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A Journey with Perla

Discover the unknown part of Syros with Nikos Printezis

Nikos Printezis, or just Nikos with Perla. A genuine locale of Syros. A man who was working on the merchant navy has devoted his life in enhancing the summer travel experience of Syros with Perla and constructs ships in the famous shipyards of Syros during the winter. The sole person that gives the opportunity to the travellers to discover the unknown northwest part of Syros. That’s not all; Nikos has an immense love and passion about his island, and he ensures that every single person that grasps the chance to explore that side of Syros with him, will create the most memorable experience ever. Just imagine that we met a British couple from Liverpool that keeps visiting Syros, and Nikos obviously, for the last ten years (!!!). Can you conceive what that actually means? For us, it was just one thing; an authentic travel experience.

 

All started when Lydia, our insider for Syros, told us: “You can’t miss Perla! It is a must if you wish to discover Syros, mysterious Syros!” So she convinced us. I found his phone number, and called him to arrange a special tour with Perla. The most bizzare thing was that we discussed like we were friends for over a decade! From the first moment, Nikos was friendlier that he could ever be with a stranger. We were certain that this was the genuine Greek spirit of “philoxenia”, the love for strangers.

 

On the last day of our reportage, we arranged with Nikos to discover and explore this magnificent, unknown, beautiful, outstanding, and mysterious northwest part of Syros. Nothing, though, would be same without Nikos as he is a true insider, and he knows literally everything about those secret locations. Us along with the lovely British couple from Liverpool hopped in “Perla” at the harbor of Kini and started the exploration with captain Nikos. He would show us all the hidden beaches of northwest Syros, and afterwards we could choose our favorite; isn’t that amazing?

 

 

First stop at Delfini, a sandy beach with turquoise waters that can also be reached via a dirt road. Ideal for those who want to avoid the winds and realx on sun loungers overlooking the endless blue of the Aegean. Continuing towards the bay of Aetos, on the northern side, we found a paradise of utmost serenity. Varvaroussa beach, which has been allegedly named after Barbarossa, the famous pirate, who was hiding behind the rocky elongated islet. Aetos beach, however, was similarly amazing, a natural bay of absolute privacy with crystalline waters. Opposite of Aetos is Nikos’ favorite beach that he baptized as Perla! While enjoying the fresh breeze and the glittering sun from the lovely boat, we discovered Ai Loukas. This beach served as a cemetery for Romans who were residing at Gyaros Island, a land for exiles during the early Roman Empire. What’s really interesting about the northwest part of Syros is that it attracts a lot of foreign travellers interested in geology since the land is full of calcareous rocks and stones with minerals. Sailing on the calm waters of the Aegean, we also discovered Lia beach, a pleasant surprise; Nikos shared with us the story about the farmer’s house that is hidden behind the oleander trees. There’s even a water source next to the house, attesting the rich natural environment of this unknown part of Syros! Lia is an ideal choice for those who wish to enjoy tranquil moments under the shade of the trees and dive in emerald waters.

 

Heading towards Marmari beach, which literally translated into “marble beach”, a spectacular scenery with golden sand and turquoise waters, Nikos unveiled us the best secret of all: on that beach, Nikos organizes impromptu beach parties for travellers interested to experience alternative Syros. Fun fact was that this deep cave on the west side of the beach serves as a natural refrigerator for beverages, drinks and fruits! Upon leaving from the marble beach, we arrived on the star of them all: Grammata (Letters) beach! Once a shelter of sailors, this beach was named after the inscriptions that sailors engraved on the rocks, as they found a shelter for their ships in that bay, sinceit is sheltered from the northern winds. It is a quiet and secluded beach ideal for those who wish to discover the absolute sense of freedom in a place that resembles a paradise on earth.

 

 

At last but not least, we found our favorite, the beach of Gria Spilia, else known as Tou Amerikanou. A lush landscape inspired by the American economist of the United Nations and the American Government, John Pearson, whose vision was to restore the natural beauty of the forest as he describes in his book “Island in Greece”. In 1962, John visited the Aegean for the first time and he was fascinated, but also surprised from the nudity of the landscape. His dream was to create an oasis of greenery on the anhydrous cultivation of the northern part of Syros. In 1964, he returned to Syros along with his son, John the younger, bought an area of 800 acres in Apano Meria and devoted his life in planting trees, to prove that the deserted forests of the Aegean islands can be brought to life.

 

The inhabitants of Apano Meria recognized Yannis, as they called him, a genuine Syrian man who loved this island as the locals do. Yannis showed to the farmers how anhydrous cultivation works by creating grooves on the leeward slopes and planted pine trees. Around of each tree, he drilled a pit so that the trees could keep the rainwater and moisture. Regurarly, he rooted the soil with the necessary trace elements, such as nitrogen. John planted more than 10,000 trees, of which 5,000 have survived! Although the land of Apano Meria is barren, the wind is constant and the rain is rare, the trees managed to thrive. Today, thanks to Yannis, the region of Lethames, a famous shelter of the windswept seafarers, has become a paradise for nature lovers, a favorite destination for locals and travellers. John Peerson died on September 14, 2001 in Massachusets at the age of 95, and, according to his last wish, his ash was scattered in his favorite forest, “Stou Amerikanou”.

 

Undoubtely, the journey with Perla and the exploration with Captain Nikos was the surprise to our journey in Syros, an authentic travel experience like no other. Places always hide stories in the hearts of their local people, so did Syros with Nikos Printezis.

Contact Perla Cruises

Address: Kini, Syros Phone: +30.694.730.8580 Email: contact@syrosadventures.gr

Website: www.syrosadventures.gr