TRAVEL DIARIES: Greece
Words by @marinalons
Happy is the man, who, before dying, has the good fortune to sail the Aegean sea.”
Whenever I hear anyone pronouncing the syllables ‘Mediterranean’ my heart skips a beat.
It is my soft spot. I was born in a tiny Mediterranean town in Spain (have I mentioned this before?!).
It is a blessing and acurse for someone like me working in surf, but we’ll discuss that another day.
Oh I do love a Med getaway! Give me the green light and I’ll be indulging in olive oil and Prosecco in the blink of an eye.
I would return to Milos one and a thousand times more.
This Greek island, part of the Cyclades won my heart the moment the lady at Aegean airlines
checked-in my longboard on just the tiniest aircraft for free,
despite this lesser known island having little to no surf.
Where to stay, getting around.
When in doubt and or lost in translation, repeat ‘parakalo’ and ‘efharisto’ multiple times.
Efharisto me later, parakalo.
You might notice Greek sounds like Spanish, yet we do not understand each other at all.
You’ll feel like you’re being scolded by your Greek grandma at your boutique hotel of choice during check in – forget about resorts here.
But do not panic, it’s a Mediterranean thing, we’re just like that.
it is no secret the world thinks we’re loud, vociferous and on island time, true – I just like to think we’re more expressive than our Anglo-Saxon counterparts.
Anyway, once Ms. Appolonia is done shouting at you with rapid hand gestures
– Isn't Mediterranean matriarchy just great?–
and walks you to your beautiful and sun-reflecting white Cycladic room, adventure starts!
Nefeli Sunset Studios
What to see
I had just finished reading ‘Ask an Astronaut’ by Tim Peake as I landed in Milos
which felt like a prelude to the outer worldly landscapes I was about to witness.
I’m most fascinated by geological oddities, call me childish, but when travelling,
I rather daydream of being one adventurous character of Jules Verne’s books.
Sarakiniko resembled to the moon, or at least, what I’d imagine the moon to be like.
This unusual lunar landscape is result of the erosion of the volcanic rock by waves driven by north winds.
Swimming on Sarakiniko’s bright blue stripe of water is a must, escape from the sun in the abandoned mine tunnels.
Next on my adventure book plan was Kleftiko, an old pirates’ hideout.
An impressive spot of rock formations that can only be reached by the sea.
Renting a boat was imperative and the surfboard I dragged along all the way from the Canary Islands
came in handy to explore the caves and other secrets I would’ve never seen otherwise.
Once you’ve had your salt water fix, head to the village of Plaka.
Built on a hill overlooking the sea, where the famous Venus de Milo was found - now at the Louvre in Paris-
and explore its streets filled with the white washed houses people come to Greece to see,
walk around the acropolis, soak up the culture and the tzatziki.
Where and what to eat
While in Plaka, visit Archontoula for the best al fresco dining. Service is slow, food is fantastic, this is Greece.
Head to O! Hamos! restaurant in Adamas for your first culinary immersion. Dolmades, check, moussaka, check.
Enthusiastic staff and uh oh vegan friendly –nope, I’m not vegetarian but Greece’s got you covered!–
It gets dark, you’re already tanned and sunset in Sarakiniko was breathtaking.
Grab a gyros – by far Greece’s biggest culinary export, they give kebabs a run for their money–
and walk around Adamas harbour for a late night boogie.
Cabs are friendly, locals lovely and food's insane.
Travel light – unlike me – and remember, cash only!