The Daily Prompt is Secret but I’m a Scorpio so you won’t be getting any deep and personal secrets from me…. I’m hiding stuff that a crazed torturer wouldn’t get me to reveal……
…….. and I know lots of secret places.
We’ve visited over 40 Greek islands over the last five years of cruising in the Mediterranean, and I have discovered a wonderful secret place on nearly all of them. It might be a secret harbour, where flotilla boats would never come to, or a secret alleyway around the back of an old Greek village. It might be a secret place to stop and look at an amazing view, or a secret house or villa that I’ve found, that I covet and will be mine when I win the lottery…..
Mitikas is one of these secret places in Greece. From the sea, the attractive stretch of colourful houses bordering the L-shaped seafront, with its dramatic mountain backdrop, can be seen from some distance away. Many cruisers on private yachts, charter yachts and flotillas must have sailed past it, but very few call in. Facing the north coast of Kalamos, and 10 miles south of Paleros, the little agricultural town of Mitikas seems relatively unknown, which is why I have nominated it as my ‘secret’ . Mitikas sits in an enviable position in the north Ionian, just a short sail from the other popular stopping places such as Nidri and Sivota on Lefkas, Little Vathi on Meganissi, and Kefalonia further south. Mitikas is also very close to the island of Kastos.
Mitikas is quite unlike most other Ionian towns and harbours we have visited. We describe it as very “Greek” – a very genuine Greek waterfront town. Behind the picturesque waterfront, the rest of the town was rather scruffy in parts. There are no tourist shops here, the small hotels and apartments attract mostly local people, and the hustle and bustle of the more popular Ionian yacht harbours has been left behind.
Mitikas has a charm which is infectious. The attractive narrow main street heads north, lined with many eating and drinking establishments. Many of the tavernas back on to the sea, making a wonderful place to stop for a drink or a bite to eat and admire the glorious sunset over Lefkas Island. There are a few local shops including a bakery, mini market and two pharmacies, and a larger supermarket further out of town.
In the main street, we walked past one tiny open doorway which we thought was someone’s home, with a small table and chairs outside. When we looked more closely, it was actually a tiny shop run by a very old Greek lady – her front room had been turned into an emporium of delights where the open shelves were lined with coloured paper holding bottles and jars of all sorts, and on the floor were piles of fruit boxes and some ancient weighing scales. What a secret to discover!
One of our favourite tavernas in Mitika is the Pharos, situated right on the corner where the two sides of the waterfront meet, offering spectacular views towards Kalamos. The working lighthouse, after which the taverna is named, is an actual feature of the attractive outside seating area, although it is more of a light structure rather than a building. The Pharos is owned and run by Yiannis and his family, who are most hospitable and provide delicious, home cooked food. Yiannis came and sat at our table at the end of our meal, and he was interested to hear that we had sailed our yacht Fandancer from UK to Greece. He told us that he used to be a captain of very large tankers, working all over the world, but now he was content with his fishing boat, which we found out was the same length as our 11 metre yacht. He recommended we visit the nearby uninhabited island of Atoko and anchor in One House Bay for a swim.
We enjoyed our two-day stay in Mitikas – we must have sailed past it about a dozen times in previous years on our way to and from other harbours and anchorages, but we had missed this hidden secret. The following day when we left Mitika in our yacht, we took the opportunity to swim in One House Bay as recommended by Yiannis. The crystal clear water, pebbly foreshore and high cliffs behind, made a very picturesque and peaceful lunch stop.