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New Portal Aims To Show Visitors Unknown Side Of Greece

29.08.2014 17:04

New site opens to inform tourist families about parts of Greece that are off the beaten path.

By Magda Panoutsopoulou

ATHENS (AP) - Most visitors to Greece have walked through the ruins of the Acropolis, partied at Myconos and perhaps even watched the sunset at Santorini.

But how many have been to Kipinas Monastery in Epirus to chat with the monks while enjoying a Greek coffee in the nearby village of Kalarrytes? How many have been to the village of Houdetsi to taste fragrant Cretan grapes and enjoy the vista from a hillside surrounded by vineyards?

And how many have swum in the crystal waters off St. Loukas with the island of Spinaloga in the background?

Not too many.

But this number may be about to grow as a new portal launched this year offers suggestions for family-friendly accommodation, beaches, activities and culture in Greece that are off the beaten path.

The portal, kidslovegreece.com, is aimed at families coming to Greece for holidays.

The site was created by three mothers -- and a woman who hopes to become one soon -- who are passionate about research.

"A lot of my friends in Boston, mostly families, were complaining that the information they find online on kid-friendly activities and accommodation for Greece is quite poor and extremely touristic," said Katerina Makatouni, one of the founders, who lives in Boston. "Being in the market research field for quite some time now, I understood that there was a clear need for quality information segmented at families when it comes to holidays in Greece.'

Makatouni envisioned this portal a year and a half ago and enlisted the help of a former colleague from the U.K., Anna Atsalaki, who lives now in Athens, and her friends from Crete, Maria Tsigoni and Maria Giannouli. 

Tsigoni has experience in marketing. Giannouli has worked in the travel industry.

Excited by Makatouni's idea, the team gave up their corporate jobs to work on the project. 

What they say differentiates kidslovegreece.com from other portals is that its suggestions are based on the personal experiences of locals -- Greek parents happy to share their experiences of child-friendly places in their country.

The portal's aim is to give visitors the opportunity to experience Greece as a local.

It has recently added a feature called "insights." The objective is to give a quick snapshot of suggestions to time-deprived visitors looking, for example, for the top kid-friendly beaches on Crete.

The site also has a blog and Facebook page.

"Our aim is to create a two-way communication with our visitors." Giannouli said. "We encourage feedback on our suggestions as well as looking forward to new suggestions."

www.aa.com.tr/en - Atina

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