Blue is my favorite color – I love the sea and the sky.
If I would have a wish free, I would like to be a dolphin or a seagull.
Thinking of blue makes me feel so fresh and relaxing – one of our goals while traveling in Greece this summer was actually to see all the shades of blue – starting from very light blue , turquoise blue watercolors to royal blue and dark ink blue – all in combination with white , whether it is the cloud in the sky , the boat on the sea , the white cyclades houses at the seaside or the white rocks and the white sand at the turquoise blue waters.
To be on the mainland is very nice but to be on the Greek Islands is great!
When we leave Corfu Island , we define our next destination as Lefkada Island which is located in the Ionian sea and its surroundings. The island is about 35 km long and has a size of 325 km2 and can be reached via a tunnel and a railway from the mainland in Preveze . The weather is beautiful – a hot summer day , clear blue sky – we arrive at the old city of Lefkada , pass by and drive to Vasiliki Beach where our hotel is . Lefkada owes its name ( Lefkos in Greek ) to the world famous white rocks at the southern part of the Island.
We stay the night in a little family owned hotel at the seaside – a great breakfast is waiting for us in the morning .The whole family is working in the kitchen and preparing our dishes – all home made – home made marmalades , delicious toasts with olive oil and tomatoes , rice pudding with cinnamon , little veggie pizzas, little burekas with spinach and cheese , some fresh fruit juice, fresh watermelon , peaches – lots of little things that make you happier for the day.
We are excited since we will have a daily tour with a boat along the beautiful iconic coastline – we will start at 09.00 am in the morning and come back at 7 pm in the evening.
We walk to the little port of Vassiliki and enter our boat .
My Godness , so many people – there are maybe more than 100 people on the boat and we are sitting tied to each other – Greek families with their kids and some tourists – I wonder how comfortable we will be for the next 10 hours .
These are the typical boats driving along the coast and bringing the visitors to the breathtaking rocky silent beaches of Lefkada – our first stops are Egremni beach and Porto Katsiki… the light in the morning is so young – we see the silent and lonely beaches in the morning sun.
The water and the beach is still untouched and so pure – what a great watercolor – turquoise waters which grade up to ink dark blue colors .
The way of how our ship is aboarding to the coast is also unique -the front of the ship is just touching the coast . There are 2 ladders that are installed in the front down to the sand beach that people can use to leave the boat but we all jump out there into the water from the backside of the boat.
If you love swimming , then this is paradise !
The watercolors are more then beautiful ..
A great swim that we have one after the other , the fishes – quite big – are just surrounding us in these crystal clear waters – what a fun , what a wonderful experience.
We enjoy the wonderful landscapes ,the caves hidden in the white rocks, unexplored seabeds, beaches with sand or pebbles in lonely bays- the beauty of the coastline is unique !
For lunch we have a quick stop over in Kefalonia Island which is quite close , about 2km and a 45 minutes drive with the boat .
Then we move on to our next stop which is Ithaca, a very peaceful and undiscovered, quiet island. In the greek mythology Ithaca island is a very important place as it is home to Odysseus and a symbol for the return to home , heaven and fulfillment.
Homer describes Odysseus who was the King of Island Kingdom of Ithaca as the hero in his novel. He is one of the famous Greek leaders in the Trojan War and due to the Greek mythology he is one of the suitors of Helen of Troy who was the most beautiful woman of those days .She is on her way to choose her husband and she decides for Menelaus who is King of Sparta while then Odysseus is taking Penelope as his bride. Helen is abducted by Paris and Odysseus is advised by the fortune tellers of the oracle that if he is going for expedition to retrieve Helen , he will be not able to go back home for decades. And truly it happens that he needs to join the Greek army to fight in the Trojan War.He is the originator of the famous wooden Trojan Horse which is key to the success of the Greeks to get the rule over the Trojan city .The war in Troy lasts 10 years and it takes another 10 years that are clustered with lots of adventures and misfortune until he is finally able to return to Ithaca , his homeland.
This is the reason why Ithaca island is synonymous to the Odyssey ( Ulysses) of Homer.
In these waters of famous and beautiful Ithaca we had the chance to swim , to dive and to enjoy the fresh water .
The forthcoming next stop is Papanicolis Cave – a cave with a very interesting own story behind .
Papanicolis cave is a famous historical underwater cave located in Meganisi , close to Lefkada . The cave owes its name from the Greek submarine named Papanicolis which was used to hide from the enemies attacks in the cave during WW II and to prepare for some strategic operations.
The cave is 120 m long , 60 m wide and 30 m deep.
In terms of bad weather even today it is a natural place where boats can hide and protect themselves .
Afterwards, we move forward to our last stop which is the famous island of Scorpios, also known as the Onassis Island.
Next stop is not the right wording as we are not allowed to stop here but just could pass by in a certain distance.
Scorpios Island is the famous idyllic island that Aristotle Onassis, a famous Greek billionaire and armateur bought in 1962 for about 3.5 Mio Drahmas which was equivalent to 10.000 pounds in those days.
The island which has a size of 74 acres lies eastern from Lefkada Island and was forested with more then 200 species that were planted by the Onassis family .Imported sands were brought along and an artificial beach was built . The whole island was reshuffled, three residences , a helicopter pad , a boat quay , a little cyclade white house at the bay and a little chapel were built. As there was no water over here, the water for the island was brought from the mountain of a nearby island. At the north side of the island Aristotle Onassis also built some harbor facilities for his favorite yacht ” Christina ” and the island became a jewel in the Ionian Sea.
In 1968 Scorpios hosted the wedding ceremony of Aristotle Onassis with Jacqueline Kennedy , the former US first lady and wife of president J.F. Kennedy who was assassinated in 1963 in Dallas , Texas. After the death of her husband Jackie had many famous suitors and one of them was Aristotle Onassis – he was a long term friend of the family .Jackie faced safety problems in the U.S.- her house became a tourist stop for tourism organizations , she was mobbed by journalists in front of her house and felt uncomfortable especially for her 2 kids .After the assassination of her brother in law ,Robert Kennedy, she felt even more unsafe .
For this reason the wedding with Aristotle was a kind of escape from the U.S. especially to protect her children as the attacks against the Kennedy family made her worry.
The island hosted jet set parties in Onassis times and the marriage with Jacky brought the Greek islands glamour and a lot of fame . Later Onassis as well as his kids , Alexander and Christina died and were buried on Scorpios Island close to the little chapel. His young sole granddaughter and heiress of his empire Athina Onassis Roussel became owner of the island, however she did not feel any bond to this place though it was the beloved home to her grandpa and mother.
In 2013 Athina sold the island to the Russian billionaire Mr Dimitry Rybolovlev .
Since the island became a private island in 1962 it was not possible to access the island throughout the years any more nor even get close to it .
Even today it is guarded by a large crew of security and anybody who is passing by the island too close is going to be alerted and needs to keep distance .
It was a strange feeling to drive around this island , having the history of Aristotle Onassis and his love to his family and to this special place in mind and to see the security of the new owners armed and with unfriendly faces in this port.
In the evening we drive back to Vassiliki beach .The sun is preparing for sunset .
We are quite exhausted due to all the great impressions , the sun , the wind and our swims and our struggle with the waves but we are happy as we had the chance to see a very special part of this world .
For sure I will try to be back soon to explore other corners in this gorgeous nature.