7th stage - Island hopping over the Aegean Sea

Barely 1000 km air route direction south-east are separating the bird of passage of its next destination. When landing in Greece, you see many islands, islets, rocks and reefs which look out of the waves turquoise. With about 3054 islands, Greece is managing the majority of the islands of the Mediterranean Sea, where else "island hopping" would be easier?

The Aegean Sea is best suitable, are whispering different sources, then here blows from April to October the "Meltemi", this gives nice weather, a clear view and a welcome fresh wind. Connoisseurs of Greece are enthusiastic about the magic light on the Aegean islands. Till 11 hours a day, the sun in summer lays a special shine over the white-washed houses of the Cyclades, whose thick walls are whitened with chalk in order to protect them from heat.

But which island for which taste? We have made a varied choice for families, honeymooners, outdoor sportsmen and sun worshippers. Further ideas have the experts of travelling the "Connoisseur Circle", they know the wishes and desires of travellers with heavy and light baggage. Before we will go to the most beautiful islands of the Cyclades, we will discover the historical mainland



A magic journey through time

Picture source: https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/klxlc-the-romanos-a-luxury-collection-resort-costa-navarino

The Peninsula Peloponnese is only connected by a small land bridge to the Greek mainland and it is a real firework of cultural richness and scenic beauty. Between long sandy beaches, nice olive groves, Mediterranean citrus plantations and sleepy villages, antiques sites awake pictures of myths and stories on the father of the gods; Zeus and his companions.

One of the many picturesque Byzantine towns has impressed us specially. Monemvasia is situated in the south-east of the legendary Peninsula, embedded between the sea and rocks and framed by centuries-old town walls. Within these walls, time seems to be standing still. Narrow lanes lead along antique houses and magic workshops, where local arts and craft articles are offered. Over the roofs of the town you can see the Byzantine church "Agios Nikolaos" and the view far away over the turquoise Mediterranean Sea

But vacations are as well there to just relax and leave the leadership to others. Who does not want to organize himself, but still wants to have a dreamy holiday according to his desires, he is at Susan Najid in good hands . Her hotspots on the Peloponnese are two extraordinary luxury resorts at the Costa Navarino. "The Romanos" and "The Westin Resort Costa Navarino" are situated in the middle of one of the most natural country sides of the Mediterranean sea and are for golfers, water sports, SPA-fans and gourmets equally attractive. Guests of these magnificent hotel resorts will enjoy fabulous panoramas and a complete wellness package for body and soul.

The Romanos: https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/klxlc-the-romanos-a-luxury-collection-resort-costa-navarino
The Westin Resort Costa Navarino: https://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/klxwi-the-westin-resort-costa-navarino
Susanne Najid: http://www.najid.ch/?lang=en


By land and by water

Picture source: https://www.fivestargreece.com/galleries/

From a bird's-eye view, our attention turns to two further favourite vacation places. Partly hidden between gentle hills and luxuriant green, on rock ledges or an idyllic private beach, there are luxury mansions, which offer visitors places of retreat of a special kind. With and without a total service, evening or morning sun, access to the beach or a large park, the well known agency "Five Star Greece" responds to the desires of their demanding clients with an exclusive portfolio for perfect dream holidays


Picture source: https://www.oceanindependence.com/yachts-for-charter/yacht/titania

But birds of passage do not stay for a long time at the same place, however idyllic it may be. For this reason, we consider a mobile habitation as very tempting. An exclusive yacht promises not only an absolutely private atmosphere but it has as well the advantage that we can adapt our trip daily to our spontaneous ideas. "Ocean Independence" gets luxury boats all over the world, but is especially enthusiastic on the magic and beautiful beaches and the warm, calm waters of the Aegean Sea. During summer, the wind "Meltemi" is guaranteeing optimal sailing conditions and is navigating the impressive yachts hardly noticeable over the sea turquoise. The wind in our hair, we let us gently rock by the waves and head for our first island.



Myth Mykonos

Since the 1960ties the small island of Mykonos is a hotspot of the rich and beautiful. No miracle - golden sandy beaches, quiet bays, white-washed houses with blue shutters and the legendary parties attract from year to year innumerable tourists. As well as artists have taken up residence on the rocky island, whose label are the five historical windmills, which stand out over the town at the horizon. In the north of the island are some quiet and hidden villages with nice coffee shops and the typical Greek beach tavernas. Here with a view on the fine sand and large sea, we let us spoil by Greek delicacies - then nowhere Tzatziki, Dolmades or Greek salad taste better than in their country of origin.

When the evening sun bathes the island in red-orange light, the island comes to life again. Guests and natives walk about terraces and places of "Chora" in an idle manner, as the Greeks call colloquially the capital of their island. This is the time, when normally the connoisseurs of Mykonos and the newcomers revel until late in the night in Beats, which international DJs propose. During this extraordinary travel year people celebrate in a more discreet way, instead of being in a crowd, the visitors enjoy two of them or in small groups the every evening spectacle of nature. At the beach there are some persons stretching the arms in a yoga war manner to the red-golden evening sky. We observe for a certain time the agitation before we return aboard and enjoy the trip into the romantic sunset.

Cedar Smell and Divine Nectar

To wake up early in the morning on board of a yacht, a fresh wind blowing around the nose and listening to the sea gulls' cry is a unique experience. Even better begins the day, when we drink a typical "Greek Frappé". This icy drink made of coffee, sugar, ice and milk is offered at nearly every corner of the streets and activates even the most tired party animal.

Today we head for Naxos, the largest island of the Cyclades, and one of the most varied. Aside of visits to mountain villages, antique ruins and long beaches, which are either covered by fine sand, or show a rather stony coast, at Naxos it is as well worthwhile to make a walk through the fertile country side. Already Dionysos, the god of wine, has apparently come to Naxos and has been hooked on the nectar of gods of Naxos. We want to see with our own eyes the vineyards and go on a walk through the green and hilly hinterland along murmuring rivers, olive and citrus groves.

Filled with the scenic beauty, feeling hot and somewhat exhausted, we are as well looking for an ideal seaside resort at Naxos. Agia Anna is the largest and even the most favourite beach of the island, on whose golden sand there are here and there shady olive trees. Here you will find coloured deckchairs and sunshades at your disposal. We prefer to bring our bath towel with us and travel further up the coast in the direction of Panormos. In this sheltered bay, we are laying on great sun warmed rocks and take a bath in crystal clear water nearly undisturbed.


The Island of Lovers

Already soon, our trip on the yacht will end. We reach the southernmost island of the Cyclades and the most well known island of Greece. Like sugar cubes, the houses lay on the rugged rocks of the volcanic island Santorini, the steel-blue domes of the churches and many coloured flags make the postcard idyll perfect.

The popular island exercises a nearly magic attraction on travellers to Greece. The picturesque villages with their white-washed houses and marble lanes, the fascinating view on the blazing red sun, which evening after evening sinks into the sea behind the horizon and the storybook village Oia make a journey worthwhile.

We start for once early in the morning, because the sun rising covers as well the magic coulisse in a warm light and brings the cave-houses to shine. And as we are already awake, we have enough time for a discovery trip far from touristic villages. In the south of Santorini, the village Emporio of the Cyclades enchants the few visitors, who walk in an idle manner through the medieval fortress. Here are only few souvenir and coffee shops, but some original tavernas, which are specially hospitable and serve authentic and regional delicacies.

In front of the village entrance there are eight windmills along the road and show the way to the chapel of the Prophet Ilias. Only few of them are still totally preserved, but they still mark the antique atmosphere, as well as the heavily loaded mules, which cross from time to time the road. Arrived at the chapel, we have a spectacular panorama over the fairytale idyll of the island.


Battle of the Giants

Picture source: http://www.melanopetra.gr/index_en.php

Before we return to our home port, we make another small trip to the Dodekanen islands. To these belong the important vacation resorts Kos and Rhodos, but as well some smaller islands, which we want to see at close range. The small island Nisyros, about 41 km2, lays only a throwing of a stone from Kos. That's at least what the legend said. The god of the sea, Poseidon, during the battle against the giants , took a rock out of the island of Kos in order to kill the giant Polivotis. With success - the rock made the giant flat and it became the mentioned volcanic island.

At Nisyros the few daily tourists from Kos want to visit the capital Mandraki or the Stefanos crater. But in the evening, when the excursion boats have left, the silence and the grace come back to the island. We stay. Because among the few possibilities to stay over night on the island, there is the nicest and smallest boutique hotel of Greece. The two floor stone house Melanopetra fits totally in the crater landscape of the antique village Emborio. Two simple and purist design apartments, which are totally in white and natural shades stand for style and elegance. On the just as stylish terrace surrounded of sounds and smells of the Mediterranean scenic and the view on the sunset, we are feeling happy, relaxed and arrived at our destination.