Thursday, December 27, 2012

Constallation of Greek islands or sailing vacation - Day 3

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Day 3, June 23 2013 - Sunday.

See  Day 2 of our trip here

Arrival to Santorini. After breakfast we will take a tour of Fira. Lunch.

Foreigners hear about
Santorini  long before they arrive to Greece. Its major landmark is a former volcano or whatever left of it after the explosion in 1450 BC.
Santorini is the name of a
group of 5 Cyclades islands. The largest island is called Thira (or Fira). Like a hand with outstretched fingers it covers a deep blue lagoon from the east.  From northwest of it you can find Tiraseya island, south of which is white very tiny Aspronisi. Quiet and welcoming turquoise lagoon is a dangerous crater of an active volcano.

Islanders consider this volcano their patron. At times though this volcano kills a lot of inhabitants of Santorini. The last eruption was in 1951 when it caused a major earthquake and  17 meters
tsunami. Despite the fact that 50 people were killed residents did not leave the island. Sometimes the volcano saves people of Santorini. According to one story, in 1941, during the World War II, when Admiral Canaris led their submarines to Santorini, the volcano woke up and poured the German submarines with lava. The last catastrophic eruption on Santorini was 3.5 thousand years ago when according to historians the famous Atlantis was destroyed!

Fira, the main town of Fira island, is an architectural symbol of Santorini. You can get to Fira by three ways: walking 587 steps uphill, taking the cable car or riding donkeys.
You will enjoy the view of white houses, the church of Agios Minas, narrow streets, restaurants with terraces and souvenir shops on the background of the vast blue sky and turquoise sea. Looking at these beauties you know why Santorini became a popular tourist destination.

Taste famous Santorini's red wine "Byzantium" or white wine "Nikteri"Well, for those who want something stronger, there is a grape vodka hemlock (not to be confused with ouzo), though do not forget that the ship leaves soon!Afternoon - free time . Dinner on board. 

Sail to Antiparos (about 5 hours).

To be continued ...

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Constellation of Greek islands or sailing vacation - Day 2

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Day 2,  June 22 2013 - Saturday

See what we will do on Day 1 of this trip in our previous blog post here  

Volcanic Milos is the most spectacular of the Cyclades islands, with mysterious rocks that resemble lunar landscapes, hot springs, white villages, vineyards and fields. In the Middle Ages it housed the largest pirate base. The goddess of beauty Venus who decorates walls of Louvre had been created here.


In Milos (area 151 sq km., 5.000 inhabitants) archaeologists discovered an unusual settlement of 2300 BC, the prosperity of which was associated with deposits of limestone. It is believed that now the largest city on the island, Plaka, stands on the site of the ancient acropolis that Dorians built between 1100 and 800 years BC. In the IV century BC it was colonized by the Athenians. Later the Romans came, then the Byzantines and the pirates.  Venetian dynasty Krispy ruled the island until 1580, when the Turks captured Milos. 

Milo's inner bay is the best harbor of the Mediterranean! After breakfast we will walk through the "lunar landscape" Sarakiniko created by a powerful underwater volcano 2.5 - 3 million years ago. 

We will explore the catacombs of the early Christians. This monument is unique because you cannot find anything like this in Greece. Carved into the soft rock, 1,500 tombs connected network of corridors with a total length of 185 meters. According to archaeologists, there are remains of at least 8,000 people. 

We will take hot thermal baths in the municipal baths and will visit the luxurious beach Langada. In Plaka you will have some free time.
In the afternoon you will return to the ship. Lunch will be on the ship and we will sail to the island of Folegandros (about 1.5 hours).  

Folegandros is the smallest island of the Cyclades. A long time ago people ran here, people were in exile here, and now people come here for peace and relaxation. Photographers and filmmakers love the island for bare rocks, terraced fields and the stunning capital of Chora. The glory of the island was created by wilderness and nice beaches.

In the second half of the day we will arrive to the island of Folegandros (32 sq. km., 650 inhabitants), which got its name from the Phoenicians.  When they came here  they called it "rocky." But do not think that besides of the rocky plateau, there's nothing there. The island is covered with a variety of native vegetation, shrubs and grass, which are dominated by cumin.

The island's capital, Chora, is 300 meters above the sea. It is  is divided into two parts: the Castro and "village" (chorus). Castro is dominated by XIII century Venetian fortress, built by the Duke of Naxos Marco Sanudo.  In the area of ​​Howrah life goes around small squares with the artisan, traditional tavernas and bars, souvenir shops. You will visit the Church of the Assumption and learn about the history of the miraculous icon in a silver frame, rescued from pirates. When walking around the island you will find why one of the walls of the temple is built of stones of an ancient temple dedicated to the goddess of hunting Artemis. 


In Folegandros you will see magnificent sunset! At night you can sit on the terrace of the restaurant with a glass of wine and admire the breathtaking sunset! You will enjoy seeing  fantastic picture of sun disk immersing into a silver sea! And then there will be another miracle, the dark dense Mediterranean night with myriads of stars twinkling in the velvet sky. So it would seem that you will be able to reach nearby constellations! Dinner. Return to the ship. Then  we will continue sailing to the island of Santorini (about 4 hours).

To be continued ...

Friday, December 21, 2012

Constellation of Greek islands or sailing vacation - Day 1

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This is vacation of your dreams!

In summer 2013 Family Travel Concierge offers great tour around Greek islands. 
Please note, the number of seats is limited! On this tour in 2013, we sell only 12 seats (6 double cabins). 

Greece has everything!
In Greece everyone will find what he or she is looking for. Are you a fan of ancient history and myths? Are you a connoisseur of art and architecture? Are you gourmet and a person who like exotic things? Are you a person who likes sea travel and beaches, diving and fishing? Then quickly come with us to Greece! 
It is impossible not to fall in love with Greece. Greece is so beautiful! Its mountains and valleys, villages and towns, coast and islands are bathed in the glow of the Aegean Sea. Flowering tangerine and lemon trees, meadows, shady olive groves, fragrance of thyme ... it is how you will remember this amazing country.  There is a reason why gods from Mt. Olympus chose this land!

Constellation of Greek islands or sailing vacation.

Aegina, Paros, Milos, Delos, Syros, Santorini, Mykonos, Kay, as well as ancient monuments of Athens, ancient Corinth, Mycenae and Epidavros 

Day 1, June 6 2013 - Friday

Arrival in Athens. Group Meeting between 09.00 and 12.00. Transfer to the port at 12.00. Accommodation on board of our ship from 13.30. Lunch in the port. 

Athens is the capital of the country. Athens is an ancient city in the world. Athens is the birthplace of democracy. Athens is the center of civilization.

An ancient legend says that the god of the sea Poseidon and the goddess of wisdom Athena wanted to get the land of Attica. The gods promised to give it to someone who would make  the most useful gift to the people. Poseidon struck his trident and stream of water came from Acropolis. Athena waved and there was an olive tree, which she gave to the people ... Athena won. In honor of the winner Greek capital was called Athens.

Athens lies on the bottom of the valley surrounded by three mountains Lekanopedio (literally "bowl-valley"). To the south east there is  Mount Imitos (or Gimet), known for its delicious honey since ancient times. This mountain is a "barometer" of Athens. If on its top you see a cloud, it means there will be rain. If you see sun then it will be sunny 330 days a year.  On the north of the capital there is Mount Parnitha (1413 m). It is very popular among city dwellers because in the summer, even in the warmest days, snow does not melt here. 

Going to the sea from Piraeus at 14.00.  

Trip to the island of Aegina (20 km from Athens). Arrival at Aegina around 15.30.  
Visit the ancient temple Afea. 
Aegina means "Pigeon Island"! Aegina is famous for its pistachios! People live on the island for more than 4 thousand years, and it is named after nymph Aegina. Here you will appreciate the purity of the local air. It is home to many celebrities of Athens and is a popular place for artists!

The island is shaped like a triangle (area of ​​84 sq. km., 11.000 inhabitants). Ancient legend states that the island was once called Oynoni, but later it was renamed to Aegina, who was settled here by god Zeus for pleasure and entertainment.
Zeus and Aegina gave life to Ajax, who later became the first ruler of Aegina. Starting from the VI century BC, the island became an important trade and maritime center. Aeginas were considered "kings" of trading business, taking control of trading at Black, Marble and Aegean seas. During the Peloponnesian War Aeginas, supporting Sparta, struggled against Athens. It led to the decades old conflict between  two states. In 456 BC, the Athenians captured Aegina eliminating a competitor who created various economic and political problems for Athenians. That was when Aegina was converted into a luxury resort island, where the Athenians had always liked to relax.

We arrive to this island to visit one single building, Temple Afea, created in XIII - V centuries B.C. and dedicated to the Cretan goddess. In ancient times, Afea was considered not only a patron of Aegina, but also the goddess of fertility and spring. In addition, Afea had another unique feature; it became invisible and escaped from her admirers.  Cretan goddess was considered a symbol of wealth and prosperity, so the businessmen of antiquity came here to Aegina to pray and ask for their business and prosperity. So we'll do that!
The island of Aegina is famous for its olive trees. "Mother of all things," it is how Heraclitus called olive tree, without which it is impossible to imagine Greece. The great statesman Solon put olive tree under the protection of the law punishing anybody who would harm the tree. A branch of the olive tree was a symbol of victory in  Olympic competitions. After the wine, olive oil had been the main "bargaining chip" in ancient times. Today it is a matter of pride. On Aegina you are given a chance to go to the beach (about 2 hours). Dinner on board. Then we sail to the island of Milos (about 10 hours). We sleep on board.

To be continued...

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My Mexico vacation

This blog post is written by my lovely 10 year old daughter, Daniella Medvedovski. Daniella is describing her experiences while on vacation in Rivera Maya, Mexico.

My family's previous trip to Mexico was great. I would say it was my favorite vacation yet!

Barcelo Maya Beach (our hotel) had many fun things for kids AND adults. There was a kids club, a rock climbing wall, a water park, and of course the beach.

I will start with the kids club. If your parents wanted to just relax at the beach without you around, or if you just wanted to hang out with people your own age, then the kids club would always be welcoming to everyone. They always had fun activities going on!

The best two activities they had were bungee trampoline and the mini disco. The bungee trampoline was every day at 4 pm and the mini disco was every other day at night. They were both EXTREMELY fun.

The next thing was the rock climbing wall. Every week day at 11 am you could sign up to go to rock climbing. A man put you in a harness and attaches a rope (which was hooked to the top of the wall) to the harness. Then you used your hands and feet to climb the rocks. It was a fun and safe exercise.

The water park was also a good place to go on a hot afternoon. From tiny baby slides to long steep curvy slides, it had it all! Two year olds would have fun there and so would ten year olds. If you were bored then go splash around in the water park.

The beach was one of the best activities there. The water was super shallow and you could see the bottom even when it was up to your shoulders! There were lots of beautiful fish too!

Barcelo Maya resort had plenty more than what I just named. There were tons of iguanas and in the winter it could get to be 100 degrees. So go to this fabulous hotel. You would not regret it!