Childhood Memories of the Greek Islands

I keep hearing in the news that after a long and harsh winter spring has finally sprung in Europe. While I am in no way envious of the cold winters (they are something I am more than happy to miss out on while I live in Australia) I do get jealous of those who spend time around the Mediterranean in summer. I have wonderful memories of childhood summer holidays by the Mediterranean, especially in Greece.

The Greek Islands represent a significant slice of my childhood travel memories. I wonder if it was the magic of losing my first tooth while on holiday in Zakynthos and the tooth fairy giving me 40 drachmas for it. Perhaps it was the loukoumades in Skiathos? Maybe there was just something about Kos? My brother and I have parents that are keen travellers, which is something I feel very fortunate to say because it meant being taken to some wonderful places for holidays while we were growing up. Our parents enjoyed exploring and weren’t going to let starting a family hamper their adventures. Architectural sites, museums and beaches were all part of family holidays.

Mum and Dad encouraged us to try to say a few words in foreign languages when we had an opportunity and we had lots of interesting people encounters. The warmth and generosity of the Greeks was evident in the number of bowls of fresh figs lavishly bestowed upon my family by little old ladies in villages. Our parents bundled us into hire cars and took us to magnificent beaches. We repaid them by singing (badly) in the back. After failing to escape enforced post-lunch naps my brother and I would suffer having that special blend of sun cream and sand rubbed into our skins and then busy ourselves with building sandcastles, digging random holes and testing our arm bands in the shallows while Mum and Dad relaxed on the sand.

A holiday highlight for our parents (and these days me) was dining out in the evenings. Mum and Dad kept us from becoming bored or a nuisance by making us write postcards to Grandma while we waited for our food. In return for good behaviour in restaurants we were sometimes rewarded with a treat on the way home. While my brother favoured ice cream, the loukoumades (little doughnuts drenched in honey) were a particular favourite of mine. Another fond memory of mine is the coin-activated children’s rides on the waterfront of Skiathos that played Greek nursery rhymes.

The Greek Islands offer so much for both young and old visitors. They each have different characteristics of course, but they all offer stunning views and landscapes, tasty food and a wealth of history and culture. The sailing opportunities are amazing too of course. If you haven’t visited yet you should try a holiday in Greece. I wish I could get there this year!

What are your favourite childhood travel memories?

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