Along with the one thing each of us picks per city we stay in, we do a family trip somewhere on the weekend. Athens has all of its islands to choose from and we needed somewhere close so we chose the second closest island called Agistri. We booked a great hotel at the Panorama Apartments. We were lucky to be down the street for an Organic Market so good it beat the three markets in our neighborhood for selection. Bonus!
Off and away
Getting to Agistri
Our apartment is on the local bus and tram lines so we caught a direct bus that would take us from about 500m from our place right to the departure boat dock for our ferry. We got a great taste of life on the way, going through some nice neighborhoods. I don’t know how the bus driver squeezed a full sized bus through some of those streets.
After a little searching (we were an hour early for our boat, I love it when this happens) we found the ticket desk and got our tickets. They allowed bording about 5 minutes later so we got on fast and chose a set on the upper deck outside. What a beautiful, hot sunny day.
The boat filled up fast, this is a popular trip! The first stop was Aegina, a more populated and popular island than Agistri, and so beautiful. Alice was amazed at the colour of the water, the photos don’t do it justice.
A few minutes before docking the front door swings open (so we can walk on to shore) and we get treated to this view, the “family” beach on Agistri with its clear waters and blue sky:
It was a little hectic with everyone getting off the boat in a big group, but we soon got our bearings. I asked directions in Greek (very rough Greek) and we ended up walking a little bit extra, but we ended up at our apartment. Thanks to dad/me for not getting great directions to our apartment which was an easy walk down the main road. Ha.
We spent our time at the beach mostly, and what a wonderful beach it was. This church is typical of the area, there are many of these on Santorini, and with it the beach took on a magical quality. I now understand why there are umbrellas on beaches – they are hot and there’s no shade. Oh and you can order drinks and food. Usually ordering once is enough to allow you to say all day without being hassled. Seems like an unwritten rule.
Our apartment was right next to the largest club on the island, Club Taboo. The club was having a party on Saturday night and we were told there would be very loud fireworks; on an island with extreme fire danger (dry as a bone) this seemed like a silly idea, but the one firetruck was on hand in case anything happened.
We had our sound machine so didn’t hear the fireworks go off at around 3am (well I did, but the rest of us slept through it). From the looks of things the next day, people nursing hangovers, the night was a good one.
Quiet time was “enforced” till 9am and since our kiddos get up at 6am at the latest we made sure to get out by 7am and go to the beach for a morning swim. So good! The beach is quiet and the waves tiny, so a perfect place for the kids to use their snorkling masks. Around the little bend in this pic there’s the Organic market, just a few minutes away from our place.
The white bus and little trip to Dragonera
I loved this white, full size bus. It’s Agistri’s local transport option. There are taxis, just not many of them, and they are usually busy constantly. We decided on Saturday to go to Dragonera, just around the island to the west. We were hoping to spend the day there, and i assumed there would be food available there. Assumed.
It’s nice and shady inside the bus, but it was always packed. Probably because it’s the cheapest option on the island. This is us on the way back from Dragonera, but pretend for a moment that it looks the same both ways, ha.
One thing you learn on the road is to take advantage of down time which is usually waiting time in between transits. Here we waited about 45 minutes for the next bus to come; Dragonera on the western side of the island was nice, but had no food services (we brought no food) so we decided to go back to our beach to spend the rest of the day. The Greek salad there was to die for, Alice says. I do agree with her!
Dragonera was more of the same blue/green gorgeous wonderfulness.
The beach at Dragonera was all stones, so hard to walk on, but crisp, cold, and clear, perfect for a hot day. I have to say it was very reminiscent of New Zealand and made me miss ol NZ.
The kids got diving masks to swim with and what a great purchase that was. They hardly took them off the entire time.
On our morning beach swims we were treated to clear skies with a bit of rusty red/orange sunrises and lightly lapping waves.
Sunsets were just as good. Alice and I snuck away both Friday and Saturday nights for about an hour and took in the night life. Yes, the only drawback to travelling with our kids is we can’t do many “adult” things like dine out on a Saturday night then go out dancing till the wee hours. The sunsets ease that pain, however.
The main street in Agistri before the Saturday revellers arrived was like the scene from a movie when the protagonists realise they are in a small town with people who all know and, for the most part, love each other. So many smiles, laughter and conversation. And so many kids running free, the parents living it up with the safe atmosphere. We were told not to ever let our kids play without supervision in Athens, it’s probably both a safety and cultural thing.
I love sunsets and sunrises, and this sunset of the chapel at Agistri captures the mood Alice and I were having – do we HAVE to leave?!
“Happy Honeymoon, honey!” This is our running joke. Alice and I have never had a honeymoon but at various times on this trip we feel like we’re getting the best, longest one ever.
Our favourite beach at sunset. We spent two wonderful days sitting on the chairs here in the shade, swimming and eating Greek salads and drinking a beer and an Uzo.
And so all good things must come to an end. We had several hours to kill after checking out from the hotel so we went to the “Family” beach that I mentioned earlier and got a Greek salad (not quite as good here, to be honest) and swam and avoided the sun. Nah we soaked it up a little. 🙂
We had this view while waiting for our ferry back to Athens:
Meanwhile Athens was a roasty toasty 45 degrees celsius when we returned so we dragged our tired bums back to our apartment and made a quick dinner and went to bed. What a great place Agistri was.
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