Leaving Kythira and on to Elafonissos

This morning we need to return the hire car.  Fillipos is in Chora but his sister is there to see to us.  She asked us how we go on especially as it was my first time driving in Greece (she remembers how nervous I was about hiring the car).  I told her that generally it had been really good and listed the places that we had visited.  I told her about my meltdown on the precipitous road down to Agia Sophia and how I’d nearly gone into cardiac arrest doing a three point turn on the edge of a cliff.  She told me that I had done very well, because “Kythira is a very dangerous island to drive on”!

I couldn’t help but laugh.  And I also thought I heard a snigger from the shipwreck that I could see from the corner of my eye!

We made it anyway, and I hope that this will give me confidence to drive in Greece in the future.  Saying that, I still like using public transport where that exists because it is so easy to drive everywhere and you can feel that you need to get your money’s worth but by walking (especially as a keen photographer) you see so much more.  Anyway, I now have this option stored away in my kit bag for another time.

Active care hire were fantastic and I highly recommend them.

Active Car Hire

We have a couple of hours to kill before the ferry comes so we take a stroll around the bay in the direction of Avlemonas – there is a path you can take that will take you all the way there without having to drive on the main road.  We pass the little shipwreck and walk past a small sea cave.  We are following a trail that is marked by small images of the Greek flag painted onto the floor (which we saw all over the island) which took us past bee hives and views of the snow capped Teygettus mountains.

We need to go back to Anemoni and finish packing.  Although the ferry arrives in the afternoon Matina says it’s no problem keeping the room until we leave.

We’ve loved our stay at Anemoni.  Matina has been a wonderful host and we appreciated all of the little extra’s she’s put into the studios.  The studios were immaculately clean and very well located in the village of Diakofti (though still a bit of a walk from the port).  The large terrace gave us great views across to the port so we could see the ferries coming and going.  We loved that Diakofti was more low key than other parts of the island and it really does offer the most beautiful turquoise, clear waters on it’s nearby beaches.

Three days isn’t long enough on this beautiful island.  Kythira had been on my list to visit for so long that I’ve made a grave error by allocating such a short amount of time to it.  I don’t tend to do ‘short and sweet’ anymore but we’ve adapted our original plan for this trip already to give us time in Sparta.

Not to worry – I will have to return one day.

The Porfyrousa arrives and there are a lot of cars waiting to board.  Where have they all been?  Certainly not in Diakofti.   After boarding we watch the cars drive onto the upper deck to park – a feat of careful organisation and experienced driving!  Not a square foot is wasted.  I never fail to be amazed at the skill it takes to load and offload ferries.  We set sail on time and we watch from the deck until Kythira is a dot on the horizon.  Farewell Kythira!

When we arrive in Neapoli we pick up a taxi at the end of the jetty.  There are buses to Pounda/Pounta (and other variations) but only about 4 a day so it is easier to take a taxi the 14 kilometres to the little port opposite Elafonissos.

The taxi drives us straight up to the little RORO ferry which then takes less than 10 minutes to make the crossing.

Sometimes you arrive on an island and you just get a feeling.  Just a nice feeling about the place.  I daresay that if I’d been arriving in the middle of summer this island becomes a different animal, but right now, it’s perfect.  You get a sense of people going about their business (fishing and taverna’s) without the frippery of being too boutiquified.  I like it.

With the help of Google Maps we thumb in our accommodation, Kalomoira and are taken through the maze of alleyways in the middle of the village.  We later discover that it is much easier to navigate around the edge of the village until you get your bearings.

We find Kalomoira around the other side of the port (going anticlockwise) where Kalomoira herself is waiting for us.  She is an absolute ray of light.  She shows us to our apartment which we are absolutely blown away by.  Kalomoira herself has done the interior design and it shows so much attention to detail with lots of little extra’s that we really didn’t expect.

A little terrace overlooks an immaculate little garden.  I think we’re going to love our stay here!

For our evening meal we head off to the port where there is a good selection of fish taverna’s.  We choose Spiros and Spiridoula a nice family run place.  We ask for retsina – they don’t have any but no problem – they will go and get us some!  Peter goes into the kitchen to choose his fish and I choose lamb cooked in the oven in red wine and we have skordalia and dakos to start.  When Spiros brings the dakos he wishes us happy birthday and it isn’t difficult to see why!

This is a fabulous little place and a great way to start our stay here.

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  1. Hi Stephanie!
    We’re planning a trip to the Peloponnese in May, and just decided yesterday not to visit Elafonissos but take more time at some other sites (and add a day at the Lousios gorge). But we’ll probably visit Elafonissos and Kythira during an other trip. Reading your stories here on these islands almost made me regret our decision.
    Also love that you do most transport by bus (and the occasional taxi), I was under the impression that hiring a car is a necessity, but apparently, it isn’t. (We’re from Belgium so we drive on the same side of the road, and I’ve driven in Greece before so we’ll survive)

    Love your stories, please keep them coming!

    1. Hi Pete. Thank you so much for your kind words. The Peloponnese is so large and diverse that you need to see it over a series of trips. Both Kythira and Elafonissos will still be waiting for you when you come back. As I put in a post the other day – one day I was up in the ski resort near Kalavryta and 2 days later in Nafplio people are sun bathing and swimming in the sea! That’s how diverse the Peloponnese is.

      Greece is very car-centric and you will always be told that you need a car. Kythira is the only island where I’ve needed to hire a car and everything else has been done using public transport. It definitely can be done though the KTEL bus websites can be challenging! 🙂 But that’s what adds to the adventure!

Let me know what you think. ❤

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