LWSY Greece Part 1 ~ Santorini & Koufonisia
There are many reasons our trip to Greece last July will have such lasting memories. I was nearly 7 months pregnant and the weeks were flying by, Etienne and I had been saying for months how we wanted to max out our summer before Marguerite arrived, so we jumped at the chance to fly out to Greece just a few days after we’d discussed it.
We had plans to be in the UK that coming weekend so we just changed our return flights to Paris and headed to Santorini instead for just a small price change with Easyjet. The way the flight times were scheduled, we had no choice but to spend the night in Santorini (no bad thing but we were ready for quiet island life) before getting the SeaJet to Koufinisia, our first island we had planned to visit. Bearing in mind we were arriving in the dark and leaving at dawn to catch the boat, we found a simple Guest House called Fisherman’s House for the night. The owner arranged for us to be driven to the local beach for a late dinner once we’d checked in.
The following morning as we arrived in the port to catch our boat, I asked Etienne how long the transfer was, “not long, I can’t remember.” I scour the ticket for an arrival time, but nothing.
We board the boat and pay for an upgrade (the ticket was around 40€) to sit on the top deck (hoping this would ease my travel sickness) but were hit with ‘unusually windy’ weather they said. You can imagine what happened to me, 26 weeks pregnant and being bounced out of my seat with each and every wave. That was 2 hours I’d like to forget.
We arrived however into a little piece of paradise. We’d been given a heads up about two islands that the Greeks liked to holiday on, Koufonisia was one of them. I discovered a few hours after we’d arrived, this really was a special spot. There were a sprinkling of Italians and French, I think we only saw one British family over the 5 days we were there.
We walked from the little port to our hotel, Keros Art Hotel which was just 200m away and headed out to explore and find a bar. This was ultimate slow living here. You never needed to pre-book a restaurant, and could eat as early or late as you liked. I’ll be frank and tell you everything was cheap, we ordered everything we fancied every night and we never seemed to spend more than 35€-40€.
This tiny hole in the wall was one of the busiest take-away restaurants on the island at night (it was probably the only one). There were queues down the street for this place serving stuffed pittas. They laid out little plastic stools and chairs for you to sit on once you’d reached the end of the queue.
This holiday was about relaxing, for us to take time together before our daughter was born. We booked and planned everything ourselves (and very last minute at that), we had no writing obligations, no itineraries to stick to, no plans.
We woke up early, had breakfast, took a long walk before the heat really kicked in. We would find a new beach restaurant everyday, or discover a new boat to take to a neighbouring island for lunch. Every evening though, we would sit here, and watch the sunset.
One of our favourite lunches was on our 3rd day, we took a short boat ride to Kato Zakros Bay Taverna on Nikos Platanakis, I felt like we’d walked into a movie set. You could only get here by boat, and there must have been just a handful of people here that day.
If you’re looking for a quiet island that feels almost undiscovered by the mass tourist industry of so many Greek islands Koufinisia is your place. It takes a bit of time to get there, but this is why it’s so quiet. You can find your own stretch of beach and be the only ones on it for an entire day.
Our hotel was around 150€ a night including breakfast and the rooms had recently been renovated. As I mentioned, lunches and dinners were so affordable. There is one main street to discover, what look like little fisherman houses in the day open up to be wine bars at night. The two are three cocktail bars on the harbour that do quiet island life living perfectly. You could be bare foot all week if you wanted…
A little slice of Greek heaven, we’ll be back…
Part 2 coming up soon!
LWSY Summer 2017