This blog aims to give a personal and totally biased view of the Greek islands I have visited. It is not intended to be a comprehensive guide to the islands. Two aspects of Greek islands that I love are seeing goats wandering around and the dawn chorus of cockerels crowing. Accordingly, each island I have stayed on will have a Cockerel Count and Goatiness rating.
Unless otherwise stated, all images are my copyright and may not be reproduced or copied. Should you wish to purchase a license for commercial use of my images please follow the link to my stock photography blog where you will find details of my agents. Comments are welcomed but reviewed before publication. Enjoy your visit. Regards, David.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Meganissi (Ionian):

Boats moored in Spilia Bay
I visited the charming Ionian island of Meganissi (Meganisi) for two weeks in 2008.  Arriving at Preveza airport on the Greek mainland it is a short coach trip to the island of Lefkada which is so close to the mainland that it is simply reached by a road bridge. From there to the port of Nydri for the 30-40 minute ferry journey to Meganissi. On the way over, look out on your left for the small island of Skorpios which is owned by the famous Onassis family.
Meganissi has three main areas of population - Spartohori (where I was staying), Katomeri and Vathi. Spartohori stands high above Spilia Bay (pictured) where the ferry docks before continuing on to Vathi. To the left (looking inland) of the small harbour is a popular beach with a taverna. Be aware that to get to the sea from Spartohori there is either a steep road or a steep pathway, so plenty of exercise to be had here. Spartohori itself has a few shops and tavernas (including an excellent Pizzaria which even offers a take away service). Pretty pastel coloured buildings and narrow streets make up this small village where you will often see elderly Greek women wearing traditional black clothing.
The beach at Agios Ioannis
About 45 minutes walk from Spartohori is the shingle beach at Agios Ioannis (pictured) where there is also a taverna. Beware if you see a helpful painted notice on the road saying "shortcut to beach" - I followed this diversion, missed any shortcut (if it exists) and ended up walking for hours before finally backtracking and following the original road down to the beach. The ensuing lager at the taverna was very welcome, so welcome that I virtually passed out after a few sips. One of the few times I have been affected by the heat in Greece and a good reminder to take the time to acclimatise when you first arrive (this was my first morning there).
Another walk took me to Atherinos bay (pictured) where there were a number of fishing boats and private vessels moored up. Several old derelict stone buildings stood above the bay.
Looking down to Atherinos Bay
From Spartohori you can walk the main road to the administrative capital of Katomeri. Just head out of Spartohori, pass the petrol station, and carry straight on. The road is high up above the sea and offers excellent views along the way. There's a handy bench at one of the highest points roughly at the half way point to Katomeri. When you reach Katomeri, look out for a house on which the owner has painted various political messages relating to PASOK (Pan Hellenic Socialist Party). It's quite eye catching and makes for an unusual photograph.
It is only a short walk downhill from Katomeri to the harbour at Vathi. This is the liveliest of the three villages with a good number of tavernas and boats coming and going.

Politics in Katomeri
Sheep (equipped with tinkling bells) seemed to outnumber goats on Meganissi though there were some to be seen. Cockerels were certainly heard but not in a mass dawn chorus way. It is, of course, all dependent on where you are staying. A number of donkeys were also dotted around the Spartohori area.
Meganissi certainly had the shortest ferry transfer to get there but, nethertheless, I found it a peaceful and tranquil little island (excursion boats at lunch time excluded) with some lovely walks through pine and olive trees. Regards, David.

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