As I told you in the first part, our Greek summer vacation left us craving for more, so we just had to come back for Sukkot holiday – this time, accompanied by my good friend Tali Kogan, about whom I wrote here many times. She joined us with pleasing spontaneity and we all sailed together to the islands region to the south of the Aegean Sea – Kos and neighboring islands. The weather there made it possible for the summer to continue, but despite the comfortable temperatures, the tourist season was over and many restaurants and shops were closed. However, even this didn’t stop us from having a great time again.
The island of Kos in the capital of the south Aegean region. The drive from the airport to the old town marina was dissapointing, so I arrived with low expectations. To my surprise, I discovered an adorable island with fascinating history, a picturesque old town and lots of bars and restaurants. They say Kos is great for shopping, too, but I didn’t have the chance to explore it just yet- must come back!
LEIPSOI – Nisos Lipso
A tiny (population 790) island, which I viewed mostly from sea during my morning swim. Not far from it we discovered a beautifull and mysterious white church. We just had to pay it a visit, and take some photos – naturally :)
An unforgettable memory here was a colorful ice cream parlor and bakery where I found the most delicious cherry jam. After I tasted it, I rushed back to buy more, but only one jar was left – it’s the end of the season! The jam led to an invention of a very addictive desert, Greek yogurt with cherry jam. We ate it every day, until the jam was gone. Words can’t describe – you just have to taste it.
Jerusalem of the region – due to an abundance of holy Christian places. Perhaps not for this reason, but I loved it more than the other small islands. The fun coffee shops, the atmosphere and the view did the trick, and a few open shops didn’t hurt either.
Not yet occupied by Israelis and other tourists, thanks to a lack of direct flights and good hotels, and that’s the beauty of it. I discovered Kythira last year, when I was invited by an Israeli friend who lives in Brussels and married a Greek born and raised here. They spend every summer here with their daughter.
With my friend’s help and guidance, I discovered the island has a lot to offer, actually – it’s the home of many curious villages, each with a distinct character, churches, caves, waterfalls and breathtaking beaches.
You can get to Kithyra from Crete by flight or a long sail, which goes through some other charming spots – Hydra (a small island famous for being Leonard Cohen’s home in the past, and for the donkeys who greet you in the marina), Milos (a smaller version of Mikonos – bars, restaurants, good shopping, and an opportunity to ride a horse and carriage).
Photos from Hydra:
The Greek islands have no end, and we’re already planning our next trip, to Lesbos and the north-eastern Aegean islands. It’s pretty incredible that only an hour-long flight away, there’s such an exotic destination with friendly people who always welcome us. I think this is something to be celebrated and appreciated.
My friend Tali also wrote about our magical trip on her blog – you’re welcome to read it!
If you’re convinced and want to experience Greece from sea, I highly recommend a boat vacation, and it’s surprisingly affordable, too. You can rent a Gulet with six bedrooms (fits three families of six couples) starting from 1,500 Euro a week per couple (depending on the season) including meals and sports activities. One of the companies offering this service: www.turkyacht.com.
Have a great vacation,