After spending two weeks in Sri Lanka, I flew to Europe to meet my family in Greece (via a brief pitstop in London for a friend’s 30th birthday). We spent two weeks in a villa on a wonderful island called Meganisi, which is now my favourite Greek island out of the ones that I have visited (Corfu, Paros, Antiparos and Mykonos). It is a small island, with around 1000 inhabitants, and is very much unspoiled, probably helped by the fact that you cannot fly there directly. The easiest way to get to Meganisi is by flying to Prevesa airport and then it’s around an hour’s transfer by car and ferry.
When we arrived on the island, we were expecting perhaps two or three restaurants, given its size, so it was a nice surprise to find a plethora of places to eat. We ended up eating at a different restaurant nearly every night (our favourites were Tilvoes and Errikos). In addition, there is a dedicated wine and cocktail bar, two supermarkets, a vegan cafe and a couple of small clothes shops. Most of these can be found in the main town of Vathi.
We stayed a walk away from Vathi in a beautiful villa with the most incredible infinity pool. We rented a car for a few days, but it wasn’t really necessary. However, renting a boat is absolutely worthwhile. We spent days exploring deserted beaches and coves that you can only reach by boat. The water all around the island was so clear, most of the time you could easily see the bottom of the ocean from the boat, even at great depths. We spent the days without the boat mostly reading by the pool at the villa and enjoying a nice lunch sitting outside. Every night just before sunset, my Mum and I would do half an hour of yoga on the patio, whilst my Dad and sister played table tennis.
Half way through the first week, we adopted a cat, who we named Marmalade, and her four kittens. At first, my Mum and I were quick to dismiss my Dad and Sister as weird for spending so much time fawning over them. But by the end of the two weeks we were all lying face down on the floor with our heads stuck in a bush trying to coax Marmalade and her kittens to come out and play.
After moving around quite a lot during the prior few months, it was very enjoyable to spend time in one place for two weeks with family. However, as they headed home, I decided to stay on a bit longer and visit a neighbouring island called Zakynthos. I had wanted to visit Shipwreck Beach (you might recognise it from photos) for a long time and, given Zakynthos is just a short flight away from Preveza, it seemed like the perfect opportunity.
I stayed on the East coast of the island near Alikanas. I didn’t love the town of Alikanas itself, so was quite happy to be staying just outside it. Unfortunately, just before I arrived in Zakynthos, there had been a landslide at Shipwreck Beach, so the tour operators had cancelled their tours there. As it was one of the main attractions of Zakynthos for me, I decided to get (an incredibly expensive) taxi across the island and take a chance in the hope that, even if the viewing platform was closed, I could see the beach from the clifftop. It turned out that, not only was the viewing platform open, there were also a load of tourists there. It truly was one of the best views I have ever seen, or I think I will ever see, in my entire life.
For as long as I can remember, Italy has been my favourite country in Europe to visit. But after this trip to Greece, there is definitely a new contender on the block.