I have just returned from an incredible week away to an island in Greece – Skiathos. The scenery was astounding and breathtaking. Beaches. Sea. Food. Cats. Dogs. This is pretty much my highlights. So, what did I get up to? I hear you ask.
Beaches// The island has an incredible 65 (or something like that) beaches. Some of these beaches are only accessible by boat or by going off road down dusty rocky roads. Obviously we didn’t go on all of these beaches, that would be bonkers. But from the ones we went on, they were all different in their own ways, but of course lovely. Our favourite beach was a 10 minute car/bus journey or 20 minute walk from where we were staying called Platanias. It was a pretty quiet beach, no ‘banging beats’ as we like to say. Just down the steps (HUNDREDS of steps) from where we were staying – Skiathos Blu, there was a nice beach with a jetty where you could take the water taxi into Skiathos town. The beach was nice, and on our first day we had lunch at the Taverna, but it was a bit of a ‘banging beats’ kinda deal. So we only went to the Tzaneria beach when we wanted the water taxi. The least enjoyable beach for us was Koukounaires beach, although it had glorious soft sand, and probs the best sand on the island, it was so overcrowded. Made me feel so uncomfortable, and I could not relax. There were hundreds of sun beds, and it was just not us at all. Other lovely beaches were Aselinos, which was very quiet as it was in the North of the island, and only accessible by car. The last beach to mention was one that was just over the way from the airport. Planes come over the beach making a great noise, but that’s all the fun of it! If you want a quiet relaxing beach at all times, then that is not the beach for you haha!
Sea// The sea was apparently 25’c, which I didn’t really believe. Felt more like 16-17’c. But anyway, it was amazing. So clear and clean, with glittery bits. I’m not a great lover of water, the ocean petrifies me. It’s so unpredictable and can take people’s lives just like that. But, I did go in for a little dip. We arrived in a heat wave one day the temperature reached 46.7’c!!! I have never ever in my life experienced anything other than 33’c, so man, oh man did I melt!!! So the sea was a perfect way to cool off when things just a bit too hot and sweaty!
Food// I follow a vegan, plant based diet, so I knew that going on holiday to somewhere like Greece was going to challenge my diet. Before I left, I said to myself ‘Enjoy yourself, if you can’t eat vegan, then be vegetarian for the week. Do not go hungry’. I think it’s so important to enjoy food, especially when you are abroad and experiencing a cuisine for the first time. On occasions I found vegan food, and obviously ordered it, but sometimes I could only order vegetarian food. I loved the salads, wraps and the butter beans in tomato sauce. OH MY GOODNESS, the butter beans. If you go to Skiathos, you have to have butter beans – I’m not sure if it is a Greek traditional dish, or just a Skiathos dish – they were AMAZING. We also dined at a restaurant that actually had vegan stated food on their menus, so I had bruschetta with tomatoes and marinated fennel leaves, and a vegan moussaka. *mouth is watering as I type*
Cats// I think that cats are a loved pet over in Greece (don’t quote me on that) but when we went into monasteries, there were so many cats there it was amazing. They were all so friendly. They might have be riddled with fleas, but that didn’t phase me. What lovely Greek kitties!!! I made friends with a few, and in particular one. This cat was so lovely, I was just casually taking pictures of it, and then I sat down next to it to stroke it. Next minute, it jumped straight on my lap, purring and kneading on my legs. I literally couldn’t get up as this cat refused on so many occasions to move haha! What a sweet cat. We had a lovely cuddle 🙂
Dogs// Oh gosh. I might start crying while typing this. So, on the island locals spend hundreds of pounds, sometimes thousands on pure breed hunting dogs. These poor dogs are mistreated, and once they have hunted one season they then discard the dogs without a care in the world, tying them up outside places or dumping them in dumpsters. However, the positive side of this is the dog shelter. The dog shelter was set up years ago by two English ladies who met on holiday and just had to do something for the ridiculous amounts of stray dogs, and cats roaming the island. They took all the stray dogs off the streets, cared for them and gave them any treatment they needed. Because some of these dogs were not treated well from when they were just puppies, some have not grown to their full potential in size. Many are malnourished. It was heartbreaking. The shelter is a real tourist attraction, with Thomson actually having a dedicated dog tour excursion for holiday makers! Holiday makers are encouraged to walk the dogs, or just sit in the pens and cuddle them. This is all also in the hope that many will end up falling in love with the dogs and adopt. From what I can gather, many adoptions are from British, Scandinavian, and Dutch people. We walked two dogs, a pointer called Pippa and a Brittany spaniel called Rocky. My goodness. We fell in love. These two dogs have a piece of my heart. I would love to adopt them, if only I could fast forward a few years. Pippa was so malnourished it was so upsetting, but she was the most gentle dog and just wanted a cuddle. Rocky was so intelligent and bursting with energy it was so sad to see him in the shelter and not in a loving home with a garden and lots of toys to chase, or agility classes to go to! I will definitely be returning to the island to adopt a dog (or two) one year.
I do recommend a trip to Skiathos, it won’t disappoint at all!!!