I was just having the best cup of tea of the day (the first one), and idly scrolling through Fakebook while waking up, when I came across a post which demanded a contribution. It was in a group about Greece, and, it seems, mainly populated by people who come to Greece on holiday once or twice a year and therefore know everything about the country. An innocent had wandered in to make a statement and ask for advice, and… well, talk about the slaughter of the lambs.
The enquirer had stated they were going island hopping in Greece in November and asked if anyone could recommend islands to visit between which they could travel. A simple enough enquiry you’d have thought, but oh no. The reactions and replies can be distilled into, ‘Are you mad? What do you want to go to the islands for in winter? You will find yourself stranded, marooned on a rock for weeks on end. You will have to eat your own toes because everything will be shut. The islands are the barren wilds of Hades at that time of year. No-one goes out. There’s nothing to do. Don’t do it!’
Of course, I had to put in my few cents worth and counterbalance the nonsense. I pointed out that on our relatively small island, in our village alone, we have two eateries and five bars open all year round. I could have pointed out the number of supermarkets and other facilities too, but my tea was getting cold. I did say, however, that the innocent should book accommodation in advance, and I suggested looking at the Blue Star Ferries routes to see what islands the main ferries connected to on what days. For example: If one had the time, the journey could start in Rhodes, then a weekend on Symi, the Monday boat could take them to Kos for a few days, and then on to Patmos, or others, and all the way up to Piraeus. It would work in the Dodecanese, and I assume the same can be done in other island chains.
Yes, there are downsides. Today’s photos show the weather of last November, but it’s not untypical, though an independent traveller should be prepared for weather delays and rain. However, life goes on, even without Mr and Mrs Armitage-Shanks who come to their island every year and have done so 27 times now (in September because of the climate, and George has a hip). You know, the thing about the Greek island in the winter is people live here. What do these FB nonsense non-knowers think we do in the winter? Lock ourselves away in our cave dwellings counting the days until the local taverna owner says it’s time we can come out to play?
Apart from that kind of thing (eating out and going for a drink), there is plenty to do what with name day occasions at the churches (everyone welcome), festivals, walks, exploration, and the annual stranded tourist toe-eating competition.
I hope my sharing of a little insider information turns out to be of use to the innocent who walked into the lion’s den, and I also hope that those who replied from the viewpoint of someone living on an island and basically said, ‘Don’t come, you will die’ find places to live where they can be happier in life. Want to come to the Greek islands in November? Then do some research (not in that group, though), be prepared for changeable weather, and go for it. You can’t have an adventure without being adventurous.