Saint-Emilion | France

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The amazing view from the balcony

And last but not least, the 3rd part of this amazing trip to Southwest France, Saint-Emilion! As I told you at the previous post, we visited Bordeaux for 1 day and the second day we decided to go to this beautiful village to learn a little more about wine.

Saint-Emilion is a super well preserved traditional French village with all the fairy tale memories you may have. As if Bell and Gaston from the Beauty and the Beast was living here..! And as if this wasn’t enough, it’s a large area of vineyards, a whole appellation of wine, very famous for those who know. Extra treat, the jaw dropping chateau that every vineyard has and had me hanging from the car window while arriving and making “aaahh” sounds all the way! It was a total dream…

So, already from Athens I had make a reservation to a chateau near to the village that had a guided tour in English and because of that our reservation was at 2 o’clock splitting our day at two. So we had to have lunch just by arriving and after the chateau tour we’d return at the village to continue our visit.

When we arrived the weather was beautiful, sunny and cheerful (though at the end of the day not so much…), so we walked around a little bit before lunch. The only thorn at the fairy tale situation was the very touristic site that was, at least when we went. G for example couldn’t overtake it while I didn’t care much. We didn’t have the proper time though to explore it because of the schedule.

So by arriving at 12 o’clock we had to have lunch very early for our habits but that’s how French people do it! I’ve done a mini research from before and we went directly to the “L’envers du decor” a very nice restaurant with a picturesque yard. We weren’t very hungry but tried with pleasure 2 plates of their regional cuisine. I tried pigeon for the first time but I must say I wasn’t crazy about it. The wine was excellent though, both of our choices!

After the chateau tour we returned to the village to see more about it, we walked through the streets and admired everything around! Thankfully you can’t miss the most amazing view of the village at a central street balcony. It’s the 1st photo of the post, where you can see the square, the rest of the village and the vineyards as long as you can see. The weather this time was pretty gloomy but we were lucky not to have rain at this point, that’s why the half of the photos are sunny and the others quite dull.

Saint-Emilion is actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as a Cultural Landscape, a historical landscape that remained intact but which is still carrying on its activity. So beautiful in the medieval architecture monuments and houses as long with the large vineyards and wineries around it. It has a history of wine production since its early days, many centuries ago.

The chateau we visited was Chateau Corbin, with a beautiful house that the owner lives there and the winery on the same property. It was an unmissable experience even though the rain burst out as we were there. No problem, we’ll stay here drinking wine until it stops!

We learnt a lot about their production and the works of a winery that was very very interesting, I definitely recommend it! One interesting info: they plant roses at the beginning of every series of the vineyard because that used to protect the grapes from diseases – the bugs attacked the roses first – but now they do it mostly for beauty reasons and I couldn’t agree more with them!

Another interesting info about this chateau is that from generation to generation is run by women, without planning it. Women power rules!

I don’t know why but our group was full of old people, and then to the village we continued to be surrounded by them..as also at the airplane going to France we had pink and white little heads all around! What on earth, is it an “old people” thing to do, the wine taisting travels, and I didn’t know? Go explore it!

So, we and our young friends end up to a beautiful tasting room with wooden ceiling and stone paved floor and a huge painting hanging on the wall to taste the wines we’ve learnt so far, bought one bottle for back home and left happy with a lot of red alcohol on our veins!

Returning to Toulouse the same afternoon wasn’t the easiest thing to do after a day dedicated to wine…but apparently we didn’t think much when organizing the trip. I definitely recommend to spend the night close to the area, to see more things, enjoy the most of it and don’t get extremely tired on the way back, as we did.

In total, it was an amazing 6 days trip that I enjoyed a lot!! I could definitely stay 1 week more, expanding all these fantastic experiences! 🙂

If you want to see more about my trip to Toulouse and Bordeaux you can check here and here!

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Bordeaux | France

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Miroir d’Eau, Bordeaux

As I told you at the previous post here, we went for vacations to Southwest France with G, at Toulouse, where my sister lives. We wanted though to have as many experiences as possible so we took the opportunity to go for a small trip around and see other places too. Our trip theme was the wine exploration (it was..it became..no difference!) so we decided to go to Bordeaux and St.Emilion!

Actually it’s very easy to go from Toulouse to Bordeaux (2,5 hours highway) but I did the stupidity and didn’t deactivate the gps option “avoid tolls”, so we had a nice 4 hours roadtrip through the villages!! I wouldn’t recommend it though because we arrive at Bordeaux pretty exhausted… However, after we arrived, we’ve settled in the hotel etc. checked the map and our sortie started immediately!

Bordeaux is a beautiful city, even more beautiful than you expect. It’s so imposing with all these great old buildings, so well preserved, the architecture is totally grandiose! Of course we stayed mostly at the old city center because we only had 1 day but from what I saw in general it would be very cool to live there. The city is famous of course for the wine culture and the latest years for the gastronomic field with so many great restaurants to explore! It’s very vivid full of pretty little shops, bistros, cafes and young people everywhere. The truth is that you should spend more time if you have the possibility but even like this it was totally worth it.

Of course there is a river again, our beloved Garonne, protagonist of the city, creating 2 parts that both have interest. We stayed at the less famous side but we crossed the beautiful bridge Pont de Pierre to go to the other side every time. There are so many things to see there that even if you won’t have any plans you’ll be like “ahhhh” all the time. And so many we didn’t see, like the Cite du Vin a new museum about wine that must be very very interesting.

Walking down the riverfront you get to know the grandest face of Bordeaux, the stunning Place de la Bourse  with the Miroir d’Eau (water mirror) that impressed me a lot. Also, you pass by the Puerta de Cailhau, an old gate of the city that stands proudly to welcome you. Beautiful from both sides.

Miroir d’Eau is an urban area that, as an architect, I found it very cool and clever. It’s a square with a fountain that people can actually interact with it. A large surface that pours and spray water, creating, when still, a mirror that reflects the buildings in front of it! Also, people can walk over it, cooling themselves on hot days or just lay down by the sides. I have to say that passing through the water is very fun, you should definitely try it!

And of course it’s great for photos, probably the most photographed place in Bordeaux, especially by night! Unfortunately, when we went at night the water was almost drained so you can only believe what I say. I tell you the truth and it was absolutely incredible! (you should check it on google)

Walking on the inner city you keep seeing great buildings like the Cathedral of St. Andre with the huge-separated belfry and the amazing organ on the inside. The funny thing is that Bordeaux was full of such buildings and everyday life was just happening among them, like “ah, I’m waiting for the tram here in front of this Cathedral to go to work, the usual..”

The day we visited the city a street festival for celebrating nature, or something like that, was being held in several public spaces and it was very festive and joyful. We passed by a square where they had a small concert, people was eating and drinking wine at the cafes around and it was full of life! What I loved the most was this casual but buzzy atmosphere and light spirit of people that were enjoying their drink and food outside, so many small cafes-bistros, cute, pretty and simple.

In such a cafe we spent some time to drink a glass of wine and rest a little (so many hours walking…). We were lucky to find Cheverus cafe, because it was exactly what we needed, quintessential retro interior that I fell in love with, where we tasted the most delicious tapas I’ve ever eaten (ok, I was super hungry also but it was really good!).
Now is the time to learn that my second favorite taste after croissants+coffee for breakfast is fine tapas+wine for anytime. In general I’m such a glutton you can make me happy with just food,  so imagine my fulfillment at this trip!

After the small pause with wine to fill our batteries we continued our walk around the city. Unfortunately the stores close early in the afternoon so we didn’t have the chance to go for any shopping or maybe the universe protected us I don’t know… But of course when we found a pastry shop with a vitrine full of macarons we stepped inside to taste some of them (5-6 were the minimum to have a proper opinion…). This made our walk even more interesting as you understand!

However, walking all day at Bordeaux while eating macarons makes you super thirsty… and because of the closed stores G. almost had a crazy episode but thankfully there are a lot of street water fountains so that people can drink freely water. And something like that saved the day..!

We closed this day at Mama Shelter for drinks and dinner, where I’ve made a reservation days before because I wanted so badly to see it. Designed by Philippe Starck, its a funny space, very popular and vivid. The food wasn’t exceptional but very good even so, the cocktails super, and in general it was totally worth it to catch the city’s vibe.

We walk our way to the hotel to see the city by night, passed one more time from the Mirroir d’Eau (full of people even at midnight) and crossed the lighted bridge Pont de Pierre for the last time…and almost passed out at our beds! Goodnight Bordeaux!

You can check the rest of this amazing trip to Southwest France here (Toulouse) and here (Saint-Emilion)! 🙂

Toulouse | France

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riverbank of Garonne, Toulouse

I don’t know about you but I love France! I went to a francophone school so we can say that french culture is in my DNA now, and that’s why I get very enthusiastic when I have the chance to awaken this part of my brain. Toulouse is a beautiful city at the southwest France, the 4th largest city in the country but not a touristic destination which adds at her charm. My sister lives there with her boyfriend so we decided with G. to visit them at the end of May and explore this part of France as possible. And it was marvelous!

Toulouse is a quiet yet full of life city, with the river Garonne (it runs through the southwest France and northern Spain) make her even more beautiful. People have a quality life there, you can tell by just walking at the streets, see them using the public spaces, sitting at the banks of the river, using the bicycle a lot and having fun at the cutest little cafe-bars. It was raining some of the days but it didn’t stop us from exploring. They call her the red city because of the red stones at the building facades all over and in combination with the greenery create a nice scenery. The perfect scenery to have a quality time for vacation, drinking wine and eating french delicacies!

So, our first acquaintance with the city was my sisters house. She lives with her boyfriend at a small but very sweet apartment. From the photo group above you can see her kitchen only because all the rest of the house was covered with our luggage. We spent 1 night there, then we left for a 2 days trip to Bordeaux and St.Emilion (I will dedicate another post about them) and returned to Toulouse where we stayed at a beautiful airbnb apartment at the city center, old house with wooden floors, 3m high windows and totally downtown.

My favorite part of the first days was the breakfast we had at T’s apartment, with real treasures from the neighborhood’s bakery. You should know that i absolutely love french croissant with my coffee!!! I think if I was living there I would make this bakery super rich. Croissants, pain au chocolat, cinnamon rolls and of course fresh baguette with french cheeses etc. Really, I couldn’t ask for more.

Strolling around the city you can see a bunch of beautiful places, of course there is a carousel at a square, and when you feel tired you can sit for a beer or a glass of wine at lovely cafes.

Unfortunately I didn’t took any photos from the coolest restaurant we went, Chez Navarre, with classic occitan cuisine, with a serving system to remember. There were large tables full of starters from which you can choose whatever you want. When you feel ready you serve yourself from a table with few main dishes (we were lucky that they had duck that day) and at the end you go to another table with the sweets and cheeses. The interior of the restaurant was very authentic, an old building with wooden structure and bricks creating an imposing atmosphere. The only problem was that because of this free serving system you could eat until you die as we almost did…

The center of Toulouse is quite small so you can move by walking as you pass through nice buildings and squares. The days that the weather was good we walked a lot and we had the chance to get used with the city easily. There are old, beautiful buildings everywhere!

We weren’t so much interested for museums etc and we were more free on Sunday&Monday that they were all closed. So the only sightseeing we visited was the church of St.Jacobin, southern gothic style, constructed entirely of brick.

One of the highlights of our visit in Toulouse was the market of V.Hugo. It’s a pity that in Greece we don’t have such places where you can buy fresh products and also taste in the same area their delicacies, drink a quick glass of wine and really enjoy your shopping time. As you can guess we did all these (well, almost)!

It was amazing how many delicatessen products were gathered there. Separated the meet market from the fish market, the unnumerable cheeses, foie gras, magret, sausages etc. However, the best part was when we sat for fresh oysters and shrimps with wine at 11 o’clock! It was delicious, the best way to start your day in vacations! It closes at 13.00 though so you should go early if you want to have time.

G was late and missed that part with the oysters so when he came at the market we sat for a quick glass of wine at the shops on the groundfloor and afterwards we went at the 1st floor where there are restaurants to have lunch. All cooked with products of the market downstairs of course. There is a lot of people so maybe you should go early there too, but we were lucky and found a place. We tasted foie gras and other parts of duck, fish tartar among others and finish our gourmet lunch in happiness!

After this amazing morning-lunch we went to the Grand Rond park to have some leisure time. We played a Finnish game, named mölkky that kept us busy for a long time. It was super fun and I was the worst player of the 4, even though I did had a victory!

This park is next to another park, creating a large green area perfect for Sundays, where there are free chickens and other domestic animals. So strange…imagine laying on the grass, reading a book and see a chicken passing by…

In general, we had a really great time, we spoke in french, we enjoyed so much the food and the wines, we tasted so many french appellations and learn a bit more about wine, we went for shopping in vintage stores that I love (G. found a geek source of retro arcade games and comic book stores that made him craaazy) and so much more. We enjoyed the city in general, and I must say that Toulouse is definitely worth visiting!

You can check also the rest of this amazing trip to Southwest France, to Bordeaux and Saint-Emilion, where we explored more the wine culture!

Trip to…

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It’s been a while I’m trying to post something in the blog and can never find the time to do it! I’ve been very busy with work in general, but the last week I was in small vacations for pleasant projects. I’ve been to Ikaria and Chalkidiki for different reasons but I’m gonna write about it another time…because I have big news to announce..!!

I’m about to travel to a place I’ve always wanted and never believe I would! Eventually, I’m very thrilled to tell you that I’m going to India for 10 days next week!!! I’m so happy, I’m afraid I’ll jinx it! So, as you can imagine I’m going to tell you everything after I come back! The truth is I’d like to use any hints you have to offer me, any propositions or warnings for India, from you you live there or you’ve already visited. I’m going to stay around New Delhi, Jaipur, Varanasi, Agra and Khajuraho. I can’t wait!!!

The photo is from a collection of vintage travel posters for India.

Ioannina, Greece

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Ioannina city, the old and the new

During October I’ve had a really nice time on a long weekend at Ioannina city of Greece and finally I’ve made the time to make a post about it! It’s been a month (plus) now that I have so much work to do that I think my blue flamingo is feeling very lonely…however is always in my mind, I’m mentally preparing interesting posts to present them to you someday!

This one is about this marvelous city that I’m definitely proposing of visiting! It highlights the tradition in such a chic way, offering very nice strolls at the lake, at the old market, the traditional coffee and wine/tsipouro spots where you can warm yourself and your heart with the right company. And of course, starting from Ioannina you can explore the Zagoria villages and the mountain which is very very beautiful.

To better understand the culture and fully get in the mood of this place you should hear some traditional epirus music, I adore it! One of my favorites is this: Xechorismata by Petroloukas Chalkias.
Or a contemporary aspect of it, the Villager of Ioannina city band.
I really believe these 2 aspects of music is very characteristic of the city vibes you can’t catch by photos only. I propose to hear them while you read the post if you are into it! 🙂

Unfortunately, we had only 3 days for all, but I think we saw a lot to love the city. The first thing anyone thinks on hearing about Ioannina is the lake! Such a serene scenery and beauty of nature especially on this time of year where the tree leaves have all these hues of green-orange-yellow…They say that deeper on winter, the lake is covered by a mysterious mist and it can be even more beautiful! We enjoyed that stroll so much that definitely I could say people there are very lucky. It’s also a great place for photographers, we even saw a famous one(as we’ve been told) photo shooting his little daughter among fallen leaves, where she was doing the same at her dad with her phone! Cute, huh?

Along the shore – despite the birds and the people to look at – there are some sculptures to admire that I liked a lot. By local, famous or not (to me) artists contribute to the evolution of aesthetic level and criteria of the people. I think it’s very nice having pieces of art out in the open, for every people to get familiar with it.

As I told you another characteristic of this city you shouldn’t miss is cute cafes and small taverns where you drink local tsipouro (a very strong alcohol drink) with tasty food. In any food situation I am incapable of taking photos, it’s official! I had my mind though of capturing some moments/corners from a very cute vintage cafe where we had our morning coffee one day. It’s called “To diko mas waltz” which means “our waltz” and served coffee and more in a well preserved old house, with small rooms and old furniture. I liked the “love of books” touch at the entrance a lot.

Another highlight of the city is the Its Kale hill where the Turk commander, pasha, has his palace and facilities. From there you can have a really nice view of the lake and the city and of course learn about this era. We visited a new museum of silverware that had a huge development in the area. This museum was actually very interesting both for the exhibits and the displaying ways of them and for the renovation of such a building. I was looking at the exhibit boards and then at the lighting methods or the way they used the building structure. A must see for architects!

Also, an excursion nearby is a must! We went towards Aristi village and at its exit we stopped at the river. You can see by the photos that it was amazing! The colors of nature, the hearing of the water and the feeling of your footings at the moisty earth was very refreshing. There were also some people that were doing rafting etc it would’ve been awesome.

As you can imagine it was the joy of the photographer! A lot of desktop wallpaper choices!

Continuing from there towards Papigko villages we stopped at some water ponds called Ovires. It’s a magical place where mountain water passes by big stones, sculptured by it, creating small and larger water ponds. During summer people swim there, I don’t even imagine how cold the water must be!

The scenery there is very imposing: big mountains around you, small villages underneath them, Vikos gorge and the river whenever you can see it. Leaving Ovires we had this view in front of us! And at this mountain foot was the Small Papigko village where we stopped for lunch and exploration.

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Mountains at Vikos gorge, such a scenery!

The first thing we saw after we left our car was this scenery below…Like a fairy tale. This plane tree was like a magnet to us…we took several photos!

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This plane tree reminds my the ‘Big Fish’ movie, don’t you think?

Obviously…

And then we went to eat something because after all these our stomach was complaining clearly! Lamb ribs at a tavern’s yard compensated us! 😉

It was such a great 3days vacation yet very tiring because it’s very far from Athens. I definitely recommend to have more days there, to have a car and to explore the mountain and the magical nature/villages of the area. It’s really beautiful at any season!

 

Folegandros | The Land

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The view of Panagia church on the cliff, the most classic photo of Folegandros!

I know, it’s not the best time to speak about greek summer – in Athens it’s deep Fall, we start to feel some cold weather expressions and a lot of us think about Christmas already! But not me! hehe…I’m gonna torture you a little more.
I think that greek islands are never off season! Especially now that a cousin of mine is planning to open her own shop at Folegandros (next summer the island will have a high quality stylish voice, keep in mind!).

I’ve already wrote about Folegandros’ beaches and clear blue waters here, now is the time to show you some of its land beauties!

Folegandros has 3 let’s say villages: Karavostasis (where the port is), Chora (its basic settlement) and Ano Meria. If you visit you should stay definitely at Chora, its where everything happens. The beauty there is impeccable! Laying at the edge of a cliff, having above you a high ridge with a traditional church, a traditional and very old settlement named “Kastro” on the inside and everything built with local architecture, all quite well preserved keeping a low and original profile offers you a very unique experience of living and memorable summer vacations!

Of course, we visited the island at early September where everything is quieter and less touristic. It’s said that is very popular on high season and maybe you won’t be able of feeling all the flavors of the island.
What I liked the most was that local people and owners have kept the local characteristics of the buildings and keep them simple so that you receive a quite original impression. Also, the existence of a lot of squares so that different kind of corners grow here and there depending on the use. I loved exploring new spaces as walking by, hidden shops and restaurants, as if life there is shown to you little by little.

Another characteristic is that people use the public area the most of it, like sitting on mantels and church’s precincts, tables are laying under a tree’s shadow and habitats hang their laundry on the streets adding their personal style!
Also, the whole Chora is very dense built because of the wind and that’s why all the houses are next to each other creating a very interesting organism all together. If you feel the wind there you’ll know what I’m talking about!!

And now some of how we were spending our time there!
We were starting our day with a nice breakfast every day at a different cafe. We wanted to try all of them and also to find where it wasn’t very windy! It wasn’t everywhere the best but we made some good choices eventually. One of my favorites was at the balcony of “Lontzia” cafe next to the entrance of Kastro. It was very peacefull, we had a nice view of the square on one hand and we had the Kastro on the other, we were sitting at built benches next to hibiscus, what else to ask for?!
My second favorite was strangely “Nicola’s place”. At the first glance I could hate it, very touristic, but we ate a very decent breakfast there (except coffee though, which was the reason for not going again) and it was so cult that you couldn’t not lough! However, the best thing there I think was the gaming options that you had. A lot of games, traditional, puzzles to solve, backgammon and of course …chess. We stayed there one morning for 3 hours playing chess with G. where fortunately I won!!! hooray!
Usually, after breakfast we were passing by the bakery to take some local cheese pies (yummy) to keep us for the day.

At the end of Chora is the Kastro settlement. Kastro means castle, citadel in greek and it was the first settlement of the island, where people were living on the old days. That’s why the houses are very close one to the other, the roads are very narrow so that they are mostly protected by the wind. It’s still inhabited, it has 2 entrances and it ends exactly at the edge of the cliff!! So scary to see that. The beauty of Kastro is incomparable, strolling around is a great walk, I loved imagining how life must have been there.

Night life was also limited for us because of the wind. Most of the days we were hanging out at Astarti bar, sitting at the church’s precinct next to it, drinking rakomelo (hot raki with honey and spices) to warm ourselves! It was the hit of Chora and we saw why. I loved that place for its intimacy and coolness.
One night that the wind wasn’t so bad we went to Beez bar for a summer cocktail and it was very nice also! One day there was a wedding on the island! And they had the party at a tavern on a square where all the passers by could stand for a while and watch. Quite special for a wedding party to happen on the open like that, it was really something.

Usually, at night we were dinning at a restaurant/tavern where unfortunately I have no photos because my mind was only at the food in front of me! I’ll make a list, from some places we liked for you at the end of the post, though.

One of Folegandros highlights is of course the sunset! But not from anywhere, you climb the zing-zag path towards the Panagia church (what you see from everywhere on Chora and on the cover photo of the post). From there the view is amazing!! It’s not so difficult to go there, but I was tired enough…there are some donkeys also to get you there if you want. So you pick a rock to sit and wait…and as you wait the sun to dive in the sea you enjoy the island changing in so many colors!! Very romantic 😉

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The first lights of the night that comes at Chora

We enjoyed the sunset at Ano Meria too, we were lucky enough to be at the right time there! This settlement had/has the rural facilities of people of Folegandros, creating at the end of it a very interesting scenery to enjoy the infinity! We were walking towards it that day just to get closer to the sunset and have a better view and we discovered this place like forgotten for many many years…until a pig tried to communicate with us! Then we saw also a cow standing among ruins and huge rocks so we kept them company for a while, admiring all together the sunset!
It’s also very interesting to see the rural facilities because you learn about how life could be the old times and how these people were working there. I was impressed by the “tree house” a built circle with a tree on the center, usually a lemon tree, to protect it by the wind so that they rescue the fruits, I saw some of them myself! Now there are mostly taverns and traditional restaurants there where you can try some local delicacies you shouldn’t miss!!

As you can imagine Folegandros is a very very beautiful island, very simple yet so interesting, with so many aspects and stories where you can find peace. Rough beauty but in a chic way, definitely a place to remember!

Places we ate and suggest:

Pitokamomata at Chora, for the most delicious street food!
Eva’s Garden at Chora, for a nice, romantic dinner
O Kritikos at Chora, grill tavern in a very picturesque square
Zefiros Anemos at Chora, for fresh seafood
To Zimaraki at Chora, for italian cuisine-yummy pizzas
I Sunantisi at Ano Meria, for local cuisine and the famous matchata!

Also, there is a very usefull app about everything of Folegandros, check it out if you ‘re about to visit: INFolegandros

Check out the previous post: Folegandros | The Sea for having the whole picture!

 

Folegandros | The Sea

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A tiny beach next to Agali, beautiful to look from above

As the temperature in Athens is still hot -despite the first days of October- I take the opportunity to post about my main summer vacations! And get some of the vibes that are so precious!!
The first days of September we went at the small&distant yet magical island of Cyclades, Folegandros! I’ll make 2 parts of it because there is such beauty that I simply can’t limit the photos. At this part we’ll have our jaws dropped by the clearest and tempting waters of the island! If I should distinguish one thing from Folegandros would definitely be the beaches. At least for my taste that I love pebbled beaches, blue and deep waters and calm and isolated-if nudist even better, this was a paradise. You should know though that you’ll have to get supplies with you definitely and an umbrella because usually there is nothing there.

However, we were unlucky with the weather. It was SO windy these days that couldn’t go at any beach whenever we wanted. And because of the cold wind I felt really chilly sometimes! Brrr… I’m not famous for my tolerance to cool water anyway!
So, to get an idea of what Folegandros was for us the first days you can take a look at the following pictures and see: The wild situation of the see! The dry and rocky land that dominates (with some goats here and there) and the Karavostasis where the port is. When we say port though don’t think of what you’re used to, check it out to understand!

One of the most accessible and easy beach was Agali, in the middle of the island. Its name means “hug” as the land subsides like one so that the weather isn’t such a problem. However because of that there is always crowd which I don’t love…It was very nice in general but I liked more to look at it from above!

 

As I told you all these days the wind was pitiless! After asking some local people we started exploring some more “secret” beaches that you had to walk through pathways. The first day we attempt exploring  Fira beach which is 10′ from Agali. Along the way we were very surprised sometimes by what people consider “pathway”!!! After all, we took the right way every time but I think it was only a matter of luck! I was of course fearless….
Besides the view from there was magnificent, so I was only impatient to reach the beach. And we were very well paid off as you can see!

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Happy swimmer

To find a quiet beach, with rough beauty, after all the wind and crowd was such a delight! All the beaches from that day on were amazing. I was swimming for hours, sunbathing after the cool water to get the right temperature, reading my book (‘The woodpecker’ by Tom Robins which I finished there and totally loved it!!) wearing my mask and seeing SO many fishes underwater that I enjoyed it a lot!!!! Also, as you’ll notice, I was very proud of my pedicure 😉

Some other beautiful beaches were St. Nicolas, Galyfos and Livadaki, on the south part of the island. Again by foot or by boat. Quite small all of them if you are used to large, endless beaches and I imagine if someone visits the island on high season they can be very very crowded.

On the following picture we can see some old guys trying to pull a boat out of the water with no good results…As I was waiting for G. to help them I was taking photos…

The best beach in my opinion was Katergo! It was our favorite by far and thankfully the wind stopped for one whole day (wow) so that we could see it. I mean, magnificent…We didn’t want to leave that beach. A high cliff behind us, a large beach so that all the people can spread out and clear, refreshing waters for swimming for hours. Beautiful scenery.

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Katergo beach – the best!!!

Another, rather quiet and small beach was Ambeli. Very rocky in general, wilder as an environment, but what I loved the most was the way until there. Not so the driving part-which was very atmospheric indeed- as the walking part till the beach. You have to pass through small paths under trees so that the beach is revealing itself at the end and you feel like you found a treasure!

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Heading to Ambeli beach, seems like we’re gonna find a treasure!

It’s also nice to catch a sunset there or on your way back and stop at Ano Meria, a small village, to see the sunset and eat local delicacies as matchata pasta with rooster…yummy!! The best closing for a day at this beach!

If you want more from greek summer/islands of Cyclades see my older posts:
Sikinos here and here 
Kimolos here , here and here