To get a real feel of a place it is always best to travel outside of the high season and avoid the hordes of tourists. Granted not a lot of the typical postcard and expensive coffee shops will be open but what will be open are the usual shops the locals use like the butchers, bakers and honey pot makers.
One such place is a little island called Nidri. The island is around forty minutes away from Lefkada town in Greece. I must warn you though to get to the beautiful island of Nidri outside of the season requires a fair amount of travelling due to the local airport that usually services the island being closed. The way around this is to fly into Corfu, take a ferry journey and then get strapped in for a three hour car journey. The joy of driving is soon reignited though when cruising up and over the mountains with the view of the glistening Ionian Sea. Nidri is a small island that is surrounded by wispy white clouded mountain peaks. The surrounding islands include Sparti, Madouri, Skorpidi and Skorpios.Â All easily accessible by boat these offer lush green lands and secluded beaches hidden by weather worn cliffs.
Nidri has been a popular location for sailors for many years partly due to the exclusion of docking fees. Many a sailor has left their boat there only to return years later to find it untouched. The locals are wonderful people who all have a story to tell. You will find many a rugged sailor perched on the end of a bar ready to tell you some of their captivating sailing adventures. Getting an adopted grandmother is pretty easy as well.Â Walking into any restaurant and being kissed and hugged is pretty much the norm here whilst filling up on some of the food specialities. Some of the best dishes include the seafood platters which are so fresh you can watch the fish being caught from outside the window!
One of the best ways to get around Nidri for those that are brave enough is to hire a little moped, however even the most skilled of drivers may find it hard to navigate round some of the smaller roads running up and through the mountains. There are a few hidden gems tucked away in the cliff tops. These range from stalls selling honey made right there from the honey farms. Nidri honey is considered some of the best in the world so the locals tell me. Little churches nestle amongst the lemon and orange trees whilst lose chickens run amok through the olive groves. Crossing the paths of goat herders is a daily occurrence whilst waving to one man and his donkey. The next town is never too far away and you will soon find yourself amongst white washed villages with brightly coloured doors and windows.
Past the blue tinted strawberries and climbing up through the rugged landscape into the lush green woods reveals little streams that trickle back down the mountain. Ascending the mountain the sunlight shatters through the clouds and splits into shafts of golden rays. The very top reveals the rushing sounds of a beautiful waterfall as it cascades down the rocks and lands into a pod of clear ice blue rainwater. It is inviting as it is freezing but has to be jumped into, even if just for that perfect picture moment.