It is still under research what makes the lentils of Englouvi so special, with full taste and valuable nutritious elements. Probably it is the place, the climate, the endless care of the cultivators, who deny using chemicals and herbicides, as well as the soil composition, rich in limestone and potassium.
Don’t miss the chance to try a plate of lentils; it might change for ever your idea of pulses!
You can taste lentils at the taverns of Karya and Englouvi, but you’d better ask in the morning, so that they’ll have them ready for you by lunch time.
Even better you can buy a small portion of lentils and cook it by your-self! Locals insist that it is so tasteful, that you shouldn’t add anything but garlic, fresh oregano and olive oil. Yet, I am tempted to add a bit of fresh tomato.
Here’s how I cook them:
500 gr. lentils
2 big tomatoes
6-8 big mashed garlic gloves
1 glass of olive oil
Clean very carefully the lentils to remove tiny pebbles and dirt. Wash them and put them in double amount of cold water. Add the garlic, the tomato juice and salt and boil slowly. When the lentils are ready, turn off the kitchen and pool the olive oil into the pot, mixing softly. Sprinkle with fresh oregano and enjoy!
Favorite thing: Even if Lefkas has now much more tarred roads than it used to have, there remains many dirt roads, even dirt tracks and this is a good thing as it slows down a little bit the tourist's pollution. Wandering on the smallest trails often allows to discover beautiful landscapes.
The photo was taken in 1976 from the road that climbs to the central plateau of the island. It shows at the bottom of the valley, the sea side village and resort of Nidri.
The closest small island is Nisis Madhouri
A little further, three islands:
On the left, the smallest is Nisis Skorpidi, privately owned by the famous ship owner's family, the Livanos.
In the center (and a little further) Nisis Sparti.
On the right, the largest is Nisis Skorpios, the island privately owned by another famous ship owner's family, the Onassis.
Further away, Nisida Meganisi is very indented and looks as if it were several islands.
In the background, the mountains of Acarnania, on the continent.
Fondest memory: This is on Skorpios island that were shot in 1975 the worldwide famous nude photos of Jacky Kennedy, then freshly widowed from Aristote Onassis.
I quote from Recipeland:
" When a paparazzo photographed Kennedy Onassis nude on a Greek island, Hustler publisher Larry Flynt bought the photos and published them in the August 1975 issue, much to her and the Kennedy family's embarrassment. The pictures taken with powerful telephoto lenses were somewhat fuzzy. But the pictures clearly show Jackie's breasts, her buttocks and pubic hair."
I had not seen these photos for a long time and I wanted to check them but amazingly, though they have been so widely spread in the 70s, Google does not seem to find them on the web, even as reproduction of the cover of Hustler! Strange, isn't it! Are there forbidden searches on Google ?
I finally found them, not using Google, on OOps Celebs!. They are in very low quality but that does not matter as that was just to know what we are talking about!
The following Google link gives an aerial view of Skorpios
In 1976, we had a hard time to find this beach, that we later learned was called Kathisma beach. The dirt road was not easy to drive, but to find such a desert beach was a great reward. On two km of beach, there were 3 or 4 families of wild campers. In the early morning, families of local peasants came on motor tricycles, had a quick dip into the sea and went away. That was the paradise.
The second photo was taken in 1977 and the landscape had not much changed, may be 5-6 families instead of 3-4!
It happened that I did not came back until 1997 (enlarge the third photo). The trail was now a nice tarred road, there was a big bar at the northern end, a few houses had been built. Cars were parked along the northern end of the beach but the southern end remained almost desert.
In 2001, I had the opportunity for another visit and I was curious to learn how it would have become. Haha, cars were parked along the road for almost one km. Several rows of cars were parked on the whole length of the beach. A second huge bar had been built at the southern end. Last but not least, in the middle of the beach, there was an open air dancing that produced such a loud music that even at the farthest end it remained too loud!
When we will come back, that will be in the low season!
Favorite thing: Ormos Aghios Nikitas (Saint Nicholas Bay) is protected by another cape, which unsurprisingly is called Akrotiri Aghios Nikitas (Saint Nicholas Cape) while the village hidden at the bottom of the bay is, as you will guess, Aghios Nikitas!
The three photos of this tip were taken from the middle of Ormos Dhrepànou.
The first photo is a general view. On the far left, the large structure is a hotel that opens directly on the beach.
The second photo shows the jetty with behind the houses along the road. The four villas of Aris apartments are higher, clung to the hill.
The third photo is a close up on the villas, three on the left, one on the right.
The three photos of this tip were taken from the road that leads from Kariotes to Katouna, a mountain village.
The first photo shows the entrance into the channel, dug across the swamps, that leads to Lefkas and the open Ionian sea. It allows to connect directly the Ionian sea with Ormos Dhrepànou, the bay of Drepanos. The village underneath is Kariotes (Kariotai). Lighia is on the right, out of frame.
The second photo was taken from the same spot but on the right and shows Lighia with the jetty of its port.
The third photo was taken a little further, closer from Katouna and shows better the harbor of Lighia.
Favorite thing: The only draw back of Aris Apartments is that the access is not easy. The private parking is on a platform, a little higher than the villas. The access is by a very steep ramp. To go out is not always easy as the ramp opens directly on the narrow main road, which in the high season is pretty busy. However, the apartments are so pleasant that this is not a big problem.
Ligia or Lighia is a small town, 8 km south to Lefkas, stretching along the sea shore and along the coastal road leading to Nidri and the south of the island.
It is also the main fishing port of the island with a dozen boats that moor in the small port (second photo). In the background, the southern entrance of the channel that begins in Lefkas
The photos were taken from the villa that we had rented in Lighia.
Favorite thing: The bay of Vliho or Vlixou is a very well sheltered bay, protected from every direction, where we anchored one night. We were lucky to find there friends of ours. We knew there they were sailing in the Ionian islands but we did not knew when and where exactly! By pure chance, they were at Vliho! We stayed together and sailed with them and another friendly boat for the remaining of our cruise.
Favorite thing: Nisis Madouri (Madouri or Modra island) was the birthplace of famous Greek poet Aristotelis Valaoritis (1824-79), and is privately owned by its family. The baroque building is a Valaoritis museum and can be visited. (I have not done it).
On the first photo, from left to right, Nisis Sparti, Nisis Skorpidi and Nisis Skorpios. The photo was shot in August 1976. We sailed around the island but had to stay wide away of Skorpios as it was tightly warded and no one could sail closer than several hundred meters.
The yacht anchored in front of Skorpios might be Onassis's Yacht (Onassis died on March 1975).
The photo shows the quay in Nidri with a few local boats. The island close by is Nisis Madhouri (more on next tip).
In the background, the mountains of Acarnania are more clearly seen than on the previous photo.
Favorite thing: However, even in 1977, Kathisma beach was not quiet all the time. We came back two weeks after our first passage as it was on the way to the ferry. There had been a windy period and there were huge waves that made swimming a bit dangerous but exciting!
This photo, taken in 1997 shows the northern extremity of the beach with the huge bar with its terrace and its parking lot. However, as the beach was so immense, it was not really crowded. Not a desert one, but not crowded.
2001 was a different story!