The whole idea of traveling during a world pandemic felt wrong. Even though the Netherlands is facing a better moment and made travel possible, in other parts of the world there is still no sign of recovery.
Every one of us had a very different Covid-19 experience. In the first weeks of the pandemic, my father-in-law was tested positive and he was admitted to the hospital. A few days later, my partner found out that he no longer had a job. On the other hand, also around this time, I found out that I was pregnant. I felt the bonds were tightened with loved ones, even if over the phone. At home, we learned more about how to work as a team and take better care of each other. It was a time of sharp contrasts. The world faced changes, and we all went through a great and unique transformation.
So when the most critical period in our home country was over and doors were finally open, we ran away to Samos. A small sized island in Greece with a stunning view of Turkey and a place that had zero cases of Corona. You might have heard of Pythagoras, the Greek philosopher/mathematician. Well, he was also known as Pythagoras of Samos, the place where he was born.
Let me share the best highlights of our trip with you. Perhaps not now, but soon will be your turn to get enchanted by this beautiful island.
Above left: Captain Giannis teaching fishing / Above right: fishing lures
Above: One of the stops to swim, during the fishing trip
One of the best experiences was a day trip with Giannis and Nancy on board a fishing boat. The vibrant couple hosted us from 9 am until 6 pm, to spend the day fishing and swimming in gorgeous places and eating the fishes that we caught, as a delicious lunch. www.samosfishingtrips.com
Above left: High Seas Print / Above right: beginning of our fishing day
Above: on board of Samos Fishing Trip boat
Above left: Ocean Print / Above right: selfie time
Above: preparing the fish for our lunch
Due to the warm vibe on the fishing boat, we left with new friends: George and his two kids. The next day this lovely family picked us up to share the best meal at Samos at Orizontas Restaurant. The food was excellent! The perfect combination of traditional Greek products prepared in modern recipes. www.facebook.com/orizontasrestaurant
Above: two delicious dishes served at Orizontas Restaurant
Besides these two highlights of the trip, our favorite thing was to ride our scooter day after day to different parts of the island and discover new beaches where we would drink a frappe and spend a couple of hours. Best frappe, in my opinion, was made by Evaggelia at @hygge_est2020
Above: Potami waterfalls
Above: view from the restaurant at Potami waterfalls
A must-see of Samos is the Potami waterfalls in the area of Karlovasi. A rather easy path led us to the first pond from there we climbed the breathtaking wooden stairs to the second pond. There we found a restaurant where we left our bags and went for the second part of the adventure which consisted of being the entire time inside the water, a mix of swimming and climbing rocks to finally arrive at the biggest waterfall. Which is amazing! From there we returned to the restaurant and the aroma of the just-cooked meal made us stay and eat, while we enjoyed the wonderful view. We felt like Indiana Jones.
Above: my boyfriend and I chilling at our favorite Livadaki beach
If we have to vote, our favorite beach on the island would be Livadaki. The beach is sandy with shallow turquoise waters. There you will find free umbrellas, swings and sun beds, music and delicious cocktails.
After a week sleeping in Pythagoreion, at the South of the island, we took a day trip to Kokkari to sleep one night. A very charming city, full of restaurants and accommodations. Strongly affected by COVID-19, we were the only two guests at Hotel Sunrise Beach. Anyways, with a private beach in front of the hotel, we had an amazing time. The rest of the time, our lovely home in Samos was at www.onthebeachsamos.com
Above: Sunset Beach from Sunset Hotel
Above left: little island at Sunset Beach / Above right: Sunset Beach
Once on the Northside of the island, we drove thirty minutes just before sunset towards Karlovasi for one of our guilty pleasures: an escape room. Since 2018 everywhere we travel, we go to an escape room. This one was well made, and the owner is very friendly and we had great fun! www.samosescaperooms.simplybook.it
The next day, we went to Manolates, another pearl on the island. On the way to this village located at the top of a mountain, we drove through a bird's refuge. After crossing this enchanted passage, we arrived at this quaint village with a unique character and charm. Narrow alleyway cobblestone streets and traditional little stone houses decorated with flowers. There you can either go for trekking or only enjoy a good meal or buy souvenirs at custom handmade jewellery and ceramics shops.
In short, if you can afford to go on holiday right now, appreciate the opportunity and go. I know that Greece is still not open to all the nationalities, but choose a place where you can go, use a mask and keep your hands clean.
Above left: There's Still Hope Print / Above right: our home beach for 2 weeks, Pythagoreion
I am thankful for all the insights the pandemic gave me. One that resonates with me, is that we shouldn't travel so much as we used to, because nature can’t stand that much anymore and global warming should be taken seriously. Now I travel more conscious, choosing #localtourism more often leaving the international destinations only for special occasions.
RENATA’ S FAVOURITES
Shop the Story