A different way to search for travel destinations
As a member of Travel Bloggers Greece (TBG) I was invited to a presentation of a Greek start-up company called Tripinview that took place last Thursday at the Village Cinemas at the Mall in Μarousi, where many pleasant surprises awaited me. First of all, before the presentation started, I came across a very dear, old friend and peer, Sokratis Efstathopoulos who is one of the main factors of the project…the photographer.
Tripinview began with the original idea of presenting videos in high definition and outstanding photography taken by helicopter of the entire coastline of popular tourist regions and countries starting with Greece. Of course nothing was easy and Tripinview faced big challenges, how could all this precious material (more than 800,000 images and more than 300 hours of video to date), first of all to be recorded correctly, and then how to be able to present it to the visitor –Internet user in a user-friendly and fully functional way.
The surprises continued as I started to browse through the pictures and the website videos as the material is excellent in photographic terms (what can I do, it is a matter of my professional perversion) you watch the video easily and in perfect synchronisation with the relevant photos that can be seen more close up or you can go back to the map and then again can be taken with a single click to the triple option of video, photos and more close-up photos. In order for this to happen the Tripinview developers had to design many features from the scratch by making applications that someone might have thought unrealized. Certainly important is that they did their best. The Tripinview website is fully functional and very easy to navigate around and you will find it by your selves visited www.tripinview.com
Tripinview exists as a mobile app for android and iphone but I have not tried them out yet and more to come on this in a next blog post. Traveling and photographing on the ground myself for the past 35 years, many times in the same places that has been photographed by the Tripinview helicopter, if I am jealous of anything it is neither the outstanding photographic images that someone can take from above, nor their use of excellent equipment, what I really envy is the outstanding team, is the human resources of Tripinview at all levels, and the last pleasant surprise for me… is that they are all Greeks. Tripinview so far covers the Mediterranean coastlines of Greece, Turkey, Italy, Malta, Monaco, France, Spain and Portugal and of course there are big plans for future expansion. So place Tripinview in your browser favorites I am sure that will become the main way to search for travel destinations.
The establishment of Travel Bloggers Greece (TBG) a year ago was something I definitely had to celebrate in a exceptional way and we had the unique opportunity to celebrate our first anniversary as a group by spending an entire weekend together thanks to the hospitality of Thermae Sylla Spa – Wellness Hotel in Edipsos.
The Thermae Sylla Spa – Wellness Hotel is an historic hotel, it is the first hotel to have ever been built in Edipsos and one of the first luxury hotels in Greece. With the renovation and the new wings that were added to the Thermae Sylla Spa – Wellness Hotel while maintaining its historic architectural style, it features ultra modern hotel facilities but what makes it stand out globally are its spa facilities.
The Thermae Sylla Spa – Wellness Hotel has a large outdoor pool and a lovely indoor swimming pool, both with thermal water and hydro-massage systems. The building’s spa features a range of rooms in which you can have personalized treatment programs of wellness and relaxation. All spaces and services of the Thermae Sylla hotel, from the rooms to the restaurants are excellent, but the real comparative advantage is the wing of the spa. Here at Thermae Sylla Spa – Wellness Hotel you can feel in its entire splendor what it really is, a spa hotel with its own natural spa, a privilege that few hotels in the world that claim to be so, actually are.
We spent a wonderful weekend with our blogger friends of TBG and we owe above all our thanks to the wonderful hotel staff that took care of everything for us in the best way. In addition to our joint activities and a small photography lesson for my friends of TBG, my time was divided between the 2 pools with thermal water that I could not stay away from for anything except my mood to take photos. Even though my bad habit of smoking found me meeting other residents of the hotel with the same weakness in the small outdoor smoking area where we often met for a sly puff and a coffee where we had interesting discussions about photography and art.
The Thermae Sylla Spa – Wellness Hotel is located in northern Evia in Greece in the famous spa town of Edipsos and its contact details are:
Thermae Sylla Spa & Wellness Hotel (5*)
Posidonos Str. 2
Landline: +30 22260 60 100
Fax: +30 22260 22 055
The first time I visited Edipsos was when I was 10 years old, 40 years ago. I went with my Grandmother who every year used to go to some places around Greece which had thermal springs for therapeutic reasons. All the people we met in Edipsos were old people, mostly pensioners who were there for the excellent thermal springs of Edipsos.
Now in 2016, I visited Edipsos along with very nice company – the bloggers of Travel Bloggers Greece – we spent a wonderful weekend as guests of the Thermae Sylla Spa – Wellness Hotel where we celebrated the first year anniversary of the establishment of our group.
Edipsos is a beautiful coastal city in northern Evia and is fortunate to have the most famous natural spas in Greece. The thermal springs of Edipsos have been well known since antiquity for their healing properties. In ancient Greece the area was called “the hot springs of Hercules” and mythological folklore mentions that the Goddess Athena was the one who begged the God Hephaestus to create the hot springs so that the mythological hero Hercules would have a place to rest after his difficult labors.
While from historical tradition we learn that it was in these hot springs of Edipsos that the Roman General, Consul and Dictator Lucius Cornelius Sulla rested after his battles in Greece.
After a long period where the area had faded into obscurity, Edipsos began to once again become known for its hot springs in the 19th century. A big boost in the tourist development of Edipsos was given by the creation of the Thermae Sylla Spa – Wellness Hotel which was the first luxury hotel ever built in the area.
At the beginning of the 20th century other hotels and many spas were built so as to be able to meet the needs of visitors who increasingly preferred the area of Edipsos for its hot springs. Nowadays, thousands of visitors from around the world prefer Edipsos, to spend a few days or more for rest and relaxation treatments. You can visit Edipsos via 2 ways, by driving over the bridge in Halkida, or by ferry boat from Arkitsa.
I’m always happy to share new innovative solutions that make my travels better and even happier when these tools are built in my city from people I know well. My friends Stefanos Vasdekis and John Nousis have created Travelmyth, a hotel search engine that helps travelers discover unique hotels by recommending the best hotels according to their interests and preferences.
Travelmyth offers you the possibility, by using advanced algorithmic technology, to plan your next vacation based on your interests and not necessarily the destination, by “replacing” the cities of the world map with more than 50 hotel themes. Whether you prefer cycling over hiking, tennis over horse riding and vineyards rather than palaces, Travelmyth helps you decide or even better offers you the possibility to have it all in one “package” if you try a complex search.
The hotel search engine allows even the most complex searches among tens of thousands of destinations and more than seven hundred thousand hotels around the world, even if you are not sure where you want to go or where you want to stay. Visit the official page of travelmyth.com, select what you like most from a list of 55 hotel themes and then choose among the best hotels that are being recommended to you, from Australia to Argentina and from Africa to the most remote part of Asia. Hotels that are dog friendly or near kayaking sites, adults-only properties and former monastery hotels are only few of the choices available.
Another advantage of Travelmyth is the fact that the top choices and not the cheapest deals are being presented. After recommending the best hotels, the travel engine compares prices from several booking sites to make sure that you book the best hotel at the best available price. The hotel search engine also tries to explain why each hotel is being recommended, the important information that the demanding traveler wants to know. For example, if a user searches for castle hotels, she can find information such as when the castle was built and its history. Just like the travel agent who tried to help you plan memorable holidays before the internet took over.
Travelmyth was recently featured on The New York Times where Stefanos and John are presented as whiz kids and friends since high school (and now 35 years old) who started their first company as college freshmen in 1998, when the internet was still an unknown world for Greece. Since then they have averaged a new project about every other year. Some have succeeded and some have not, but through it all they have made enough to support themselves while reinvesting in their business.
At another recent interview at Travel Massive, Stefanos and John said that Travelmyth is the 8th startup they have built, so they used their experience to save time and money while building their product. As they both write code, the first step was to write the algorithm that ranks hotels, and then they had to build the user interface to then add content. In the meantime they have closed partnership deals with online booking sites such as Booking.com, Expedia and Venere, to be able to offer price comparison and monetize their service.
Last October Stefanos and John traveled to San Francisco for the eTourism Summit as TravelMyth was one of the 5 travel startup companies selected as “Bright Shiny New Objects: Promising New Products, Tools And Apps”.
Travelmyth was launched in October of 2014 and is now gaining traction mainly in the UK and Scandinavian markets. I’ve already added Travelmyth at my favorites since it was in early beta version and I use it for recommendations when I search for hotels. As the search results match with my interests, it really helps me to discover hotels that I might not have found at other hotel search engines. Give it a try at travelmyth.com!
This year I found myself spending a few days in Ios island again. During the short trip from Santorini to Ios I met in the luggage area of the ship, a young kid from Scotland who was carrying two guitars. When I asked him why he had the guitars with him he told me that he was going to Ios to work as a musician and singer in a bar called ‘Circus Bar’ and invited me to go and hear him perform.
I don’t usually go out in the evenings when I’m traveling and taking photographs because at the end of the day I’m very tired, and all I want is a warm shower and to sit down to study the photos that I have taken and work a little on the internet. But in Ios for the first few days it rained, so I wasn’t very tired. So on the very first night I visited the Circus Bar.
The first thing that struck me was that my new friend is a modest and polite youngster, but when on stage he transforms into a passionate performer who flows with his guitar and his voice (and breaks a few of the strings of his guitars every night ). The other thing that struck me is that the Circus Bar is a bar with mostly live rock music the like of which I have rarely encountered on the Greek islands and what is certain, apart from other things, is that it keeps the tradition of fun alive in Ios.
When I say tradition of course I mean my own personal experience of the tradition I encountered as a teenager for several summers on Ios, since the whole island was an ensemble that usually ended with instruments being played and songs sung from Chora to Mylopotas until dawn. At the Circus Bar you can experience this magical atmosphere of Ios. You can sip your drinks and your beers at very reasonable prices and meet the extraordinary people who are the customers, the artists and the staff who work in the bar.
For the three days I stayed on Ios I was at the Circus Bar every night sitting in my corner smoking outside the Bar, and besides Guy Hamilton I listened to Peter Byrne and Etienne Belin who I liked a lot (especially Etienne with their theatrical elegance) who I would recommend to listen to on the internet or even better go to Ios to hear them.
Circus Bar on facebook https://www.facebook.com/CircusBarIos
And some information about the artists
During my journey in Ios island rained for 2 days. Some Ios island photos just after the rain.
For more Ios island photos take a look at
Ios is a beautiful Cycladic island near Santorini although not as famous as its neighbor, has loyal friends from around the world.
Ios island has a picturesque capital town (Chora) and some of the finest beaches in the Aegean Sea.
Certainly Ios island is famous for entertaining offering to its visitors with its many bars, but the tour of the island has a lot to offer to visitors also.