Shirley Valentine

Following on with our bonus week in the tiny, scorching island of Mykonos. We’re off to the island’s most famous claim to fame – The Shirley Valentine beach.

The beach and restaurant made famous by the 1980s films is actually located at Agios Ioannis.

This is a tiny beach town about a 15 minute drive from Mykonos Town and a half hour walk from Ornos where we were based.


While the taverna where Shirley falls in love with Greece, and life itself, might be long gone – replaced by Hippie Fish, a much more upscale and expensive restaurant – the gorgeous beach remains.

The beach got pretty busy with sun worshippers and falls foul to the eye wateringly expensive sun bed prices that blight this island.

But gaining a little perspective on the bay still allows you to appreciate the views that Shirley came to love.


Next up we’re heading on past the edge of the beach to see Άγιος Ιωάννης (San Giovanni) a tiny church.


Coney colour

There’s so much to see at the colourful Coney Island that it warrants two posts!

We take a wander around Luna Park the largest of the amusement parks, full of high octane, scream inducing, rides.

Steeplechase Park was an amusement park  created by George C. Tilyou which operated from 1897 to 1964.

It was the first of the three original iconic large parks built on Coney Island, the other two being Luna Park (1903) and Dreamland (1904).

The rather creepy face of Tillie, a man with a huge grin and far too many teeth, came to symbolise the Steeplechase Park and would become synonymous with Coney Island.


He is just one of the many haunting faces of ‘fun’ that can be found dotted around the place!

As well as hair raising rides and ‘fun’ characters there are the usual try your luck stalls including the famous whacamole!


The hubby decides to try his luck at whacking the crap out of that pesky mole….


Here’s another hell nope ride for your enjoyment…

Here it is getting higher and higher…

And then whirling, it takes flight!

Another highlight of Coney Island it is has an actual BOARDWALK!! Yes! The star of so many 60s ballads and tunes.

Packed full of diners, sweet treats and sun drenched tourists, it’s a magnet for crowds.


Above is one of the places original attractions – Deno’s Wonder Wheel.


The boys of summer are loitering about above – sun seeker gets his kit off!

The sand and sea seems like a world away from the hustle and bustle of Manhattan but your are still technically in Brooklyn.


Garish colours abound all around the boardwalk, from tourist tat shops to painted walls.

I’m a big fan of a painted wall and I am spoilt for choice in Coney Island.


Here’s the famous wonder wheel doing its thing.

More traditional American thrills with the spookarama ghost train. Feels just like being in a 1980s film 🙂


In fact we even find a replica of the famous Zoltan machine from the famous Tom Hank’s film Big.






Romantic Romazzino


Romazzino beach is the next sandy spot to be bagged on our Costa S’meralda coastal tour and it’s a beauty.


In the middle of the beach you’ll find a pier that stretches out into the warm(ish) waters!


While bizarrely shaped, weather beaten rocks appear haphazardly dotted along the sands.

The wind has abated somewhat but the water is still a glorious mix of navy, greens and frothy white wavelets.

Once again we have this little slice of paradise all to ourselves given that it was October.

But in the height of the summer season this beach will be heaving with sun worshippers.

Personally I much prefer it in it’s lonely, windswept, empty glory. Just us and the elements.

Romazzino beach is right in front of the famously luxurious Romazzino Hotel, one of Costa Smeralda’s best beach hotels.  It’s all shut up for the season so we get to roam freely!

Clearly luxuriating guests demand complete peace and quiet hence this amusing collection of “do not” signs . . . not quite sure what the middle one is warning against!

Pretty Portixeddu

We’re heading on from Cagliari now, destined for the old walled city of Alghero in the North East.

On route we’re heading to a series of little villages and towns to soak up the Sardinian scenery.


One such town is Portixeddu, a tiny tourist town in the Province of South Sardinia.


The pretty beach is a postcard perfect scene early in the morning with not another soul to be seen except a fisherman setting up his rod and line.

The unspoilt swathe of golden sand is backed by remote green hills and off season it is a haven of peace and tranquillity.


It’s a far cry from the summer months when hordes of visitors descend to enjoy the natural beauty of this little town.


The Needles

Next up on our sight seeing tick list are one of the Isle of Wight’s most famous landmarks – The Needles.


The Needles is a row of three distinctive stacks of chalk that rise about 30m out of the sea.

But before we visit them we spot an ‘interesting’ little display in a local garden . . .

There are some wonderfully coloured cliffs tumbling down to Alum sands beach.

Alum Bay has 21 recognised shades of sand and these have been collected and made into souvenirs since early Victorian times.

After a blustery and brisk walk we finally find the main attraction – The Needles!

The chalk formation takes its name from a fourth needle-shaped pillar called Lot’s Wife, that collapsed in a storm in 1764. The rocks that are left are not needle-like, but the name has stuck.

Another attraction close by is the experimental rocket testing site at High Down.

The site was built and operated in secret, from the 1950s and still houses some of the old technology that you can have a nosey around.