What I love about Meganissi
A taste of island life from Rebecca Telford, our Simpson Travel representative
“Imagine moving the contents of a two-bedroom apartment from one Greek Island to another in boxes on a ferry. It took a while! But in December 2010, that was what I was doing. It was the start of my new life on Meganissi. Fortunately, the island has a very calming effect – almost strangely so for some visitors who are totally transformed by it – and as I integrated myself more fully into the community and got better at the language, I realised how warm and friendly the locals were. The Greek hospitality is something everyone notices. They remember people’s faces. That first winter, I watched TV boxset after TV boxset and went for walks. I’m from the Lake District where there’s also lots of water and mountains as on Meganissi, but here during the winter, nothing goes brown. It stays green. I still love walking, taking my two dogs with me and enjoying the clean air.
I started off managing the Vathy Bay marina (Odyseas Marina) occasionally meeting the celebrities who arrived by helicopter. The rich and famous like it here as there’s no paparazzi, so they can be themselves. I started working for Simpson Travel in 2014, and it’s been great being able to share my knowledge of the island with guests. It helps them create the kind of experiences they’ll always remember – and often come back year after year to relive.
PEACEFUL MORNINGS AND LONG LUNCHES
I now live above the office and, in the mornings, go down to get the courtyard ready, listening to the clinking of the boat masts. In a country that loves its siestas, there’s also time to sit on the beach with no one else around or enjoy a coffee by the harbour.
MY FAVOURITE BEACHES…
Because I can’t pick just one! There’s Agrilia on the west coast, which has sand further out and it’s like a swimming pool with an array of different fish. Then there’s Loutrolimni, a very wide, quiet beach best reached by boat, although you can also park nearby and walk. You’re likely to see just a few of the locals enjoying that one. On the other side of the Fanari Cape, you’ll find Korokofolia. If you don’t mind a few naked Italians, the views over to mainland Greece and Kalamos Island are stunning and if you can get up early (or stay up late enough!), it’s a wonderful spot to see the sun rise.
It’s about as far from city living as you can imagine here, but I love the island hospitality that is such a signature of the villages and the fact that they are still very traditional and largely untouched by tourism, even Katomeri, the island’s ‘capital’. On a hillside and with about 500 people living there in stone cottages, it’s as close to a city as you’re going to get!
I have to confess that before I moved here, the only fish I ate was tinned tuna, but I’m now a complete convert. With fishing boats going out every day and coming back surrounded by seagulls, the fresh fish and seafood is fantastic. I love Greek cuisine in general and make it myself all the time – and I’ve got everyone back in England cooking it too. I haven’t made a moussaka yet, so that’s next on my list.
YOU NEVER KNOW WHERE LIFE WILL TAKE YOU
I did a degree in computer animation, but now, when I’m not dedicating my time to Simpson Travel’s guests and making sure they have everything they need, that creativity is being channelled into photography and, in conjunction with the Business Club of Meganissi, the video about the island that you’ll see on the ferry coming over. We update it every month as a way of supporting and promoting local businesses and Meganissi itself and it’s really brought people together.”
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