Maybe these two words are enough to describe what one experiences, not only the first time one touches the sand of Gavdos but every time.
The small island is revealed to you slowly – you need to open all your senses and hungrily swallow the tastes of the salt, the dusk, the colours, the originality of every image.
The ancient mistress of Gavdos, Nymph Calypso, kept Odysseus in her beautiful island.The discription of the place in the ancient text tis impressive:
«…around the cave there was a thick forest with fragnant cypresses and alders
birds with their wings stretched or perched on the branches
hawks, owls, and carrion crows
that had spent their day at the sea
And in front of the deep cave there was
a young and fruitful vine arbour, full of grapes
Four springs in line
flowed one beside the other
but each of them give its clear water again elsewhere
On both sides soft fields
with’ wild violets and wild selleries…»
Homer’s Odyssey, rhapsody ε, vers.72 – 82
In Gavdos you have to walk, swim, explore each bay in a boat, see the sun set at Pyrgos and the full moon emerging from the sea at Korfo. You have to plunge into the waters early in the morning and indulge in it, as if the sea were the mos sensual woman. It may become your only, eternal love.
And if you still wonder afterwards why it causes you these feelings, the answer is that this place is the personification of our lost innocence, of the genuineness that we miss in the frantic modern lifestyle.
What makes the visitor feel the difference of this place is not just the colours of the sea, the smells of the herbs, the cedars and the salt· it is the combination of the human creations with the natural environment. Dozens of country church are examples of this combination. Most of them are built with construction materials from ancient temples directly over the same sacred places. Sometimes they are built on green-clad slopes or on dry rocks that face the sea.
A magical place is Ambelos (the vine). Its name indicates the products for which Gavdos was once famous. Today the former terraced vineyards are deserted and remind of the people that once lived and worked there. The renovated lighthouse stands there, which functioned until 1941, when it was destroyed by German bombers. It is said to be one of’ the lighthouses built on very high points in relation to the sea level.
The Sarakiniko offers a fantastic view to the most amazing blue and to the proud summit of the Lefka Ori. Once you could feel the soil of the place in the shade of the cedars. Even today, even if the cedars have been drastically reduced, the magic can still be felt. Walking towards the beach of Ai-Giannis, maybe one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, you will feel ecstatic as you see the unique forest by the sea, the overgrown dunes and the golden sand.
The path leads from there to the area of Lavraks, a small bay with its own special serenity. We continue to Pyrgos where the fishing boats anchor and the sun has its brightest colours, as it plunges into the waters of the Libyan sea. The bravest one will continue to Potamos. The path here has some difficult passages and requires experience and attention. At the end you reach a fantastic bay. All the routes require time and an appetite for walking. Fortunately most destinations are accessible only on foot. Equip yourself with adequate water, hats, sun lotion, and good shoes.
Enjoy the routes!
- Route Difficulty: Very Easy
- Visit Period: May-October