September 2009

September 2009

Greece in September

Greece in September, September 2009, Newsletters, Agni Travel

Many people consider September to be the best month of the year to visit Greece. The sun is still very much in evidence, although not quite so intense as in July and August; the shops and tavernas are all still open and trading and the children have gone back to school!
Of course, we're not suggesting that children (or grandchildren) are a bad thing. Between them, the staff at Agni Travel have several and wouldn't swap them for the world. We do appreciate though that some travellers would like to spend time around the pool or on the beach, but would prefer not to share their holidays with too many of the younger generation. For them September is the ideal time to visit the Greek islands.

Greece in September, September 2009, Newsletters, Agni Travel

September on the islands is a time not only for visitors intent on catching the rays. It's also the time for artists and photographers, and for those who enjoy exploring. For instance, Corfu Town is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Steeped in history it is a fascinating place to wander around or to find the inspiration for creating a work of art. But its narrow alleyways and tall houses do nothing to encourage a breeze and it can sometimes be a couple of degrees hotter there than elsewhere on the island. By September however, the slight drop in temperature makes a visit there a hugely enjoyable experience for all.

Greece in September, September 2009, Newsletters, Agni Travel

Towards the end of the month in the more northerly of the Greek islands it is just possible that visitors might experience the occasional shower, more often than not in the evening. These tend to be heavy, sometimes accompanied by spectacular storms out at sea. However, they are invariably brief, just sufficient to dampen the soil a little in readiness for the autumn Cyclamen and other flowers that will soon be peaking through the earth, but not enough to spoil a single day, let alone a holiday!

Bend it like Boris

When Boris Johnson got on his bike last year and was voted London's mayor, one of his electoral pledges was to rid the city of articulated, or bendy buses, as they're affectionately known. A man of his word, July saw nine of these 'whales of the road' as he dubbed them, consigned to history, with the remainder destined for replacement by 2011.

But where, one wonders, do bendy buses go when they're de-commissioned? Here at Agni Travel we think we might know the answer... they go on holiday to Greece! Of course, they've been used for a good many years to ferry passengers safely between aircraft and terminal building at several Greek airports, but more recently they've also been spied on the roads of Athens and Corfu.

Designed to carry around 20% more passengers than a double decker it's not difficult to appreciate why they're popular in the capital, but Corfu? Could it be that the concertina in the middle makes them ideal for getting round those hairpin bends on the way up the Pantecrator?

Restaurant Review, Taverna Agni

Restaurant Review, Taverna Agni, September 2009, Newsletters, Agni Travel

Click on the link for this month's tempting taster: Taverna Agni Review

Panagia Evangelistra

The 197sq km of land that forms the little Greek island of Tinos, one of the Cyclades archipelago, is relatively untouched mass tourism. However, on four occasions each year it receives huge numbers of visitors from throughout the world. For the Church of the Megolohari on Tinos is described as the most important of all Greek Orthodox churches, and it is there that the majority are headed.

In 1822 a young nun, Pelagia, who lived at a nunnery in Kechrovounion, a tiny village on Tinos, claimed she was visited in her dreams by the Virgin Mary who directed her to where an ancient relic was buried. Pelagia told the village elders and the site was excavated. Six months later a beautiful icon depicting Mary kneeling, head bowed in prayer, was discovered. Now named Panagia Evangelistra (Our Lady of Good Tidings) it dates to pre-Byzantine times and has become famous for its amazing healing miracles.

By 1830 the splendid Church of Megolohari, which houses the icon, was built on the site of the discovery. Studies have shown that the site has had religious links for thousands of years. On it once stood a Byzantine Church and before that a temple to the god Dionysos.

On 30th January, the date when the icon was found, 25th March, the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 23rd July, when Pelagia first had her vision and on 15th August, the Assumption of Mary, the island is filled to overflowing with thousands of pilgrims, the devout amongst them making the uphill passage to the shrine, which takes over an hour, on their hands and knees.

For the remainder of each year the island and its 9,700 or so residents return to it a quieter life. During the summer months some tourism of the independent traveller type is in evidence, and year round much of the island's economy stems from fishing and agriculture. With cause for great festivity, yet a peaceful and tranquil lifestyle, Tinos and her people seem truly blessed.


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On the Up - Sunshine and Bookings

On the Up - Sunshine and Bookings, September 2009, Newsletters, Agni Travel

Back in April some bright spark at the Met Office made the mistake of describing the long range weather forecast for Britain as being a 'barbecue summer'. A phrase that the media picked up on with great aplomb. Sadly, after a promising start with a sunny June, July arrived, and it rained... and rained... and rained. Eventually the Met Office revised its August predictions to an expectation of 'average or above average rainfall'. Looks as though they've got it right this time.

On the Up - Sunshine and Bookings, September 2009, Newsletters, Agni Travel

Meanwhile, we think that who ever uttered that fateful phrase might have had their mind on their holiday at the time, because we are very pleased to report that the Ionians, Dodecanese, Crete and Italy, in fact all of Agni Travel's destinations, have been blessed with endless sunny days and sultry evenings over the last few months. A situation that looks destined to continue for some time to come.

On the Up - Sunshine and Bookings, September 2009, Newsletters, Agni Travel

Could this fabulous weather have something to do with the fact that bookings for next year here at Agni are, we are delighted to announce, up on the same time last year? It is quite possibly so.
However, we feel sure that it is also to do with the great selection of quality villas, apartments and cottages that we are offering at the right price, not forgetting the fact that our customers satisfaction and enjoyment are always our number one priority.

Why not take a look at our online brochure, or contact us and we'll send you a copy of our fabulous new Corfu and Paxos brochure, then you will see for yourself why our clients choose our accommodation year on year.

Tiny Turtles and Sand Castles

Tiny Turtles and Sand Castles, September 2009, Newsletters, Agni Travel

Will you be in Kefalonia during September? If so, watch out for baby Loggerhead Turtles. An endangered species, their main nesting area is at Mounda beach. Between July and October each year it's hatching time for the turtles, and if you are very lucky you might just spy a youngster making its first appearance into the world. If you do, please just watch, and don't try to help it on its way unless it's going in obviously the wrong direction!

A few other requests when going on to beaches where the turtles lay their eggs. If you build a sand castle knock it down before you leave - the presence of unexpected large objects can frustrate the baby turtles efforts to reach the safety of the sea. If you have a sun brolly, put it up below the high tide line - eggs are laid in the dry sand and stakes, tent pegs and anchors can damage nests. Don't drive on the beach, camp there or visit after dark; and of course, please don't leave litter.
If you'd like to know more why not visit the Katelios Group who run an environmental centre on the road between Skala and Argostoli. Full details can be found here: www.kateliosgroup.org.

So 'Til Next Month

So 'Til Next Month, September 2009, Newsletters, Agni Travel

A word of warning! If you are planning a trip in the next few weeks and are considering hiring a car whilst you're away now might be a good time to book it. An unprecedented demand for hire cars combined with hire companies reducing their fleets in these difficult times has resulted in supply being outstripped by demand throughout Europe, and Greece is no exception. Please feel free to email Agni Travel to see it we can assist with your car hire requirements, but try as we might, even we can't always find any available vehicles at short notice.

Meanwhile, If you are a lover of classical music and happen to be in Paxos during the last few days in August or first week in September, pop down to the Old School House in Loggos, where the 2009 Paxos Music Festival programme is being performed. There the works of many of the great composers can be enjoyed from Brahms and Strauss to Britten and Shostakovich. Details of the concerts are here: http://www.paxosfestival.org.uk/sept09/concerts.html

So 'Til Next Month, September 2009, Newsletters, Agni Travel

And finally...
The sleepy coastal village of Pandeli on the Dodecanese island of Leros will enjoy it's annual Festival of Trata, or Festival of the Fishermen in early September.
At around 6pm the Trata (fishermen) will throw their nets from Pandeli beach and the resulting catch will be grilled and shared between the visitors, along with copious quantities of local krasi (wine). Live music and dancing will continue on into the small wee hours. Should you be visiting Leros this month Pandeli may be the place to head for.
But the festival does raise a question. If the Trata casting their nets and sharing their haul is such an event as to be a cause for great celebration, what do they do for the rest of the year?

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