Family Adventures – Our Greek Island http://www.ourgreekisland.com Sharing our adventures in, passion, and love for Lefkada, Greece. Fri, 13 Sep 2013 01:12:43 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.11 A Trip of a Lifetime (Part 2) http://www.ourgreekisland.com/a-trip-of-a-lifetime-part-2/ Fri, 13 Sep 2013 01:12:43 +0000 http://www.ourgreekisland.com/?p=240 group photo

Three Sheets to the Wind, Ionian Sail Greece 2013, was the great sailing adventure of the summer with 29 people on 6 yachts!  We all met at the small port in Vlicho Bay on the island of Lefkada, most traveled together from Athens.  All yachts were Bavarias, very new and in great shape.  The sizes of the yachts ranged from 38’ to 46’ as well as, the sizes of families and friends on board each boat.  We had the most room with only three of us on a 40’.  The Powers group filled their 46’ with 8 people, all family.  The Georgantas, Pappas and Techmanskis had only family on their yachts. The Snyders and Sims shared their yacht with the only professional skipper for the whole group,Pavel.  All of us without a professional skipper had sailing experience and the needed certificates… some more experienced than others. Pavel really did a great job guiding and helping all 29 of us.

Sailing the Ionian Sea

DSC_0092

Our first day was a relaxing way to get our “sea legs”, with an easy sail around the bay out into more open water and over to Spartohori. We all joined up for dinner and exchanged a few stories about the stay in Athens. Day two, we were off to Fiskardo.  a small fishing village on the island of Kefalonia for an exciting sail with a bit of wind. It was great fun racing other yachts.  It was easy to spot our group as Di with Sail Ionian, thoughtfully had American flags for each of us to sail under. It was fun because the only American flags she could find were much larger than what you normally see on the mast.  When we tied up as a group it was impressive… six yachts with American flags and 30 people is not something you normally see in Greece.   …

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group photo

Three Sheets to the Wind, Ionian Sail Greece 2013, was the great sailing adventure of the summer with 29 people on 6 yachts!  We all met at the small port in Vlicho Bay on the island of Lefkada, most traveled together from Athens.  All yachts were Bavarias, very new and in great shape.  The sizes of the yachts ranged from 38’ to 46’ as well as, the sizes of families and friends on board each boat.  We had the most room with only three of us on a 40’.  The Powers group filled their 46’ with 8 people, all family.  The Georgantas, Pappas and Techmanskis had only family on their yachts. The Snyders and Sims shared their yacht with the only professional skipper for the whole group,Pavel.  All of us without a professional skipper had sailing experience and the needed certificates… some more experienced than others. Pavel really did a great job guiding and helping all 29 of us.

Sailing the Ionian Sea

DSC_0092

Our first day was a relaxing way to get our “sea legs”, with an easy sail around the bay out into more open water and over to Spartohori. We all joined up for dinner and exchanged a few stories about the stay in Athens. Day two, we were off to Fiskardo.  a small fishing village on the island of Kefalonia for an exciting sail with a bit of wind. It was great fun racing other yachts.  It was easy to spot our group as Di with Sail Ionian, thoughtfully had American flags for each of us to sail under. It was fun because the only American flags she could find were much larger than what you normally see on the mast.  When we tied up as a group it was impressive… six yachts with American flags and 30 people is not something you normally see in Greece.   When we arrived into the bay of Fiskardo we needed to “long- line” the yachts to anchor.  The town was nice to explore, good food at night and a large cave to explore the next day.  That afternoon we sailed to Kioni , a very picturesque village on the island of Ithaca, where we were on the lookout for three wind mills that marked the entrance to the bay where we would spend the night. We tied the yachts together again and enjoyed cocktails on our deck before heading out to dinner. The group of 30 “sailors” had become “fast friends”.

ionian sea sailing

July 3rd we head out on a short sail to “One House Bay” on Atokos Island (a 6 mile sail) we swim and have lunch on shore.  I swam out from the group sitting on the beach and looked back at their happy faces… it made me proud that we took the time to organize the trip as most of the families in our group had never been to Greece before… now they all were tan and relaxed sitting on a beautiful beach with the clear blue waters of the Ionian sea at their feet. After lunch, we pushed off to Kalamos Island, a 10 mile sail into a small harbor.  We had dinner at George’s Restaurant as a group.  We seem to push off late in the morning and not leave until around 11:00 or sometimes even noon… I guess it must have something to do with the very late nights we have on shore.  We head for Ormos Variko a less populated section of the mainland, stopping on the north side of Kalamos to swim and have lunch. Most days of sailing were spent racing other yachts and practicing maneuvers, the butterfly and other show-off tacks… just for the record our yacht “Shortbread” was always victorious in racing. I know others might tell a different story but our pirate flag (hung just under US flag) was always first.

photo jump

Knowing that 29 Americans would want to celebrate the 4th of July, I arranged with Di to have a beach party.  We had a great time on a private beach, with BBQ (American and Greek), fireworks and a DJ with energetic dance music! All was brought in and set up for us.  The next morning started late for most but I remember watching the sunrise and how beautiful the boats all looked, so peaceful, not like the night before when the wind had kicked up and the yachts seemed impossible to anchor.

We had an easy sail to Vathi, Meganisi but a crazy time to tie up the boats in the small harbor. We enjoy drinks on our yacht again before we head out to dinner as a group.  We are all very tan and feeling like real sailors as we miss real showers and some would like blow dryers.

The week of sailing is slowly coming to an end but not without the long awaited Dinghy Race… let’s just say there was a lot of “smack” being talked about which yacht had the best crew… So, it was time to find out, once and for all.  The Dinghy Race would take place off the island of Scorpios on the beach where the famous Jackie O had swam many times before.  I call the beach “Jackie’s beach”.  The rules for the race were simple. 1. Everyone from your boat had to be inside the dinghy (the Powers had 8 people) 2. No motors, only man (or woman) power 3. No other rules!  It was really fun as people started to dress in their best pirate attire and war paint… When the race started, all rules went away and every dinghy was out to win… again, we won! After the race and a great afternoon sail with strong winds we all headed back to Vlicho Bay where we would spend our last night of a great week of sailing. We would wake to part 3 of our great adventure.

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Athens Trip Photos http://www.ourgreekisland.com/athens-trip-photos/ Wed, 11 Sep 2013 18:10:01 +0000 http://www.ourgreekisland.com/?p=243 As a follow up to our previous post, please enjoy these pictures from Athens during the Three Sheets to Wind Ionian Sailing trip taken by group members from the first phase of the trip. In our group, we had the Powers family (Joe & Chris, Harvey, Andy, Russell, Kim, Brooke, and Brett), the Snyders (Patricia & George), the Sims family (Daryl, Allison, and Alex), and the Techmanski’s (Terry & Jeff, Ryan, and Ross).

Greece 2013 212Street dining in Athens’ Plaka area.

Greece 2013 087So much to see and do in Athens. Mapping out a plan!

Greece 2013 192 Some of the kids with a nice view of Athens and Mount Lycabettus in the background.

greece-2013-102Having fun at the original Olympic stadium in Athens, Greece.

original olympic stadium, greece olympics, greek historyAn awesome view of the original Olympic stadium. Can you imagine witnessing the original Olympic games here?

greece-2013-121A shot of the where the King and Queen would sit to watch the Olympic Games. What a great photo!

greece-2013-174A shot of the Acropolis.

Thank you to everyone who contributed their photos to this post.

 …

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As a follow up to our previous post, please enjoy these pictures from Athens during the Three Sheets to Wind Ionian Sailing trip taken by group members from the first phase of the trip. In our group, we had the Powers family (Joe & Chris, Harvey, Andy, Russell, Kim, Brooke, and Brett), the Snyders (Patricia & George), the Sims family (Daryl, Allison, and Alex), and the Techmanski’s (Terry & Jeff, Ryan, and Ross).

Greece 2013 212Street dining in Athens’ Plaka area.

Greece 2013 087So much to see and do in Athens. Mapping out a plan!

Greece 2013 192 Some of the kids with a nice view of Athens and Mount Lycabettus in the background.

greece-2013-102Having fun at the original Olympic stadium in Athens, Greece.

original olympic stadium, greece olympics, greek historyAn awesome view of the original Olympic stadium. Can you imagine witnessing the original Olympic games here?

greece-2013-121A shot of the where the King and Queen would sit to watch the Olympic Games. What a great photo!

greece-2013-174A shot of the Acropolis.

Thank you to everyone who contributed their photos to this post.

 

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29 Texans Take the Trip of a Lifetime! http://www.ourgreekisland.com/trip-of-a-lifetime/ Thu, 05 Sep 2013 15:56:53 +0000 http://www.ourgreekisland.com/?p=226 Whenever you have the opportunity to reasonably help someone check off a dream from their “Bucket List”—shouldn’t you go for it?  It was in that spirit that John and I decided to organize a 2-week tour of Greece for a group of 29 Texans!  In the summer of 2011 we had found ourselves traveling to Santorini with our good friends the Pappas and a group of teenagers.   At the time, John asked Gus what was next on his list of things to do in Greece.   Gus answered that he’d always wanted to sail the Greek islands.   Just like that, the idea for our 2013 “Trip of a Lifetime” was born!

John and I have both sailed a handful of times in Greece and loved every scenic minute.  As an American I know what I enjoy when I visit, as well as what sights are a must for a first time Greek tourist.  We set about creating a trip that would allow everyone to get a good overview of this beautiful country.  The adventure began with several days in Athens to fully bask in Greek culture, before leaving to board yachts to sail the Ionian Islands for a week.  After a week on the water, everyone enjoyed a three-day tour of our beloved island Lefkada.  The last leg of the adventure was a land tour to visit the ancient city of Nafplion, on the way back to Athens and flights home.

Athens Anyone?

athens greece, acropolis, greek history, greek travel, travel greece, family vacations in greece, 2 greek villas, greek vacation rentals, lefkada vacation rentals

Whenever we’re in Athens, John and I enjoy staying in the center of town so we can walk to all the main attractions.  A glance at any Greek travel brochure will confirm the “must see” stops.  There’s the Parthenon sitting high on the Acropolis, the Acropolis Museum and the ancient Agora.  We always try to catch a show in the ancient theatre Herodes Attikos (check here for scheduled times).…

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Whenever you have the opportunity to reasonably help someone check off a dream from their “Bucket List”—shouldn’t you go for it?  It was in that spirit that John and I decided to organize a 2-week tour of Greece for a group of 29 Texans!  In the summer of 2011 we had found ourselves traveling to Santorini with our good friends the Pappas and a group of teenagers.   At the time, John asked Gus what was next on his list of things to do in Greece.   Gus answered that he’d always wanted to sail the Greek islands.   Just like that, the idea for our 2013 “Trip of a Lifetime” was born!

John and I have both sailed a handful of times in Greece and loved every scenic minute.  As an American I know what I enjoy when I visit, as well as what sights are a must for a first time Greek tourist.  We set about creating a trip that would allow everyone to get a good overview of this beautiful country.  The adventure began with several days in Athens to fully bask in Greek culture, before leaving to board yachts to sail the Ionian Islands for a week.  After a week on the water, everyone enjoyed a three-day tour of our beloved island Lefkada.  The last leg of the adventure was a land tour to visit the ancient city of Nafplion, on the way back to Athens and flights home.

Athens Anyone?

athens greece, acropolis, greek history, greek travel, travel greece, family vacations in greece, 2 greek villas, greek vacation rentals, lefkada vacation rentals

Whenever we’re in Athens, John and I enjoy staying in the center of town so we can walk to all the main attractions.  A glance at any Greek travel brochure will confirm the “must see” stops.  There’s the Parthenon sitting high on the Acropolis, the Acropolis Museum and the ancient Agora.  We always try to catch a show in the ancient theatre Herodes Attikos (check here for scheduled times). Just next to Plaka, is Monastiraki and Thision a must see. Visit Kolonaki for high-end shopping with some of the best stores in Europe.  Last but not least, Lycabettus is a wonderful stop for its incredible views of the city, especially at night.    An evening dinner on the top floor of most 5-star hotels will afford you a wonderful view of the lights of Athens.  Our group enjoyed dinner at GH Attikos.  We would also suggest dinner in the roof top restaurants of either the Royal Olympic hotel or the King George hotel.  Any of these are great lodging choices for a memorable stay in Athens.

athens gaurds, visit athens, life in athens greece

Athens is a very large, noisy, crowed city–like New York!  I particularly enjoy the excitement and richness of large cities that blend ancient roots with modern times.  There’s something magical about strolling around the base of the Acropolis  on cobbled stone streets that people have walked for thousands of years.   Take time to wander around, shop, eat, relax and visit with friends on the same streets in the same neighborhoods knowing that others have done the same since before Christ!

ancient theatre in athens, ancient roman theatre, travel to greece, lefkada vacation rentals

One of my favorite Athens destinations for stopping and shopping is the Lalaounis jewelry store.  You can find a few select locations in Athens, Santorini, Paris and New York, as Lalaounis is one of the most famous jewelers in Greece.  They have a museum and a shop located in the Agora area just below the Acropolis.

Wherever you go, take time to breathe in the history and create your own memories.  I enjoyed hearing that one family in our group took time to visit the original Olympic Stadium, then ran the track and topped off their experience by sitting on the King’s and Queen’s thrones.  What fun!

leviticos mountain, athens greece, greek history, pictures of athens, pictures of greece, travel greece, beautiful greece

Athens is a great city to explore.  With its many key sites, and all the historic and art museums to visit, consider mapping out your time to make the most of your vacation.  If city touring becomes too much, balance your itinerary with a quick day trip to a close Island of Aegina or a day trip to Delphi—a wonderful, easy getaway to add variety.  Our group thoroughly enjoyed their introduction to Greece during these first days in Athens.  Then it was time to climb aboard a chartered Auto Bus for a scenic road trip to Lefkada.  Next:  Our week of sailing.

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Seaside Dinner in Vassiliki http://www.ourgreekisland.com/seaside-dinner-in-vasiliki/ http://www.ourgreekisland.com/seaside-dinner-in-vasiliki/#comments Mon, 05 Aug 2013 18:38:45 +0000 http://www.ourgreekisland.com/?p=191 stelios dinner

Having dinner with my boys, seaside.

Stelio’s Restaurant is a great place to dine by the water in Vassiliki. This is a great restaurant serving a nice mix of Mediterranean tapas. It’s one of our go to spots.

Did you know Vassiliki is one of the top places in Europe for windsurfing? Even if you don’t windsurf, it’s definitely an awesome sight to see.

windsurfing in greece, windsurfing, vasiliki windsurfing, top places to windsurf

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stelios dinner

Having dinner with my boys, seaside.

Stelio’s Restaurant is a great place to dine by the water in Vassiliki. This is a great restaurant serving a nice mix of Mediterranean tapas. It’s one of our go to spots.

Did you know Vassiliki is one of the top places in Europe for windsurfing? Even if you don’t windsurf, it’s definitely an awesome sight to see.

windsurfing in greece, windsurfing, vasiliki windsurfing, top places to windsurf

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Hello from my hammock! http://www.ourgreekisland.com/hello-from-my-hammock-2/ Fri, 26 Jul 2013 03:52:12 +0000 http://www.ourgreekisland.com/?p=177 I love starting my day at Villa del Sol sitting in our rope hammock. My hammock with the incredible view is my “go to happy place”… what’s not to love with the 180 degree view of the beautiful Ionian Sea and lush islands?  From our location I can count 6 islands in close view with the mainland and Ithaca off in the distance – How amazing is that?

2 greek villas, lefkada vacation rentals, beautiful greek views, greek vacation properties

aristotle, two greek villas, lefkada vacation rentals, lefkada viewsWatching the day start is magical. The small fishing boats are coming back to port with full nets, many returning to the port of Perigiali just down the hill from us. I am usually in my hammock by 7:30 a.m. in time to watch the Ferryboat taking it’s passengers from Nidri to the close island of Meganisi.  The day unfolds with a number of impressive (and expensive) yachts touring the quiet waters of the inlet sea before us. Private yachts are not uncommon in this area, as the famous Aristotle Onassis made his home on the island of Skorpios, which is the center of our view.  Now that the Onassis estate has leased the island (I understand a 100 year lease) to an extremely wealthy Russian, I expect the number of yachts will increase.

The cool air of the morning is a great time to take a walk. We have walked the roads in both directions checking out the views from other villas and from the top of another hill and I must say – Ours is the best and absolutely the reason we purchased the land and decided to build.  I remember all those years ago, our friend Vasilis, drove us up the crazy road, we got out of the car, walked the hill, when we reached the big rock, he told us to climb up on top of it to see the view – Wow, what a view.…

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I love starting my day at Villa del Sol sitting in our rope hammock. My hammock with the incredible view is my “go to happy place”… what’s not to love with the 180 degree view of the beautiful Ionian Sea and lush islands?  From our location I can count 6 islands in close view with the mainland and Ithaca off in the distance – How amazing is that?

2 greek villas, lefkada vacation rentals, beautiful greek views, greek vacation properties

aristotle, two greek villas, lefkada vacation rentals, lefkada viewsWatching the day start is magical. The small fishing boats are coming back to port with full nets, many returning to the port of Perigiali just down the hill from us. I am usually in my hammock by 7:30 a.m. in time to watch the Ferryboat taking it’s passengers from Nidri to the close island of Meganisi.  The day unfolds with a number of impressive (and expensive) yachts touring the quiet waters of the inlet sea before us. Private yachts are not uncommon in this area, as the famous Aristotle Onassis made his home on the island of Skorpios, which is the center of our view.  Now that the Onassis estate has leased the island (I understand a 100 year lease) to an extremely wealthy Russian, I expect the number of yachts will increase.

The cool air of the morning is a great time to take a walk. We have walked the roads in both directions checking out the views from other villas and from the top of another hill and I must say – Ours is the best and absolutely the reason we purchased the land and decided to build.  I remember all those years ago, our friend Vasilis, drove us up the crazy road, we got out of the car, walked the hill, when we reached the big rock, he told us to climb up on top of it to see the view – Wow, what a view. We looked at each other and said, “Lets buy it… You only live once!”  So many years later, it is still about the views!

After our walk, a swim in the pool, lunch, a bit of reading and a nap, you will find me back in my hammock. This afternoon I hear a speedboat coming our way.  It comes straight from Skorpios into the less populated port of Perigiali. The  speedboat is dark sliver and black of a modern design. It makes a quick stop for a pick up and it is off. Very “007, James Bond”, later I am told it is one of the security boats for our new neighbors on Skorpios.

The afternoon waters are filled with sailboats catching the winds. I enjoy watching them “dance” their way across the sea.  Around 5:00 in the afternoon, one of our favorite “day adventure” boats makes it way home to Nidri.  The Odysseia always drops its sail in front of us as it sails into port.  We have been aboard the Odysseia many time as we entertain friends. It is really one of the best day adventures offered from Lefkada. “Jerry” – the captain is totally Greek fun. He pours Ouzo and dances on deck. The day includes stops at many of the close islands and a great lunch on a private beach… but that is another story.

sunset in lefkada, greece travel, vacation rental in lefkada, lefkada greece, 2 greek villas, vacation villas in greece for rent

Nighttime on our terrace in the hammock is a wonder of lights. The stars are too many to count and the moon always rises above del Luna. I really enjoy watching the twinkle of the lights from the small towns and villages as they begin  to illuminate the night… wishing everyone sweet dreams.

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Sail On! http://www.ourgreekisland.com/sail-on/ Mon, 17 Jun 2013 18:52:18 +0000 http://www.ourgreekisland.com/?p=93 Sailing the Greek islands is listed on many people’s travel wish list.

The Ionian sea is one of the best places in the world to sail!

A sailing trip to the Greek islands is a must do trip of a life time!

sailing the ionian, the ionian seven, greek islands, sailing in greece, greek sailing trips

Why I like to sail the Ionian Islands?

The beauty and ease of sailing is a perfect combination.  The Ionian Islands are nestled just off the north east mainland of Greece (below Italy). The waters are relatively protected and the islands are many.

The chain of islands that make up the “Ionian Seven” are Corfu, Zakynthos, Lefkada, Paxi, Ithaca, Kythira, and Kefalonia. Of course, you know my favorite island is Lefkada!

greek sails, sailing photos, two sailing boats

Photo by ©Niko Lazaris

The “Ionian Seven” Greek Islands

Lefkada – Our Greek Island! Need I say more?  Lefkada offers one of the best harbors in Greece, attracting sailors from around the world.  Many Europeans moor their boats here year round. The ease in sailing from Lefkada to explore the Ionian Islands is perfect.

Corfu  – Is a large island, as well as, the best known of the Ionian Islands.  Many people will recognize the name and know about Corfu as it is as popular as Mikonos, Santorini and Rhodes.  All of these islands are great places to visit.  John and I had a wonderfully romantic trip to Corfu many years ago before the boys were born… I remember having a great dinner and taking a carriage ride through the streets of the city center and all the power on the island went out.  There was no panic, people continued on with what they were doing. The horse moved through the streets pulling the carriage, people sat and talked over their dinner by candle light, someone continued with their music lesson off in the distance… it was all very enchanting….…

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Sailing the Greek islands is listed on many people’s travel wish list.

The Ionian sea is one of the best places in the world to sail!

A sailing trip to the Greek islands is a must do trip of a life time!

sailing the ionian, the ionian seven, greek islands, sailing in greece, greek sailing trips

Why I like to sail the Ionian Islands?

The beauty and ease of sailing is a perfect combination.  The Ionian Islands are nestled just off the north east mainland of Greece (below Italy). The waters are relatively protected and the islands are many.

The chain of islands that make up the “Ionian Seven” are Corfu, Zakynthos, Lefkada, Paxi, Ithaca, Kythira, and Kefalonia. Of course, you know my favorite island is Lefkada!

greek sails, sailing photos, two sailing boats

Photo by ©Niko Lazaris

The “Ionian Seven” Greek Islands

Lefkada – Our Greek Island! Need I say more?  Lefkada offers one of the best harbors in Greece, attracting sailors from around the world.  Many Europeans moor their boats here year round. The ease in sailing from Lefkada to explore the Ionian Islands is perfect.

Corfu  – Is a large island, as well as, the best known of the Ionian Islands.  Many people will recognize the name and know about Corfu as it is as popular as Mikonos, Santorini and Rhodes.  All of these islands are great places to visit.  John and I had a wonderfully romantic trip to Corfu many years ago before the boys were born… I remember having a great dinner and taking a carriage ride through the streets of the city center and all the power on the island went out.  There was no panic, people continued on with what they were doing. The horse moved through the streets pulling the carriage, people sat and talked over their dinner by candle light, someone continued with their music lesson off in the distance… it was all very enchanting…. oh, back to sailing.  Corfu is a good day’s sail away from the other islands in the Ionian, so you will need to chart your course allowing time to sail and explore the island.

Zakynthos – Love the name. Zakynthos is the southernmost of the Ionian Islands.  It has a huge central plain with fertile land making it a green island. The history of the island is also rich as it’s location has given it importance in Homer’s “Odyssey”.

Kefalonia – Is the largest island of the Ionian, around twice the size of nearby Zakynthos and 30% bigger than Corfu. It doesn’t seem that big because most people will not sail around the island. When you are traveling by land, the island is broken up by a mountain range.  This island was featured in the popular movie, Captain Corell’s Mandolin.

Ithaca – How cool is this?  When you sail to Ithaca, you will be sailing into history! The two epic poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey that are said to be written by Homer who is thought to have been born on Khios in 800 BC. Many major events in the book are noted on the island of Ithaca. In the Odyssey, the basic plot describe the attempt of Odysseus and his men to get home form the Trojan War… what a way to ponder a day of sailing off the coast of Ithaca traveling the seas that Odysseus traveled before.

sailing the greek islands, lekfada, gorgeous greek islands, travel greece, amazing sailing trips

Stay tuned, I’ll soon be explaining more about the Greek sailing trip we’re getting ready to take.

We are a few weeks away from setting sail!

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Life is a Beach! http://www.ourgreekisland.com/life-is-a-beach/ Tue, 11 Jun 2013 19:09:28 +0000 http://www.ourgreekisland.com/?p=52 I love, love, love the amazing beaches on the island of Lefkada!

They are some of the best beaches in all of Greece… really!  No matter how old or young you are, a day at any of the beaches on the island will be a day you will not forget.

Good to Know- In Lefkada, you should rent a car or motor bike to get around as the best beaches are the ones that you must travel to (you can take the island bus but it will take you much longer).

Most easy to find beaches (the ones I have listed) will usually have lounges, sun chairs and umbrellas to rent. Some beaches will also have snack bars and restaurants. You can, of course, bring your own chairs and umbrellas, games and books. Don’t forget a picnic!

Our Favorite Beaches on Lefkada:

kathisma beach

Kathisma Beach – Go here for the totally white sands and the wave action in the afternoon.  It is a blast to body surf and play in the waves. The beach has soft sand and is wonderful to walk… a great place to people watch. This beach is large and has room for many people, parking and restaurants.

agios nikitas

Agios Nikitas is a nice beach for a small fishing village. It is a small beach, nice to visit during off season, as it is packed in the summer. The village of Agios Nikitas is a great place to visit because of it’s colour houses with great tavernas for a bit to eat.

milos beach, lefkada beaches, lefkad island, gorgeous greek beaches

Milos Beach is the well-kept secret just over the hill from Agios Nikitas. You will need to hike over the hill or take a boat around the cove to get to Milos. By land, the hike is not a major climb (as I have accomplished it many times in my flip flops) but it is not a flat walk.…

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I love, love, love the amazing beaches on the island of Lefkada!

They are some of the best beaches in all of Greece… really!  No matter how old or young you are, a day at any of the beaches on the island will be a day you will not forget.

Good to Know- In Lefkada, you should rent a car or motor bike to get around as the best beaches are the ones that you must travel to (you can take the island bus but it will take you much longer).

Most easy to find beaches (the ones I have listed) will usually have lounges, sun chairs and umbrellas to rent. Some beaches will also have snack bars and restaurants. You can, of course, bring your own chairs and umbrellas, games and books. Don’t forget a picnic!

Our Favorite Beaches on Lefkada:

kathisma beach

Kathisma Beach – Go here for the totally white sands and the wave action in the afternoon.  It is a blast to body surf and play in the waves. The beach has soft sand and is wonderful to walk… a great place to people watch. This beach is large and has room for many people, parking and restaurants.

agios nikitas

Agios Nikitas is a nice beach for a small fishing village. It is a small beach, nice to visit during off season, as it is packed in the summer. The village of Agios Nikitas is a great place to visit because of it’s colour houses with great tavernas for a bit to eat.

milos beach, lefkada beaches, lefkad island, gorgeous greek beaches

Milos Beach is the well-kept secret just over the hill from Agios Nikitas. You will need to hike over the hill or take a boat around the cove to get to Milos. By land, the hike is not a major climb (as I have accomplished it many times in my flip flops) but it is not a flat walk. It will take about 20 minutes. By sea, small boats will pick you up from Agios Nikitas Beach and take you by water to the much larger less populated, Milos Beach.

 porto katsiki

Porto Katsiki Beach is a beach not to miss! It is an amazing beach that you will first see from high up as it is surrounded by verdant hills and is situated at the bottom of a steep cliff. 80 steps lead down to the beach. You will find a snack bar at the top, which is a welcomed relief after climbing back up in the middle of summer… take your time to stop and take pictures!

Mikros Gialos Beach – I love this beach as it was our home away from home for many years before we built our Villas.  When we wanted to get away from all the people and hang out as a family, we always went to Mikros Gialos. The beach is large but contained in a bay. It is not real easy to get to the bay by car so many people on the island (tourists) skip driving the winding road to find this perfect spot. I love it because you can make this area your home no matter what level you want. It has great camp grounds, which we stayed at many summers. The camp ground is just up the hill within easy walking distance to the beach and restaurants. It was so nice not to have to cook if you didn’t want to. The beach is great for young families because you can drive up and unload your car. We had a favorite hotel on the far end of the cove we stayed at many years… It’s wonderful to wake up early and have coffee on the balcony. The boys would run after the bakery truck to buy fresh bread each day… great times.

If you like adventure and want to wind surf… you must check out Vasiliki Beach… it’s a mecca for windsurfing but for those not interested in water sports, the fishing village of Vasiliki is still very traditional, pretty, and definitely worth a visit.

It is true that less is more on the beach.  You will see many people in the smallest bathing suits, some will not have tops and a few will have forgotten their bathing suite altogether.  There are nude beaches on Lefkada just as there are throughout Europe… so, don’t be surprised. What to do? Well, relax and don’t worry, you don’t have to take it off… most people “working on their total tan” will all hang out at the far end of the beach so you can join them or not.

What I love most is hanging out with friends and family… taking the whole day to relax, swim, read, play paddle board, eat, drink, nap, swim again and then take a long slow drive home stopping along the way to eat dinner… life is a beach!

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Love at First Sight http://www.ourgreekisland.com/first-sight/ http://www.ourgreekisland.com/first-sight/#comments Tue, 28 May 2013 18:28:44 +0000 http://www.ourgreekisland.com/?p=1 Hello and welcome to Our Greek Island blog.

It is my hope that I can share our excitement, knowledge, and adventures in Greece with all who have a passion to travel, love adventures, and want to learn more about Greece: the people, the food, and the fun times. Our experiences have truly been adventures to share, whether you are thinking of traveling to Greece for the first time or wanting to create a second home on an island.

Map of Lefkada, Lefkada, lefkada cities, lefkada townsOur Greek Island is the Island of Lefkada (also known as Lefkas). Lefkada is the “emerald island” of the Ionian Sea. It lies south of Corfu and north of Kefalonia. For those of you that might know where Italy is located, Lefkada is on that side of Greece, just below the “boot” of Italy. A narrow channel separates it from the mainland with a floating bridge that turns, allowing boats to pass. Because of the shape of the island I think of Lefkada as a large tear drop with the smallest part of the drop just off the mainland. This fact makes it easy to travel to by car.

Not only is it easy to travel to, but it has such natural beauty with some of the best beaches in Greece and beautiful green mountains, which allow numerous activities for the sports enthusiasts.

The people of Lefkada respect education and culture. There are many festivals and celebrations with music and dance. We have seen some of the most incredible dance companies from around the world during our summers on the island.

I will share more over the weeks, but please note, I do not work for the tourism department and it is not my intent to present only the dry facts about this beautiful island but to share our stories about how we have come to call Lefkada, “Our Greek Island.”

Greece, travel to greece, lefkada

My name is Janus and I married a great guy named John (or Yanni).…

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Hello and welcome to Our Greek Island blog.

It is my hope that I can share our excitement, knowledge, and adventures in Greece with all who have a passion to travel, love adventures, and want to learn more about Greece: the people, the food, and the fun times. Our experiences have truly been adventures to share, whether you are thinking of traveling to Greece for the first time or wanting to create a second home on an island.

Map of Lefkada, Lefkada, lefkada cities, lefkada townsOur Greek Island is the Island of Lefkada (also known as Lefkas). Lefkada is the “emerald island” of the Ionian Sea. It lies south of Corfu and north of Kefalonia. For those of you that might know where Italy is located, Lefkada is on that side of Greece, just below the “boot” of Italy. A narrow channel separates it from the mainland with a floating bridge that turns, allowing boats to pass. Because of the shape of the island I think of Lefkada as a large tear drop with the smallest part of the drop just off the mainland. This fact makes it easy to travel to by car.

Not only is it easy to travel to, but it has such natural beauty with some of the best beaches in Greece and beautiful green mountains, which allow numerous activities for the sports enthusiasts.

The people of Lefkada respect education and culture. There are many festivals and celebrations with music and dance. We have seen some of the most incredible dance companies from around the world during our summers on the island.

I will share more over the weeks, but please note, I do not work for the tourism department and it is not my intent to present only the dry facts about this beautiful island but to share our stories about how we have come to call Lefkada, “Our Greek Island.”

Greece, travel to greece, lefkada

My name is Janus and I married a great guy named John (or Yanni). John was born on the island of Lefkada and lived there for many years as a young boy before he moved with his family to Athens. When people asked me about why I married John, I jokingly say I married “my Greek” because he has an easy last name (for a Greek)… Lazaris. We drink the same beer (Amstel) and he comes from a beautiful island! Our adventure together started almost 30 years ago, we were married in Athens, at his mother’s church. We have two amazing sons, Alex and Niko, and we have built two villas on the island of Lefkada that we now call home in the summer. We spend the other part of the year in another great place called Houston! One of the things I love best about both Greece and Texas are the people!

This blog starts in the middle of our ongoing adventures in Greece as we prepare for our 2013 summer trip.

This year I have organized a “trip of a life time” for 30 friends and family, sailing the Greek islands around Lefkada. I hope you will join us along the way!

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