“Look this” said my guide and he then picked up a large bay leaf from the ground. Please approach it close to your face and smell it deeply. “Bay laurel has so many health benefits. It is good for insect bites, skin infections and stomach upset. Of course, it is also a great ingredient in meat plates.
My guide was Ortwin Widmann and what we were doing can be described as herb-hiking on Skiathos island. Mr Widmann is from Germany and has lived in Skiathos for 13 years. He, with his personal cost, has planned the route of all walking paths across the island, almost 200km in total.He has also written a book, which is the ultimate hiking guide on Skiathos island. This incredible man is also a naturalist and offers his expertise in local plants and their medical.
The peak of blossom is during spring and early summer, when camomile, wild mallow and poppy, generously give their colors to the ground. To my surprise, there are also other plant species to see throughout the year. At the beginning of autumn, oregano, fennel, lemon balm and sage were everywhere, offering us a cup of tea or the option to dry them and take them home. Widmann explained to us that these herbs can replace a pharmacy store! Lemon balm is good for insomnia, fennel for coughing and sage for a throat infection!
I recall when reaching the end of one of the paths and saw this amazing view of the Aegean sea not far away from Skiathos hotels of the town. We were surrounded by fragrant thyme plants. At that moment I felt complete, it was not only the view, but also the smell that I kept inside forever. It was so much worth it than spending one more day at the beach.