The Dopios Blog

The Dopios Blog

dopios, a global travel community that connects Travellers and Locals all around the world! Insights, unique experiences, tailor made requests, customised advice curated by the real experts of a destination, the locals!
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Explore Greece with dopios

Vodafone is proud to launch Vodafone Explore Greece, a travel application for your complete guide to a fantastic holiday in Greece!

A personal interactive guide, available in 4 different languages, to help you explore the beauties of ancient and modern Greece.

Dopios, the travel community that strives for authentic travelling through connecting travellers with locals around the world, provides Explore Greece app some awesome experiences around Greece, in exclusive prices, only for Vodafone’s customers.  

Nature lovers that find themselves in Athens and care for some mild outdoor activity around the city, can enjoy a great hiking tour in one of the most scenic mountains of Athens, Parnitha, along with the local experts Kostas and Greg. 

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For all those travellers who find themselves in the capital of Greece and care for great writers and especially greek litterature, Matta, a book lover local, offers an insightful tour to remember!

Choosing a greek island is a tough decision, way beyond raki vs wine. Dopios has selected some gorgeous islands with amazing locals to offer some unique travel experiences to Vodafone’s customers, and more specifically to travellers who use Explore Greece app.  

Maria, a sporty local in Chania, Crete offers surfing or kite surfing lessons in unbelievably beautiful spots of the island! 

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Irene, a dopios in Thessaloniki, is taking travellers, as well as fellow locals, on a great excursion in the Thermal Spa of Lagadas. A soothing and relaxing experience for any kind of traveller. 

Maria, an extremely passionate member of dopios community, will welcome you in the island of Rhodes and offer you a local experience to remember. A visit in a picturesque monastery, followed by a stroll in a traditional food feast will definitely blow your mind! 

As far as wine lovers and lovers in general are concerned, Santorini, the most famous island of Greece is waiting to be explored. Dimitris is taking visitors to the award-winning volcanic wines of Santorini, around the most distinct wineries of the island on a 4-Hour tour in the countryside! 

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Enjoy your holiday, Explore Greece with dopios and Vodafone! 

A Monumental Capital

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Monuments, memorials, museums, excellent food, art and nightlife scenes. Washington is more than the political heart of the US. Take Joseph’s crash course and explore some lesser-known gems.
1. How would you describe Washington in 3 words?
Young. Diverse. American.  

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 2. What is your favorite spot in town?
No matter how many times you’ve been past it, the United States Capitol never gets old. Making the walk from the National Mall to the Capitol on a nice night is hard to beat. Honorable mention goes to Roosevelt Island just outside of town.  

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 3. How would you describe a perfect night in Washington?
DC is a town obsessed with Happy Hour, so I’d suppose you might start there. Every outfit in town offers drink specials in the early evening during the week, and if you pick the right spot, you could be rubbing elbows with US leaders. Next, I’d head to one of the countless hip restaurants in Logan Circle for dinner. Most of these restaurants have outdoor seating, an excellent option if the weather permits. After a post-meal espresso, I’d venture out to find some live music. DC has a few excellent intimate music venues where you can catch emerging artists for less than $20. It also has Mr. Smith’s Piano Bar in Georgetown, if you’re just looking for someone who will play the hits. 
4. What advice would you give to travelers visiting Washington?
Looks can be deceiving, especially when it comes to DC restaurants. There are plenty of excellent restaurants with unassuming facades, and even more middling restaurants occupying beautiful spaces. Do your homework before heading to dinner if possible. 

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 5. Can you tell us a secret of the city?
Knowing when to use the Metro and when to take a cab can save a ton of time and trouble. During typical work hours, the Metro is more efficient than traffic-laden streets. Any other time, the Metro is nearly useless. Use that time saved to visit a few extra Smithsonian Museums, they are free after all. 

The City by the Bay

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What do you know about The City by the Bay? Visit the sites that even few locals know about, and experience San Francisco like a native with Johanna Lehmann.

How would you describe San Francisco in 3 words:

Fantasyland

Surprising

Multi-Cultural

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What is your favorite spot in the City?

Golden Gate Park. I can’t visit this urban park that is supposed to be larger than New York’s Central Park often enough. Each time I go there, I discover something new. Last time it was the Murphy Windmill that provides irrigation for the park.

The park is home to 6000 different varieties of plants, has eleven lakes, three museums, two stadiums— and a family of bison. I love the Conservatory of Flowers, a botanical garden showcasing rare and exotic plants; Stow Lake, the largest manmade lake in Golden Gate Park, which has a waterfall that flows from the tallest part of the park.

The park is also where numerous free events are held, including the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, and the Turkey Trot, a brief race on Thanksgiving morning.

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How would you describe a perfect day in San Francisco?

It would definitely start with breakfast at Mama’s on Washington Square. You have to be an early riser to get a table there, but it’s worth it for the Dungeness Crab and Spinach Benedict. After breakfast I would be off to visit the Legion of the Honor art museum, which has Monet’s water lilies, in Lincoln Park. In addition to viewing the great art inside the museum, there’s a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge from there.

 In San Francisco, however, you don’t even need to go to a museum to see great art; in Chinatown you can see the street paintings of the famous graffiti artist, Banksy, whereas in the Mission you can see murals along Balmy Street and Clarion Alley.

Next I’d go to Point Lobos, the Sea Lion Point, and if it suddenly got chilly, as it can in San Francisco, I’d stop for hot chocolate at The Cliff House. There’s a great view from there, too.

By this point I’d be ready to stroll along the restaurant-filled Promenade of the Embarcadero and stop by for a coffee at the Blue Bottle Coffee Shop. This wasn’t even a pedestrian area before 1989 when the Loma Prieta earthquake destroyed the multi-lane freeway that stood in place of the Embarcadero. After that catastrophe, the city reclaimed the space and replaced the fast cars of the freeway with nostalgic streetcars. (Speaking of which, the Cable Car Museum on Washington Street is where you can see the original, antique cable cars and learn how they worked.)

San Francisco has lots of great restaurants, but an unusual and very inexpensive one is Delancey Street Restaurant  The wait staff is made up of people of former offenders,  who have endured hardships due to drug problems or money or relationship issues; the Delancey Street Foundation gives them a second chance.

End the night at Tosca Café, a bar frequented by Sharon Stone and other celebrities who live in San Francisco.

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What advice would you give travelers to San Francisco?

To appreciate Sa Francisco, you need to experience it like a native. The best way to do that is to visit the different neighborhoods. Each has its own personality, and many have their own ethnic fare. .Visit Chinatown, Sunset, Japantown, or little Saigon to experience Asian culture and food; the Misson for Latino fare; and North Beach or Little Italy for that Italian flavor.

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Can you tell us a secret of the city?

San Francisco has many secrets, but here’s one: The Bourbon & Branch bar at the edge of the

Tenderloin district has a secret passageway hidden behind a bookshelf that leads to a whole other bar: the Russells Room, just like in The Great Gatsby.

It’s a great city, I promise. If you need some further validation, just visit my San Francisco video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQWjqAHBua4

About the author

Johanna Lehmann is a San Francisco based writer, and the founder of the Indiegogo book project ‘How to Love San Francisco - One Year in the City by the Bay’, a unique cross between a fiction novel and a travelguide. Johanna is listed as a top 50 non-fiction author in Germany’s largest reading community, LovelyBooks and just launched her book campaign to translate her highly rated book for the English market. Secure a version of the book here:

http://bit.ly/HowtoloveSF

One week to the Spanish North

If you are planing to visit South Spain this year, think twice and take a different route towards the charming and yet overlooked north. For visiting this part of the country, you may choose to start your journey either from the nearby airports or from the center of Spain and then move there either by car or with the public transport.
A good starting point could be Madrid, where you can find an affordable flight thorough the year and then get something more than a weekend get away by renting a car.

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Segovia can be your first stop which is about 90km away (around 1h and a half), famous for it’s natural beauties and its local delicacies. There, you can experience some interesting outdoor activities provided by locals, such as an adventurous air balloon flight with full view of the city, hiking in a secret location full of natural beauties that only locals know, and canoeing routes for more off the beaten path moments. 
 
You can either spend the night in Segovia or move to Burgos, the historical city of Castilla, that will amaze you with it’s stunning UNESCO World Heritage Cathedral.  

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The following day you could reach the arty Bilbao, the capital of the Basque Country, which is two hours away from Burgos.

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There, you can feel the cultural diversity that makes this part of Spain unique and original. 2-4 days of sightseeing are probably not enough to experience the Basque cultural heritage. You may also pop up in Bemeo, a stunning seaside city and Vitoria a picturesque city and European Green Capital for 2012 and this years gastronomic capital.

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San Sebastian-Donostia can also be one of the stops in your journey, a famous holiday resort of the basque coast which is also well-known for its seafood and pintxos(tapas)
If you are a foodie then, don’t miss La Rioja, the gastronomic paradise for wine lovers that worths a visit.
Pamplona is another option as well, where you can watch the Running of the Bulls in july arranged by a local. 
Special thanks to Ander Fernandez for his amazing pictures and tips from the Basque Country.
Fenia Megremi