Welcome to Crete!

“Bag down!” “Bag DOWN!!” “BAG DOWN!!! “DOOOOOWWWWWN!!!!!!!!!!!” The bus driver stood over me yelling aggressively and insistently that I hand over the bag that sat neatly between my feet on the bus floor. I lifted the bag to my knees, offering to keep it there instead. This drove him wild with fury and he yelled…

Roadside Shrines

While driving in the Peloponnese we regularly skidded to a halt and backed up. Often we stopped in a curve, only partially pulled in off the road. Or we parked further up the road and got out to walk back fifty or a hundred metres. The cause of all this was the roadside shrines that…

The Mountainous Peloponnese

The Peloponnese is such a special place. In our previous post you will have seen some of its  beautiful bays, but what makes it special is the abundance of mountains, visible from every point on the peninsula. Many peaks, being over 2,000m high, are snow covered until the end of spring, and we never tired of…

The Coastal Peloponnese

Returning to Piraeus and Athens after the islands was a shock to the system, and we couldn’t wait to get away again. We had booked a car for our two week trip on the Peloponnese, the large peninsula to the west of Athens. This region, and the Mani peninsula in particular, had been my favourite spot in Greece…

Serifos

Serifos, known as the poorer brother to its wealthy neighbour Sifnos, was our home for 2 days. The island population numbers just over 1,000, and we felt very conspicuous as the only two foreigners on the island. We were staying at the port town of Livadi, the largest town on the island. While it is beautiful…

Stranded on Sifnos

Arriving in Sifnos after a rollercoaster ride on wild seas from Milos, we had never before been so happy to set foot on dry land. Our elation was short-lived though, as for the first time in our tour of the Cyclades islands we felt we may have hit a bum note and picked a dud…

Laid-back Milos

We left the island of Milos this afternoon, after five fabulous days there. It was a wonderful contrast to Santorini and we really enjoyed being back to a slow pace of life. We are definitely off season – we seemed to be the only tourists on the whole island – and it was lovely to…

Off Santorini!

Swallowing the disappointment of not being able to sail to Folegandros, we began to trudge up the hill, aiming for a cafe with wifi in Fira, to plan the next leg. After a few minutes, we heard an engine behind us, and saw a truck arriving from the port, who on seeing our stuck out thumbs,…

Spectacular Santorini

(Santorini being such a special place, this post is a little longer than usual) There can be no more dramatic Greek island arrival than that of Santorini. As we sailed along the curve of the island we were given a panoramic view of Santorini’s villages clinging precariously to the tops of the sheer 200m –…

Getting High In Naxos

On each of our last two days in Naxos, we jumped on a bus to the mountainous interior, to walk along the network of way-marked paths connecting local villages, detouring to secluded churches, or climbing some peaks. On these walks in the hills, we saw thousands of olive trees, sometimes whole sides of a mountain…

Naxos Town

Sailing into Naxos was a pleasant surprise after the underwhelming port of Parikia, in Paros. Like in Syros, we again had a wall of houses rising up from the harbour front, this time reaching a castle on top. In the distance, high mountains were visible with villages of white houses nestling beneath the peaks. We…

Next up, Paros

Our second island is Paros, a mere one hour ride from Syros, but bearing no resemblance to it. We emerged from the ferry at 10.30pm to a wild seafront, with waves slapping over the harbour walls, palm trees bending in the wind and low sized buildings strung out along the water in both directions. We…