alonnisos, greece - boating around the sporades

Our days in Greece were heavily scheduled with morning-to-night appointments: sleep in late, lazy morning swim, amazing breakfast, lazy afternoon beach swim, long boozy lunch at the taverna, nap, evening swim at Milia Bay, amazing dinner. [see our first two posts from Greece here and here]

But Thursday, Alex and I told everyone at least 6 times per day, every day, was going to be different. Thursday was Boat Day.

Alonnisos, Greece

We rolled up to the boat rental place at noon on Thursday and asked for a boat. 'No. All gone. Come back tomorrow, 9am.'

All right. Friday was Boat Day.

The only thing worth skipping a morning swim for? Boating around the Sporades.

Did we have any boating experience? Not a one. Our expert crew:

Boating the Sporades, Greece

Our captain, Andrew.

Boating the Sporades, Greece

The lookouts.

Boating the Sporades, Greece

The skipper.


The one-wave-away-from-seasick one.


And, naturally, about four large bags full of Greek snacks.


We took the boat along the coats, and when we spied a pretty spot, we'd drop anchor and jump out for a swim.

Boating the Sporades, Greece

Or a snorkel.

Boating the Sporades, Greece

And then, anchor up, on to the next spot.


Boating the Sporades, Greece


Of course, we brought along a bottle of prosecco.

Boating the Sporades, Greece

Because life is one big rap music video, isn't it?

Boating the Sporades, Greece

I love this shot -- Susan's arm reaching out in a silent 'That's enough, Michelle. You're not in a rap video. Share the damn prosecco.'


Boating the Sporades, Greece

Alex swims with the fishes.


And then takes a good nap. Hard life, eh?

Boating the Sporades, Greece


We managed to return the boat without a scratch, and got back to the house with a few hours to burn before dinner. Alex and I took one look at each other and immediately headed down to Big Rock.


Milia Bay, Alonnisos, Greece

Big Rock at sunset; there's nothing like it in the world.

Milia Bay, Alonnisos, Greece

And with a book and a beer? Nothing better.

Milia Bay, Alonnisos, Greece


I will never get over the clarity of the water; this is probably 4 feet deep, and it looks about an inch.

After our evening swim, it was time for dinner. One day we headed into town for an excellent dinner at an Italian restaurant.

Acquasanta Restaurant, Old Town Alonnisos, Greece
ACQUASANTA - Alonnisos Old Town

(Yes, that is the address. It's not a large old town. Go for excellent seafood and handmade pasta from a small, local, fresh menu. And terrific wine. The Italian food snob among us approved enthusiastically without hesitation.)

But on this particular night (as with on many others), Andrew's absolutely wonderful family (who hosted us at their beautiful home) had a special dinner planned for Andrew's birthday.


Concluding in a ridiculously delicious homemade cake, which was spectacular.




Happy birthday Andrew!

The next morning, we said goodbye to our wonderful hosts, holding back the tears, already planning our next trip out. We returned the car and roamed around the port for a while before catching our ferry back to Skiathos.

Alonnisos, Greece

Alonnisos, Greece

Alonnisos, Greece

Alonnisos, Greece

Alonnisos, Greece

Alonnisos, Greece

"Super market" in Europe means: a tiny closet-sized room selling 1 type of chips, 1 type of chocolate, 3 kinds of wine, 1 old loaf of bread. The really huge, massive stores that Americans called "super markets" are sometimes called "hyper markets." The more you know. 

Alonnisos, Greece

Alonnisos, Greece


This sign at the port, from the extremely helpful Port Authority, appears to be identifying that the big bulky things you are looking at in the water are boats and yachts, for sailing. The more you know.

Alonnisos, Greece

Yep. Confirmed.

Alonnisos, Greece

Even more helpful were the translations of Greek dishes on menus.


Lamp, a local delicacy. 

Food in Alonnisos, Greece

Enjoying, for the last time, our standard spread for every meal: mussels, grilled octopus, horiatiki (Greek salad), fresh bread & olive oil, tzatziki, "Greek meatballs" (which were burger patties), retsina (Greek wine) & beer. All the basic food groups.


Then it was time to say heart-wrenching goodbyes to this beautiful girl, my best friend for 13 years. I love you so much, Susan.

Alonnisos Skopelos Skiathos ferry, Greece

And hop on our 3:25 ferry, which was more of a 4:55 ferry, if we want to nit-pick.

Alonnisos Skopelos Skiathos ferry, Greece

At least we had our choice of seats.

Skopelos, Greece

And a damn good view.

Skopelos, Greece

Passing by Skopelos, colorfully nestled into the hills, a much more popular tourist destination than Alonnisos, and a bit closer to Skiathos.

Skopelos, Greece

Never one to resist a beer on a boat.


Two-hour ferry ride over, we headed to the taxi line in Skiathos.


And this was the last photo I snapped, our view from the taxi line -- with a boat bearing the Greek version of my childhood (and current) nickname. How's that for a goodbye?


NICOLE, FREDERIQUE & VION - There are absolutely no words in the English language to express our gratitude to you for giving us a beautiful room in your gorgeous home, feeding us so many incredible meals -- breakfasts after our morning swims, snacks to bring along with us to the beach in the afternoon, and numerous mind-blowing dinners -- and sharing so many stories and jokes and laughs with us. We are forever deeply grateful for the love and generosity of your family and for so freely sharing everything you have with us. We will never forget our time in Alonnisos and we will never forgetting having met the three of you, three remarkable and fascinating individuals. There aren't enough ways to say thank you, and we're tortured by the worry that we won't be able to return the favor. Thank you so, so much for sharing your home, your car, your food, your swimming spots, your wine, your stories, and your spectacular slice of paradise with us. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

thanks to Andrew for this photo!

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