From the South Ionian Sea to the Pindos mountains of northern Greece
The smile on our daughter’s face as she helms Katrina says it all! Like many Heather, Jessie, and I had been anticipating this holiday for over two years – it lived up to all of our expectations.
Our arrival was seamless – a friendly taxi transfer, a warm welcome from Phil at Gialos Taverna with a wonderful mezze lunch, before being delivered by boat to Geni Garden Apartments. Here, Sandra and her family could not have been more helpful and friendly, and we cannot speak highly enough of the freshly baked goodies delivered to our terrace table each morning! Or being able to tumble into the pool after a day at sea!
We had a splendid week of sailing to beautiful bays, swimming, snorkelling, lazing on beaches, picnics, tavernas and ice creams galore!
There were any number of larger, more expensive, and swankier yachts about, but, I think it is fair to say that we had the most fun on the smallest boat, and as has been noted in many previous reviews, others went out of their way to pay their compliments as to how pretty Katrina was. (Take a bow Phil!)
The highlight of the week was the final day’s circumnavigation of Meganisi. We left a little later than planned, courtesy of a lovely dinner at Gialos Taverna the night before, and had an idyllic run down the Strait of Meganisi, sailing along the southern coast taking in the sight of Papa Nicolis’ cave, and distant views of Ithaca. We anchored in a small bay, and ate lunch gently bobbing on a sparkling, aquamarine sea set against the dazzling white cliffs, feeling pretty pleased with ourselves.
However, that all changed when we rounded the tail of Meganisi, by now the wind had piped up from the north, along with the sea. Now Katrina showed what a Drascombe is capable of, she handled the conditions, and looked after us, admirably – although I did lose my hat to the wind! Tired, bedraggled, and wiser we made it back.
We were sorry to say goodbye to Katrina, but were cheered by the thought of a further week in Greece. Hiring a car we headed north to the Pindos Mountains and the village of Konitsa. Here we stayed in a delightful hotel by the banks of the river where it flows out of the Aoos Gorge and under the iconic stone arched bridge, to spill out onto the plains. This was to be our base for the next few days as we explored this stunningly beautiful area.
The mountain roads are not for the fainthearted, but the reward of picturesque remote villages, herdsmen and their dogs tending their flocks of goat and sheep, vertigo-inducing views down into the spectacular Vikos Gorge, hidden monasteries, peaceful forest walks, and mouth watering menus at roadside tavernas made it all worthwhile.
We broke our journey to and from Konitsa with a stop at the ancient city of Ioannina, situated on the shores of Lake Pamvotis. Here we enjoyed exploring the ancient citadel and learning the tales of Ali Pasha, strolling by the lakeside, indulging in baklava, and descending into the majestic Perama Cave.
During all of our holiday Jessie, (and mum and dad!), enjoyed, what to us, was the novelty of geo caching, it certainly added a different dimension to our sightseeing, and must have amused others no end, as we spent an age rooting around in undergrowth/poking around in walls/pacing to and fro as we sought the elusive treasure!
All in all, I cannot recommend Phil’s Dragon Drascombe highly enough, we hope to return… Thank you!