Cheap seats: Go to Greece
January 7, 2009
Tired of scraping the windshield every morning?
Then try a weekend escape to one of the many Greek cities where warmer temperatures await.
In Rhodes, start at either Elli or the municipal beach — both popular locations for sunning or splashing around in the crystal waters off the island’s coast. Another popular option is the resort area of Faliraki, which offers a large water park, beach bars, tennis courts and more sandy beaches.
Be sure not to ignore Rhodes’ Old Town, packed with museums and galleries. Popular museums include the Modern Art Gallery of Rhodes, with works by Greek artists, and the Museum of Decorative Arts, housing local crafts.
Also within the Old Town is the Palace of the Grand Master, which was rebuilt in 1939 after having been destroyed almost 85 years before. The palace’s floors are covered with mosaics and the rooms are decorated with 16th- and 17th-century antiques.
For more fine museums and galleries worth exploring, travel to Thessaloniki and start at the White Tower of Thessaloniki, home to the Museum of Byzantine Cultures. The museum contains many collections of sculptures, frescoes, coins, mosaics and glass. Don’t miss the museum’s important exhibits, including a silk cloth woven with gold thread and a couple of amulets made of enamel and gold.
Another museum of interest is the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, which provides a story of Thessaloniki from prehistoric days through the Roman period. Look for the exhibits of Roman mosaics and Hellenistic glass.
The Macedonian Museum of Modern Art houses works by both Greek and international artists. Museum highlights include the bronze sculpture "Man" and the painting "Erotiko."
However, if you simply want fun in the sun, travel to Corfu, a blossoming island at the mouth of the Adriatic Sea. The crowded sandy coastline of Agios Gordis is very popular with American students, thanks to the trendy Pink Palace Hotel. Another crowded beach is the resort of Kavos, which has many bars and clubs. In the evenings, the pebbled beaches of Roda, a former fishing harbor, becomes a hub of activity with lively restaurants and bars.
Tourists looking for leisurely days on the beach should try 3-mile Agios Georgios or Agios Stefanos, a safe family beach, and the blue-flagged pebble beach of Barbati.
Visit one of the many shorelines, such as Sidari and Arrilas, which offer water sports facilities with equipment for sailing, windsurfing and diving.
— Compiled by Heather Klinglesmith from travel Web sites