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Nidri: The Best Little Greek Town You Never Heard Of

Santorini. Mykonos. Athens.


These are places in Greece you've likely heard of. But I'm willing to bet most of you haven't heard of Nidri, located on the island of Lefkada in the Ionian Sea.


I hadn't either.


How did I end up here?


My spiritual path led me there.



Summer School Worth the Flight

Over a year ago, I read an article in a British spiritual magazine about Joanna Watters and her Greek Island Summer School.


For the past 27 years, she has taught astrology and tarot to students from her adopted home of Nidri, Greece.


I was so excited to learn about it, knowing that I was moving to Italy and would be a lot closer to Greece.



Fast-forward to 2023, and I found myself, along with seven strangers-turned-sisters, sitting around Joanna's giant table outside, learning about astrology and tarot.


We spent about five hours a day for five days diving into the course material. Doesn't sound like a lot of time, but Joanna has mastered the art of going deep fast.


What started out as foreign as Greek to me (though I am learning the Greek alphabet) became decipherable by the end of the week. I can now understand an astrological chart and look up dates in an ephemeris (giant book of planetary positions throughout time).



We also learned the significance of tarot cards (something I felt slightly more familiar with than astrology) and got to give each other readings.


The added perk was bonding with women, all of whom were from the UK. If I had a euro for every time someone mentioned another person and they'd say "well, she was a [insert astrological sign here], so...you know..." I could cover my trip expenses!



Paradise as a Backdrop

Just like kids ready to cut loose after class, we would drop our books and head to the beach. Nidri has very narrow beaches, most of which are covered with beach chairs you can rent from restaurants and bars. While the other girls lounged, I swam in the calm, clear waters. This part of the Ionian Sea is peppered with Greek islands, so everywhere you look, there are trees and mountains.



We came at the ideal time. Apparently, it had been chilly just weeks before, but the temperature was warm without being too hot. And the bulk of tourists don't arrive until July, so it wasn't overcrowded.


We stayed at Akti Studios, and I can't recommend it enough. It's on the quiet end of town with its own sliver of a beach. The rooms are spacious and include a kitchenette. The grounds have gorgeous gardens, and the owner, Zoe, is friendly and speaks English. It's also super affordable.


Greek Salad, Anyone?

I lost track of how many Greek salads our group ate. By far, it's the most popular thing to eat here. There are also many other Greek favorites, like souvlaki, saganaki, moussaka, grilled seafood, and meats galore.



Go Chasing Waterfalls

There seems to be more to do elsewhere on the island, but I deliberately stayed local to Nidri to have lots of down time. One activity a few of us did that I highly recommend was walking to the nearby waterfall.



The walk is about an hour from Nidri and on the way, you'll encounter chickens, goats, sheep, and horses. I love seeing what local life looks like! We thought this sign was hilarious:




After a walk in the heat, we stopped at the small cafe just before the waterfall, which was generously shaded by a giant tree. We had a beverage and a pee (or "wee," as my new British friends would say) and carried on.


The waterfalls, as you can see, are stunning. Every time we'd turn a corner, there were more to see. Many people were swimming and splashing in the waters, though it was a bit overcast when we were there. Still, I took off my shoes and enjoyed the cool waters myself.




Don't Forget Self-Care

I'm a big proponent of self-care (that's my Libra talking), so when I saw a hammam located right by our hotel, I immediately booked a treatment.



I was scrubbed clean by Vicki, a local with flawless English ("Which makes no sense, since I've never visited an English-speaking country!"). We chatted about mythology, culture, and language, as one is inclined to do, while she covered me in a delicious mud scrub with orange and rose oils.


After I simmered in the sauna for a while, I showered off and headed to Amelie, who gave me a thorough and relaxing massage. I came out walking on air.


Honestly, I'd return to Nidri for the Hammam alone!


This trip made me more keen to explore the lesser-known parts of Greece. I was, as far as I could hear, the only American on the island. It's popular with Brits, Germans, and Russians. But even at its peak, I doubt it's as overcrowded as the islands in the Aegean.

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Wow! What a great experience! Glad it was a good trip.

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