After a stressful few months working two jobs and organizing a four-day film festival, I needed a break. A good vacation.
Naturally, for a globetrotter like me, these vacations from life lead to journeys to foreign lands. While it is usually my goal to visit a new country each time, this time was different. Traveling usually takes planning and organizing to make the best out of the days you have to spend to explore new territories. And I was just too tired. The exhaustion of the past few months almost led me to staying in bed for 5 days, to sleep and to read. But after thinking about this for a few short minutes, the wanderlust grew too strong and soon enough my boyfriend Yael and I found ourselves searching for destinations.
First we were eager enough to rent a car and visit the south of England, the lush greens, the sheep yelling “baa”, and the beaches where one is supposed to find great surf. You may be able to guess why we decided against England: the weather.
We needed to relax and be warm and soak up all the strength from the sun we could get. Then, we played with the idea of traveling to Bangkok and staying at a crazy luxurious hotel. What is more awesome, we thought, than splurging on amazing Thai street food, and enjoying the luxury of an expensive hotel, which, in comparison to European prices, is quite affordable. With that idea, the 11 hour flight was the only thing in our way.
Eventually, we pondered about the most relaxing times we had on Greek Islands such as Santorini, Paros, and Milos. So, Greece was chosen. Long story short: we were hooked and the flights to Athens, as well as our ferry tickets to Poros, a Greek Island only an hour off the Greek mainland, were booked.
Upon arrival at the airport in Athens we ordered an Uber and made our way to Piraeus, the port only 40 minutes from the airport by car and about 30-40 minutes from downtown Athens. The drive was quite interesting, the Uber driver was, understandably, yelling about the debt crisis and offering his solution to the problem, namely taxing all boats crossing Greek waters.
Starvingly we arrived at the port, a place, even though dirty, smelly, and most of the year hot, quite romantic with boats arriving bringing lovers from their honeymoons back to shore. We were on the search for Tzatziki and Souvlaki-serving establishments. This wasn’t too difficult of a mission. We found a sweet place right across our entrance to the boarding area. Most convincing were the floors of this Souvlaki street food shop (yes, pretty design is always convincing to me).
We picked up our ferry tickets and off we went.
On the evening of our arrival we took a taxi to our hotel POROS IMAGE HOTEL. We were greeted with a friendly kalinigta and offered refreshingly delicious homemade lemon juice, a tradition on Poros Island, with its huge lemon groves. Just a five minute drive from the port, we now were away from the busy center and able to observe the arrival and departure of the ferries and ships from afar. Oh, what a view we had.
The next morning, I got up early to explore the surroundings of our gorgeous hotel. I learned quickly that the setting of the hotel was more beautiful than I imagined it to be.
We spent all afternoon at the private beach reading, sleeping, and eventually getting sunburned a bit. After being lazy all day, we went downtown to follow our ritual of renting a quad or 4-wheeler. Now we were equipped to explore the vastness of Poros.
But first, food!
We had this little guy follow us all the way and just watch over us it seems. Cuteness overload!
With our tummies filled and motivated to scavenge, we jumped on the quad and I hugged Yael from behind and off we went to see the sunset. Having made perfect calculations on north, east, south, and west, we went left for the perfect view.
Greek sunsets are always amazing, and they are even more romantic when you’re joined by a herd of goats. On the photo you can see one of them. I am still undecided whether it was posing for me or just proudly staring into the sundowner. Anyways, it was a treat to sit there, just the two of us (plus the goats) and enjoy the solitude of Greek Island life.
With much determination and a bit of guilt for being so lazy the entire day, we were ready to encounter the other part of the island, so we went… right. Our first stop, the port.
Yael decided to get a Greek haircut (pun intended) which left me the freedom to embark on a photo walk.
My photo walk led me up the stairs to find the clock tower. The breeze, which I felt once I came out of the narrow alleys was a true treat.
Trying not to get lost (which is actually a ridiculous thought when you look at how small the island is), I made my way back to the port. I had seen a beautiful white and wooden fishing boat that was for sale. I was already dreaming of buying it, taking off, and never returning. Though this dream was quite unrealistic, I at least wanted to photograph it. Once I started to look for the right angles and snap some pics, the owner approached me and started chatting. Yanis is his name. We chatted for a while, and he told me that the dark wooden parts of the boat were handmade on an island named Skopelos. I asked him why it was for sale and he explained that no young people are interested in being fishermen any more and that this is the reason he has to sell it. It must be so hard-breaking to have to sell such a beauty, even more if it has personal value. Yanis invited me on the boat and I wandered around looking at all the simple details. Everything seemed so calming and I kept on dreaming of buying the boat.
Yael returned from the hairdresser, sporting his new cut and beard trim. We decided to skip the hottest part of the day by having Greek Coffee and lemonade.
About an hour later we departed on a long and straining 20-minute quad ride to arrive at a dead end. In the middle of the street… an adorable white chapel.
On the way we saw this hotel entrance which from the outside seemed to have a great view over the ocean and we decided to return and get some refreshments. While I thought our hotel was amazing, the BLUE SIRENE HOTEL was on a completely different level. I cannot put it in words how stunning everything was. Every detail to perfection. The staff was so friendly and even made my prepared my favorite sweet treat, which wasn’t even on the menu: ice cream scoops with Baileys.
The view, the details, the simplicity… I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.
We went down to the beach and spent the afternoon there, soaking up the sun and the beauty of BLUE SIRENE HOTEL. I am so glad we found this stunning place, and I am really hoping to return someday, to enjoy it entirely.
The friendly (translate: cute) barkeeper at Blue Sirene Hotel suggested a place for dinner: Dimitri’s Family Taverna. We always enjoy local recommendations. We drove back to the port. With their motto “The hardest way is finding us” in mind we went on the mission to find it, and due to Poros’ small size, we found it quicker than expected. It felt off the beaten track and the food was so tasty.
Our 4-day island trip slowly came to an end and the next day we left refreshed, relaxed, and with a nice tan, back to Athens to meet some friends.
We’ll definitely be back. Probably going to Skopelos next time. What’s your favorite Greek Island? Leave a comment down below.
Keep traveling the world!