✈️ Greece Opens Up.
In this edition we visit a budget friendly Parisian rooftop, take a short tour of my favorite island in the Aegean and look at some handy makeup solution for those last minute touchups.
👨✈️ The Briefing Room:
Notes and open topics from the editor’s desk.
Welcome Departures. The place to be for where to go and what to see. In this edition, we continue binging on Parisian rooftops. This time in one of the most budget friendly options. We take a short tour of my favorite island in the Aegean and we look a handy makeup solution for those last minute touchups.
So now without further ado, let’s take it away!
📰 This Week in Travel:
A TLDR approach to some of the week’s most important headlines.
Greece removes all Covid related entry restrictions. Effective May 2nd, and just in time to welcome peak summer travel, the land of Zeus will join 15 of its European counterparts in lifting all pandemic travel restrictions. These include vaccine certificates and mask requirements as well as pre-travel tests. This edition’s Bucket List is dedicated to my favorite Greek destination.
Experts predict a summer of travel chaos. As countries continue to open up and lift their pandemic restrictions, demand for air travel has increased faster than airlines had expected or were prepared to manage. These past few weeks we have seen a preview of the disruptions in the form of delays and cancellations across airports around the world. Summer travelers should brace themselves for things to get worse before they start getting better.
Ultra low cost carriers to Europe are on the comeback. Earlier this year, Iceland based Play Airlines made a splash with it’s $109 promotional flight through Reykjavík. So for anyone out of the loop, make sure you keep an eye out for their special offers out of Orlando (MCO), Baltimore/Washington (BWI), New York Stewart (SWF) and Boston (BOS).
📸 Destination Deep Dive:
Comprehensive multipart series on a single destination.
France Part 10
Last week on Destination Deep Dive: France Part 09 we visited Le Ciel de Paris on the 56th floor of Montparnasse Tower for a world class dining experience. This week we visit a little hidden gem that offers a great rooftop views without breaking the bank.
Khayma Rooftop Bar is located on the 9th floor of Generator Hostel. Just a few blocks from Garre del l’Est and across the roundabout from Colonel Fabien Metro Station of the 2 line. With its ultra chic middle eastern aesthetic, exotic cocktails and exquisite views of Sacré-Coeur and Montmartre, it has nothing to envy some of the more popular rooftop destinations in my list. With prices starting at 5€ for beer, 9€ for cocktails and 20€ for a bottle of wine, there is definitely something for everyone and every budget.
Next week on Destination Deep Dive: France Part 11 we continue our tour of the best roof tops in Paris.
About Destination Deep Dives
Destination Deep Dives offer a more immersive look at one particular destination in a recurring format over a several editions of the newsletter. It is where I give myself room to explore a broader set of points of interests, for all travel styles and budgets. Think of them as small parts of a larger travel guide. Even though I will be publishing them all together as one guide at the end of the series, you may access them all as individual articles inside their corresponding Departures edition here:
🗺 Bucket List:
Short highlight of a dream destination.
There is little denying that Santorini is one of Europe’s most sought after destinations and with good reason. Even though only 1 of over 200 islands in the Greek archipelago, its unique geography and beautiful Cycladic architecture nestled along the side of a centuries old volcanic caldera is absolute eye candy everywhere you look. Although its rise in pre pandemic popularity, made it one of the most overcrowded places in the entire European Union, as people ease into international travel once again, you might have a unique opportunity to enjoy all its beauty before the crowds begin arriving once again.
Though the island has a small airport with direct service from most major transit hubs in Europe, I always find the slower ferry ride from the port of Piraeus in Athens the most enjoyable. The roughly 5 hour trip aboard Blue Star Ferries makes several short stops in several islands along the way. The ship’s size and amenities makes the entire trip feel more like a day cruise.
As with many of my other Bucket List destinations, I am working on a comprehensive travel guide for Santorini, but in the mean time here’s a few highlights and must do’s:
Even though Santorini is a small island, its really not small enough to walk in any practical way if you really want to make the most out of your time. Although there are plenty car rental companies at both air and seaports, I’ve found that the most convenient way to move around is by quad. Though definitely not always the most comfortable, if traveling alone, as a couple or small adult group it can be a huge timesaver as they can get around the islands heavy traffic and limited parking situation with ease. So definitely consider it when making your travel plans.
If you care for good fine dining experiences, reservations at most sit-down restaurants are a must during the summer. Even more when cruise ships are in town. It is not uncommon for just one ship to unload several thousand passengers overnight. So always be on the lookout off shore and plan accordingly. One thing I like to do is research and pin several restaurants I would like to try before I leave the hotel in the morning and scout them in person as I make my way across town. I will make the reservation in person with the host and if early enough I will usually have dibs on my preferred table.
Enjoying the sunset at Oia Castle is by far one of the most popular things to do in the entire island. The view is absolutely spectacular. But during the summer, so are the crowds. Although I do think even then, its worth putting up with the hordes of people, the best way to get a good spot and experience the sunset in all its glory is to get there early in the afternoon and camp out. Normally I will take a day pack with a blanket, snacks, a bottle of wine and just picnic the entire afternoon on top of one of the castle’s walls. If you have a quad or a car and want to experience an even more impressive sunset without the crowds, take a drive up Mount Taygetus and picnic at the Prophet Elias Viewpoint. It is the highest point in the island and the view is amazing as well.
🧳 Carry-on Only:
Travel experience, tech and accessory reviews.
Taiwanese bag manufacturer Wotancraft announced an update to their modular Pilot range of camera bags. Coming in at 20L capacity and in 2 colors, together with their complete line of matching accessories they make great everyday or carry on travel companions.
🛠 Hack of the Week:
Tips and tricks for better travel quality of life.
This weeks little travel hack is for all our makeup wearing readers. The folks over at The Pocket Palette have come up with one of the most practical ways to freshen up on the go with their disposable makeup packs. Each pre-perforated pack includes black mascara (with wand), pink dual purpose lip/cheek color and BB cream or foundation in 4 different shades. Each item in the pack is perfectly portioned so you can carry a full face of makeup anywhere you go. At about the size of a Post-It note, you can put one on your carry on and avoid the hassle of fumbling through your larger bag when you touch up before landing.
🛫 About Us:
Departures is a free newsletter about photography, travel & lifestyle. To find out more about what this is, who I am and why should you be here, visit our dedicated about page here: