Sunday, September 25, 2016

Meganisi Island, Greece: Our Roadtripping Itinerary and Scenes

After having our fill at Vathi and slurping our chilled Greek frappes and milk chocolate shake dry, we were ready for our little island road tripping. Meganisi is a very small island and a large part of it is not even reachable, rather recommended to travel by car. You need a boat to see its long rugged rocky coastline and caves for example.

The narrow streets of Katomeri village.

But helaas, we were somewhat pressed with time for this little road trip. We still have to lunch somewhere which at this point we didn’t know where, although I have an idea but would need to bribe my way through the Dutchman and the Dutch mother using my charm, and then we would have to find a beach to settle down in for the rest of the day before taking the 19:30 ferry back to Nydri, Lefkada (also spelled Nidri).

What is important for us though during summer holidays is to GO SLOW. No rushing. We take our time and savour every minute. So this was a bit of a luxe predicament for us. Stress *rolls eyes* haha.

Here is a glimpse into the detailed itinerary of this little island road trip:

  • We left Nydri at 12:15 – The earlier schedule is at 07:00 which is not an option for us; the Dutchman is still in REM sleep mode at this hour, haha. Check out our voyage here and the schedules of the ferry: Ferry ride from Nydri, Lefkada to Meganisi Island
  • We arrived Vathi port at 12:45 – Explored Vathi harbour which is tiny so that was rather quick and had drinks at a cafe on the waterfront. Go here for the blog entry: Vathi harbour
  • Island road tripping at 13:45 – This is what the blog post is all about. Scroll down to see our road trip route for an idea and the pictures we took.
  • Very late lunch back in Vathi at 15:00 – We decided to go back to Vathi for lunch on the harbour (future blog post)
  • Beach time at 16:30 – We spent the rest of the day at Spilia beach which is just beside the port (future blog post)
  • Ferry back to Nydri at 19:30 – Leaves at Spilia port which was handy. Ahoy!

So I managed to convince the company, well especially the Dutchman who was eyeing a different beach, to go back to Vathi for lunch and spend the rest of the day at Spilia beach. Dutchman was a bit enamoured with Fanari Beach located in the eastern side of the island but I just knew we were better off at Spilia because it is right next to the port where we will be boarding the ferry back to Nydri. We will have less stress as we can see the ferry coming. Surely we do not want to miss the last boat trip. Besides, Spilia bay beach looked pretty .

Although the Dutchman was not happy with my decision, he gave in. Hallelujah! Well seriously, what else could he do? =)

As for the roadtrip, there is really not a lot to see in my opinion, but we were glad to have gone around. The northern part of the island is the livable part. There are 3 main villages and these are: Katomeri, Vathi and Spartochori. Vathi is the main (capital) village of Meganisi. For a small island it services 2 ports: Spilia and Vathi. There is an ATM here, a few stores and a handful cafes and restaurants. It is a low profile island.

The streets in Katomeri were very narrow as well and as you drive around you will see mirrors in the intersections to assist you if there is another car coming. Some of these streets only allow 1 car passage. It is handier to go around with a motorbike or scooter. Spartochori on the other hand is closed to non-resident vehicular traffic and all roads lead to the port of Spilia.

There are a couple of beaches around the island and they are mostly small bay beaches. We were able to explore the northeastern part and saw Abelike Bay, Atheni and Fanari Beach, the latter was Dutchman’s favourite. On the western side we didn’t go as far as Spilia Beach, but on the map you can see that there are other small beaches.

This is our route. We started at Vathi and finished as well in Vathi where we had our late lunch. After lunch we went to Spilia beach/Agrios beach bar which is just beside Spilia port where we are taking the ferry back to Nydri, Lefkada.

The island also has a number of caves and there is a lighthouse at its tail-end, but this is best explored and seen from a distance with a boat than with a car. In fact, we saw the popular Papanikolis Cave of Meganisi during a boat cruise we booked on a different day. I cannot say if it was that impressive but it was quite interesting.

We also noticed many yachts and sailboats mooring around the island. This is perhaps because of its topography, the island’s  contour is shaped ruggedly with many islets, beach bays, rocky cliffs and cosy nooks for boats to moor in private. Boating is not for the Dutchman and moi but I do not mind to try this kind of holidaying one day. At least for the experience.

Meganisi is a small island and perfect for those holidaymakers seeking rest, nature and peace. There is little to see and do here but for sure that is just what some people are looking for.

Scenes on the road from Katomeri to Abelaki Bay and Atheni.

This couple with the motorbike was with us on the boat. Dutchman and I would have rented a bike as well and not a car, had the Dutch mother not joined us in this holiday.

A local fishing boat.

An orthodox Christian chapel along the road in bright red and orange colours.

Fanari Beach which was Dutchman's first choice but managed to convince him that we spend our beach time at Spilia beach instead.

Navigating our way through the narrow streets of Katomeri village.

This is the village of Spartochori on the western side of the island. The village is a no enter zone for vehicular traffic for non residents.

This is the pretty Spilia Beach where we spent the rest of the day. Not bad huh? I will post a separate blog entry about our time here soon. The port of Spilia is just further ahead, about a 2-minute drive.

This is Vathi, the main village and harbour of the island.

Travel Period: July 2016
Destination: Meganisi Island (Ionian Islands), Greece

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