The small uninhabited island of Psira, off the coast at Tholos (below Kavousi on the Agios Nikolaos – Sitiea road), tantalises those who look at it from afar. I visited the Minoan remains on the island last year via The Ferryman, a new service set up by experienced passenger boat operator, Manolis. A friend recently said if we ever went again then she’d be interested in coming along. Well, that was the only prompt I needed…
Saturday 30th July, 2016 found our group of ten waiting under these shady trees ready to set off at 10.30 a.m. I’ll admit to slight ill ease, there was no boat.
Thankfully, just as it neared 10.30 a.m. The Ferryman headed towards us. Manolis had already picked up passengers at 7.30 a.m. for a ride to another destination where a remote church, dedicated to John the Baptist, was having a feast day.
The picture above and the two below are taken from Ferryman Boat Facebook page:
The ‘Church’ is a tiny cave in a steep hillside
After the service, the congregation took time to swim and enjoy a breakfast feast.
Meanwhile… we were all aboard for our trip to Psira.
Manolis enjoying the ride along with the rest of us.
Oh, so who is steering?
My husband, Alan never misses a chance to drive a boat!
Disembarkation on Psira, photo thanks to one our group, Paul Abernethy.
Note: The landing stage, paths and beach are very rocky, sensible footwear and beach shoes for swimming will make your trip more enjoyable as will a picnic, water and sun protection.
Once on the island, archaeologist, Sarah and Naturalist, Steve walked with eyes down. Within moments Sarah had found a fragment of Minoan pottery that we had all walked past. While most of us trooped down the grand Minoan staircase to the beach Sarah explored the Minoan site, and then gave some of us the benefit of her insight. I’ve remembered a few interesting points to ‘impress’ friends on future visits. Meanwhile, if you’d like to know more about Sarah’s impression of the Minoan site I recommend a visit to her blog Dr Dud’s Dicta.
So, now we should head back to Tholos, right? Oh no, this is Crete where adventures happen if you let them. Manolis asked if we were in a hurry to get back. If not we could go to the hidden beach to pick up the worshipers he’d dropped there in the morning.
The sea was running fast and high, and every time folk got a soaking Manolis blamed the trainee captain, Alan. Not that we minded, we were drinking raki (potent, colourless spirit distilled from wine making leftovers) and eating fish left for us as a gift by those traveling to the morning service. Fortunately, when the channel took us between narrow and sharp rocks Manolis took the helm again.
Safely delivered to the hidden beach most people took the opportunity for another swim. Not Sarah and I, we climbed to visit the tiny, cave church. By the time we descended, our fellow voyagers had joined those still eating, drinking and chatting under the shade of a tree. As I accepted raki, holy bread and delicious ‘left overs’ I realised these generous early morning revelers were in no mood for a hurried departure.
Later, as we bounced and bucked over huge waves with our additional passengers, a voice sang out over the intercom, swiftly followed by another. Greek karaoke!
I cant promise the added ‘extra’ we enjoyed, but I heartily recommend a trip with Manolis. You’ll be surprised how reasonable his prices are, and he’ll work an itinerary around the preferences of your group.
If you’d like more information about Psira, click here.
To book a trip with Manolis, I suggest you contact him via his Facebook page, click here.