Posts tagged: Keramoti

Leaving Thassos

By , 12/08/2014 00:43
Φύγαμε από την Θάσο σήμερα το πρωί.

Φύγαμε από την Θάσο σήμερα το πρωί.

As the end of my ‘Grand Tour of Greece’ approaches, the journey back to Gloucestershire has started.

After breakfast we said our goodbyes at the hotel, got in the car and drove to Thassos Town / Limenas, and took the ferry back across to the mainland.

We’re now in to August and the ferry back was much busier than when we arrived – much busier than the ferry to Kavala on Saturday.

Arriving in Keramoti (Κεραμωτή), it took hours for the cars to empty off the ferry. By the time Dad had got the car off and parked up at the side of the road for us to get in, I had been to the kiosk and back, and finished topping up my Greek sim card!

Philippi / Φίλιπποι

Philippi / Φίλιπποι

From Keramoti to Thessaloniki is 192km, so it’s quite a drive. We stopped at Philippi (Φίλιπποι) on the way back for some lunch and a walk around the archaeological site. It was interesting, but we couldn’t stop for long, as we needed to get back on the road.

We arrived back in Thessaloniki not long after 17:15. The hotel we’ve got tonight is not too far from the airport – it’s the Ambassador Hotel, near Epanomi. From the hotel (up on a hill) we get some excellent views over the city. Even with the airport being between the hotel and the city, it doesn’t detract from the views. The hotel swimming po0l is great!

After a quick dip in the pool and a drink from the pool bar, I took the bus in to the city centre for some last minute shopping and a photo by the White Tower, which I did not manage to do when I was last in the city a couple of weeks ago.

In hindsight, it may have been better to go straight back to Thess/iki and then we could all have gone out in to the city for the evening (I would have liked to take them to one of the tavernas I enjoyed when I was here on my own last month). As it was, Mum, Dad and Corrie just wanted to stay in the hotel, and I went to the city on my own. In order to get the photo by the White Tower I was desparate to get, I stopped a Greek couple and used my best Greek to ask them to take my photo – just as I had to do before the rest of my family arrived.

White Tower of Thessaloniki / Ο Λευκός Πύργος Θεσσαλονίκης

White Tower of Thessaloniki / Ο Λευκός Πύργος Θεσσαλονίκης

Ξενοδοχείο Ambassador

Ξενοδοχείο Ambassador

For dinner we ate in the hotel restaurant – sitting at a table next to the swimming pool, which made it quite nice. The prices are higher than you’d get in tavernas, but the setting was lovely. Three of us enjoyed Spaghetti Bolonese while Mum enjoyed a rizotto.

And so my Grand Tour of Greece now has come to and end. Tomorrow, we drive to the Airport (5 minutes away), drop the car off at Departures at 09:15, check-in, and our flight back to the UK departs at 11:45.

I expect I shall write one more time on here once I am back in Gloucestershire – but for now… a message to everyone in it who I have met over the last 6 weeks – including the staff in all the hotels I’ve stayed in; the waiters in the tavernas, bars and restaurants; taxi drivers; Dimitris and his family in Leivadia; Antonis in Galissas; the family I met on the train to Kalambaka; to Kosta, Maria, Eleni and everyone else in Potos; and anyone who I’ve stopped in the street to ask for a photo to be taken…

Ευχαριστώ πάρα πολύ για την φιλοξενία σας εδώ στην Ελλάδα.

I’m off to bed.

Good night,


Back to Thassos

By , 31/07/2014 08:19

Leaving Keramoti

It is 8 years since we last managed to get here; but I am pleased to say that as I write this morning I am sitting on the balcony in exactly the same apartment we had during our first stay in this particular hotel/our second stay on Thassos. Thassos (Θάσος) is the most Northerly of all the Greek islands, and it lies just under 230km from Thessaloniki.

I met Mum, Dad and Corrie in the arrivals hall at Thessaloniki Airport, and once our car rental was sorted the journey from Thessaloniki to Thassos was really quite simple: Take the Thessaloniki Ring Road until the Egnatia Odos (Εγνατία Οδός), then follow that motorway until you get to the sign labelled KERAMOTI – THASSOS – ΚΕΡΑΜΩΤΗ – ΘΑΣΟΣ. There are 2 toll booths along the route: It’s €2,40 each time for a car.

From the motorway junction, the road goes down to Kavala Airport and on to the ferry at Keramoti – it’s about 10 miles. The crossing to Thassos takes about 45 minutes, with ferries leaving almost constantly throughout the day. It’s €3 per person and €16 for a car. They’re drive on-drive off ferries: you don’t need to reverse on as you do for some ferries. From Thassos Town it was just a case of taking the coastal road down to Potos (Ποτός); a journey which took us about 45 minutes.

It is brilliant that even after 8 years, the hotel staff still reconise us. Potos has changed slightly since the last time we were here: the number of English tourists has dropped dramatically, and in their place lots of tourists from Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey and Serbia. No one bring UKIP here! The result is that a lot of the tavernas/restaurants don’t have their signs in English now – they use Romanian, Bulgarian, Turkish or Serbian.

In a way, I am almost disappointed that I’m in a touristy area – everywhere else I’ve been, I’ve effectively manage to avoid tourists completely: I’ve managed to find places catering for Greeks and Greek tourists. The village seems very small (much smaller than I remember): but I think that’s just because I’ve been used to life in Athens and Thessaloniki.

I’m off to the bakery to go and get some breakfast, then I think I need a swim, as I haven’t had a swim since I was on Syros a week ago.

Bye for now,


Panorama Theme by Themocracy