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Our Wakes: 2019

The Cyclades islands (July-Augustus 2019)
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South of Athens there are many little islands called the Cyclades. Their origin is volcanic. Many of the islands are well-known such as Santorini, Mykonos and Milos. Unfortunately, those islands are overcrowded by tourists today. For people that can sail, there are several interesting islands  that are less visited. To visit the islands, if you decide to sail, make sure you consult the weather forecast as in July and August the strong Meltemi wind blows that can trap you for several days in the Cyclades. One of our friends was trapped there for nearly a month due to the strong winds. In the past, most of the islands were very rich in mineral deposits and had an economy that relied heavily on the minerals. Today, only Milos is  still active in mining minerals. The most common minerals were betonite, barythrium, iron, silver, and lead, to name the principal ones. The closest Cycladic island to Athens is Kea. A harbour located on the north of the island offers  good protection. Unfortunately, at night it is one of the noisiest places in Greece as the nightclubs try to compete with each other by setting their sound level as high as they can. For the crew of Terus this is the worst place to go if you want to sleep quietly. Fortunately,  inland, Kea is a much quieter place. You will discover numerous valleys with some villages above them. We took a bus to visit the Loulis hamlet. A very nice place as all the houses are like white cubicles with a flat roof. The streets are narrow, so cars cannot circulate in them. The place is very popular, so if you want to eat in a restaurant, you had better make a reservation. If you like to walk, you can go to the cemetary and a little bit further, you will find the statue of the Tzia lion. This statue dates from the 6th century BC and is not particularly well carved. So many people say that this lion is unique. Another interesting fact about Kea is that the sistership of the Titanic, called the Britanica, sank nearby. Unfortunately, the water is over 100m deep, so the wreck is not accessible to amateur divers. Kitnos is the next island. Nothing particular, except that the harbour still has some remains of the equipment used to load the ships with minerals. Serifos, located further south, offers good protection and from there, a bus can take you to the village situated on top of the mountain were you can enjoy the view. Sifnos is the next island, but more devoted to family B&Bs. So, no noisy discos etc... you can easily rent a car and visit the many villages of the island in one day. Milos is the most Southerly island we visited. It is famous because the famous statue “Venus of Milos” was found there. This statue is now in the Louvre museum in Paris. But the most attractive thing to do in Milos is to take a tour either by renting a car or a bike or by boat. It will take a whole day, but you will be impressed by the various landscapes of the island as well as some unique beaches. You can also visit the mine museum which is very interesting. A very good movie explains what it was like to work in the mines of Milos. At various places on Milos, you find houses that were used by fishermen. These house, often painted in bright colours,  are only a few meters away from the waterfront and have  a garage door in which the boat could be stored when not in use. Today, the houses are no longer occupied by fishermen but are expensive B&B’s that can be rented at a high price. When you sail by those houses, you can’t resist taking pictures. But often after a few days without wind, the Meltemi strikes again, so we decided to be prudent and move to Poros as we did not want to be stranded for several days.
Louli on Kea
Tzia lion