Greece, Enjoying Your Time On The Islands

On a sailing holiday, not every day is spent at sea; there is time to go ashore and enjoy some of the things the islands have to offer. A few ideas about what to expect and what not to miss should help to make the most of your time in Greece.

Greek Food
Mooring up at a harbour on a Greek island will undoubtedly bring you close to a taverna or two. Greek cuisine offers a good range of fish and vegetables, as well as meat such as lamb and pork. It is easy for vegetarians to find dishes that they can enjoy. Starters can be shared between friends so you get a taste of more dishes. Salads, which can be eaten as a starter or alongside a main dish are made with a variety of ingredients but should include tomatoes, red onions, feta cheese and olives.

An array of Greek food.

An array of Greek food.

There are many main dishes which will be available, such as moussaka   lamb, aubergines and cheese; souvlaki – skewered meat, usually pork; casseroles with beans or meat and of course lots of freshly caught fish dishes. Vegetarians might enjoy spinach and cheese in filo pastry; dolmades – vine leaves stuffed with rice pine nuts and herbs or grilled haloumi   a salty hard cheese.

These are usually served as starters, but with a salad accompaniment and a dish of local vegetables they would make a tasty main meal. Most tavernas will also offer their own specialties. Many eating places invite guests into the kitchen to see the food being cooked which certainly makes choosing what to eat more enjoyable.The Greeks love very sweet pastries, made with almonds, dried fruit and honey. To finish a meal, try ouzo, an aniseed flavoured drink which turns cloudy when diluted with water. It is very potent! A holiday with an offshore sailing school is an ideal way of sampling some Greek food served in a taverna.

After Lunch Walk
A walk past the tavernas and restaurants will let you admire the bougainvillea growing up walls of old houses, or stop and watch a few of the cats playing beneath the restaurant tables set out on the harbour edge. Walking further, maybe following the coastline, or taking a footpath that climbs higher may take you to an olive grove, or through fields of herbs such as rosemary and oregano. Breathe in the sweet smell of a Greek island, listen to the chirrup of the cicadas and maybe catch sight of a lizard warming itself on a rock in the heat of the sun. Enjoy the new perspective on the landscape as you stand on the island and watch the shimmering sea.

Bougainvillea growing happily in the streets of Greece.

Bougainvillea growing happily in the streets of Greece.

Shopping
There is no necessity to go shopping during this type of holiday but many people enjoy taking something home for themselves as a reminder of the holiday, or gifts for other people. On the Greek islands there are small artisan businesses making woven fabrics, ceramics, candles and jewellery. In the shops you will see rugs, ceramics in both modern and traditional styles, bags, wallets and sandals in leather and a big range of inexpensive jewellery to suit every taste. A jar of honey or some local olive oil would make a lovely reminder of your holiday.

 

Image Credits: TomCarlson and Mr. Imperial

Guest Author : Shirley Jones has enjoyed many holidays in the Greek islands, both land based and with an offshore sailing school. She has written articles about her experiences on websites and blogs.
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