Greek PM Faces Protests Over Migrant Numbers, Tax Hike in Lesvos

Lesvos is beefing up security for the visit of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and a host of ministers who will participate in regional conference on the Aegean island on Wednesday and Thursday.

Seventeen squads of riot police are travelling from Athens as local organizations are planning rallies against the government’s policies on migration and VAT hikes.

At a news conference, organizers said the protests surrounding Tsipras’ visit are the “last effort to pressure the government not to increase VAT on islands from July 1”.

Shops and local government offices are expected to close down in protest on Thursday, during Tsiras’s speech at the conference.

The Greek premier’s visit comes amid a fresh spike in migrant arrivals from Turkey.

In April, dozens of migrants were injured after far-right extremists attacked a group of 200 migrants and asylum seekers who had camped out in the main square of Lesvos’ capital, Mytilini.

The local authority warns that similar incidents may occur again as tensions are hotting up in the island which is at the forefront of the migrant crisis in Greece.

Refugees and migrants who arrived on Greek islands after the March 2016 deal between Turkey and the European Union are barred from travelling to mainland Greece unless they obtain permission from the authorities.

Although a Greek court ruled last month that new arrivals will be allowed to move on to the mainland, those who arrived during that two-year period are still confined to the islands.

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Tasos Kokkinidis

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This Romantic Candlelit Restaurant Will Make You Travel in Time

Warm atmosphere at Yiannis’ Taverna (Courtesy of Tavernoxoros.gr).

Traditional places on the island of Crete are not difficult to find. Solitary villages, especially in the hinterland, still manage to maintain a special atmosphere that takes visitors on a trip back to happier times, where life was simpler and more genuine.

That is precisely the case of the village known as Kyparissi, located half an hour from the capital of Crete, Heraklion, not far from Prophet Elias. In this village, there is a place completely different from the busier tavernas in town. It is Yannis’taverna and everything about it is special.

Those passing by will certainly be attracted by the warm atmosphere of the village restaurant. The candlelight dim-lit room, the fireplace and the endless rows of house wine barrels that decorate the beautiful place brings memories of a past when everything was no-frills. When life was about enjoying the taste of the land and the company for friends and family.

Warm atmosphere at Yiannis’ Taverna (Courtesy of Tavernoxoros.gr).

Music often comes to life together with Yiannis’ lyre and songs bringing joy to every visitor. At Yiannis’, everyone pays a fixed price and can eat as much as they want. The dishes are delicious and the wine flows uninterruptedly. Most ingredients are organic and the food is cooked in a traditional wood-burning oven.

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Gabi Ancarola

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Ten Things to Do in Chania, Crete

The Mosque of the Janizaries and the Port

The Prefecture of Chania is located in western Crete. The picturesque seaside city of Chania is its capital and it features a well-preserved historical center as well as a modern city that extends enough to reach the mountain range of the Lefka Ori or the White Mountains. Here are some of the things to do in Chania.

Visit a Mountain Village

The White Mountains in Summer (Courtesy of The Tiny Book).

All over the prefecture, visitors will find traditional hamlets and villages perched on the slopes of the Lefka Ori. These places of untouched beauty offer a unique opportunity to be in touch with nature as well as with the local cuisine which is simple and tasty. In the mountains, it is possible to discover local species of plants and animals, some of them unique to the island

Explore the Beaches

Elafonisi beach Crete
Elafonisi (Southern Crete).

The prefecture of Chania is the area that hosts some of the most beautiful beaches on the island. Falassana on the west side is well known for its privileged location for water sports and unique sunsets. On the south, world-famous Elafonisi, with its crystal waters and pink sand, enchants thousands of visitors every year. For the more adventurous type, the peninsula of Gramvousa and the unique landscape of Balos beach are worth the trip over the dirt path.

Discover the History of the City

The Old Venetian Harbor of Chania.

A city that has been continuously inhabited for over 7,000 years certainly has a few things to offer those interested in history.

Home to different rulers and occupiers, Chania displays every style of architecture. The Venetian harbor combines with the various minarets still standing in town and the many Byzantine churches of the city.

Certainly, there is no shortage of monuments and buildings telling the legends of the Venice of the East, as it used to be called. A walking tour of the city that combines traditions and gastronomy can be the perfect opportunity for a different way to explore Chania.

Indulge in the Local Gastronomy

Greek salad with rusks
Greek salad with rusks (Courtesy: Gabi Ancarola).

The Cretan diet has been long recognized as one of the healthiest in the world and there is no better place to try it than on the island. Main ingredients include the traditional Mediterranean products, such as olive oil, vegetables and Greek yogurt but also include wild greens, local varieties of cheese and delicious cuts of meat, such as goat or sheep. Everything is cooked in a no-frills way but with a judicious use of herbs and spices — the base of the unique Cretan flavors.

Shop Till You Drop

Central Market of Chania (Courtesy of The Tiny Book).

A visit to the Municipal Market, or Dimotiki Agora, is the best excuse to take back some of the traditions of the island.

Considered to be an architectural gem and one the most important public markets in the region, the Municipal Market gives visitors the opportunity to shop for local produce of excellent quality. Olives, honey, spices, herbs and cheese are some of the Cretan tastes that tourists usually choose to return with.

Taste Cretan Wines

Oinotika Chania 2018
(Courtesy of Wines of Crete).

Different wineries can be visited all over the island, and some of them are located in the Prefecture. Either venture yourself in a self-made journey of discovery or rely on the wise suggestions of the only local wine tour run by a sommelier. In both cases be certain that you will enjoy some of the best wines currently being produced in Greece.

Test your Skills in Extreme Sports

Bungee jumping in Aradena (Courtesy of Andy Humpries).

Have you ever jumped from a bridge? If this is something that entices your curiosity, Crete is one of the places where to feel some extreme adrenaline. Every summer, Aradena — in the region of Sfakia — turns into the gathering point for bungee lovers who dare to jump into the gap of the gorge from a bridge standing at 138 meters height. If the idea is too much for you, try a hike in the area — the unique landscape will amaze you equally and offer unforgettable experiences.

Learn About the Local Olive Oil

The popularity of superfoods is growing at a fast pace. This is simply because these mostly natural food is packed with high levels of vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals while they also provide countless benefits that help live a longer and healthier life.
Olive Oil, liquid gold of Crete.

About 27 kilometers (17 miles) from the city of Chania, it is possible to visit one of the oldest living olive trees in the world. It is located in the village of Ano Vouves and it is still producing olives that result in an excellent quality extra virgin oil. In the area, there is also a museum and an old olive-oil factory, both of them open to the public and teaching visitors all the secrets of the history of this local treasure.

Sail the Cretan Sea

Sailing Crete (Courtesy of A Pinch of Soul and Style)

Home to three beautiful peninsulas — Gramvousa, Rodopos and Akrotiri — sailing the shores of northern Crete can turn into a surprise for many. Either you go for a version of extreme luxury yachting or decide on a more modest sailing trip, cruising the Cretan seas will allow you to dive in some of the bluest waters of the Mediterranean, or even trying your fishing skills.

Enjoy Some of the Local Festivals

Music in Chania (Courtesy of The Tiny Book).

Almost every week of the year, there is a festival to enjoy in the villages of Crete. A culture that pretty much revolves around eating, drinking and music is nothing but a guarantee of fun and joy made of local dances and songs. Whether it is Easter, the 1st of May or the Day of the Virgin (Aug. 15), every town in Chania allows tourists to experience the Cretan traditions at their best.

Fileas Art Hotel in Chania Lives up to its Descrption

Fileas Art Hotel , the new addition of Aria Hotels (www.ariahotels.gr), is situated in the Old Town of Chania and truly lives up to its name, combining art, architectural tradition and Outstanding quality in service and accommodation.
Th
is unique boutique hotel is housed in a three-story traditional building on Protou Frangiskou Street. It is fully renovated to provide all comforts and the friendly staff guarantee that guests will enjoy the traditional warm hospitality that Crete and Cretan people are famous for.
The hotel features six modern double rooms with special decoration and artwork
s, which combined with all modern amenities, guarantee a comfortable and enjoyable stay in the historic city.
Fileas Art Hotel is located only a few minutes away from the Old
Port of Chania and is therefore ideally suited for touring the city’s landmarks, monuments and hot spots.
In addition, the Old Port location offers plenty of entertainment and gastronomy options, including the Alcanea Café & Wine Bar, located on the ground floor of
Aria’s sister property, the Alcanea Boutique Hotel.
Fileas Art Hotel (
Email: [email protected]) is the seventh the propertyf Aria Hotels in Crete. The company has several hotels and villas, all in exceptional destinations: Athens, Crete, Cyclades, Epirus and Peloponnese, all chosen to appeal to the discerning traveler looking for a secret hideaway in Greece.

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Gabi Ancarola

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