Sunday, 16 July 2017

Lichadonisia islands

Having heard about the Greek Seychelles I decided to go visit. The group of Islands are located on the NW corner of Evia. You can either drive on the mainland to Kamena Vourla and take a ferry over or drive through Evia and boat over. I decided to do it the hard way and drove through Evia to enjoy the scenery instead of the heavily trafficked boring highway (and tollways) up towards Thessaloniki. 


So after having left Athens early morning I arrived at Ag Georgios abt 3.5hrs later having traversed all northern Evia. The village is small and the guest house or hotel (Adamakis Studios) was looking dismal but the room was clean and had a/c, fridge and an ensuite. Only a stone throw away there were several restaurants and continuing towards the center there was more outlets. At a whole everything looked a bit run down like an old prostitute in dire need of a facelift. 

The "new beach"

Next morning we got up and got going for Kavos where at the end of the land is a big camping site (most campervans there looked more or less permanently stationed there) and there were big signs for boats to Lichadonisia. Our 1st day we went to the closest beach on the biggest Island (Monolia) and closest to Evia. The ticket vendor said it was the oldest establishment there (the other was the "new beach"). 

One of the lagoons

Anyway, off we went and there was a small tour around the islets and we were showed a wreck that had sunk at abt 5m depth and also a colony of seals (didn't see any) but they were supposedly there. There were visibly quite a lot of current at places and the coxswain warned us of swimming too far from the beach as the currents could be dangerous. 

The "new beach"

Not to worry, we were quite happy to enjoy the sun on the loungers along with pretty good service from the bar. There was a constant stream of people coming and going and at times PA announcements in Bulgarian/ Russian for what I assume group tours visiting the Island. All in all not a bad place although the limited swimming area due to currents was a bit disappointing, on the other hand one could roam the Island at ones hearts desire and visit the now deserted buildings that used to house the residents up until the 70's when the last ones left. There is no water or power on the Island and the beach organisation ran on portable gensets. Even camping overnight was prohibited.

The "old beach"
 Next day we decided to try out the new beach. This place was visibly fresher looking as it appears it had only been organised a year or so ago. There was knee deep water and one could roam all lagoons in front and back of it. Bottom was soft sand with a few rocks here and there. Service worked well and boats came frequently over from Kamena Vourla. Luckily we came early as shortly after the whole beach was jampacked with people. Personally I liked the new beach better than the 1st original organised beach on Monolia.

The "new beach" on left with surrounding lagoons

Of course the Islands have a place in Greek mythology and it is said to be the pieces of Herakles servant who tried to poison him. 

As the story goes, the hero Herakles won a bride as a battle prize. Her name was Deianira. As she was transported to the mainland by boat the ferryman, a wild centaur named Nessus, attempted to rape her. Herakles was watching from the shore and fired a poison arrow. As the half-man/half-horse lay dying he told Deianira to take some of his blood as a talisman to ensure that Herakles would be always faithful to her. As time passed, Herakles took another woman as his favorite. Deianira remembered what the dying centaur had told her and rubbed some of the centaur’s blood on a cloak which she sent as a ‘gift’ for Herakles with a servant named Lichas. When Herakles put the cloak on, his skin began to burn and he realized that the cloak was poisoned so he threw the servant into the sea. Licha broke into pieces and Poseidon, the sea god, turned him into stones creating the Lichadonisia Islands. (Courtesy from Ruth Kozak's blog)

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