After a four night stay, we’ve just left our first Greek island, Serifos, and reached our second, Folegandros. Serifos was our first right-on-the-water stop, and Porter and I both agree it felt so good to be somewhere that had such a vacation-mindset. We swam every day, ate amazing Greek food, went for early morning runs and sunset bike rides, and basically just took some time to debrief what our first month of traveling was like, talk about where we might want to travel to next once we wrap up our time in Europe, and honestly, put away our phones for a bit and read some books. We’ve both found that, because we love what we do, watching TV (unless it’s a super gripping movie) doesn’t really take our minds off of “work.” Reading really helps in this way because you have to focus more, so we both felt like we had real down time where we actually checked-out a little mentally. Coco-Mat Serifos proved the perfect place to do that. Here, it feels like people check-in to check-out.
Here are some reasons why:
1. The Eco Lounge Furniture – Whether we were having breakfast at the breakfast booths or down by the beach, this place knows comfort when it comes to lounge furniture (and also has the Coco-Mat style of design I fell hard for back in Athens). They had those big plushy recliners you sometimes see by a pool at photos of upscale boutique hotels in the Caribbean or Miami, except on the beach. Porter and I both fell asleep after swimming more than once, which, for him, isn’t saying much (he can fall asleep almost anywhere) but for me is saying a lot (I never nap).
2. The Bohemian Atmosphere – It was so relaxing to be somewhere where we didn’t feel like we needed to put shoes on to go down to breakfast, or get overly dressed up for dinner. I lived in jean shorts and a bathing suit most of the week, as did the rest of the vacationers staying at Coco-Mat Serifos. Sometimes, it’s nice to be in a more formal environment, when you’re in the mood to get dressed up or have packed outfits you want to break out on a shorter-term trip, but, for us, being somewhere where we could just chill out and eat great food and run up and down from our little bungalow a hundred times when we forgot things (sunscreen, sunglasses, book, i-Pad, etc.) without having to look put together was just what we wanted.
3. The Bungalows – Okay, so Coco-Mat Serifos calls them eco-residences, but I just feel like bungalow suits the houses you stay in so much better. Every room at Coco-Mat Serifos isn’t a room at all, but a small house with a mini-kitchen, living room area, one to two bedrooms and bathrooms, and the kind of open-air, wooden-slat-flooring showers that make you feel like you’re in some kind of oasis in the rainforest. As I’m sure you can tell from the photos, everything is decorated in the simple Cycladic blues and whites, which are my favorite colors anyway. Natural materials from the island were used in all of the construction, and the furnishings are all of that same sun-exposed eco-quality we came to know and love in Athens. I loved having our own little outdoor space, too, and each residence has an indoor and an outdoor table, so you can opt to cook your own food on the two burner stove, or you can have breakfast and other meals brought up to be set up and eaten on the porch without any added cost. There were a couple of families with very young kids there and the mums just seemed so relaxed. I think that perk was part of the reason why…
4. The Beach – A lot of the time in hot weather places, even if the hotel is situated on a gorgeous beach, you kind of also wish you had the pool option. Well, maybe that’s just me and Porter because we both love the water, and I like being able to sit on the steps of the pool to read, be on my phone, etc. We never felt this way in Serifos, though. The beach that Coco-Mat is on is in a small cove that remains super flat and has this bed of coral rock about three meters out that you can sit on (almost like a rock sandbar – I think it’s hardened lava sediment, something like that…), it’s a little bit slippery but was the perfect place to just chill out and enjoy the ocean. Also – there are so many colorful fish in Greece! Porter and I felt like we were in the Caribbean because every few minutes a different bright blue or purple or yellow fish would swim by. I don’t know why, but I just thought there weren’t a lot of tropical looking fish in the Med or Aegean. Guess we were wrong because there were also snorkelers swimming up and down the coastline every morning and evening. We’ve decided we need to find a place to rent some masks…
5. The Location – So, I just mentioned how Coco-Mat sits on a really stunning, secluded cove, but what I didn’t mention is that it’s right below the long winding road that runs throughout the island. Because this is a less popular Greece vacation spot, the hotels are few and far between on Serifos, so Porter and I could go for long runs on the main road (with cars going by maybe once every half hour at most) and it felt like the hotel was on a private island. There were donkey and goat farms and more white-washed houses tucked into the hills, but otherwise the island is pretty barren. We jokingly said that this is probably where everyone in the witness protection program winds up…it’s that low-key.
6. I mentioned this already in our Coco-Mat Athens post, so I’m going to just throw it in one more time quickly: the organic breakfast and all of the “raw” options. Give me all of the Greek yogurt, local honey, berries, chia, sunflower, and pumpkin seeds.
Tomorrow we’re going to try to have our guide to Serifos post up, but we’re taking a day trip to Santorini, so that may be rolled over to the next day. I’ve never been, so the levels of excitement are high. We’ve just reached the island of Folegandros which is about an hour ferry ride from Thira. I’m not sure if we’ll go to Oia or Fira tomorrow, but if not, I’m putting whichever town we don’t get to onto my next-time-we’re-in-Greece list (along with Zakynthos, the one place I’m really gunning to go that we haven’t gotten to this trip!).
Hope you enjoy the pics !
Anna Lisa & Porter
*Thank you to Coco-Mat Serifos for sponsoring this post, as always, all thoughts & opinions remain our own.