Greece Part 2 (June & July 2020)

 

This is our second Greece blogpost. You can read the first one here.

 

After we crossed back from Peloponnes to the main land of Greece again we first spent two wonderful days at a beach near Kato Basilike. There it was the first time that we met other foreign travelers in a motorhome who had also spent the lockdown in Greece. It felt really good to talk to someone and we had very nice conversations in these two days – of course outside 😉

beach near Kato Basilike where we spent the first night with other travelers since the lockdown

We left the seaside and headed inland. We found several lovely overnight spots very close to rivers and as temperatures were high we enjoyed the possibilities to have a refreshing swim. We did a couple of small hikes in the early morning but because of the heat we could not motivate us to do more.

Glowworms at our favorite overnight spot in Greece

Near Parga we reached the sea again and found a wonderful overnight spot underneath huge olive trees which provided us shade throughout the day. We spent 4 nights there and explored the area in the morning. By noon we went back to “our” olive trees to cool down again:-) 

our overnight spot and heat escape for four days and nights next to the sea 🙂
Parga

Back in the mountains we stopped at Souli Mills just for lunch. As it turned out “just for lunch” would turn into a 4 day stay there 🙂 The river was beautiful and cold and we met another very nice traveling couple. We had very nice conversations with them about travelling, living in a motorhome and of course about wonderful places in Greece – we could benefit from the fact that they spend at least half of the year in Greece.

an old mill ruin

When we continued towards Vikos canyon we made a necessary but awful stop in Ioannina – awful because it had 36 degrees. We desperately needed to fill up our food supplies and luckily we found a spare part for our van at the junk yard.

We had some very nice days near Vikos canyon and did some small sunrise or sunset hikes. We were not up for more because even in the mountains it was super hot. As you might have guessed by now high summer is not our ideal time to be in Greece but with Corona we had to adapt to the situation… 

The canyon and the surrounding landscape are very impressive. We liked the viewpoint “Beloi” with its majestic view over the canyon the most.

sunset at Vikos canyon
in the summer heat we were always looking for lakes and rivers to cool down

We continued further northeast along the Albanien and later the North Macedonian border. We liked the fact that this area is really sparsely populated and very untouristic. We stopped for one night at the Prespa lakes and spotted lots of Pelicans there. But at twilight we were annoyed by about 4 Million mosquitoes (rough estimation) so we did not want to stay longer.

Pelicans at Prespa lakes

At this point we were both ready for an overnight spot where we would feel comfortable to stay for several nights and think about our future travel plans. We found a suitable looking place about 100 km further east close to Notia. Luckily this place turned out to perfect for us – it was a couple of kilometers away from the village, there was shade to park the van in, natural running water and even a possibility to refresh in the river in a small pool.

shade was criteria No 1 for an overnight spot

After 4 days of relaxing, researching, organization, photo sorting and processing it was time for us to move on. After almost 5 months in beautiful Greece we continued to our next country – Bulgaria.

 

NOTES & ANECDOTES

 

there must be at least ten thousand chapels in Greece. At least 5000 of them are called “Prophet Ilias”.

For indicating an upcoming descent or ascent of a road it seems like they only have one road sign saying “10%” no matter what the actual inclination is

for us, Greece is the country of Pickups and red cars

They are crazy about their iced coffees. They even have “Coffee to go delivery” by motorbike.

Greece must be the main producer of European honey 😉 we have never seen so many beehives

in the mountains there are often wonderful smells around us: thyme, mint, sage, rosemary, lavender, oregano

Traveling the world by car means that when you are walking or cycling and you see a washer (German: Unterlegscheibe) or nut or screw that you may need, you stop or turn around and pick it up.

irony is when the door lock of the car breaks while you are at the mechanic (oil change). Although we have to add that the mechanic neither had anything to do with it nor had a benefit of it.

once again we are very happy about our small and narrow car – the roads through small mountain towns often were extremely winding and narrow

 

NUMBERS for our entire stay in Greece

 

we stayed almost 5 months in Greece

we wild camped 79 nights and stayed in an AirBnB 64 nights – of which 58 were during lockdown

average diesel price was 1,27€ before Corona and 1,04€ after the Corona price-drop

we spent 11,50 Euro per person per day. Excluding fixed costs like car insurance + taxes and travel health insurance.

we went to a mechanic 2 times. Once to fix our glow plugs and once to get our oil changed.

road condition: ranging from 5 to 8 (out of 10 points); from good tarmac to rather bad roads

driving style / manners: respectful, friendly driving and mild overtaking.