Spectacular nature and pristine beaches you can discover. Tiny intimate villages and whitewashed towns and cities. Friendly people who sound angry whenever they speak Greek. Eating 2€ gyros and calamari for every meal. Watching sunsets. Crystal water. History. Architecture.
I love Greece.
Maybe you’ll understand some of my love of this wonderfully diverse country through reading this letter.
Since I first set foot in Greece when I was 7 years old, I have loved it. Even at such a young age, holidaying with my parents, the country and it’s people captured my heart. Since my first visit I have returned time and time again and I consider it home. It sounds strange, but after I stayed for 6 weeks and became part of a small community, I will always consider it a place I am welcome.
The beautifully quiet island of Kefalonia was my first experience of Greece. Back in 2004, Athen held the Olympics and this little slice of paradise was left almost empty for us to explore. We stayed in the resort of Kateleios which sits on the south of the island. I actually know very little about Kefalonia as an island, because I was so young when we went, but I believe this is a pretty quiet spot. I remember the beach being pebbly and there were lots of dirt tracks lined with trees. It had beautiful imperfections. Nearby was the more perfect Scala. Of course this brings more people. The village is quaint and pretty and the beach is beautiful. The whole island is a serene paradise that flies under the radar and remains relatively untouched by masses of tourists. It’s mountainous with a coastline that winds around little coves. I would love to explore this island now that I’m older and can appreciate it more. It’s been a whole 12 years since I went.
The next island I found myself on was 4 years later, when I was 11, and my family and I went to Crete with my best friend. I remember it being an incredibly fun holiday because we stayed at a really great all inclusive hotel which tonnes of entertainment. In all honestly, that would be my worst nightmare now, but I loved it back then. We stayed in Agia Pelagia which is right in the middle of the north side of the huge island, near Heraklion. At the time I had no idea how large Crete really was, but now I realise how much this island has to offer. Again, I need to get back to Crete and spend time travelling around, because there is so much to see. I remember going on a boat trip to the island Spinalonga and hating every second of it. It was all about history and the leper colony and I found it very boring. I hate myself for not caring about it now, because I would love to revisit it. How times change? I do remember not liking it as much as Kefalonia because it wasn’t as green and where we stayed was a much more generic holiday resort. It didn’t feel Greek which, even at 11 years old, I knew I loved.
My third trip to Greece came in 2011, at age 14. Again, my mum and I jetted off with my best friend (new best friend now, but this one was real because we’re still fabulously close) and also with some other friends of ours. I believe this is the one where the true traveller in me began to make an appearance. I pretty much planned the whole trip, did research on the country and even made a booklet to take with me with all the information I’d gathered about what to do and where to go. I haven’t changed since. We had an absolute whale of a time and I completely loved the island of Kos. The town was beautiful and the landscape was even better. We did lots of day drips around the island and to other islands, and I feel like I really did get to know the place. I think it’s the perfect island – lots to do, see and experience whilst also being peaceful and quintessentially Greek. I think it has changed a lot over the years, mainly due to refugees, but I hope it has kept it’s charm and beauty.
Oh, Skiathos. You absolute beauty. My mum and I came here in 2014 and stayed for a blissful 2 weeks on the island. Hotel Marina, in Kolios, was wonderful and I would recommend it. The location is perfect as it’s right in the middle of the south of the island. A bus runs the whole length from Skiathos Town to Koukounaries, stopping at all of the towns and beaches. It only takes 30 minutes because it’s such a tiny island. There are so many lovely beaches to explore, not to mention the town which is really beautiful. I really enjoyed Skiathos and think it’s pretty perfect. I think I’ll do a full letter about Skiathos because I could honestly go on for hours about this little Aegean gem.
Now, we come to my most recent trip to Greece. The capital. I came to Athens in 2015 before starting my volunteering with turtles. This city is special. It is very different to any city in the world and deserves some serious time to be spent here. I already have a couple of really detailed letters about Athens, so I’ll just leave a few pictures here for you.
Finally, we come to the reason I consider Greece as my home. The beautiful area that I lived in for 6 weeks and have been dying to get back to ever since. The second I finish my degree this is where I’m running off to. Koroni is a tiny town in this Greek region on the mainland. It’s about 5 hours from Athens in an area which really isn’t that popular with tourists – so get out there! Again, I’ve already written about this haven, so if you’d like to hear more, click below. Otherwise, enjoy a couple of photos.
I really hope you’ve enjoyed this letter, I loved going back through (very old) photos and writing about some of my favourite places. Greece truely is a magical place.
Have a great day everyone!
PS. Here’s a couple more photos of Greece you may enjoy…