Definitely a highlight of our week was the incredible experience of a traditional Aegina Island Greek family feast. Niki had arranged for us to a fairwell dinner with a local family. We sampled many a traditional Greek food – Greek salad of course, stuffed vine leaves, spinach and feta in filo, and fresh goat, prepared by Papa Sortiri on the spit. Tonight I became a “flexitarian”. As a pescatarian most of the time, I could not NOT taste some goat meat prepared in this traditional way. I was amazed at how many people kept appearing through the gate! I think there were 30 or more family and friends who joined us that evening. The Zorba music and dancing and even plate smashing was something else. Yep. Zorba dancing and plate smashing really happens at family feasts! The warm welcome, the love and the generosity of this family for each other and for us was heart warming. There are many stressors and pressures of life for many of the people here, but on this evening, the only thing that mattered was being together and connecting and having fun. The tears of joy from our host, Maria and her love and passion for us all are not something you get in any ordinary restaurant – that is for sure.

There are many many islands to choose to visit in Greece. They are all unique and beautiful.
Aegina for me is special because it is not bustling with boatloads and busloads of foreign tourists, and yet has all the things we look for in a Greek Island holiday – the sunsets, the walks along yacht-filled harbours, choices of restaurants and cafes all serving hearty local fare. In Aegina there is the somewhat haunting vibe of a once-rich and bustling community that has now become a quiet get-away serving the local Greek families who come for respite from the heat and hustle of their lives on the mainland. This makes for a unique and extra-special experience. It’s local families who have lived here for centuries that make this somehow special. The absence of lots of foreign tourists definitely changes the vibe here compared to other Greek Islands like Santorini and Crete.

Thankyou Niki for taking such good care of us and giving us just the right mix of culture, of sightseeing, of history, and the extra special treat of taking us into a family home for a traditional Greek feast experience. You also created space for us to explore on our own and take that much needed “me-time” to enjoy the fishing village and absorb our surrounds. Where to next?

Lia Zalums 2019

“The tears of joy from our host, Maria…were not something you would get in any ordinary restaurant – that is for sure.”

Having never been to Greece before, going to Aegina was a great introduction. It was our last leg of a huge trip and we were needing somewhere to relax and unwind before heading back home.

We were relieved when Niki was able to organize our accommodation which was nestled in a quiet yet handy location but allowed us the luxury to escape and meander the hours away if we wished. And if we felt like a swim, our hotel was meters away from the Saronic Gulf where we could cool down after a hot day.

What we enjoyed about our time in Aegina was discovering a simplicity of a quieter slower pace of a holiday leg on an island where we would not have perhaps discovered on our own. One of the highlights was the farewell dinner with a local family where a feast was organized, music to dance to and welcoming that brought me closer to the hospitality of the people than I could have ever imagined. These are the experiences you can’t find on a travel brochure and these are the memories that will stay with us forever. Thank you Niki for showing us first hand a beautiful part of Greece and it’s people that brought us closer to it’s authentic nature and it’s hospitality and beauty.

John McWhorter – 2019

These are the experiences you can’t find on a travel brochure and these are the memories that will stay with us forever.

John McWhorter

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