Monday, February 3, 2014

A Hidden Gem

Alonaki Beach:

There are so many beautiful beaches hidden between the mountains and cut within the rocky cliffs of the Epirus coastline along the Ionian Sea.  Before we had a car in Greece, we were limited to those we could get to by bus.  But once we were able to drive around and discover some of these hidden beauties, we found places where we would be the only two people on the beach for hours at a time.  Granted we had to hike down mountains after having parked the car on the road above, but it was well worth it.

The problem was that we were very ordinary Epirotians, so like us, most people returning to that area for summer vacation were beginning to bring cars and, like us, they were looking for those hidden undiscovered beaches.  But we were still able to find some beautiful secluded places, those areas only the locals knew about.  Or places so difficult to bring electricity and water to, no one had built it up with cafes and hotels yet.

Alonaki Beach is still like that.  It's well known and it can get crowded at times but it seems to be one of those areas that may not have access to water and electricity for a long time -- if ever.  What I love most about it besides the spectacular view and geographical formations that make snorkeling really fantastic, besides the warm water temperatures and the giant boulder to swim out to and jump off of,  besides the protective alcove shape that keeps it as calm as glass, I love the little cafe that someone set up.  It reminds me of the old days before the onslaught of tourists. Here is a little video to show you what I mean.  Look at the steps and the railings.  (My apologies for the quality of the video.  It was made before I learned to hold my phone horizontally for videos.)

The proprietor sells coffee, ouzo and soft drinks from a small trailer (the size of an ice cream or hot dog truck in the U.S.) and his "cafe" area is made up of 3-4 tables with the surroundings created from the nature found there.  Look at the palm leaf "umbrellas."

If you're unable to get there just yet, here is the next best thing!  

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