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A journey into a dream world on the Oianthi

Or, to put it another way, how to fit an entire summer into one moment.

  I don’t know anyone who hasn’t dreamed of summer in Greece. Anyone who hasn’t yearned to get there. Anyone who, after it’s all over, hasn’t longed to return. Maybe it’s because Greece conceals inside itself a piece of our lost childhood. A piece of that bygone carefree age when we had endless free time and our worries were practically non-existent. A time when we could hear the sea in a shell and sandcastles seemed to stand impregnable in the face of successive waves. A miniature paradise within us which has been all but forgotten over the years, the path that led to it now faded, disappeared.

  I searched for that path for years. I wanted to go back. Back to those childhood summers with deep blue seas and colourful masks, amazing music and unbelievable tastes on the beach. Summers full of friends, of light, full of moments so unique that they held within themselves the essence of an entire season. And I found it in Aigio. On a trip out to sea on the Oianthi.

  The Oianthi is one of the most beautiful boats I have ever travelled on. I was on the Oianthi when I went on one of most beautiful trips I've ever done. My ultimate destination was that lost paradise I just told you about.

  Built in Galaxidi in 1967, the Oianthi was initially a merchant vessel and later became a passenger boat. It carries visitors and locals from the surrounding area on a truly magic one-day voyage to some of the most beautiful spots in the Corinthian Gulf (such as picturesque Trizonia and the stunning privately owned island of Ai Yiannis). The trip takes you to virgin beaches with crystal clear waters and beautiful deserted islands, ideal for modern-day Swiss family Robinsons to explore.

  Like us! We set out at 10 in the morning, a group of 15 people on board with a cup of coffee and a light north wind to wake us up and clear our minds of the worries of the preceding week. And as we headed out into open sea, we felt that amazing sense of time expanding. Of something filling your senses so much that time seems to slow down.

  On the private island of Ai Yiannis, where the Oianthi makes its longest stop, Captain Alexandros, puts on his mask and, while the other travellers are enjoying the crystal clear waters of the island, dives down to the seabed and surfaces with some marvellous seafood delicacies which he will prepare later for everyone on board. As the day goes by, with music, singing, laughter, you realise that you are experiencing something so unusual, so totally unique that you are sure to remember it for a very long time to come. Back to your childhood. And how sweet it is.

  As we reached Trizonia, things turned a little cloudy, changing the summery scene. But all it took was the smiling faces of the locals, a chocolate ice lolly at the little harbour on the island and a quick paddle as we gazed up at the sky and the bad spell was soon broken. Summer, which had momentarily been lost, was back. We walked around the island, swam in the sea and gained something from the peaceful life of the locals, who taught us that though they seemed to have so little they actually had so much.

  The Oianthi returns at sunset. It lands for a final stop alongside a golden beach where you can enjoy a Coffee Viennois as you bob up and down on the sea and take your final swim for the day. And when you reach the beach you set out from, something inside you has changed. You do not know what. But you can feel it. A feeling that you've lived an entire summer in one instant. And it is so wonderful how one instant
can last forever.

Article by Oianthi Cruises