03 Jul “Kathikies” in Atlas magazine / ETIHAD, July 2019
Still, even if you’re not invited to lunch with a local, you can experience this way of life at Kathikies, a pair of perfectly primitive farmhouses at the end of a dirt track. They’re exactly like the little house where I stayed 30 years ago with one difference: electricity.
“We didn’t add anything to the original structure, we just wanted to bring life back to the buildings,” says the owner, George Chatzigiannakis, who enlisted architect Ioannis Exarchou to restore the ruins. After the not-so-quiet cosmopolitanism of Koundouros, there’s an intensity to the isolation. Without Wi-Fi, connectivity takes on a new meaning. You start to tune into different birdsong, glimpse dragonflies camouflaged in the foliage, notice how the currents on the distant sliver of sea signal which way the wind is blowing. “You feel like you’re in a nest – a place that’s protected but surrounded by the magic of nature,” says Chatzigiannakis. “It’s like going back 5,000 years to the heart of Greek culture, to a time when people used to travel by trireme [galley ships with three ranks of oars].”