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Antissa


Campo Antissa and Gavatha are the beach and fishing port of the village of Antissa, in the mountains above. Almost completely undeveloped the only rooms to rent are in the Paradise

Restaurant in town and in a few private houses scattered throughout the valley. There is a small harbor full of fishing boats and a long beach with a few trees that offer shade. Gavatha is built upon a peninsula that shelters the main beach and there are rocky beaches on the other side that are good snorkeling areas when the sea is not too rough. there is a small Church of St. Pandelemon on the rocks above the village, guarded by a rusted old tank with it's gun pointed at Turkey.

Most of the tourists who come here can't be called tourists any longer because they have been coming for years and are almost a part of the village. Many have bought homes in the area. It's a very quiet place with virtually no nightlife beyond whatever may be happening at the Paradise Restaurant or one of the other small cafes. The Paradise is one of the best restaurants on the island and people come from all over to eat and enjoy the view. The owner is an extremely hard working woman named Stacy, who moved to the island from New Jersey fifteen years ago. She has been closed the last couple years they say because her beautiful daughters have gotten married and moved to the city and she does not have the help she needs ro run a restaurant of such high quality. Hopefully she will be open when you come. If not the Aigaio down the block is also great and can get pretty lively day or night.

The beach is a good one. There was a lot of seaweed which washed up on the shore but the villagers made a valiant effort to get rid of it, perhaps believing it makes the area undesirable to tourists, and have been pretty successful. But the truth is that even when there was a lot of seaweed, once you walk out a few meters the sea is as clear as anywhere. The best place to swim is the far end of the beach. Snorkling along the rocks is fine though there are not a lot of fish. If you go far enough you will come to the rocky beach at Campo Antissa where most days you can have the mile long stretch of pebbles and sand to yourself. You can also drive there by following the signs through the valley. The area is full of olive trees, orchards, farms and gardens and the dominant color is green.

In nearby Campo Antissa there is no village but the center of the area seems to be the two tavernas across from each other in the paved riverbed that leads to the sea and the long empty beautiful beach. When the wind comes from the north east there are great waves. When it blows from the south the sea is calm and when there is no wind at all it's like a mill pond. The valley is a collection of farms and gardens. Directly across the sea Turkey is close enough to be clearly visible every day. If you follow the riverbed which has been paved it will take past Kostas Taverna on the night and down to the beach. There is a pond at the end that is full of eels, frogs and turtles and there are lots of interesting birds around. One you get to the beach you can choose to drive to your right or walk to your left where the promontory that seperates Campo Antissa from the beach of Gavatha begins and you can have as much privacy as you like.

If you follow the road east past Campo Antissa you will pass brilliant green fields of clover and drive alongside a river. The road actually crosses the river (no bridge but it's not too deep and the kids love it) and goes through a small settlement before coming to the ruins of ancient Antissa on a promontory. It's an interesting area with ancient stones scattered around and some big walls still standing. The beach is secluded and there is a very pretty church that sits above it that provides shade for the hottest part of the day. There is also a taverna nearby that has live music on Saturday nights during the summer, though finding your way back after the party could be tough. The road is hell on small cars and should be taken slowly and sober.

The town of Antissa sits on the side of a mountain and is the regional center for the villages of Vatousa, Xidera, Gavatha, Liota, Rema, Zithra and Pterounda. There is a large and beautiful platia with not one, but three enormous platanos trees that make the village a very cool place to come on a hot afternoon. There are several restaurants in the square and an equal amount of cafeneons. There's a pharmacy, something that none of the other villages in the vicinity have and a post office. There is also a medical center which serves as a hospital for this part of the island. The only drawback to the area is that besides the rooms at the Paradise in Gavatha, there are few if any places to stay. But it's a nice place to come for a day.

 

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