In Greece, you don’t have to go to the spa for a fancy clay mask. You can just walk down the beach.
In the town of Pelekas, on the island of Corfu, there are pockets of clay hidden beneath rocks at the edge of the sea, just a short walk from the pier.
We heard locals rave about the clay’s exfoliating, detoxifying, and cooling benefits and decided to give it a try. The best way, they said, was to break the clay off in big chunks, water it down, and rub it on your skin.
We covered ourselves from head to toe and lay in the sand to watch the clay dry, feeling as relaxed and tranquil as any spa day with a better view.
The clay felt immediately cool and damp on our sun-soaked skin. As it hardened, we felt our skin tingle and tighten, freezing our faces in straight expressions and cracking wide when we laughed.
The best part?
Jumping in the sea naked and washing it off.
Isak Dinesen had it right: “The cure for anything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.”
Pelekas is a tiny village on the island of Corfu, alongside the Ionion Sea. Pelekas has appeared in historical archives of Corfu as early as the 16th century and has a current population of less than 900. The town borders the Ionian Sea and the clay is located near the water’s edge, just south of Pelekas beach. To find it, pass the old wooden dock, and walk across the rocks halfway between the dock and the nude beach.
Photos by Sasha Juliard.
Nicole Lindstrom is a travel writer based in New York City. She is the creator and editor of the online travel guide GLDMNE and co-author of Wanderlust, A Modern Yogi’s Guide To Discovering Your Best Self.
Sasha Juliard is a freelance photographer and web designer. He started How To Work Remotely in 2015 and is a contributor to several online publications.