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Relax on a Meganissi holiday

- by Liz Waugh

Relax on a Meganissi holiday.

Some Greek islands simply ooze charm from first sight and Meganissi must rank among the best of them. First sights from the holiday ferry from the nearby Greek island of Lefkas are pine smothered hills rolling down to the shore. Visitors on Greek island holidays to Meganissi often repeat the mantra – a step back in time – as the ferry slips along the deeply indented bay to the tiny port at Spilia.

Spilia provides safe mooring for several fishing boats, sited as it is in the folds of a long inlet, protected both east and west by rolling wooded hills.

Waterside tavernas line the shore while the hilltop village of Sparochori perches high above like an eagle's nest.

Spartohori is a maze of narrow lanes and squeezed alleyways that carve out the jigsaw shapes of whitewashed houses and courtyards foaming with flower.

A handful of domed chapels have snatched the best sea views but there is still so much breathtaking scenery to enjoy it's hard to begrudge them.

Spillia may be the first port of all but the Meganissi ferry soon leaves for the main port of Vathi just around the headland in another deep inlet.

It's a repeat of Spilia but with a few more tavernas, some shops and a marked lack of activity. The island bus – yes a bus – usualy meets the ferry and takes visitors off to the island captail of Katomeri.

Famously friendly Katomeri villagers greet you with a welcome as sunny as the sky. If you thought Spatochori and Vathi were slow-paced, Katomeri will make them seem like busy beehives.

Here, time really does seem to stand still. Meganissi is an island to ditch the laptop and mobile, to ease up on yourself and let the warm wind blow away the fretful fog of modern life.

This miniature Greek island is only 20 square kilometres but it seems bigger. the jigsaw coastline is deeply riven with numerous bays to explore and caves to snorkel around.

A recently built road now skirts the coast, making many pebble coves more accessible. However, the most secluded ones can still only be reached by boat and there are plenty of these to hire.

Inland is best enjoyed on foot. Paths and tracks snake across the island between the olive and citrus groves. The smell of pines mingles with marjoram and wild oregano and, wherever you are, the sea views seem spectacular.

Meganissi is is certainly the ideal location for a relaxing holiday away from modern world