Finally a little bit of luxury called and the chance to leave the bikes to have 4 days of ‘proper’ holiday were upon us. So, after saying goodbye to the bikes, we headed on up the hill ready to chill out and have a sleep in a really good bed!
Trypiti is a beautiful little place up on the hill (a massive gravelly hill that there was no way I was cycling up, hence leaving the bikes) overlooking the little bay of Klima. Other than the gorgeous ruins of a Roman Theatre overlooking the sea and the infamous catacombs, which are one of the 3 most important in the world and said to be older than those in Rome, making them Greece’s most important early Christian monument of worship (they are a pretty big deal!) there is not that much to do. Well I mean those two things alone are pretty magnificent, but what I mean is that there are only a few restaurants and bars (possibly 4 but only 3 were open when we were there most of which were filled with Greeks). This is what I loved about it. Despite housing one of the most important parts of Greek history, there was no feel of tourism gone mad at all. It was extremely refreshing.
We stayed at the, incredibly luxurious for us, Eiriana Suites owned by the lovely Anna and her husband. This small boutique hotel has a gorgeous setting with views of the bay and delightful church. There are only a handful of rooms and each has it’s own unique quirkiness. We enjoyed the wifi, gorgeous balcony area, scrumptious breakfasts (these are seriously sensational; made purely from goodies grown in Anna’s garden) and good company of our hosts. It was a real treat away from the hustle and bustle. Anna was able to give us some recommendations of places to eat and things to do and after the 2 nights we were extremely relaxed and ready to head down another crazy hill to the fishing village of Klima.
Synchrodestiny had it that the booking we had made on airbnb for the fisherman’s cottage was actually overseen by Anna due to the owner not being able to speak English. So she sorted out dropping us and our silly paniers stuffed into an Ikea bag down the hill to the little touristy bay.
Klima is the epitome of a Greek fishing bay with the little cottages, each painted in different colours, hugging the coastline. The downstairs area of these cottages (or syrmatas as they are known locally) is traditionally used to store the boats whilst the upstairs area would provide a little living space for the fishermen. Now, however, many of these have been done up a little by local families; comprising beds, kitchen areas and bathrooms and are used as a getaway from the not particularly bustling towns on the island. A small number of these are rented out to tourists.
We had already visited Klima during our road trip with John and Gill and obviously fell in love with the picture postcard setting. We were wondering what it would be like to stay here though, with tourists streaming through all day walking right outside the front doors and snapping away.
Klima is not the only one of these fishing bays with similar accommodation on the island, and Anna had made us aware of the dangers of swimming in certain parts of the bay due to the lack of quality sewage draining compared to other less busy fishing communities. Still, we were super excited to have almost no access to the outside world, nowhere to shop/wander to/eat out; just to sit still and enjoy the scenery…well I was. Andy obviously ended up taking numerous trips on a daily basis up the mountain to buy essentials like an onion, and then realised he had forgotten an aubergine, “oh and I think I may go back up to the shop and buy some wine”. We did actually need him to go up and get more water since his thrice daily excursions in the blistering heat were causing him to go through around 10 litres a day…another excuse to go back to civilization! Needless to say these trips got speedier with each occurrence (not like he was competing with himself or anything??!!) and that actually did mean we got to spend some time together.
Personally, having some time to myself sat in a gorgeously cute little home was just perfect. I liked the muffled voices of tourists outside of the huge open door, getting louder the nearer they got and then hushing into a whisper incase they were disturbing my privacy. Well, of course they were, they were basically stood in the front garden, but I didn’t mind and ended up making a few friends. One man even came over and asked if I was a café as I sipped away on on my coffee one afternoon! I said no but that I was happy to make him one should he so desire. He was actually after a beer but my mule had failed to return from the beer run so I couldn’t assist. I could have started a nifty little business down there!
Plaka is a beautifully white-washed Greek village perched on a rocky outcrop just along from Trypiti. Beautiful flowers stream from white buildings in the shady alleyways of the tiny town. It boasts beautiful views down to the shore from the old church, which is especially popular at sunset, only surpassed by the vistas available from the Kastro (castle) further up the hill. At night is turns into a bustling little place with lots of outdoor dining options, whereas in the day it is pretty sleepy allowing for a little more exploration. There are lots of little shops catering for tourists with arty goods and a host of cafes, but we were happy to be staying in Trypiti and to walk over from there.
This is an incredible lunar-like beachside spot on the north of the island. The white sandy rock formations start from nowhere creating a stark contrast to the inky waters of the ocean. It is one of the most photographed landscapes in the Aegean and we enjoyed having a wander around the caves and rock pools.
We didn’t get an opportunity to visit all of the island, preferring to have some parts to come back and explore when we return in the future, but we made a good stab at it. It truly is such a precious place. There is enough going on to keep you busy, but compared to some other islands in the Aegean, the options to separate yourself from the hustle and bustle of tourism were plentiful. The colours and cuisine, combined with the hospitable and friendly nature of the people on the island are what make it truly unique.