the art of slow travel through the Greek islands – journeying from Patmos to Lemnos

It’s a 15-hour ferry ride from the south Aegean island of Patmos to the north tip of Lemnos. The tail end of the high season means there’s extra room to spread out on the ship. If I’d taken the journey even a week earlier, I would’ve struggled to find a seat.

the art of slow travel through the Greek islands - journeying from Patmos to Lemnos

overlooking the bay, Lemnos

We leave Patmos approaching midnight. The silver glow of a full moon lighting the sky. The ripples of the sea twinkling with dancing lights illuminating off Patmos’s villages perched high up in the mountains. Sea spray catches me on the odd occasion as I bid the island goodbye.

the art of slow travel through the Greek islands - journeying from Patmos to Lemnos

in the heart of the valley, Lemnos

Whenever I have the chance, I always make sure I journey by sea when I’m in Greece. Navigating the deep blue of the Aegean makes me feel an acquaintance with the heartbeat of the land. Tales of seafarers come to mind, thoughts of my parents taking the month long journey across continents in pursuit of a better life are echoing reminders of what journeying by sea represents.

Countless untold stories whisper through the sea breeze as we sail through this Ancient land.

the art of slow travel through the Greek islands - journeying from Patmos to Lemnos

backstreets of Chora, Patmos

Having time means there’s an opportunity to savour. There is no urgency. Your destination awaits in the far off distance. Taking the trip overnight means the chance to witness the changing light illuminating the sky, in time to watch an uninterrupted sunrise. In the past we’d be greeted with dolphins swimming alongside us. It’s something that always manages to evoke a childlike sense of excitement within me.

Slow travel means inviting a degree of patience. It’s a reminder in learning to take your time and savour your environment. Immersing yourself with your surroundings. Sensing the space around you. Listening to the sounds, how you feel – whether or not you welcome operating at a slower speed. Where your thoughts go, how hurried or laboured they are.

the art of slow travel through the Greek islands - journeying from Patmos to Lemnos

Monastery, Patmos

It shifts your perspective. Slackening our urgency allows us to move in keeping with our natural environment. It might not be achievable all the time, but what it does do is help us understand that we can introduce and implement this in our day-to-day. We can adapt ourselves to be more embracing of the environment around us and make it a part of our journey instead of distinguishing ourselves from it. We can aim to heighten our senses as oppose to numbing them.


Happy Travels…Paula x




  1. Julian September 10, 2017 at 8:13 am - Reply

    Your story and photos want there now.

    In big cities like London or Paris, the same slow travel can also be experienced through travelling by bus instead of the quicker tube or underground. Often the buses are more of a challenge to navigate. But the reward of seeing life on the ground and all the sights en route is well worth the effort.

    • Mediterranean Wanderer October 26, 2017 at 6:32 am - Reply

      Absolutely Julian..Our approach to travel is subject to what we wish to take from the experience..It doesn’t matter where we are..It’s simply how we choose to interact with that foreign environment. Your example of taking the bus instead of the tube, is a perfect reference to how we can enrich our travels through mindful decisions…Interacting with the people, being in the heart of the city, getting lost and exploring is truly the way to really savour a place. I host Culinary Laneway Tours in the city of Melbourne and that is what this experience is all about. Giving people the chance to really savour and enjoy the heart and soul of what Melbourne has to offer and sharing some of the secrets of the city…It’s a wonderful opportunity for people to really connect and feel the place..You are always rewarded when you venture off the beaten track, regardless of where you are…

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