Exploring Exoticism on Greek Ferry Routes

Unlike nostalgic gazes which evoke a sense of familiarity and the remembrance of shared local traditions, exoticism provokes surprise and lust. It is a powerful aesthetic response to cultural Otherness, one that can shape global perceptions and understanding.

More recent musicological studies of exoticism take a broad chronological survey approach (see Locke 2009, cited under General Overviews). Beckerman 1989 and Salmen 1997 explore musical depictions of Native American culture from a more critical perspective.


Kythnos is a beautiful Cycladic island that offers visitors a relaxing getaway. This popular island is connected to Lavrio and Piraeus ports in Athens with several ferries throughout the year.

Kytthnos has a wealth of beaches, churches and other sights to see. The capital of Chora (Mesaria) is a classic and picturesque settlement, with traditional houses and narrow streets that project an ageless charm.

Visit the Dryopis Folk Museum, which is housed in a preserved old building. Other highlights of the island include the Chapel of Panagia Kanala and the lava-sand beach at Kolona, which is ideal for swimming. It also has tamarisk trees for shade and beach bars and tavernes.


Skiathos is a cosmopolitan island of pine forests, film-set beaches and marvelous ruins. Its thriving town has narrow paths and red-roofed houses. The port is at the heart of Skiathos, with restaurants, cafes and stylish open-air shops.

Large ferries dock at what is essentially a concrete platform, dropping a ramp for passengers to disembark and board. Small ferries, such as the Aegean Flying Dolphins, dock in a smaller area within the main Skiathos port.

A must-see is the museum of the Greek writer Alexandros Papadiamantis, who was born on the island. It is close to the east port. This is an important part of the island’s cultural history.


Skopelos, or Chora as it is known by locals, is a traditional settlement where you can still see evidence of the many civilisations that have occupied this part of Greece over the centuries. A stroll around the town’s maze of narrow alleyways reveals houses with terracotta roof tiles and traditional wooden balconies, as well as the whitewashed churches and shops that are so characteristic of Greece.

The island’s verdant forests are dotted with hiking trails, while its beaches offer a relaxing ambiance. For more information, visit island hopping website Ferryhopper or book guided tours and day trips at Get Your Guide. The island also has a folklore museum housed in a restored 18th-century stately building, Vakratsa Mansion.


The remote island of Alonissos is a sleepy, quintessentially Greek destination that is far less well-known than Skiathos and Skopelos. Here you can visit pristine beaches, and explore the unique marine ecosystem of the Sporades Marine Park.

You can catch a ferry to Alonissos from Volos on the mainland, as well as from the neighbouring islands of Skiathos and Skopelos. During peak season, there are also ferries to Alonissos from Mantoudi in Skyros and, occasionally, Kymi on Evia.

The Mavrikis Folklore Museum doesn’t need to be the top priority on your trip to Alonissos, but it makes for a good way to pass the time if you are waiting around for your ferry. Just remember to book your tickets online in advance to ensure you get the ferry to Alonissos at a convenient time.


Corfu is a popular destination for tourists thanks to its stunning beaches and mountain ranges. During the spring and early summer there are flowers in bloom and the waters are warm enough for swimming. September is also a lovely month for visiting Corfu, when the weather is cooler but the island is still bustling with activity.

Stroll through the cobblestone streets of Corfu Town to discover the island’s rich history and cultural influences. Visit the Mon Repos Estate, a neoclassical villa and the birthplace of Prince Philip. Explore the Museum of Asian Art or sample the island’s craft beer at the Corfu Beer Brewery.

Bicycles and scooters are available to rent for those who want to explore the island independently. Taxis are also readily available throughout the island.


Paxos doesn’t have its own airport, so the best way to reach the island is via Corfu or Igoumenitsa. During the summer, ferries are available from both points of origin with foot passengers and vehicles permitted onboard.

The cultural and historical museum of Paxos is well worth a visit with its collection of items that cover the islands’ classical history until the modern era. Other cultural events staged throughout the summer include a number of cultural walks that open up different parts of the island for exploration.


The gorgeous Ionian island of Lefkada is the perfect place for serenity, relaxation and adventure. It offers one-of-a-kind archaeological ruins, museums and monasteries, as well as cosmopolitan nightlife and cuisine.

The enchanting capital Lefkada Town retains its vintage charm through picturesque alleyways and 17th- and 18th-century churches. It also has many must-see attractions, including the Folklore, Gramophone, and Archaeological museums.

The town is known for its annual lentil feast, celebrated in August. Locals cook large caldrons of the famous Lefkada lentils and offer them to guests. The festival is accompanied by an impressive traditional programme of songs and dances. The event is one of the biggest in Ionian history.


Emerald mountains and lush vineyards are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Kefalonia. This island also has a rich tapestry of historical hotspots that add to its cultural identity.

Kefalonia’s capital of Argostoli is home to the Melissani Cave-Lake, where it’s possible to take a boat tour into the underground lake. Other popular activities include visiting the picturesque village of Sami and shopping for a new wardrobe in the upscale Fiskardo.

The main port on the island is Sami, where ferries from Patras and Astakos dock. Pessada, Poros and Fiskardo are other ports that welcome ferries from Greece and Italy. Be sure to try the local thyme honey and Robola wine.