I am not sure you can beat the Greek Islands for that epitome of the idyllic Summer holiday. The bluest of skies, the warmest of sun, water and people. Cuisine to make your mouth water on just the mention of the word, Moussaka. Stunning bays and beaches, the bluest, cleanest, clearest and sparkliest of water to swim in. Cats, cats and more cats and the most beautiful of sunsets, which make you stop, take a moment, pinch yourself and realise the privilege you have been given to experience all of this in 10 days. Soak it up, drink it up, eat it up and try and live in the moment before it all becomes a dream, and a rather lovely one at that!
We have over the years visited a few of the Greek Islands, along with Lord Byron we too have a little bit of a soft spot for this part of the world and this year for many a reason we decided to take our longer holiday closer to home and decided to return to Greece because, well why not? We had 11 days, we took 2 flights, 5 boats, saw 4 islands and watched 10 sunsets… We flew into Mykonos and on landing headed straight to the port and jumped on our first boat, the Greek Island hopping commenced and we were very happy to say the least….Tinos Island being our first stop!
I love Island Hopping, I love travelling on a boat, this may sound a bit strange but there is nothing more exciting than watching everyone step on to the boat, then the cars, then the rope drops and then the horn blows and off you go….This could be a frame of reference to holidays on the ferry to France when I was growing up perhaps, but it really is the best travelling by sea and being out on the deck passing the islands under the sun, and seeing the whole island in front of you as you arrive……Honestly it is the best! It is also super easy as well, most of the boats run on time, well Greek time, and it’s an affordable mode of travel. I also booked all our journey’s through greeka.com before we went, so totally stress free!
So back to Tinos….In a way our time limit and budget for this trip (who thought having a new kitchen was a good idea?) kinda dictated the islands we chose. Having hopped around the Cyclades before we knew we couldn’t really go wrong, (once you are out of Mykonos that is, more on that another time perhaps) so we decided to go to the islands that were near, easy and which the boat schedule worked with our dates….Tinos was 20 minutes from Mykonos, meaning I was pretty much lying horizontal on my sun bed pretty soon after landing…..However there are a whole load of other reasons why Tinos hits mighty high on the Greek Island ricktor scale.
Tinos has nearly 50 villages, it is surround by beautiful bays and beaches, it is pretty much off the tourist trail, pretty untouched and cuisine comes high up on the priority list. Tinos Town is famous for, amongst the Greeks for the Church of Panagia Evangelistria where a yearly pilgrimage takes place. Pilgrims crawl on their knees from the bottom of the town all the way up to the church. Incredible to see but enduring for those doing it…..although as I sit writing this I would crawl on my knees back to Tinos for some time on the island.
We had three nights on the island and laid our heads at the very beautiful, Vega Apartments, up in the hillside, with a panoramic view of the Aegean sea and the nearing island of Syros. The right balance between simplicity, authenticity and style, with traditional white washed apartments. We stayed in Denab, calm, blue and white interiors, with the highlight being the terrace which provided front row seats to the most incredible sunsets and star gazing. The pool at Vega is a bit of a show stopper and the outside bar provides another spot as the sun goes down with an Aperol spriz, as you relax into the bean bags, with a sound score of crickets and fire flies…..up in this hills, life was pretty good!
We started our days feasting on the delicious breakfasts at Vega, all fresh and locally produced, before jumping in our little hire car and travelling around the island, stopping off at beaches and bays for a dip to cool down and visiting the little villages for a taste of the real Greece. Pirgos was my favourite, mostly made from marble ( I did wonder if I could maybe put a little in my bag for my kitchen?) winding, cobbled pathways with petals in door ways, every turn a picture, especially when there was a little cat on the path. Beautiful… I could have wandered forever! But alas the beaches were calling, first up, Kolimpithra beach. Right at the North of island and quite a vast sandy beach in comparison to the smaller bays, rugged but beautiful, but oh so windy. Gorgeous water but the waves, oh the waves. If you follow me on Instagram you will know the story of the 4th wave that finally got me!!! But enough about that. Kolimpithra beach, is set up so well, a very cool, bohemian vibe but not at all pretentious and complete with a Camper Van which had been converted into a beach bar, ice coffee for me, beer for Wes! In search of a little calm, we also dipped into the waters at all stunning beaches, Ormos Isterrion and Kalivia, all with the clearest of water. Perhaps my favourite of all was Ag. Sostis next to an old church, the softest sand and lots of trees hanging over to provide a bit of shade. This is where we headed on our last morning, with supplies of chocolate croissants and coffee and were the only ones there dipping in the quiet and calm water…..heaven!
We pretty much started our Greek holiday in Tinos as we meant to go on, beach days, lazy days, walks through villages, then ending up lounging by the pool before getting ready for sunset drinks pre a late dinner in the chora. Within three days we pretty much happily surrendered to the Greek way of life, with our other life feeling a world away….. Luckily enough for us, we still had a few more islands to soak up!
More soon from the Greek Islands.
We flew our of London Luton to Mykonos with Easyjet.
Organised boats before we left with greeka.com I found this company really clear and efficient and they even text to remind of your plans or if there were any changes the day before. You can also download the tickets onto your phone rather than picking up from the port. We did a bit of both.
We stayed at the gorgeous Vega Apartments.
We also hired a car in Tinos town on our 2nd day, with Vidalis, based in the main town along the port. Super quick, great service, all in all took about 30 minutes and was about £50 a day.
Yellow one shoulder print dress | Oliver Bonas
Yellow slip dress | & Other Stories
Pink Cotton Maxi Dress | & Other Stories
Beach Bag | H&M Home
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