Sunday, 18 August 2013

No Country For Sand Lovers (aka the beaches of Southern Ithaca)

Here we are, back on Ithaca....
First of all let me give you a tip on this post: this is no country for sand lovers. If you are looking for undulated sandy beaches you should stop reading this and start looking for another destination.
Here you won't find anything else (!!) than gorgeous, secluded pebbly coves.

In a week strolling around the island we made a point of checking all the beaches and finding our favourite, and this chart is the result of our tireless researches!

When we finally arrived after a day of traveling we were so exhausted that we went straight for a bath in the beach just below the apartments where we were staying, to discover later that was one of the most important beaches of the island, Dexa.
Only a thin stretch of pebbles overlooking a bay with olive trees behind you  and a little islet in front of you. Quiet and relaxing atmosphere (so much that we had a nice nap!). This was the view from our studio:


On the second day we were suddenly starting to feel the urge for some sun and sea waters. So we jumped on our car and started our journey to discover the island. We stopped only 5 minutes later in front of  the calm and pristine waters of Aetos beach. Once again just a thin stretch of pebbles and a magnificent blue view in front of view.


Only drawback is that you have a road just behind you. Ok there is not that much traffic, but still the place is not completely quiet. So after a couple of hours and baths we decided to continue our search for our perfect corner of Ithaca!

It didn't take long to find another little paradise. More secluded this time, since Agios Ioannis beach is down a little road just at the entrance of the village of Lefki. And once you have parked, a few steps take you down to the cove. You won't believe it. The colours are just astonishing.


White small pebbles and all the shades of blue.


We decided to spend some time there and later in the week we also got back and followed another little passage on the right (from the parking) that took us to another little cove. Not sure if that has a name, but we were completely alone there.

The day after we started our beach-raid with what is considered the most touristic of the beaches of Ithaca, Filiatro.

The beach is well equipped with sunbeds, a little bar and (almost) a proper parking. As we were expecting, it was busier than the others we have seen, especially because it is very close to Vathi and it is easily accessible, but not overcrowded.
It is a great cove to swim, since the waters are very calm and there are lot of fishes around the rocks, but after a couple of hours snorkeling we decided to leave since for our standards there were too many children around!

So we drove to Sarikiniko, the next closest beach, but although it was very quiet we didn't like it and both beach and sea were not that clean for some reasons, so we left soon and decided to direct ourselves towards something wilder and more secluded: Kaminia beach.
Unfortunately we never made it to the end as the road is unpaved and in quite bad conditions and being with a rental car it could have been a bit dangerous, so we had to abandon our plan midway and come back to more civilized locations.

But it was not such a bad idea because while looking for our beach of the day we found Skinos, a quite large cove surrounded by pines. Very quiet with a constant soundtrack of cicadas.


We spent there all afternoon and we found out something that would have made our choice for the day after: the trail to Gidaki beach. But before going there I have to explain that Skinos is at the end of an unpaved road (no worries, this is an easy one). At the bottom of the short path connecting the parking to the beach is a sign indicating Gidaki, but it is not very clear and when we got there we thought that Skinos was actually Gidaki. But then we saw this other trail on the opposite side of the beach entrance that just few locals where taking.
We had to walk only a 30-45 minutes on a partly shaded trail to discover the amazing colours of this hidden gem.


A great secluded place if you exclude a few boats bringing people via sea for a bath. But the beach is big enough to give you all the privacy you want. The water is crystalline. And the white limestone wall behind you will offer you enough shadow to keep yourself fresh during the day.


That was certainly a find!!

To be continued....

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