Friday, 30 January 2009

Choose Coral resort hotel in Corfu, Greece

Coral hotel is a beachfront family resort hotel, built directly by the sea. the Coral Hotel overlooks both the sparkling blue waters of the Ionian Sea that separates Corfu from the taupe, coastal mountains of the Greek Mainland and Albania and the hills covered with olive trees. The Hotel Coral is ideal for beach lovers, families and groups of friends!

The combination of the excellent location, the nature of Corfu Island, the hotel facilities and the friendly personnel makes Hotel Coral one of the most enjoyable holiday choices. Visit The Hotel Coral web site www.hotelcoral.gr for more information, prices and online booking directly with the hotel.

Visit Corfu this summer

Holidays in Corfu are packed with variety. Described as the Emerald Isle, the Garden of Eden, the Happy Isle and even – by Homer – as a rich and beautiful land, this island has large modern resorts, tucked away fishing villages, myriad beaches ranging from loose pebbles to gorgeous sandy sweeps and hidden inlets along its coastline. It also features wide fertile plains, towering mountains giving commanding views of the island and beyond (from Mount Prantokrator you can glimpse Italy!) and a huge diversity of wildlife.

Take your holidays in Corfu and you can expect to come face-to-face with over 600 species of wild flowers…and a surprising number of exotic birds – including pelicans and hoopoes, golden orioles and bee eaters. As well as creatures like foxes and pine martens and even the island's famous wild tortoises!

So last minute holidays in Corfu are full of surprises and even cheap holidays to Corfu are full of richness; especially if you like to throw a little sightseeing into the sea, sun, sand and nightlife mix. Corfu - having been prized by many nations, including the Corinthians, the Romans, the Venetians, the Byzantines, the French and the British - has had a rollercoaster of a history, as evidenced by its village architecture, fortresses, museums, temples and churches.

Added together, it means that holidays to Corfu are always much more than the sum of their parts. Hire a car and explore to make the most of your summer holidays to Corfu.
Find the cheapest late deals to Corfu in www.medestino.com.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

The town of Old Perithia, Corfu

One of the most unusual places to visit on Corfu this summer might well be the village of 'Old Perithia'.

The small town, originally built in Byzantine times, is located in the mountains between Kassiopi and Acharavi, off the main road. It is unique, in that it is almost completely uninhabited.

At one point occupied by over 1,500 people, the village lost all its inhabitants due to population changes over the last century.

There are now two tavernas in the old village, thronged by visitors in the summer months. Tourists can sit with a cold drink, before exploring the streets of the village and the tight rows of crumbling, shuttered houses.

Old Perithia, located up the hill from its more modern sister village, simply called Perithia, is believed to have been built in around the 14th century. One persuasive local story has it that it was founded by those previously living on the coast, who had become fed up by pirate raids.

Nowadays, walking through the echoing streets of the town, perhaps with a few sheep in tow, tourists are rewarded with a fascinating glimpse into the way in which Corfiots used to live, as well as spectacular mountain views.

Well off the beaten track, day trippers are advised to drive carefully, as the winding road to the village can get quite windy.

Poet hails Lawrence Durrell's Corfu

Corfu is indelibly associated in many holiday makers mind with Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals - massively popular with generations of children and adults alike.

Readers of the book will be familiar with the author's elder brother Lawrence, who - although he appears in Gerald's childhood memoir as something of a pretentious buffoon - went on to have a successful literary career of his own.

Lawrence Durrell's work was equally influenced by Corfu, particularly his novel Prospero's Cell.

Now, poet Brian Patten - who was friends with the author - has revealed that, after ignoring advice given to him by Durrell 40 years ago to travel to the "unspoilt" island, he finally followed it, and has recently enjoyed a holiday there.

Staying at Durrell's old apartment, by the sea on the bay of Kalami, north east of the island, Patten wrote last week that "in truth, this corner of Corfu has so far escaped mass tourism, and Kalami has been developed far less than many other places."

"There is nowhere on Corfu more beautiful than the dozen or so sea miles between Nissaki and Kassiopi on the island's north-eastern coast, where Mount Pantokrator spills down to pine and cedar-coated cliffs before plunging into crystal clear and temperate waters," he added, in an article written for the Independent newspaper.

Patten also told that his journey had represented almost a rediscovery of his old friend: he came across black and white photographs of the author in local tavernas, which seemed to him like "sun-bleached ghosts staring across the years".

Byzantine museum, Corfu

One of Corfu's oldest buildings holds a surprise for those holiday makers who venture inside - one of Greece's most extensive collections of Byzantine artefacts.

The Byzantine Museum, which is found within the 15th-century Panaghia Antivouniotissa (Our Lady Opposite The Mountain) church in Corfu Town's historic Campielo quarter, was restored by the Greek government as a museum after falling into disrepair.

Re-opened in 1984, the museum exhibits a very wide selection of Byzantine icons - early Christian art still widely used in Eastern Orthodox religious rituals which typically depict Christ and the Christ child.

An altar-cloth from Russia, along with Michael Damaskenos' Icon of Saints Sergius and Bacchus, and St Justina, form particular highlights of the museum's collection.

The art of the Byzantine civilisation, which flourished around Constantinople (now Istanbul) in the early middle ages, is widely thought to have been a direct influence on Italian Renaissance artists.

Corfu trail: Corfu

As temperatures, though still warm, begin to get cooler, walkers will find that Corfu is an ideal destination for an active and adventurous holiday.

Taking the Corfu trail will not only challenge walkers but give them an ideal glimpse into the culture of Corfu and some fascinating views of its landscape.

According to the corfutrail.org over 100 friendly villages, abandoned manor houses and monasteries await holidaymakers along the trail.

Taking walkers along tracks, mule paths, dirt roads and avoiding highways is the best way to see Corfu and the trail does just that starting in the south and heading north.

Avid walkers could spend as many as 11 days walking the trail but for those staying in the south of the island it is perfect for enjoying a day of walking that is not too strenuous, as the trail is hardest in the north.

Mount Pantokrator: Corfu

Holidaymakers visiting the island will not find a better spot from which to view the island and surrounding scenery as well as take photos of their chosen holiday destination.

On clear days it is even possible to see Italy, despite it lying 80 miles away from the island.

Reaching the peak is perfect for holidaymakers who enjoy walking and it will certainly be worth the walk as the views of the surrounding area are one of the highlights of the Corfu experience.

Inquisitive travellers who may want to stay on the peak for a little while before beginning their descent will want to explore the monastery on top of the peak which was first built in 1347.

Since then it has been destroyed but was re-built during the 1500s with the current remains dating from the late 1600s.

Snow occasionally caps the peak during the winter months.

Lake Korission: Corfu

Lake Korission on the west coast of Corfu is a long and narrow stretch of water with lots to offer holidaymakers visiting the island.

The lake and the sea are separated by a track that runs around the edge with a bridge taking holidaymakers to a forest complete with sand dunes, cedars, lilies and orchids.

The region is a wetlands habitat and there are over 100 different species of birds that live in the area, so keen birdwatchers and nature lovers will not be disappointed by the inhabitants of the area.

Sea views and close proximity to beaches make the lake, which is actually a lagoon, the perfect place to spend a day out of the villa.

Created by the Venetians, the artificial lagoon flooded existing marshlands making a haven for the birds.

Taxiarchis Chapel: Corfu

One of the sights on the Corfu trail, the Taxiarchis Church, is a great place to view some of the history and culture of Corfu.

The ruined chapel is located in the north of the island and is the perfect attraction for holiday makers looking to take a break from the villa and enjoy some of the surroundings the area has to offer.

On the walls are frescoes and mythology states that the pictures were drawn in dust and blood and are very old.

A smaller new church nearby to the old chapel depicts the history of the monastery through autobiographies on the walls.

The chapel is just one of the many small but delightful areas that provide the perfect excuse for a day-time excursion in Corfu.

Holy Week is full of tradition in Corfu

On Tuesday people are invited to talk to the monks in the moestaries of Corfu and the traditional mass incorporates the Kassianis Hymn.

Thursday is also an important day in the week and one where the culture of Corfu is really experienced.

A mass dedicated to the 12 Apostles takes place on Thursday and holiday makers will note the 12 candles lighted at the beginning of the service and blown out after a reading of each Apostle.

During the evening the gastronomic culture of the region is also celebrated and the locals eat Kolombina, a traditional dish of sweet bread with a red egg on top.

The meal is shared and then the ceremony of the Crucifixion can begin before the solemn atmosphere of Good Friday.

The morning of Good Friday starts with the ceremony of the "Deposition from the Cross" and church goers pay their respects.

Visiting Corfu during Holy Week will give holiday makers a chance to view the religious culture behind the island as well as the stunning scenery and good weather.

The Esplanade in Corfu Town

Corfu Town is an example of the relaxed and tranquil environment of the island and holiday makers who visit the Esplanade will enjoy some of the local atmosphere.

The central square of Corfu Town features a French garden design and is surrounded by monuments and cafes.

It was transformed into a public square during the French occupation and locals and visitors alike spend their days relaxing and watching the events of the square.

The square is even host to an annual cricket game which was introduced during the time of English occupation and confirms the European influences on the relaxed environment.

Anyone looking for more excitement and activity can head to the beaches and countryside of the island where long walks are enjoyed by many locals and holiday makers.

The Church of Antivouniotissa, Corfu

The Byzantine Museum is one of these cultural activities and is located in the Church of Antivouniotissa.

Possibly dating back to the 15th century the church was restored so that it could house the museum and the public and holiday makers alike have been visiting the museum since it opened in 1984.

Byzantine treasures can be found in the museum including an altar cloth that was brought from Russia, there are many exhibits on show including the Icon of Theotocos which shows the virgin holding Christ.

Religion was an important part of the empire and the Byzantine people believed the emperor to be Christ's representative on earth.

Art was also a big part of the culture and much of it depicted religious scenery and the art spread by trade and conquest across Europe.

Holiday makers visiting the museum will be able to learn even more about Corfu and its past as well as enjoying a good excursion from the villa.

Landscape of Corfu is big attraction

Hiking and walking can be big parts of any trip to Corfu and visiting the island is also the perfect opportunity to relax in between some exciting excursions.

Horse riding allows visitors a great way to explore the Ropa Valley, one of the most beautiful of the island's landscapes and also a national park.

Some of the Corfu trail also runs through the Ropa Valley and holiday makers will have the chance to visit the area and enjoy its surroundings.

But the island is not all about physical activity, there are plenty of opportunities for visitors to relax on beaches and enjoy the sunshine and warm temperatures of the Mediterranean climate.

Local cuisine is another attraction and fresh salads form much of the locals' diets.

Roke and glistrida salad is native to the island and is often drunk with local wine.

Family villas in Corfu combine well with Carnival time

The tradition comes from ancient Greece and also includes some Venetian influences but the Corfu Carnival is unique.

Gossips, or "petegoletsia" as they are locally known, act out theatrical and satirical plays in Pinia in Corfu Town and holiday makers can watch the women dress in traditional costumes and gossip by windows and balconies.

A procession is the main event of the carnival and dancers and bands move with the floats.

On the final day of the festival the king of the carnival is burned after a trial in a ritual that is supposed to send away evil spirits.

Taking a Corfu villa holiday doesn't always mean exciting and energetic festivals as holiday makers can also relax by the white beaches around the island or by the villa pool.

Corfu's countryside is also an attraction and holiday makers can enjoy walking or cycling through the island.

Picnics are a tradition not to miss on a Corfu holiday

Taking place after the last Sunday of Carnival, Clean Monday is celebrated by locals and travellers enjoying a Corfu holiday.

Picnics are taken into the countryside where a relaxing day is spent winding down after the rigours of the carnival.

Special Lenten foods such as taramosalata, octopus, calamari and flatbreads are washed down with plenty of wine.

Locals also fly kites which can be seen soaring over the island in the clear sky.

Visitors planning a trip to Corfu will find the small island is packed with events during March and April as preparations for Easter get underway.

Taking a cheap villa in Corfu gives holiday makers the perfect opportunity to enjoy all the traditions and countryside of the island as well as the culture.

Cricket on a Corfu holiday

The first match on the island took place on Saint George's Day in 1823 when the British Navy took on the British Garrison.

Locals soon adopted the British game and formed their own sides to take on the British.

Travellers on a Corfu holiday will find that the locals still enjoy the game with the sport popular all over the island.

Many games are played throughout the summer meaning holiday makers can enjoy a piece of home in the Mediterranean.

Apart from cricket, Corfu has plenty of entertainment to keep its visitors busy including many archaeological sites and places of interest such as the Achilleon Palace.

Built between 1890 and 1892, the palace was made for the Empress of Austria for when she visited the small island.

Today, statues and gardens surround the palace and some rooms are available to visit.

Take a Corfu holiday and enjoy Ionian day

On May 21st visitors to a family villa in Corfu will be able to see many different rituals that mark the celebrations including wreath lying, fly pasts and military pageantry.

Holiday makers will also find that the day is the Saints' Day of Ayios Konstandios and Ayia Eleni making it one of the most important celebration days in both Greece and Corfu.

Although Corfu may be a small island, travellers will find plenty to entertain them for a summer break.

Bike riding or walking through Corfu's landscape comes highly recommended and if visitors want to enjoy the warm Mediterranean temperatures there is no better place than Corfu's sandy coves or a private villa pool.

Light and sounds of a Corfu holiday

The Old Fort is the venue for the spectacular display of colour that is held several nights a week throughout the summer months meaning holiday makers will be sure to attend it.

But if visitors should miss the light show, Corfu Fort is still worth a visit.

Originally attached to the mainland, the Venetians dug a moat in the 16th Century to allow them to hold off the Turks.

Many cultural events, as well as the light and sound show, take place inside the fort that has been restored over the years.

The defensive moat is known as the Kontrafosa and inside the fort is the church of St George.

The Old Town that is found within the fort is also worth a visit as the labyrinth of narrow streets are often too narrow for traffic meaning holiday makers staying in a Corfu villa can take the opportunity to explore.

Music on the water on a Corfu holiday

Taking place at the beginning of August, the Vararola festival is an occasion where the locals come to life and entertain each other as well as visitors.

They take to the sea on their boats and sing to the watching crowds who enjoy their melodies from the coast.

The festival has several versions and communities from all over the island celebrate the event.

In Corfu Town the choirs fill the bay of Gaios and sing cantades to the waiting crowds while fireworks light up the sky.

Alternatively, Corfu has many other festivals for holiday makers staying in a Corfu villa at different times over the summer.

The Corfu Town cricket festival gives travellers a home from home while the Feats of Agios Spyridon celebrates the patron saint of the island.

Three-day festival on a Corfu villa holiday

Many cultural events take place in Corfu and holiday makers staying in a villa on the island will find plenty of entertaining activities to take up their time.

One of these events is the Festival of Garouna and Ano Gerakiana.

Held in the villages of Kato Garouna and Ano Gerakiana, the event lasts for three days and includes many different forms of entertainment.

It usually takes place during August and is a big occasion where the locals get together and celebrate, although visitors are always welcome in Corfu.

In addition to the fine cultural events, holiday makers on a Corfu holiday will enjoy taking time to relax in their private villa by the pool or by taking a walk in the beautiful countryside.

Anniversary of the Union on a Corfu holiday

The celebration marks the day when Corfu was joined with the Greek State and holiday makers on the island at the time can expect plenty of feasts and general revelling.

May 21st 1864 was the exact date that the Ionian Islands were joined with the rest of Greece and a huge banquet celebrates the important occasion that welcomes both holiday makers and locals alike.

Visitors to the island can also see the Monument of the Union, known locally as the Kapodistria, which can be found in the Spianada square.

Holiday makers can also enjoy long walks and lazy days beside the private villa pool.

Alternatively, a day on one of Corfu's many beaches is bound to tempt anyone looking for a relaxing and sunny break.

Corfu villa holidays get a taste of archaeology

According to What's On When, the museum includes a number of important discoveries related to the history of the island.

Originally built in the 1960s to house sculptures from the Temple of Artemis, the museum has been expanded since to incorporate more recent finds.

Constructed for Diana, the Greek goddess of hunting, nature and fertility, the Temple of Artemis now exists only in relics that can be viewed on Corfu villa holidays.

"I have seen the walls and Hanging Gardens of ancient Babylon, the statue of Olympian Zeus, the Colossus of Rhodes, the mighty work of the high Pyramids and the tomb of Mausolus. But when I saw the temple at Ephesus rising to the clouds, all these other wonders were put in the shade," the website quotes Philon of Byzantium as saying.

Located just off the west coast of Greece, Corfu is renowned for its mild climate and lush vegetation.

Summer sounds like Corfu holidays

Events guide What's On When profiles the Ionian Summer Music Academy, hosted in Corfu each July and featuring free indoor and outdoor concerts.

Held at the Town Hall Square, the Saint Spiridon Placado and the Municipal Theatre, the programme features a wide range of music from brass, wind and percussion to ancient Greek pieces and instrumental interpretations.

The outlook for 2008 is divided into five different themes, which holiday makers will be able to enjoy depending on when they take their Corfu villa break.

Woodwinds and percussions kicks off proceedings between July 1st and 10th, passing the baton to symphony music on July 12th, while an east meets west themes infuses the programme between the 15th and 20th of the month.

From here, tourists can enjoy a classical experience between July 22nd and 27th, rounding up with Ionian jazz concerns as the month draws to a close.

The events guide also recommends the Archaeological Museum of Corfu for people taking breaks on the island.

Explore "the forgotten" trail on a Corfu holiday

The Times has included the route - plotted in 2001 by expat Englishwoman Hilary Paipeti - on its list of the best treks in Europe.

Paipeti wanted to show people on Corfu holidays "the forgotten Corfu", so plotted an avenue encompassing 15 ancient tracks, giving them evocative titles such as Prospero's Way and the Kingfisher Trail.

"Jinking right along the spiky spine of the island, it escapes the fleshpot resorts and transports you into a sleepy hinterland of crumbling monasteries and secret hamlets," the news provider reveals.

This is the Corfu of British holiday tradition, popularised by resident author Gerald Durrell who based his My Family and Other Animals on the wild flower-adorned destination.

Meanwhile, Greek tourism development minister Aris Spiliotopoulos recently said on a visit to Corfu that eco-tourism would be a priority for the authority in the coming season, the Athens News Agency reported.

Anniversary of the Union on a Corfu holiday

The celebration marks the day when Corfu was joined with the Greek State and holiday makers on the island at the time can expect plenty of feasts and general revelling.

May 21st 1864 was the exact date that the Ionian Islands were joined with the rest of Greece and a huge banquet celebrates the important occasion that welcomes both holiday makers and locals alike.

Visitors to the island can also see the Monument of the Union, known locally as the Kapodistria, which can be found in the Spianada square.

Holiday makers can also enjoy long walks and lazy days beside the private villa pool.

Alternatively, a day on one of Corfu's many beaches is bound to tempt anyone looking for a relaxing and sunny break.

Experience the unspoilt Med on a Corfu holiday

The Independent notes that the island is the ideal antidote for travellers who want to experience a sun-baked break in peace and quiet.

Archaeology aficionados will not be disappointed - there is much to explore around the island, which has long been popular with holidaying Britons.

"But as the sun beat down day after day, we became less and less inclined to leave the clean, cool villa, content to watch life passing by below us from the pool and retreating to the shady balconies for sleepy lunches," the publication reveals.

Corfu villa holiday makers may wish to explore the White House, once inhabited by author Lawrence Durrell, whose book, My Family and Other Animals, was written on the island.

The Times last week observed that Corfu holidays are an accessible way to experience the Mediterranean's culture, history and climate.

Soak up history on a Corfu holiday

According to the Telegraph, those on a Corfu holiday will find a host of "quirky hidden treasures" such as a Venetian bell-tower and a small Greek Orthodox church in the town centre.

A plaque signifying the house where Edward Lear stayed for a time during the 1860s can also be found, as well as Achilleion Palace, which was built by the Austro-Hungarian queen, Elizabeth, in the 19th century.

The palace was later purchased by Kaiser Wilhelm II and now features beautiful furnishings and interesting paintings, the Telegraph states.

Corfu holiday makers could also take a rental car to the beaches on the west coast of the island, where Odysseus is thought to have been rescued by princess Nausicaa after being shipwrecked, according to Homer's account.

Other potential destinations for those visiting Corfu include Kassiopi, which the Independent recently recommended for those looking to sample the local cocktails.

Kassiopi 'a hidden Corfu holiday gem'

According to a Telegraph article on Corfu holidays, the north-eastern coastline of the island is both attractive and civilised.

"From Nissaki up to Kassiopi, hillsides covered in thick swathes of olive trees descend precipitously to dead-end, pebbly coves," the news organisation states.

Corfu holidays breaks are popular options for Brits heading to north-east Corfu, the publication points out.

Villas dot the area, wedged into the steep hills and acting as an ideal sanctuary for break-starved Brits, who may only emerge to taste the area's "excellent" food scene.

And Kassiopi is ideal for families with older children who want to sample the area's livelier side, with a tourist train arriving in the region this summer.

Meanwhile, 12-year-old Anna Magee recently told the Independent that Corfu's Aqualand park was a highlight of her recent Corfu holiday.

Corfu villa holidays 'cater to everyone'

Writing in the Independent, Cathy Packe observes that a Corfu holiday could be ideal for those hoping to avoid busy resorts this summer.

While no stranger to mass tourism, the island includes pockets of seclusion that are a dream come true for the more relaxed traveller, she recommends.

Beach bunnies should appreciate the 217 kilometres of coast, while the interior is also said to be attractive, with much of the terrain mountainous.

The island's north-east was recommended for tourists wanting to book Corfu villa holidays, with James Villas highlighted as one provider of "attractive" accommodation in the area.

One north-east based resort is Nissaki, which Corfu Today describes as small, fairly quiet and beautiful.

The publication recommends a Corfu villa break in Nissaki for families in particular, while couples might also appreciate its relaxed vibe.

Corfu holiday 'a good chance to get fit'

Tips for keeping the whole family invigorated and entertained on holiday have been offered by former tennis player Annabel Croft, in news that may be of interest to those booking a stay in a Corfu villa.

People look forward to spending time with their children on vacation but may find it difficult to keep young people entertained during a break, suggested Croft.

She said that "summertime is a fantastic time to try and get them fit and healthy and improve their sporting skills, with sports they are already involved in or maybe even new ones".

An active option for families on Corfu holidays is Aqualand, a waterpark with thrill slides to entertain young people and a conventional pool for more peaceful types.

Events guide What's On When observes that the park incorporates a number of dry entertainment options, with restaurants, picnic areas, shops and games arcades.

Experience "endless sunshine" on a Corfu holiday

Hilary Bradt, founder of Bradt Travel Guides, told the Guardian that Corfu holidays are ripe with natural discoveries and characterised by perfect weather.

Ms Bradt told the newspaper that her favourite travel book was My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell, partly because of the writer's splendid evocation of life on the intriguing, perennially popular island.

"What Durrell does so beautifully and amusingly is convey the enchantment of being a ten-year-old boy on Corfu, an island of endless sunshine and literally crawling with wildlife," she notes.

She was speaking as the book was reissued on the 50th anniversary of its initial publication.

Tourists hoping to explore the wild side of the island on their Corfu holiday may wish to consider a villa in Lake Korrison, which is home to a nature reserve lake where a number of rare bird species can be spotted by the eagle-eyed.

North-eastern Corfu villas 'ideal for motor boat hire'

Richard Green, travel expert with the Sunday Times, advised one reader that a north-eastern Corfu villa break could provide "the perfect spot" for motor boat hire.

"There are many secluded bays and beaches, pretty little harbours to drop anchor for lunch at and a good reputable boat hire company based at Kassiopi," Mr Green told Mary McGrory of Cheltenham, who plans to take her husband and two children to the island.

Kassiopi may appear to travellers looking for a combination of seclusion and vibrancy on their Corfu holiday, with a bustling harbour-side culture, a diverse range of bars and restaurants and some five pebbled beaches, with watersports opportunities galore.

Hilary Bradt, founder of Bradt Travel Guides, recently told the Guardian that her favourite travel book was the Corfu-inspired My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell.

Will Boris follow Ken to a Corfu villa?

The new mayor of London has hit out against the notion that politicians have a duty to stay in Britain for their summer break, claiming that his decision to go overseas has a precedent in Mr Livingstone's penchant for Corfu villa breaks.

In his column for the Telegraph, Mr Johnson offers readers a rundown of political holiday choices in an impassioned defence of the foreign vacation.

Tony Blair joined Mr Livingstone in an appreciation of sun, sea and sand, the Conservative pointed out.

"He was right to love the Mediterranean, because whatever the wonders of the British coast there will not be many UK beaches this summer where you can drink a bottle of wine in the sun and then go for an hour-long swim," Mr Johnson said of the former prime minister's holiday habits.

If the London mayor does decide to opt for a Corfu villa this summer, he may be interested in the resort of St Stefanos, which could be ideal for boat trips in the crystalline sea.

See the Museum of Asian Art on a Corfu holiday

In news that may interest people planning a Corfu holiday, a piece by Toshusai Sharaku from the Edo period has been found at the Museum of Asian Art in Corfu Town, reports ArtInfo.com.

Depicting known actors performing in a kabuki play, international experts have reportedly examined and authenticated the work and claim it will be important for re-evaluating the artist.

The Museum of Asian Art could provide a pleasant afternoon for people staying in Corfu villas - housed in a neo-classical building, the collections derive from Japan, China, India, Nepal and Thailand, among other nations.

Greece Museums Guide highlights the museum's Greek-Buddhistic sculpture collection as an attraction of particular interest.

A Corfu villa in Gouvia could be ideally placed for a day trip to Corfu town to take in the museum and the centre's other attractions.

Corfu holidays 'among the loveliest in Greece'

In news that may interest Brits considering a Corfu vila break, the Independent has described the Ionian destination as "one of Greece's loveliest islands".

With a fascinating past that still displays the scars of invasions by Romans, Venetians, Normans, French, Germans, Turks and the British, history buffs may find plenty of food for thought on Corfu.

According to the newspaper, there are three particularly pleasant areas of Corfu Town - the original Campiello quarter, the Jewish quarter and the Esplanade.

"Corfu also provides easy access to smaller, simpler islands," the publication adds, also observing the draw of the island's beaches.

In related news that may interest those considering a Corfu holiday, ArtInfo recently reported on the island's Museum of Asian Art after a piece by Toshusai Sharaku was discovered there.

Corfu holidays 'lush and green'

In news that may interest people planning Corfu holidayshttp://www.jamesvillas.co.uk/regions/Corfu/index.cfm, TripAdvisor has named the island one of the top ten in the Mediterranean, according to Reuters.

"Corfu features a lush green landscape and serene, white beaches," the travel website observes, recommending that visitors taking Corfu holidays head to one of its Venetian fortresses or merely doze beneath an olive tree, perhaps before sampling the buoyant nightlife on offer.

Michele Perry, a spokesperson for TripAdvisor, described the Mediterranean as great for tourists looking for destinations with their own unique character, adding that all the sea's islands share clean beaches and glorious sunshine.

In related news, the Independent recently described Corfu as one of the "loveliest islands" in Greece, with Corfu Town, the Jewish quarter and the Esplanade highlighted as among the island's most popular attractions.

Ochi Day celebrations in Corfu

Celebrated throughout Greece on October 28th, the day commemorates the country's rejection of an ultimatum made by Italian dictator Mussolini in 1940 which demanded that the Greeks allow Axis forces to occupy territory within the country.

According to About.com, villa holiday makers in Greece will be treated to a variety of celebrations to mark the holiday. All major cities offer a military parade, while coastal towns often have waterfront celebrations and naval parades.

In Corfu, villa holiday makers may wish to take in a celebratory procession in Corfu Town or attend a special service at a Greek Orthodox church.

People on Corfu villa holiday in October may also be interested in attending a festival to celebrate St Demetrios' Day. Held on October 26th, two festivals will take place at Ano Pavliana and at the Aghii Douli Monastery, according to greecetraveler.com.

Corfu the playground of the 'filthy rich and famous'

Victoria Mather of the Guardian has described Corfu as "the first-choice resort of the grand" who all visit a stretch of coast between Nissaki and Kassiopi.

Corfu has hit the headlines in the UK after it was reported that just weeks ago Peter Mandleson "dripped pure poison" over Gordon Brown's achievements at a taverna on the Greek island last month, according to the Telegraph.

Ms Mather claimed the Duchess of Cornwall, Lord Rothschild, Joanna Lumley and David Cameron are all famous guests of the area while Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska is said to frequently moor his super-yacht there.

Nissaki has a quaint horseshoe beach that is excellent for swimmers and suitable for bathing so it is perfect for couples, families and anyone seeking a small, quiet resort with beautiful scenery.

Be 'charmed' by Kassiopi

Zoe Dare Hall, writing for the Telegraph, claims that families are increasingly leaving Britain and finding a warmer, family-friendly lifestyle on the Greek island.

"The coastline from Kassiopi down to Nissaki is a very charming place and the perfect place to potter off in a boat," according to one resident.

Kassiopi offers something for everyone but the traditional harbour could mean that it is loved even more by boating enthusiasts.

The harbour offers entertainment throughout the day and well into the night with its range of bars and restaurants selling fresh seafood, traditional Greek dishes and meals with an international flavour.

At the resort there are five pebbly beaches to pick from, many of which offer boat trips, which allow you to snorkel, swim and picnic on virtually deserted beaches that have been untouched by tourism and the passing of time.

Corfu "finds room for all of us"

That is the opinion of one newspaper, which describes the island as an "unexpectedly egalitarian place".

The Telegraph's Justine Picardie refers to such illustrious visitors to the island as the Prince of Wales - whose father was born there - and British politicians as proof of the Greek island's allure.

However, a Corfu villa holiday is within the grasp of all, the newspaper says, claiming the island "finds room for all of us".

Ms Picardie has particular praise for San Stefanos, where boat hire and a range of popular restaurants and tavernas await.

Food on the island is bursting with local flavour, with dishes rich with locally sourced ingredients such as olives, tomatoes and fresh fish.

Corfu is also a must-visit for those enthralled by ancient history, with Roman ruins waiting to be explored in the countryside.

Try Marina Gouvia for a nautical Corfu villa holiday

Only 15 minutes from the airport, it is a base for charter yachts and offers a wide range of amenities for tourists on such breaks, including supermarkets and car rental services.

In addition, there is a sports centre and swimming pool for the more sporty members of the family, SailGreece Yachting points out.

"The environment in the marina is nice and the buildings are compatible to the traditional architecture of Corfu," it adds.

Marina Gouvia has a narrow beach, as well as a number of quiet hillside spots for picnics and short hikes, which could be ideal for people taking their families on Corfu villa holidays.

However, it also offers holiday makers a lively nightlife, with a selection of bars and restaurants available for those who would like to experience the renowned Greek hospitality.

Cool down on a Corfu holiday in Kouloura

Kouloura is not a resort but a working fishing village that has been virtually untouched by tourism and the sands of time.

On the other side of the bay is a small beach that could delight travellers who always take their snorkel with them on their villa holiday.

The powerful Agnelli family have a holiday home there but even in Corfu's busier summer periods, the area remains a serene beauty.

Those who elect to rent a villa in Kalami will find themselves nestled between the bay of Agni and Kouloura, while the area itself has a choice of bars and tavernas for evening entertainment and many properties have views out across the Ionian Sea.
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Corfu holiday makers could have an "unforgettable experience"

Corfu Today reveals that anyone looking for a great time with non-stop fun and adventure mixed with relaxation and refreshment should head to the adventure park.

The site says that it is "one of the most amazing and adventurous water parks in Europe" with plenty on offer for everyone to "have an unforgettable experience".

Younger children have their own shallow pool with a slippery octopus and shower mushroom, those who are young at heart can try out the giant slides, Black Hole, Kamikaze and Crazy River - while the less adventurous can take on the challenge of the Lazy River and the Jacuzzi.

Away from the water are free sunbeds and umbrellas, a restaurant, mini-market and fast photo-print shop.

Anyone who rents a villa in Nissaki will find the water park a short trip across the island with the villa is nestled in the mountain tops and offers wonderful views of the ocean.

Holiday makers will find that Nissaki boasts a pretty horseshoe-shaped beach that is perfect for some more aquatic fun and relaxation.
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Marvel at Myrtiotissa Beach on a Corfu villa holiday

One of the best things about the beach is its remote location and holiday makers may love the idea of leaving their rental car behind and trekking the last stretch of the trip to the crystal clear waters.

"The crispness of the sea water and the spectacular scenery are hard to describe," according to GreekLandscapes.com.

Found nestling among "spectacular high cliffs" the beach is home to several large boulders that decorate the shallow waters and add an air of other worldliness.

The best villas in Corfu are found in the north-east of the island, many of which are blessed with authentic, regional settings to help create a relaxing holiday that makes guests feel like they really are getting away from it all.
Find your perfect hotel with www.medestino.com online hotel reservation service.

Enjoy a "smashing" Easter on a Corfu holiday

The Greek island celebrates Easter Saturday by either throwing vases, plates or other similar smashable items out the window and onto the streets.

According to Whatsonwhen, at 11am on Easter Saturday vast swathes of the Corfu population wait with baited breath for the morning service to end and when the church bells ring it is a "signal for every man, woman and child to hurl earthenware vessels from their windows on to the streets".

The site suggests the custom is taken from the Venetians who used to throw their old breakables out of the window on New Year's Day, in preparation for new ones in the new year, a practice which has now been adopted by Corfu at Easter.

Most of the villas in Corfu can be found in the north-east of the island, with Nissaki offering great bathing facilities in its horseshoe-shaped beach.
Find your perfect hotel with www.medestino.com online hotel reservation service.

Chamber music festival, Corfu


Corfu is welcoming late summer visitors to its annual Chamber music festival, now in its 17th Year.

The 'divertimenti' are the brainchild of the island's former mayor, who was inspired to bring the event to Corfu at a visit to a chamber music festival in Tuscany. The fortnightly event is to commence on September 25th.

The various concerts host many international acts, as well as providing a platform for talented local artists. This year's festival will see performances from two very highly regarded quartets from Prague: the Kocian Quartet and the Herold Quartet.

One of the principal attractions of the festival, for performers and spectators alike, is its imaginative use of the beautiful Corfiot surroundings: concerts are not only held in Corfu's Venetian-built opera house, but take place in private villas and secluded gardens. Previous concerts have been held at Corfu's 16th century Fortress, and even by the beach!

The relaxed, informal atmosphere of the event has also been remarked on by previous visitors.

The island is drenched in history - Corfiot public art and architecture reflects not just its ancient history, but also its Venetian, Napoleonic and British occupations in more recent centuries.
Few music events can have a more pleasant setting.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Greece festivities

Greece is a country full of surprises and wonders. Amongst mountains and myths, sun and sea, festivals and fire-walking, the ever friendly people of this beautiful country go about their daily business safe in the knowledge that they are the envy of many a visitor. It is impossible not to be stirred by the myths and monuments, the processions, the festivals - and of course the locally produced food and wine.

The national flag is a reflection on the soul of a country that found itself a new spirit after its liberation from the Ottoman empire. The importance of the Orthodox Church in the struggle for freedom is recognized by the white cross in the upper left corner of the flag. The nine blue and white stripes represent the number of letters in the Greek word for freedom, eleftheria, as well as symbolizing the unrelenting tides and the white-crested waves of the Aegean Sea.

Choosing a time of year to go is not easy. There are so many things to do, see and experience that whenever you go you are sure to be stunned by what Greece offers - and will yearn to stay that bit longer to see what is round the next corner.

Summer is the most popular time to visit, and it can be difficult to find accommodation until late August. However, the cloudless skies and variety of cultural festivals lure people from far and wide.

Fall is more tranquil, with fewer tourists but still all of the facilities open. The sea is at its warmest for swimming, and the wild flowers come into bloom for the second time in the year.
Winter signals the start of the skiing season, with snow capped mountains seemingly a million miles away from the sun parched peaks found in summer. Rain comes to lower lying areas, although not too much to spoil the experience.

Spring is one of the most beautiful seasons, a time when flowers bloom and fruits start to ripen. The fishing season begins, heralding the glorious catches of fresh fish and calamari, squid, hung out to dry on the verandahs of idyllic seaside tavernas. Of course, religion plays an important part in Greek culture, and more so in Easter, when the holiday festivities grab the attention of the entire country.


JANUARY

Greeks welcome in the New Year by celebrating the Feast of Agios Vasíleios (Saint Basil). People exchange gifts, hailing each other with the traditional New Years greeting of Kali Chronia. On this day, known as Protochroniá, the old Byzantine custom of slicing the Vassilopita (Basil cake or New Year cake) is performed in homes across the country. The cake contains a gold or silver coin and promises a year of good luck to its finder.

Another national holiday follows shortly afterwards, with Theofánia (Epiphany) falling on January 6. Traditionally, the kalikántzari, hobgoblins, who ran amok during the twelve days of Christmas are banished to the underworld by religious rites. In one of these ceremonies, priests perform the Blessing of the Waters, throwing crucifixes into the rivers and seas, which are retrieved by youthful divers plunging into the depths - Pireaus being one of the most spectacular places to see the event.

Gynaikokratía (8 Jan), mainly celebrated in Macedonia and Thrace, sees men and women change roles for the day. Women take over the bars and cafes and the men stay at home to do the housework - all in honor of female dominion, or matriarchy.

FEBRUARY

Ypapantí, or Candlemas, (2 Feb) is an Orthodox feast day in the calm before the storm of mid February, when carnival season gets underway.



MARCH

Apókries, Carnival, is roughly equivalent to a combination of Halloween and Mardi Gras. Seven weeks before Easter, Katharí Deftéra (Clean Monday) marks the start of three weeks of frantic festivities, rooted in pagan customs but combined with more modern Christian preparations for Lent. Masses of people head out into the countryside to fly paper kites. During the period people participate in Carnival parades and the donning of fancy dress costumes to bring good luck to their village or town. Other spectacles include majorettes, concerts and dances, with the streets and squares filled with partygoers.

Independence Day is a national holiday marked by parades and dances throughout Greece. On March 25th, 1821, Bishop Germanos of Patras raised the banner of revolution against nearly 400 years of Ottoman rule over Greece. He chose this date to coincide with one of the holiest days in the Orthodox calendar, Evangelismós (deriving from the Greek for ‘good news’), commemorating the day that the Archangel Gabriel announced to the Virgin Mary that she would bear the divine child.


APRIL

Megáli Evdomáda (Holy Week), including Páscha (Easter Sunday), can fall in either April or May. It is perhaps the most widely celebrated of all the events in Greece and possibly the most beautiful and exciting time to visit. Processions, blessings, bonfires, parties and feasts, are a small selection of the events that take place nationwide, and are all helped along by lashings of local wine. Easter this year falls on May 1st, and next year on April 23rd.
The Feast of Agios Geórgios, St George (23 Apr), the patron saint of shepherds, traditionally heralds the start of the grazing season, and in Arahova, near Delphi, festivities continue for three days non-stop.

MAY

May Day, Protomagiá (1 May), is a national holiday famous for the exodus of many families to the countryside, picking wild flowers and making wreaths with garlic, hung above doors, off balconies, on fishing boats and in many other places, with the intention of warding off evil and ushering in the spring season.

In Macedonia, fire-walking ceremonies (Anastenaria) are popular, held in honor of Agios Konstantínos and Agía Eléni (21 May). People walk and dance across burning charcoal embers clasping icons of Constantine and his mother Helen, the first Orthodox Byzantine rulers.
The unification of the Ionian Islands with the rest of Greece is also celebrated, mainly in Corfu. Análipsi, Ascension, usually falls in late May, 40 days after Easter, and is considered such a great holiday that "even the swallows do not build their nests" on that day.


JUNE

Pentikostí, Pentecost or Whitsunday, is another feast day, held seven weeks after Easter. Also starting in June is the Athens Festival, where both international and Greek artists have come together to perform every summer since 1955. The ancient Herod Atticus Odeon, an open air theater found nestling beneath the Acropolis, plays home to modern and classical dramas, dances, orchestral symphonies, opera, ballet and even jazz. The festival, which lasts until mid September, is a multi-venue event, encompassing the Lykavittós Theater, with its spectacular panoramic views of the city. 100 miles away, in the Peleponnese, the Epidaurus Festival complements the Athens Festival, with more open air theater performances.
Agios Ioánnis, St John’s Day (24 Jun) is a nationwide celebration of the birth of St John the Baptist. The night before, Midsummer’s Eve, sees bonfires being lit, people jumping through the flames, and the wreaths so loving gathered in May consigned to the flames.

JULY

Profitis Ilías, the Prophet Elijah (20 Jul) is celebrated widely at mountain-top shrines and in churches and monasteries.

The Epirus Festival is a showpiece for authors, paintings, popular art, theater, dance and concerts. It runs from July until August. Many villages take part in the festival of Agía Paraskeví (26 Jul) but more so in Epirus.

Agios Panteleímon is revered for being the patron saint of hospitals. He was a doctor who became beatified, and is held in high regard in rural areas, with special celebrations held in his name in the village of Anaxos on the island of Lesvos.


AUGUST

Metamórfosi, the Transfiguration of Christ the Savior (6 Aug) is another important feast day for the Orthodox Church, shortly followed by Koímisis tis Theotókou, Assumption of the Virgin Mary (15 Aug), the second biggest religious holiday after Easter. Pilgrims flock to the island of Tinos, crawling on hands and knees up to the church to pay homage to the holy icon inside. It is customary for Greeks to return to their home towns and villages to spend time with their families. Lesvos is the main focus of activities, with a wide variety of cultural events taking place in Agiasso, Petra and Stipsi.

SEPTEMBER

Génnisis tis Theotókou, the birth of the Virgin Mary (8 Sep) is one of two important feast days in September, the other being Ypsosis tou Timíou Stavroú, the Exaltation of the True Cross (14 Sep) which is thought of as the last of the major outdoor summer festivals despite taking place in Fall.

OCTOBER

Many Greeks celebrate Agios Dimítrios (26 Oct), particularly in Thessaloníki where Dimitris is the patron saint, which signals the end of grazing season.



Ochi Day (28 Oct) translates as "No Day," the response Mussolini received from General Metaxas when requesting free passage to occupy Greece at the height of World War Two. Military processions, wreath laying at war memorials, patriotic displays and festivities commemorate the day that the Greeks started to repel the Fascist forces back through Albania.

NOVEMBER

Ceremonies take place on 8 Nov in the many rural monasteries and churches named after the Archangels Michael and Gabriel.

Eisódia tis Theotókou, the Entry of the Virgin Mary in the Temple (21 Nov) is celebrated around Greece, as it is an important Orthodox feast day.

DECEMBER

Agios Nikólaos, Saint Nicholas (6 Dec), the patron saint of sailors, travelers and children, sees numerous processions heading down to the sea and the many chapels named after him.
Christoúgenna, Christmas (25 Dec) is an important national holiday and feast day, as is Synaxis tis Panagías, ‘The Gathering Around the Holy Family’ (26 Dec). Although Western influences such as Christmas trees, decorations and presents are strong, Christmas is not considered to be as important as Easter, the most sacred time of year.

NAME DAYS

It is usual in Greece to celebrate giortí, name days, and not birthdays. The eldest son is usually named after his paternal grandfather, and the eldest daughter named after her paternal grandmother. There are still very few exceptions to the rule. Also, in many areas the tendency is for large numbers of the populace to bear the name of the local patron saint, and name days can turn into quite important parties - with feasts laid on for family and friends, and small gifts given to the person whose name day it is.

Corfu Carnival

With its roots in Ancient Greece and an atmosphere redolent of Venice, the Corfu Carnival is arrayed in an old and illustrious wardrobe of clothes from Corfiot history and culture, from Barbarossa and Tartufo to Don Bazilio and Katona, as well as from contemporary citizens who have lent prestige to the island. Personalities and events from current affairs as well as the past are satirized with unrestrained humor, and the masked participants show no mercy towards their victims. If your first impression of the island at this time is unexpected and somewhat unusual, whether in tavernas, bars, alleyways or villages, you will soon realize that it is due to the lunacy of the season and the extravagance of the Ionian celebrations. Carnival developed from the ancient Greek festivals, from rites in honor of Dionysios, God of Wine, which took place at the start of Spring in order to procure a good harvest and successful breeding among the animal stock. With the passage of time, the Carnival celebrations were broadened , and here in Corfu were enhanced by Venetian influences, such as the traditional figures disguised as 'doctors' or 'notaries', the use of masks and soot to blacken the face.



The inspiration, the work and in general all the preparations for the floats which each team displays begin a year in advance at gatherings in tavernas and private houses. Here the craziest ideas are put forward, and the one that is chosen is kept completely secret until the moment of its first appearance on the streets of the town.

Celebrations begin on the first Sunday of Carnival, Asotos Sunday (Septuagesima), with a trial run of the Carnival procession through the town to check the floats, to start off the fun and to get everyone into the right mood.

Corfu Carnival Customes

Tsiknopempti (the last Thursday of Carnival)

As in the rest of Greece, Tsiknopempti is the day, or rather the night, when everyone is obliged to eat meat because the forty days of Lent and fasting follow, leading up to Easter. Thus groups of people meet up in tavernas and homes to celebrate, with, of course, the inevitable accompaniment of wine and guitars.

The Corfiot Petegoletsia (the Gossip) is re-enacted every year in the Old Town center and is a very old tradition of street theatre in which, from windows overlooking the alleyways, the women exchange scurrilous gossip about what is going locally, in authentic local dialect. The performance finishes with traditional singing and musicians.

The Carnival Procession

The climax of the celebrations is the impressive procession of King Carnival on the third and final Sunday. King Carnival is 'he who takes on the burden of sins' of the authorities, responsible for whatever bad things have happened during the previous year. He is brought to trial and sentenced to death by fire, so that all evil is burnt with him. Thus the procession concludes with a bonfire in which King Carnival is cremated, then his will is read and a great party with music and dancing follows.



The Dance of the Priests

In the village of Episkepsis, on Tyrofagos (Cheese-eating) Sunday, in Agios Vassilis Square, a unique tradition takes place. The village priest leads off the dance called 'Doxa na.." and all the men of the village follow, each according to his age and his rank in the village. It is danced without instrumental music, the priest who leads chants the first verse and the rest of the dancers repeat them. At the end of the dance old women with musical instruments begin playing and then break into the traditional circular dance of Corfu. This custom can be found in other villages of the Oros region, but nowhere else in Greece. Charles Klimis, in his book 'Customs of the People of Corfu', considers the dance of the old women to be a relic of bacchanal rites dating back to around 500 BC.


The Holy Wedding

In Klimatia, Chlomos, Marathias, Kritika, Giannades and certain other villages, the tradition of the 'Holy Wedding' still continues. The 'Carnival Wedding', as it was called until 1960, used to be performed in the majority of Corfu's villages, but it slowly died out in most places, remaining only as a memory. But fortunately, in other places, the custom has been preserved. It takes place on 'Cheese-eating Sunday' (Tyrofagos or Tyrini), the last before Lent, and starts in the morning when the men of the village gather in one of the houses and dress the bridegroom. Meanwhile, in another neighborhood, the women are dressing the 'bride'. The fact that the bride is actually a man, and moreover, moustachioed, probably owes itself to the rules of the patriarchal society, which forbade women to play an active part in the community activities. A demon in the form of a satyr also takes part in the marriage rites, doing its best to spoil the wedding. Throughout the whole ceremony the villagers shout obscenities without a break, teasing each other constantly.



The Venice Carnival

The Venice Carnival is the largest and most important Venetian festival, an appreciated cocktail of tradition, entertainment, history and transgression in a unique city, a festival that attracts thousands of people from around the world each year. The Carnival has very old origins. It is a festival that celebrates the passage from winter into spring, a time when seemingly anything is possible, including the illusion where the most humble of classes become the most powerful by wearing masks on their faces. The official start of the Venice Carnival dates back to 1296, when the Senate of the Republic made the Carnival official with an edict declaring the day before Lent a public holiday. After an interruption lasting almost two centuries, the tradition of Carnival was rediscovered by the Municipality in 1980 and since then it has taken place every year with success.

The 2009 edition, which will go on from February 13 to 24, will be called "Sensation, 6

senses for 6 districts" and will accompany visitors in the discovery of city's charming atmospheres, passing through the districts with a constant appeal to the senses, an invitation to immerse yourself fully into the emotional experience that only the Venice Carnival can give.


It is truly a celebration of Carnival in the dark, where the first sense that comes into play is "touch", kicking off the festivities on Saturday, February 14 in the Castello district. A sensory journey based on a show that will bring you plenty of surprises.


A program rich with opportunities and fun for all ages, from the Contest for the best mask for children in St. Mark's Square, to the musical programs provided by ALL MUSIC in Santa Margherita and the Medieval and seventh-century music Concerts in Campo San B

arnaba, to the reenactment of historical parades at St. Mark.


The sense of "taste"

will be the focus of the food events in the Cannaregio district, with presentations dedicated to the theme along the streets and the fondamenta (pier).


In the Santa Croce district you can attend performances at the street theater, dedicated to experiments with the sense of smell.


"Sight" will find its place in the San Polo district, with the installation of mask labs and performances by artists who will include children in their games in Campo San Polo. For young people the evening atmosphere will be enlivened with music in the Campo bella Vienna, a few steps from the Rialto Bridge.


Still on the subject of the

senses, the Ibernisti swimmers are not to be missed, on the beach of Lido Island. The Carnivals outside of Venice are also fascinating, in cities on land such as Mestre, Treviso or along the Brenta Riviera, where you can watch beautiful parades of allegorical floats, usually on the last weekend of Carnival. An event that adapts to the changes of time and renews itself, always keeping intact the first sense that has made the Venice Carnival unique to the world since the beginning: curiosity. The urge to get involved, to shed the mask of everyday life, and an invitation to participate with our own senses and creativity to be, just once, equal in all of our diversity.

Medestino Hotels: Welcome to a hotel chain which stands out from the others...

Medestino Hotels unites independent hotels which are big for their consistency, their quality and their authenticity.


Medestino Hotels is the largest and most established South Eastern Europe based global group for individual and independent hotels as well as regional hotel brands. The company's strong emphasis is on quality consistent properties with character and distinction. Medestino Hotels brand features well cared for, family-owned and well-managed hotels at a moderate price. In other words Medestino Hotels brand stays for natural cordiality, a cosy atmosphere and a personalized service. In our hotels, you will be welcomed as a guest while leaving us as a friend !

Medestino Hotels
offers business and leisure travellers a wide choice of some of the best quality and value individual accommodation options in all South Eastrn Europe destinations worldwide in three distinct Collections – Deluxe, First Class, and Comfort.

To its member hotels, Medestino Hotels provides a wide range of sales, marketing, distribution technology and related services and enables hotels to be part of a globally recognised brand.




The primary target groups are Business and Leisure Travellers, Conferences and Incentive Organisers, Corporate Travel Managers, Travel Agents and Independent individual hotels and regional hotel brands

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Romantic getaways for Valentines Day with medestino.com

As Valentines Day approaches the choice of romantic getaways continues to increase. With a hotel to suit every taste and budget, you’ll be spoil for choice when picking somewhere for yourself or for your loved one! And as love is in the air these hotels all have excellent deals for Valentine’s stays! You can be certain that with Medestino.com you’ll find great hotels, up to date availability and rates, along with a fantastic customer service program.


If the thought of staying in the world’s first underwater spa seems like a romantic option, then Huvafen Fushi in the Maldives will appeal. Watching tropical fish swim by may make a relaxing massage even more soothing. Other activities on offer include scuba diving, big game fishing and sailing, plus all the usual spa treatments.

Accommodation at Huvafen Fushi is in chic bungalows on a private lagoon with your own butler at your beck and call 24/7. The spa can be reached by seaplane or speedboat from the capital Malé.

Dubai may be famous for its shopping, beaches and fabulous 5 star hotels, but if you fancy a different taste of this exciting destination the Al Maha tented villa resort set in a nature reserve less than an hour from Dubai could be for you.


This romantic and surprisingly luxurious resort has been inspired by traditional Bedouin camps and offers suites with private pools and delicious Middle Eastern food served either al fresco on a private deck or in the glamorous Al Diwaan restaurant.
Staying at Al Maha can easily be twinned with a city break in Dubai.

For a romantic break closer to home but still with a distinctly exotic flavour, Morocco should fit the bill. Dar Ahlem, meaning ‘House of Dreams’, is a beautifully renovated 19th century Moroccan Kasbah set in landscaped gardens, furnished with antiques and decorated in silk. The Kasbah provides the perfect backdrop for a romantic holiday on the edge of the Southern Moroccan desert at Skoura.

Romantic activities on offer include desert star gazing trips by 4WD, champagne picnics in the Valley of the Roses, and massage tents. A city break in Marrakech can also be arranged to complement this holiday.

Friday, 23 January 2009

Welcome to Medestino Travel Blog

Medestino is not just a travel blog, it is a meeting place. It’s a place for you to express yourself, tell others about your travel stories, travel experiences, talk about the destinations you love to travel, share your adventures, get meaningful travel advice, and take inspiration from the beautiful and remarkable things others like you have discovered all across the globe.

We started Medestino travel blog because we love to travel. When we travel, we are constantly amazed and inspired by the people we meet, the cultures we're exposed to, and the adventures we have. We want to share our discoveries with you and allow you to share yours with us. The result will be a community of travelers, adventurers, and vacationers connected by their thirst for the unknown.

Taverl is a vehicle for uniting individual voices, minds and ideas. As travelers, we are, in a sense, freelance ambassadors; not only do we return with stories of other cultures and ways of life, but we also share our own culture and ways of life with the people we meet along the way. We at Medestino believe this exchange is essential to bringing about positive development in our rapidly changing world.

It’s sometimes easy to forget how vast the world is and how many interesting people are out there doing amazing things. Getting caught up in the day-to-day routine can make the world feel small and uninteresting. We want to inspire you, give you the opportunity to share your story, meet people who love the things that you love and give you the tools to plan new adventures.

So go get started! Discover over and over again how lucky you are to be on this planet and how much there is to explore. Whether you're taking a year off, or just those precious two weeks…the world is at your fingertips. Think of Medestino as a global watering hole for creativity, culture, and adventures big and small. In the end, Medestino will be what you make it.

Optimism without ignorance, confidence without arrogance, engagement without aggression – Medestino offers a truly authentic connection to the world around you. We urge you find your destination here with us. We urge you to meet your destiny. Welcome to Medestino travel blog.

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