I am now about to start my third season with SwimTrek and out of all the locations I have worked; Greece always remains one I am extremely fond of. It has a beautiful landscape decorated with stunning traditional buildings, welcoming locals and of course outstanding water and what better way would there be to view the coastline than from a 40ft sailing yacht.
This year I am excited about returning to my two ‘summer homes’ of Schinoússa and Koufoníssi.Both of the islands have a distinct feel and I particularly enjoy my time on the creative island of Koufinisi where every second person seems to be a writer or a painter; and with the surrounding landscapes as inspiration it is easy to understand why.
My personal highlights include the “devils eye”. A natural shaping of the in the rock which perfectly frames an image of the sea and coastline; Secondly the cliffs that we see when we swim to Pori Bay. A rugged line of cliffs faces which look if they have been built by uneven layers of rocks being placed on top of each other, resulting in stacking effect with is both unusual and beautiful.
Outside of swimming my favourite thing about the islands is the food. After building up an appetite over a day of swimming there is nothing better than heading out to grab some local food. One of my most memorable moments was sitting in a restaurant in Shinoussa, when we watched a Spear Fisher emerge from the water proudly carrying his line of catch. Then to all of our delight and amazement he walked straight to the kitchen of our restaurant and sold them the fish. So one thing you can guarantee is the food is mainly fresh and local.
During June last year we ended each trip with the stunning walk up Mount Zeus. If you get the chance either on the trip or in your personal time I highly recommend the climb up Mount Zeus, not only do you receive an incredible sense of achievement upon reaching the top, you also have an un-paralleled view of the islands you have just spent the previous week exploring. Also you can discover a tiny town square with a small café and locals playing backgammon under the trees.
As well as my personal experiences I am always enthralled by the history and mythology that surrounds the Greek Islands - The huge amount of culture and history; you could spend a lifetime learning about the gods, Greek mythology and all of the history surrounding it.
2014 is shaping up to be another great year and I look forward to seeing the look on many more swimmers faces after they complete the iconic 4KM crossing from Naxos to Koufonissi.
If this has whetted your appetite click here to find out more.