It is a dead­set Greek tragedy on one of the coun­try’s most pop­u­lar is­lands

...or it’s still go­ing at dawn: it amounts to the same thing

Life & Style Weekend - - WELCOME // INSIDE TODAY - with Ann Rickard

IS THERE such a thing as an un­spoilt Greek is­land? An is­land not yet over­run by the masses? If you read my moan­ings last week about Psarou Bay on the is­land of Mykonos be­ing over­taken by the su­per wealthy and their yachts and bil­lion­aires who he­li­copter in just to do lunch at the once hum­ble and now fa­mous Nam­mos restau­rant, you will un­der­stand my yearn­ing to find an­other small, yet undis­cov­ered place.

We are re­search­ing, and have found an is­land that is so quiet and en­trenched in the past that it has only one car, a taxi. But

many don­keys. The owner of the taxi is also the owner of the one ho­tel on the is­land. I’m not go­ing to tell you the name in case you are able to get there be­fore us and tell all your mates about it.

So, back to Mykonos where we spent a cou­ple of weeks in our favourite place, Soula Rooms, in our favourite bay, shak­ing our

heads a great deal in quiet de­spair at the hordes of rich peo­ple that now con­verge on this once mod­est and peace­ful place. Even our much-loved and hid­den tav­erna at a re­mote spot on the is­land, a place with no tele­phone, no elec­tric­ity and a no reser­va­tions pol­icy, has been dis­cov­ered by the masses. Where once you could ar­rive at its open­ing time of 1pm and get in, now you must ar­rive at 11am and sit out­side its stone wall in a jum­bled queue and guard your place anx­iously while you wait

for 1pm to see if you will be for­tu­nate enough to get in.

We knew Mykonos was a party is­land, ev­ery­body knows that,

but there were quiet spots away from the town and the noisy beaches. While we like a bit of an oc­ca­sional rage our­selves, de­spite our creaky knees and usual bed­time of 9pm, we do not like par­ties that go on un­til sun­rise, and this was the case for four

con­sec­u­tive nights in Psarou Bay when am­pli­fied mu­sic bounced off the gin-clear wa­ter and the sur­round­ing stark brown

hills. We went in search of other, qui­eter places on Mykonos, and even though they were out of the noise and crowds of Psarou Bay they were also out of our bud­get.

At Nis­saki Ho­tel at Platis Gia­los Beach we found the friendli­est bloke in all of Greece.

“Would you like to see one of our rooms?” he of­fered when we in­quired about rates and avail­abil­ity for next year. Af­ter a brief in­spec­tion and small swoon at the love­li­ness of the white­washed vil­las over­look­ing the blue pool and the clear sea, he asked if we’d like to see the bar. A ques­tion like that al­ways elic­its a re­sound­ing “yes’’ from us, and as we pon­dered the cock­tail list and looked at the deep blue of the pool against the blind­ing white of the vil­las, he went on to

say: “Would you like tow­els, would you like to use the pool?’’ Well, cock­tails and a pool in a swish re­sort we were not even

guests in, could it get any bet­ter? So, we swam, we drank, ate a Greek salad in this en­chant­ing re­sort and loved it so much we went back the next day where we were greeted like much-loved fam­ily mem­bers. “So happy to see you again,” the friendli­est bloke in Greece said to us. “Tow­els? Your usual cock­tail?”

We were re­ceived in the same wel­com­ing man­ner the day af­ter that, and then af­ter that again. “Is there noise un­til sun­rise here?” I asked the friendli­est bloke in Greece. “No, the shut­ters keep the noise out,” he told us, which made us love him even more.

If only we could af­ford a stay in such a place, or per­haps we could check into the near­est cheap board­ing house and visit ev­ery day.

Read more of Ann’s trav­els at www.an­nrickard.com

PHOTO: THINKSTOCK

Des­per­ate to find an es­cape from the masses in Mykonos, Ann Rickard stum­bles across the friendli­est bloke in all of Greece but he comes with a price tag and, be­low, the line-up at the once se­cret tav­erna.

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