If you’re anything like me you’ll have a never ending wish list of destinations and experiences to tap into for your 2020 holiday inspiration. If not, you’re in luck because101 Holidays has got you covered with a diverse selection of short breaks, experience travel and holidays to whet your wanderlust.
Sunrise over the mountains, gorges lined with dramatic rock formations, and the most beautiful village in Austria. Say hello to Alpbach in summer, the perfect base for getting outdoors, off-grid, and connecting with nature.
An Isle of Man short break makes for the perfect UK weekend away without travelling too far from home. If you take a trip across the water and visit one of Britain’s islands then it sort of feels like you’ve gone overseas anyway.
The first of my Isle of Man short breaks showed me that this little island in the Irish Sea is the perfect destination for a UK staycation. And that it’s not just for TT petrol heads. There’s a lot to see and do on the Isle of Man that doesn’t involve burning rubber.
There’s a place on my travel wish list that has fascinated and intrigued me since I first discovered its existence. A place of ancient civilizations, mountain-top ruins and home to one of mankind’s greatest mysteries. A place where you’ll find snow-capped mountains, the world’s deepest canyons and a vibrant swathe of dense tropical rainforest.
Where the people are welcoming, creative and colourful and a country whose capital is considered to be one of the best cuisine destinations in the world. Here are some of the reasons why Peru is calling me.
Greek Island holidays were top of the list for family getaways when the kids were young. I have memories of sunny, cloud-free days spent exploring Rhodes old town, dipping into warm turquoise seas around Corfu and of sleek dolphins slip-streaming the boat during a trip from Skiathos. But that was a long time ago. Too long ago, and a day excursion to Mykonos and Delos during a cruise last year got me thinking that it’s time I gave the Greek Islands some proper attention again.
Mykonos is the epitome of Greek prettiness. The island is part of the Cyclades archipelago, adjacent to tiny Delos in the Aegean Sea. Pristine white buildings with azure blue doors and windows are set against the bluest sky. Winding alleyways lined with boutique shops, bars and restaurants festooned with fuschia pink Bougainvillea lead to tiny churches and heavenly courtyards. The sun shines and cats laze in doorways soaking up the heat. And then there are the iconic Mykonos windmills looking down over Chora (Mykonos Town), Little Venice and the clearest, bluest seas ever.
The Bay in Mykonos Town
What to see in Mykonos Town (Chora)
You’ll probably arrive into Chora by the harbour in the main area of town which has a little bay busy with restaurants, shops and little sugar-cube houses tumbling down the hillside. Colourful fishing boats bob around in the bay and Agios Nikolaos Church with its blue dome sits right by the water. You’d think it couldn’t get any prettier but, actually, it does.
Agios Nikolaos, Mykonos
Head to the right and up the hill and you’ll soon see. First you’ll come to the gorgeous Paraportiani Church, the most famous church of 400 on Mykonos. It’s a cute little pyramid-shaped building made up of a conglomeration of four churches built asymmetrically together. White-washed to within an inch of its life it has a little bell-tower, dome and is topped with crucifixes which stand out against the cloudless blue sky.
Paraportiani Church, Mykonos
There’s exploring and shopping to be done here in the tiny alleyways but first we’re going to visit the Mykonos windmills. Keep close to the waterside and you’ll pass through Little Venice. Bars and restaurants sit right next to the water, with little wooden balconies hanging over the sea. The crystal clear waves gently lap against the walls and it’s a lovely place to stop for a beer and from my shady little balcony the view over the water to the windmills was gorgeous.
Little Venice, Mykonos
The Mykonos Windmills
As you emerge from the slatted shadiness of Little Venice you can’t fail to spot the iconic Mykonos windmills (Kato Mili) standing sentry at the top of the hill. They’re old, built by the Venetians in the 16th century, for milling flour. They have wooden sails, white-washed walls and are capped with straw hats. One is now a museum and there are around a dozen on the island but these are the most famous and very photogenic!
Where to eat in Mykonos Town
Feeling hungry? Then carry on to the top of the hill,past the windmills, through the car park and meander down to a quiet little bay and the golden sands of Megali Ammos beach. It’s a ten minute walk, sometimes with no pavement, but you’ll find a lovely, chilled restaurant on the beach. Joanna’s Niko’s Place Taverna. Recommended by Elle, from A Bird in the Hand, we stopped here for a fabulous lunch of fresh, crisp Greek salad, perfect in the heat, and little marinated fish which were full of flavour and deliciously tender.
A Wander through Mykonos Town
After a late lunch I had an hour or two to wander which really is the best way to get a feel for Mykonos Town. Art galleries, hip boutiques selling artisan jewellery, cute cafes and cobblestone alleyways were explored. I’d have loved to have seen those windmills as the sun set behind the hill but we’d sailed off into a crimson sunset long before the sky turned pink. Mykonos, I’ll be back.
Crystal Clear Mykonos Sea
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Many thanks to Celebrity Cruises for sending me on this fabulous cruise. All views, opinions and new-found love for Mykonos is, as always, entirely my own.