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Travel Guide: Holiday Trip to Greece Islands

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With the season of spring just started bringing a big relief from chilly winters, I am sure most of us would be considering planning a vacation somewhere away from home and work. I had the same feeling and this time it got me landed in Greece.

One of the most popular tourist destinations in the world gets even more attractive in Summers. If you are in Europe then you are really missing something if you haven’t had Greece holidays in summers yet.
In a time of economic crisis, the Greek government is trying hard to attract tourism in order to support its dying economy, so if you are thinking this year might not be the right time to come, you could be wrong. Though there are some negative changes as well, due to bad economic conditions (apparently the international train services have been stopped by the government).

As a first time visitor to this country, I made a travel plan after doing some research. I was mostly interested in visiting various Greek Islands and so I divided my trip into two parts. First is from Athens to Eastern and Southern Islands, and second is from Athens to Northern and Western islands.

When I landed in Athens I had a specific image of Greece in my mind. I was expecting the famous whitewashed homes with blue windows and churches with blue domes, but was surprised to see the regional architectural diversity.

The new airport in Athens, Athens Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport, is one of the most attractive airports in Europe that I have seen. The airport was opened in 2001 as part of infrastructure improvements in preparation for the 2004 Olympics games.

Athens International Airport, Photo taken by Caribb

Athens International Airport, Photo taken by Caribb

In my opinion, the best way to go to the city from the International Airport (27 KM or 17 miles) is by metro train for €8. Group tickets (2 or 3 people) are also available and they provide some discount. The airport Metro line is an extension of Line 3 (blue line) that takes you to the downtown Syntagma and Monastiráki stations.
Athens airport Metro
Athens Airport Metro, Photo taken by Jennie

It was a great day at Athens, around 20 degree Celsius and sunny, though most pleasant weather occurs in May-June and September-October. It was nice to see that evening tends to get colder, the low levels of atmospheric humidity in most areas of the country preventing the air from trapping a lot of heat, and temperatures tend to dip to very pleasant levels in the evenings.

Being a historical place and capital of Greece, you have lot of things to see and do in the city of Athens, but I had planned to do all that after completing the first part of my trip. After resting and shopping in the local markets of Athens for a day, the next day I planned to go to by ferry from Piraeus, the harbor of Athens, to the Mykonos Islands. There is another port, Rafina, on the west, from where you can reach Mykonos one hour earlier and, due to shorter distance, the ferry prices are also slightly lower. While Rafina is not that popular for travelling to one of the Cyclades Islands, for those who are going there directly after landing at airport, Rafina could be a better choice.

There are two types of ferries, normal and high speed ferries and travel time to Mykonos from Piraeus could range from 3 hour 30 minutes to 5 hours 15 minutes. Economy ferry is my cup of tea and I bought the tickets from the port on the same day. Those who are planning to be there in the month of August should buy tickets in advance, as it is tough to get availability due to festival rush (“Assumption of our lady” Festival).

ferries to mykos
Blue Star Ferries, Photo taken by Zoe

On a slow ferry, a seat in economy class may cost upto € 32, whereas on a highspeed service costs may go upto € 54.50. If you are going by slow ferry your departing port gate will be E1, otherwise, for high speed ferries, departing port gate would be E7.

If you are going from Rafina port, the journey time could range from 2h 10min to 5h 30min, depending on the type of ferry you are taking. On a regular ferry ticket, costs may go upto € 23.50 per person for a seat in economy class; on a highspeed catamaran service expect to pay € 52.50.

Mykonos is one of the most popular tourist destination in Greece. In fact, it is second most preferred tourist destination in Greece (I wonder which is on top? Will let you know as I write more in coming articles on my full trip). Mykonos is the island of youth and fun and it is sometimes also referred to as ‘Ibiza of Greece’. The island is famous for its picturesque towns, all day and night parties and beach sports. Follow this space or Subscribe to TWR Travel via RSS, as I continue my journey to the Greek islands, you should not miss the main attraction of Greece.

I am a passionate traveller and wish to travel all around the world!

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ATELIER de Hoteles is proud to present José Mejía as its Executive Chef and Food Experience

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  • Renowned Chef Mejía heads the restaurants, bars and cafeterias of the hotels in the ATELIER de Hoteles chain
  • ATELIER de Hoteles sets itself apart by showcasing an exquisite culinary proposal

ATELIER de Hoteles, a Mexican hotel chain with an innovative and ground-breaking concept, has named José Mejía as its Executive Chef and Food Experience, and who, as of today, takes on responsibility for the cuisine offered, the quality and operation of all the culinary centers in this hospitality corporation.

Chef José Mejía hails from Mexico City and studied in the Culinary Institute of Los Angeles, California. He gained his wide experience in gastronomy in countries such as Singapore, Germany, the USA, Italy, Spain and Mexico, shaping his extraordinary leadership skills in each of his work teams. Chef Mejía also possesses a magnificent vision for creating unforgettable culinary experiences, a characteristic that has made him an ambassador of Mexican Haute Cuisine.

It is a privilege for ATELIER de Hoteles to have the proven creativity of Chef José Mejía since it allows us to offer our guests an innovative and exquisite gastronomy proposal. The culinary philosophy of our Executive Chef and Food Experience breaks paradigms and goes beyond than just offering avant-garde dishes, showcasing a complete concept in which flavors, textures and colors play a major role. As well as pleasing guests’ palates, it comforts and surprises them”, commented Oliver Reinhart, CEO of ATELIER de Hoteles.

For Chef Mejía motivating his team is of the utmost importance, just like the steam that rises from the pots of modern kitchens where works of art, not just dishes, are created to nourish diners’ bodies and minds. This inspires him to maintain a balance between harmony and the demands of operating food and beverage outlets in a luxury All Suites Resort such as the ATELIER Playa Mujeres, as well as the ÓLEO Cancún Playa All Inclusive Boutique Resort and, soon to come, the family concept of the ESTUDIO Playa Mujeres.

ATELIER-de-Hoteles

“I feel very enthusiastic about the challenge with which ATELIER de Hoteles has entrusted me, and this motivates me to make sure my team of arteliers maintain their commitment to the values of our hotel chain, such as quality, professionalism and service, as well as to its conceptual cornerstones, particularly offering an authentically Addictive Service®”, said José Mejía, Executive Chef and Food Experience at ATELIER de Hoteles.

Regarding the ATELIER Playa Mujeres hotel complex, Chef Mejía treasures an exceptional vegetable garden, since its harvest guarantees produce of the highest quality and freshness which is used in the different menus throughout the hotel chain in Cancun.

The Executive Chef and Food Experience has programmed a series of activities for the restaurants in the ATELIER Playa Mujeres in which guests can enjoy the experience of growing and selecting its vegetables, greens, fruits and spices, thus promoting an Eco-social Awareness® which is important to mention since it is another of the conceptual cornerstones at ATELIER de Hoteles.

The restaurants at ATELIER Playa Mujeres headed by Chef Mejía are: Mercado 19, offering Mexican flavors with a contemporary touch; Alba, with a healthy menu; El Suspiro, seafood with Peruvian touches; Takeshi, with an Asian influence; Cilento, inspired by authentic Italian cuisine; Los Abrazos, with firewood-cooked meat cuts; Cafecito, with fine bakery and coffee, and El Trompo, with tacos and gourmet Mexican snacks.

On the other hand, in the ÓLEO Cancún Playa All Inclusive Boutique Resort, the chef is in charge of the Azul restaurant, with an international and cosmopolitan feel; Almar, with dinners offering traditional Mediterranean cuisine and seafood; Hakka, with Japanese influenced cuisine, and El Botanero, with ceviches, tacos and hamburgers served outdoors.

Similarly, the bars coordinated by José Mejía in the ATELIER Playa Mujeres are: Don Fernando, lobby bar; El Deseo, theater bar; La Oficina, contemporary cantina style; El Cielo, rooftop lounge bar, with an infinity pool boasting a spectacular view of the Caribbean and the golf course; El Trompo Swim Up Bar and El Suspiro Swim Up Bar, both located at the main pool, and Bar de La Calle, offering an urban mixology concept. Chef Mejía is also responsible for the Pool Bar and the Lobby Bar, popular meeting points for guests in the ÓLEO Cancún Playa Boutique Resort.

The wide range of restaurants and bars at ATELIER de Hoteles are structurally designed with materials and decoration that evoke an elegant and contemporary ambiance. Similarly, each of the menus offers guests a selection that reinterprets the most important culinary traditions of each culture in a ground-breaking and innovative way.

About:                     

ATELIER de Hoteles is an innovative and ground-breaking Mexican hotel chain born in 2015, with contemporary Mexican art setting it apart and acting as the common denominator in its concepts, which include strategy, passion and commitment. ATELIER de Hoteles offers in its four brands, ATELIER, ESTUDIO, ÓLEO and MET, relaxed luxury with the highest in service standards in its properties, currently located in the Hotel Zone and Playa Mujeres, both in Cancun, Quintana Roo, and with openings planned in the near future for the most important beach and business destinations in Mexico.


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You need to visit Ecuador now

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This is no joke. You need to visit Ecuador now, right this minute, it’s a matter of life and…nah. The truth is, we live in a time where options are limitless and when it comes to travel, there are SO MANY incredible international destinations it gets overwhelming to make a choice. Sometimes you just need a convincing argument, or an easy-to-understand cost benefit analysis to conclude, “Yep, that’s definitely worth it.”

What’s the point in travelling to de-compress if simply choosing your destination causes you to stress? (That line is going in my next rap single, please don’t plagiarize.) Here are a couple legitimate reasons to book your next trip to Ecuador.

Quilotoa Lake Ecuador
A group of friends gaze upon Quilotoa Lake, while a rainbow appears above the Ecuadorian Andes.

Reasons why you should visit Ecuador

Fill in the blank with something that isn’t sexist: Ecuador is like a ____. Pretty, cheap and easy.

If you want three simple, yet highly convincing reasons to visit Ecuador, here they are. Let’s start with the first and, in many cases, the most convincing:

Ecuador is CHEAP. Please note that by “cheap”, we’re talking western hemisphere levels of affordability, not Nepal or Vietnam.

Compared to other bucket-list Latin America countries, like Costa Rica, Mexico or Chile, Ecuador offers a comparable quality of service for a lower dollar figure. Among some of the incredible things to do in Ecuador, you’ll visit places like the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon.

If you’re travelling here from the United States or Europe, you’ll be pleased to discover several cheap, and usually direct, flight options to Ecuador. From the U.S., you can find flights from Fort Lauderdale, FL with Jet Blue for as cheap as $380!

Once here, you’ll also find that bus travel is C-H-E-A-P. I’m talking $1.00 per hour of travel cheap. However, there are pros and cons to this, make sure to read the last section of this blog.

Cotopaxi Volcano ecuador
A traveler visits the Limpiopungo lake inside Cotopaxi National Park. Cotopaxi Volcano is visible in the background. Photo by: Viaja la Vida travel bloggers.

Ecuador is PRETTY. Spectacular, in fact. This is highly subjective statement that can be proven true by simply asking anyone that’s traveled here. Now, don’t ask them about the markets, because things can get pretty ugly there, especially in the animal section, but ask them about Ecuador’s beauty GENERALLY.

You’ll find that there’s a consensus: Ecuador isn’t just beautiful, but diverse, which only adds to its beauty. In a day’s drive, you can go from the Amazon rainforest, past 5,000+ meter volcanic peaks, and down through the coastal cloud forest to the glimmering beaches of Mompiche (or another coastal village).

Where else in Latin America can you do this? If you can think of a place that isn’t Ecuador, please mention it in the comment section below. Seriously, I challenge you.

Ecuador Pacific Sunset
The sun sets in the Pacific Coast. This is a common image all year long because of Ecuador’s location on the equator. Photo by: Juan Pablo Verdesoto.

Ecuador is EASY. The reason you can visit such diverse geographic regions in one day is because Ecuador is relatively small (no bigger than Colorado State, for example). Its neighbor, Peru, offers similar geographic diversity but across 5 times the geographic area! It’s gonna take more than one day to drive from the Amazon to the Pacific Coast, that’s for sure.

Over the years, a significant increase in tourism has incentivized many Ecuadorians to invest in English language acquisition. While speaking and/or learning Spanish in Ecuador is highly encouraged, you’ll find that many locals (especially the younger generations) know their way around English and will be able to help you.

A final reason why Ecuador is an easy travel destination is related to its currency, which happens to be the US dollar. That’s right: greenbacks rule. If you’re coming from the United States, you have one less headache to deal with because in Ecuador, currency exchange is not a thing.

Wanderbus Ecuador
A traveler enjoys the Ecuadorian road aboard the Wanderbus. Photo by: Juan Pablo Verdesoto.

What is the best way to travel around Ecuador?

If you’re like most travellers to Ecuador, you’re probably considering bus travel. Makes sense: buses are readily available between every city and, depending on distance, cost around $1.00 per transit hour. However, safety and convenience tend to be an issue as bus terminals are where travellers are at their most vulnerable from petty theft, and are often difficult and expensive to reach (particularly at odd hours of the night).

For those that prefer to avoid bus terminals (despite the attractive bus prices), another approach to bus travel in Ecuador is available: hop on-hop off bus companies like Wanderbus Ecuador. Wanderbus will pick you up from central locations in town and take you to Ecuador’s top (and often difficult-to-reach) destinations, ensuring safety, access to like-minded travelers as well as an English-speaking guide. The flexibility of hop on-hop off travel is especially attractive if you don’t have a set itinerary and like to keep your options open.

If you haven’t quite decided on your next international destination, make sure to take a closer look at Ecuador, where you’re sure to get more bang for your buck.



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New Hospitality Concept Arrives to Cancun ÓLEO Artist Service

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Cancun Mexico Travel

Tourism in Cancun attracts thousands of travelers every year because is a fascinating experience situated at the most beautiful beaches in the Mexican Caribbean. This destination is chosen every year by tourists from all over the world that wants to live an amazing holidays in the most exclusive cancun all Inclusive resorts that you can find in this area.

When tourists choose Cancun, they choose enjoying the beach, sunbathing or spending the whole day swimming in their beautiful beaches, in the hotel pools or having fun at the resort in good company. When tourists choose cancun all inclusive suites as a holiday destination, a many activities are waiting for them to live memorable days and appreciate luxury services. Their stay will depend on how they want to live it, enjoying the beaches under the sun or the sea views from the hotel, admiring the nature or loving the resort accommodation and services… They choose how to live their Cancun experience.

¿What does Cancun have to offer?

Cancun is located in Quintana Roo, and this fortunate location of this destination allows you to explore its surroundings, discovering archaeological sites, beautiful islands, water and theme parks, among many other alternatives options to make your visit the magical adventure that you will surely enjoy. The Cancun experience you have always dreamt with is waiting for you in this paradise in Earth.

You will find Mayan culture on every corner in Cancun. You be surrounded by the wonderful Caribbean Sea, beautiful coral sands, and crystal-clear blue waters.

The mystical ruins will take tourist back to the incredible Mayan culture. One of the visits you must not miss is El Rey or El Templo del Alacrán, an amazing view to your eyes, and nature lovers can’t not wait to visit Xel-Ha, a natural aquarium.

There are so many options waiting in Cancun… from its nightlife to its underwater museum, it has all that travelers need to spend the holidays of their life. Moreover, Cancun is blessed with an excellent weather, with an average temperature of 27 ° C and about 240 sunny days per year.

Where is the best place to stay in Cancun?

There is many places to stay in Cancun, but there’s a special one, OLEO Cancun Playa, that is an exclusive All-Inclusive Boutique Resort, especially designed to offer a luxury experience for all you senses.

This hotel has been perceived as a novel Boutique Resort and you will feel it from the very moment you come in for its decoration, its supreme personalized service, as well as the exclusive amenities and services that they offered to each guest to provide an unforgettably relaxing experience.

We can no forget the extraordinary location of the ÓLEO Cancún Playa All Inclusive Boutique Resort, whose guests can enjoy not only the magnificent waters of the Caribbean, the natural beauty or the cultural attractions, but also the shopping centers and many different kinds of entertainment options. What else can you ask for? Come and enjoy de Cancun Experience.

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