Some years ago we decided to check for vacation houses in Greece. There were so many to choose from. We wanted to spend our time among the Greek and outside the tourist areas. We chose finally Megara, a town some 70 kilometers west from Athens. We had never heard of Megara, which added excitement to our new journey.
With our small budget we managed to find a very nice house with a pool, an olive tree yard and a great view from the top of a hill. I was surprised. We had luck finding such a house. It was a bit above our budget, but after seeing pictures of the place, we just had to book it. The hills outside Megara (population 23 000) are mostly occupied by sheep and goats, so to find a vacation house there, was quite a surprise.
The house was though only available for 9 days. We wanted to stay 14 days in Greece. The owner of the Megara house was very kind and arranged another house for us for the remaining 5 days. It was not actually a house, it was a terraced house, but that did not matter. This second place situated in Kato Alepochori, some 20 kilometers north from Megara. It was actually nice, to get to see two different places. Kato Alepochori is a small, nice town by the Gulf of Corinth.
After landing at the International Airport of Athens, we rented a car and drove towards west. The highway took us almost all the way to Megara. During the drive we saw Athens and the historical sites up on the hills. The sites are lit at night so you can enjoy them also when it is dark. The highway took us via Elefsina and Mandra to Nea Peramos and finally to Megara, which is located very close to the sea. Megara is part of the Attica region, which starts near Athens. After Megara, towards west, the next region starts. It is called Peloponnese and is a peninsula and a geographic region at the same time.
Nea Peramos, which we saw on our way to the house, locates at the bay of Eleftherai (Gulf of Kavala). The blue sea, the beautiful beaches and the fantastic white houses with red roofs are certainly views to enjoy. The area is also well-liked by archaeologists, as many ancient discoveries have been made here. During high-season Nea Peramos attracts many tourists. Otherwise it is a nice, peaceful town.
A DELIGHTFUL SURPRISE
We arrived at our vacation house late in the evening. It was very dark. We had taken the evening flight from Helsinki to Athens. In the darkness we did not see how the house really look liked or how big the yard was.
The next morning we decided to swim before breakfast. What a fabulous surprise it was to see that the house was big, white and beautiful. The design of it was awesome. A big terrace at the top floor and another one next to the swimming area. The pool was large and fabulous, just like the view down the hill.
The yard had about 100 olive trees and many fruit trees and rosebushes. The view was amazing.
The pool area had a nice terrace and patio, with a big dining table, chairs, a huge white sofa with cushions and some nice well chosen decoration. Outside there was a big barbeque.
Almost everything was white and beige. And as the sun was shining brightly, the colours shimmered even more.
We also noticed that the heat from last night had not settled. It was 39°C outside. That is hot for a Finn!
After breakfast we walked in the yard and enjoyed the great views from the terrace and the pool area. The countryside in Greece is awesome, with all the green hills, olive trees, the tractors, the sheep and the sheep dogs.
After visiting a few restaurants in Megara, we decided to drive to the nearby beach village Pachi. It is a small town by the sea. It is renowned for the beautiful sea view and the many great fish restaurants. Local people drive to Pachi often. And many drive an hour to visit this awesome village.
Only 3 000 people live here. It took us just 10 minutes to drive from the house down to Pachi. This is one of the most beautiful places I have seen in the evening and enjoyed dinner at.
You drive into Pachi along its only main road. Best to park the car some hundred meters from the first fish taverns, as the small center of the village fills up with cars of the locals quite quickly after eight in the evening. And you might not reach your car, if you do not know who has parked behind it, beside it and in front of it.
The fish taverns and restaurants are fabulous. We tried the one our house owner had recommended. (I think it was a friend who owned the place). No one else was at this restaurant but we decided to try it anyway. The owner did not speak English, so he took us to the kitchen where we could pick our own fish and sea food. This is excellent service – not experienced back home in Finland.
The dinner was quite good but the price was too high compared to the food and the prices in some nearby restaurants. Next time we ate at another place and the food was excellent. The prices were not very high. We had some tasty grilled fish, big grilled prawns and some squid and cuttlefish with tasty Greek salad (Horiatiki in Greek).
It was quite a thrill to sit at the terrace by the sea, watching small fish swim and dance in the sea, enjoying the magnificent sunset and the different colours in the sky and sun rays glitter on the sea.
It was hot, above 35°C, though it was past nine in the evening. The cool breeze from the sea was welcome.
THE GREEK LANGUAGE
The Greek language is an Indo-European language. I have not studied it. I tried to learn a little before our vacation, but compared to Finnish, Swedish, English, Italian and French, I found the Greek language to bit a bit hard to learn in one month. I learned a little though. Perhaps you might find this helpful on your next visit to Greece:
Kalimera (Good day), Kalispera (Good evening), Poso kani afto (How much does this cost), Kalo (Good), Efharisto (Thank you), Ena trapezi ja dhio (A table for two), Bira (Beer), Horjatiki salata (Greek salad), Metaliko nero (Mineral water) and Aspro krasi (White wine).
Also these you might find helpful: vodhino (beef), hirino (pork), arni (sheep), arnaki ghalaktos (lamb), psari (fish), kavuri (crab), midhia (clam), gharides (shrimp), annguri (cucumber), kremidhia (onion), domata (tomato), portokali (orange), fraula (strawberry) and psomi (bread). Tha ithela na pliroso brings you the bill.
One day I decided to go shopping in Megara. I had seen a Miu Miu store and was sure to find something nice in there. As the store had a summer sale, I knew I might afford a few dresses or shirts. My husband took pictures of the city. One photo was just awesome. It shows you what Greece is. A scooter, an SUV and an old tractor in the same picture, in the city.