Do you have a story that needs to be told? That’s what we do – we tell stories, the things that make a destination unique. Technically, stories are called “content.” But to us, these stories are the unforgettable life experiences that inspire our work.
What’s Your Story?
Sometimes you know exactly what makes your destination extraordinary.
When we arrive at a new destination, we often see many stories that our hosts haven’t thought of. When you grow up in a place, you might not realize how incredibly special and unusual it is – how the music is wilder, the history more bold and brave, the apricots sweeter, the vernacular architecture more extraordinary. We have been blessed to visit many locations throughout Greece, from mountaintops to the smallest islands at the edge of the Greek seas, and this context gives us an overview to spot what stands out. It also enables us to make connections that put your destination in the center of a larger story.
Many Bloggers, Many Tales
We share a love of authentic Greece, and want to promote it as a 365-day-a-year destination that offers a tremendous diversity of experiences. But exactly what we love, how we see it, and how we share it is as individual as we are. We all write about a well-rounded experience of a destination, incorporating all the key highlights of nature, culture, history, cuisine, and accommodation. But our in-depth connection with a place will differ. Some of us see the architecture and culture and focus on that especially.
Cuisine and wine tell their own rich stories – some of my personal favorites. Some of us travel with our children and are great at spotting what makes a destination an inspired choice for families and promote that to their audiences of family travelers.
Who Are We?
We come from a variety of cultural backgrounds, and we range in age from just barely 25 to 60 – that covers a lot of interests and travel styles. We blog in five different languages for a broad and truly international reach. And in addition to blogging, we share our tales in other ways. I’m a journalist, a hotel reviewer, and also work on internationally distributed guidebooks. Places I have visited in the past continue to find their way into my work on an on-going basis. We have some gifted videographers in our group who tell a thrilling visual tale with gorgeous drone shots, and photographers who capture stunning images that speak to the soul. Some of us are very good at connecting with a broad audience through social media, and reach vast numbers of potential travelers with inspiring posts that grab their attention and make them want to know more.
The Best Blog Trips
We’ve been on many professionally organized trips, and of course we have enjoyed them and done some professional work for those destinations.
But the best trips of all? Those have been the most personal ones. These are arranged by hosts who are passionate about their destination and share that passion. Sometimes, they’re seasoned tourism professionals and they have an established network of service providers – hotels, tavernas, transport, tour guides, and so on – to arrange a complete experience.
How to Arrange a Trip for Bloggers
Very often, a trip starts with the inspiration of one person, enthusiastic about their destination, but unsure how to organize a whole trip for a group of bloggers.
What we do is share every aspect of the destination with our audiences. Besides the places to see and the things to do, that includes the best places to stay, where and what to eat, specific activities that make the destination shine and even getting to the destination.
Hosts often reach out to other professionals in their community – friends with tavernas, adventure tourism bureaus, dive shops, wineries, distilleries, horse stables, boats for excursions, and so on – to become involved in the trip, inviting us to enjoy experiences with them and receiving promotion and visibility in return.
Our audiences often want to do exactly what we have done – stay in the same places, eat in the same restaurants, take the same boat excursions or hikes, etc. They want to have the same quality, authentic experience we have shared with them, and we give them all of the information and contact details to bring that about.
Sometimes, especially after the private initiative of the host and other businesses, hosts ask the local representatives of EOT for some official support, such as entrance to archaeological sites and museums, and a professional guide, and even transportation, such as our airfare on a trip to Lesvos.
We’ve stayed everywhere from boutique hotels, rooms with cooking and living facilities for longer stays, historic restored dwellings, luxury resorts, spa hotels, even boats. These places become an essential part of our story. Readers and viewers very often want to enjoy the same experience, staying at the places we have already enjoyed and tested out for them.
The cuisine and wines of a destination are central to the experience. Very often, several different restaurants and tavernas become sponsors, each inviting us for a meal. We get to photograph the food, share on social media where we are and what we are eating, and very often – the best part – we get to know our hosts and their story, as it becomes a part of our experience.
Besides the social media coverage, the restaurants we eat at are part of our blog posts, articles, and so on. Readers very often want to experience exactly what we share, and we guide them to the same places.
Transportation is part of the stories we tell – the drive through the mountain pass in the snow, the romance of arriving by ferry, the first sight of the island from the air…
Both how to get to and from the destination, and all about getting around the destination are things that our readers want to know. Sometimes, our hosts have organized sponsored transportation through the official government tourism organization of the destination, such as our air tickets on Aegean to visit Lesvos. On another trip, the private company Let’s Ferry – where clients can book ferries on any number of lines throughout the Greek seas – arranged our transportation to Crete. Some hosts fund our tickets on KTEL or Trainose to get us where we need to be.
At the destination, sometimes we have rental cars, in exchange for including the rental company in our posts and social media. Other times, buses and minivan services who arrange local tours take us around, and we feature them, too. This serves our audiences, too. And on still other trips, our hosts have simply pulled together enough private vehicles and taken us around, which gives us more time to spend together – that’s actually one of the most important parts of the experience: getting to know our hosts and seeing the destination through their eyes.
Faith, History, and Culture
An overview of the history of your destination – from the Bronze Age through the present – is the heart of many a story. Visits to local archaeological sites, museums, cultural centers, and so on are valuable experiences in themselves and also give us a greater sense of context, helping us to tell richer and more engaging tales
Faith is an important part of each destination we have visited. We would be honored to visit your churches and monasteries, learn about the saints closest to your community and your history, and the feast days and customs that celebrate them.
Traditional music adds so much to an experience. We loved hearing the Amanes of Lesvos, and feel closer to the island because of it. I loved my first ‘tsambounia’ on Mykonos, and joining in the dance. And can one really experience Crete without hearing the music of a lyra and the rhythm of a manteinada?
Experiences to Share
We want to experience everything a destination has to offer, in order to give our audiences a complete overview, and help them have the best possible experience when they visit your destination, too.
Perhaps some of your friends in the community, fellow tourism professionals, food artisans, vintners, and others have some experiences they would like to promote to a larger audience.
We really want to promote Greece as a destination with a tremendous variety of experiences beyond the fantastic beaches and uniquely inspiring archaeology. Here are a few examples of experiences we have shared, plus some we and our audiences would find interesting:
Cuisine: Local Cheeses, Wines, Fish, Artisanal Products, Produce, Honey, Olive Oil
We mentioned restaurants and tavernas for meals. But apart from that, many of our audiences are food-forward travelers. A unique product, dish, or drink can inspire a whole story. Does your destination have a PDO product you would like people to know about? A special wine, recipe or dish that tells a unique story?
Wines and Spirits
Wines so often capture the soul of a destination. And spirits are so aptly named – the essence of a place. Perhaps you have a friend with a winery or a still. Please introduce us – an experience that starts in the very soil of the land gives us an intimate connection and perspective, something to write about, document, and share. Many of our readers are oenophiles, and are also interested in trying local spirits. We love having tastings and especially trying indigenous grape varieties that have a sense of place. Tsipouro, Raki, Suma, Ouzo, Tsicoudia – these are also part of the story of the land and the culture.
Visiting Karonis distillery to learn about ouzo making Nisos beer of Tinos sponsored and displayed their products at our stand at Xenia Exhibition
Cheeses and Dairy
One of the fascinating things about Greece is how complete and unique the culinary culture of each destination is. Is there a cheesemaker we could meet with a story to tell? Some herds grazing on picturesque slopes to visit and photograph?
Fish and Seafood
Do you have a fisherman who we can meet? We love the thrilling tales they tell, and we also love to taste what the seas near you yield – and so do our readers! They want to know about the avgotaracho like we tried in Missolonghi on a trip to Nafpaktos to the shellfish of Volos we enjoyed on a weekend in Pelion. What are your regional specialties?
Cooking Lessons and Artisanal Dishes
Last year, on wonderful, wild Kasos, we made a feast from a handful of flour and a little water. Kyria Maria with her practiced hand showed us how to make a mountain of tiny fresh pasta shells – ‘makarounes’ – with a practiced hand and a flip of the fingertips.
With a shower of rich local cheese they were a delight. She also had some goat roasting in a wood burning oven, which we enjoyed as the sun set over a tiny vineyard and we got to know more about hour hosts and their strong ties to Kassos – many of them were actually back home for the summer from my own hometown, New York – and the noble and proud history of the island.
When we went to Tolo last year, we donned some protective gear and went out with a beekeeper – a fascinating way to connect with the landscape and culinary culture.
Olives and Oil
Extra Virgin Olive Oil captures the essence of Mediterranean cuisine and our readers want to kow more. So do we! We loved an olive oil tasting we went on. But we have not been part of an olive harvest yet; we don’t at all mind getting our hands dirty and pitching in. Any kind of harvest really. We would love to be part of your community for a day.
Cooking dolmadakia at Gastronomy center in Argyroupoli, Crete Olive oil tasting
Maybe our local host has a friend with a dive shop or water sports place. We could have a wind-surfing lesson, or go diving, like I did in Crete. It’s a great photo opportunity and exactly the kind of thing we like to share with our audiences.
Excursions by Boat
Are there some secret tiny islets or inaccessible beaches nearby that can only be reached by boat, such we enjoyed on our magical visit to Polyaigos on a week in Kimolos? Show us, and we can tell people how to find a water taxi or book an organized boat trip to enjoy the same experience.
Sailing in Tolo Polyaigos
Some of us love horseback riding – as we enjoyed in Epirus, on Hydra, on Crete, and in other destinations, too. And so do our audiences. Maybe you have a friend with a stable who would love equestrian-friendly visitors to the destination to know about it. Riding is also very popular with family travel.
We haven’t been on a jeep safari yet – getting out into the landscape for a new kind of up-close adventure. This is another photogenic activity we would love to experience and write about.
We are tireless hikers – it was a huge feature of our week in Epirus. Sometimes, local hiking clubs or organizations like Trekking Hellas have organized experiences for us so we see the destination at its most dramatic.
How Long Do We Need to Get to Know You?
We have been on some trips packed with activities, and other trips with a more relaxed schedule. While the packed trips gave us a lot of content, they didn’t give us time to really connect to a place and our hosts, which is the inspiration for our best work, and the foundation of a longer-term relationship. We’re very flexible about the length of a trip, but we really hope we get enough time to get to know you.
What Do We Offer?
As we plan each trip, we get to know from our hosts the kind of coverage they would like, and we deliver an agreed upon amount and type of content within a specified time after the trip. In other words, if for example, you ask your friends to host us at their taverna, you can say exactly what exposure they will have in return.
However, in addition to our agreed-upon coverage in terms of blog posts, videos, social media, and so on, many of our relationships with a destination are on-going. We keep writing about our experiences into the future at every opportunity that arises, sharing images on our social media, and pointing travelers towards the places that have inspired us most, even years later. We all really love what we do, and the destinations people share with us become a part of who we are and of the image of Greece that we share with the world.
We’re really looking forward to getting to know you, and sharing your story.
Written by Amber Charmei