POSTED 1 September 2016 BY Grace IN Summer
What would a week holidaying on a Greek Island look like...? Grace, our Rep in Samos this summer, writes down some of her top recommendations of what to do during a week’s holiday with Richmond:
The weeks have flown by this season in Samos, and over the last few days I’ve been reflecting on some of the fantastic activities and excursions that we have going on throughout each week. Every day is packed with something to do; this ranges from active options such as sailing, windsurfing, cycling and tennis, to enjoying the freedom of doing absolutely nothing at all apart from finding that perfectly comfy position to lie on a sun lounger!
A week with Richmond in Mykali Bay, Samos could look a little bit like this:
Friday – A visit to Pythagoria, which is the closest local town to Zefiros Hotel. Pythagoria is famous for its beautiful harbour that comes alive in the evening; tavernas line the pretty waterfront and you can hear the music and laughter spill out onto the streets. The shops range from high-end jewellery shops to ever-popular souvenir shops where you can pick up your Samos shaped fridge magnet! There are a couple of gems that I would always recommend visiting in Pythagoria. Firstly, “Orange” - a cafe so named because of the refreshing pressed orange juice on offer. This shop also serves delicious gelato ice cream in a variety of flavours – including orange, which is worth a try! “Two Spoons” is a delightful patisserie also worth a visit – you can sit under the trees (decorated with hanging lanterns in the evening) and enjoy a tasty dessert or two with friends. This patisserie also understands and appreciates the art of fine coffee which makes it a wonderful place to visit for that morning caffeine fix!
Saturday – Visiting Psili Amos, the next beach along from Mykali Bay, is a fun trip. Psili Amos is easily accessible by either a 15-minute gentle bike ride (using Richmond’s own bikes) or a 30-minute walk. Alternatively, and not for the faint-hearted, there is a beautiful hike route over the high road on the hills that gives such wonderful views of the bay and eventually winds down to the sandy beach. With shallow waters that go incredibly far out and views of Turkey in the distance, this beach is lovely to venture to for some lunch or a coffee - one can often end up staying the entire day! Psili Amos is a particularly special place for the Richmond team as this is where we have been witness to several baptisms of refugees that Linda our resort pastor has met during her work at the camp this summer.
Sunday – This is definitely one of the highlights of the week and a day where we enjoy fantastic times of fellowship. We start with our communion service in the morning led by our ministry leader; here, we take time to be thankful and break bread with one another. Following this, we head down to the waterfront and join in with the weekly Richmond regatta! These legendary races always result in lots of fun and laughter as people fall into the water (often when trying out risky moves to get ahead… then ending up capsized!). The staff team on the safety boats have to keep a close eye to make sure nobody sneaks over the start line before the race begins! But it is all fun and games and many an afternoon has been spent following the regatta reminiscing about the antics on the water. Then in the evening we have the much loved ‘Big Quiz’; always a favourite, this quiz tests both general and Richmond-specific knowledge!
Monday – A day trip to Kokkari is a great opportunity to visit another lovely harbour town on the north side of the island. It is a beautiful drive along the coast offering stunning views out to the ocean - the drive to Kokkari is definitely part of the experience. Although it is smaller and quieter than Pythagoria, Kokkari has its own charm. The streets are lined with small boutique shops; the town is particularly known for its jewellery shops. There’s a large variety of Greek restaurants to stop at for lunch, but our favourite is Kavos Bar which serves the most delicious cheesecake on the island, best paired with a glass of Samos sweet wine! The day is easily spent lounging on the comfy chairs, swimming in the harbour, or meandering up onto the small hill with a viewpoint and then back down through the narrow streets looking in shops and enjoying ice-creams and smoothies on the way!
Tuesday – One of our popular excursions is the Captain’s BBQ. A fantastic day out, regardless of your age or how active you choose to be on holiday! The voyage departs from Pythagoria at 10am and sets sail around the south side of the island. The first stop of the day is at a tiny island just off the coast of Samos where one is often greeted by the local herd of inquisitive goats! There is the option of a 5-minute walk over the brow of the hill that gives stunning views down to crystal clear turquoise waters, where you can enjoy a swim. Back on board, the boat then travels to Captain Andreas’ private beach - inaccessible by road. A delicious BBQ lunch is served by the Captain and his crew with fresh fish and meat options and delicious watermelon. Following the food there is plenty of time to sunbathe, read a book, go for a swim in the sea, and even explore the small sea cave. After a few hours, the boat begins to make its way back to Pythagoria with a stop for those who are feeling brave enough to jump from the top of the boat into the Aegean Sea.
Wednesday – There’s so much to do each day that sometimes it’s really lovely to chill on the beach, enjoy the beautiful view and watch the various sailing boats, windsurfers and kayaks that are out on the water. Another activity on offer that has proved very popular this summer is use of our hybrid bikes – these are perfect for cycling on the roads or on the off-road trails. Explore the island either with a member of the Richmond team leading the way or just head out with other holiday-makers. Following our special “Celebration Evening”, where we look back at an assortment of photos of the week and hear all the highlights and hilarities, we like to end in style with a Richmond ceilidh. This is always brilliant fun, especially when we “strip the willow” to the tune of “Cotton Eye Joe”!
Thursday – As the main flight back to London leaves in the early evening, most of the day can be spent enjoying the waterfront, relaxing on the fantastic beach and chilling by the swimming pool - topping up that tan and reflecting on a wonderful holiday!
With still a few weeks left of the summer season in Samos, enquire at the office if you would like to join one of our Samos holidays! firstname.lastname@example.org