Kastelorizo Island, Greece


Situated in the azure waters of the southern Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Turkey, 72 miles east of Rhodes, beautiful Kastelorizo Island, Greece, is the smallest island in the Dodecanese chain. It offers the traveler delightful Anatolian architecture, panoramic views of the harbor, a rich culture, peaceful people and abundant relaxation.

The island was once called Megisti in times dating back to ancient inhabitants. The name means the largest, as it was the largest island among small rock-like formations surrounding it. Located just two miles off the coast of Lycia, now a village of Turkey, it has been inhabited since the Neolithic period. It was colonized by the Dorian Greeks and was ruled by Rhodes for many years, unill it broke away. The Egyptians, Italians and others all played a role in the history of the island. At the close of the 19th century, Kastelorizo had a flourishing trade, with ships trading goods from Anatolia with those of Egypt. Moreover, a population of 10,000 made their home in this safe harbor.
Harbour of city Kas (Kash) in Turkey and Greek island Kastelorizo
The Paris Peace Treaties in 1947 gave Kastelorizo to Greece; in recent years more and more tourists have come to explore the isolation, beauty and quiet ambiance. Kastelorizo was the setting for the movie Mediterraneo by Gabriele Salvatores, which won an Oscar and made it a more popular tourist destination.

With a rich history and tradition of the various cultures that have marked its civilizations, Kastelorizo Island offers the visitor an array of museums and sites. The Castle of the Knights is one place to see; it dates back to the 14th century; Palaiokastro is the oldest site on the island and the location of neolithic tools, ruins of ancient buildings and more; located under the Castle is the Lycean tomb, found at the port entrance; moreover, visitors should not miss the archaeological Museum.

As far as natural geoglogical formations, travelers can enjoy an amazing site; it is the famous Aqua-colored Cave. Known also as the Parastas hole or Fokiali (from the word seals), its calm blue green waters provide panoramic views and a magical presence. Stalactites and numerous pigeons, as well as seals, welcome the traveler to this palace of nature, known for a fairy tale setting.

Buses, taxis, motorcycles, rental cars are all found here as well as small boats. Kastelorizo, a Greek paradise, will make you feel welcome.

Samos Island, Greece


The beautiful, green island of Samos is nestled among the Dodecanese Island group within the East Aegean Sea. This island paradise has long been known as a cultural center, home to some of the most well-known and respected philosophers and mathematicians. In mythology, Samos was the birthplace of Hera and a temple built in her honor stands proudly, serving as a place where visitors marvel at its size and stature. When traveling to Samos Island, be prepared to take in all of the finer aspects of life on one amazing and unforgettable journey.

Beach Potami in island Samos, Dodecanese Islands, GreeceSamos Island is home to many vineyards offering the finest locally made wines. Fragrant and sweet wine is one of the specialties of winemakers in the region, with some choices being Samos Nectar, Samos Vin Doux, even communion wine is made on the island of Samos. For wine lovers who prefer dry wine to its sweet counterparts, consider trying a Chrisi Samaina, or the dry rose Selana.

There are many fine bars and restaurants located along the seaside, waiting for hungry visitors to partake in their many specialties. For those seeking something casual and relaxed, traditional cafes and ouzeri are plentiful.

No matter the type of accommodations a traveler seeks, Samos Island has exactly what is desired. Samos is home to some breathtaking five star hotels, including the Proteas Blu Resort and the Doryssa Seaside Resort. Both of these hotels and many others on the island are modern and contemporary in design with the classic comforts Samos Island accommodations hold a fabulous reputation for.

From touring museums to wading in pristine waters on Mediterranean beaches, there are attractions to suit the interests of any Samos visitor. Hike through a cavern to see an historic monastery, take photographs of the temple of Hera, tour ancient ruins, and relax on the beautiful Tsamadu Beach.

The island of Samos is a very temperate and enjoyable vacation spot. Temperatures reach an average high of 89 degrees F in the heart of summer, and an average low of 43 degrees F in the cold month of February. For those traveling to Greece in the spring or fall, it is best to bring clothing for warm and cool weather, as the temperatures can be variable.


Dodecanese Islands, Greece


The Dodecanese Islands in Greece are a traveler’s paradise. There is a little of everything to be found there. History and archaeology go hand in hand in some of the marvelous digs. Stunning, out of the way places are yet to be discovered, and the sunniest beaches in the world are waiting.


Located in the crossroads of numerous cultures, many different peoples have populated this island down through history. From the Phoenicians to the Ottoman Turks, and other nations in between, Rhodes has been involved in the history of Greece.Anthony Quinn Bay, Rhodes, Dodecanese Islands, Greece

Visit the military hospital of the Medieval City of Rhodes. It was founded during the Crusades. Note the strong fortifications that were constructed during that time. Then, the Ottoman Turks took over, and the city became a mix of architectural styles including the Jewish Museum.


The Island of Patmos is best known for the cave where St. John the Apostle lived while he wrote the book of Revelation. Patmos is covered with monasteries and churches that all have histories to discover.

Patmos boasts a host of lovely beaches. Kambos Beach is a favorite place for families. The warm shallow water is perfect for the little ones, and there are restaurants, accommodations and water sports.


This is the island where people go for a non-crowded, laid back vacation. Access is limited; visitors arrive by boat or plane. World War II and earthquakes destroyed a number of ancient houses, but residents are motivated to rebuild them due to the growing number of visitors to the Island. There are not many great beaches, but the ones they do have boast almost perfectly clear water and good swimming.

The ruins of the ancient capital of Kastelorizo, Palaiokastro, are worth seeing. An early Doric fortress there has a third century inscription on a gate and an acropolis.

Kastelorizo also has some outstanding eateries where visitors can sample the local cuisine. You can find meat, fish and national meals.


Kos is second only to Rhodes for visitors and tourists. The third largest island of the Dodecanese, Kos is also one of the most fertile islands. From beaches to accommodations, and from restaurants to history, there are such a variety of things for visitors to see and do in Kos. Shopping is another attraction including many local crafts, honey and wine. Don’t leave the island without tasting their specialty, cheese baked with red wine.


Sonora State, Mexico


Sonora State Mexico is situated on the Gulf of California in the northwest region of Mexico. As you traverse the land from the west to the Sierra Madre Mountain range, you will discover coastal plains, rolling hills and higher mountain elevations. The area has been inhabited for more than 10,000 years and is the homeland of eight distinct indigenous groups. Due to its close proximity to the United States, Sonora is a popular tourist destination and manufacturing center that is visited by more than seven million people each year.


Natural Park Pinacate, Puerto Peñasco, Sonora State, MexicoThe four most important destinations for business and leisure visitors to Sonora are Guaymas, the capital of Hermosillo, Nogales and the resort city of Puerto Penasco. Other popular vacation destinations are San Carlos and Navojoa. Most visitors are attracted to the beaches along the Gulf of California. Guests can participate in a wide variety of water activities including scuba diving, deep sea fishing and jet skiing. Eco-tourists can visit Acuario de Cer-Mar, the local aquarium and the nearby El Pinacate wildlife preserve. These two sites, along with the Isla Tiburon protected habitat, enable guests the ability to view the flora and fauna native to the region. You will also enjoy the magnificent views of the High Mountain Route as it winds its way through the Sierra Madre Occidentals. Cultural tourists can explore the Missions Route that follow the missionary path of Jesuit Eusebio Kino. You will view numerous churches and missions established by Father Kino as he brought Catholicism to the region. His remains are in a mausoleum in Magdalena.

You will also enjoy the routes that take you past historical colonial buildings, restored haciendas and ancient archeological sites, such as the Cerro de Trincheras. Tourists interested in gastronomical delights will enjoy the River Route, especially during the chili pepper and peanut harvests. You can also enjoy several wonderful museums that are dispersed throughout the state.

Visitors to Sonora can experience the unique music, handicrafts, traditional dances, literature and cuisine of the area during any one of the numerous festivals held throughout the year. The busiest times of the year for tourist activities are Holy Week, the summer months and the Christmas holiday season. No matter when you visit, Sonora has a vibrant, modern flare that builds upon cultural traditions while paying homage to its ancestral roots.


Agathonisi Island, Greece


Located in the Dodecanese Island group in the Aegean Sea, the Agathonisi Island, Greece is a tiny precious gem that not many tourists know, but those who do,  prefer it, as it offers them the opportunity to forget about their worries, relax and enjoy themselves.

Agathonisi was occupied by Italian troops and become liberated after the Second World War. It gets its name from the Greek word ‘’Agathos’’ which means gullible and is often called ‘’The Island Of Fools’’ or ‘’The Island Of The Good-Hearted’’.


The Port Agios Georgios, Agathonisi Island, GreeceTo get to Agathonisi, you can take the ferry either from Samos (it will take approximately an hour) or alternatively from Patmos (it will take approximately two hours). Ferries are available four times a week, making it easy for tourists to travel to and from the island.  As there is no local transport in Agathonisi, in order to get to the Megalo Horio, (the main town), you will have to walk a 1.5km distance from the small, cute village of Agios Georgios.

The biggest as well as the oldest settlement in Agathonisi is Megalo Horio, with 100 inhabitants. While quiet most of the time, during various religious festivals in the island, the village seems to wake up. If you want to enjoy that, you should visit the island in July and August and specifically during the festivals of Agiou Panteleimonos (26th July), Sotiros (6th August) and Panagias (22nd August).

On the other hand, if what you are looking for is some quiet time alone, then you can visit the small harbour of Katholiko, in order to see the inhabited and unapproachable islet of Neronisi. There are also some lovely, quiet beaches on the east of the island; some of the best are Poros Beach, Tholos Beach and Tsangari Beach.

As far as nightlife is concerned, there are only a few cute taverns and cafes at the island that you can go to. Considering the few inhabitants as well as the estimated 800 tourists that visit the island every year, this is not bad at all. If what you are looking for is to spend some quiet, quality time with your partner, a few close friends, or even yourself, you will certainly have a good time.

If you are in the mood for shopping, in Megalo Chorio you will find several souvenirs like handmade ceramics, postcards and wine at reasonable prices.

Since Agathonisi is recommended for relaxation, bring over some good books, CDs, a fishing rod (the inhabitants live mainly off fishing) and some good athletic shoes (the roads are ideal for walking). It is for certain that you will not be disappointed.


Sinaloa State, Mexico


The Sinaloa State of Mexico is located in the Northwestern part and includes a good portion of the Gulf of California on the west coastline. The name derives from the Cahita dialect and essentially means a kind of round Pithaya. The capital city is Culiacán Rosales and other notable cities include Mazatlán and Los Mochis as well as some islands right off the coast. A fun fact about Sinaloa is that it is the only place on the entire continent where Mesoamerica (an ancient ball game) is still played. This game dates back to the Aztec and Mayan period. There were over 2.7 million people living in this state of Mexico in 2010 and it is a popular tourist destination.

Green island near Mazatlan, Sinaloa State, MexicoMazatlan is probably the most notable and popular tourist area in Sinaloa but it’s not the only area that appeals to travelers. One such day excursion is to Stone Island which is fairly close to Mazatlan. Tourists can take a cataramann over to the island or it is possible to drive to this island. On the way to the island, one can usually see sea lions and a few other islands like Deer Island, Goat Island, and Bird Island. Once one reaches Stone Island there are countless opportunities for fun including horseback riding, canopy riding, snorkeling, horse drawn rides, banana boats, ATV rides, motorcycle rides and a ton of water sports. In addition to the adventure found on the island, there are plenty of restaurants and opportunities for great food.

Adventure seekers have it made with a visit to Sinaloa state of Mexico. The coastline offers activities like parasailing and other high adventure water sports. The jungle part of the state is great for jungle tours. There are disco and dance clubs located all over. A visit to the Centro Mercado is perfect for bargain hunters as it is an open air market where tourist can haggle over hand made goods, fresh seafood, and fresh fruit and vegetables and experience a little flash back in time as they shop this way. And of course there are tons of great restaurants like Pancho’s By the Beach, Panama Restaurant, Los Arcos and Erine Tomato’s that are consistently rated highly by visitors.

A visit to Sinaloa state of Mexico is sure to be an adventure no matter what choices one makes while they visit.


Deauville, France


Deauville is perhaps the most famed among all the towns of France for its beauty and luxury. This seaside city in Lower Normandy is known throughout the world for its five-star hotels, beaches, cultural festivals, casinos and horse races.

The town of Deauville was formally established in 1060 on the coast of Normandy. For eight centuries, Deauville remained a sleepy village on the English Channel known only for the excellence of its horse breeding. In the 1860s, however, fate decided to visit the small Norman town. Duke Charles de Morny, half-brother to Emperor Napoleon III, visited Deauville and was taken by its peacefulness and the beauty of its gardens.
The beach of Trouville town, near Deauville in Normandy, France
In 1862, the Duke bought 2.4 square kilometers of land in the vicinity of Deauville and began to turn the town into what it is today. De Morny funded the construction of the Deauville-La Touques Racecourse and the opening of a railroad line from Paris to Deauville. The elite of Paris soon heard about the beauty of Deauville and began to buy old Norman estates and build second homes in and around the seaside town. By 1870, Deauville’s fame as a center of luxury and recreation had been firmly established.

Deauville is still a prime vacation spot for the rich and famous. The town itself has a population of around 3,500 but contains dozens of hotels that range from the affordable to the extravagant with many deals being found on citybreaks.org. Among Deauville’s most famous accommodations are the 19th century luxury hotel Normandy Barriere and the castle-like Augeval Hotel.

If you have a taste for gambling, be sure to check out one of Deauville’s historic casinos. Casino Barriere de Deauville is the most famous of Deauville’s gambling houses and features all of the classic European casino games.

Deauville isn’t just for the high roller, though. This town is full of attractions that anyone can enjoy. The April Easter Festival of Classical Music is a must-see for the music lover, and the December Noël au Balcon street theater event is a Christmas festival like no other. If you’re a film expert, be sure to visit Deauville during its famous Deauville American Film Festival. This annual event attracts some of the world’s greatest actors, awards prizes to American movies and offers film viewings to the general public. Visitors who would rather enjoy the sea will love the beaches and resorts of the nearby Côte Fleurie.

No trip to Deauville is complete without a visit to the 19th century Deauville-La Touques Racecourse. Horse breeding and racing is at the heart of Deauville’s history. Whether you’re a gambler or you simply enjoy the thrill of the race, you shouldn’t miss Deauville’s unparalleled horse racing.


Querétaro State, Mexico


Querétaro is the fifth-smallest of Mexico’s 31 states and is similar in size to Connecticut. The capital city of the same name is located 136 miles northwest of Mexico City and 730 miles south of San Antonio. Other significant cities in the state include San Juan del Río, Corregidora, El Marqués and Cadereyta de Montes.

The Querétaro International Airport is located about 20 miles east of the capital city. It opened in 2004 and replaced Ingeniero Fernando Espinoza Gutiérrez Airport. The airport receives flights from cities such as Dallas, Houston and Monterrey, Mexico.

Bernal in the State of Queretaro, MexicoThe capital city was ranked 13th by National Geographic in its list of the top worldwide historical destinations. It is appreciated for its aqueduct, which was built in 1738, goes above ground for 4,200 feet and has 75 rock arches that reach high into the sky. The aqueduct was built to bring fresh water into the city.

It is also known for its churches. One is La Santa Cruz. This is where missionaries such as Junípero Serra set out to establish missions in Texas and California, including the 21 that were established from 1769-1823 in a line from San Diego to Sonoma, California. These California missions were situated about a day’s travel apart.

The nearby Sierra Gorda Biosphere was also mentioned by National Geographic as an attractive feature of the area. The reserves take up about the same size as Rhode Island and include tropical deciduous and pine-oak forests and a number of historic missions.

The Centro Histórico of Querétaro was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996 as a place that is of special culture and physical significance. The organization references the historic geometric street plan dating to the Spanish conquerors and the numerous Baroque monuments dating to the 17th and 18th centuries as especially notable.

The Teatro de la República (Theater of the Republic) is a historic place in Mexican history. The 1917 constitution was written inside its walls, and the country’s national anthem was sung here for the first time. The state’s philharmonic orchestra, the Orquesta Filarmónica de Querétaro, plays here on a regular basis.

The local soccer stadium, the Estadio Corregidora, was built for the 1986 World Cup. At that event, four games were played here. These included a 5-1 win for Spain over Denmark in the round of 16 when Spain’s Emilio Butragueño scored four goals, tied for the second-highest total ever posted by an individual player in a World Cup game.


Puebla State, Mexico


Located between the Sierra Madre Oriental and the Sierra Nevada mountains in the Mexican highlands, the Puebla State of Mexico is on the route from Veracruz to Mexico City. There are a number of national parks highlighting the natural beauty of the area, i.e., Izta-Popo Zoquiapan, La Malinche and Pico de Orizaba National Parks. The best known of these is Izta-Popo where bio-diversity is carefully protected including the volcano Popocatepetal and the adjoining forests; even so, there are some available hiking trails and horse paths accessing small caves where pre-Hispanic natives performed religious ceremonies and history can be revisited.

Archaeological site of Cantona, located in the Mexican State of PueblaA number of crafts are sourced out of Puebla. Pottery workshops abound throughout the state: Talavera pottery, an Arab design brought to Mexico by the Spanish in the mid to late 16th century, is prevalent throughout the state with workshops in the capital city and other communities. Unfortunately, it is expensive often appealing to collectors who can turn a profit from it. Another type of pottery, less expensive and more useful, is the black clay from Acatalan de Osorio used to make plates and cups. Finally, in the small town of Izucar de Matamoros there are sculptures of early biblical figures crafted and sold to tourists and sometimes distributed worldwide. Textiles and embroidery designs dating to times prior to Spanish invaders are produced by Hueyapan. Lastly, the tourist should visit Amozoc where silver smithing from the 16th century is exhibited as knives and swords among others.

Other than learning about the local crafts, most visitors to Puebla will want to follow one or all of the twelve tourist routes dedicated by the state. The city of Puebla has seven and the state has the remaining five. In the city, routes visit cathedrals, the library, a museum and several important local residences as well as the theatre district. All promote familiarity with local history and cultural events. The state routes generally provide access to above mentioned national parks and wildlife viewing areas.

By some standards, the most interesting activity offered in Puebla is eating. Everything from spicy mole verde, cemitas and chalupas has their genesis in this region of Mexico. One of the best and most widely known mole or sauces is mole poblano, named for the city and the pepper of the same designation. Poblano chiles are now exported all over the world. With a medium heat index this is Mexico’s preferred chile. It is a dark green, fat chile with enough interior space to make it perfect for stuffing, enter its most perfect North American result, the chile relleno. It appears that there is much to gastronomically appreciate from the state of Puebla.


Amelia Island, Florida


When most people think of a Florida vacation, theme parks immediately spring to mind. However, visitors seeking a more relaxing getaway in the Sunshine State should turn their minds to Amelia Island, Florida. This Florida’s First Coast barrier island, Florida’s northernmost, is just 18 miles long and three miles wide, yet it provides visitors with countless ways to relax and enjoy themselves far away from any big city bustle.

At the island’s southern end lies an upscale residential area and two exclusive golf resorts. Moving north, visitors discover a quietly touristy beach community with plenty of affordable lodging. The charming, historic community of Fernandina Beach lies immediately to the north. It was first settled in the days after the Civil War, and was the home of several successful industries like timber and phosphate. Fernandina Beach was also a bustling seaport, and 50 square blocks of the city have been designated on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, the district is a lovely place to take a leisurely stroll, enjoying some fine examples of Italianate, Victorian and Queen Anne architecture.

Easy Chairs at Sunrise on Amelia Island, Florida

A bit further north is Fort Clinch State Park. The centerpiece attraction here is the remarkably well preserved 19th century fort that once guarded the island. Daily tours and a number of dedicated re-enactors keep history alive at this fascinating facility. An expansive beach area is also part of the park, and popular activities include swimming, sunbathing and fishing. Hikers love to explore the many trails while a well developed campground makes it easy to get back to nature.

At the Amelia Island Museum of History, visitors get a broader perspective of the island’s history and its importance to the shaping of the state. A collection of community theater groups bring a welcome cultural overtone to the island and various walking tours highlight many interesting aspects of Fernandina Beach. Many visitors enjoy guided fishing or kayaking excursions. Of course, lots of people come to Amelia Island just to laze on its 13 miles of gorgeous beach.

The island’s weather is famously mild and sunny, making it an ideal destination at any time of year. That’s good news because there are so many wonderful lodging options on the island that most visitors want to come back again and again. Whether guests are looking for an upscale resort or an intimate bed and breakfast, Amelia Island has precisely what they seek.