SAIL THE MAGICAL GREEK ISLANDS

Skopelos Island, Northern Sporades Island Chain

Skopelos is a pine covered island which was once an important Minoan settlement, ruled by Staphylos who was, according to myth, the son of Dionysus and Ariadne. Staphylos seems to have followed in his father’s footsteps by introducing wine-making to Skopelos; the site of his tomb, unearthed in the 1930’s, is now a small beach resort.

This is an island which has put tourism in perspective. Rich with olives, vines and orchards, and with a sizeable number of Greek visitors a year, this island in the Sporades has no need to go out of its way to attract foreign tourists. Those who do come are treated well. Neighbouring Skiathos gets the package tours (and the direct flights which make Skopelos accessible) while Skopelos gets the Grecophiles, the nature-lovers and the peace-seekers.

e1-1

 

Kastellorizo Island, Dodecanese Island Chain

Kastellorizo is probably the most quiet and peaceful island you can find in the Mediterranean sea.  Kastellorizo is a natural and biological Paradise. As there is no real interference a number of animals and plants developed very nicely. Among them water turtles, dolphins and the  monachos  seal. With no more than 300 inhabitants the little shuttle bus and the only taxi are two of the few modes of transportation on the island. There are nearly no streets in the town and  harbour, which makes it ideal for family holidays. It’s just too small a place to get lost.

e1-2

 

Samos Island, Dodecanese Island Chain

This large, Aegean island is a gorgeous, verdant place, which at one point is no more than 2 km. far from the coast of Asia Minor. It is covered with pure white sand beaches, picturesque villages, fishing harbours and it is famous for the production and the quality of its wine. The sweet variety of Samos wine has an international reputation.

The essential beauty of the nature, the historical sites that are spread all over the island and the charming mountainous landscape of Samos create a unique atmosphere which enchants the visitors and carry them in another era. In an era of myths, heroes and philosophers.

el-3b

Psara Island

Psara is located 12 miles to the northwest. It can be reached by boat from the city of Chios, or by a smaller motorboat from Limnia, the port of  Volissos. The island has been the site for many heroic and tragic episodes. The famous revolutionary admiral, Kanaris was born in Psara, and Psarians were among the first of all Greeks to join in the revolt against the Turks in 1821. In 1824 the Turks attacked the island and massacred more than 15.000 Greeks; only 3.000 managed to escape. The island never recovered from the complete destruction.

Today, the island is inhabited by less than 500 people, which all live in the village of Psara. The visitor can find a few cafes, snack bars and rooms to let, but no other tourist services exist.

e1-3

 

Limnos Island

It It is indeed rare for a Greek island with an airport to remain untainted by mass tourism, in fact, we cannot think of any other destination in Greece that is so easy to reach and yet has managed to retain that heart, soul, spirit, whatever you want to call it, of Greek island life. That life is centred round the main town and port, Myrina. Although Myrina contains all the essential prerequisites of Greek island holiday life, that is 3 good sandy beaches, and a wide choice of tavernas, cafes and shops, it also has the perfect counterbalance of going about its daily business, almost oblivious of the minority tourists. Therefore, life is low-key in spite of a bewildering array of local shops and markets tucked away in the warren of backstreets. The town’s scenic nucleus has to be the old harbour, especially in the evening when the floodlit Byzantine castle, perched on a craggy promontory between two of the town’s beaches, looks down benevolently on the bobbing caiques bathed in the light of surrounding cafes and tavernas.

e1-4

 

Serifos Island, Cyclades Island Chain

Serifos, just 2 hrs 30 mins from Piraeus by fast ferry, is a small island of bare hills, fertile valleys and long, sandy beaches. Livadi is home to most of the island?s tourist facilities including a bank and shops. Livadaki, a better tamarisk-shaded sandy beach, lies a short walk to the west of the harbour, offering snorkelling possibilities, water-sports and a taverna. Overlooking all this is the appealing, dazzling white Chora, set high above Livadi on a steep hillside. Quiet and atmospheric, Chora can be reached by using either the municipal bus or walking the cobbled 2 kilometres mule path. With breathtaking views across the valleys below, Chora’s alleyways lead to several tavernas near the village’s central square. All is topped by a ruined 15th century Venetian Kastro.

e1-6