Here in London during summer it’s a big priority to get away and hit up some kind of festival or go away and soak up the sun. People asked us all summer “what are your summer plans?” We never really had any until we were finally let in on a secret destination. So we made plans to hit up a little-known Greek island named Skopelos which is in the Sporades. We flew into Thessaloniki and took a ferry from there.
As soon as you arrive in the city of Thessaloniki you are greeted by all the stray cats and dogs running loose. It reminded me of this movie Chris and I once watched called “White God”. We collected our airbnb keys from a small convenience store. The elevator to our flat looked like a small cupboard that we could just fit into. There was no inner-door so as it moved up we were right next to the walls and doors sliding past us. Then when it stops at your level it goes completely dark until you push the door open. We visited a fancy Greek Orthodox church and got kicked out because my shorts were too short… when on summer holiday that’s all you pack! We also discovered the Catacombs of St John the Baptist… ancient underground tunnels, with nobody around to kick us out. Ha ha.
On Skopelos we ate a lot of food, like traditional Skopelos cheese pie, moussaka, pasticcio, octopus and pork gyros. The pork gyros was an experience. It’s pita bread stuffed with pork, hot chips, onion, tomato sauce, mustard and tzatziki. When we first heard the description we totally weren’t keen but when in a new place you have to try everything… so we did and it was good! We even got a second one… I would recommend trying it, but not eating it all the time or you will probably die. The place we stayed was beautiful and fancy and overlooking the remains of an old Asclepion (healing temple) from the 4th century BC.
We hired a “jeep” so we could explore the island and a Greek dude took Chris for a ride on his scooter to get the keys. On the island there are a lot of stray kittens and they just chill around the beach eating restaurant food leftovers, entertaining tourists and basically living the dream. We drove along the coast and stopped at every beach we could find. The water was so perfect, clear and blue. The sand was mostly little pebbles or rocks. There are lots of cute little caves you can swim into and little secret coves. We even found a cool secret beach that was all rock and you just jump of the rock into the water and have a good time.
The movie “Mamma Mia” was filmed on this island so we drove to the church that’s in the movie. It is built on a massive rock and has stairs all the way up. Once you almost get to the top it’s a bit scary because it’s quite high and the stairs get steeper and smaller. But such a sick view! It’s a working church so people go to pray there. There is also a cool little beach near it, so we went for a swim there. It seems to be a European thing, but people seem pumped for a bit of a skinny. They just take all their clothes off and come join you in the water. Also along the drive there are just fig trees chilling on the side of the road so we stopped and picked a fig and it was figgin good.
Chris likes to try traditional coffees everywhere we go so we ordered a traditional Greek coffee. They make it in a small pot with the coffee grounds, sugar and water on the stove and then just dump it all straight in the cup. Yeah, you should never take the last sip. It was way too sweet for our liking and totally not our thing and that’s okay. We found a super cool run-down abandoned villa that has the best location up high on the hill overlooking the whole of Skopelos and we decided we wanted it and we dreamed about living there. We also visited one of Skopelos’ monasteries, high on the mountain. There was some modesty fabric available at the entrance to cover up our legs and shoulders as we went in. We met an old monk who lives there.
On the last day we walked through Skopelos old town which is where all the cool houses and the narrow streets are. It was so totally beautiful. Everything was white and all the doors and windows were a colour. Mostly blue. We went into a small church that was over 1000 years old. We had a lovely swimming holiday in the Greek Islands and plan to return.