A is not for Athens

A is not for Athens

Maritime CEO magazine picks out three Greek islands beginning with the letter A as perfect places to detox from a hectic upcoming Posidonia week.

Every two years we count down the days to Posidonia, not for the event per se, but for the chance to explore and enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery and fabulous hospitality in Europe.

If you are coming to Athens for shipping’s most famous (and raucous) show, then some R&R on a beach is recommended. Even if you have just a couple of days an hour’s ferry ride can feel like a very different world to the hustle and bustle of the Greek capital and the faded glory of Piraeus.

For those pressed for time, tacking on a weekend pre or post the show for instance, Aegina is a good first foray. It’s a simple journey – perhaps washed down with an ale on two on deck, passing giant cruiseships in Piraeus and out to sea. Aegina, famous for its pistachio nuts, is laid back with great seafood and welcoming locals. Head out of the capital and southwest to little Perdika where Mo and Pavlos will provide a lovely welcome at their geranium strewn Hotel Hippocampus and great seafood and sunsets await just around the corner. A short 10-minute boat ride from Perdika, lies the island of Moni, a nature reserve with peacocks, deers and little else.

If you are willing to go further afield, take a plane to the little airstrip on Astypalaia, a beautiful island where the Dodecanese meets the Cyclades with scarcely more than 1,000 residents. Stay in Chora, the capital, a classic Greek island town, easily one of the most picturesque in the Aegean, all white washed, blue shuttered houses with a castle atop and a line of windmills. The island is dotted with wonderful beaches and tourism is mercifully free of the clubs and drunkenness that is common elsewhere. Remember this is a detox-focused article.

From Astypalaia it is not far by ferry to Amorgos, a stunning island where Luc Besson filmed diving movie The Big Blue in 1988. Aegali in the north is where to stay – it is an eight-hour ferry ride from Piraeus, or two hours from Astypalaia. Stay at Apollon Studios in the heart of town and do eat at Katinas. Run through the herb scented mountainous roads. Hire a car and check out the picture postcard beaches and cliff-clenching churches. In short, explore!

This article first appeared in Maritime CEO magazine, which will be distributed at Posidonia all next week. Readers can access the full magazine for free online by clicking here.

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