Anticipation. The smile spreading across my face, began spreading through my body, down my neck, into my chest, making my hand, arms legs eager to join in. The deafening rhythmic ferry alarm seemed to be beating with my anticipation. The huge ferry door came down slowly as it moved swiftly across the ocean giving us all the first glimpse of the island.
We arrived in Naxos on the ferry from Santorini, what an amazing arrival it was! Everyone’s anticipation is palpable and added to my own excitement.
I felt immediately relaxed, pleased with our decision to stop here and knew, no matter the accommodation, as long as the sun was shining, we’d have a ball.
Once we disembarked, we eagerly looked for Stavros, who was to be our host. We found him right near the back of the wharf next to his tiny red car. He was a real character! I loved him immediately. I looked suspiciously at the tiny car, doubtful about its suitability as a car to collect travellers and tourists lugging around large packs.
Stavros read my facial expression and waved away my worries – beckoned me into the little car, and tossed the bags on the roof, no straps, of course, we’re on island time now.
We made it to our little apartment (a bedroom with ensuite and little kitchenette) and Stavros made sure we were all okay and settled in. We were not able to communicate with many words, but he was excellent at reading us and helping.He saw me looking at a brochure of sailing and said, ‘my friend, I call’, and we were all set to go sailing for a day around the little Cyclades, just turn up at the dock, easy.
Our neighbours were a friendly Australian mother and daughter duo, who also had fallen for the charms of Stavros. In the morning, Stavros would return and bang on the doors to wake all his guests for breakfast.
Breakfast travelled from his house to our apartments, all laid out in the boot of the little car. A broomstick propped the boot open while Stavros unloaded and no-one was allowed to help. Our host sat with us all, chatting and drinking coffee. His hospitality, his manner and character were absolutely amazing. All of the guests spoke English, no one spoke a word of Greek, but through gestures laughter and words here and there we got to know him. Towards the end of a long journey, it’s human spirit and character that is heartwarming. It made my experience so much richer than staying in a fancy hotel.
Kavouri on St Georges beach became our favourite local restaurant after one visit. It was noticeably busier than other restaurants and we decided to follow the crowd, it turned out to be worth it! Amazing value, feet in the sand, ocean lapping a few metres away, better sunsets than Santorini, no crowds.
Get yourself to Naxos, relax, slow down, explore in your own time.
The causeway looking back from Temple of Apollo to the mainland