The road leading to this beach is quite narrow and steep. There is a beautiful Monastery of Virgin Mary Myrtiotissa located just above the beach.
It is quite isolated, unorganized, pretty much unspoiled and unofficially nudist. You can easily find your almost private spot behind one of many large boulders scattered on the whole length of this beach.


Another beach worth mentioning is Sidari Beach with the famous coves of Canal d'Amour located to the west of the town of Sidari. The main part of the beach can get quite busy and loud. If you walk to the cliffs on the western part of the beach, chances are you will find a place to enjoy by yourself. However getting there will probably include following a path through some bushes and jumping off a cliff to get to the sea. For me this was just perfect.


There are also many other popular beaches we didn't visit on purpose. We tried to avoid the most popular and crowded ones. If those are the ones you are after, you should definitely visit the above mentioned Glyfada (large surface of fine sand, surrounded by tree-covered cliffs), Paleokastritsa (surrounded by green cliffs and many sea caves that can be visited by boat) and Agios Gordios beach (a sandy beach, surrounded by impressive rock formations, greenery and tourist facilities).


Since these are just some of the beaches on the northern part of Corfu island it is obvious the island is well worth visiting it even if beautiful beaches are all you are after.

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