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Archive for the ‘Tourism’ Category

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

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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

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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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OasisKalo mina. The first of August marks the official start of the dick-swinging contest known as superyacht season across the Aegean and anywhere else in the Med and beyond where the more-money-than-sense club take their outsized lilos on hols. The 48-metre, three or possibly four-storey Greek-owned Oasis, above, was just one of a number that motored in to Skopelos harbour today. When we sidled past its mooring it seemed to be occupied by a rather glum elderly man who didn’t seem to be having that eat-your-heart-out-Aerosmith rock’n’roll afternoon you might associate with the ownership of what is basically one gigantic extruded plastic sea-going holiday caravan that wouldn’t be allowed in Leysdown on the Isle of Sheppey.

We were, however, rather taken with its neighbour, the classic (although it was actually only launched by Camper and Nicholsons in 1962) Midnight Sun, out of Jersey and British registered, which can only fit five guests and six crew, all of whom appear to have to dry their washed knickers on a drying line on the aft deck. While the floating miniature apartment blocks cluster here and off Panormos and Milia, this is the sort of ship you might imagine Edward Lear aboard in his tour of Greece and the Ionian islands in the 1860s.Midnight sun

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And finally…

hotel amaliaWhile the ruined Nastas restaurant by the t-junction will probably remain closed for some time, as its owners have decamped to their new Dimitraki operation above the beach (and where a random sampling of mezes last week proved superb), the last commercial premises to be wrecked in the September storm, the Amalia Hotel, is now preparing to re-open, probably later this month. Just over ten months ago, many of these people woke up after the storm thinking they were ruined. It’s a sign of Greek resilience that they have almost all bounced back.

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