Too Late for the Party

Ios is known as a party island, but by the time we got there in mid-September it was well and truly starting to wind down.

We arrived and parked in a beautiful bay called Ormos Milopotamou in incredibly crystal clear water – the visibility was awesome. We could just about see the anchor 40m away from the boat. Best viz we’ve had so far.

Safely anchored, we snorkelled into shore and had a look around. The bars and nightclubs that were going full tilt in July and August were now in their death-throws come mid-September.

With names like “Farout”, the bars were out to attract the young crowd. Ios attracts a lot of young Australians and there was quite a bit of evidence of this with Ozzie flags and paraphernalia scattered around.

It was great that it was uncrowded – I don’t think it would have been good in the middle of the seasons with lots of drunken Australians. We took advantage of the uncrowded beach and pulled up a couple of beach chairs and had a cocktail as we watched the sun go down.

Next day, we motored the short distance around to the main port, where for a change we picked up laid lines rather than dropping our anchor.

Our cunning plan was to leave the boat in Ios and catch a ferry across to Santorini. This plan was (luckily) foiled when we discovered all the early and late ferries were fully booked.

Instead we high tailed it up to the chora, in our case by foot (the rest of the crew took the bus) up some nice stairs. The chora is pretty cool, packed with bars, restaurants and shops as well as some archetypal Greek churches perched high up with great views.

We decided to designate it dancing night as surely there would be some great bars to go dancing in. This was in fact the case but all the bars were dead, bereft of people. This didn’t however stop Dee who managed to dance despite the empty dance floors.

Next day was Dockers vs Port and after a mixup in times we decided we needed to high tail it to Santorini and watch it there.


For our photos of Ios, see

A Hidden Gem of an Island

It was thanks to a nice lady in Siros (who fixed my watchband for free), who said we must go to Folegandros, that we ended up here.

We arrived after a long sail with geneker pulling us along nicely. The wall is quite small but we found a spot and did the usual anchor out the front and back tied to the wall with the gangplank out the back.

Later that evening two Greek guys from Samos, Dimitri and Christos, pulled up beside us in their motor boat, a traditional Greek fishing boat that had been fitted out for cruising. I helped them tie up and in return they gave us a gigantic bottle of wine. I suggested they come on board and help us drink it. We had a great night with them, first on La Mischief and later on their boat. It was interesting to get their perspective on the Greek crisis and life on Samos. We left them when they hopped on a bus up to the Chora, somewhere they had specifically come back to go to.

The Chora was indeed the highlight of the island. It’s perched on the side of a cliff face, a sort of mini Santorini. Still further up the cliff is a church, with a wonderful meandering path up to it. To get the best possible view, you climb on top of the church to look down onto the Chora. Great spot for sunset.

The Chora is an oasis of shady trees on an otherwise barren island. Its largely enclosed in a medieval kastro dating back to the 13th century, a tangle of narrow streets spanned by low archways bursting with colourful bougainvillea and hibiscus against the backdrop of white houses and blue frames.

The whole chora comes alive at night, lit up beautifully with restaurants and little shops. Perfect place to stop and eat Greek food at one of the many restaurants.

Next day we went to hire some scooters but got turned away because of a lack of international drivers license. Uh??? They did however rent us a car, so off we went to explore the island. We drove up and down the entire island, stopping off at a number of the beaches, which were delightful. It didn’t take long. We nearly got stuck driving up a steep road from one in a thoroughly gutless front wheel drive car but somehow managed to get enough grip to keep going. We also went back and explored the chora during daytime.

Next day we said goodbye to Folegandros – a real hidden gem of an island – as it was off to Ios.

For photos of Folegandros see

Venus De Milo Territory

Mylos sounded interesting so we penciled it in. It’s where a farmer dug up the Venus de Milo a few years ago. Most of her is in the Louvre in Paris, except for her arms that disappeared following an altercation between the Sultan’s Governor and the French, who had a brief skirmish over her.

It was a 50nm sail/motor from Naxos and as it was late in the day, we decided to anchor in a bay on the east side of Kimolos, a neighbouring island. We anchored in just enough sunsight to have a swim before darkness descended.

Next morning we had a blustery sail in a southerly – something of a change from the regular nor-westers. Made our original choice of anchorages very suspect so we just kept on going through the mini cruising area enclosed by Milos, Kimolos and Poliagos where Rod had suggested there was a number of attractive well sheltered anchorages. The wind of cause then swung round on the nose as we cruised up the north coast of Milos. We had a look at anchoring off a small island with a cave half way towards the turnoff to Ormos Milou, the sunken crater at the centre of Milos. Instead we kept going to Adamas, the main port in Milos and pulled up on the wall. It wasn’t very crowded so finding a spot was easy.

Adamas was pretty low key so we caught a bus up to Plaka and wandered up to the very top where there is an old Frankish castle with some amazing views. The old town with its lovely lane ways was nice to wander around as well.

The next day was a big one. We left early(ish) to make sure we had time to visit Kleftiko, an amazing spot on the south-west tip of Milos, not to be missed under any circumstances. We anchored off and lowered the dingy and went exploring the white cliffs, swim throughs and caves. A spectacular coastline, not missed by the tour boats that started to arrive in droves. Our cunning plan to get there early worked a treat as we beat most (but not all) of the tour boats.

We parked the dingy up on the beach and snorkelled through a few of the caves, which was fun.

Then it was back to La Mischief and off to Folegandros.

For photos of Milos see