I have been away to the Lycian Coast this month, and whilst based in Turkey, I took a trip over to Meis, the easternmost Greek Islands. It lies just off the coast of Turkey from Kaş , and I had been recommended to visit by local people where I was staying.
Meis is knows as such by the Turkish, whilst the Greeks call it Kasterllorizo or Megisti. This is the most beautiful little island. The ferry only takes about 20 minutes to get there from Kas, and it is like being transported in a time warp to another place. It also has the smallest duty free I have ever seen:
As the boat approaches the harbour, the main town area comes into sight.
All of the houses are painted the most beautiful colours, like sugared almonds. Inhabitants are not allowed cars, not that there is anywhere to go in them, and there is one taxi who seems to go round the island in circles a lot. I also met a few Australians, with Greek heritage from the island, who are known as ‘Kazzies’, and who have returned to live in this beautiful place. What a homeland to have….
I pottered around and took a lot of photos, many of the houses are being restored by descendants of the original families. Others are just waiting for their turn…
The history of the island is fascinating. It has been occupied over time by Dorian Greeks, the Crusaders, Italians, Ottomans, the French, and since 1947 it was formally assigned to Greece. The remains of the castle stand above the town, and it has both churches and Mosques.
Along the harbour are lots of local Tavernas, where the most delicious fresh seafood awaits you. We settled into one such cafe and the owner gave us an indication of what was on the menu today, (check out the cigarette, health and safety would have a fit in England over that one):
Luckily, we had chosen the very best of all of the Tavernas. As we sat right by the water’s edge we had amazing fresh calamari, fish, salads, wine and more. And then this happened, my new pal came by for a nosy.
This very large sea turtle appeared to have lunch with us and partake in some prawns:
It was magical. Then a baby turtle came along too and there was a bit of a scuffle over some squid.
We then headed off to see the Blue Cave. This is on the other side of the island, only accessible by sea, with huge cliffs overhead. No-one else was there, and our boat driver told us to jump off and swim into this small hole. ‘Hmmm’, I thought, ‘not sure about this one…’. It looked very dark, and the waves were quite choppy. Ignoring thoughts about Sharks and Jellyfish I jumped in.
We then swam through the dark hole into a huge chamber which reflected the light and sea into an intense blue all around us.
It is quite magical, and must be at least 100 feet tall inside. Definitely worth a visit, especially when you have it all to yourself. However, I was very relieved to see the boat was still outside when I exited the cave, as that would have been a long swim back around the island.
Next up was St George Beach, also reached by a small boat, which is a lagoon created by a small island and a rocky outcrop just off the island. This is the clearest and warmest water to swim in, with lots of snorkelling to get busy with. There is a cafe on the tiny island, a tiny old church, and you can hire sun-chairs and totally chill out and admire the views in-between swims.
At 4pm the ferry takes you back over to the Turkish mainland, and I have never seen such a happier band of travellers looking back wistfully as we departed.