Last year, as I searched for a backpacking holiday destination within my budget, a friend suggested Greece. Not finding any alternative I looked into it, and pleasantly surprised with what I uncovered, I decided to spend two weeks in Greece. One week of which would be spent hiking and camping on the beaches of the Greek island, Gavdos.
Whilst doing my research about this island that was perfect for camping as it is virtually uninhabited, with only around 45 permanent residents, I discovered that Gavdos was the southern most Greek Island, the most southerly point of which is actually the southern most point of Europe. Tripiti is it’s name, so named because of the headland that reaches out into the sea, that contains three arches, on top of which some travellers decided to build a giant chair, to mark it as the southern most point of Europe.
One of the only two ways to get to Tripiti is via a 4km trek beginning from another beach on Gavdos, and so it was on my second day that I began my journey to the south of Europe. The hike is not so easy, the path is clearly marked, however it requires some fairly steep ascents and descents and in parts the footing is somewhat questionable, loose stones, scree etc.
Get the picture??
Though apart from a few somewhat treacherous….okay not SO treacherous sections of the trail, the rest is easy to follow and the whole trail is well marked, so it’s impossible to get lost. There are also stone markers every half kilometre to let you know how far away you are…not sure if this is good or bad, you know….are we there yet??
As in life, nothing comes for free. No risk, no reward. No pain, no gain and all that yada yada. The same applies to Tripiti, so it is no surprise that all the time and effort you put into making the arduous journey is well rewarded….
Once at Tripiti, undoubtedly after taking a swim, a short walk along the beach, a small climb and voila….The southern most point of Europe!
Standing there next to the giant chair, looking out over the Libyan sea, I took a moment to reflect. Savouring the view, and the beautiful atmosphere created at this point where land meets sea and the wind blows the fresh sea breeze over you. It’s an almost magical feeling.
Of course after my reflection time…I had to hop up on the chair and get a couple of pictures…
The southern most point of Europe may not be some great achievement, but at least I can say I was there. Many, probably thousands of people have been there too….but I was there and though it may not be the south pole….it is a remarkably beautiful place that is well worth the visit, so I will proudly say ” I have been to the southern most point in Europe and you haven’t.” ( Unless you have… then that doesn’t apply to you…)