Travel

My world-class features on travel and related subjects cover everything from outdoors adventures, laid-back island life and urban getaways to gastronomy, historic spots, cultural events and spiritual places.

With two decades of experience in Europe – covering everywhere from Ireland to the Caucasus – I love bringing places and peoples to life for those keen to visit (or, at least read about) the remarkable destinations I cover.

Aside from the articles below, I’ve published widely (in books and specialist reports) on restaurants, entertainment hubs, museums and cultural attractions, plus travel accommodations, ranging from humble hostels to exclusive villas and resorts. I also consult for the travel industry, and teach students aspiring to a career in the tourism or travel media sector.

National Gnational-geographic-traveller-chris-delisoeographic Traveller

Excerpt from “A Classical Tale” by Chris Deliso:

The modest white walls were bare, save for some faded religious icons, and the only thing they could make was a salad. But then the owner’s eyes lit up: “Wait one second — let me look in the back.” After a minute, the village elder returned clutching a wild but very dead rabbit by the foot. “I just shot it today,” he beamed. “Should be very tasty!”

History Today Magazine

Excerpt from “Yugoslavia’s Very Secret Service,” by Chris Deliso:

UDBA operations were shaped by perceived internal and external threats. Under Ranković, it secured secret mountain ammunition dumps, protected railway traffic, spied on foreign diplomats, tapped phones, opened mail and interrogated perceived domestic enemies, from politicians to peasants resisting collectivist labour. Basic training in official UDBA spy schools (with headquarters in Belgrade) lasted two years and involved physical training, language courses, military and diplomatic intelligence and criminal investigation.

 

Skylife (Turkish Airlines in-flight magazine)

Excerpt from “The Excitement of the Final Four in Belgrade” by Chris Deliso: In today’s Belgrade, one can find basketball action everywhere from the biggest organized venues (like the Štark Arena, where the current EuroLeague finals are being held) to faded courts hidden between the grand buildings and soaring, socialist-era concrete blocks that dot the Serbian capital. (See full .PDF layout here).


BBCTravel-chris-deliso BBC Travel

Excerpt from “Driving Greece’s Ancient Modern Highway, the Egnatia Odos” by Chris Deliso:

Further into Epiros, the architectural wonders of the Egnatia Odos start to come to life, with tunnels disappearing for miles into solid rock and the inevitable danger signs flashing over the roads zigzagging the cliff-tops.

See also: “Best of the Greek Islands,” “Seductive Southern Crete” and “Forget the Greek Islands, Head North Instead” by Chris Deliso.

See also: “Macedonia’s Unusual Nature Getaway,” by Chris Deliso

Urban Travel Blog

Excerpt from “Long Weekend Pristina,” by Chris Deliso:

As a small city, Prishtina is easily navigated on foot, with clusters of small streets jutting from a few boulevards and squares. Strolling the city, you’ll come across monuments that depict quirks of history and national identity. For example, the Skanderbeg Statue depicts the eponymous medieval warrior who battled the Turks, and who is considered the major national hero of all Albanians. And, while the Clinton brand has taken a beating since the 2016 US elections, you would never know it from the Statue of Bill Clinton erected on the boulevard that bears his name in downtown Prishtina.

Lonely Planet

Excerpt from “Finding the right Greek island” by Chris Deliso

“The varied terrain on Greece’s biggest island, Crete, ranges from gentle plateaus dotted with windmills to canyons and mountains. Hiking the Samaria Gorge, Europe’s longest at 16km, takes you through the homeland of Crete’s famed wild goat, the kri-kri. The Zakros–Kato Zakros (a former Minoan palace site) amble in eastern Crete is more relaxed. Cool relief awaits on the forested ‘river walk’ at southern Plakias. Fertile Naxos boasts numerous walks along the old paths connecting the villages of the central plain; these traverse ancient temples, Hellenistic towers and Byzantine churches. The Sporades isles of Alonnisos and Skopelos, full of forests, orchards and wildflowers, offer more excellent walks.”

The Tablet Catholic MagazineThe Tablet

Excerpt from “Holy Stillness: Exploring Mt Athos’ Living Hesychastic Tradition,” by Chris Deliso:

Armed with nothing more than a name and a map, I thus resolved to find this enigmatic elder. After days of monastic tribulations marked by freezing rain, exhaustion, nine-hour vigils and meagre meals, the sun finally emerged.

See also: “Mother Teresa in the Balkans” by Chris Deliso

See also: “Letters from Heaven: in the Churches of Ohrid, Macedonia” by Chris Deliso

See also: “Past Made Eternal: A Visit to Agia Triada Monastery in Crete” by Chris Deliso

See also: “Heaven Inside Out: the Bucovina Painted Monasteries in Romania” by Chris Deliso

See also: “Apostolic Traveller” (Seeking Out St Paul in Greece) by Chris Deliso

The Foody Traveller

Excerpt from “A Day of Grapes and Great Cuisine: by Chris Deliso:

The enterprise all began when four local women formed a co-operative, using the harvested organic grapes and leaves from 15 acres of vineyards. Their creative products include ‘vine tops’ – trimmed rounded vine stems, pickled in vinegar, and useful for sauces (somewhat like a caper).

There’s also petimezi, a thick grape syrup that can be spread on snacks; or drop a tablespoon of it into a glass of tonic water for a refreshing juice. Made without sugar, the petimezi needs 12 kilos of grapes to make one kilo. ‘It’s very healthy, full of iron, magnesium and other minerals, good for the blood’ comments Sakis.

CNNCNN Travel

Excerpt from “How to Pick the Right Greek Island for You” by Chris Deliso

On ethereal Patmos, visit the Monastery of St John the Theologian, and see the grotto where the saint wrote the Book of Revelations.

 

Financial TimesFinancial-Times-Chris-Deliso

Excerpt from Chris Deliso’s contribution to “Secret Islands”:

The longer name of Fourni Korseon, which is sometimes still used, refers to the French Corsairs and Barbary pirates who used the archipelago’s hidden coves to hide out.

 

OryxOryx (in-flight magazine of Qatar Airways)

Excerpt from “Sofia- Bulgaria” by Chris Deliso:

In Sofia, things are always happening: maybe quickly, often quietly, underground, or out of sight. It’s what makes the city so full of life…

 

going-places-malaysian-airlines-chris-delisoGoing Places (in-flight magazine of Malaysian Airways)

Excerpt from “Hip To Be Square” by Chris Deliso:

As a major student city Thessaloniki has always been cultured, but the buzz has intensified significantly in recent years. Its urban cultural renaissance is real, and can be felt in places like Syngrou/Valaoritou Streets, just below Egnatia.

 

The-National-UAE-chris-delisoThe National (Abu Dhabi)

Excerpt from “My Kind of Place: Compact and Old-World Charms of Plovdiv, Bulgaria” by Chris Deliso:

In the Old Town, on Ulitsa Saborna, an eclectic blend of attractions emerge, including art galleries, cafes, a Roman amphitheatre, Orthodox churches and the 7,000-year-old remains of the Thracian fortifications, Nebet Tepe, offering striking views.

 

Morning CalmMorning Calm (in-flight magazine of Korean Airlines)

Excerpt from “Sofia’s Snack” by Chris Deliso:

I never worry about what I’m going to eat when visiting Bulgaria. Wherever you may happen to be, chances are that somewhere – a bakery, a restaurant, even a hole-in-the-wall kiosk – will have banitsa.

Excerpt from “Intimations of Byzantium” by Chris Deliso:

“this desolate land of arid plains and mountain ridges lent itself to the machinations of lords and their dueling, shifting interests, forging a history replete with exotically named rulers such as the Archons of Vaspurakan, the house of Bagrationi and the kings of the Laz and Abkhazia.” 

 

Travel Intelligencetravel-intelligence-chris-deliso

Excerpt from “Drinking in Dublin” by Chris Deliso:

I didn’t see the initial provocation, but turned just in time to see the glass flying through the air. It crashed against the wall, cutting one patron’s cheek; then a table was upended, red-faced men lunged and swore, and finally a Meath brawler who must have weighed over 300 pounds picked up a chair and, with a sickening thud, brought it crashing down over the unfortunate head of a Dublin fan.

 

bbc-history-magazine-chris-delisoBBC History Magazine

Excerpt from “Veliko Tarnovo: Bulgaria’s City of the Tsars” by Chris Deliso:

Nevertheless, for many the most interesting spots here are those associated with violent legends, such as ‘Execution Rock,’ from which traitors were hurled into the Yantra. Even Count Baldwin of Flanders, a leader of the infamous Fourth Crusade, has lent his name to a Tsarevets tower, where he was allegedly imprisoned and killed in 1205.

See also “Top Ten Historical Sites: Republic of Macedonia”

 

st-petersburg-times-chris-delisoSt. Petersburg Times

Excerpt from “Monemvasia: from Antiquated to Sophisticated” by Chris Deliso:

The crown jewel of the whole mountain is the little church of Agia Sophia at the top, its outer foundations crumbled and its floor worn smooth by countless worshipers. Above the altar, lit haphazardly by a flickering candle, hangs a stern and forbidding icon of Christ. To stand in this church, with the wind whipping against the walls and the candles casting irregular shadows into the building, is peaceful yet unnerving.

 

Miinoan LinesWave (official magazine of Greece’s Minoan Lines)

Excerpt from “A Day in the Life of the Greek Cafe: Mastering the Art of the Libation in Greece” by Chris Deliso

There is a whole ritual associated with the famous Greek coffee. It’s made in a little copper pot called the briki. The recipe calls for powdery, pungent coffee and one spoonful of sugar if you want your Elliniko to be made metrio (medium-sweet), two if you want it glyko (sweet), or, the purist way – sketo (with no sugar at all).

 

Princess-Cruises-Chris-DelisoJourneys (official magazine of Princess Cruises)

Excerpt from How To Bag a Turkish Carpet” by Chris Deliso:

Although they have a more rustic, durable feel, kilims too have become collector’s items in recent years. They often feature vibrant and geometrical tribal designs; the motifs originated in the deepest symbolic myths of ancient Anatolian culture.

 

The-Denver-Post-chris-delisoThe Denver Post

Excerpt from “Carnivals War Guests in Snowy Macedonia” by Chris Deliso:

Though smaller New Year’s carnivals occur elsewhere in Macedonia, none are as famous or as festive as Vevchani’s. Around 3,000 people drink, dance and gape as local men parade past in costumes depicting politicians and priests, snake-charming swamis, armed desperados, sundry demon hordes and more. The metal pitchforks, hay wagons, cannons and horses these intoxicated performers dub “floats” are all refreshingly (some would say hazardously) real.

 

Hidden EuropeHidden Europe Magazine

Excerpt from “Border Zone: Around Lake Prespa” by Chris Deliso:

The snakes of Golem Grad were a nuisance, though most were not poisonous. For a time, the mongoose solution appeared to be working. However, “they didn’t survive the cold of winter,” lamented Kiril “and the snakes have had the run of the place ever since.”

Excerpt from “A Tale of Two Villages” by Chris Deliso:

“They make passports in Vevchani too. No one has been arrested for doing so. The village’s passports, as well as its colourful currency, the lichnitsi, hearken back to the heady days after the country’s independence.”

See also “Kratovo: a Town Worth its Salt” by Chris Deliso

See also “A Day by the Lake- Egirdir” by Chris Deliso

Go Nomad

Excerpt from “Thessaloniki, Greece: Stylish and Cultured, Without the Big-City Hassle” by Chris Deliso:

“To really get the Thessaloniki experience, copious amounts of time must be spent enjoying the city’s numerous cafés and eateries. This is not just a question of food and drink, but of feeling the leisurely pace of the Greek lifestyle.

Savor an aromatic Helliniko kafes (Greek coffee) in a traditional kafeneio (coffee house) where languid conversation melds with the click of backgammon played by black-bearded descendants of Anatolian Greek Pontians. Sip the adopted national drink, a cool Nescafé Frappé, outdoors on the waterfront, surrounded by the city’s dazzling people in the sun.”

Escape Artist

Excerpt from: “Resonant, Lonesome Donegal,” by Chris Deliso:

“The whole property, it turned out, was humming with a quiet energy that could not be described. Stories abound about how the hostel was built over an ancient pre-Celtic ritual site, and about the magical triangles of power indicated by the particular placement of various rocks and buildings. I can’t vouch for that, and I didn’t see any little people creep in from the Fairy World, but on the other hand I couldn’t fall asleep for two consecutive nights. It was deadly quiet outside, but still I was wide awake.

In addition to enchanted hostels and miniature pubs, Dunfanaghy is blessed with beautiful nature. We took a long bike ride through winding wooded roads to get to the beach – one of the most perfect beaches I have ever seen, in fact. If you looked at a picture only – crystal clear, greenish water and fine white sand – you would think it was some exotic beach in Thailand or Australia. Only the unbelievably frigid temperature of the water gives it away.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpt from “Macedonia’s Unusual Nature Getaway” by Chris Deliso: