Friday, 18 August 2017

Skiathos Airport reports increased passenger numbers ...

More than 12,000 arrivals of tourists are expected during the week ...

'Encouragement from abroad and increased passenger traffic are recorded at Skiathos Airport, with total arrivals last month totaling 104,604 people, of which 9,981 were Greeks traveling by air from domestic routes. Also very positive is the image of August, as traffic at the same airport is at its peak, and is expected to be sustained next month.

According to the statistics recorded, in the first half of August there were 55,321 arrivals of tourists, of which 4,529 are Greeks who traveled domestic flights from Athens.

At the peak of the tourist season, the total number of flights on a weekly basis is impressive and translates to 111 flights in total and more than 12,000 tourists a week from August 14th to Sunday 20th August.

Commenting on the image of the air traffic on the island, Stefanos Lambropoulos, airport manager at Skiathos Airport, told TACHYDROMOS that at the present time the arriving tourists are more than those who depart while at the same time there is a dynamic because Skiathos is Destination for English, Italian and Scandinavian tourists.

At the same time, he notes that a similar positive image has been recorded by Fraport for all the airports managed by the company, as the flight and passenger routes are very satisfactory and there is a positive sign on arrivals.

Meanwhile, one million extra passengers were traveled to 14 Fraport regional airports in the January-July 2017 seven-month period, compared to the same quarter of 2016.

International arrivals in the seven months increased by 14.1%, while July increased by 10.3%, according to data. A total of 10,662 million passengers were traded over the 7-month period against 9,334 million passengers last year.

In July, they were 4,157 million from 3,769 million in the same month last year.

It should be noted that there are no negative signs at all aerodromes, which are indicative of the dynamics of Greek tourism and this year' 

Source: http://www.taxydromos.gr

Previous Blog: A reader writes ...

Thursday, 17 August 2017

A reader writes ...

With details of the Skiathos Balloon festival ...

Apparently the success of the Bristol event, has brought the idea to the thoughts of islanders. Who are suggesting that they hold a similar event, when conditions are right ...


Now to do this will require lots of meetings, discussions with the people in positions of power. Not to mention many papers to be filled in, and numerous stamps to be applied on official documentation ...

After all there are strict rules on this kind of thing, and no-one wants to be in the position of breaking the law. It seems everyone has a drone above the island at the moment. That should come to an end swiftly as the hunting season starts in a few weeks - and they will become fair game ...

So this morning, at first light in a secret location, away from prying eyes. The first small steps were made, in preparation for the first balloon flights on Skiathos.


The still dawn airs made for a very successful first flight, above 'the rock' ...



Followed by a rather bumpy landing in an olive grove shortly afterwards, having avoided some thistles, and a neighbours flowering bougainvillea.

Onward and upward ...

Previous Blog: Its a public holiday ... ...

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Its a public holiday ...

Today August 15th, is a holiday in Greece ...

Greeks all over the country will celebrate one of Christianity’s most significant days, the Dormition of Virgin Mary. Some call this day “the summer easter” to show the importance of the celebration, and many thousands of people attend religious services throughout the country. - See Greek Reporter link here:

So 'summer easter' means the epitaphos has to be prepared, for its journey ...


Here on Skiathos, there was a procession around the Monastery at Evagelistrias last night, and the church bells rang out this morning across the island, Why ? Not only is today the 'Ascension of the Virgin Mary' Its also the name day of all the Maria's - See Xρόνια πολλά!

Waiters will be at optimum stress levels, and tavernas packed to the rafters today. Its the peak of the summer season. The last few days will have either made or will break the summer.

To the local this is it, 'summer is over' the ferries will  be full, as they start taking the mainlanders away, however to you, and me there are still seven weeks left, and some sense of normality still to return ...

However as its a bank holiday, the police are out and about, parking fines on the port, apparently walking is still permitted.

Χρόνια πολλά:

To Greek friends and acquaintances who are celebrating their name day today ...

Despoina, Deppy, Pipina, Despo, Pepi, Zepo, Elona, Theotokia, Theotokea, Kristalo, Kristalia, Crystal, Krysta, Krista, Maria (for married women), Mary, Maro, Marios, Mario, Mariori, Marika, Maroula, Maritsa, Margiori, Marigoula, Manio, Marietta, Marousa, Marsia, Marcy, Marietta, Margeta, Margetina, Mireille, Mirella, Myrella, Panayotis, Panagiotis, Panos, Panousos, Panagis, Panagos, Giotis, Yiotis, Panikos, Takis, Panagiota, Panayota, Yiota, Giota, Panagioula, Panagoula, Pani, Tota, Toula, Pegie, Pegy, Presvia, Simela, Symela, Soymela, Soumela, Gesthimani, Iesthimani, Gethsimani, Mariniki, Katholiki (source ©: www.namedays.gr)

A message from the Skiathos Dog Shelter:

'Just to remind everyone that we still have our quiz nights every Wednesday evening from 9pm at the Iguana Bar - Agia Paraskevi (bus stop 16). All money raised goes towards funding the shelter. We try to raise as much as we can during the summer months to keep us going through the winter'

Previous Blog: Cruise news ...

Monday, 14 August 2017

Cruise news ...

TUI will be in town next year ...

The Aegean Meze cruise aboard the TUI Discovery 2, will call into Skiathos on day five of its voyage, around the aegean. Cruises start from Corfu, on 29th June, 10th August and 5th October 2018. Calling at Syros, Kusadasi (Turkey) Skiathos, Piraeus and Argostoli

So expect to see the boat in the bay, and guests being brought ashore on ...

Tue 3rd July 2018
Tue 14th August 2018 (Next day 15th is the Holiday)
Tue 9th October 2018 (After the main tour ops have departed)

Looks like a nice itinary, and will bring some more euros to town, when everyone else is on the beach, or back in the UK.

Perhaps this last visit is what they call extending the season, when TUI are flying their passengers out on 28th September ...

Previous Blog: Bravo Ioannis ...

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Bravo Ioannis ...

Μπράβο Ιωάννης ...

It has been confirmed yesterday, Ioannis Voutsis, saved the life of a woman who lost consciousness in the sea on Friday. Preventing her from drowning, and ultimately saving her life.

With his experience as a lifeguard, he also provided medical assistance, to resuscitate her on the beach.

Ioannis you may know from his days on the Eleni boat with his brother Kostas, now run the Nikolaki fishing trips, from the old harbour. He also has a watersports concession on Koukounaries beach.

To give life is one thing, to save a life another. Bravo Ioannis ...

Previous Blog: Καληνύχτα από τη Σκόπελο ...

Friday, 11 August 2017

Καληνύχτα από τη Σκόπελο ...

Good Night from Skopelos ...

© Ioannis Pagonis 2017
From Ioannis Pagonis, a good friend, who for many years worked in Stamatis, but now works in Nikos restaurant over in Panormos Skopelos ...

Previous Blog: Extend the season ...

Thursday, 10 August 2017

Extend the season ...

From the Taxydromos newspaper

'Tourists come to the islands of the Northern Sporades, which are at the peak of the season, with plumes reaching 100% in Skiathos, Skopelos and Alonissos.

The island of Papadiamantis is full of calamity, while  Alekos Efstathiou, chairman of Skiathos Hoteliers Association, tells  TACHYDROMOS that the island is overloaded since July 20th and is expected to maintain until the end of August the same picture. He states that the image of arrivals is more satisfactory than last year, adding that "we are trying to lengthen the season until the second week of October, with additional flights from England".

The Greeks are so reluctant so far, compared to at least the image that existed in the past, while the presence of the young friends of the island, who mainly opt for the weekend breaks, is more intense. As Mrs. Efstathiou underlines, the island has benefited a lot from the island, as many young people from Northern Greece make a holiday on the island, but there is limited consumption in the restaurants. It is generally accepted that the economic potential for the overwhelming majority of consumers is limited, resulting in less turnover in the focus, even at the peak of the tourist season.

At the same time, Skopelos, the owner of the Skopelos Hotels Association, said that the occupation is at the highest level of occupancy, as the Municipality of Skiathos, Mary Diamanti, points to 100% of the island's tourist attraction. She also stresses that it is very important that events take place in every area of ​​Skopelos, raising the tourist interest and the traffic. The hotel chairman also underlined the remarkable momentum of the season, which as they all appear, will continue until the beginning of autumn, while Greek tourists on the island are becoming more and more intense.

Satisfied at the same time, for the tourist image of Alonissos, the mayor of the island, Petros Vafinis, who stresses that the occupation is approaching 100%, there is a lot of people on the island from Thessaloniki and other areas, along with the foreign tourists of the summer season . The world, however, is "numb", as he notes, referring to the limited economic potential of most visitors. Consumption is limited, as the island's professionals say at the same time that the move is satisfactory, but the money spent by tourists is much less compared to earlier times and especially to the pre-crisis times'

Additional flights from England ? Not Italy or our Scandinavian friends? or the Balklan countries where they have been seeking new markets, with tourists who turn studios into restaurants?

If they want the 'Swans' then they need to treat them well, Flights and packages are extortionate, compared to the other places in Greece, that stay open until the end of October. Corfu Rhodes etc.

If the seats are cheaper you get more custom, and they have more money to spend - on the island. Thats the idea isn't it ? ...

Will there be any sunbeds for the tourists to use, or are they just for part of June, July, August, and most of September ?

In addition, they better make sure the mainlanders, with businesses, don't leave at the end of September. Its bad enough everyone has the mistaken belief, the islanders put padlocks on the island then as it is ...

Its no good 'treating your best customer mean, and expecting them to remain keen' when you feel like it ...

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Olives ...

It may be hot or very wet outside ...

Depending of course where you are ...

Greek marinated olives ...
But you cannot help sometimes, to fancy a taste of the sun, and have something that makes you feel better inside ...

If you are on the border, and the yak is powering the WiFi in North Korea, right now. I have a message from the leader of the free world ...


Run for the hills, if you see fireworks ...

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Memories ...

People often ask what is August like?
Six years ago on this day in 2011 ...

Q1. When is the next trip available ?
A. Its on Friday - We are sold out until then. (This was a Monday)

Q2. What have you got tomorrow ?
A. Nothing until Friday - We are sold out until then.

After listening to this just five times, the captain looked at me, shook his head, turned off the lights, and said 'lets go home' ...

Maybe it was the full moon, it still seems to have been casting its spell over the last few days

Ever heard of canceling your holiday, just in case of loosing your luggage on the way back? Or because the buses are full? No me neither, but I have now ...

Late News:

Local joke (August)

Q: Where is the best place to park in Skiathos Town in the evening ?

A: Glossa (Skopelos)

Monday, 7 August 2017

Bravo Amanda ...

... and the Attikon cinema team

 From http://www.kathimerini.gr/

Konstantinos Zoulas CONSTANTINOS ZOULAS
Lydia - Mamma Mia ... in Croatia
POLICY 05.08.2017 : 20:16

"After you are in Skiathos you must definitely go with your children to Mamma Mia. They should not lose it as many times as they have ever seen. Because here is not a simple projection of the project, but something really original that you will be happy and you, it is enough to book in time ".

The friend's incitement brought curiosity to the company and so we booked tickets for everyone. Well, you will not believe it. In the beautiful Summer Cinema "Attikon" of Skiathos, four times a week, and for the whole summer, the following crazy thing is happening: While Mamma Mia is being shown, ABBA's songs are already on the first scene and they are on the stage In front of the screen some young people (rather actors) with excellent voices who manage in a few minutes to turn the work into an unprecedented interactive musical. What I mean;

In the show I saw the scene filled every so many dozens of boys and girls and older people - Greeks and mainly foreign tourists - who were on stage to become the choir of Meryl Streep, Piers Brosnan and Amanda Safed, with the original "Animeter" does not even need to give the tone after a while. Until the break, there was not even a spectator who did not sing the ABBA songs, and in the ballads the cinema was transformed into an ecclesiastical choir.

Our children are meant to go crazy, while searching for a bit to learn how this paradoxical spectacle arose, my surprise grew even bigger, as I found out that everything started in 2008 completely random and spontaneous. It was then the first year that Mamma Mia was screened all over the world and the strangers who succeeded in winning the summer work in Skiathos were so excited to be on one of the islands that was filmed to spontaneously step on the stage to " And sing along with the famous actors.

And somehow, the owners of "Attikon", without themselves too busy, became producers of this paradox spectacle, which has since been constantly rising over the last nine summers with all the performances - four weeks each week - sold out as foreigners Greek tourists learn that in "Attikon" when playing Mamma Mia is a party and they want to live it.

Especially watching the strangers rejoice so much even in the Greek "paradox" of the summer cinema, my mind went together in one last year's visit to the beautiful Damouhari of Pelion. And again I remembered the surprise I had felt when I realized that the local taverns even today, nine years after the show of Mamma Mia, show their place with great pictures showing scenes from the movie against the backdrop of the enchanting beach that was filmed. The same thing is happening in Skopelos where most Mamma Mia was filmed. Even today, thousands of tourists visit her to see the beautiful landscapes chosen by the director, while a friend told me that something like this is happening in Amorgos,

For those who have not yet guessed the occasion of today's note, I will tell you in one sentence. When I came out of Skiathos summer cinema I was in front of Lydia Koniordou, I think I would not be able to stop her from ... catching it. Or, to be exact, I would force her by all means to reveal how the demon of her ministry managed to lose Greece shooting the second Mamma Mia, which will eventually be filmed in Croatia. Because it is a real feat for a minister of culture to know, like all Greeks, how much our country has benefited from its unbelievable visibility through this film and sends Meryl Streep and other actors to turn its course in Croatia.

And even more outrageous is that Mrs. Konidoros did not even feel the need to explain to the public her success or even to deny the version of production that her ministry was asked to bend the bureaucratic procedures and to give some tax imperfections, Which, of course, promptly helped the Croats to meet. You will tell me, Mrs. Konidord would have more serious issues to deal with. Like proclaiming a listed monument a tavern in Epidaurus or shaking as she used her hands to clean the negative aura from her ministry.

ΥΓ. The story-telling of the story is that after the outcry, SYRIZA announced that it is enacting a law that will motivate foreign producers. They will be implemented, however, after 2018. Do not hurry children, we have time (to expel other productions).