Cyclades, a group of over 200 islets scattered in the
Aegean Sea, are popular among modern-day sailors. It’s island
hopping at its best, with large cosmopolitan offerings like Mykonos
and Santorini, as well as
local favourites such as Amorgos or Folegandros, and the small,
secluded bays of the Lesser Cyclades.
It never gets boring thanks to meltemi, the seasonal northern
wind which blows across the region during summer months. They can
strong and unpredictable, forcing crews to change plans and seek
refuge. Nothing beats the excitement of sleeping on a different
island each day. I’m a food photographer, so a large part of that
comes from exploring local flavours.
One day, we anchored in the former pirate bay of Ormos
Despotiko, where we enjoyed a feast of freshly caught sea bass,
tomato fritters and a Greek salad (with homemade feta) followed by
an evening swim in the moonlight. Another, we moored next to a
fishing boat on sleepy Irakleia and bought red mullets from
fishermen’s morning trip, which we then roasted in the galley and
ate with warm pitta bread for a light lunch at sea.
In the charming village of Vathi on Sifnos, we had a sunset
dinner in a taverna with tables laid out on the sand, sharing a
simple sea-urchin salad, red snapper grilled with local herbs and a
divine salad with wild rocket, fresh tomatoes and a delicate
mizithra cheese – a local speciality made from ewes’ milk. We
climbed a hill on rocky Amorgos and enjoyed a spectacular view of
the bay (Luc Besson filmed The Big Blue here) while tucking into a
simple picnic of olives and capers, cheese and hortopitakia – filo
pastry stuffed with wild spinach, spring onion, fennel and
The unpredictability of the meltemi winds and the tapestry of
local flavours are what keep me coming back year upon year.