Why wouldn’t you? Inviting blue waters, white washed houses, endless sun… legendary islands like Mykonos, Santorini, Ios and Delos. If Greece has called to you before – why haven’t you answered?
I pride myself in being in control – but in this exact moment I am anything but in control. My eyes are squinted, avoiding droplets of sea salt. I’m grinding my teeth and my jaw is clenched so firmly it feels like it should be wired shut. My fingers are flexed in a death grip around the helm making my knuckles white. I’m tense but strong and unforgiving to every wave that threatens my passengers and me. They have become my passengers, my fellow travellers because in this moment I’m the one “driving”, the one who is suppose to be in control but I am freaking out. I’m sailing the Aegean sea. The adrenaline starts racing through my veins like it’s suppose to shots of excitement so intense that I can’t take it anymore. I retreat and pass up the throne to a worthy companion. I’ve done it, I’ve sailed the Greek islands… so what if it was for only 5 minutes. Now where’s the wine?
TIP: There are two things guaranteed when sailing the Aegean – weather happens and your start and end island. If your island dream location isn’t on the itinerary – then don’t jump on. Pick the right one based on what you won’t compromise on.
VISIT: The island of Delos. Head out on one of the early morning departures as shade is sparse on the island and sunstroke along with sunburns are common. A UNESCO World Heritage Site and the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis according the Greek Mythology, Delos is a 20- 30 min ferry ride [17 € return departs daily except Mondays at 9:00, 10 & 11 AM, last return at 3 PM] and a reasonable 3 hour excursion [5 € entrance fee]. Explore on your own with a detailed site map or join a guided tour. Highlights include the Lions of the Naxians, House of Cleopatra and House with the Hermae.
EAT: Katerina’s Bar “Little Venice”. Cocktails are not cheap, but if you score a seat on the either balcony – consider it your cost for admission. Dinner for two with desert and wine approximately 69 €.
VISIT: The Red Beach – this beach resembles a slice of velvet cake carved out of a cliff – minus the frosted topping and offers a unique opportunity to cool off against a backdrop made for a top ten list.
DRINK: Sunsets Snack Bar, Oia. Sunsets are not to be missed in Oia – even applause worthy for some – and the Sunset Snack bar is just one of many places to kick up your feet and sip the day away.
VISIT: Vallindras Distillery. Twenty minutes outside of Naxos Town, The Valindras Distillery still distills the Naxos citron liquor over 115 years later. The old factory is now a museum with daily tours during the summer months.
EAT: Matina Tavern. The foodie term “100 Miles” is too big of a distance for this eatery (the stuffed vine leaves appetizer are made from the adorning greenery just above the family style table on the outdoor patio of the restaurant) and getting there is half the fun. The questionable roads will only get you so far before you have to continue your journey on foot in to town.
VISIT: The marble practically sparkles in the Ios Odysseas Elytis Theartre. Even if your visit doesn’t land on a performance nights, merely standing at the top – taking in all that is Ios – is worth the venture.
EAT: There are many palaces to indulge ones self on the Island of Ios but none are quite as eclectic as the Lord Byron Restaurant. Masks, photos, lamps, Octopus Art – colour, character and memories are all around the intiment space leaving you curious as to what you will only encounter on your plate.