Traveling to Kefalonia. First days: Lixouri and Petani

Hello travelers.

Today I'm going to share with you details about my journey back to Kefalonia. It was 29th of May when I flew to Athens and then to the island. I was going back for the 5th time. As always I had a mix of excitement - about the new summer season, new colleagues and new experiences, happiness - thinking about seeing old friends, and a bit of nostalgia thinking that I'll be in the same place where I had so many memories with some of the people that I got attached to but which will not be there anymore.

The flights were smooth as always. I have never had a flight with great turbulences or any kind of trouble. As we started to descend towards Kefalonia I found myself smiling looking at the blue sea and the coast line. Very soon I will be on a beach, catching some sun. I grabbed a taxi from the airport to the harbor of Argostoli, I got on the ferry to Lixouri and I stopped for a beer and a pyta gyros in the main square.

I am lucky to have met amazing people from different countries and age groups. Working in hotels for the past 10 years allowed me to developed my social skills so I've became a flexible, easy adapting person.
The next couple of days I have met old friends and I have enjoyed their company - fresh food, sunny shores and plenty of laughs were the main attraction.
I've got a new haircut and I've walked on the streets of Lixouri village admiring the colorful houses and flowers.

If you're looking for a oasis of silence, good food and a pool to sunbathe next to, I recommend you Palatino hotel in Lixouri. When it comes to fresh, tasty dishes and a warm smile Marina is the best one.

When it comes to finding a quite close spot for a relaxation session, try Petani beach. It is less than 30 minutes away from Lixouri. The view is spectacular, the sunsets are a must see. The beach is long and quite wide, both with sand and pebbles. There are some restaurants and bars there and plenty of sunbeds. You can also explore the sides of the beach, on the far left there are plenty of rocks and hidden spots for nudists and on the right side, behind a big cliff there is another small beach with clear turquoise water.

Back to Ionian Sea Hotel, my work place for another season, it's getting pretty busy. Usually we started having a fully booked hotel after the 20th of June but this year it is absolutely crowded from the first day of the month. It is a clean, family hotel, situated on a remote location. It is the perfect spot for relaxation, leaving any kind of trace of the stressful city life behind.

Kids can enjoy the pools, the game fields, the water park and the shallow water beach in the hotel's vicinity. There are plenty of entertainment programmes for the entire family. The personal is the most kind I have ever met and the restaurant presents itself with a variety of dishes.

This is the place I will live and work for the next 4 months, on my 5th season on Kefalonia.

Next time we will talk about Vrahinari and Vatsa beaches, Kounopetra rock and the mistery behind it.

Have a great day, travelers.



My 5th summer on Kefalonia, Greece

Hello travelers!
It has been another interesting summer on the island of Kefalonia, Greece and here I am once again with my thoughts and recommendations about it. Today I hope to get you hooked and ready to book your summer 2018 holiday to Kefalonia.

Myrtos beach at sunset

My 5th summer on Kefalonia was a challenging one as I faced new situations, new colleagues, known places but also new ones, some good friends, some old friends I haven't seen since more than 6 years ago but overall it was a brilliant season. I've traveled to known and loved places and I've also been to new, exciting spots.

Assos village

My favorite places remain the picturesque village of Assos and the beautiful Antisamos beach, but I had the opportunity not only to re visit other touristic places on the island, but also to be amazed by new ones.

Antisamos beach

The small Alaties and Kimilia beaches, hiking to the amazing Fteri beach, discovering secluded beaches on a boat ride sailing north from Agia Efimia, visiting old lighthouses in Fiskardo and Paliki peninsula and many other examples are on my "new things that I have done this summer on Kefalonia" list.

                                   Alaties beach                                                Kimilia beach

First I will start by saying that I am still in love with Greece. 10 summers I have lived and worked there and I am still surprised of how much I am attracted by its mix of sun and sea, fun and discoveries, history and culture, tradition and modern etc. etc. Every time I go back it feels like I have never truly left. It feels like a place of freedom and wonder.

Petani beach 

Kefalonia has been my second home for the past 5 summers. This last season I had the chance to revisit couple of must see places such as Petani, Myrtos, Assos, Fiskardo, Antisamos, Ainos and also feed my sense of discovery and adventure by exploring new parts of the island.

Myrtos beach (panorama point)

One of my highlights was hiking to Fteri beach which is considered a hidden gem. The twin sister of Myrtos beach is an amazing oasis of pure natural beauty. You can either walk for about 40 minutes to the beach, through a rough, short forest on the edge of the cliffs in the summer heat, like I did, or you can rent a boat or pay for a boat taxi from the closest village, Zola. It was pretty hard to get to Fteri by foot and I recommend it just for the ones who are in a good shape. Anyhow it was totally worth it. The blue sea, the white rocks, the dramatic scenery, they all left a big impression on me. See below some pictures I took.

 Another beautiful surprise was exploring more than 10 small, secluded beaches in the close vicinity of Agia Efimia village. It was my last day off with some of my colleagues and we planned to rent a boat so I got in touch with "Yellow boats company", great people, very friendly and helpful, and on the 23rd of September we embarked on a one day boat trip. My friend, Aleksandra was our captain. She learned in less than an hour how to sail the boat in the harbour.

We explored couple of beautiful, small and hidden beaches north from Agia Efimia village. The weather was warm. It wasn't very windy so we got lucky. I remember when we started sailing that the wind was blowing the water into our faces and we took cover under towels and jackets but after couple of minutes it stopped. At the end of the day we were relaxed, I also sailed a bit and I swam. The water was still at a good temperature for the end of September and in conclusion we had a great relaxing day. I totally recommend you try this while on Kefalonia. See for yourselves:

Many more details about places I have visited on the island, hitch hiking adventures, summer parties, amazing people and experiences will come your way very soon. Just be sure to keep an eye on my blog these days.


St. Theodore's Lighthouse

Drogarati and Melissani Caves

If you want to know more details about other amazing places to visit while on Kefalonia, such as Petani beach or Ainos Mt., Assos village, Skala or Poros, be sure to check my "Kefalonian Chronicles"  or "10 Reasons why to visit Kefalonia", an article I wrote a while ago describing the vast pallet of tourist attractions on the island.

Until next time.

Travel well and everywhere!



One day trip to Meteora, Greece

Hello, travellers!

Today I'll take you back to the wonderful Greece, most precisely to the monasteries of Meteora, which literally mean "middle of the sky".
On the fall of 2013, after my first summer season on Kefalonia, I visited couple of places on the continental part of Greece. Meteora had probablly the most poignant impression on me.

"Meteora is associated with one of the largest and most precipitously built complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece, second in importance only to Mount Athos. The remaining six monasteries are built on natural conglomerate pillars, at the northwestern edge of the Plain of Thessaly near the Pineios river and Pindus Mountains, in central Greece. Meteora is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List." (Wikipedia)

On the way to Meteora I passed the beautiful town of Kalambaka. The road was absolutely beautiful. I had finished visiting Ioannina, which is another amazing place that I will talk to you about on a future post, when I decided to head to Meteora.

Until this moment I was used to the clear blue waters of the Mediteranean Sea and the arid landscape of the islands, so you can only imagine what a pleasant surprise I had travelling on the continental Greece, through green forests, valleys and mountains. I was feeling like I stepped into a different, enchanting world, which I totally recommend for you, wanderlust seekers.

It was a sunny, warm 5th of October and I had made a new friend at the entrance to the first monastery. (See the picture above)
The Holy Monastery of Saint Nicholas Anapafsas, one of four male monasteries in Meteora, is located on top of a vast rock whose summit is of a small surface area. The architectural form of the building stirs the admiration of the visitor, due to the fact that it is moulded to the shape of the height on which the complex rests.

The stairway, leading up towards the monastery, was sculpted from 1932 to 1936, safeguarding the safe and easy access to visitors and travellers. Before its construction the only way to access the monastery was the traditional vrizoni, the net that was used to carry both people and necessary victuals. The Church is dedicated to St. Nicholas of Lycia, patron saint of the sailors and one of the most worshipped Saints within the Greek Orthodox World.

After taking couple of pictures of the place and the incredible surroundings I headed to the next one.
The Monastery of Rousanou/St. Barbara was the secong to visit. It was founded in the middle of the 16th century and decorated in 1560. Today it is a flourishing nunnery with 13 nuns in residence.

"Rousannou Monastery stands on a low rock and is easily accessible by a bridge built of wood in 1868 and replaced by more solid material in 1930. Despite this, its situation is still quite dramatic, with the rock dropping off sharply on all sides.

The monastery covers the entire surface of the rock and consists of three levels: the church and cells occupy the ground floor, while the two upper floors house the guest quarters, reception halls, an exhibition room, and more cells. The frescoes in Rousannou's Church of the Transfiguration of Christ, which is essentially a smaller version of Varlaam's church, date from 1560." (Source)

The resident nuns tend to be friendlier to visitors than their male counterparts in Meteora and often provide sweets to guests as they relax in the courtyard.
I enjoyed walking in the forest near the monastery, climbing over couple of rocks and admiring the panorama. It was one of those places where you realise how small you actually are and what an amazing planet we have.

Next on my road was The Monastery of Varlaam which is the second largest monastery in the Meteora complex.

"It was built in 1541 and embellished in 1548. A church, dedicated to All Saints, is in the Athonite type (cross-in-square with dome and choirs), with spacious exonarthex (lite) is surrounded by a dome. It was built in 1541/42 and decorated in 1548, while the exonarthex was decorated in 1566. The old refectory is used as a museum while north of the church is the parekklesion of the Three Bishops, built in 1627 and decorated in 1637." (Wikipedia)

The 4th and last monastery I visited was The Monastery of Great Meteoron.

"This is the largest of the monasteries located at Meteora. It was erected in the mid-14th century and was the subject of restoration and embellishment projects in 1483 and 1552. One building serves as the main museum for tourists. 

The Katholikon (main church), consecrated in honour of the Transfiguration of Jesus was erected in the middle of the 14th century and 1387/88 and decorated in 1483 and 1552."(Wikipedia)

I haven't got the chance to visit the other two monasteries, The Monastery of St. Stephen and The Monastery of the Holy Trinity, but after 4 hours of visiting the other ones, I considered it was enough; a long way to Athens was waiting.

In conclusion it was a wonderful experience, absolutely amazing constructions, breath taking views and incredible facts which I found out about the nuns and the monks lives, history and religion. 
Meteora, as well as Mt. Athos should be on every Greece lover's "must visit" list.

Feel free to explore Santorini on my latest post.

Until next time.

Travel well and everywhere!