Let the Greek Island of Skiathos Surprise You

Aside from being the sister island of Skopelos, Skiathos is also considered the smallest inhabited island in the Sporades archipelago. But don’t let its size deceive you. Skiathos has managed to become an unspoiled, breathtaking, premier holiday destination for the island nation of Greece.

Despite being gifted with fantastic natural attributes like dramatic landscape and beautiful beaches; Skiathos also somehow possesses a cosmopolitan side. It boasts a bustling nightlife. The central hub for entertainment on the island has got to be the pedestrian street by the Old Harbor. Here, you will find a slew of bars and clubs that host youngsters and party revelers until the wee hours of the morning. Another notable nightlife area is Ammoudia, which is situated on the road that leads to the airport. This area is known for its huge open air clubs. Aside from the consistent nightlife. Skiathos is the regular venue for concerts, art exhibitions and cultural events during summer.

The island is the only one of the Northern Sporades islands that maintains an airport. And its capital and biggest settlement, Skiathos Town in the east, is also served by regular ferry and hydrofoil services that connect to neighboring islands like Alonnisos and Skopelos. Skiathos town is a new and modern resort equipped with impressive tourist facilities.

The town’s most notable landmark is its natural harbor, which has also become a yacht and sail boat docking area. Some of the attractions in town include the Church of the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary and its museums; the Kastro (castle) and the former home of the renowned author Alexandros Papadiamantis that has been turned into a museum. The other prominent towns, villages and even resorts on Skiathos are mostly found along the island’s southern coast.

Skiathos has more than 60 beaches and inlets to choose from! A number of these spots boasts golden sands and that famous aqua marine clear water that the Greek isles are known for. The most famous among these sandy stretches is the pine forest adorned Koukounaries (Golden Sand), which is often hailed as one of the most beautiful beaches in the whole Mediterranean region. Koukounaries is home to a campsite and a selection of tavernas. Another beach you should consider visiting is Banana Beach, also known as Krassa Bay. Banana is popular for its bar parties and water sports facilities. Western beaches like Mandráki, and Small and Big Asélinos are more low-key, serene and barely receive visitors.

Troulos and Koukounaries are two of the most prominent resorts in the southern coast. Outdoor and beach lovers absolutely adore these two spots because of the abundance of water sports opportunities offered here. If you wish to experience the more rugged and unadulterated side of the island, venture to its northern side, where mountainous terrain rules. This is a great region to experience some serious hiking adventures.

A number of visitors use the abandoned town of Kastro as the gateway to exploring the north. Just off the coast of Skiathos are smaller islands waiting to be visited. You can easily arrange for a boat to bring you to these most gorgeous islets that are generally devoid of people. Boúrtzi is one example of these alluring islands. It is known for its lush vegetation, outstanding panoramas and the ruins of a Venetian fortress built around 1207. Boúrtzi has developed a reputation of being one of the most romantic places on Skiathos


How to Travel Around the World

Even though most people dream of traveling the world, what they might be failing to take into account is the preparation that is needed. Traveling can be incredibly extensive as well as international vacation so you must plan accordingly. With a travel agency or not, international travel is still something that you should be thoroughly prepared for. With this in mind, below you will find some helpful advice as to what is important in order to make sure that you aren’t forgetting anything.

Get tickets

Now, if you are planning a worldwide trip it’s likely that you are going to travel by airplane. Interestingly enough, some airlines are going to offer you package tickets which include all the cities that you are going to visit on your holiday. Even though the service is rather costly, it is definitely going to save you a lot of headache and it’s going to make the trip much more enjoyable.

List of documents

Travelling to different countries might require all sorts of documentation. Make sure to do research prior to your trip in order to determine the type of documentation that you are going to need for each country. Obviously, you are going to take your passport, but some places might require additional paper work. Include those in a list and make sure to check them all out before you leave.

Prepare your home

Trips around the world last. That’s for sure. You need to make all the necessary preparations in order to be sure that your home will be in proper condition when you get back. The best thing to do is to ask a member of your family or a close friend to move into your house temporarily during the months that you will be travelling. It is always better to have someone to take care of your home while you are away. However, if you can’t find anyone at least make sure that a friend of yours is stopping by every now and then just to make sure that everything is in order.

Pack your bags

Do not take too many clothes. Taking off with your entire closet is definitely going to be an inconvenience because, after all, you will spend your time travelling and not resting at one location. Take whatever you feel is essential because you will likely buy clothes on the trip anyways.

Make reservations

Make a schedule of your trip and make reservations accordingly. Make sure to always have a room in a hotel whenever you reach your destination. You are going to be visiting places that you’ve never been to before and it’s comforting to know that you have a place to sleep in.

As you can see, traveling around the world can mean a lot of preparation.

Historic Lamu Town Mombasa – Kenya

The island of Lamu is one of the most popular destinations of Kenya and is known for its calm and peaceful environment. The island has been a trading port for centuries and is now a certified tourist attraction. Located just northeast of Mombasa, Lamu’s main town, which shares the island’s name, is the oldest living town in East Africa and thus, is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Because of Lamu’s narrow streets and compact layout, riding a bicycle or donkey is the most practical and fun way of exploring the town. Walking around Lamu’s old settlement, whose history goes all the way back to the 12th century, is like walking into the past. You will see narrow streets with labyrinth-like layout, where donkeys still dominate the scene, and you will appreciate structural masterpieces that are inspired by Arab, Indian and European architecture. And yet, Lamu Old Town exudes that distinct Swahili design with its charming courtyards, rooftop patios, and coral stone buildings.

The Lamu Museum is one of the main attractions in town. Visiting the museum offers a great insight to the Swahili culture and to the region’s marine history. Head out to the Lamu Fort for another date with history. This two-story World Heritage Site was built in the early 10th century and features exquisite Swahili architecture. These days, the fort assumes the role of a public library and environmental museum.

After immersing yourself with the past, it is worthwhile to spend time with adorable and hardworking creatures in the Donkey Sanctuary. This facility was built with the intention to take care and maintain the donkey population in Lamu as they are the only means of transport on an island that has barely any motorized transport.

Lamu is a Muslim populated town, and visiting here promises to be a rich cultural experience, especially when most inhabitants still wear traditional attire. A strong representative of the religious culture reigning in Lamu is the Riyadha Mosque, which is the centerpiece of the annual Maulidi Festival, held to celebrate the birth of Prophet Mohammed.

Another great festival you may want to experience in town is the Lamu Cultural Festival. It is a four day celebration held every November and highlights grand artistic exhibits and cultural events. People in Lamu are known for their warmth and friendliness and many locals can converse in English. So don’t be afraid to engage them in conversations especially when you are in a traditional café trying out an authentic Arabian coffee.

The best way to reach Lamu Town is by air. There are regular direct flights coming from the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, and the Moi International Airport in Mombasa. Once you land at the airport on Lamu Island, you will need to take a short boat or ferry ride to the opposite side where the town is situated. An alternative albeit less convenient option is to take a bus or hire a car to drive to Lamu from Mombasa.

Finding accommodation is not an issue in this African town as there is a range of lodging options. Beach hotels are quite popular but guesthouses are available for the budget conscious. Lamu also has a growing luxury accommodation industry.