Swim adventure in Skopelos island / Greece
Four years ago I went with SwiminGreece to Sporades islands. When the ferry went along the eastern coast I saw a lot of lonely beaches. On this side of the island there are no villages and almost no streets. “That would be a nice place for some coastal swimming.”, I thought. Afterwards when I did some coastals with SwiminGreece I got to know the western and southern coasts of the island. And I was convinced that this island is worth to explore more than only a few days. I looked at a map of Skopelos and began dreaming… And then an idea evolved in my mind that survived for years: Swim around Skopelos in one week, everyday from one village to another. Just on my own, pulling my clothes behind me in a dry bag.
The next years I experimented with dry bags. At my local lake I put a rope around my hips and fixed it with the dry bag. I used a 30 liter dry bag and put 4 big bottles of water in it, and… it worked, a bit slower but still fun to swim.
But there was another problem to solve. On the eastern coast of Skopelos there is no village for about 20 km. So I needed a very small sleeping bag and mat to sleep one night at a beach. I experimented with an aluminium mat and an aluminium blanket. I found out that it is not very comfortable, but for one warm summer night it works.
When I decided to follow SwinimGreece again it was clear that this is the time to try the surrounding. Here is what happened…
I am always excited before the start of an adventure. How will the first strokes feel like? Will it be easy to swim with my dry bag full of all my clothes, food, etc.? Was my physical preparation enough?
But from the beginning all went fine. I left the bay of Panormos and headed to the north along Milia beach and 4 other lonely beaches. Some wind was blowing, but the waves were small and friendly. Soon I arrived at the small village Neo Klima. It felt more like a holiday on the beach than an adventure. I walked around and found a quiet apartment to sleep. In the afternoon I had a desire to swim again, but I decided to save my energy and did some stretching at the beach.
Like the day before the swimming was easy. As expected some wind and current came from the north, but not too much. I arrived very relaxed at Glossa. I got a room near the harbor. In the afternoon I went up the Chora where you have a fantastic view over the sea.
The next day will be the first challenging distance. And northern capes in Greece are always challenging concerning wind and waves. Therefore I decided to start with the sun rise. I took 3 bottles (1.5 liter) of water with me. As food 2 packages of NRG-5 should be enough for 2 days. So my dry bag was heavier now and filled to the top with all the stuff.
SwiminGreece in France with Marc Le Roux !
On Saturday, June 11th 2016 the 14th Courreaux Challenge took place, organized by the Rotary Club at Lorient, Brittany in France. The challenge was aiming to support people with autism and for this good cause 130 swimmers took the start to make the crossing from Groix to Plœmeur, accompanied by 130 kayakers.
Sea conditions were very difficult: the choppy sea, the current amplified by the tide and the wind made the challenge too hard not only for the swimmers but also for the kayakers escorting them. While the first swimmers were expected around 11: 30 on the beach of Perello, Plœmeur, it was not until one hour later that the first two crossed the finish line.
In total, due to the hard sea conditions, out of the 130 participants 67 had to abandon before reaching Plœmeur.
SwiminGreece is proud to be one of the sponsors of this event and to have contributed to the cause of supporting associations of autistic people. Our representative of SwiminGreece in France, Marc Le Roux, was among the ones who made it to the finishing line, with the help of his escorting kayaker, Bertrand.
Bravo Marc & Bertrand! We thank both of you for your courage and strength. Thanks Catherine for your nice photos and for all your effort and support !!
See you all there next year!
Our swimming holidays in Sporades take place in a beautiful island complex in the northeastern part of the Aegean and specifically in Alonissos and Skopelos islands. These islands attract a large number of tourists each year from all around the world. The crystal clear, turquoise waters of the Aegean Sea, the fantastic sea caves and the warm light of the summer sun will make your holidays in Sporades truly unforgettable.
All these islands are characterized by dense plantation which, combined with the blue colors of the sea and the sky, creates an earthly natural paradise.
Alonissos offers moments of peace and tranquility and is a refuge of rare marine species. Alonissos is famous for its unrivaled natural beauty. It has pinewoods in its southern part offering rich hiking trails and beautiful landscapes, as well as beaches with crystal clear waters.
In 1992 the National Marine Park of Alonnisos was founded for the protection of the Mediterranean Monk Seal , one of the biggest monk seal species. The Marine Park is a unique habitat, where protection as well as research activities take place regarding the Mediterranean Monk Seal and other marine species. Patitiri is the port of Alonissos and the commercial center of the island and its name comes from the grape presses that existed there.
Sporades Swimming holidays 2015: A testimonial from a French visitor and now a friend
Thanks Marc Le Roux !
I would like to thank “Eau Libre” for allowing me to discover that such holidays were possible, but above all the team of SwiminGreece who were incredibly welcoming, friendly, warm and very caring with each participant, either a swimmer or a companion.”
Skyllias 2014 - Are you prepared for Skyllias 2015?
Article written by our friend Seamus Bennett, Open Water coach and swimming teacher - Founder of Felixstowe Swimscapes Outdoor Swimming
Last July I had one of the most memorable, challenging and unique swimming and travelling experiences of my life, courtesy of SwiminGreece. I was one of the first overseas swimmers to be given the privilege of taking part in the 15km North Evian Gulf Crossing, Skyllias 2014. This locally-organised, real Greek event follows the route of the legendary ancient Greek swimmer between the mainland and the beautiful port town of Limni on the island of Evia.
My 12 year old son and I were met at Athens airport by the friendly SwiminGreece team and driven straight up country complete with fascinating conversation on all things Greece and swimming – right from the off it was as if we had known each other years and the journey flew past.
After a peaceful night in a family villa by the beach, we all took a ferry over to Limni and settled in to our clean, whitewashed apartment, surrounded by lush gardens humming with cicadas. That evening I registered for the swim, introduced to the organisers and other swimmers by SwiminGreece, co-sponsors of the event.
Early the following morning we joined the flotilla of local boats taking participants and spectators over to the mainland for the start of the race. It was exciting to be part of this real Greek experience, with top national swimmers alongside us in the small fishing boat.
After an hour we reached the start point, readying ourselves for the big swim back to Limni - just visible on the horizon below the forested mountains of Evia. However, all morning the wind had been strengthening and swell we’d noticed on the way over was growing.
It is the most precious gem of the Aegean Sea. Most say that its name is derived from the word “vilos”, which was later evolved to “milos” which meant “sheep”. Milos has been inhabited from prehistoric times. The capital of the island is Plaka.
The island where the goddess of love Aphrodite was born according to Greek mythology has the shape of a petal. In the crystal blue waters, one may swim fearlessly, and may combine exercise in a dreamy environment. Milos has more than 90 exceptionally beautiful beaches, an example being the one of Kleftiko. Many of these beaches are accessible by land, while others can be reached only by sea.
Swimming holidays the eco-swimming
Greece has a total of 443 regions belonging to the European network Natura, covering 27.1% of the country's area.
Greece has one of the largest and most important networks of protected areas across Europe. This is the Natura 2000 network, which in Greece comprises 241 Sites of Community Importance and 202 Special Protection Areas for birds and wildlife.
Swim with others- Leaving the safety of the pool, it’s very common for even the best of swimmers to be uneasy about swimming out into the open ocean. The easiest way to quell those stomach butterflies? Firstly, use yoga breathing techniques to help mentally prepare for a swim. Secondly, you needn’t look no further than the solution mother nature has devised to instill confidence in every species of ocean swimmer – swim in groups!
Never swim alone– It’s obvious that swimming out in the open water is something you shouldn’t be doing alone. Nevertheless, if you’re set on swimming by yourself, make sure that you are being constantly spotted by someone on land, and wearing a brightly colored swimming cap so that you can be easily discerned.
Work your breathing technique– It’s very important tο work on your bilateral breathing technique. By exhaling into the water and breathing every three strokes, you’ll develop a faster and more symmetrical freestyle stroke. Bilateral breathing will also allow you to swim straighter than one sided breathing, helping to keep you on course.