My comrade Brokerman Dan urges me to read an article in The Guardian about “The hidden Greece – the Cyclades” There are a number of reasons why I shall not do that. And the main one is that this is not the Real Hidden Greece
There is of course the obvious point that anything in the Guardian is by definition rubbish. I cannot think what a sensible fellow like Dan is doing polluting his mind in this way. But then there is the corruption of travel writing. The economics of travel supplements are thus:
1. Journalists are often flown out by a Tourist board to be taking on a lovely jolly. It is not in their interests to write bad things or they will get few invites so they usually write sycophantic crap.
2. Supplements make money by selling adverts. Any region which has a stack of people able to afford to advertise in the Guardian is by definition not hidden but developed.
As it happens the Cyclades are well work tourist destinations. So how about this as a “hidden Greece” trip:
Fly cheapo Easyjet to Corfu and get a bus (with ferry trip) ticket to Ioannina in Northern Greece where you hire a car and drive towards Arta (50 miles away). The road takes you through the mountains and your first stop is the Loutos Springs. These were one of many entrances to Hades and are the source of the stunning Loutos river which tumbles through the gorge as you drive down to Arta.
Next stop – Dodoni – a religious site started 2,600 BC where there is an amphitheatre (from much later) and many spending buildings remaining, totally ignored by the tourist.
After that a couple of days fishing for trout in the Loutos. As you then head towards Arta I spotted a semi-ruined Byzantine Church (6th Century?) – I know nothing of it but would like to investigate more. The area is dotted with such churches and monasteries. And finally to Arta and its splendid bridge (see here).
Give me a free week and I would be relaxed, stimulated and untroubled by other tourists. Perhaps the Ioannina Tourist Board would like to fix this up for me?