Klisidi Beach – The Only Place to be During a Heatwave!

Sometimes I grapple with the urge to go and explore new places against the need to relax. The purpose of this trip was to take a bit of time to recharge my batteries but I’m itching to see what Anafi has to offer. Today this isn’t such a dilemma as I’ve had the decision taken out of my hands by the unrelenting heatwave. Yesterday it nearly hit 40. Today is definitely going to be a beach day.

I start the day with a leisurely breakfast of Greek yoghurt, Anafi thyme honey and banana with a cup of tea on my lovely little balcony. This is as far as any self-catering will go!

Yesterday I’d taken a photo of the bus timetable which showed three beach destinations – Klisidi, Roukounas and Agia Arangyroi. From these beaches, you can also access several others by walking via a track. Interestingly the bus also seems to connect with every ferry arrival and departure. It looks like the public transport on Anafi is a well-oiled machine!

Today I’m going to visit Klisidi Beach. The timetable tells me that the purple bus departs from the edge of the village at 1030. At 1030 I’m still the only person at the bus stop and there is no sign of the bus. At 1031 a bus that I would describe as dark blue beeps its horn to signal its arrival. I climb in and we continue along a road around the back of the village. This small ring road keeps the village car-free. At the top of the village, we pick up two more passengers.

I fall into conversation with the elderly couple who tell me that it is very easy to walk from Chora to the port. There is a path that starts at Chora and takes 20 minutes to descend. I’ll check this out later.

The drive down the winding road towards the coast takes no more than 10 minutes and terminates at the bottom of a narrow concrete road above Klisidi Beach. I immediately know that this is exactly my type of beach. Not that I’m a person that would usually spend hours lying on a beach but if I’m forced to, as I am today, my beach preferences are very explicit. In no particular order:

  1. Plenty of natural shade available in the form of tamarisk trees
  2. Not overcrowded
  3. No sunbeds and parasols to detract from the beach’s natural beauty (and less environmental impact)
  4. A sand beach that shelves gently into the sea
  5. Beautiful clear water
  6. Well maintained i.e. people take their litter away with them

Klisidi Beach seems to tick all of those boxes!

Despite the sign at the entrance to the beach stating that camping and nudism are strictly prohibited, I’d read that at Klasidi it is usually only the former that is adhered to. Therefore it was no surprise to see several people bathing and swimming as nature had intended.

Although there were some early birds already on the beach I was able to find some shade and set up camp. And here I was quite happy reading under the dappled shade of a tamarisk tree listening to the shrill chirping of the cicadas. Because Anafi doesn’t sit in the shelter of other islands or have particularly deep bays I’d expected the water to be freezing cold. To my amazement the sea was warm – I mean really warm and it’s still early June. I still had to ease myself in one body part at a time as because I’m a Woos of the highest nature!

As the sun moved across the beach and the shade from my tree was reduced to nothing more than a slither, I was able to chase the shade around the beach. At no point was I left to fry under the sun.

The dried needles from the tamarisk trees made great little hiding places for the beach’s resident lizards. There were lots of them and they weren’t too backwards at coming forwards as we say in the North. The video below ended abruptly when one made an unexpected lunge towards me.

Just above Klisidi Beach is Margarita’s Taverna. It boasts fantastic views from its terrace over the bay and is the perfect place for a post-beach meal. It is much more than just any old beach taverna – the food and the service here are exceptional. The chef Stefanos Michalis is also the owner of Anafi’s famous Ktima Flamourou winery.

Firstly Margarita’s gets the award for the best placemat I’ve ever had put in front of me. The colourful piece of artwork created by renowned Greek cartoonist Ioannou paints an entertaining scene of Margarita’s complete with resident beach nudists.

My tastes are simple and I started with Dakos followed by fennel sausage all washed down with some crisp white local wine. Let me tell you about the Dakos. I’ve had some excellent Dakos in my time but this truly was one of the best. Yes the rusk was good and the tomatoes were SO sweet and juicy but the highlight of this tower of loveliness was the cheese. The local goat’s cheese is like nothing I’ve tasted before. It is very mild in flavour (a unique feature of Anafi’s goat cheese) and with a light and fluffy texture. Little cheesy puffs of cloud!

The fennel sausage was the best Greek sausage that I’ve ever tasted. To some, a sausage is just a sausage but this couldn’t be further from the truth. I couldn’t stop thinking about the sausage and came back a few days later to have exactly the same meal again!

Another unique feature of the taverna was that the meals were served on ceramic pieces created by “Anafis gi”, the island’s famous ceramist Manos Arvanitis. It is fantastic to see local businesses supporting each other.

I loved Klisidi Beach so much that I came several times during my stay. Getting to the beach earlier meant that I could find a tamarisk tree that would offer day-long shade. This meant forgoing the bus service and using the very efficient taxi service instead. This gave me more flexibility than the bus service and at 6€ per trip between Chora to Klisidi I thought it was good value.

I found a very reliable and friendly taxi driver called Radamanthus. There were times when I was sure I’d disturbed him from his slumber but he would always oblige and take no longer than ten minutes to come and collect me. Every time he dropped me off in Chora he’d say in his limited English – “Tomorrow, Monastiri!” I’d love to go to the Monastery but certainly not in this heat! Every morning as I climbed into the taxi we’d both flap our clothes to acknowledge how hot it was and this was followed by an optimistic “Avrio”.

Unfortunately, the visit to the monastery didn’t happen during this trip- but you know – next time!

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