Located on the Northeast corner of Cephalonia Fiscardo is known as the St Tropez of Greece. It was left untouched by the great earthquake of 1953 so most of the historic, Venetian buildings survived and the town has been declared an “area of great natural beauty” protected under Greek law.
Fiscardo isn’t short of glamour with ‘A’ listers Demi Moore, Jon Bon Jovi and now Peter Andre being spotted there. Every day trip boats bring hundreds of tourists into the harbour and to serve them almost the entire quay and the streets behind are taken with tavernas of every shape and size. Selecting Tassia’s and the Captain’s Cabin was a difficult choice but Tassia and Thomas served up some awesome and unusual fare.
Ithaka has a unique and important place in Greek history and the island itself is divided into two halves waisted in the middle. Kioni is on the East coast of the northern half of the island. The town is a small natural harbour and fishing village surrounded and sheltered by the verdant mountains that encircle it.
The main source of revenue is tourism and much of that is derived from catering to the boating fraternity that take advantage of the tranquil surroundings and sheltered moorings. The harbour frontage consists mainly of bars and tavernas and there is an impressive choice for such a small location. For their taste challenge Peter chose the ‘Three Mills’ Restaurant and Dimitri the ‘Calypso’ for two very different dishes and, by the Greek Gods, were those restaurants competitive?
The narrow entrance to Vliho bay is at the busy town of Nidri on the island of Lefkada. The almost lake-like bay is a large natural harbour and from the entrance it takes Menai Lady some fifteen minutes to cover the distance to the Vliho Bay Yacht club where it is based for the winter – it’s a big bay.
The Yacht club, run by Ruari and Vicky is virtually the only eatery in Vliho and very good it is too but there is lots of choice in nearby Nidri. However, weather and egos intervened to change the taste challenge for this location. Charlotte was left with a shopping trip for ingredients and the guys had to prove their own cooking capabilities – under very difficult circumstances.
Menai Lady is moored in the sheltered South East corner of Spilia bay located on the Northern coast of Meganisi. From there it’s a 15 minute walk to the cliff top village of Spartochori which is perched high above the bay.
The village remains unspoiled and is a typical example of traditional Ionian architecture and from here there are some of the best views of the whole area. It’s also home to Laki’s Taverna that not only provides both Peter and Dimitri’s dishes for the ‘taste challenge’ but serves up a night of traditional Greek revelry.
If you are touring the area Spartochori is, in every sense of the word, a notable high spot and one not to be missed.
The large bay at Vasiliki lies on the southern-most tip of Lefkada at the western entrance from the open sea to the Ionian Islands – here the Dhoukato lighthouse marks the north side, with Cephalonia on the south side. Known for its local thermal wind, nicknamed Eric, Vasiliki is a hot spot for high wind sailing and an epicentre for active holiday goers – including windsurfing, water skiing, scuba diving and sea kayaking.
But Vasiliki is a dichotomy for right behind the sport saturated beach and the bustling town and harbour there is a verdant plain that provides a plethora of fresh local produce to the many restaurants.
Here Dimitri has discovered the Starfish Restaurant whilst Peter has travelled out of town to the Old Plane Tree for his dish.
Sivota is a difficult find from the sea with a narrow entrance and little to distinguish it from the shoreline. Once inside the bay the quay runs the entire length of the west side with more moorings on the east side – normally capable of accommodating forty to fifty visiting yachts.
When over one hundred pile in for the Southern Ionian Regatta the place turns from sleepy fishing village to manic party town and it’s on just this weekend that Menai Lady turns up with its merry crew. The Regatta is the biggest event by far around these parts and is a great backdrop to this episode.
Peter makes a significant and willing contribution to the festivities and there is barely time for the taste off with The Twelve Gods and the Spiridoula tavernas providing the dishes.