It seemed such a shame to have to leave the wide and beautiful bay of Ormos Agiou Ioannou on Paros after only one night but we had to get out of Greece quickly or possibly face fines for overstaying (even though for two and a half months we were required to stay put because of Covid-19 lockdown).
So we kept on going and headed to a little island called Schoinoussa and anchored in the tiny port of Mersini.
We had a fantastic sail there – made extra special by having a pod of six dolphins accompany us for about half an hour. Such a magical experience, always.
The port at Schoinoussa was really small with just a few tiny fishing boats and a couple of pleasure boats moored, an elderly navy frigate berthed and one other charter yacht anchored. The port might be small but it is regarded as one of the best shelters for small boats in the Aegean.
In a cove nearby, a massive super yacht lay moored Mediterranean style (bow anchor and lines ashore attached to rocks). There was one tender for the staff (there were at least ten) and a separate shiny white tender for the two guests/owners.
On shore were two lovely looking tavernas – we were tempted to go and have a meal at one of them but had already prepared something so we decided to eat on board.
There are only around 250 inhabitants in two towns on this fertile nine square kilometres island but every year it receives thousands of visitors – of the feathered variety – as it is an important migratory station for many birds.
The following day we walked to the tiny Chora (main town) 1.2 kilometres from the port. The area was very rural and the tiny town was surrounded by fields with vegetables growing and sheep and goats grazing.
We stopped for a drink at one of the tavernas and watched the world go by – a fork lift truck making deliveries (the Main Street being too narrow for a van), a man riding a donkey, children playing.
We bought some lovely fresh vegetables grown on the island before walking back on the very pleasant and well-made path to the port.
That afternoon we set off for our next destination – Amorgos. We had been waiting to arrive at this wonderful island (featured in the Luc Besson movie The Big Blue) ever since we had been told about it’s great beauty by a lady who owned a photography shop in Athens.
We arrived in the early evening and were one again the only boat anchored in the lovely harbour.
We were intrigued to discover that there were three entirely separate villages in this one small area – in the south-east corner the port, Katapola, in the middle Rachidi and over the other side, Xilikeratidi.
Once we settled Sunday down we went ashore at Xilikeratidi and walked round to Katapola along the water’s edge. There were very few people about but there were a couple of pretty tavernas open where locals were playing backgammon and others enjoying a catch up with friends.
Wandering through the old part of Katapola we came upon a tiny chapel – Panagia Katapoliani – where a priest and a young boy (we later learnt, his son) singing the evening service together. This little Church, we were told later, was built over a pre-Christian basilica, a temple dedicated to Apollo. It was interesting to see that parts of the temple had been incorporated into the structure of the Church.
We were anxious to explore Amorgos as we had heard so much about it so decided to stay another day and hire a car so we could have a really good look round.
So much to look forward to as the sun went down on another great day in the Greek Islands.