Thursday, November 1, 2012

Boat trips around Limnos

Two very prominent figures in the Limnian community are boat trip operators Litsa and her husband George – well known not just for the business that they run, but for their flamboyant personalities and genuine hospitality. For 17 years these two have been taking tourists around the island on their traditional wooden Greek fishing boat "Anemos", and every time we are in Limnos we join them on at least three boat trips. This year it was four.



Known as a "kaiki" (pronounced "ky-i-ki") the art of creating these beautiful boats comes from the heart. They are built from pinewood, the frame constructed from curved carvel planking and finished with decking known as "katastroma". A prominent bow post makes the kaiki stand out from the rest of the Mediterranean working boats. Sometimes the wooden steering arm of the kaiki is carved in the face of an animal. Each kaiki is unique and built from memory, without any plans, simply relying on the boat builder's passion for the sea.



George and Litsa have four trips on offer: West coast cruise, South coast cruise, Sunset cruise and a day trip to the small neighbouring island, Agios Efstratios. We have done them all and we both agree the West coast cruise is the most picturesque and best value-for-money trip they offer. For 35 euros you are taken on a full-day trip along the west coast of the island. It includes a two-hour stop at a secluded beach that's only accessible by boat, an impressive buffet lunch, all the wine you can drink and lots of entertainment from Litsa and George.




George is loud, but Litsa is louder. Together they provide hilarious entertainment for the passengers on board. Litsa screams at George in Greek, telling him how to steer the boat, her voice echoing off all the cliff faces around us, and he would just roll his eyes and give us a look that we all know means "See this crazy woman I have to deal with??" Crazy as she is, Litsa keeps everyone very well entertained and informed – her knowledge of the island, its history and geography, is encyclopaedic.

Below: Tony with Litsa



Some of the most spectacular sites on these boat trips are the vertical cliffs where wild mountain goats cling to 180-degree cliff faces. I'm always fascinated by their skill and bravery to explore these treacherous parts of the island, and try not to think about them not being able to find their way back to higher ground. In her thick Greek accent, Litsa reassures us she sees the goats climbing up and down the cliff faces all the time, "These goats are acrobats!"

If you look closely in the picture below, right in the centre of the photo you will see a lone black goat. How did he get there? But more importantly, how will he get out of there!!





During the stop at the secluded beach George will sometimes go diving for sea urchins, and if you're lucky you might be treated to eating one of these slimy orange blobs, torn straight out of its gnarly body by the rather sadistic George. One time Tony was happy to indulge in this peculiar delicacy, being rather adventurous when it comes to eating strange foods. After swallowing what he described as a slippery bag of salt, he resolved there was no need to try one of those again.

Click here to see a video of our various boat trips, including Tony's wonderful sea urchin eating experience.

The trip to Agios Efstratios is more or less a commuting trip for the residents of the small island to come to Limnos for their weekly shopping needs. Agios Efstratios has only 300 inhabitants. It's a pleasant boat trip if you love the open sea, travelling around three hours each way. The island itself has a couple of tavernas in the port where you can enjoy a leisurely lunch for a few hours before the boat goes back to Limnos.








If you take the south coast tour, you visit the beautiful Thanos beach where the water is shallow and flat and there's music at the beach bars and lots of activity at the peak of the summer season.

The sunset cruise takes you half-way up the west coast, leaving Myrina port a couple of hours before sunset. The sunset viewing location is spectacular – on the horizon is Mount Athos on the Greek mainland and the second-highest mountain in Greece, and behind you is a vast expanse of mineral-rich cliff faces emitting a brilliant golden glow. What a beautiful way to end another wonderful day in Limnos.




Litza and George's boat trips come with the highest recommendations from Tony and I. They run boat trips almost every day of the week during the summer months. Call George on his mobile next time you're in Limnos to book one of these must-do boat trips.

Anemos boat trips, Limnos
Call George: 6945 132 163


8 comments:

Media said...

Hi there!
We are a small team of Limnians in Limnos.
We have made an attempt to promote Limnos abroad.
Our blog is limnoslink.blogspot.com.
Please link us with any Limnians you might know in Australia or worldwide.
Thank you!
The blog supervisor
Natasa

Unknown said...

i cant wait to visit your island, i will be there in 1915 to visit my great uncle who is in east moudros cemetary will be the 100th anniversary of his death, gonna be a special holiday indeed, intend to stay about 12 days and see the who place, looking forward to it.

Unknown said...

sorry meant 2015 he died in 1915

Lisa said...

Hi Bobsie Kent :) That's wonderful you will be visiting Limnos next year. It is a beautiful island and I'm sure it will be a very special day for you when you visit your great uncle's grave.

Themis said...

Any idea when these cruises will start this year? We arrive on 31st May. Thanks

Lisa said...

Hi Themis. The boat trips don't usually start until around mid-June but if you call George on the number in my post (it is a Greek mobile/cell number – best to call it once you're in Limnos) he might be willing to arrange an early sail for you, if there are a few other people interested. Enjoy your trip to Limnos, and I hope you have a chance to experience one of the Anemos boat cruises :)

Alia parker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alia parker said...

Wow, astounding wonderful point by point enterprise! Thank you for sharing your mastery. We are considering taking after portion or all of this experience. family friendly tours

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