Lisa from Mr Pretty’s Pictures is taking us on an incredible adventure sea kayaking in Greecearound the Cyclade Islands:
Sea Kayaking In Greece
by Lisa Ruschioni
We had been in Naxos, one of the Cyclade Islands of Greece – the most famous of which include Santorini and Mykonos – for only a few hours when we met our guide for the week. He was going to take my husband and I, along with the other traveller joining our expedition, on a quick kayaking run to judge our skills. This is when I learned that strength training, running, and a general history of athleticism doesn’t necessarily translate on the rocky ocean.
Flashback to a few months prior when my husband and I decided to take our dream trip to Greece. We’re not the type to visit the usual touristy spots and wanted to find something to balance out the trip and make it unique and memorable. After a bit of research, I discovered Santorini Sea Kayak and read about their Little Cyclades, self-catered expedition where you kayak to and around some of the smaller, more remote islands in this region. This seemed like one of the coolest things we could possibly do – we both love the ocean, swimming and camping – so we signed up.
I had sea kayaked a few times previous to this trip, but in no way was I prepared for the choppy water or long days ahead. But because I’m competitive, I forged ahead, not wanting the experienced, solo female kayaker who had joined us to show me up. Our guide, Manolis Loudaros was absolutely incredible – patient, funny, and truly in love with the Greek Islands. We couldn’t have asked for anyone better to take us on this once in a lifetime adventure.
Starting from Kalanto beach on Naxos, we spent the next five days battling wind and currents and paddled to Ano Koufonisi, Paros, Schinousa, Iraklia. During the day, we’d set up on a tiny inlet and prepare a picnic lunch of cheese, bread, fruit and vegetables we’d purchased at the market prior to leaving Naxos. At night, we’d set up our tents on tiny, remote beaches, and hike to dinner at a local taverna. Some of the best meals of my life were eaten on this trip – not only was the food amazing to begin with, but after you’ve spent the day sea kayaking, you’ve certainly built up an appetite.
After our final night on Iraklia, where we had the luxury of a hotel (and a shower), the four of us took a ferry back to Naxos. My body was exhausted, bug bitten, and slightly sunburned – but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. We challenged ourselves on this trip and made the most incredible memories (and friends) along the way.
The rest of our trip was spent having a typical vacation in Greece: wine tasting, sightseeing, and fine dining – as well as one stand out night when my now husband proposed to me at sunset in Santorini. It was truly a magical two weeks that we’ll never forget!
About Lisa (In Her Own Words)
Lisa Ruschioni is a photographer who currently resides in Los Angeles with her husband, two, somewhat jerky cats and much jerkier dog. An avid traveler, wine/cheese/chocolate enthusiast and fan of all things adventurous, she merges her love for both the outdoors and portraiture as much as possible. She’s lost a toenail while climbing Half Dome in Yosemite, lost her voice while screaming on both the longest and highest ziplines in Costa Rica, lost her favorite sandals in the ocean in Australia, and lost her mind while taking in the incredible beauty to be found in Iceland and the Swiss Alps. Her work can be viewed at www.misterprettypictures.com.
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