Our final stop on our week long sailing adventure around the Mediterranean was the quaint island of Agistri. The island is know for it’s crystal clear blue waters and only boosts a population of around 1200 people! It’s 55 minutes from Piraeus, the main port of Athens, and only 10 minutes from Aegina island making it a popular weekend getaway.
Arriving in Agistri was truly something special. The water started changing colours, from a deep, dark blue to a magical turquoise with white seabeds. I’ve never seen anything like it.
Agistri is a fairly big island so as soon as we had docked our yacht at the port we headed out to find the nearest scooter rental and an ice cold frappe, I was excited to see what the rest of the island had in store for us.
We spent the day riding around on scooters, adventuring down to various beaches, (We even came across some of the island’s famous naturist beaches – Halikiada and Chalikiada.) drove through hundred year old olive groves till eventually we reached the one end of the island which was home to a family run restaurant right on the waters edge, quite literally.
There’s nothing more refreshing then an ice cold beer when you’ve been riding around in the sun all day. Still the best beer I’ve ever had. After a delicious lunch and a quick float in the ocean we headed back through the pine shadowed roads to the main port to get ready for our farewell toga party dinner.
The toga party was a lot of fun, we all used our sheets from the boats to create our evening looks. I topped my off with a bit of vine I found while exploring the island earlier that day, a waisted belt and some gold jewels. We spent the night laughing loudly, learning local dance moves around the pool and won the Lady Gaga dress up competition using one roll of tinfoil and a roll of toilet paper.
With the team spirit high we ventured into the dark night to steal the trophy awarded to the other team for the yacht race that took place the day before. After all, it was meant to be ours.
(Read my previous Greek post, The Ancient Island of Poros, for the full story.)
We then proceeded to fill the trophy with cheap white wine and passed the cup around for everyone to have a drink. I loved my team!
Setting sail for Athens on Friday morning was a bittersweet goodbye, it had been the most incredible holiday with some amazing people that I am still friends with to this day. Greece is a magical place filled with humble souls, delicious food and some incredible forces of nature.
Maybe one day I’ll buy myself a small holding on some far away island and enjoy the last years of my life with my pack of dogs in the Mediterranean sun eating fresh fish and drinking cold retsina. Wouldn’t that be lovely?
THINGS TO DO IN AGISTRI:
– Rent a scooter and explore the island.
– Visit the beautiful church Agioi Anargyroi.
– Visit the village of Megalochori. It’s on the Northern side of the island and has traditional architecture, a sandy beach and a small port where fishing boats moor.
– Spend the day soaking up the sun at Dragonera beach on the West side of the island. A pebbled beach with sun beds and umbrellas.
– Don’t miss Aponisos beach, crystal clean water surrounded by nature. There is also a traditional tavern open during spring and summer months, where you can enjoy the delightful view of the bay and its offshore inlets.
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All images taken by myself and Justin Polkey
Poros is comprised of two small Greek islands, Sphairia and Kalavria, in the southern part of the Saronic Gulf with a surface area of 31 square kilometres and only 3,780 inhabitants. Sphairia is a volcanic rock and Kalavria is covered with pine trees.
We set sail from Hydra in the early morning with the sun beating down on us. Halfway to Poros the wind picked up which meant one thing – yacht race! The skippers lined us up at the starting line and the race was on. Skippers were only allowed to assist us verbally, otherwise all the hard manual labour was left to us. We were in first place with 5 minutes till the finishing line when we made a huge mistake and slacked our ropes loosing all the momentum we had built up. There was oohing and aahing but luckily we had built up a big enough lead that we still came in second. I was so proud of our team.
Once we docked our yacht at the Poros ports we heading down to the beach for an afternoon of water-sports. We tried everything from banana boats to parasailing. My all time favourite is still being dragged behind a speedboat on a big rubber tube holding on for dear life. Anyone tried it before?
Sun kissed and exhausted we walked back to town with a big bag of cherries and a couple of beers. (Mediterranean lifestyle is true bliss I tell you.) We watched the sunset from our yacht before heading to a small local spot near the docks for dinner.
The next morning Justin and I were the first to rise so we headed out to explore the small town of Poros. Ice coffee and baklava in hand. We missioned up to the famous clock tower which was built in 1927 and had the most breathtaking views of the town and the harbour.
We didn’t spend that much time on Poros as our sail to Agistra was a bit longer then our usual sailing times. So we headed back to the port to set sail for our next stop…
The clearest blue waters you ever did see!
Tie dye dress – Zara
Brown slides – H&M
Olive sunglasses – Persol
Sarong – Poetry
Black sunglasses – Ray Ban
White shirt – Mango
Red trousers – Mango
Basket bag – Bohemia
All photos taken by myself and Justin Polkey.
I know it’s been a bit of a break between my previous Greece post (Summer Sailing in Spetses) but I’m back and this time I’m sharing the fourth stop on our incredible sailing holiday – the island of Hydra.
Hydra was by far the most grand and photogenic of all the islands we visited during our time in Greece with a population of 2000. Know for it’s small marble-cobbled lanes and beautifully preserved stone architecture the island allows no scooters or vehicles of any sorts (except for two small fire trucks and a miniature rubbish truck) but rather you will find donkeys roaming these narrow winding paths.
The island remains endearingly time-warped as a listed architectural reserve, all new construction is banned. Over the years Hydra’s beauty has attracted all sorts of celebrities, from Leonard Cohen to Sophia Loren.
Once we docked our yacht it was a scorching (42 degrees) 30min walk into town but absolutely breathtaking. Blue waters, ancient stone walls with wild olive trees growing amongst them, white abodes with bells outside and the sound of cicada’s (Christmas Beetles) filled the air.
We spent the afternoon exploring this incredible town, hiking it’s hills, stopping to grab a beer here and there and eating all the ice-cream stuffed baklava we could get our hands on. (Best summer treat ever!) Hydra is know for one of the best destinations in the world to watch the sunset. So, of course, as the sun began to set we headed back down to the sea to enjoy the magical treat of colours the sky held in store for us.
For dinner we went back to the same restaurant we stopped at for lunch. A cute family run (as it usually is in Greece) restaurant off the main streets with the sweetest service and attention to our hungry stomachs. We stuffed ourselves with Greek tapas and spent hours drinking ouzo and Retsina till eventually we paid our bill and were gifted with bottles of extra ouzo, Retsina and a big bag of ice to take back to our yacht… free of charge! You see why I love the Greeks? I wish I could remember the name of this restaurant to share this magical spot with you, but alas, my memory fails me.
We caught a water taxi (last photo of this post) back to our yacht where we spent the rest of our evening drinking our gifts, sharing our favourite memories and laughing into the early hours of the morning. What a magical island Hydra turned out to be.
… till next time…
tee – OAK NYC
shorts – H&M
sandals – Jane Sews
hat – Mango
basket – Bohemia Design
sunglasses – Persol
belt – Witchery
necklace – Country Road
bangle – Country Road
*All photos taken by myself and Justin Polkey.
It’s pretty difficult to choose a favourite Greek island on our sailing trip but if I had to commit to just one I would have to say that Spetses takes first place.
The mix of pine and salt water in the air, your hair and on your skin while cruising around on a scooter is pretty hard to beat. There’s an absence of private vehicles on Spetses which leaves the roads free for walking, horse-draw carts and scooters.
Just to fill you in on all the details (as I’ve yet to do so) we booked our Greek sailing cruise through a company called MedSailors and is by far the best holiday I’ve ever been on, so much so I booked sailing cruise in Croatia this year with MedSailors too.
The yachts are pretty simple, nothing overly fancy, but meets all your basic needs. We upgraded our trip to the premier plus yachts which was totally worth the extra payment. They premier yachts are slightly more spacious and more modern with a sleek design. We booked our trip early and got a discounted early bird special. I’ve also heard (but I can not say for sure) that if you with certain medical aid groups you can receive an additional discount too.
Each morning we would set sail for the next island on our week long journey around 8am, our skipper Sam would then sail for an hour or two till he found a decent spot to anchor off for breakfast. Sam was an amazing skipper and I cannot praise him enough. He cooked and served us delicious meals throughout the trip, put up with our silly games (Capture The Flag…) and always ensured a calm energy on the boat.
Breakfast consisted of real greek yogurt, muesli, fruit and freshly baked bread and spreads. One thing’s for sure, you have not had proper yogurt till you’ve tried real Greek yogurt, It’s so creamy and thick, I became obsessed! After breakfast we would stop for a swim, some paddle boarding or maybe a little scuba diving (though sadly, there’s hardly any fish in the Greek ocean’s anymore). I usually spent my mornings between diving into the ocean and reading my book. Lunch was a similar vibe, we would anchor off somewhere and Sam would cook us some light tapas before docking our yacht at the island harbour.
You then had a choice of either sticking with the group or venturing out by yourself to explore the island. Spetses was incredible! Sailing into the harbour and seeing such clear blue water still feels so dreamy.
We hitched a lift on the back on a quad into town to rent some scooters for ourselves. There’s very few things in this world that beat the feeling of cruising around on a scooter with the sun beating down on your back and the strong smell of pine and cedar in the air while exploring totally unknown territory.
Every now and then we would spot a sign for a beach bar and would veer off the road and order back to back Aperol Spritz’s before getting back on the scooter.
One of our stops was the ‘famous’ Bekiri Cave. It’s a short hike from the beach club and suddenly you in complete darkness trying to figure out which way is up and which way is down all while the waves are crushing against you.
We spent the rest of our day cruising around the entire island of Spetses before stumbling upon Patralis Psarotaverna for the best mussels I’ve ever eaten alongside some grilled octopus. I mean seriously, who can resist dripping freshly baked bread into a creamy white wine and garlic sauce?
We returned our scooters and slowly made our way back to the yacht while watching the sun go down and stopping every 30min or so for a glass of vino or Aperol Spritz at a nearby restaurant.
Summer nights in June/July are incredibly warm and most nights I fell asleep on the deck in the hammock whilst star gazing. I always wondered what a pirates life was like, now I think I kind of know…
Next stop… Hydra.
Rent a scooter and just keep cruising.
We rented our scooters from a place called Nautilus. They were so friendly and helpful and sorted out all the paperwork in about 5 minutes flat.
Visit Bekiri Cave if you not afraid of small dark spaces.
Drink all the Aperol Spritz you can manage!
Try the creamy mussels at Patralis Psarotaverna
Walk through the town square.
Spetses has a couple museums too but I preferred to just spend my time outdoors near the sea and cruising along the hilltops.
All photo’s taken by myself & Justin Polkey