Author: Aurelia

Skites: An Exotic Guest House

Other countries may offer you discoveries  in manners or lore or landscape; Greece offers you…the discovery of yourself. ~ Lawrence Durrell, author Very near Greece’s Mt. Athos, perhaps the most famous monastic community in the world where no woman is allowed to tread, I had lunch in a remote and secluded sanctuary that would have earned the approval of the monks themselves.  In fact, at one point during the afternoon, I could imagine them chanting there. The hideaway is Skites, a guesthouse situated 650 meters next to the border of the monastic community of Mount Athos and 38 kilometers...

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The Quarantine of Delos

“And I live here…fishing with my son, around the small Delos and the Great Delos.” ~Captain Panagiotis D. Faroupos As soon as Panagiotis D. Faroupos, the captain, and his splendid ship, The Quarantine of Delos, come into my view, I know that the gods have smiled upon me. What I do not know is that I am about to embark on an adventure that few people ever dreamed of and that it will be one of the most enchanting experiences of my many odysseys in Greece.  The Quarantine of Delos. What a beauty. What a seductress. Only two of...

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Magic Moments at Anthemus

“Suddenly, at my bed side was golden sandaled Dawn.” ~ Sappho, Lyric Poet (630-612 to 570 BCE) Some say it can take just one “magic moment” to define an experience that will last a lifetime. Such a moment was mine at the Anthemus Sea Beach Resort in Halkidiki, Northern Greece. Let us set the scene. I had not a room, but a suite, complete with a whirlpool, walk-in shower, large living/dining room and my very own private swimming pool near the patio, reached through a glass door extending from floor to ceiling. And through this glass door, each morning,...

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The Waterfront: The Ultimate Orange County Experience

As a travel writer who loves the salt of the sea, the warmth of the afternoon sun and the drama when the orange orb sets in the evening, my taste tends to be for Mediterranean destinations. Imagine my delight this winter when I did not have to cross the seas to satisfy my longings for a touch of European ambiance.  I found the perfect atmosphere and unparalleled service at the Waterfront Beach Hilton Hotel, Huntington Beach, California. Long a favorite of locals, Huntington Beach is a superb choice as a travel destination, no matter what time of the year,...

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Aphrodite’s Hideaway

Of all the unique architectural features that distinguish St. John Mykonos Hotel, the stunning five-star luxury resort on Mykonos, none is more iconic than the graceful, chalk-white bridge that begins at poolside and takes you into the Aegean Sea. Through the morning mist, I could see the figure of a slim young woman in white standing on the crescent-shaped overpass. Like Aphrodite, she seemed to be rising from the foam of the sea. She was framed against the rosy-fingered dawn, rising in slender waves of orange and purple ribbons, tossed across the sky.Thus was the serene view that greeted me on my first morning in my commodious suite at St. John, the relatively young resort hotel that is the jewel in the crown of luxury accommodation on Mykonos, the most cosmopolitan of the Cycladic islands in Greece. Its location, accommodations, spa, cuisine and services are the best the island has to offer. Surely, the gods have smiled upon me, I thought. Mykonos is my favorite of all the islands and here I was on a hillside where the land cascades into the sea. The location provides a panoramic view of both Agios Ioannis and the Aegean; it is flawless. The hotel’s beach was chosen as the setting for the cult classic movie, Shirley Valentine, one of the most endearing films about Greece. It is the story of a bored...

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Greece’s Best Medical Spa

A wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings…Hippocrates (c.460 – 400 BC) In ancient times Edipsos was known aptly as Loutropolis (Spring City), and Greek philosophers such as Aristotle, Strabo, Plutarch and Hippocrates wrote in praise of its thermal healing waters. Located in Central Greece on the island of Evia, it is just 150 kilometers north of Athens. Although Heraclitus, another philosopher of note, famously declared, “you cannot step into the same water twice,” the springs have endured through the centuries and the water still heals. It is an amazing, centuries-old phenomenon. The jewel in...

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Crete’s Culinary Sanctuaries

Crete’s Culinary Sanctuaries: A Life-Changing Experience A delectable way to discover Crete and its distinctive cuisine is by participating in one of the finest programs offered for food-culture enthusiasts and students alike: Crete’s Culinary Sanctuaries (CCS). CCS offers a variety of annual seminars on Cretan cuisine and culture, conducted in Crete’s rural communities, at historic sites, and on organic farms in mountain regions not usually visited by tourists. These seminars are unique not only on Crete, but in the international culinary scene because of their intensity of purpose.   CCS was founded in 1997 by Nikki Rose, a Greek American...

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