Home > Europe, Greece > MOVE OVER CAPRI—GREECE HAS BLUE CAVES TOO!

MOVE OVER CAPRI—GREECE HAS BLUE CAVES TOO!

We visited the Blue Grotto of Capri on our honeymoon—“luna di miele” as the Italians say and were quite impressed.  Picture tiny rowboats, with people packed like sardines lying on one another to stay below the gunnels as we entered the grotto, and then the soulful sound of the rowers singing opera inside the dark cave with light streaming through the small opening and illuminating the water iridescent blue to complete the magic.  OK, so the Blue Grotto is amazing, and we can’t recapture being there on our luna di miele, but we experienced some similar Greek magic recently on the islands of Milos and Zakinthos.

Milos is located in the southern Cyclades and was our jumping off point to cross to the Peloponnese.  We had heard wonderful things about the island, but not that is was famous for amazing rock formations, caves and beaches that lined its south shore.

We thought this should be called the Easter Bunny Rock

Kalamaria Pt. separates Milou Bay from the Aegean

We moored in the main harbor of Adhamas and decided to play “tourist” and take a day trip to the south shore on the Delfini express (www.milostour.gr) since the boat was fast, had lots of shade and most importantly was “dog friendly” so Jolie could accompany us.

Destiny stays at the quay as we leave on Delfini Expres

Sometimes a “guided” tour is a pleasant change of pace and the Delfini Express was great fun.  We brought a lunch, beer and wine and were ready for an adventure.

Kent called this a "busman's holiday"

The boat cruised along the coast pausing at several spots for “photo ops”. 

The limestone is dramatic. . .

and as we pass by a cave opens like a clam shell to reveal a boat anchored inside.

One of many caves we pass along the way. . .

before we approach Kleftiko where we will anchor for lunch and snorkeling.

The rock formations were impressive, the water crystal clear and pale aqua given its sandy bottom. 

The rock formations towered over the boat as we anchored.

We came equipped with snorkel equipment and left Jolie on board with new friends she had made while we explored the caves.

Jolie had plenty of company while we snorkeled.

You can't snorkel in the Blue Grotto of Capri, but here. . .

you could explore the caves. . .

or sunbath on a limestone "beach".

The anchorage is very popular this time of year and became quite crowded before the afternoon was over.

There were boats of every size. . .

and description in the anchorage.

Small pumice-like particles were floating on the water as we snorkeled–it looked like styrofoam.  One sailboat anchored under a limestone canopy had particulate swirling around it in a nearly perfect circle.

Limestone forms a swirl in the water

Limestone swirling in a circle looks like it could swallow the sailboat.

On the way back we saw numerous other day trip boats heading back to Adhamas, packed to the gills with people.

This group was having fun in the sun on the way back to port.

Barely two weeks later as we headed north to Corfu, we made a return visit to Zakinthos and its Blue Caves which are reputed to rival the Blue Grotto of Capri.  I have to say that “nothing” rivals the Blue Grotto in Capri, but the Blue Caves of Zakinthos are impressive none the less and accessible by dinghy from the nearby vacation village of Nikolaos. 

We planned our arrival in Nikolaos for late morning so we could visit the Blue Caves by dinghy while the seas will still flat.  Our prior visit to the Blue Caves had been in early May, 2010, and Destiny was the only private boat in the harbor. 

In August the harbor was chock-a-block full of boats, including many charter boats but arriving early in the day we found a spot moored stern to at the quay and promptly took off in the dinghy to explore the caves.

Dramatic cliffs and. . .

rocky shoreline define the coast.

The “caves” are more rock formations with beautiful clear water, but in the dinghy we could travel through the openings getting a more up close view than the large tripper boats who cruised by.

A majestic schooner sits alongside the caves. . .

as tour boats compete with rental boats for a view

With so many people on one side of the boat to see the view, some of the boats listed significantly.  Some of the smaller day trip boats could go through the openings and nudge into some of the large caves, but the dinghy gave us great flexibility.

Small boat goes through while large boat watches

We were able to pass through several times in the dinghy–couldn’t get enough!

Starting through the openings. . .

the color of the water gets more intense. . .

but once inside the darkness frames the next opening. . .

with sunlight sparkling the water before the next.

We found one cave this time that we missed on our last visit that truly was grotto-like, though much smaller than in Capri.  We could just enter the cave sitting up in the dinghy and once inside the ceiling and walls rose dramatically around us. 

Looking into grotto like cave is dark and scary. . . but once inside the light illuminates the water. . .

in an irridescent blue just like the Blue Grotto.

Its hard to capture the experience in photos, and Kent doesn’t sing opera, but the pictures give a sense of the awesome beauty of the place.

We have returned to Capri once since our honeymoon, this time on Destiny, but unfortunately the seas were rough and access to the Blue Grotto was impossible.  We hope to be back there later this fall and will try once again to revisit it.

In the meantime, we have lovely memories of Greece and its Blue Caves to tide us over.

Jolie was sad that she didn't go on this trip

But she didn’t go on the honeymoon either.

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  1. Shari Burdett
    August 6th, 2011 at 18:08 | #1

    Hi Carol, I see you are having a great time. Yes, I am still keeping up with your adventures. I love the cave pictures, they are beautiful.

    Enjoy,
    Shari

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