We chose two less well known Greek islands for our trip this May. (In fact, like many we have rebooked it three times since 2019) Our main stipulation was that there would not be an airport, but that we would take ferries from Pireaus, Athens.
Our stay on the Island of Sifnos in the Cyclades
After an early 6am start we arrived at the port of Kamaras and the ferry journey was trouble free, sailing into Sifnos harbour in time for breakfast around 9.30. We chose to stay at the harbour because we reasoned that, although it might be busier, we would have access to public transport for getting about. We needn’t have worried. As you can see it was really quiet and peaceful.
From the moment we landed, I realised that this was just what we needed to shake off the pandemic blues, relax, unwind and begin to take steps towards preparing for the next stage in our lives. I don’t know about you, but after an extremely stressful and emotionally traumatic two years, we needed a circuit breaker, and Sifnos turned out to be not only perfect for this, but extremely beautiful too.
We ambled passed the small beachside tavernas in a bit of a daze. It was extremely quiet ~ and the sun was shining down on us. Pausing for breakfast and coffee we could not help but fall in love with this sleepy harbour of Kamaras. Yes, there are several ferries which call in throughout the day, and the lovely setting and sheltered bay is a lure for folks sailing, looking for a place to put down anchor, but it was so laid back and … just lovely.
Our hotel was wonderful too, making us feel welcome from the start. The sun shone. Pathways and the sandy shores beckoned, not to mention the swimming pool.
We walked around taking the paths to visit the bayside churches and just absorbed the atmosphere and views. We took the bus on two occasions up to Apollonia, the main village on the island which boasts a handful of shops, backstreet alleys and steps to wander up and down. It was the beginning of their season and they were only just opening up. Masks were still expected inside shops and cafes, but there were plenty tavernas to eat outside. We even hired a car for two days, reaching the beautiful sites further afield, although we were sure to take time out in our two days to walk cliff paths and along the shore lines. Sifnos welcomes and encourages walkers with a maze of paths all over the island. If we ever go again we must take our walking boots.
How the visit helped both mentally and physically
- I felt as if life was finally moving towards a new normal.
- Yes, tragedy was behind me but life is a gift, there to be lived.
- Walking and swimming, the fresh air and sunshine were like a balm to the body and soul.
- As we laughed and relaxed, tension began its slow pace towards evaporation.
- There was something childlike in being able to mooch about and explore a new place once more.
It was just wonderful and was just what we needed.
How was I inspired by our visit to Sifnos?
I can’t say that I am now inspired to rush and write a novel set on Sifnos, but it was that overall calmness of the mind, following Covid and bereavement, that will live with me throughout the coming months. I defy anyone not to be inspired, surrounded as we were, by such stunning views and soaking up the sunshine and warmth for the first major holiday in three years.