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Paths

This is an article that the Greek News Agenda has published about hiking on Greek islands; it is called hiking Greek islands: explore off-the-beaten track treasures!

The Greek islands, well known for their sunny beaches and clear blue waters, attract outdoor enthusiasts not only for activities such as diving, scuba diving, snorkeling, wind surfing, sailing or just sun bathing, but also for hiking and walking tours! Walking tourism has been gaining ground in the past few years, thanks to public and private initiatives sign-posting routes, publishing maps, organizing walking tours and operating special sites to inform people about available paths and walking tours. This form of tourism is particularly well suited to the Greek islands due to their mountainous morphology and stunning vistas to the endless blue. But there is more to explore; walking tours often include stops at archeological sites, spots of geological, natural, or architectural interest, deserted villages, wineries, artist’s galleries and more!

The rest of the article is here; hiking on Greek islands

Here is a video of the footpaths on Kefalonia.
Footpaths on Kefalonia

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I firmly believe that Skopelos needs to expand its summer in order to get a more even flow of tourists coming to the island. It would benefit so many people and maybe even help more people to get a job.

I believe in order to get this result, the people in charge (municipality etc.) should make a bigger effort to promote and help the people who have eco-friendly businesses, ideas and interests (diving, canoeing, hiking, cycling etc.) When these businesses start earlier in the summer and get tourists over here, these people need to stay in hotels/ apartments which can open earlier too. They would want to eat and drink and the businesses involved can profit from that too. Coordinate together and reach out together to groups of tourists who want to walk, dive, cycle and canoe here.

The natural resources of Skopelos are here, all we need to do is keep the island clean, the forest, the sea, the beaches, the streets. I am still amazed that for so many years this plan has not been executed but maybe it is not so surprising. Maybe those two months in summer are enough to earn money for the rest of the year and live?

A very nice surprise came by email yesterday from the Skopelos diving center. They will be open during Easter. Good luck guys! The information is below.


The Skopelos Dive Center will be open during the Greek Easter holiday week. Enjoy an early holiday visit to Skopelos island and follow one of our PADI courses. Enjoy 20% discount on regular prices and get an Open Water Diver diploma, Rescue Diver or even a Deep Diver diploma too.

Call Dive Center + 30 6940 448 000 for accommodation and diving packages or e-mail them at info@sporadesdiving.gr .

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boats

When a friend told skopelosnews that Skopelos, the Sporades will be without a ferryboat after the 14th of February I told him that this cannot be true because various goods need to be transported to the islands to fill the shops and businesses. Passengers can travel with a flying dolphin but they cannot leave the islands without a ferryboat to transport these vital items.

Looking though on various websites there is no trace of any ferryboat replacing Proteus after the 14th to do the Volos-Sporades line. People are getting worried and Mayor Vafinis of Alonissos has send a letter to the minister of Marine and island policy, mr Santorinio, expressing his deep concern for this situation and reminding him that after the recent very heavy snowfall Alonissos and Skopelos are still islands that are marked “in a state of emergency” It is terrific that more air-lines want to reach out to the Sporades and have their guests visit them but what about the months before and after the “real” season. Do you ignore the people that live on those islands? Do you prohibit people that want to visit the islands in other months than the hot summer months to get here? It is getting pretty frustrating when these things are settled at the last moment, but will they be settled?

This comment on Facebook started skopelosnews thinking about the whole issue:“We hope to visit Skopelos while there in April, but limited ferry service might make that impossible” Quite sad not?

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Have a good month!

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February started good with the news that British Airways will start flying directly to Skiathos this year. The link is here

These months before the new tourist season starts people will start having a look at their properties and see what work needs to be done in the houses, hotels, apartments etc. This year we have to look at the gardens and land too because the impact of the snow is enormous! On this photo you see that the flowers are all upright except one which was broken by the show and it is like that with all trees, plants and flowers. They all have some kind of damage. To start we need the next few days, which will finally have temperatures above 10 degrees Celsius, to cut, support all the green stuff we have around our properties.

Before the season starts many things still need to be looked at. For instance, the road from Panormos to Limnonari and Agnondas is still closed off. Part of the road to the monasteries apposite Skopelos Village is still broken off and it is dangerous to pass from there. I have no direct information about the area after Elios and Glossa but there must be points of attention there too. The port of Agnondas, will something happen there soon? The port of Skopelos?

I don’t want to sound pessimistic but it is great that more people can come to Skopelos, Skiathos and Alonissos but the island must be ready to receive them, not?

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So 2016 is over and one thing we can be sure of; we can not be sure of anything anymore. The world is not a safer place after bomb attacks and other terrorist attacks. Predictions about elections and referendums are not true, people keep suffering. So what do we do? We keep on living and try to make the world we live in a better and safer place by being attentive of what is going on around us, by helping people , by being kind, and by being smart about the choices we make. To trust our gut feeling.

Skopelosnews wishes everybody to remain healthy, to stay surrounded with the ones they love and to be able to do the things they love to do and one of them is hopefully to come to Skopelos!

Many things happened in 2016 but the one that made the most impact on me was the death of John Gill. I don’t think we could have prevented his death but we could have made his last days more peaceful for sure. I am very sorry about that.

I hope that 2017 for Skopelos can be a year where the season lasts longer and that also more, different kind of, Greece lovers will be attracted to the island. Walkers, bikers, sailors and other eco-friendly friends. July and August will always be the most busy months but the other months are soo beautiful on the island and the physical activities like walking etc. can be performed much better in these months.
I know that more people on the island think about an approach to this kind of tourism and hopefully this year is the year to follow through.

Χρόνια πολλά και καλή Χρόνια.
Daphne

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Good to see

sunbeds

Being in another area of Skopelos, that you don’t visit that often, is great. Perivoliou beach on the north-east coast this year has a kantina for coffee and sandwiches. Skopelosnews told you this in an earlier post. The owner of the kantina, Spiridoula told us that she has had a good summer and that more people visit the beach this year and they are happy there is somewhere to get a drink and a snack. You can sit under the enormous tree in the shade and relax there.
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On the beach are some sunbeds and umbrellas. Not the whole beach is covered with them and that makes it exactly the right combination of organized and not organized. It also means that trash is being collected and the beach is clean. We found it wonderful.

Elios town beach is more organized too this year and the word is that many more visitors were about. If they spend money in Elios we don’t know. We saw an excursion boat while we were there and many people walked into the harbor and the part of the town where the cafe’s and restaurants are. The nice new cafe Madalaki that is right next to the beach of Elios and Hovolo is a success too.

madalaki

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Slow tourism

legs

Good morning, have a good, slow, month.

It’s September and summer is officially over but that does not mean that there are no more visitors on the island. Some of the holiday companies have a very busy month in front of them with mainly visitors from England. A lot of Greeks have left to go home and get ready for the start of the school season.

Official numbers will appear for sure to show how many people have arrived from Thessaloniki with the Flying Cat4. It’s evident that many people took the opportunity to visit the Sporades this way. It did not do any harm that Skopelos was the first port of call too. The last trip the boat is making will be on Monday the fifth.

Elios was very busy this year with hotels with new management personnel. Businesses have opened like the new cafe/beach bar on the corner of the Elios/Hovolo beach. People who own rooms, studios and apartment are still using local websites but also use big organizations like Booking.com, Airbnb and Trivago to let their property and this way they are exposed to a much bigger audience and can be competitive and get clients in and they came this year.

People from all over the world visit Skopelos. An impression from this year is that they are from Eastern Europe; Romania, Serbia etc. From South Africa, Australia, Poland, France, Italy, Austria and don’t forget Scandinavia and England and the Netherlands.

The amount of days that most businesses here make money is comparatively low with the available days that they could make money. On Skopelos we have all the resources to make the season longer. The accommodations, the businesses, the nature, the sea, the beaches, the paths, the forest, the weather etc.
Because events in the world change how people travel and want to spend their holiday the holidays season on Skopelos is different every year and that is a positive thing I (Daphne) think.
You have to be more flexible and cater well for the holiday makers that use your accommodation or business. Quality is what people are looking for and Skopelos can provide it if they keep making the effort.

If only the season was a little bit longer. The months that are not so hot are excellent for slow tourism. I have been reading up on it and a definition of slow tourism is: an extension of the slow food movement that began in Italy in the 1980s, invites tourists to explore a destination at a reduced pace while aiming at an environmentally sustainable and locally focused experience. Greece is still considered a laggard in the slow-tourism sector.

Professor Guttorm Fløistad summarises the philosophy, he says: “The only thing for certain is that everything changes. The rate of change increases. If you want to hang on you better speed up. That is the message of today. It could however be useful to remind everyone that our basic needs never change. The need to be seen and appreciated! It is the need to belong. The need for nearness and care, and for a little love! This is given only through slowness in human relations. In order to master changes, we have to recover slowness, reflection and togetherness. There we will find real renewal.

I totally agree with Professor Guttorm Fløistad and wonder will Skopelos ever embrace this kind of tourism that fits so well with the island and might be the thing that Skopelos will be famous for in a couple of years? I am not sure. A joint effort is needed and that is not a sure thing here on the island.

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