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.
… and so the story continues. Where I left off last time I was boarding the boat in the bay of Perdika to sail to Ermioni to meet up with Justin and Ross who had previously been left behind at the BA terminal in London.
(Incase you missed it, see part one of my Greek adventure here.)
We docked our yacht around lunch time in the Ermioni harbour and as I looked up there was Justin and Ross sitting in the shade outside a little greek cafe. They both looked like they’d been in the wars. (Sorry boys!)
Turned out after queueing for hours and being put on standby for the past three flights with no success they managed (thanks to EU law) to be reimbursed for their flight and booked a new flight to Greece via one of the only airlines that had availability – Air Serbia.
So they flew to Serbia, Serbia to Athens and then caught “The Flying Dolphin” (a supposedly fast ferry) to Ermioni while surviving on a hour’s sleep in 72 hours!
We decided a swim in the ocean and some delicious greek food would cure any woes. So we grabbed our towels, downed a beer and went to explore the island of Ermioni.
Ermioni is a small island town constructed on the hill slopes around a beautiful port with a population of 3062 people. In the past the town used to be know for their shipbuilding and the production of a red dye called porphyra. An uncomplicated holiday destination with the friendliest people you’ll ever come across. It only took us an hour or two to walk around the whole island.
We joined everyone for dinner at a local restaurant right on the waters edge for grilled octopus and fresh sardines called Tzieris. Like most spots in greece Tzieris is a family owned and run business. I was so impressed with my meal that I went in to thank the chef only to walk out with the whole family hugging and kissing me while bestowing me with bottles of homemade olive oil. (Which happens to be the best olive oil I’ve ever tried!)
We ended off our evening at Millennium Sailing Club which is run by a crazy Greek man who loves to party. We received more free drinks then drinks that we paid for and by the end of the night he had everyone dancing on tables and throwing hundreds of napkins in the air.
The next morning I was up early again and Justin and I headed out to explore the island one more time before setting sail. We ended up on the other side of the island and stumbled on a bakery that had just bought out fresh baklava. Only on holiday would I wake up with caffeine and sugar.
With everyone abroad the yacht and no one stuck in London we set sail for us next destination, and one of my favourites… Spetses!
… to be continued…
All photos taken by myself and Justin Polkey.