Last days of summer

Monday, the start of a new work week and we were still at the beach. What a lovely feeling, knowing that everybody else what at their desks working away while we were leisurely having breakfast. Especially now while I am writing it. We are already back since a week but thinking and writing about the island makes me feel like I am back there.

So what can be better for the last couple of days on vacation than to do the things you enjoy the most? Exactly, nothing! Therefore we took the 11am bus to Mylopotas beach, got off next to our tree and settled down. Again a day full with doing nothing aka swimming, sleeping and playing cards. Lunch was therefore a relaxed affair at Almyra By the Sea. This gorgeous place was right across the street from our tree so we made the conscious effort to actually cross the street. I know this sounds terrible but the longer you don’t do anything the easier it gets going on like this.IMG_7658IMG_7666IMG_7674
If you think you recognize this place, correct! This has also become our favorite sundowner spot!IMG_7676IMG_7679IMG_7682

For dinner we settled on a true and trusted place, Katogi, home of the one and only Cucumber Delight! Again no pictures taken, I really don’t know what happened to me. Maybe I just wanted to enjoy this moment of utter bliss without a camera? On the way home though we met some very affectionate cats and one of them was all over us. It looked super cute but prompted a severe allergic reaction from me, so this was it for the night-cap.

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Our last full day was Tuesday and I hadn’t done any sight-seeing all vacation long. Since this goes against my basest instincts I had to change that. Hence Tuesday morning Pat and I were on the way to Skarkos Hill, a prehistoric settlement. No wonder we kept it for the last day, there was nothing to see and it fitted neatly into our do nothing program of the holidays.IMG_7688IMG_7690IMG_7691IMG_7692IMG_7697 For a place where there was nothing to see I have quite a few pictures, no? I think my sense of achievement (we actually walked the 15 minutes to this settlement) got the better of me and I needed these pictures as proof of having seen “something worthy”.

The last day was spent in the same fashion as the previous days, with nothing. And it felt really good. Lunch was a club sandwich at Almyra and also the sundowner was taken there again. You just can’t beat this view.IMG_7707IMG_7710IMG_7711

IMG_7717For dinner we went to our agreed best restaurant on the island, Polydoros. Besides lovely home-made food we also met our hotel owners Poppi and Petros from Petros Place who were responsible for our going there in the first place. It was really nice to see that they also frequent the places that they recommend. If you ever make your way to Ios you really have to come here for dinner. Absolutely best place on the island!

When we left the restaurant on the way to Ios town Pat was in the mood for Sirtaki. That’s what the island is doing to you!IMG_7720IMG_7723
We shared our last evening with people we met at Almyra at Click and later at Pegasus. Both places were empty except for our group. It didn’t dampen our spirit to dance the night away (ok I did, while C looked on). But all good things must come to an end and so did this night as well. Yours, Pollybert

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Manganari

Another lazy day loomed ahead of us, for this Thursday we had a boat trip planned. Already yesterday we had made our way to the port only to discover that the boat was leaving merely three times a week. Off-season has also some drawbacks.

The boat has twice per week a tour to Piri Nera beach, a sandy cove with no facilities, and then goes further on to Manganari Beach, which looked at the map like a small settlement. Once a week it goes to Sikinos which to us looked more like sightseeing and less sun and fun.

We bought our tickets and the boat left a couple of minutes later in the direction of Piri Nera. C started talking to a girl next to him who turned out to be here with a larger group of eight persons. They had chartered a catamaran from Mykonos and were on their way to Santorini.

Piri Nera surprised with intense turquoise water so clear that the bottom of the sea appeared to be no less than a meter from the surface. Which was not the case, because we had anchored a bit away from the beach and the captain told us it was safe to jump in from all sides.

With a loud splash C went first and I right after. Pat took her time, rounded the boat twice and then jumped from the lower deck. Piri Nera has three little sandy beaches, the one to the left was already occupied by a smaller boat, so we settled on swimming to the middle one, it being the nearest as well.
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Which was a good call since just ten minutes later a party boat anchored at the left beach and unloaded its cargo. The small beach looked crowded after that.IMG_7475
We stayed for 20 minutes and then swam back to the boat, which left shortly after but not before we had jumped again into the sea! The idea of a cruise seems like a good one all of a sudden. I really like the jumping part.

Just a bit further now and then we saw Manganari, a wide-stretched sandy beach also with intense turquoise water and very shallow to walk in, almost like in the Caribbean. The mooring of the boat took a bit longer due to the mini ‘port’ but was done with precision and we could exit the boat.
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The couple of dots on the map that we figured to be a small village emerged as exactly two tavernas, a beach club which was closed and some B&Bs. Not one tree was insight so we decided on having lunch first and swimming later. Since we Austrians have our own Anton aus Tirol we settled on the Anton on Ios.
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The rest of the day was spent lounging on the beach and getting to know the group of eight which we met on the boat before. They turned out to be part American, part Brazilian with one lone Lebanese in-between. This group of friends lives on different continents but manages to go on a boat trip once a year. Sounds like a lot of fun to me. Eventually around 5:30 we had to get back to the boat to make the return trip.
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We arrived at Ios port and got a lovely view of the harbor.
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Meanwhile we were invited to join the others for drinks at Pathos which was great since they had already organized a transport.
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Although we were all ready to leave for dinner, the magic of the place kept us in its thrall and we ordered another round of cocktails. Finally a bit later we all piled again in the shuttle (C and I in the trunk) and went to Lord Byron for dinner. Personally I think this was the worst tourist trap I have so far encountered in Greece. The others of course didn’t mind and devoured it all. It was also the most expensive place.

After dinner we split in two groups. Four of the eight headed back to their ship while the rest wanted to taste Cucumber delight (again) at Katogi. After a round of these we seven made our way in the direction of the stairs to stop for another one for the road at Ios Club. In the end we all made it down the stairs, grateful for having enjoyed such a wonderful day in great company.
Yours, Pollybert

Mylopotas

Another sunny morning greeted me and I decided on having breakfast. The advantage of sleeping without AC is getting slowly awakened by the ever-increasing temperature. So shortly after 8am I made my way to the breakfast area only to find out that it will not start before 8:30. Talk about a lazy start of your day.

Just sitting around, breathing in the warm air and not doing anything puts me in vacation modus. This feeling of endless time and lazy days ahead can’t get better. Eventually though other guests arrived and the quiet was disturbed by clamoring and chattering.
When Pat and later C showed up the place was packed.

We decided on taking the bus to Mylopotas beach that day. This beach is supposedly the best on the island, with sun chairs, restaurants and volleyball areas. The beach in front of our hotel has actually the same features minus the volleyball court, but on the second day we needed to see what was out there.

Mylopotas is great place to start doing nothing. The beach was exactly as promised, a horse shoe shaped, sandy area with a few scattered trees in the back that gave much needed (for me) shade stretching for kilometers. I wouldn’t know how many but the bus has a couple of stations along the beach.IMG_7360
The beach is bordered on one end by big rocks that are comfortable to sit on and on the other side by a picturesque little fish tavern called Drakos.
The day turned into on long stretch if doing what we do best, which is nothing. Lazily taking a walk to the rocks to while away an hour by looking at the sea can be the high point of an already perfect day.

We shared a bit of rosé in one of the stylish bars on the way to the bus. The drink turned into sunset watching since the scenery was jaw-droppingly beautiful. You can’t just get up and leave when your mind is busy processing something utterly stunning.IMG_7370IMG_7376

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finally around 9pm we made it back to the hotel (a 10 minutes bus ride), showered, changed and were back on the bus up the mountain to the main town of Ios. Our host here, Petro from Petros Place recommended a couple of places for us and we thought we would try another one. This time we went up to Katogi. We had to wait a bit at the bar until we got a table. But the wait was worth for because we sampled a cucumber delight, a heavenly drink of gin, cucumber, lime, kiwi and club soda. This drink is summer in liquid form, haven’t had anything better so far!

Also, and this surprised me, the food was excellent. Therefore no pictures again. Everything we ordered was great, super tasty and just a notch better.IMG_7394IMG_7398IMG_7408IMG_7397-0

C and I stayed for another round of cucumber delights and a couple of shots in celebration of the chef’s birthday. The bar crew made us feel welcome and included in their celebration! If you ever come in this part of Greece, go and enjoy their hospitality!
On the way down to Ios port we sampled another club just before hitting the famous stairs. We made it down without difficulties, the port had us back not worse for the little detour.
Yours, Pollybert