Greek islands in winter…

One of my favourite questions when meeting new people is whether they would visit Venice in winter or summer. The answer speaks volumes about people. Venice is a zoo in summer, a wonderland in winter. The Greek islands… whilst nowhere near as bad as Venice, are not dissimilar to that. There are the countless obvious pleasures to be experienced in summer… that’s a certainty. But there is a certain charm in winter, a stillness, a tranquility, a serenity which you can’t feel in summer. It’s not for everyone… but if you’re like me you would love to cruise,visit, photograph and just simply walk slowly through the jewels of the Aegean in the crispness of winter.

the first stop was the small island of Folegandros… it’s tiny, it’s still
largely undiscovered & it’s gorgeous !

in summer this jetty looks quite different… a lot more people waiting to
board and even more waiting on the boat to walk out onto this beautiful island!

watching these captains make their approach to these small
ports is like watching a very well rehearsed ballet.
The ferries are not small, but these guys
make it look like a slow tango… precise and graceful.

the visit is over in under ten minutes in winter… and
the skies  cleared long enough for a couple of photos
of the “absolutely crystal clear” waters with the island background

one of the most recognisable flags in the world… looking
at this picture it’s not hard to understand where
the inspiration for the colours came from…

next up was Sifnos… the weather had already turned, the ominous skies
bathed the small island in a luminous grey…

this island is another hidden treasure of the Aegean… enjoyed by the few
that “know” of it’s rugged beauty

another quick stop… the few locals and ever fewer visitors boarding
the boat for which they have waited all week
– it’s not easy living on a small island in winter

even under the darkened winter skies the colour of the Aegean
remains stunning…there is nothing like it elsewhere
in Europe & these small islands are surely the
jewels in the Aegean crown

last stop was Serifos… an island that was always on my shortlist
when considering life on the Greek islands.

after last week’s post many of you emailed saying you would’ve flown
instead of taking the boat in rough weather…
looking at these images I think mine was a better decision ;-)

as the sun set over the Aegean horizon I sat back and reflected on where I was,
the number of years I had dreamed of being here and the numerous people who
have written to me with their dreams of sailing the Aegean and experiencing
the magic of the Greek islands.

Watching that winter sunset… I thought that there was no other place
in the world I would rather be !

*************

I’m considering visiting some more small islands in winter… would you like to see them?

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11 responses to “Greek islands in winter…

  1. I’ve visited Santorini about 7 times since I was 15, and have known since the first visit that I wanted to get married there. Upon becoming engaged, my fiance and I needed to visit Santorini (his first time) to find that perfect location. So, in February 2008 we made the trip. It was inexpensive and I thought, how bad can it be? Well, it was FREEZING! Cold and rainy, but still so beautiful and I’d never seen the island GREEN before, so beautiful! There weren’t many hotels or restaurants open, but the benefit of that is we dined with the locals the entire time. A great experience! I love following your BLOG as it’s been my dream to move to Santorini for years. Maybe someday…. :-)

    • Hi Shelley… Feb ’08 I was here renovating the second cave and you are right…it was freezing. In fact it snowed… a very rare event on this island. That’s a beautiful story of the two of you here in the middle of winter… personally I think it’s a great time to visit but I know it’s not for everyone. Thank you for the lovely comment and I hope you get a chance to visit the island again soon ;-)

  2. Traveling with you via your wonderful photos is the perfect trip for me . Though I love the concept of this journey , I must admit to being prone to seasickness!
    I once lived on a small ( 100 acres) island off the coast of Florida. Just 10 minutes , by boat, to the mainland … . . I discovered they only way to avoid becoming sick was to pilot my own boat.
    As long as I was at the helm, I was fine . I so miss my little boat .. . and my island.!
    Jjjj

  3. Thank you! My dream came true and we were married at Santo Winery on July 14th, 2009. I’m sure we’ll be back for an anniversary so we’ll look you up! Thanks for making us feel as though we’re there (well almost) until then!

  4. Hi there so glad you are back and have good result from the Dr.visit.Yes please do put more pictures of the lovely islands in winter and the winter sunsets are so lovely.
    All your pictures and words cheer me through the dreary and grey winter days in the UK and I am happy that you know how very lucky you are.
    Take care.
    Val

  5. Oh yes please, more, more. It is more about the journey than the destination for me. I would take the boat ride over a sterile plane trip any day….love the sunset. Lisa x

  6. Michael, what lovely pictures, so serene, and yes, would love to see more. Just goes to show that winter can be just as nice as summer and I’m sure you must enjoy exploring the islands without all the crowds. Summer will come soon enough. Take care, Sheila

  7. Having only seen the brilliant, turquoise, summer-time Aegean, I could never figure out Homer’s description of the wine dark sea. Now I get it! Would love to visit Greece in the winter.

  8. Would love to see them! And love those little white cities! Great shots as always! Give us more!
    Kirsten

  9. caro Michael,

    You are so right. Pure magic – the Aegeans in winter light. You are having a great time – you and your camera. That’s obvious.

    I love everyday life – and everyday life is kind of back stage in the summer. In the autumn/winter the locals are the main actors and allow you to be part of their everyday life. Thanks for sharing yours! Buon Natale e Buone Oia Feste , Michael! Bacione, Ingrid in Umbria

  10. Merry Christmas to you and your family too!!! Thank you very much for the kind wishes…
    I hope you have a wonderful time!
    Kind Regards…

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