IN CONVERSATION WITH LYNDON ALVES FROM SUNSET GETAWAYS WHO INHABITS IN GOA AND SOJOURNS IN GREECE.
Lyndon Alves shares insights on destinations to explore in Greece for Wedding Tourism.
WT: Lyndon you frequently fly out to Greece. Can you tell us what brings you closer to this country?
LA: I spend a couple of months in the Mediterranean every summer, a major portion of this, being on the Greek islands. Greece is a mix of heritage, mythology, natural beauty, inviting beaches, a varied cuisine and the people with an inbuilt hospitality and niceness that makes you want to keep coming back!
Whilst there is the norm of Santorini & Mykonos that’s the norm for the new age Indian markets, Greece has an ocean of islands already internationally popular but a great new destination for us Indians!
WT: Known your connect with this place, we would love to know your opinion on Greece as a destination for Indian Weddings?
If the idea of getting married on an island that boasts zero traffic or in the midst of mythological ruins on an exclusive islands, Greece is a country that offers you this!
An amazing destination for weddings, though there’s much more than the mainstream Mykonos, which is most popular in the Indian markets.
There are several smaller spots like Parga, Kos, Rhodes, Coffu & Creta, that have large stylish hotels, great beachfronts and heritage “Old Town” charm and for the more enthusiastic; one has options of several smaller islands with a romantic character, though one may not find the larger hotels on these islands and large wedding groups would have to be split in smaller hotels .. If its for smaller weddings, then there’s an ocean of options!
WT: Top cities in Greece for Indian Weddings you recommend?
LA: There would be a few cities/islands, but of the ones I’ve visited, Parga / Rhodes / Kos, all have a mix of charm, waterfronts, castles and great hotels. Its lack of awareness that’s not led to varied options for Greece..
WT: Apart from Mykonos, which one do you think is the upcoming? And why?
LA: Santorini, takes your breath away on stepping in and is known as one of the most romantic spots in the world!
Though one would need a good agent to manage the logistics between hotels, as the island does not boast of large properties, which is one of its USP’s. Then you have Kos & Rhodes as well which would make great wedding destinations.
WT: Is there any exclusive site that is considered as heritage where vows can be exchanged?
LA: Honestly besides the castles & registered museums, its the Old Town charm that’s a museum in itself! Most of the islands mentioned here have heritage forts and castles, which also make great wedding venues!
The island of Dilos, a ten minute boat trip from Mykonos, is a popular place for local Greek weddings & Christenings, thanks to its being famous as one of the brightest spots in the world as well as having one of the strongest energy forces on earth. Dilos in itself is an ancient heritage site on which no development is permitted on the entire island, leaving it as a perfect venue for a lifetime event!
WT: Hotels or resorts you recommend ?
LA: Greece has a huge tourism movement and a variety of hotels small & large. Would take a page to fill in names, but Greek weddings are also large and explicit and hotels are used to celebrations.. Ixian Grand in Rhodes would be one of my favourites.. One has an option of well managed family hotels, that cater to all ages and tailor make wedding packages for kids to be having as much of a good time as their parents during the celebrations..
WT: What’s the local unique about your recommendations?
LA: The cities / islands I’ve mentioned (Parga / Rhodes / Kos / Santorini) are all easily accessible and far better priced than overpriced Mykonos, which is today almost as expensive as Ibiza, both for hotels, venues and transport (Mykonos has barely 20 taxies on the entire island for example )
WT: Do the local professionals accomodate with the requirements of Indian Planners knowing the scope of big size weddings?
LA: Other than the décor that would be conceptualised by Indian planners, the local operators are far more experienced with accommodation & logistics thanks to the large number of visitors to this country! One would find everything from airport welcomes, good transport & ground management, amazing venues, nightlife options, photographers, caterers, etc .. Am happy to share info with anyone on this!
WT: What type of talent available?
LA: Besides local talent, just as in most tourist destinations, theres a glut of international artists based here during season – painters, bar tenders, performance artists, dancers, musicians, magicians, etc. that would rightly spruce up a great Indian wedding!
WT: Any indian restaurants that are well known for outdoor catering?
LA: Surprisingly the Greek islands do not have many Indian restaurants and I would attribute it to the fact that Greek cuisine does not lack spice, as is the case with other European cuisines. But yes Athens has several great Indian restaurants that would do a pop-up Indian wedding menu on most islands..
WT: Greece is all about mystery beaches, olives, feta and ageless history. Anything that is untold to the world that can attract Wedding Tourism in a different way?
LA: Timeless Greece & timeless marriages .. Its about energy and one feels it just looking at the glorious sunsets over mountainous islands beautified over time and spiced with myth .. Its this energy that makes the place special, the world is full of beaches, including India!
WT: According to you, how much would be a normal destination wedding cost leaving the Bigs of Big ticket weddings?
LA: A good room here would cost in the range of USD 200 per night in the nicest hotels, add the events and meals starting at @ USD 150 per person for two nights. And calculate the number of guests that fit into your budget>>> And then the event décor that can vary based on look, feel & budget …
To cultivate your knowledge, you can reach Lyndon Alves on firstname.lastname@example.org
About Lyndon Alves:
Lydon is an Indian who resides in Goa. He is one of the leading promoters of Goa Tourism offering best of holidays, weddings, EDMs, MICE, events, excursions and everything that belongs to Goa through his brainchild Sunset Getaways.
He is a Managing Committee member of the (TTAG) Travel and Tourism Association of Goa – the nodal body that works with the government to enhance tourism in the state. He founded Sunset Getaways in 2000 to provide quality, value-based hospitality and entertainment services in Goa.
Through his vast experience, networks and partners in the hospitality industry, he offers an exceptional product line providing end-to-end services, all at one address.
He is a man hungry for perfection and he ensures each project is taken care of under his guidance, receiving the required time, attention, and effort to build it into an explosion of success for the clients.
INTERVIEW BY: WEDTEASE